PlanetSide 2 Update Adds Long-Awaited Swamp Continent

By Nathan Grayson on June 27th, 2014 at 11:00 am.

welcome to the jungle / we've got mud / and more mud

It’s sometimes easy to forget about poor ol’ PlanetSide 2 with all these Battleline Hardmen and Advanced Warfaces duking it out for our attention. And while the MMOFPS has still, even after nearly two years of being available in various forms, arguably not lived up to its full potential, there’s nothing else quite like it. That’s why we go there to ruthlessly bop PC Gamer’s legions on the nose so much. Come to think of it, maybe another eat/sleep/play/war-date is in order, seeing as SOE just launched a big update that includes an entire new continent, Hossin. You want swamps? Well, Yoda, you got ‘em.

Now, you might want to temper your excitement a tiny bit, as this update is technically not quite done. Yes, it’s live and playable, but it’s not up to SOE’s complete quality standards yet. This, then, is apparently an “Early Expedition” done in the hopes of polishing up this planet until it gleams like a mud-spattered marble.

SOE’s Matt Higby explained:

“Right now about 50% of the bases on Hossin are ‘done’ to the point that we’re completely satisfied with the quality of the level design and visuals, about 25% of the bases are first pass – you’ll be able to recognize these bases by their naming scheme, and another 25% are bases which are more or less staging areas, or stamped bases, identical to each other – this is an outpost we know works well, so we’ve put them in as placeholders. We expect these bases to function correctly, provide all the necessary utilities to make the game work – they’re just not 100% up to our standards of level design quality quite yet – essentially they feel more like the bases on Indar than the bases on Amerish.”

“There isn’t any other way to say it except to say that Hossin is not finished. If we wanted to ‘finish’ Hossin without sacrificing the quality level we’ve established, it would probably be 3 months before it was ready to go live – we don’t want to wait that long, and we don’t think you want to either.”

The new update also includes the first phase of what is known as “continent locking” – that is, the ability for an empire to capture an entire continent and lock it down from all use. This provides the side in charge with various bonuses. There’s also a fair amount of new outfit (read: guild) functionality, with recruitment getting beefed up outfit-wide decals available on everything from armor to base captures.

So those are some things. If you’d like to try them out but find yourself at a total lack for Warpals (TM), I’m sure Rock Planet Shotgun would be happy to have you. Their mascot is a purple giraffe, you know. If that won’t convince you to risk life and limb for the sake of a fickle warmongering empire, I don’t know what will.

, , .

57 Comments »

    • meloncrab says:

      Looking forward to it :)

    • Horg says:

      Nothing says welcome back to Planetside 2 like a 10GB patch : |

    • xavdeman says:

      The trailer shows pumping an entire reload into an enemy doesn’t kill them. You also see someone shoot 10 rockets at a tank without any obvious damage to the latter (which also doesn’t go for a roadkill but just ignores the soldier). The map looks interesting, but is this a game of skill, or of endurance? Are the weapons you pay for higher damage? Is there a hardcore mode? Should there be one?

      • Reefpirate says:

        There’s a fairly large contingent in the game that seems to think the TTK (time to kill) is too short. When there’s 50 people shooting at you you only last about half a second without cover.

        In 1v1 stuff you can kill another player in way less than a single reload, especially if you’re getting a headshot or two in the process. Tanks understandably take a little more to kill. Tanks aren’t harmed by small arms fire, but if your tank gets hit by a couple of rockets and another tank shell it will be in trouble. Again, in a small fight they can feel difficult to kill but if you’re with a group of 12 others who are trying to kill a tank it will go down in no time.

        PS2 ‘hardcore mode’ is fighting in a 100+ person fight on open terrain. Easy mode is a little 3v3 skirmish. It all depends on the scale.

      • scatterbrainless says:

        Yeah, I wouldn’t worry about this, the time to kill in PS2 is pretty savage: you can one-shot with a bolt-action sniper round to the head, or a pump-action shotgun at point blank, most weapons hold enough ammo to kill at least 2-3 enemies per reload, although this will obviously vary with range and accuracy. Overall for an MMO Planetside manages to pretty admirably represent a “realistic” (quotes to indicate a… questionable term) damage profile, rather than a bullet-sponge stat fest like an MMORPG or Borderlands.

      • scatterbrainless says:

        Also pay to win is generally not a problem as all non-cosmetic upgrades and weapons can be earned with exp, although the rate of cert earning is still far too low when you start out. You probably won’t stick with your stock weapon, but even the cheapest weapon to certify with exp is balanced for it’s particular role. The rate at which you earn certs (read exp) is still stupidly low when starting out, though, and is a barrier to entry they need to address. Still, it’s free, so give it a shot, I love the damn thing.

      • Shooop says:

        Endurance. The game pushes vehicles heavily by making infantry combat so piss-poor you never want to do it.

        • EsotericReverie says:

          Nah, wrong, I say! The game pushes team play. Alone, your chances of achieving anything are fairly slim in a large fight, but bring a few friends and you’re suddenly able to make a difference. There’s nothing seriously broken with infantry play. You just need to realise it’s not a team death match game, but a massive combined arms territory control game. If you play it like Battlefield, you’re bound to be disappointed, because it isn’t Battlefield.

          What makes infantry combat so “piss-poor” in your opinion?

  1. Ravenholme says:

    Don’t listen to Nathan, if Rock, Traitor, Shotgun is still on the go, you should join them! Not the purple spandex-wearers.

    • EsotericReverie says:

      Or better yet, why choose when you can do both! [RPS] and [RTRS] are sister outfits, both belonging to the Rock, Paper, Shotgun community. We do lots of fun things together and when we meet on the battlefield, the banter and friendly rivalry always perks me up! :)

      There is no reason to be exclusive as you’ll see slightly different people and playstyles on the two sides.

    • Dominicus says:

      RTRS is around and hunting giraffes like always. Sadly I suspect Nathan doesn’t know that there is a second outfit (or wants to link to the sub forum).

      But there is an event today, so get your hunting rifle out, as RTRS is calling everyone to the hunt!

    • figvam says:

      Is there an RPS TR outfit?

      • Premium User Badge

        Rizlar says:

        There was a US-based TR outfit for a while, but I don’t think they have been sighted in a long time.

      • Guvornator says:

        No, although RPS fansite PC Gamer has one. Generally, if there’s one thing RPS and RTRS can agree on, it’s a mutual hatred of TR, or more specifically those TR who lock the map in the middle of the night when no-one is around….

  2. Moke says:

    For some reason I now have an overwhelming craving for crispy duck.

  3. Premium User Badge

    stoopiduk says:

    It is worth mentioning that the new continent is absfuckinglylutely beautiful, and most of RPS didn’t seem to have any noticeable drop in framerate on it.

    This big update is the latest in a long line of tweaks to the game, expect a lot of changes if you’ve not been on for a couple of months.

    Likely to be a very popular weekend, with plenty of people online. If you’re looking for massive battles and coordination, the best PS2 has to offer, this weekend is likely to have it.

    • EsotericReverie says:

      Yes, to me, this is the very best game update since launch! Lots of new content, and it is indeed stunningly pretty, especially if you can run it at ultra settings (those light shafts filtering through the trees and the mist!). A few fixes for some of the most common latency and hit detection bugs make fights much more responsive and the continent locking is actually quite a game changer, since it pulls people off of Indar for once.

      Highly recommended if you bounced off of or drifted away from Planetside 2 a while ago!

      • DrGonzo says:

        Did it improve the feel of movement, and especially shooting? That’s why I bounced off the game repeatedly, the shooting feels terrible to me and that is, after all, the main mechanic.

    • phelix says:

      Sadly, my general experience of PS2 is framerate in the teens while 3 of my CPU cores stay unoccupied.

      • scatterbrainless says:

        They did a big, like six month project on optimization, so maybe try it again. This was never a problem for me, but others are saying that it has done wonders for them.

      • fish99 says:

        Even before the huge optimization effort they put into the game recently I was still getting 30 fps minimum in the biggest battles and more like 45-60 most of the time. Now they’ve optimized it you can add 10 fps to those numbers.

        You should give it another try.

  4. mashkeyboardgetusername says:

    Relieved to read that continent locking will be limited to 2, had been worried that we’d see each empire locking a continent and there only being one to play on (which would probably be full).

    How forgiving are the purple giraffes? I have a real problem with friendly fire-ing Vanu soldiers in desert camo (the yellow and purple looks like yellow and blue at a quick glance and my brain goes “NC”) and unfortunately that’s the RPS Vanu guild’s chosen scheme, so if I join up with you I may accidentally shoot a lot of you in the back…

    • EsotericReverie says:

      We’re pretty forgiving, I’d say, but it helps to learn the general shapes of soldiers of the different factions, as well as checking the colour of the dorito above their head. :) Of course you should join us! Look around for one of us online and ask for a squad invite. If you like the experience of playing with us, then hop on to the forum and go through our (dead simple) application process.

      • mashkeyboardgetusername says:

        Thanks for the kind replies all, will try to link up with some of you in game sometime soon – if you’re getting followed around by an engineer called BarneyBodger that occasionally shoots you then that’s me. What days are people normally on?

        And I know I should be better at recognising that a Vanu is curvy (ooh er missus etc) while a NC is square, but in the heat of battle I often pull the trigger by instinct. Doesn’t help that I still get pop-in of the doritos at times.

        • Guvornator says:

          Wednesdays and Fridays, with occasional Silly Mondays are our formal days, although there will be people on pretty much everyday, especially with Hossin arriving. Wednesdays is StratGir, which is more tactical play, TVA Friday is supporting Vanu where as Silly Monday is, well, silly. Also, it’s worth pointing out we’re on the server Miller – if you’re not, you won’t be able to join unless you start a new character. It’s totally worth it.

          • mashkeyboardgetusername says:

            Cheers. Will try to make it along one of those times (busy tonight, but otherwise should be about).

            And I do have a Vanu on Miller, so I’ve got lucky there.

    • Premium User Badge

      stoopiduk says:

      We recently discovered that one of our Battle Rank 100 members, B3ll3nd, is one of the most killed players of a number of RPS soldiers.

      You’ll fit right in.

      • CurryBeans says:

        Ah lol, I love B3llend, for some reason he is one of my favourite victims. I cant explain why, but its so satisfying to kill him, im sure a few of your RPS guys can relate :D :p

    • Premium User Badge

      Rizlar says:

      We are totally forgiving and not at all hardcore. Although comms can get very busy and confusing, we are happy to assist people in learning the ways of the giraffe.

      Anyway, after playing with us for a while it ends up being the reverse of what you describe – you start to see TR and NC wearing giraffe camo as friends, then they shoot you in the face.

    • Tayh says:

      That’s the idea of the camo. Find a pattern that makes you look like another faction and then exploit the split-second of hesitation as enemies try to determine which side you belong on.
      There used to be entire VS outfits built up around that concept.

    • scatterbrainless says:

      If you’re firing a lasher, it’s the victim’s fault.

  5. Premium User Badge

    Rizlar says:

    The Rock Planet Shotgun website may be down (hopefully due to traffic!). You can find us on the Rock, Paper, Shotgun forums instead:

    You can find us on the forums too!

    http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?22-Planetside-2

  6. derbefrier says:

    Hmmm I have been thinking about downloading this again and seeing how its come along. I haven’t played it since it was first on steam. A big new content patch seems like a good enough reason.

  7. fluffy_thedestroyer says:

    I suspected Indar was going to be locked…I guess I was right cause it was locked. I think this will happen a lot.

  8. Premium User Badge

    megabear says:

    Finally, everyone got the hell off Indar. There was heavy fighting in Hossin and Amerish and it was glorious.

  9. Velko says:

    begin Bonanza pun thread;

  10. Shooop says:

    I’m not bothering with this game again unless they fix the infantry combat and/or add some kind of fucking flight training. The most fun parts of the game is impossible for the majority of players to even learn.

    • fish99 says:

      What’s up with the infantry combat?

      • Shooop says:

        It’s an absolute chore to try and fight on foot in PS2 thanks to hit detection and latency compensation that’s as stable as Windows ME. I haven’t seen a game with so many problems registering hits on models since Battlefield Bad Company 2.

        Everyone says the rank system doesn’t matter, but they’re full of shit. Higher ranked players not only have access to more weapon options to suit their play style, but they can equip resistance to bullets and explosives! The XP gain in the game is purposely kept glacial slow to push you into buying XP boosts so you can afford items – some of which are essential to actually playing the game like the ability to make a sunderer a mobile spawn point for your team.

        Dealing with enemies in vehicles is completely out of the question. Not only does a basic tank require 5-6 hits with a rocket launcher, the rockets from them drop so dramatically fast you have to be practically standing on top of your target to hit it. Lock-on launchers are even weaker (for the sake of what SOE considers “balance”), and have a pathetic range as well. The only way to fight a tank is with one of your own or an aircraft. There are no other options.

        Don’t even get me started on aircraft vs infantry. It’s an absolute joke.

        I think the game wants to push vehicle combat, which would be fine if only it didn’t stick you with queues to get them and also limit the number you can call with almost hilariously ill-conceived resource system.

        • fish99 says:

          I have 250 hours logged and didn’t see any major problems with hit detection. Ping and connection quality will have an impact though.

          As for higher ranks, it doesn’t take that long to get the +4 nanoweave (221 certs) most players roll with. The advantage from having +5 is tiny compared to player skill. The AMS upgrade for the sunderer is only 50 certs too.

          And of course the cert rate is designed to make you buy boosts – they need to make money to pay salaries and server costs. However, if you invest some time and get reasonably good, you’ll unlock stuff pretty quick without a boost.

          I play almost exclusively on foot and have killed plenty of tanks with rockets or C4, but you have to accept that it’s a tank, and one guy on foot is supposed to struggle against it. You can always pull a tank yourself. The drop on rockets is pretty easy to learn too.

          Infantry vs air – I’d agree with you there. The problem is how open base design is so there’s very little cover for infantry. For me ~30% of the bases should have infantry-only indoor fights for the control points, not just the biolabs.

          (bare in mind I haven’t played the game in months)

          • Shooop says:

            I’ve played on two servers and had issues with fighting infantry on both. I’ve not had problems on games that allow true dedicated servers (one players themselves can run). A FPS just doesn’t work as a MMO. Minor latency may barely affect a RPG, but in a FPS it’s the difference between a smooth and great experience and a choppy, frustrating one.

            The argument that “skill > upgrades” is a load of bull because players with the upgrades have the skill too. In a one-on-one fight the one with the upgrades will always come out on top. You will never be on a level playing field in PS2 because there’s too many variables – number of players, number of loadouts, amount of time they’ve put into the game. It’s perfectly understandable that SOE needs to make money. But it’s not acceptable for any game to lock away any essential skill/feature behind a wall like the sunderers’ mobile spawn point ability.

            Infantry vs tank combat has been done before, and done right. See the game Battlefield Bad Company 2. A player in a tank was a formidable opponent, but they weren’t nearly invincible like they are in PS2. It wasn’t easy but infantry could make life hard for a tank crew – and the tank crew of course had the advantage of being in a tank and able to paste their opponent with one non-direct hit. PS2 makes tanks and aircraft the “I win button”. To add even more insult and injury, in the past three months SOE made rockets even less effective, making them drop as soon as they’re fired from a launcher. The standard-issue launcher will not even travel 25 meters without scraping the ground.

            The air situation just gets worse by the day, the last day I played SOE decided to boost gunships so they can’t even be shot down by tanks with AA guns.

            The game’s a complete wreck and serves as proof FPS MMOs are simply not meant to be.

          • varangian says:

            Hit detection can definitely be a problem, though it seems an intermittent one. I’ve had plenty of ‘how the hell did I not kill that guy’ moments but it’s difficult to be sure what’s going on most of the time. But on a couple of occasions it was so blatantly obvious there could be no doubt. Once, as an infiltrator, I was shooting at the guys attacking a base. Don’t claim to be the deadliest sniper but I’ve clocked up a few medals with the bolt driver so usually get some kills but this time I didn’t even appear to be even getting a hit, let alone a headshot. Seemed weird so I tried shooting the wall 10m away. Couldn’t hit that either! Looking more closely it appeared that although the gun was firing and consuming ammo no actual projectile was (virtually speaking) leaving the barrel. A few minutes later this stopped happening – no obvious cause, my ping had been good and didn’t change – and suddenly I could deal out some damage again. When it works PS2 can be great but incidents like that can quickly put people off the game.

          • fish99 says:

            Shoop, like I said you can get the +4 nanoweave inside a week, and that’s what most players have. Sure some guys will have the +5 by now, but that 5% health is inisignificant compared to who spots the other player first, who aims quicker and better, who fires first, who uses better tactics, and who deals with recoil better.

            Why are you obsessed with whether you win a particular fight when lives are almost meaningless in a game like PS2? You die a lot, you kill people a lot. Don’t get so fixated by KDR, the game is about playing the objectives and organization, not an individual life.

            Again, the AMS sunderer is only 50 certs, you can get that in one night. I don’t even understand why you’re complaining about that, it should have been one of the first upgrades you got. It makes me curious how many hours you’ve played the game.

        • gritz says:

          I hate to be all Learn2Play on this, but come on man.

    • Docs says:

      The controls can be initially a bit confusing, but it’s easy enough to learn it, then it’s just a case of getting used to it. You can just go to the VR training area and practice so you don’t have to worry about crashing.

      • Premium User Badge

        Rizlar says:

        Indeed, VR training is really great for learning to fly and trying out different equipment. You can access it through the continent selection screen.

      • Shooop says:

        VR training doesn’t teach you how to deal with situations you’ll actually run into when actually playing the game. Veteran pilots who can play the game in their sleep will tear you to pieces and napalm your remains before you can even perform your first reverse thrust maneuver.

        When I can fly better in ARMA 3 than a F2P shooter, there is something horribly wrong with the latter.

        • fish99 says:

          Are you saying veteran players shouldn’t be better than new players? You learn by playing the game, like everyone else had to.

  11. gadalia says:

    I remember playing during the Beta and how they mentioned plans to make a new continent, they sure took their time.
    Although I guess they did have other stuff to worry about.

    • mickygor says:

      They made the mistake of taking cues from the player base to decide what they developed and when. Lattice, and continent redesigns, took precedence over Hossin. That being said, the half a year they took out of continent updates to optimise the game to run better was most definitely worth the dearth of new content.

  12. Dewi says:

    Rock Planet Shotgun – Meeting Simulator 2014

    • EsotericReverie says:

      Sorry man, but your cynicism is really not needed here… :(

  13. Photrick says:

    Only a year and a half late. I hope SOE doesn’t let me down.