One of the largest Mattherson outfits now quit the game. Inside: BuzzCutPsycho’s meaty announcement post as to why exactly they left.
On June 23, 2013 BuzzCutPsycho published a lengthy announcement post (now taken down) on The Enclave homepage explaining in greater detail the reasoning for his and his outfit’s quitting. What follows further down below is his unabridged and unedited post archived here for posterity.
Original news (June 21, 2013):
The Mattherson outfit The Enclave [TE], about 700 Terrans strong, finally decided to quit PlanetSide 2 entirely. Known for many things, the outfit’s leader and number-one PlanetSide 2 streamer, BuzzCutPsycho, used his last Twitch broadcast to address his following and bring to the forefront as to why the outfit was leaving the game. Among the many reasons rank the game’s lack of “purpose” or “true endgame,” game balance issues, and poor game performance.
The Enclave plan to tackle other games for now, but they didn’t entirely rule out returning to PlanetSide 2 should the game change drastically for the better.
June 23, 2013
(quote follows from here on until end of post)
The video I put on Twitch was made to address my following on Twitch; not The Enclave and not the Planetside 2 community.
The Twitch community was a big part of my gaming experience. They would participate with the stream, randomly follow the outfit around on ops, and join “stream teams.” They were just as important to me as The Enclave and I felt obligated to let them know I was leaving and why I was leaving.
I stopped streaming because my stream was meant to be a Planetside 2 stream. I have no interest to promote other content now that The Enclave has officially left Planetside 2. I really wanted Planetside 2 to be the best game it could be and I wanted to help promote it. I had a lot of help from SOE coming into my stream and it just wouldn’t feel right to stream other content.
I also wanted to elaborate on some of the points I touched upon in the video addressed to my streaming fans. Essentially, the primary reason why The Enclave is leaving Planetside 2 is because Planetside 2 lacks a true endgame.
Many of my detractors are echoing a chorus of “Of course he’s burnt out! He’s plays way too often!” That is simply not the case; I played Planetside 1 just as much and for a longer period of time; almost two years. I played World of Warcraft for nearly seven.
These games both had one thing which Planetside 2 unfortunately lacks: purpose.
I shouldn’t even need to point this out; we’re always talking about the lack of purpose in Planetside 2 in these forums and elsewhere, and yet it has to be pointed out again and again. In Planetside 1, you would log on, push a continent, and find a purpose for what you were doing. In other words, there was an actual chance of pushing an enemy off of the continent and claiming it for your empire; there was an actual impetus to do what was necessary to kick your foes out and move on to the next battlefield.
We don’t have anything like that in Planetside 2 and the game suffers for it. We all know it.
Eventually, you get tired of pretending that what you’re doing matters. It’s a mindless Team Death Match. If I wanted mindless TDM I’d play Battlefield 4 — which enjoys better gun-play, graphics and stability — it’s a no-brainer. In fact, that’s what I’m planning on doing. I’m not saying I’ll play Battlefield 4 forever, but I want that shooter itch to get scratched and Planetside 2 can’t accomplish that.
If Planetside 2 ran better and possessed better gun-play then one could overwrite the fact that there is no purpose to the game, but that we all understand that this is not the case and I certainly shouldn’t have to point it out for people to realize this.
Game Update 11 wasn’t the game-breaker for me, what really did it were the alerts. Since they were introduced, they’ve been nothing but a band aid fix to get people fighting on other continents. This temporary poultice was fine pre-lattice but, now that we have lattice, we are at the mercy of the alert system during our operations. The bandage is causing harm as it determines whether or not we can find a damn fight.
Alerts ship everyone to another continent, often locking many of our guys out and have the stupidest criteria: “Capture 9 Biolabs,” is just one example of a broken system which has caused us to cancel ops early many times. What little objectives we were able to create for ourselves in this game have been shattered by this alert system. Combined with the balance this game has been suffering from, the alert system has been causing ennui and a desire, in a lot of The Enclave, to play something else.
Speaking of Balance, it’s been awful in Planetside 2. What’s more, it’s not merely overpowered weapons — which are in themselves a problem — but the way that SOE creates a “flavor of the month” new weapon in the cash shop that is overpowered and then go around and nerf that weapon into the ground while simultaneously creating a new overpowered weapon for players to spend money. This ring-a-round weapon buff/nerf cycle is bad enough in a normal game, but in an MMO which uses a free-to-play model, it’s downright disastrous.
As just one example of too many to list for this cycle, we went from HE farming in tanks to that being nerfed into the ground just in time for Harasser farming with the fury. In essence, you go from the most powerful weapon to the next new powerful weapon while the old one is made inferior. I found myself doing this with a staggering assortment of infantry weapons, weapons I recommended to my entire outfit. We went from one piece of equipment to the next, but it’s not that they don’t just make something better, they nerf the old equipment into the ground.
Again, this wouldn’t be as big of a problem if this game wasn’t free-to-play — but it is. For me, it’s “just money” and I paid without complaint; I wanted to support this game as much as possible. Unfortunately, most people don’t feel that way nor should they. Spending real money on a weapon in order to be effective only to see that weapon nerfed into the ground is transparently “Pay-to-win,” for all to see; an important point I touch on in the stream is how I feel about resources and how they’re being converted into a “pay to win,” scheme.
Game Update 11 also came with resource changes no one asked for and no one wanted, and yet it came in anyway. It came in without any testing whatsoever and the effects are discernibly detrimental.
Tanks, ESF’s, etc., cost too many resources; the only reason they brought this in was to monetize. Previously, who was it exactly who spent money on resource boosters? The answer, unsurprisingly for the state of resources back then was no one. This is why the change was brought in.
At their best, resources are annoying. At their worst, resources simply don’t matter. As they are now, they’re annoying. If you don’t have a booster and have fun flying around or using a tank, you’re going to be shit out of luck and at a huge disadvantage to a guy who possesses one — that guy is paying to win.
If you want to make resources matter, you have to make vehicles more powerful to make them worth the annoyance; that’s the road to pay to win. You’re opening the game up to be pay to win but the alternative is for resources to be worthless. We’ve never liked it: the resource system never made sense and now it only serves to annoy players who enjoy the game’s vehicular aspects over all else. Put quite simply, it’s a legacy system that SOE was having a hard time getting rid of. Though, to be fair, they probably don’t want to as they plan to monetize it.
You’ll notice that they also want to sell us implants; they’re talking about implants as consumable items (such as in World of Tanks). It’s redundant to have resources and acquisition timers and yet they’re planning on not only keeping both systems (with upgrades), but monetizing them. I can see where this is going. Just look at KDR. No one wanted KDR to be monetized but they’re planning on doing it anyway.
Despite all this about the cash shop, the most atrocious imbalance yet has been the ZOE max.
Unfortunately the ZOE max was introduced when lattice was introduced. The reason this is an important relation is the effect it had on people’s desire to play the game. Before Lattice, we’d typically run with around eight to ten squads a night for operations. When lattice was introduced, enough interest had been built up that, I shit you not, we fielded eighteen full squads; these were launch day numbers for The Enclave. People came back hoping that the game had changed enough where they could enjoy it again.
Unfortunately, that same lattice patch was introduced alongside ZOE. The most game-breaking and disgusting balance problem in this game caused many people to get sick of Planetside 2 for entirely new reasons.
– AA murders the sky, with ZOE.
– AV levels armor with ZOE.
– AI clears out entire squads with ZOE.
In a game with a short TTK like this, having such an ability is a terrible idea. It’s worse than the BFR’s of old because anyone can pull a MAX suit at nearly anytime. If the Terran Republic version, lockdown, had a similar ability to completely wreck opposition like it did in Planetside 1 it would also be damaging to this game. This game simply can’t support that kind of ability in its current form. As a result, we went from eighteen daggers a night to worse than pre-lattice numbers of seven or eight.
What’s truly aggravating about ZOE is that we had warned SOE about this when we helped out on the test server. When practically no one else would help out, The Enclave tested on that server. We had to split the outfit up into two opposing platoons to test everything and what we immediately found out was that ZOE was ridiculous.
We warned about Higby about this but we were ignored; it went live unchanged and ended up being catastrophic for the game.
People quit the game because of this; I noticed a huge turnover – I couldn’t keep them in the game for the life of me. Keep in mind, they weren’t quitting The Enclave; we’re a community. They had been playing the game for operations, for the community, up until this time.
Regrettably, large portion of our ops went from being about pushing a lane and winning a fight to just trying to set up a fight. We’d push empty lanes in order to attempt to force an enemy to deal with us just so that we could fight them there. We’d spend time ghost-capping, an activity which rivals active duty military work in sheer boredom, just to get enemies back into a continent and get a fight. We’d herd enemies into a bio-lab just so that we could get a bio-lab crash going.
In essence, we had to manipulate the game into getting us a fight because the mechanics of the game actively worked against finding those fights. I was literally spending more time trying to get my guys entertained than actually playing the game. Sometimes, we’d finally get a fight, crush them, and then they’d be gone along with the night’s fun.
This touches on something I wanted to address: a big portion of our critics make noise about the fact that we’d send all of our guys to one base and overwhelm it. It’s true. We’d look for fights that started off as either equal or outnumbered for our side and then drop en masse, but the thing is, Planetside 2 requires this behavior because of the dumb-downed redeploy system. Galaxies, transports and all logistics are completely worthless because the game has been dumbed down for the lowest common denominator.
If you watched the steam, you know how we made use of it. It took four months for the people watching us to figure it out, but none the less, they have. Basically, we end up flooding all of our guys into one base’s spawn room after the base is, for all intents and purposes, cleared of friendlies by enemy forces.
Back when lattice came out, we’d split our squads up across multiple lanes much as we did in the early days of the hex system when we actually put up with ghost capping for a time, but the way redeploy works now makes this actually worse than our famous Drop Pod re-secures via instant action. People hated when we did this and we did too. In fact, I actively campaigned against it.
This is worse; you re-deploy from a base and push out of the spawn room because of a retarded redeploy and reinforcements needed system. As a result, you will find us all sitting at the same base waiting for it to completely flip before moving on to the next fight. It’s a lack of challenge and it’s boring. The absolute lack of challenge in this game, for The Enclave, doesn’t stop there: it stems from the Planetside 2 community as well. I would make the case that the various outfits who fought us in this game were of such little challenge that it lead to boredom. I can safely say that, in every game we have ever played, we have always been an absolute dominant force without equal. Night after night we would stomp people. We never lost.
We always came back and we always took what we wanted to, and we did this night after night. Eventually, it got to the point where we’d drop into a base and everyone would simply leave. I don’t blame them. At that point, it was clear that there was no reason to fight, we had everything so refined we had it down to a science.
What’s truly astonishing is that we streamed our operations for all to see night after night, and yet no one could figure out how to stop our outfit. Entire alliances would form to stop us and yet they still couldn’t accomplish this. We’d develop a new tactic or demonstrate the usefulness of a new weapon and it would take months for the rest of the game to catch on and still they couldn’t stop us.
So they just leave. They don’t fall back and regroup at the next hex, they don’t organize a counter-attack, they no longer co-ordinate with other outfits to take the fight to us.
They just leave.
“Why are you complaining about that?” As cool as that might sound, capturing a hex which is devoid of resistance is not fun. These same people who would flee our presence in game cry and whine but can never challenge us within the game. Hell, they’d even attempt to fight us outside the game and continue their tradition of losing on that front as well.
We had the exact same problem in World of Warcraft. We came to a server which was legendary for its world PvP legacy and expected lots of competition. We found that competition at the start, but we ended up stomping them so often that they became, for lack of a better word, domesticated.
The same thing has happened in this game; we have domesticated Planetside 2.
I feel ultimately that ZOE affected the short term, lack of challenge both from game mechanics and the community affected the long term, but the over-riding nature of playing a game entirely devoid of having a purpose is the real cause for The Enclave’s desire to leave; they simply did not want to play such a game anymore.
A lot of people are saying “He’ll be back,” and there is indeed a chance that I will be back, but it’s going to take drastic changes; I simply don’t see that happening in the near future. Planetside 1 had the same cycle, but by the time they made it a better game, it was already a game that no one cared about anymore.
For me to come back, it’s simply going to have to be more like Planetside 1 than Planetside 2 currently is and it has to happen before the game loses all relevancy. As it stands, you’ll eventually have a small niche group of people combined into one server, just like Planetside 1. As a start, you’ll probably see Waterson merged with Matherson while your populations will likely drizzle down to the point where even that is merged with others until you’re down to that one server.
I know that they’re holding off on merging Waterson and Matherson because they claim that they don’t have enough room on the servers, but I don’t buy that because there’s only ever one pop-lock a night. Supposedly, the servers can support 2000 people per continent, but I’m sure that’s been lowered at some point; as a matter of fact, we’ve tested this and I am personally willing to bet they’ve lowered it from 666 per faction per continent, but I digress.
The point is, I probably won’t be back.
The future of The Enclave is pretty bright. We wanted Planetside 2 to be a game we would be playing for years to come, but we have other options. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: we are a gaming community that has never been bound to the games we play. We don’t just play one game, stick to it, and then dissolve when the game dies.
When you join The Enclave, you join a community that has been growing steadily since its inception in 1998. We started in Rainbow Six and have made lots of friends and even more enemies. Our core group grows from game to game and it will continue to do so even now. I am disappointed that Planetside 2 didn’t last long: only six months (a year if you want to get technical with tech test), but we have other games to move on to.
In the short term we’ll play Battlefield 4. It’s not going to be super serious, just fun. At least in Battlefield 4 we can expect a game where we know what the objectives are, can run it stably, and can enjoy tighter game-play.
In the long term, we’re currently looking at Wildstar. We’ve been playing shooter games for almost three years now and Wildstar holds some promising PvP mechanics that might offer up a nice change of pace for us. I plan on bringing The Enclave over to Wildstar if that game is good, but time will tell and there are other options on the horizon.
People might look on the outside and say, “those guys are just numbers to Buzz! They’re just being used!” This community has not thrived as long as it has for anything as trite as a personal aggrandizement scheme. The Enclave is a community of friends who enjoy playing games together.
I was reading the forums and the threads there always do amuse me; I do like a good read and have had quite a few. One of the common themes I see is best expressed by the following thinking:
“AH HA! Not all six hundred members of The Enclave are going to quit Planetside 2!” No, technically, not all six hundred members are going to entirely quit Planetside 2, but the vast majority are leaving with many having left long ago. Again, this is a community; a lot of people who stuck with the game for the last six months only continued to do so because of official operations with the rest of the outfit.
Look at Matherson’s population; every night we’d have eighty to a hundred people, but those people would proceed to immediately log off after operations were concluded and the population numbers relayed that. These people weren’t playing Planetside 2 for Planetside 2 — they forced themselves to play a game they didn’t like because it was one of a handful of games that allowed us all to play with each other. So no, not all six hundred or members of The Enclave will entirely quit Planetside 2, just like there are some members who still play Battlefield 3 and World of Warcraft.
When the primary response to the official decision to leave Planetside 2 is excitement, it’s a strong indicator of how many want to keep at it. People are HAPPY and RELIEVED to leave Planetside 2. That’s an awful sign when people are happy to quit a fucking videogame.
In a way, I feel bad that they were playing for me, for ops. Again, they played to play with the community. I’m not shocked, however, this has happened before and it’s a sign that we should have quit long ago.
With all that said, I do not regret my time in PS2. I went into PS2 promising that my outfit and I would be the best. We delivered.
Our outfit decimated the competition; I became the #1 player and remained there #1 player since launch. My outfit is the pinnacle of power, organization and skill. We destroyed our enemies and made the best of a game that’s sole redeeming factor was its ability to let 200+ people work together on my Teamspeak server under my leadership. My stream, hijinx and all, gave over a million unique viewers a view of the game’s potential. When it became clear that that potential was not going to turn into reality, we beat the game itself.
We will move on and like I said I have no plans to consider returning nor do I, at this time, ever want to. Despite rumors you may hear concerning myself and my outfit, you won’t see any of us going on and encouraging mass organized harassment, nor will you see us downloading cheats and attempting to ruin the game for those still playing. The Enclave is not and has not ever been an outfit whose purpose is griefing and I will not allow or encourage that type of dishonest behavior.
A final note to the PS2 community as a whole: the PS2 community is by far the absolute worst of any MMO game ever released. The PS2 community makes the WoW community look like a shining light of intellectualism and maturity. A big reason why the PS2 community is so laughable is a result of its F2P model which literally allows any retard to play the game. Additionally, the F2P model creates a level of anonymity and safety which allows people to make accounts to grief on a whim with no fear of real repercussion. Due to this, the un-paying masses can grief and harass the paying minority; it’s a terrible system unique to PS2 and hopefully the last of its kind.
The PS2 community ends up being the worst because it combines the absolute dregs of the internet into one melting pot of shit. Think of it as a combination of LoL players, CoD players, and disgruntled PS1 and BF3 players. Throw in a dash of entitlement due to the F2P model and you’ve got the PS2 community in a nutshell.
A lot of my enjoyment in PS2 came from destroying these people in game; the sense of satisfaction and pleasure I got out of knowing that I actually bothered these people was very rewarding. Every e-mail, tweet, YouTube video, comment, and complaint of rage about me brought a smile to my face. The meta-game of PS2 for me was infuriating the PS2 community at large and reminding them of their inadequacies while actually ruining what little enjoyment they got from this rather unenjoyable game. Being #1 and “the best” was a great way to do this.
To them, I was their King, sat high upon my self-crafted porcelain throne atop a mountain of garbage while they wallowed down below, clamoring hopelessly up the game’s shit-covered slopes, brimming with impotent rage.
For those who enjoyed my stream, enjoyed my antics, or had fun fighting with or against me: I will genuinely miss you all. A lot of you were intelligent enough to see through our personas, particularly mine, and our inside jokes (or at least appreciated having an antagonist to fight against or a competent ally to fight alongside) and understand what The Enclave is and will always be: a diverse group of casual and hardcore computer gamers who play these massive games the way they were meant to be played. We always tend to show up somewhere in a good, popular game — so keep checking in, whether you want to fight with or against us.
For those in the PS2 community who hated and scorned me, but could never match me or mine on the virtual fields of battle, you are trash. I laugh at you. I take pleasure in knowing that, since July of 2012, I dominated and humiliated you and your friends. Each and every night for you was the same — defeat, frustration and jealousy was all you ever knew when facing us. None of your outfits could match us. The Enclave in PS2, much like in PS1, had no equal. We leave the game on top by any reasonable metric. Know that the last time you saw my outfit in this game it was beating you and reminding you of your inferiority.
A lot of players in the PS2 community insisted that I was a cancer. In a way they’re right and I agree with them because in the end cancer always wins.