The Crown: the base every Planetside 2 player loves to hate
If you’re a Planetside 2 player, you’ve probably heard about The Crown. Possibly the most hated and definitely the most difficult base to capture on Indar. The Crown has reputation among players as ‘a base only for the zerg’ or in other words ‘a place where noobs go to die’.
From the wiki: The Crown is a large outpost on Indar located on the center of the map. It is often credited with some of the fiercest fighting on the continent especially when all three factions are converging on the location. The Crown is accessible by two main attack paths: a small switchback trail on the north cliff face, barely wide enough for a small vehicle (Sunderers can, with some clever driving, get most of the way up), and an open road to the south surrounded by rocks. Both paths are highly exposed. Because of this, The Crown is considered a fortress, one of the hardest bases to attack in the entire game.
PC Gamer got curious about the thought process behind designing the most difficult to capture base on Indar, so they sat down with SOE Facilities Designer Corey Navage and Creative Director Matt Higby to talk about it. In that interview Navage and Higby not only talk about the design of The Crown but its reputation as well. Here are some choice highlights from that interview:
PC Gamer: Let’s start with the basics. How did The Crown come into being?
Corey Navage: Before we even began the design, we knew this spot on Indar was going to be a really great place to fight, largely because it’s right in the center of the map. No matter what, that’s where most players would eventually go, so we decided to build something really cool there to have everyone fight over. It’s right where all three distinct geospheres on Indar meet, and they’re all kind of divvied up with high cliffs, so this is one of the most heavily trafficked areas. Because of that, all three factions are most likely to meet there, so you get a lot of three-way fights going on there, too.
I do notice quite a lot of comments about The Crown. It’s probably one of the most talked about areas in the game.
Matt Higby: You see all kinds of funny adages springing up about the place. My favorite one is probably “Whoever controls The Crown loses the world,” because if everyone’s fighting at The Crown, they don’t want to leave to secure the rest of the continent.
Navage: And you just need so much firepower to take it, you usually don’t have enough people left behind to guard the rest of your stuff.
What were some of The Crown’s properties the facilities team noticed and changed during beta and leading into release?
Navage: At first, the base was way too defensible in beta. Everything we’ve done, and all the tweaks we’ve made to it since then have been to give the attackers a few more options. There’s a switchback path at the rear suitable for a Sunderer deployment at the bottom; that was a fairly recent addition to The Crown. The spawn room was initially inside the tower itself; it wound up being too much coupled with the other super defensible areas. So, we moved the spawn room out of there in hopes of slowing down defenders somewhat.
Each one of those small steps we’ve taken was intended to make The Crown a little less defensible. We’ll probably continue along that line of thinking—setting up third and fourth options for attackers to choose from and such.
What kind of options are those?
Navage: We’ll be adding another switchback path on the side at the end of the bridge leading from the palisade down there. We’ll have a sheltered parking spot for a Sunderer to protect against air and give attackers a relatively nearby spawn point.
Higby: A lot of it just a response to what players already do—we see players park their Sunderer underneath that big bridge all the time, for example. The ridge leading from the bridge is definitely climbable, but assault momentum often gets stuck among the rock outcroppings because of the amount of jumping you need to do. Corey and his team are simply legitimizing that frequently used path. People already defend there and attack there, but it’s a pain in the ass at the moment because the terrain doesn’t really support it.
Navage: We’ll basically set up the cover a little more intelligently to optimize engagement range and the number of people getting into a fight before it gets too crowded and everyone starts getting in each other’s way.
There’s nine of us on our design team, and I think we’ve all had a direct hand in shaping The Crown. That’s something I like seeing reflected in all of our base designs as a workflow benefit. If I need someone to jump in and tweak something at any given point, they can do so with little trouble. We also get a nice mix of flavors and touches on every outpost this way. The artists then come in and dress up a location as best as it can be. For The Crown, we wanted a strong sense of beauty. That’s a big reason for the big northern vista stretching past the seabed and into a huge crater. When the sun sets out there, it’s just indescribable.
You can read the entire interview HERE.