Veteran PlanetSide 2 players will soon get some new toys to play with, offering extra flexibility in their builds and a new way to advance beyond Battle Rank 100, replacing the old system which simply increased max BR to 120. Of course, with any new addition to the game, people are complaining about it — though in this case, much of the rancor is coming from those who would benefit from the changes.
On a livestream yesterday, the PS2 devs revealed the Advanced Specialization Program, or ASP. Once you reach BR 100, you’ll be able to unlock ASP by either being a member or spending 10,000 certs. That “resets” your BR to 1 (though you don’t lose any progress) and gives you an ASP point. You’ll earn additional ASP points at BRs 25, 50, 75, and 100.
ASP points unlock perks that let you reduce nanite costs of vehicles or give soldiers the ability to equip gear in that normally couldn’t be used by that class. For a good summary of the system and all it offers, check out this post on the PS2 forums.
The problem that some are seeing is that new PS2 players — who already face a steep uphill climb in terms of accumulating perks and gear — will be at a further disadvantage against players who have unlocked complex build options via ASP. Those newbies will face a long road to BR 100 and ASP perks if they want to play on an equal playing field against veterans using ASP. Even if that’s not an issue, there are the usual concerns about how ASP will affect existing class balance by giving classes access to weapons they’ve never had before.
Looking over various threads on the PlanetSide subreddit, it’s the veteran BR 120 players who are leading the anti-ASP crusade, concerned that it will make it difficult to attract and keep new players. It’s an odd reversal from what we usually see in an online game, where long-time players usually want everything for themselves and bristle at the notion of a company going out of its way to attract new players. Maybe that’s something Daybreak Game Company will need to think about before going live with ASP.
UPDATE: It looks like the PS2 devs are reacting to the feedback and already looking to pull some of the “most contentious” parts of ASP:
Going to pull back the Infil Carbines and Heavy Assault LMGs from the Prestige lineup. Those seem to be the two most contentious additions. #planetside2
— Wrel (@WrelPlays) March 30, 2018