Vanu Beginnings: PlanetSide 2 Officially Open To All

By Nathan Grayson on November 21st, 2012 at 8:00 am.

Do you have plans for this evening? Do you have plans for any evening in the next, um, forever? Well, cancel them, because it’s time for war. RPS wants you – yes, you, with the hair and/or complete lack of it – to enlist today and help us fight the good fight for all that is free and purple in PlanetSide 2. Can you do that? Can we count on you? Because we don’t have the budget for a bunch of rah-rah-rah propaganda posters and videos. Sometimes, instead of eating food, we just eat pictures of food. But we do have this launch trailer. Well, for now, anyway. I can’t promise I won’t eat it.

Boomcrashpowrattattattattawhambamthankyouma’am. But, in spite of all the tank-bopping and bullet-barfing, PlanetSide 2 is actually an exceedingly complex beast of a game. Not only that, it’s stupidly ambitious for something that is – in large part – completely free. That said, it’s also a wee bit rough-around-the-edges, but SOE’s been applying heaping gobs of polish for launch, so now’s the hour of truth.

So then, will the massive, definitely-not-passive shooter realize its full vision, or will it miss the mark? Let’s find out! Together. RPS has multiple creatively named Outfits, and it’s like they say: you’re either with us, against us, or part of another party that has zero notable effect on us. So jump in. Take a side. SOE’s website or on Steam – pick your poison. Do it – if not for the pun threads of today, then for the face memes of tomorrow.

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73 Comments »

  1. Sisco says:

    Downloading right now! Would have joined the Alpha Squad, but had not real time to play what with XCOM and all. Very much looking forward to this.

  2. P7uen says:

    All the players have to choose a faction, but are accounts locked to one faction once you choose, or can you have alts?

    I suppose what I’m asking is… will every account have to plan its side, too?

  3. aepervius says:

    I plan nothing for this evenning or the next. Because with a 120 Kb.s-1 connection I will have to wait a damn long time before getting anything fully downloaded.

  4. mrpier says:

    Will give this a whirl I think, assuming I can be some sort of stealth/sniping bastard who doesn’t hit anything.

  5. Ayam says:

    We got some of the final beta days footage in http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hdRghIfLenI for the NC troupe, fun stuff. Sad to hear we can’t have characters on multiple sides on the same account, it was nice to have some of the VS heads popping in and playing with us (when they weren’t proclaiming how much greater VS is, the debate rages!) ;)

  6. Vander says:

    This game appears to be broken for a lot of european users. For me, it crashe just after accepting the EULA….

  7. Melipone says:

    8am: woke up, checked newsfeed and received fresh orders from castle shotgun. See you this evening :)

    P.S. Lack of hair.

  8. Goateh says:

    Well, I wanted to play this since Planetside 1 was fun at the time but the account creation has put me off for now.

    Steam downloads the US client but my Sony account isn’t a US account so I can’t use the US client. I need to visit Sony’s German ProSiebenSat.1 site to download the EU client. That was 8gb of download wasted and wasn’t explained anywhere on Steam’s store page.

    The EU partner site gives me the launchpad but I can’t download the meat of the client until I’ve logged in through the client. I can’t log in to the client because my login details are apparently incorrect.

    I can log in to Sony’s own site with my details just fine but I can’t log in to their EU partner site because my details are incorrect, again. The whole account name and password recovery system gave 502 errors if it responded at all and was completely inaccessible last night. I have no idea why my login details might be different. I might even need to make an account specifically with this partner service, I can’t really tell.

    My motivation to invest any time in getting this working has dropped significantly after wasting so much time to end up at the beginning again. I’m sure it will work eventually but for now it goes back on the future game pile. Apparently being on the beta meant that everything worked smoothly out of the box and you could use any Sony account with any client. I don’t know what special powers a beta account has but why couldn’t that have been applied to any account?

    • Umpaidh says:

      I had same issues.
      Make a new account on the main SOE page with location set to the States then you can log in fine and play EU servers with the steam version

      • Goateh says:

        I read that late on last night and decided I really didn’t care enough now to make new accounts just to get past their crazy region locking. As a fun aside, the uninstaller doesn’t seem to work either so each version of the game I’ve installed had to be cleaned up by hand. I’m wishing I’d taken a beta key when they were available at the end just to have it all work cleanly.

        • SkittleDiddler says:

          Having a beta key wouldn’t have made the process any easier. You still would have had to manually uninstalled the game and gone through the entire setup again. At least that’s been my experience — I’m still trying to clean out the beta files from my system, and it seems the final release requires a whole new install. It’s possible I’m doing something wrong though.

    • Sisco says:

      Put environment=psg into the launchpad.ini in the game directory.

      That allows you to log in, but it still is very prone to crashing after accepting the Terms of Service. But its a step forward, lol

  9. lordcooper says:

    Are there any RPS Vanu outfits that particularly want people who are utterly atrocious at the game?

  10. Paul says:

    Yeah you do guys realize that steam version gives you US version which does not work in Europe, right? I created and account and cannot login to steam version.
    Not playing until they fix this, incompetents.

  11. yurusei says:

    I’m singing praises.

    Does anyone know if there’s going to be an Asia Pacific server?

    • Mattressi says:

      There’s an Australian server called Briggs. Unfortunately it’s been down most of the time since launch and lots of PS2 players are having trouble playing.

      • yurusei says:

        There’s still hope then. Hopefully Sony realizes the huge Asian market that’s simply sitting at their backyard and move to secure this region as well.

        A man can dream.

  12. jkz says:

    I was going to go NC till I noticed the cheesy rock guitar solos every time you die make the game sound like some bad American sitcom. Then logging in as a Vanu for the first time what do I find? TRANCE! fugging TRANCE, these guys are supposed to be the alien technology loving futuristic guys, and they are still playing trance? arrrgh.

    • Koozer says:

      Trance? I’m not exactly an expert in this, but I’d be more inclined to call it ambient. It is nice.

    • Ultra Superior says:

      much better than the soft metal that plays to the blue guys. This game is so terrible I’m genuinely confused about all the fuss.

  13. ZephyrSB says:

    So last night I had this, the new Borderlands 2 DLC, and a Mechwarrior patch with a new ‘mech – all becoming available at precisely the same moment. How am I supposed to play all three at once?

    Ahh, the problems I like having…

  14. Toberoth says:

    Sooo, anyone trying this in Linux? I’ve been giving Ubuntu 12.04 a whirl for the last week or so, and I’m very much enjoying it so far. Got most of the games I care about running in Wine with very few hiccups, but from what I’ve heard PS2 is a little fiddly with it at the moment. If anyone on RPS has any tips about this, I promise virtual cakes and puppies and rainbows for all.

  15. ramirezfm says:

    Of course I have plans. It’s HAWKEN beta after all!

  16. hunsnotdead says:

    They really should at least aknowledge their US client+Steam-Station account/Euro client-Prosieben account that doesnt even work fsckup, and let Euro people play with Sony accounts until ProsiebenSat1 guys can get their act together.
    Also there are no means to transfer accounts atm, so Alpha Squad and SC balance is lost with a new Prosieben account.

    • Felixader says:

      Pertnering with ProSiebenSAT1? WtF?
      Although i am German i haven’t watched TV since beginning of 2009.

      So can anyone explain me please why ANY Gamecompany would work with them and why this would look less like a amazingly bad idea nowadays, than it would have done in 2009?

  17. Dirk Beefhammer says:

    Can’t uninstall the beta wtf

  18. skyturnedred says:

    The launcher just shuts itself after a few seconds, so…guess I’m not playing this for now.

  19. Slinkyboy says:

    I’m in the USA. All servers show as unavailable. I guess they expect us to go to sleep at night.

    Played a good few hours and I had no fucking idea what was going on, or even what we had to do. I just kept following a pack of idiots to death, lol.

    Gonna join an Outfit. Seriously everyone needs to do this, because this game doesn’t have mission objectives and you’re better off getting them from your squad leader.

  20. Gaff says:

    All servers are currently offline due to a crash.

    SOE “don’t know” why they crashed but hope to have them back “soon”.

    It was a relatively smooth launch until this…

  21. popedoo says:

    Saw it on Steam – got it. Not played yet but will. Free to play? Gotta love it.

    I assume it’ll have ‘micro-paymenty-things’? Or ads of some kind.

    Anyway, looks really fun. Not played the first one.

    • Mattressi says:

      It does have microtransactions, but they’re thankfully not like the horrid BF:Heroes pay2win microtransactions. You can buy (with real money) things which are similar to XP boosts in other games, you can outright buy weapons/equipment (all of which you can get with in game money too) and also camo/skins. Nothing which affects balance, unless you count reducing grind time by 50% as breaking balance.

  22. derbefrier says:

    I played it last night and was having a blast. I also happened to pick Vanu. I am an American so I wont be able to join you :(. Give ‘em hell though!

  23. mouton says:

    I don’t know about this game. It seems to be all about running around shooting people with no purpose at all. Now, I know you can probably organize into squads, outfits and make your own objectives, but if this game wants to pretend it is war, it should tell you what to do, like actual wars do. As it stands, it feels like a playground with guns and tanks.

    Also, it seems like it is – no surprise – geared towards the casual, as there is virtually no penalty for dying. You can just spawn, run, die, spawn, run, die until the other side gets tired or it’s outnumbered.

    It is just a first impression and I might be missing something. What am I missing?

    • Ultra Superior says:

      Perhaps the fact, that the game is UGLY as hell.

      Terrible graphics/textures, generic copy/paste design, bland music overall feeling of amateurism.

      I almost laughed when I began to run (+5% increase in speed) and my gun fell flat to the side and stopped moving.

    • darkChozo says:

      On a basic level, yeah, that’s pretty much it. While I think that it’s a bit more than running around and shooting people, ultimately a lot of the playerbase is just going to be roaming around the map looking for a fight. You can, however, contribute a lot more to the fight by playing the objectives intelligently and flanking and all that. That’s going to be more effective as a squad, of course, but even as a lone wolf, sneaking behind enemy lines and sabotaging a generator can do wonders.

      All that being said, there are also some metagame elements that haven’t settled yet (there’s supposed to be a player-driven mission system at some point), there are a lot of new players that don’t know what they’re doing right now, and no one has anything which tends to screw with the balance a bit. It’ll probably take a few weeks for everyone to get into the swing of things.

      What I think makes the game interesting is that the scale leads to a lot of interesting emergent meta-gameplay. Stuff like battle lines forming, convoys of tanks and transports, a hundred people charging up a hill at the Crown. Good battles tend to have a real ebb and flow to them, and the fact that it’s all naturally occurring makes it more interesting than your standard TDM affair. All IMO, of course.

      • mouton says:

        The game with such aspirations should be designed to nudge people in the right direction – emergent gameplay is totally unpredicatble and you simply cannot rely on it.

        Everything is more interesting than TDM, that is why in other games people tend to gravitate to more interesting modes, like ctf, domination, control points or what have you. Theorethically, you got control points in PS2 but it all seems so… disjointed and optional.

        • darkChozo says:

          Have to disagree on the emergent bit, at least in the weak sense that I was referring to. That kind of emergent gameplay is completely a result of game design and map design. Battle lines form because people gravitate to cover and then shoot at each other. Convoys form when a base is captured and everyone spawns new vehicles and then follow each other. You can actually see how the different base designs affect how battles are fought over them; biolabs and outposts tend to have really strong frontlines pushing against each other, tech plants are a bit looser but tend to have fairly controlled territories, and amp stations are a clusterfuck. I’d say something significant about swarm theory but by that point I’d basically be making stuff up.

          Besides that wall of text, one problem I do think PS2 has is that it does a pretty poor job of communicating what’s going on, particularly to new players. A lot of the fighting ends up being about controlling territory inside a base (ie. penetrating the outside of a biodome, securing the area around an SCU, rushing the Crown with a S-AMS), but there’s not really any clear indication that that’s happening short of what you can see from the ground. If you’re just looking at the points being captured or the subobjectives being destroyed, it looks really disjoint and random, but it’s really the troop movements that are interesting.

          Actually, it would be pretty cool and/or helpful if there was a “command view” or something, where you could get an estimate of who’s where in an area. Something like a real-time heatmap would be interesting to watch to see how a battle’s progressing on a microscale, as opposed to “we control half the map, woooo”.

          • mouton says:

            I agree it has potential and I agree the lack of guidance/communication with players is one of the main problems.

            Imo, you could slap team colors on DayZ or Minecraft and you would have similar emergent gameplay, maybe with less tools. But again, I really don’t think a galactic war should be based on swarm/crowd mechanics. Just my opinion, obviously.

          • darkChozo says:

            Heh, think we’re on the verge of an IMO fight here. IMHO, of course.

            One thing that it does have going for it in the emergent department is scale. Player density means that systemic effects are much more prominent; for example, a “battle line” of 5 players is much easier to break than a line of 50. Also, 50 guys hiding behind a rock is inherently cooler than 5 guys doing the same. Though that’s dangerously subjective (I like scale. Can you tell?).

            One good thing in general is that the devs are really responsive to feedback and are willing to implement big changes in the game. I’ve been playing since alpha and it’s seriously the most changed game I think I’ve ever seen without completely revamping the core gameplay. If you don’t like it now, it might be worth holding off for a month and/or for a big update and see how much it’s improved.

        • Rei Onryou says:

          PS1 was a story generator. For example: http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2008/09/05/planetside-the-1/

          You may not always have a story, some fights may end up being a messy TDM, but when everything is right, nothing beats it.

          In PS1, high level players eventually acted as Commanders. They decided where the frontlines should be, rather than the game automating it. So they’d inform where the fight would be and platoons and squads would form up and march over.

          • mouton says:

            I have read that article and I liked it, but remember that what really made that situation interesting was a bug that allowed one faction to be obliterated. Quite different from the regular cushioned design, eh.

  24. strangeloup says:

    My experience so far has been dying three times within all of 2 seconds of spawning, then getting plonked in a base without the foggiest idea of what to do. I then got run over by a tank, at which point I quit.

    I’m sure there’s more to it than this but so far it seems to be “really big team deathmatch”, which it turns out isn’t that great an idea for a game.

    • ramirezfm says:

      I think this pretty much sums it up, but I got ran over first, then died 2 secs of spawning. I think I’ll keep playing HAWKEN and MWO for now…

  25. a971338713 says:

    China has server it is need to register SONY’s account number, please register to login?

  26. a971338713 says:

    In Asia China can login server??

  27. SicJake says:

    Installed and played last night, your introduction to the game has them dropping you in a pod into a contested zone where your killed within 5 seconds. You then respawn at a friendly base where while trying to look at my keybinds I’m killed by team mates three times.

    There is almost zero help text, SOE has tutorial videos on their website, but they sound like they are recorded by some “Brah” I’d rather avoid.

    There is an intial learning curve, if you’ve played Tribes Ascend or Battlefield 3 then your a step ahead. After about two hours of play you catch on to how things work, and the game is really great. The scope of the war is nuts, it’s ruined Tribes for me, I can’t go back. The vehicles are great, the combat is really fun the whole tug of war thing is really well balanced.

    My rig is I5-2600k, Radeon HD 7870, 6 gigs of ram, I’m pulling at worst a steady 30 fps in big battles on High graphics settings. The textures are still ugly as hell. I’ve seen footage on Ultra, and it’s a much better looking game, but SOE has mentioned issues with AMD hardware that they are trying to clean up. I know a few people with AMD CPU’s having no end of trouble in the game.

    Game needs to be optimized, but it’s free and really fantastic despite the perfomance issues and intial push to learn the game.

    • cpt_freakout says:

      I don’t know why they did away with the training areas of the first game to start you off. I played 1 back in the day, and though it’s been like 8 years I still remember getting a hang of how things worked in the main base. This time around you’re suddenly dropped into a big fight like cannon meat, without even having the chance of getting acquainted with the controls. It’s hilarious and totally appropriate if you’re playing TR, but it’s too hard on new players. I got killed in three seconds after being dropped off because I was scrambling through the options to invert my mouse-look after running around like a chicken looking randomly upwards and downwards. My first respawn was a bit disastrous too: damn Vanu were assaulting the base and bullets of all kinds were flying everywhere, so while I was trying to look at keybinding and finding out how to advance certifications the Vanu took over the base; suddenly, EVERYONE ELSE DIED, haha. If you take it easy, then it’s all fun, but if you take your learning curve seriously then it can become bullshit real fast.

      Anyway, why no love for the Terrans, everyone?!? They’re the awesome bad guy, after all!

  28. Citrus says:

    Is this like BF3? Cause I hated BF3 for being like BF3. I wanted a tactical shooter and ended up in a shitty grey world with tarded RPG elements for no reason.

    I saw TB play this in some interview. Looked boring with shitty level design (plus I fell asleep while hearing them talk about “sooo open world large world so big world shooter blah blah”).

    Why aren’t there any good SP FPS games out there these days?

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