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 »

  1. Poet says:

    I hope you only had the vegetation turned on for those screenshots you nOOb!

    For those real noobs make sure to turn of veg so you can see the mines before you roll/step on them.

    Played for 4 years solid. TF2/L4D now. :)

    Btw to those that didn’t “get” PS its because you never were able to be part of a highly EFFECTIVE TEAM. More then any other fps in the history of gaming, PS teamwork, tactics and strategy triumphed all. In other words old men could kick the asses of the young.

  2. Noc says:

    I didn’t do too well during the weekend op (despite being in a picture woo!), but I think I’ve finally started to hit my stride as a full-specc’d engie with some aggressively placed Spitfires.

    It’s a bit tough, since I find myself playing alone a lot of the time (the vent channel is usually pretty quiet), but I’m starting to get the hang of doing it effectively, and it’ll only get better once I’m able to coordinate with people and make proper use of the more advanced deployables (Field Turrets, Aegis shields, etc).

    My trial’ll run out at the beginning of next week, though. I’ll probably know by then if I plan to stay on or not.

  3. Ids says:

    i just got the game installed on pc and got into game this morning i was wondering are you going to be doing it again this weekend if you are i be there chr name is ids12

  4. TomTheSecond says:

    ‘Ello there, RPS blog! You’ve always been my favorite gaming blog, so when I heard you guys were starting an outfit in Planetside, I told my Outfit. ^^

    We’re with the Vanu Sovereignty.

    Just thought I’d offer condolences for beating on you when you tried to use the tanks the first time. ^^ Ghosts of the Revolution might’ve been a bit responsible for that.

    See ya’ next weekend, sucka’s! :D

  5. Tei says:

    I am tripple agent now, I have a char named xRPSxTeilaxu.

  6. Tei says:

    Maybe quad agent, If you count Global Agency closed beta.

  7. Chaos Theory says:

    Man, Planetside was good times. I played in the Reserves for a while, it was great, free to play, but you had a level cap.

    How much is it to play again? If I get a subscription, can I get the client for free?

    I know I took a look at it when you guys first announced this, but from what I saw, it looks like you still need to buy the client at $20, plus $15 a month.

    I don’t mind the sub cost, but I don’t really want to pay for a game this old, that was essentially free in the past. Is there anyway I can play without having to buy it?

    Yes I know there’s a trial, but I want to play longer than 2 weeks.

  8. Nexume says:

    Always wanted to check out Planetside but never had a good opportunity. Just downloaded the 14 client but am running into a crash bug once everything loads to drop me in-game. No decent error messages, the game just ceases to function and Windows shoots me a “This program is not responding” box. Running Windows Vista 32 bit with plenty of disk space/ram/graphics capability. Tried running from a windowed screen also did not work. Any help would be appreciated!

  9. Nexume says:

    Just managed to figure it out, please ignore previous post.

  10. Kaotic08 says:

    Nexume- Search the Knowledge Base/ Tech Forums at the Planetside website. There’s sure to be information on the hard crashes that you’re experiencing.

    Say, RPS, if you guys would need a measly low level character for, I don’t know, distraction…I’d love to join you. This weekend, you say…?