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Update Version 3.10 - Holiday Edition E-mail
Monday, 19 December 2005
A few updates for Planetside, some of them related to the holydays.
Tactical Overlay

The Tactical Overlay is a grid of colored blocks on the continent map that can be used to monitor friendly troop deployment, detect enemy forces, and visualize the flow of battle.  All players have access to this tactical data, regardless of battle or command rank.

To view the tactical data, click on the Tactical toggle on the continent map, or press the A key.    
    

Display:

When toggled on, the tactical overlay display shows colored blocks (four to a map square) over areas of the continent map.  Cyan blocks indicate areas where your empire can detect enemy forces.  Other colors indicate the influence of one or more empires:  blue indicates New Conglomerate influence, red the Terran Republic, and purple the Vanu Sovereignty.  "Influence" means that an empire has units either nearby or in that tactical block.  The intensity of the empire color and the overall area covered indicate how large the force is:  the larger the force, the more opaque the color, and the larger the area.  When two or more empires' influence overlaps, only the dominant empire's color will be shown; however, if the majority empire is not clearly dominant, the block will be colored yellow to indicate it is contested.

You can tweak the display via the small window that appears while in Tactical mode.  Each empire's influence can be toggled on and off (useful in three-way fights), and you can set the intensity of the influence colors and opacity of the detection areas.


Detection:

No matter where they are on the map, you can always see your own empire's forces.  However, you can only see enemy forces if they are within your empire's detection area.  Detection comes from two sources:  towers and soldiers.  

 
Towers provide detection to the empire that controls it.  However, because of interference, the closer a tower is to a facility, the smaller its detection radius.  One consequence of this is that special operations teams can enter an unmanned base undetected so long as they avoid the nearby tower.  Towers that are far from any facility (such as those near warpgates) have very large detection ranges, making them good early-warning outposts.


While towers are useful, an empire relies primarily on its soldiers for detection.  Each soldier detects enemies in the tactical block they are in, and scout vehicles (mosquitoes, buggies, and ATVs) can detect enemy forces in a wide area.
 

Undetectable Units:

A number of units do not show on the tactical overlay:

Cloaked:  Infiltrators, Wraiths

Support:  AMS, Lodestar, and Router

Special Operations Transport:  Galaxy, Sunderer

Gate-Shielded:  Any unit inside a warpgate bubble

Occupants of an undetectable vehicle are also undetectable.  For instance, the soldiers aboard a Galaxy are undetectable (at least until they exit).


Role on the Battlefield:



The tactical display complements hotspots and commander reveal functions. Hotspots are still the best way to tell at a glance where the action is, and how intense the fighting is in an area.  The Reveal Enemy command function has three advantages over the tactical overlay:  First, it shows exact locations, while the tactical only gives a general area.  Second, it can detect units that tactical cannot.  Lastly, by showing vehicle icons the commander can see force composition, which the tactical overlay doesn't show.  The Reveal Friendly function has similar advantages over the tactical overlay.    


Head Gear Enhancements
Added glasses and communication device options and new commands:

  • /shades command to toggle sunglasses!  (BR 24 required and must not have helmet shown)
  • /earpiece command to toggle tactical head set! (BR 24 required and must not have helmet shown)


Holiday Features


We've added santa hats, present box corpse graphics, animated lights in the trees on the arctic continents, and a new command:

  • /humbug command toggles the santa hats or present box corpses on or off.  Bah Humbug!


Vehicle Improvements:

-          Vehicle Timer Reduction - Reduced purchase timers from 6 to 2 minutes for the Basilisk, Wraith, Marauder, Harasser, Enforcer, and Thresher.  

-          Increased Armor - Increased armor on the Fury, Basilisk and Wraith  

-          Critical Health Changes - Changed the critical health value for all ground vehicles. This changes an affect where the vehicle would be rendered useless when it has just a few health points left forcing the player to eject. This now allows the player to either eject or try to limp away from the battle. Choice will be to the player.

-          Improvements on Braking, Steering, Acceleration - Harasser, Skyguard, Marauder, Enforcer, Wraith, Basilisk, and Fury

 

Incentive changes:

-          Eliminated health and negative XP incentives

-          Added spawn and acquire incentives:  

o        Spawn incentives reduce spawn time from anywhere, including towers and AMSes.  

o        Acquire incentives reduce acquire timers for vehicles and MAXes.

 

Plasma Stacking Limit changes:

-          The amount of aggravated damage queued on an object is capped to a limit settable per weapon type.  Damage past this cap is ignored.

-          Currently, plasma grenades are the only limited weapons.

   

Project Rabbit changes:

-          Rabbit carrier will no longer take grief when hit by friendly vehicles.

-          It will now say why the Rabbit ball has been reset in the chat window when it resets.

 

Miscellaneous changes:

-          Certificate Timer changes:  Reduced the certification unlearn timer from 24 to 6 hours.

-          Equipment terminal - we've made some adjustments and added in some extra logging to pinpoint terminal issues.  If you continue to experience the problem with the equipment terminal, use the /bug command in game to report it in detail.
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