(Author's note: Yes, I know that the way bases connect to each other is going to change when the hex lattice system launches. Shut it.)
Base composition is an incredibly important part of real-life warfare. From the layouts of forts to the facilities at an air base, militaries have done their best to maximize the usefulness of a base while minimizing its weaknesses.
Naturally, PlanetSide 2 doesn’t follow that model. It’s not for lack of trying, though! Each base in PlanetSide 2 does have its particular strengths. It’s just that most of them also have crippling weaknesses. It’s like an architect deciding to build a medieval castle without one of the walls. If I could point to any single problem with defense in PlanetSide 2, it’s how bases are laid out. So let’s take a look at how exactly they work.
Pros: Forward spawn close to the action and can spawn Sunderers.
Cons: Everything else.
Outposts are the most numerous kind of base on Auraxis, and they are shit, absolute garbage. Outposts are usually the first base to get rolled over in a zerg and for good reason: they lack a good defensive layout. There are (usually) no emplaced guns, few walls to protect the spawn from dedicated bombardment, and wide open sight lines to the capture point. In short, it’s a nightmare to defend from a combined-arms push. You can do it if you have a Sunderer hidden from the enemy tanks, but that’s the only real way.
That’s not to say Outposts can’t serve a purpose. They are great for forward spawns, and they have transport terminals to supply new Sunderers and Flashes. When your army’s Sunderer count starts to drop, spawning at an Outpost to grab another is insanely useful.
Add defensive emplacements, add some more walls so that attackers are forced to go on foot to grab the point, and change the transport terminal so that it can spawn Lightnings (but not MBTs). These three changes should make Outposts less of a speed bump and more of a roadblock. Outposts shouldn’t be too difficult for a dedicated force to overrun, but they shouldn’t be too easy either. At the moment, Outposts are mostly just a great place for attackers to kill-farm.
Pros: Defensive emplacements, can spawn tanks and aircraft, and larger base size.
Cons: Too few defensive emplacements and sometimes too large to properly defend.
Forts come in a variety of shapes and sizes, as they generally don’t follow the “mass produced” schema of Outposts. They are best classified into three subcategories: airfields, where you can spawn and refuel aircraft easily; tank bases, where you can spawn large amounts of tanks and have clear access to roads; and strongholds, which you are supposed to defend forever.
Forts, for the most part, are good. They serve as the best fallback position when you start to lose a lot of bases, although most platoons fail to communicate that to their grunts. They are also decent launching positions for zergs as they are located along major travel highways and have the facilities to launch everything besides a Galaxy.
They aren’t perfect, though. The biggest problem with forts is that they only have a few defensive emplacements. Despite being good staging points, they lack the defensive strength to stop a real push. Forts should be a slog for attackers, not slightly more difficult pushovers.
Give them more defensive emplacements and walls, just like outposts. Forts don’t need any changes to where capture points are located or what vehicles can spawn, but they definitely need a better defensive profile. In addition, there are a few forts that are far too large to establish a cohesive defense at. They need to be condensed a little more. The goal is that zergs should never want to engage a fort unless they are willing to become stuck in a quagmire. Forts should shape the travel lines through Auraxis.