Friday, December 14, 2012

Planetside 2: Night Vision

  Everyone who likes playing FPS games is or was at some point a military enthusiast so the concept of Night-Vision isn't something new, but for those that do not understand its concept here is a simple explanation.

  Humans can only see a small spectrum of light that we call "visible light", so basically NV compensates the lack of visible light by allowing us to see other light frequencies such as Infrared and ultraviolet.

   Some interesting facts about Night Vision:
  • Most NV images/films are shown as green images because the human eye can differentiate more shades of green than any other color, giving us a clearer image.
  • Infrared light goes through some types of clothing making them semi-translucent.

In the game

  Night vision in the game tries to mimic Real night vision by changing illumination values according to its distance, meaning the closer you are to your target the brighter it will become to the point where it will become plain white/green.

  There are three types of NV in the game: Basic(vehicles only), Infra-red (infantry only) and Thermal(vehicles only). Both vehicle NV types have much bigger range than the infantry IR-NV.

Basic and Thermal Night Vision test video:

  As you can see from the video, the only difference between the basic Night-Vision  and the Thermal is that the basic one tints your screen with a green color and has a slightly bigger viewing range, the Thermal on the other hand makes targets a bit more visible but costs much more to unlock, making the basic NV the most used optics enhancement.

Problems with the Night-vision

   I have two complains about infantry Night Vision in Planetside 2. One thing is that as you can see in the image bellow the cross-air color is black, considering that everything beyond the range of the NV is black as well you can see how that may pose as a problem, many have complained about this since beta and nothing seems to be done about this.

  Another problem with the infantry NV is that since the game tweaks the illumination over the textures to create the Night Vision, it makes it unusable in the Esamir continent because it's a glacier type map thus everything is already white, this makes near impossible to distinguish white silhouette of players from the white background as shown in the image bellow.

Thanks for reading, good luck and have fun!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Planetside 2: pilot suicide

  It has been little over 10 days since the game was released and we have started to see some trends going on, one in particular annoys me a lot. I'm talking about players jumping off the aircraft when they are about to die.
Just before the missile hit him...
  I think the part that makes me furious is that to who ever does this there is no benefit what so ever. If your aircraft is going down you will either die from the explosion or due to the fall, unless you have the "Ejection System" which is the worst of all available certifications for the utility slot so no one uses it. This means that players only do it to spite their enemy robing them of over 60% of the xp they should have earned.

  A one man fighter gives 75xp for the vehicle kill and 100xp for the pilot kill, netting a minimum of 175xp assuming you don't get any other bonus which also only apply to killing the player such as:
  •     Vengeance bonus
  •     Domination bonus
  •     Kill Streak bonus
  •     Group Kill bonus. (in larger aircraft with multiple occupants)
  As you can see commiting suicide in a one man fighter aircraft is priving your oponent off at least 57% of the XP he should be earning.
...and again
  Sure this is a game design flaw which the developers did not foresee and I'm sure they will fix in time, but meanwhile players are exploiting this flaw to annoy the guy who shot them down.

  This also a unfortunate side effect on the meta game. Since Anti-Air weapons are very much horrible at killing anything but aircraft, this also of makes the important role of Anti-Air to be less desired by players thus hurting the game balance.

  How about you, have you seen this happening? Do you also do it? Why?