The Planetside War: Weekend Warriors

By Jim Rossignol on January 26th, 2009 at 7:13 am.


The first official Rock, Paper, Shotgun Planetside mob formed up on the Gemini server last night at 8pm GMT. We had around thirty people in the platoon, which meant lots of chaotic combat, and a whole lot of tanks. Read on for the battle report.

Having messed around in battle for much of the afternoon, various disparate units of RPS troopers formed up at the New Conglomerate Sanctuary. This is an area that is completely free of conflict, allowing Outfits to gather their troops, get their kit sorted and then head off for deployment across one of the contested maps. While we’d previously been fighting on the desert world of Ishundar for much of the afternoon, Cyssor, a pleasantly wooded series of islands, was selected as a better initial playground for our tank platoon.

We had three squads of ten assembled into a platoon when we decided to move. We had a couple of air support units, but the body of the RPS army was a series of Vanguard tanks, each with a driver and a gunner. Two anti-aircraft buggies came along too, with the intention of keeping the skies clear of enemy air cav. We trundled off to the warpgate, and arrived en masse in Cyssor.

The opening battle was somewhat clumsy, and was made all the more difficult by our vanguard tanks having to cross a narrow bridge to reach our first objective. Enemy units were already on the field, and those Vanu hovertanks were able to use the stretch of water around the bridges, while our armour was forced to stick to the land. Their ability to maneuver on open water was dangerous for the constrained Vanguard convoy, which was getting pounded as it made the crossing. We hammered enemy units in return, and felled half a dozen fast moving aircraft. But it was too much for us. Unable to repair, the tanks eventually got shot to pieces, and we respawned at the nearby base.

After a second failed attempt to grab a bridgehead on that far side of the river we switched target. There would be another bridge to cross, and another base to attack. Fortunately, however, friendlies were already attacking this second base, and so the bridge was clear. Once into the open woodland near the base we were far more effective. Our second massed Vanguard gang rolled into the base and demolished the enemy armour, which included hovertanks, and several of the large robots called BFRs. As the area was secured and outlying tactical towers captured, allied infantry were able to pour inside the enemy base, intent on capture. In this instance the base spawned a LLU, an object which can be taken to a connected base friendly for a quick resolution. With the LLU safely bundled aboard a speedy buggy, its courier headed off under allied air cover. The base was swiftly captured, and we hastily rearmed. Hastily, because we had been flanked by the enemy units who had cut off our first attack. They were now sieging the base we had just left behind.

The RPS crew poured back into this second base, devastating enemy vehicles and slowly clearing out the swarms of VS infantry. There was, as usual, a brief and brutal scrap for the nearby tower, which had to be hacked by friendlies to stop enemies spawning there. The purple baddies poured out of their spawn tubes. Were there any BoingBoing crew among them? It was hard to tell. Nevertheless the tower fell, and it rapidly became clear that our work on Cyssor was done. It was time to return to the Sanctuary base and put together a second strike team. Once again we went for a whole lotta tanks.

The second target for the evening was Ishundar, land of the fossilised tree. The desert continent had seen a battle for control raging since before lunchtime GMT. And where at noon we’d controlled half the island, by the evening we had been pushed back to a mere two bases. The RPS army charged into what was already a hugely contested battle, and the sheer weight of firepower meant we didn’t last long. There was up to a hundred enemy soldiers in the area of the base we were defending, and they were making significant advances. Waves of hostile armour was helping to push forward their base-capturing infantry. Airbourne friendlies seem to be having a particularly tough time too, with loads of anti-aircraft fire putting them at a distinct disadvantage. We watched the awesome Galaxy Gunship arrive over the base, only to get torn out of the sky in seconds by a huge plume of missile fire. He wasn’t going to be much help.

The battle burned on for the best part of an hour, with no one able to take the upper hand. I ran around helping with repairs and then, towards the end of the evening, I noticed and enemy soldier running down a gully near our base. Briefly I saw he had “Escapist” in his name, so I charged after him. I put a few bullets into his fleeing form, but he disappeared over a ridge. I gave chase, and was suddenly dead. Run over by a tank who had crested the hill at that same moment.

Listening to the near-hysterical bleatings of RPS readers on our Ventrilo server (which was rapidly full up, sorry about that) I knew that my work was done. We had killed many, lost many, and had begun to scrape together enough XP to actually have a decent spread of different soldiers. As the RPS crew gain more experience they will gain greater diversity of certifications, unlocking a greater range of weapons, and increasing our flexibility on the field. Perhaps that means we’ll do a little better next weekend. Same time, same place. I hope I’ll see you there.

The downloader is here, and offers a 14-day trial.

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60 Comments »

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  1. Wbjohnston says:

    I wish I was there,

    damn you sony for not releasing any of your games as freeware!

  2. Erlam says:

    These write-ups really make me interested in this game. Might, MIGHT want to check it out…

  3. Tei says:

    I was… somewhere, on thesee battlefields. I created a new char, as I never visited this server before, but getting invited on a platoon and using everything around levels you fast (plus a fast visit to the virtual rooms). My char is Teilaxu of the Vanu.

  4. Mike says:

    Wbjohnston – You can download it and run it as a 14-day free trial still.

  5. dalig varg says:

    this will be awesome remember to keep posting planetside war reports and dont forget to publish a seperate propoganda article to piss of the boingboing and escapist people shout the glory of the new conglomerate

  6. Wedge says:

    Augh, you damn Britishes and your GMT. Noon is too early for me to be awake on a Saturday. I’ll see if I can Lancer some of your stupid tanks or swat down anyone dumb enough to get in a plane with my AA Max next time!

    And I bet nobody from BoingBoing could even get the game installed, much less be arsed to play it.

  7. Jim Rossignol says:

    My char is Teilaxu of the Vanu.

    Which means you’re actually fighting against us. The RPS faction is New Conglomerate.

  8. Dorian Cornelius Jasper says:

    He’s a double agent.

  9. Premium User Badge

    Seniath says:

    Hmm, wish I’d been there. Was this announced anywhere, or was it just a random spur of the moment thing?

  10. Jim Rossignol says:

    It was announced in game from Wednesday, via the Outfit MOTD, and on the forum thread, and in this blog post.

  11. Ian says:

    If we can contribute while playing the free trial perhaps I’ll give it a go.

  12. Heliocentric says:

    Hmm… Tank rushing?

    War, war never changes.

    Tanks, what houses would be if it wasn’t for asbos.

    I’m suprised you didn’t bring a flying skip, they have area of effect repair. 20 tanks repaired as fast as 1.

  13. Premium User Badge

    Seniath says:

    That’ll teach me to not pay attention!

  14. Jubaal says:

    Ah makes me miss my fleeting affair with Planetside. Unfortunately it never grabbed me and I was never 100% sure why. It may have been that I felt it took too long to kill anyone or that that base attacks felt to samey and one dimensional. Either way I did have some fun times when I played, mainly going behind enemy lines in a small squad in a Special Forces kind of way.

  15. H says:

    Man, gutted that I missed this. Sounds like we should all sign up anyway and just join in, be the reinforcements and auxiliaries.

  16. Schmung says:

    I was on Cyssor, but my pc crashed after warping to Ish. I think I’ve finally started to ‘get’ Planetside in some small way and accept the fact that unlike most FPS games, you’re a tiny fragile thing that’s very easy to kill and twitch gaming FPS skill are no substitute for weight of numbers.

  17. Dante says:

    I missed this, the ventrillo server filled up and I was totally in the dark without it. I’ll try and get on earlier next time.

  18. Rei Onryou says:

    I wish I could have been there. Saturday evenings are never good for me. Still, I joined you for a while in the afternoon and I’ve been on whenever else I can be.

    I’m now BR9.5. Oh so very close to either having AA MAX (take that you evil Mossies) or a Mosquito of my own…

  19. Neut says:

    Ooh I was there for some of this, but looks like I missed out on the main battle. Was in a squad with StalinsGhost, Lambo, Tricky and others cruising about in a Galaxy before we promptly got shot down. :(

  20. Rei Onryou says:

    The amount of times I heard over Vent “OK, everyone in the Gal? Let’s go, OK, drop” *several squaddies health bars dissapear* “Crap”.

    A Gal is good for undefended/poorly defended tower hotdrops. Otherwise, its not the best method to get fighting. Tank columns are a better choice (we’ve done some good towers like this) or just sticking to the main battles (if they’re fast flowing).

  21. Catastrophe says:

    So this is still highly populated?

  22. cncplyr says:

    This game sounds pretty cool, I may have to give it a go :D Next weekend you say? :D

  23. Larington says:

    No idea where it is but you might be able to join by finding the free-trial thats something like a 2-week long free play thing but it’ll probably ask for credit card details (I wouldn’t be surprised).

    Oh, one of the games regulars asked me to pass along thanks for bringing in a load of new players, the game does get rather stale if its all the same people fighting all the time.

  24. The Poisoned Sponge says:

    Skyguards are fun.

    So is dodging tanks in them.

  25. Larington says:

    Got to use switchblades last night, now those I’ve missed. Slightly less effective against TR though due to those friggin auto lock AV missiles they get.

  26. Arnulf says:

    I’m tempted to reactivate my station account just for this. Alas, having already FFXI and EVE online an additional fee would stretching my financial abilities a bit wide.

    Did SOE embellish the engine a bit? My new computer could handle anything now, I guess.

    Also, I’ve only got the Core Combat expansion. Can one participate even if one does not have the most recent additions?

  27. Larington says:

    @Arnulf: Yes. SOE have kind of given up on the whole paid expansion pack thing for PS, wish they hadn’t started, the game would probably be so much better.

  28. Tei says:

    Something that I love from the game is the ammount of deployables. I can place like ~10 turrets, 20 mines, ~20 alarms, ~5 osprey, ~2 traps… 10 turrets are enough help take a turret. 20 mines can make a nice minefield for a chokepoint, or again, to help take a turret.

    And the engine really supports much more. I have seen people writte stuff using teleporters controllers.

    I have like 5 setups configurations now:
    – Invisible engineer (all to deploy, invisible)
    – Invisible engineer/hacker (one deply replaced by hacker tool)
    – Light infantery (wortless)
    – Big build ( no invisibility, armed with the huge deployable )
    – Repair / Build (half repair, half build. Usefull for turrets and help people around )

    I start with the invisible engineer to attack. I change to big engi, if the area is safe enough, to fast deploy of mines and turrets. Repair is wen theres the need of repair the wallturret, or if theres all around people with tanks and stuff, that needs repair.
    As soon as posible I will get a AMS certificate. AMS= infinite ammount of respawn = infinite ammount of deployables.

    So, my only weapon is a knife.

  29. MetalCircus says:

    So you guys lost bigtime. Nice job.

  30. Nilocy says:

    Hmm, I really wished I could have been there. I played PS no stop for 2 years, its still my favourite game ever. Just I don’t dare to go back and feel the pain of those goddamned BFR’s, spoiling ma game!

  31. Aftershock says:

    Guess what everyone?

    My computer died. Just a day ago. And I was so pumped to be in on this RPS mob action. If i get it fixed you can count on my support. If not, i’ll be there in spirit.

  32. DarthS says:

    BFRs are long since nurfed. You’ve no excuse not to play. ;)

  33. Quine says:

    Shame I couldn’t make it- hopefully next time. Good work with the writeups.

    I still want to see an entire massed buggy convoy rolling across the rugged bits- that would be teh awesome- Vanguards always seemed a bit gimped compared to the hovermowers of doom.

    I can heartily recommend getting some good AMS/engineer setups going- brazenly drive round the side of a base (or get some air support), deploy and surround with turrets and mines. and you’ve got an instant new frontline for some proper infantry zerging. Until the CR5s and BFRs turn up…:(

  34. Larington says:

    The BFRs aren’t anywhere near as bad as they were at release (I still have very painful experiences of what that was like, ye gods, you couldn’t put a man or tank into a courtyard yet alone into the fields & hills), just wish they’d never been added.

  35. Quine says:

    My happiest memories of Planetside were after the initial launch, when it was still primarily a game of fierce infantry fighting with some vehicle support, before the artillery spam and robots turned up. Here’s hoping it’s been balanced a bit more now.

  36. Markoff Chaney says:

    I was on early and late (and totally missed the event proper due to catching a film with a friend) and I’ve been having a blast playing PS with RPS. It’s been a good 5+ years since I played PlanetSide (Day 1 adopter!) but it’s all coming back. I’m a support type so you may see me topping off some health or bringing a tank back to full armor or maybe even trying to resurrect you while I get killed. My 7 days of free respeccing is almost at an end, so I’ll have to pick one vehicle type and stick with it, but I’m happy mending things, so it’s all good. I may stick with the Lightning or try to go Mosquito/Reaver. I just feel ground fits my repairing concept better… Of course, if I stay with my Lil Lightning, then Lambo and I can keep going around and around in his Galaxy. Of course, I could go Mosquito and help scout for his Wasp, too…

    Indeed, this is different from standard FPS fare. The more the merrier, the better to capture, to kill, to heal, to progress. Saturday afternoons (EST here) are usually busy, but I do hope to see y’all on this coming Saturday. Thank you all so much for the fun just up until now. And I still have 3 weeks to go. Huzzah!

  37. PHeMoX says:

    People still play that game?

    Sorry couldn’t help myself. Say anyone in for a nice Battlezone 1 online match? ;)

  38. Rei Onryou says:

    @PHeMoX: Your on. *brushes dust off the box* I was never good at the game then, and I’m probably no good at it now.

    RE: Planetside activity – even though there is nowhere near as many people, it is still active enough for some good fights. The only problems are when stalemates occur and there’s not enough activity to move to a second front. We’ve attempted such, but usually it just takes one air vehicle to stop us in our tracks.

  39. Kelron says:

    Hmm, making me want to play again. I might resub for a month or two.

  40. Tei says:

    @PHeMoX: And some people still play BZFlag, that was created in 1992.
    http://bzflag.org/

  41. ZI says:

    “Briefly I saw he had “Escapist” in his name, so I charged after him. I put a few bullets into his fleeing form, but he disappeared over a ridge.”

    ROFL, no mercy for you poor colleagues. There’s really no love in this world….

  42. Ernastratuk Weatherby says:

    Man, I had no life this week and was playing PS all week except for at that time. :(
    Also, Someone else listed their load outs so here’s mine: Invisible Adv Medic with Adv Hacking, a spike gun, and a desire to stab giant robots. (The giant robot stab did work once!)

  43. Joe says:

    Awesome toast!

    I still have the Planetside CD at the bottom of my game pile. Does anyone know if you can get a free trial if you re-install from CD?

    Ta.

  44. Thingus says:

    Somewhere on my comp is an old, old video that details how to solo a BFR. IT involves mozzie or reaver spec, a machine gun, as many of those disposable missile launchers as you can carry, and a manic disposition. Will try and post it somewhere soon.
    Also, plan to get the trial and join you all, I miss Planetside :D

  45. ExistanceUK says:

    There really is nothing quite like Planetside. It is always great seeing all those tanks rolling in formation (and I had a birds-eye-view in my Reaver, when I wasn’t dodging the VS AA fire over that damn bridge).

  46. Scioptic says:

    “Skyguards are fun.
    So is dodging tanks in them.”
    Right you are PSponge! Weaving in between that tank column while our gunners watched for enemy air support was a sight to behold.
    So was the sight of you tear-arseing back over that bridge against the flow of traffic and almost knocking into me! :P

  47. Wedge says:

    If anyone is looking for the way to the trial accounts, use this installer:

    http://www.planetside-universe.com/files/index.php?file=174

    And the only thing it requires of you is to make sony station account. However there are no limits to the amount of accounts you can make, on a single e-mail address even. Also if you have problems running it, try using compatibility modes.

    Also I feel bad for you guys if you’re getting owned by aircraft. I almost wanna go gun a Skyguard for you, because I utterly dominate with that thing.

  48. Premium User Badge

    Arathain says:

    Mm… I loved blatting away at aircraft when I played. Give me anything with flak and I’m happy. Blat blat blat.

  49. gbarules2999 says:

    I did hop on a little bit last Saturday but didn’t really understand the game all that much. I’ll have to join in next weekend.

    Crazy game. Quite fun, though, and my mediocre comp. runs it well.

  50. malkav11 says:

    Heck, people are still playing MidiMaze, which….I don’t even know when that originated, but it certainly is primitive, running on some variety of computer no longer made. It’s a regular event at the local gaming convention.