The Planetside War

UPDATE: Sign ups now closed!

We’re going to war! Yes, it’s time to see who is hardest out of Rock, Paper, Shotgun, BoingBoing Offworld, and The Escapist, via the medium of Planetside. Naturally we’re favourites to pwn, but we’re going to need you lot to pitch in. The devil, of course, is in the details, so cry havoc, and let click the jumps of war. (Did that work? Details below, anyway.)

Right, first things first. Planetside is an MMOFPS, now rather old, but still capable of fun times. We do have some keys that will allow people to get a free month in the game, but they’re limited to just seventy, and we’re giving first dibs on those to current RPS subscribers. (Subbing now will not guarantee you a key.) Once that’s sorted out over this weekend we’ll distribute the remained among interested readers. If you are interested please mail me here. Then keep an eye on the site over the next few days and I’ll post when all the keys have been distributed. If you apply and don’t get a key, I’m afraid you’ll have to sign up to Planetside for the month if you want to participate.

Each site’s readership will join one of the Planetside factions, and SOE will log all relevant kills, hacks, heals etc during the period of 19th January to 13th February. We’ll be setting up some specific dates across the weekends for people to form up en masse, so that we get to taste that sweet Planetside mega-war with dozens of our fellow bloggerteers. The overall winner will be able to claim to the Strongest One There Is On The Internet when the dust settles, and the stats are counted. It’s all in good humour, but ultimately we must vanquish our foes, and we can’t do that without you lot. Hopefully this will be an exercise in unique videogame entertainments for the readers of all three sites, with Rock, Paper, Shotgun being the best of the lot.

These are the factions:

Rock Paper Shotgun – The New Conglomerate (NC)

The New Conglomerate (NC), a separatist faction determined to remain free of the controlling and domineering Republic, as well as to liberate the rest of humanity from the Republic, whether or not they share the Conglomerate’s theories. Unlike the authoritarian and technocratic TR and VS governments, the NC are fighting for democracy, freedom, and human rights. As a rebel group, their leadership lies with the Revolutionary Command, a visible co-operative of military experts and leaders who direct the liberation efforts as a whole. They feel that any form of control is oppression and that a miserable free man is better off than a contented slave. Consequently, they view the Vanu technology as a potential tool of control, and the Vanu Sovereignty as technocratic tyrants, would-be dictators like the Republic, only under the banner of science and probably much worse. Their view of the future is one of freedom and self-government, where every man elects his own path and flourishes in what ways he sees fit. They rely on ponderous vehicles and slow-firing heavy weaponry, foregoing mobility and tactical flexibility for heavy armour and superior firepower. The NC’s democratic philosophy is often their achilles heel militarily, as they lack the iron-fisted leadership structure of the TR and VS. From the New Conglomerate’s point of view, however, theirs is the only moral and just cause.

The Escapist – The Terran Republic (TR)

The Terran Republic (TR), a conservative, authoritarian, collectivist nation who strive to regain contact with the homeworld and reunite the warring factions. Their leadership is a public oligarchy known as the Overwatch, composed of various representative officials and their associated Ministries, who regulate allotted portions of society in accordance with their own expertise and the collective will towards favourable outcomes. They believe that authority is the bastion that protects humanity and that in a truly free society, with no Big Brother to guide and watch over citizens, misery and suffering would quickly be visited to all. Furthermore, they regard the Vanu technology as dangerous and disruptive, a chaotic force threatening the stability of their righteous order, and only begrudgingly do they utilise it in warfare. Their vision of the future is one of peace restored through their benevolent rule, and humanity reunited by the reopening of the wormhole. They stand by the view that the Vanu went extinct by meddling with power on the orders of magnitude which was to be found in their artifacts and technologies, and they fear groups such as the Sovereignty will drive humanity to a similar fate, causing as much damage to reality as possible along the way. Their ordinance is characterised by its high rate of fire and correspondingly great ammunition consumption.

BoingBoing – The Vanu Sovereignty (VS)

The Vanu Sovereignty (VS), a loose transhumanist cult of academics, intellectuals, and technology worshippers who believe that human destiny lies in the further development and exploitation of the alien technology. Their leadership is the clandestine Sovereignty Council, the composition of which is unknown without itself and the existence of which is obscured to those outside the Sovereignty. They see the Republic as pedantic and outmoded, a used-up idea and restriction on the continuing ascendancy of the species through the synthesis of man and machine. They also see the New Conglomerate as a savage, ochlocratic band of thugs who have repackaged old mistakes in new dressings and are desperately afraid of new concepts which they cannot grasp, and the future these promise to the far-sighted. Their view of the future is one of scientific perfection and purity: they believe that the Vanu used the power of their advanced technologies to transcend their physical limitations and the mundane world, ascending to a superior state of being, and ultimately, a higher plane of existence. Scientists and intellectuals through-and-through, they see this path as an enlightened ascension and hold the Ancients up as a shining example for mankind to follow. Hopefully and eagerly they envision humanity imitating this metamorphosis, firstly through the enhancement of the human condition via “hypertech” (foreseeable technological breakthroughs which have not yet quite arrived), and eventually, by the replacement of human beings altogether; from there, not even they can imagine yet. They are most reliant on alien science and technology, and often more than compensate for their shortcomings through the superiority of their engineering, utilising mind-bending physics, high-energy arrays, and other exotic weaponry to defend themselves.

Strangely apt, no?

(And here’s our previous tale of Planetside heroics.)

Fighting will occur across several weeks to give everyone a chance to chip in, and we’ll obviously be joining in with the existing Planetside community, so please be courteous and lovely as you play. You must also respect our foe and be sportsmanlike at all times, lest you incur our terrible wrath.

I’ve probably forgotten something vital, so please ask in comments if you have any other questions.

Other than that: FIGHT! WIN!


  1. BabelFish says:

    Here’s a question. If we’ve already got old inactive characters, is it possible to re-activate those for this?

  2. AceCrikey says:

    Definitely up for this! I’ve never played Planetside before, but it looks like a lark.

    Thanks for clearing up the fact that anyone can join, from The Escapists’ write up I assumed that it was just going to be a closed competition with 70 readers from each site.

  3. Kanamit says:


  4. Jim Rossignol says:

    I assumed that it was just going to be a closed competition with 70 readers from each site.

    Well the 70 keys from each site will be the ones tracked, afaik, so it’ll be a closed competition between those.

  5. Pags says:

    Semi-tempted to throw my name into the hat, but I fear I might balls up the team effort.

  6. Mythrilfan says:

    Hmm. We at The Reticule should possibly team up with The Escapist for this one – The Reticule, Terran Republic? Get it? TR?

    I’ll be here all week. Yes.

  7. spell says:

    Im up foe that one, maybe not so much to actually buy an account if I don’t get one, but yeah definitely emailing.

  8. Render says:

    Man, I’ve been looking for a reason to go back to Planetside.

    One key, please.

  9. Anarki says:

    I assumed that it was just going to be a closed competition with 70 readers from each site.

    Well the 70 keys from each site will be the ones tracked, afaik, so it’ll be a closed competition between those.

    This all sounds rather confusing. So it’s like there’s 70 people on each side who actually count, but others can join they’re just not “tracked”? Does this mean they’re efforts can still count towards the win? If it’s unlimited numbers then surely the site that gets the most people will win due to numerical advantage?

    Anyway sounds like an amazing idea, hope I get to be in the “golden 70” but I’m sure I’ll tag along anyway :)

  10. Rei Onryou says:

    Subscribed (recently) and emailed. May the best blog that happens to be playing as the New Conglomerate win.

    Is there any information about having an already existing but non-active PS account? It’d be better to not have to create a second Sony Station account, but I’d do it if I had to.

  11. Wedge says:

    Can’t decide if I should sign up to help RPS or crush you all with my normal crew. I mean RPS is by far the best site, but my crew is awesome and rolls Vanu… augh, I really don’t wanna help out BoingBoing though.

    Well, I guess I’ll leave it up to you.

  12. Adam says:

    Pick me , pick me…we gott play as nc…their like the guardian newspaper in army format.


  13. Satsuz says:

    I’m in. Very much so. I must fight for the glory of the Hivemind!

  14. Smee says:

    I am so up for this it’s untrue.

  15. MetalCircus says:

    I’ve zipped an electronic message down the internet tubes to your address!

  16. cubed2d says:

    Ive sent in an email, i am soooooooooooooo hyper pumped about this. being able to play planetside with a buncha lovly nice people? yes please.

  17. GothikX says:

    Strangely apt, no?

    I choked when I realized exactly how apt. What can I say, go get’em and keep us posted; if by some unheard of twist of fate you can’t get the required number, I might be up for it, but as it is I’ll leave it for those more apt than me at shootiness.

  18. PleasingFungus says:

    …is this Euro-only? It sounds really nifty, but as a California-dweller, I’m not certain I’ll be able to play a MMOFPS on the Euro-server.

  19. Meatloaf says:

    I already entered at The Escapist, so I can’t enter here. Plus, I’m far more active over there, so joining you folks would kind of feel like treason.

    Anyways, I hope to see you guys soon, shortly followed by trying to kill you.

  20. Jim Rossignol says:

    We’ll be playing on that there Yankee server, and so definitely not Euro-only.

  21. Redford says:

    I’d be interested in helping, as I am a long time vet of NC and love their tiple-barreled shotguns of death. Sadly, I am not a subscriber because apparently that option was hidden in a cabinet somewhere I could not see it!

    Ah well.

  22. Wedge says:

    I wouldn’t worry about latency too much regardless, the game uses clientside hit detection and has a regular Chinese playerbase.

    So just keep in mind that while you can hit your enemy where you see them, they can hit you from where they see themselves.

  23. Joel says:



  24. Biscuitry says:

    For the sake of RPS, I’d be willing to turn my back on the Republic. I really picked the right month to start playing again!

  25. KBKarma says:

    I believe The Escapist forums allow you to get a badge for this event. Offworld has a link for a Boing Boing badge (which I clicked accidentally I am so sorry), so it’s logical to assume that you guys have one too.

    I, unfortunately, have exams starting on the 19th, and they end on the 30th. So, since I’ll be gone for half the battle time, I won’t ask for a key.

    … No matter how much I want to play Planetside again. ;_;

    Good luck, lads and ladies! I’ll be rooting for you, despite what that badge on the Escapist forums says, and despite you guys not going Terran.

  26. Schmung says:

    I’ve sent an electronic format mail as well, but I’m downloading it anyway because you get a 14 day trial anyway and it sounds like larks even if my score isn’t counted.

  27. Surgeon says:

    That exciting Planetside news was certainly worth waiting for.
    Sign me up :)

  28. Duoae says:

    Damn you! Why’d you have to do this primarily over January (when i can’t play) and also why limit it to 70? With the huge readership of RPS i’d expect it to win…. but limited to 70? How can you be sure you’ll get the best 70 PS players out there?

  29. gbarules2999 says:

    I just read Quinn’s story last night, too…

    I assume it’s much too late, but I shall e-mail nonetheless.

  30. Jocho says:

    Whohoo! Never tried planetside out back when it came, and sure feel I’ve missed something. Sounds great, though!

    Edit: Erh.. turns out “subscription” was with payment… too bad for me (at least I’m not AdBlocking you anymore! :) )

  31. Ian says:

    I wish I had time for this. I dunno if you have 70+ subscribers but as one myself I have a sneaky suspicion I’d be fairly safe for a key.

    I have time to play, probably, but not enough time to learn to play it well enough to do any good.


  32. PleasingFungus says:

    Hooray! Email SENT. (Hopefully not far too late.)

  33. Arathain says:

    Not sure I’ll be able to play, but I expect extensive war reports.

  34. Redd says:

    “the game uses clientside hit detection and has a regular Chinese playerbase”

    Is that a polite way of saying it’s haxed to shit?

  35. ad_hominem says:

    Subscribed (I hadn’t realised you could…) and emailed! Looks like it’s gonna be fun.

  36. chaoseternite says:

    <—–Subscibed and waiting for my key – READY FOR ACTION!

  37. Markoff Chaney says:

    I submitted my hopefully pre 71 missive via the magic of these great and mighty tubes. I enjoyed PlanetSide when it came out, but haven’t played since. It was a wonderful game and led to some great stories, as y’all have demonstrated well, but the lack of any persistence to the whole thing just felt uninspiring after some time. It would be fun to suit back up and fight for glory and honor again.

  38. TheModernArdeo says:

    I’ve sent off an email as well; A good excuse to return to PS, I suppose.

  39. zak canard says:

    Try the following link for the rps badge, can’t confirm if it’ll work unfortunately as I’ve ended up with the Boingboing badge myself: link to

    I also appear to have committed myself to participating for Oingyboingy if they’ve got a key going spare. I promise I won’t enjoy slaughtering you all (if it helps I’m a very bad shot in FPS games) and I hope we can form an alliance so we can rid ourselves of those Escapologist Terran Republic Infidels.

  40. Ian says:

    Oh dear… I _so_ want to play. If only to crush the Boing-Boingers (no offence, etc, etc). But I fear I may be quite shite. Perhaps I should join one of the other teams as a vile handicap.

    Then again, I’m so shite I may end up accidentally helping them. Oh dear oh dear.

  41. Mark Stephenson says:

    I was really looking forward to this event but I’m going to pass on it.

    I was an Immortal Serial Killer. I flew all of you RPS guys in my Galaxy.

    I was Vanu. That’s how I’ll leave my Planetside memories I think.

    NC?? I very fucking think not.

  42. Larington says:

    Sorry folks but, I’m not betraying my beloved Vanu Sovereignty, Technology is might and all that.

    Oh, and isn’t it just a little bit odd that the general tech blog gets the VS, which has the hardest Heavy Assault weapon to master, rather than one of the more straightforward empires? Ho well.

  43. Larington says:

    The most important rule in Planetside I found, is don’t be the last person to shoot, or more importantly, fight on your own terms. Get the jump on your enemy and your much more likely to do a great deal of damage. During my last year of play, I would frequently delight in being part of a door breach of a heavily contested base and instead of heading straight for the spawn tubes like every other soldier, I hit one of the other entrances from behind, they rarely see it coming.

    Muahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha [Cough]

  44. Derek K. says:

    You know, it’s just cosmically appropriate that RPS, my favorite of the sites listed, would be the NC, the *only* Empire that matters.


    Oh, I’m so in. I’ll probably reactivate my account just to help out. ;)

  45. Dorian Cornelius Jasper says:

    You have my sword.

  46. Haml3t says:

    Is it too late to ask for a key? I’d like to join my fellow RPSers in battle against the vile enemy, if at all possible.

  47. Jazmeister says:

    I will not be joining you, because I’ve never played Planetside. I’d start playing and it’d be in this great big surge of meaningful conflict, and then it’d all peter out and I’d be stuck playing this game on my own like a noob.

  48. Aftershock says:

    I love events open to all the world.
    *puts on snipers voice*
    Wave goodbye to your head, wanker.

  49. The Hammer says:

    Good luck, RPS! I’ll be cheering from the sidelines about this!

  50. Tei says:

    My character is a “invisible engineer”. I just have fun placing turrets everywhere, and mines on enemy bases, and killing newbies with my kniffe. I would love to gain more certified points to add some hackers skills to my character…