Free To Prey: The First Days Of Planetside 2

Planetside 2 is in beta. You can sign up here. You should sign up, because it’s brilliant.

I’ve been in there for a week, and with the NDA having dropped, I’ve posted a few thoughts below.

Yes, it’s as good a remake as we’d hoped. Better, probably. But it has changed things. Important things. I will only touch on them briefly here, because you can expect sustained analysis in the weeks to come.

Between this and Day Z 2012 has turned from a year of some promise to a twelve month high-five of fuck yeah. Two PvP-focused games that are not MMOs in any traditional sense, that I can entirely get behind, in the same year. That hasn’t happened since 2003. So now it’s zombie survival and blazing hi-tech ultra-death, hand-in hand on the mountainside of beautiful PC-powered connectivity. Glorious times await us, my friends.

Someone once said that the interesting thing about computers is that they ended up being more about communication than computation. Whoever said that was half right, and it needs an amendment to say that the interesting thing about computers is that they became as much about communicating our terror at murderous bandits or our awe at massed plasma-tank barrages, as about computation. And I’ll come back to that in a moment.

Let me first just touch on this: my initial moments in Planetside 2 – stepping into the thrumming blue-dark of the Vanu warpgate – were tinged with disappointment. I stood in the neon light of the console and lamented. For there was no Harasser: the two man buggy that I used to such glorious effect in the original game. Here were the familiar quadbike and tanks, and there the aircraft, albeit in new shapes, but my deathjeep, the lunatic machine I would default to for hunting snipers, dropships, and mobile bases, was gone. That’s sad. I hope it returns in a forth-coming patch. I sighed.

And then I plunged into a blistering four-hour tank battle, raging across a gleaming sci-fi landscape.


Lasers! Bombs! Lasers! Bombs!

I found myself at the heart of one of the new maps, in the perfect scenario: a three-way brawl between hundreds of players. The NC presence was relatively light: a few tank attacks, a few aircraft, while the Terran attack was relentless and ferocious: an army of newbies mixed with talented, co-ordinated veterans. Everything lit up with a special light as teamwork unfolded: medics supporting soldiers, engineers supporting vehicles, everyone struggling in the same act of sustained defence. Snipers in the rocks were revealed only by the pulsing trace of their rifles. Tanks tried to avoid the raging chokepoint of the bridge by taking the dusty valleys below, and were revealed and then destroyed by the defensive explosions that met them. The deafening boom of bombing runs raking the facility.

I did a little hallelujah as I hit Q to spot enemies, and it worked.

Yes, it looks and sounds – and largely plays – like a futuristic blitzkrieg should. SOE have looked to Battlefield 3 for their deep war-scape ambience. You can hear the big guns and ordnance resonate across the valleys. Stood on one side of a mountain, in peaceful solitude, you can hear the cataclysmic rumble of a full-bore battle tacking place on the other. It’s a game of enormity.

The verticality of the maps was immediately breathtaking: I watched hovertanks topple into vast canyons. From a dusty basin I saw MAX-suited commandos land a galaxy dropshop on the steel minaret of a vast desert facility, far on a cliff above me. I could see the crackle of explosions as they stormed the twisting, glowing corridors below. I saw soldiers pouring into our base, capturing our consoles, and then getting pushed back as engineers laid down turrets, and heavy assault troopers popped tanks with Vanu rocket launchers that look like someone has lobbed a burning ghost across the landscape…

What I am trying to say here with my wittering hyperbole is that Planetside 2 gets the spectacle of battle just right. I don’t know if the actual balance is right, or if the weapons are fair, or if x and y need nerfing, or if it’s going to break, or any of that stuff. I don’t know because it’s all still being tweaked, and because I need to play for three months, and because they haven’t even unlocked all the shop stuff to really show us how this is going to work as a F2P game.

What I can tell you is that it feels right. The punch of the weapons, the range of the fights, the scale of everything taking place around you: it’s bang on.

And no one should forget that the original Planetside designed itself into complete failure. That was a game that insisted on an expansion pack that was literally underground, forcing players to buy something that missed the point of the wide-open game world SOE had created. It was a game that was ruined by adding robot battlesuits. There can be no excuse for that.

And that could be Planetside 2’s fate.

But not yet.

Right now it is a humming hive of potential. The variables are roughly in the right place. The dials have been set to excitement.

No-one knows if it will maintain the population it needs to be a success, and I can’t tell if it will really scale to lower populations.

I can’t get at all the community and outfit tools to really tell you about that stuff.

I can’t even really be sure that the new role of the Galaxy – the dropship that lay at the heart of the original and is essential to this sequel (mobile bases are gone) – really works. I will need to write an entire article about that, and all the other mechanics in this vast, sprawling game.

I can tell you that I haven’t wanted to tear myself away from it.

Going back to that point about communication and computation from earlier: yes, Planetside 2 is a balance of both of those things. Yes, you are going to want a heavyweight PC to get the most out of it, yes the latency struggles when sixty people are throwing themselves into the same gunfight. There is so much to communicate, on all levels, from the raw data through your internet connection to the hundred things that are happening on screen. None of those things are reasons not to play Planetside 2. The opening weeks of this game, like its predecessor, will be less like a game and more like an event. You will want to have been there, alongside us, fighting for a cause of Who Cares, and saluting a flag of Fuck Yeah This Is A Laser Tank Siege.

And I am going to want to communicate that.

I’m going back in. And I’ll see you on the field.

We’ll be writing a lot more about this in the next few weeks.

(And I’ll be rolling with the RPS outfit, and you can keep up with goings on for that here.)


  1. Was Neurotic says:

    I hope they cast the beta net wider soon, I’ve been signed up since day one. And speaking as an PS veteran, my anticipation for this is sky-high. Thanks for the reassuring words Jim!

    • JohnnyK says:

      Spam their twitter, I got a key for about 20 (mostly rambling) tweets.

    • Palodin says:

      Um, if you’re a veteran you SHOULD be in by now. Head to – link to – and try downloading the client. As far as I’m aware all current/ex veterans and PCG keys should be in at this point.

      • RaveTurned says:

        Veterans (at least non-active ones) didn’t get access automatically – only those who had explicitly signed up for the beta, using the same SOE account they used for PS1.

      • Gurrah says:

        This must be an awfully stupid question, but I received my invite a week ago and have been trying to get that link to work for the past week now, but all I get is that website with all the buttons incative or that website with a 50% black, translucent layer on top of it all… I wanted to download it before my new hardware arrives tomorrow and I actually own a nice enough machine that can handle PS2 in all its glory.

        • jikavak says:

          Tried a different browser?Sounds like page refuses to load properly.

        • One Million Monkeys says:

          Had they same problem. Had to mess with the css on the site to get to the button. Find the layer with the inspector tool in for example Chrome and give it a Display: None

      • ZephyrSB says:

        Weee! Once more I find out about my entitlement to play PS comes not from SOE, but RPS. I really wish they’d tell me these things. It’s not like my inbox has recently been flooded with other closed betas, not at all.

        (hmmm…perhaps I should double-check my e-mail address with them…)

    • BoZo says:

      Strange that you haven’t got into the beta, I’ma PS vet too and I got into the second technical alpha test. I haven’t played that much though because of the awful performance problems that I’m highly allergic too…

  2. airtekh says:

    I missed the first Planetside by virtue of having a crap PC combined with 56k modem. Definitely won’t miss this one.

    Any word on when this is officially released (i.e out of beta)?

    • Lakelly says:

      Sometime in 2013. No official word on release date but it is coming along nicely, imo.

  3. ScubaMonster says:

    Beta is unplayable (or was) for me. I have a 2.14ghz Core 2 Duo and a 550 ti. I know my processor sucks but it was somewhat disappointing. Obviously it’s in beta and it could run better later, but everything stated says the system requirements for this game is going to be high. My GPU would be fine, but not CPU apparently.

    I guess more is going on than the original one? I realize it has better graphics, but that’s a GPU isssue. So I’m not sure what MORE is actually going on at once that would cripple my CPU (perhaps better physics is a culprit).

    • JustAPigeon says:

      I have a lower-end machine also. At the start of beta it was completely unplayable for me, but they’ve come a very long way since then. If you’ve not tried it recently I’d advise you to, because I now get perfectly playable frame rates, even at very busy places, and hardly any freezes.

    • Fishbreath says:

      All readers/beta players be warned: right now, AMD Phenom 2-type chips and Intel Core 2 Duo chips are experiencing major stutter/hang problems. It’s high on the bug list.

      • The Army of None says:

        That said, in just the past week, the improvement in gameplay on my AMD Phenom has been really really noticeable. They are working on it for sure!

    • Bobsy says:

      Speaking as someone whose machine is really not cut out for the beta (although they’re constantly tweaking and optimising and the framerates are going up) I’m having a whale of a time.

      I’m loving the infiltrator, even if they can be killed by a stiff breeze or someone giving them a stern look, and my own framerate was for the longest time too poor to be effective in a firefight. Even so, I’ve had great moment. At one time, frustrated with my own mortality, I stormed off in a huff and drove a quadbike as far into enemy territory as I could go, and began taking smaller outposts on my own, without the NC brass noticing until it was too late. With various jets and dropships buzzing around overhead, and at least one tank convoy I only narrowly evaded, it was starting to get a little tense.

      After a couple of these, I could see that a response team was retaking them, and while I started dicking around with the capture points in a larger base, a bomber and a full galaxy showed up, and started looking for me. It was an awesome experience, being hunted by a pack of angry NC troops, while I slipped in and out of cloak and made my exit. Eventually I found something truly special – an entirely hidden route with which a canny commander could happily sneak in entire armies without being detected.

      My best PS2 experience so far, and I didn’t fire a shot. That’s something special.

      Holy shit, I have a war story. Can I join the club please?

      • Skabooga says:

        Oh wow that sounds amazing. If I was convinced before that this is the game for me, I am now.

    • Cooper says:

      The game is currently CPU bound much more than it is GPU bound.

      The devs have mentioned that their physics engine accounts for much of this overhead, as does various niggles in the netcode which leads to the ‘hitching’ or ‘stuttering’ effect (low fps in general is a hardware issues, hitching a coding one).

      There have been some pretty major leaps and bounds in the patches with regards to performance. It’s not there yet, but it’s a vast amount better.

      This is vastly better than the last beta I played which was dogged by hitching / CPU bound problems: APB: Reloaded still has incredible stuttering problems on decent rigs and despite the forums being full of this complaint, nothing in the code has been touched to deal with it…

      • Torgen says:

        Hmm, I only have a Core Duo E7500, and no way to upgrade since this is a socket 775 motherboard. :(

        • Quinnbeast says:

          Hey Torgen,

          If you can find a Q9550 (or a similar quad) going for super-cheap 2nd hand (I’ve not check prices tbh), then it may be worth a punt. It won’t be worth spending much on older architecture, but if you can find a bargain…

          – Funnel

          • Ovno says:

            I can heartily recommend that upgrade, went for one myself a while back, however with a q9550 and a HD 5750 I’m still struggling with 10-15 fps in most fights, still surprisingly playable though and arround the same fps I used to get in ps1…

    • Shralla says:

      Better graphics isn’t just a GPU issue.

  4. Reapy says:

    I had a lot of performance issues but didn’t tweak too much, but still was not promising, memories of ps1 all over again. But I’ll just hold till release on this one I think.

  5. Azradesh says:

    Got the beta, but can’t play on any settings because of the constant hitches. Got a 3GHz Core2 Duo 12GB of RAM and 560Ti running Windows 7 64bit. The game is smooth as butter until there’s any kind of fighting

    • Lakelly says:

      I have a 560 ti, and run it without a hitch. They’re having problems with Core 2 Duos – I imagine it will be fixed shortly.

      • fish99 says:

        What CPU do you have because 2 comments down I see someone with 560 TI and I5-3450 saying it’s unplayable, which given that I’ve got an I5-760 (2.8/3.1) is pretty worrying.

        • Asurmen says:

          Bare in mind one person’s unplayable is another’s working as intended depending on what quality they want and what res. My 3 year old machine (i7 920 1gig 5870 radeon and 6 gig ram) is getting 25-30 fps in battles with everything on high and render quality at 100 but that’s fine to me as I’m used to it, yet others would probably claw their eyes out. Others still would lower the settings.

    • Shralla says:

      Get a real processor.

    • chromeshelter says:

      i have the same 560 ti with i5-3450 and it still sucks. anything above low is unplayable (ive tried more nvidia driver versions). i know its large scale etc etc but even on low its not THAT smooth. i wont play unless they optimize it more. in its current state it sucks.

    • TwwIX says:

      I got a GTX 470 SC and i7 920 @ 3.8GHz. I get above 100 FPS at highest settings. The game ran like crap a few weeks ago but they’ve done a superb job at optimizing it. You will definitely need to upgrade your CPU, though.

    • Azradesh says:


      Firstly every other game runs without a hitch.
      Secondly my CPU is well above the minimum requirements so it should work on the lowest settings at the least. It does not. In fact it runs better on the highest settings.


      I hope so, there was a big patch today or yesterday but I’ve not tried it yet. Hopefully it’ll sort it.


      I can deal with low FPS as long as it’s steady. The problem is the game runs smoothly and then just stops 5 or 6 time every 30 seconds or so. Doesn’t seem to matter what’s actually happening on screen.

  6. Yargh says:

    You can press Q to spot? (smack’s forehead against the desk) – I’m an idiot!

    I’m terribly in love with the light soldier’s jetpack too, flanking enemies from unexpected directions never gets old, it even let me get back into some of the many planes I have accidentally ejected from. Switching to the other classes makes me feel so very heavy, especially when I forget they can’t fly and leap off cliffs/tall buildings.

  7. haev says:

    I can’t wait to get in the beta.

    I’m really excited for this game, but damn is it frustrating having to wait while reading all about it.

  8. Cooper says:

    If there’s one hint I’d give to anyone in the beta:

    Do not “auto join” a squad. Go to the squad list and select one that’s along the lines of “join if you have a mic” or “using VOIP”. OR Form a small squad of 2 people, advertise the squad under similar terms and people will join & it will be fun.

    Even the smallest amount of organisation makes this game brilliant. Bumbling around in a Galaxy, coordinating bombing runs, all this makes the game. And the game is such early stages (and the players, at least Vanu on EU, generally friendly) that there’s no power-hungry idiots trying to order people about calling everyone noobs. Just groups of people having a laugh and messing up as they elarn the ropes together.

    Before I rarely group up with public players in games. I avoid using voice in game almost always, PS2 has been the game which has changed that for me.

    I’m desperately hoping this attitude filters through to release and isn’t a result of a fairly small group of regular beta players…

    I’ve been glued to PS2 since the tech test, hardly bothered playing anything else.

    To begin with: “Endless War on an Alien Planet” just hit all the right notes. The sci-fi vibe is lovely pulp.

    Then: Starting a squad, rolling out a Galaxy, filling it up, encircling a major base and capturing nearby territory then organising two full Galaxies to drop on the main base at once then moving the Galaxy to a safe position, setting up a defense and holding position whilst dozens of infantry fought around. Honestly deserving of the term epic.

    Also: Purple hover tanks that go Pew…

  9. Ateius says:

    I remember those robot battlesuits. They really turned the balance upside-down, although at one point I managed to take one out single-handedly, on foot, with just a Vanu assault rifle. I don’t think the pilot was very experienced.

    I’m glad to hear PS2 is shaping it so wonderfully, and my wallet is glad to hear it’s F2P. This definitely has a place in my gaming future.

  10. Shortwave says:

    Another day one beta sign up here…. Stillllllll waiting.
    Eagerly.. I sort of got overly excited when I read the title of this article.
    Thinking it went open.. Silly me ran to my inbox even, haha.

  11. Inigo says:

    I stepped out of the spawning tube and immediately died.
    Then I decided to use Instant Action and spawned in a drop pod which passed straight through the ground and then I spent 30 seconds floating in the void and died.
    Then I spawned at another Instant Action spot and then the game crashed.

    • haev says:

      Did you submit bug reports?

    • Cooper says:

      On a related note: This beta is a proper beta.

      I enjoy beta testing. Yes, sad, I know. It’s nice to be in a beta that’s properly there for testing than some kind of glorified demo.

      I miss my favourite bug which was when sometimes players at range would appear as a ball of neon red spikes..

    • Lakelly says:

      All these bugs have been fixed. PS: Stop whining, Beta=Beta…

    • Unaco says:

      You’d think, from your description, that the game is still in Beta or something.

  12. McDan says:

    Awesome to hear so much good about it, can’t wait to play and get rolling with RPS some more. Good times and explosions await!

  13. Clavus says:

    Running this game on all high and it’s gorgeous. There’s so much you can do.

    I love the fact that whenever I encounter a bug in this game I can just hit escape, click support, write a bugreport, and it’ll be fixed in the next patch. Now the game finally remembers my custom key binds between game sessions.

  14. Blackcompany says:

    I really want to get in on this. But I am a terrible kb/m player. Hopefully, the game will offer exciting roles for folks that won’t involve super accurate shooting & super fast turning speeds.

    I can dream, cause it sounds exciting.

    • Lakelly says:

      Galaxy Pilot, Sunderer Driver, Medic, and Engineer are all available openings for non-combatants :P

    • Cooper says:

      It does.

      I’ve moved to medic & Galaxy pilot recently, rather than assault. I spend most of my time healing, reviving and acting as a fallback point for a squad.

      • frenz0rz says:

        I’ve noticed a lot of people seem to be doing this at the moment. In fact, I was at the NC warpgate on EU2 last night and there seemed to be more Galaxy pilots awaiting occupants than there were people spawning. The spawn was literally filled with empty Galaxys and pilots shouting “Takeoff in 10 minutes!”, only for them to take off with nobody else on board.

    • Shralla says:

      You could just, you know, get better by playing more.

    • Quinnbeast says:

      Oh yeah, there’s plenty of scope to get some mileage out of this beyond typical FPS/twitch gameplay. I’ve had a few (okay, lots of) FPS issues when in the middle of a zergfest, so I’ll quite often play as an Engy. This gives you chance to run around patching up tanks and MAX suits, dropping ammo packs and turrets – sometimes I don’t even fire a shot.

      I’ve seen Engys running about seemingly oblivious to the fact that they can do anything other than repair tanks, so using all of your abilities will generally be appreciated.

      I had a one evening where I spent about 10-15 minutes solid following a MAX squad that was trying to flank one of the smaller outposts through some rocky terrain. They would have two guys at the front, who would then drop back into cover for ammo and repair while the next two pushed forward. Just as they managed to crack the defence on that side I got a message -“An eng who knows how to repair MAXs and drop ammo packs FTW!111”

      Even mild competency can go a long way :)

      – Funnel

      • Blackcompany says:

        Sounds good, then. Will check this out.

        And kb/m isn’t a matter of practice for me. It’s painful in the extreme, due to past hurts.

        Sucks really.

      • psyk says:

        This should just be done though it shouldn’t be something to be proud off or surprised by. I hate gamers.

        • Quinnbeast says:

          It’s early days, and still in closed beta. There will be plenty of people dicking about and figuring out different classes for a long time to come. I’ve had access for a couple of weeks, and I spent the whole of the first week looking as if I didn’t know my arse from my elbow – because I didn’t.

  15. Axyl says:

    Terrain Republic on EU Beta 03. Char name Axyl.

    Other TR, I’ll see you on the field, Gentlemen..

    NC and VS scum… I’ll see you bitches at the business end of my rifle. ;)

    • Lakelly says:



  16. Dina says:

    I’m torn halfway about this game.

    When it kicks off, as it did on my first night while fighting about a trio of hexagons called ‘The Crown’, it is great. Three evenly matched sides fighting about a tower and a piece of land. Great, massive, immense, towering heaps of fun.

    However, people are still noticably new at this. They can’t find their way around. It’s not unusual to see ten arrows in ther base on the radar when I spawn and for me to be the only one actually attacking. Or just tens and tens of people standing at the Vanu zone doing nothing. I also still can’t find the squad-window since it’s buried somewhere and autojoining a squad is just awful. But hey, massive fights are fun. I had a great first night.

    The second game, my Vanu side on EU #02 didn’t have much people around. We were totally overrun and didn’t mount an auto-attack at all. I ended up spending the better half of 30 minutes in a Galaxy back-capping undefended points (and almost all points are undefended). If you expect to find an entire border brimmed to the top with enemy soldiers, that’s not going to happen. Fights are focussed on a few zones, handily marked by yellow, orange and red explosion marks. The instant-action drop pods make sure that people who spawn are in the fights the fastest by using these pods, furthering the ‘funneling’ feeling.

    I can’t be really sure about the scalability of this game, but I doubt it’ll be great. EU #02 is a small server and with a small pop, it can be deadsville even on the frontlines.

    Balance is another iffy thing. NC rocks most servers population-wise because their guns are the best. Vanu’s guns are the worst (because they suck most at long range, and this game is all about long game engagements) and so people don’t join them. It’s a little disheartening to find that you are with 21% of the server pop and NC has 44%, while not getting any advantages. I would assume that the underdogs would be more popular. I thought that was a cool idea, but now I regret it since their is an unsurmountable empire inbalance, both in weapons and in population. And it becomes tedious very fast attacking by yourself to find heaps of people defending.

    Balance is another odd thing. MAX’s are really, really good. Almost a bit too good since they eclipse every other footsoldier and there doesn’t seem to be a cap. There’s not enough weapon-counters available. Anti-tank weapons are also few in number. The heavy has a bazooke that can take out a tank in 3 or 4 shots, which takes far too long. The MAX is another counter, but that just fuels the feeling that there are only MAX units about.

    The same thing happens with Liberator airplanes, since new players can’t skill for AA since that is locked out. This is horrible for new servers without high-level players who don’t have AA-unlocks, but since AA is rubbish in the first place most people don’t bother. Airplanes only care about each other since that is where the danger comes from. If that danger is gone, the liberators absolute demolish the footsoldiers who have no chance fighting back. Last night I was stuck in a base with four liberators circling the base, spawnkilling everyone. Unfun.

    The bases are immense, which is a very good effect when you are storming a massive structure, but they might be a bit too large. Bases have no walls so enemy soldiers can be everywhere. They can hide everywhere and if you’re not equipped with a jetpack it can be hard finding the entrance to the base.

    Balance might be addressed later on since a lot of weapons, items and certs are not available right from the bat. I hope so, but we’ll see.

    Vehicles cost resources (capped zones give resources for your empire) and there is a timer after you’ve summoned a particular vehicle, but it still feels like everyone is running around in tanks. And if that dies they take one of the two airplanes or just another tank. By the time they’ve died three more times, the first tank comes out of unlock. I haven’t ever been unable to summon a vehicle cause I didn’t have resources and tanks are absolutely everywhere.

    To top it off, it is a immense load on your CPU. I hope you have a quadcore cause this game will need it.

    I still fire it up every night (only got it for four nights), but in the first night I stayed up until 3am. Last night I was done at 10pm, tired fighting inbalanced odds and finding Liberators, MAX-suits and tanks everywhere while Galaxies back-cap each others bases right after the other like an insane round of musical chairs. The balance needs work, the empire inbalance in both weapons and population makes for either rolling over the enemy of just being rolled over while NC and TR fight over the remaining scraps of land. Bases are big and cool, but feel empty and boring when no-one is around.

    When it works, when enemy footsoldiers breach a hill in the hopes of capturing a base, when it really works, there is nothing quite like this. This is what I’ve found fun about PS1 and it still rears it’s amazing head occasionally. But it’s moments are overshadowed with the other problems mentioned above.

    • Misnomer says:

      You confirm some of my worst fears about this game. It seems like it is early BF3, which is fine, it needs to patch… but it lacks the freedom to make up for it. You can go stinger or soflam/jevlin class without unlocking too much (early unlocks IIRC). Creating soldiers in these F2P games tends to just lock you in and make you fodder for certain elements of the Rock, Paper, Scissors balance.

      AA is still a problem in BF3, the AA tanks are too few and if you lack the right perks are extra squishy. If you hop in an attack chopper without the right unlocks you are dead. It sounds like PS2 is going to be locking vehicle abilities behind an XP/Pay wall just like BF3. That was a horrendous decision in BF3 and I think it will hurt PS2.

      Finally, that biggest issue you mentioned in the balance of the teams on the server. I am really not sure how this will ever be fair. Does anyone know how it is supposed to work that you won’t just get slapped by being in the least popular faction?

    • Asurmen says:

      Only thing I can suggest is that you take time off if bits of the beta are bothering you. Yes, we’re not here to have fun but asking people to play something they’re not enjoying for hours on end is silly. So stop playing for a week or two and come back and check out the changes.

      I started on the first day of beta as I was a paying PS1 subscriber and wanted to enjoy the new flight model, but AA was far too powerful so I started playing less and played other roles within the game. Now that AA has been toned down I’ve started flying more until people had A2A missles and I didn’t so again, less flying more other things. ATM Libs are far too powerful but they’ve admitted that recently so when the nerf comes in I’ll be playing more.

    • Cooper says:

      Totally different experience with Vanu weapons. They excel in CQC, despite being a bit of the runt of the gun litter.

      Also, the AA balance has been tweaked so many times in just the past month that to have any kind of opinion on the game as a whole based upon recognised imbalances as the devs toy about wwith what works / doesn;t for combat flwo is a bit presumptuous.

      They’ve had A2A and G2A lock-on in for a few weeks and have only just added chaff / decoy. Sorry to repeat, but beta and all, no?

  17. Gers says:

    I really didn’t enjoy the beta personally. It’s a sequel to the original in name only at this point, really more like battlefield in space. There are a lot of people out there who want that, but I spent a lot of time playing and loving planetside and at this point planetside 2 just isn’t anything like it. I still have hope they’ll change it to be more like the original, it’s really early in the development after all, but I don’t like the way it’s going right now.

    • NeuralNet says:

      Could you give an overview of how it’s different? One large change I’m aware of is that the Galaxy dropships act as mobile bases when they were separate vehicles in the original, but as I never got to play the original PS I’d be interested to read your opinions on it.

      • Gers says:

        There are so many differences at this point that you can’t compare individual mechanics between the two. The best way I can think of how to put it without typing a several page essay is that planetside 1 is a strategy game cleverly disguised as a first person shooter, and planetside 2 is a first person shooter to the core right now (battlefield in space is really a good way of putting it). Of course this is all very likely to change, they’ve said themselves that it plays like a battlefield 3 MMO and that that’s going to change, so everything I’m saying will probably not be true in a few months time.

        • NeuralNet says:

          Thanks for the reply, at the moment it does play like a BF3 on steroids which is both good and bad. Good in that the potential is there for some epic battles, bad as in there isn’t a lot of depth to the structure of the game yet. If they intend to add more strategic elements and make it much more of a thinker’s game rather than twitcher’s one I’m all for it.

          • Gers says:

            That’s what my hope is, and it looks like they’re trying to do that. I really hope it works out because Planetside was a totally unique experience that was years ahead of it’s time. It’d be a shame to have that turned into mmo-battlefield, no matter how awesome that is by itself.

  18. HothMonster says:

    So I go to SOE to login to sign up for beta and it tells me I have to change my password. I change my password and it brings me to the login screen. I login and it tells me all accounts must reset their password, I change my password and it brings me to the login screen. I login in and it tells me all users must reset their password and all I can do is click the reset password button……

  19. Tei says:

    The game battles can be epic, .. the base design is made to make all type of weapons excel ( air, tanks, infantry). Its a great game that sometimes is brilliant like the sun, sometimes is glitchy or for some people is slow, but is still in beta so I hope part of that will be fixed.

  20. Desmolas says:

    Ive had a few different kinds of experiences so far.

    1. Being part of 100 vs 200 clusterfucks where you cant really do anything either way to contribute to winning the battle. If they have more guys, you are going to get pummeled regardless of how amazing everybody coordinates.

    2. Being part of 300 on 300 clusterfucks where my CPU or GPU just melt (i7 920 @ 2.6Ghz and Radeon 6950) To be honest its quite amazing that lag didnt really factor in here afaik. Just your own computers performance.

    3. Trying to avoid the main contention spots and getting involved in smaller scale battles around the minor capture points. 10 vs 10 or 20 vs 20. The problem here is that the small battles are hard to find and quickly escalate.

    4. One scenario where everybody suddenly decided to just buy tanks, and i mean EVERYBODY. Maybe 30-40 TR and Vanu tanks each side and we had a duel on a plains area with a bridge and gorge in the middle as the main choke point. It was fecking amazing. Air support whizzing about picking off tanks. Constant explosions and noise. I thought BF3 was a noisy game. Jesus, it has nothing on that kind of conflict. Near the end of the fight some hotshot bomber done a perfect run along the opposide edge of the gorge where the Vanu were camping their tanks. I think he killed about 6 tanks in that run. It decided the battle.

    So yeah, i find the infantry fights a bit gruelling. But the vehicle stuff is spectacular. Especially at night.

  21. johnki says:

    Since the NDA’s been lifted, I’m just going to come out and say it. I’m wholly unimpressed with the graphics. They just seem a bit aged, and even with that in mind, it slows down quite a bit in certain areas on a high power computer.

    The gameplay seems fine, though. Would probably have been more fun if I had found a battlefield with more than 10 people at once, though. :/

  22. cyan says:

    I agree with everything Jim has said here – I barely understand even half the neon icons flashing up on my HUD but the past week has been just plain fun. I’m a washed up old twitch-shooter vet and this feels closest to what I’ve been waiting for for the past 5 years. To the battle bus, huzzah!

  23. ISKNemesis says:

    The Shiney Graphics are nice, But the game lacks the tension of PS1, its just “whack a mole” and after a few hours you get bored of the same hex/bases, the game needs to add more PS1 into after all if you just removed the empire,weps,vech names then you could call it “plannetbattlefield” and then the vets would not complain :P

  24. ImOnTheRadio says:

    Great article, except there was one part I really can’t agree on: “What I can tell you is that it feels right. The punch of the weapons…”
    I thought the most disappointing thing when I logged in was how the (NC) weapons felt after playing CS:GO and Battlefield 3. It almost seemed more like shooting a toy gun especially compared to the awesome feel of CS:GO’s guns like the AK-47. I hope that’s something they’re going to change up a bit.

  25. neofit says:

    I am getting worried about this game. I am hearing things like “totally different from PS1, “BF3” in the comments, and “map” in the article itself. Unless I am terribly mistaken, wasn’t PS1 about one single big persistent map where 3 factions were duking it out, capping zones, etc.? Is PS2 different in this regard? As in more or less short matches on non-persistent maps, like the likes of CODx, BFy, etc.?

  26. LukinStone says:

    I’ve been in the beta for a while now, and I’ve felt pretty good about the way it’s going. To be clear: PS2 has one, large map. There are multiple servers, the features of the map are the same across each server. The map is only like BF3 in that you can spawn on capture points or spawn beacons set by your squad.

    I disagree that PS2 is “too different” from PS1. The core similarity, what makes it a unique game series to me, is that it is almost a requirement that you participate in a larger group. Even as an infiltrator, you need to have some connection to your faction for your actions to be much more than taking pot shots and back-hacking. (Which can be fun for a while, but doesn’t engage the game “the way it was meant to be played.”)

    The same problem with PS1 that threatens to be the biggest problem is the ease of getting onto a good squad and its effectiveness. It takes a certain level of maturity to be patient enough to set up a squad and communicate what the group intends to do.

    The FTP model might break the game, in the long run, but if items are reasonably priced and SOE doesn’t get too greedy, I think it could actually work nicely. Overall, the changes, tweaks and improvements I’ve seen over the past month or so are encouraging. Its an ambitious game and I’ll stick around until the cracks in the model expand to the point of making a semi-regular player not competitive.