Planetside 2’s Galaxy Is Different, And Other Thoughts

Missed you, big guy.
Blimey, I really am enjoying Planetside 2. Even more than I thought I would. But the initial excitement of epic ultra-war is passing, and I have begun to gather my thoughts more sensibly. And they have begun their precipitation upon the changes made to the Galaxy dropship – a lumbering skybeast designed for hauling folk around the wide open maps – which is central to both the original Planetside, and the opalescent sequel. Its role, however, is a little different in the new game, and something about the way Planetside 2 works means that one of the most thrilling aspects of the original game – the hotdrop – seems to have fallen into disfavour. I’ll try to explain, as well as bundling in a bunch of other thoughts on the ongoing beta, below.

Let’s begin with the Galaxy, then. The old Gal. One of the finest things about it – in both games, I should add – is that you can leap out of it at any height, and survive the fall. That’s one of its key features: you can “hot-drop”, and land from a height that would normally kill you. This allows pilots to come in over enemy positions and drop their passengers off, gun-wielding passengers, who would then assault the enemy position.

In the original game that was a routine tactic, and it happened constantly. In Planetside 2, however, the tactic seems to have fallen into disuse. It can and does still happen, of course, but it is noticeably less frequent than before, where it was almost the first beat in any attack in the 2003 original. I suspect there are a few reasons for this, and the first of those is, of course, that this is a beta in which resources and certifications for vehicle use haven’t really been balanced or defined. The upshot of this might simply be that there are more vehicles on the field, and therefore less infantry to spill across the shiny roofs of enemy emplacements.

But there’s also a more obvious systemic reason, which is that the mobile base of the original game is gone. Instead, the galaxy has taken on its role. Whenever a galaxy has landed, it is both a point for equipping yourself, and a spawn point. That means players can land spawn positions pretty much anywhere on the map, including high up on inaccessible plateaus – which, as I’ll mention later, is important.

Following on from hot-drops in Planetside, the galaxy would often land and repair, or simply zoom off to stay safe before the next pickup, but now it can’t afford to stray too far – the players need it to sustain an assault, because where before the mobile base would have rolled in, now the galaxy sits and dispenses.

My feeling is also that air-defence in Planetside 2 is significantly more deadly to galaxies than it was in the previous game. While I’ve regularly seen enemy galaxy landing on the pads of enemy towers, they generally find themselves shielded once they have done so. The hot drop of old, meanwhile, risks far more exposure when coming in and then going out again. So, I suspect, the hotdrop has lost its tactical relevance. A shame. But not to worry: we’ll just have to hot drop nostalgically, whether tactically wise, or otherwise.

So yes, that thing about landing on distant plateaus – that leads my next point, which is the diversity and verticality of the map we’ve been playing on. I think I stressed this in the original piece I wrote, but this is a game of depth in the spatial sense. The height of the landforms is huge, and enormous bases, hundreds of feet high, are swallowed whole by its chasms and canyons. I don’t know quite why I should find this so impressive, but it’s certainly one of the most arresting aspects of Planetside 2. Last night I sat on a ridge and watched the sun set as tanks battled below. It was a thing to behold.

I was sat resting because the pace of Planetside 2 is relentless. And I was, like an old soldier, knackered. It’ll partly be because I am a weary mid-thirties beast, past his gaming prime, but it’s also true there really is no respite for the PS2 soldier. You come out of the spawn tube and find yourself in the thick of it within moments. And the fights are blazing across the vast map: it’s essentially the world’s biggest team deathmatch. A three-way duel between teams of hundreds. And that’s exhausting. Exhausting.

Some other fragmentary thoughts:

  • I love the jetpack on the light assault. It makes so much sense. This game will never be Tribes – Tribes: Ascend is Tribes, and Firefall is too – but the verticality I talked about suddenly makes a lot more sense when you can skip up a mountainside.
  • Speaking of Firefall, I really do recommend you play that when you get a chance. I think the beta is quite accessible now, so sign up. I think it’s going to end up being a fascinating game. It’s utterly different to Planetside, and its single player co-op jetpack MMO aspect is probably going to be the antidote to Planetside 2’s relentless PvP.
  • Back to the game at hand: They’ve done well with making sniping effective, but easy to counter. You can always quite easily trace the source of sniper-fire, but the snipers themselves are just about powerful enough to threaten you without being invincible hand-of-God map dominators.
  • The Vanu MAX suit doesn’t look as wimpy as it seemed to do in the early concept art.
  • The NC MAX looks better.
  • I can’t wait for more of the cert stuff to open up to me, and I am playing as much as I possible can to get up the battle ranks. That said, there’s still lots of question marks in that area, with things that aren’t in the beta yet. Like the cash shop. Exactly what is sold in there is really going to matter to how I – and everyone else – ends up feeling about this game.
  • The in-game VOIP is surprisingly good. Having a proximity channel is smart, and has already resulted in a couple of moments where someone yelling to nearby comrades has saved us. Clearly it’s going to be prone to spamming dickheads, too, so I hope there is provision for us to block people.
  • I had sort of expected that a new Planetside game would have great win-conditions, but it seems like the perpetual back and forth of just trying to control an island will remain. It’ll be interesting to see what level of satisfaction people get from that. Initially it will be okay with the sheer spectacle of the game, combined with the fun of organising people to fight, but I wonder about long term…
  • God I hope they don’t mess up when they decide to expand the game.
  • It’s been a riot so far, I can’t wait for the beta to open up to everyone.



Next time: a full battle report.


  1. rockman29 says:

    The graphics are so frigging good… I wish it looked like that on my laptop :(

    • sharks.don't.sleep says:

      The terrain textures are actually somewhat low res.
      But overall the game just looks stunning.

      Night battles!

      • mstorer3772 says:

        SOME of the terrain textures are low res, some are Just Fine. If you spot a low res one, go stand on it and make a bug report.

        Your location (and probably Other Stuff) is included automagically, so you don’t need to worry about describing your location.

        • sharks.don't.sleep says:

          Oh, that’s good to know. I somehow thought it was deliberate to keep the client size smaller. :D

    • ZephyrSB says:

      Same here :( It looks really washed-out at the levels I need to play at on my aging rig. Hope there are a few tweaks for the lower detail levels in the future.

    • BlueSheep says:

      Any one knows if you can even play it on a laptop?! I really want to play this game and I can play Call of duty modern warfare 2 on high, so… Stupid comparing, but you guys know what I mean. Games like war of the roses, that are made for the great graphics is impossible for me to run, but I can still run Guild wars 2 on medium…

  2. Premium User Badge

    Aerothorn says:

    It really is pretty great – which is all the more impressive when it is very much beta, and some parts of it are broken, namely balance issues (the VS – through a combination of placeholder weapons and inferior air-to-air missiles – are weaker, and anti-air is surprisingly ineffective), but these will almost certainly be fixed before release.

    Looking forward to playing with you and the other RPS guys on a weekend sometime on EU1.

    If any American RPSers want to start a group on the west side of the continent, drop me a line.

    • Premium User Badge

      Aerothorn says:

      I can also say that Light Assault is awesome. Tribes is great, but it’s even more fun to have a jetpack when some other people don’t.

      • Mattressi says:

        But can you ski? I’ve played so much Tribes Ascend that when I play any other game I automatically hit the “ski” key, in order to quickly traverse the downward slope. It hasn’t worked yet :(

        • Sidion says:

          Nope, no skiing.

          • Mattressi says:

            I think I’ll be a pilot, then. Still might consider playing light assault…but the Reaver looks awesome :D

    • Ganjatron says:

      American PS2’er here, add me to your list for future play. I’m currently playing on US West 01 and I know that’s not ideal for us together, so add me to steam now if you’d like and once retail hits, I’ll be switching over to US East 1 and whatever the western Europe one is, because I have a really good buddy in Sweden who I’d love to hook up with for some base taking. Steam ID is the same name as the one I’m posting under.

  3. HumpX says:

    Funny you should mention FireFall as well. I received both my PS2 and FF beta invite on the same day. Also, Firefall does seem to serve as a respite from PS2’s -SERIOUS BUSINESS- .

    I’m enjoying both thoroughly.

  4. Flobulon says:

    Ooo yes, it really is very good.

  5. FullMetalMonkey says:

    I’ve been in the Planetside 2 beta since the technical beta tests started where there were very few features in the game and have been playing regularly ever since and I pretty much agree with everything Jim states in his bullet points.

    The game is incredibly fun but the present state of the game makes me wonder about its long term effectiveness to keep people playing.

    The certification system whilst is still very limited, as they are still adding them to the game might give people longevity and maybe when they introduce the other two continents it should hopefully give people enough to keep them entertained, especially if they add the ability to lock down enemy Warpgates and the factions need to fight to get them back to establish a foothold on that continent again.

  6. Lord Custard Smingleigh says:

    Seems like quite a good change if the “hot drop” becomes something daring, rather than routine.

    • dontnormally says:

      My very first and still main concern about this game is the double-duty of the Galaxy as spawn point and transport. I do hope they find a way (mechanically) to nudge hot-drops closer to common.

      • El_MUERkO says:

        I saw a VS squad hot drop, grab a point, hit the roof, jump back in the Galaxy, take off quicker than defenders could react and do the exact same to the next point.

        Hot Dropping will remain a valid tactic for organised squads. You’ll just get less
        fly high and bail like paratroopers’ hot drops.

      • Gnoupi says:

        I guess that by making it a mobile base, they want to influence the multiple uses. Drop your squad, pick them up once the job is done, and go to the next destination.

        I guess the point is to discourage suicide raids, with the galaxy crashing in the enemy base to create the most confusion.

        Pity, I quite enjoyed doing that in the first one :P

    • DXN says:

      I’ve actually seen hot drops happen effectively a couple of times. When a team has several squads working together, moving as a large group to take large bases quickly, Galaxies (and even battle buses) were an effective way to move squads of troops who’d kept eachother alive, without just sort of hanging around and waiting to percolate over to a new spawn point. One or two of those landing on platforms and disgorging a squad that could defend and secure the landing location led to quick victories without the protracted battle fro point to point that you normally see.

      Anyway, yeah, I’ve been playing the beta having not played PS1, and its gorgeous. Definitely scratches the Tribes/Battlefield/Arma Domi-mode itch in a spectacular way, and there’s a constant stream of little gasp-worthy moments. Little facilities clutched on the side of mountains being swarmed by rocket-spewing reavers, aircraft thronging through fields of flak, mass ground assaults at night… it’s great!

      Things I’d like to see more of: people talking (anything) and especially teamwork — co-operation and non-dickishness is pretty good even outside organised squads, but that may change when the great unwashed masses join in, unless squad leaders step up to the plate and keep things organised. I’m still not clear on what the plans are for higher-level command structures, if any…

      • Spengbab says:

        I wonder about general leadership as well. Ive not been able to play it yet, nor did I play PS1, but I did read about stuff like squadleader positions in-game. Is the game going to have “positions”/roles for general army/outfit/whatever management as well

        Its one thing to have a big group of players just following the general objective of “shoot the other duders”, but I think it’d be brilliant to have a few actual players on each side that have the ability to decide which area that their respective faction will focus on (Like creating objectives that will show on other player’s list of objectives, or something along those lines)

  7. jellydonut says:

    LONG TERM this game will have player-controlled factions and player-controlled *territory* according to SOE exec John Smedley. This is certain to become the hardcore endgame for dedicated players, similar to 0.0 warfare in EVE.

  8. Flimgoblin says:

    Firefall actually runs on my PC at better than 4 FPS… hoping Planetside 2 starts to run a bit smoother as they optimise towards release…

    • Stromko says:

      It’s very reliant on the CPU. I first tried the beta with a 2.8 ghz dual-core, and it was just unplayably chuggy. A couple weeks later I upgraded the chip to a 3.6 ghz quad-core and now it runs fine.

      It’s about the only game I have that went from chuggy to playable, nothing else I’ve been playing has demanded so much from my CPU, even Natural Selection 2 was playable on the old dual-core (though successfully aiming at a moving skulk is now much easier).

  9. frenz0rz says:

    While im really enjoying the beta, there are still a couple of things I’ve not made up my mind on yet. Which is good, as its a beta. Still –

    1. Scale. While I understand that all servers are underpopulated in terms of the eventual aim of 2000 people per continent, I’m a little concerned that much of the map feels far too empty. It is currently possible for a small group of vaguely organised people to blitz up a flank and capture swathes of territory simply because there is nobody available to defend it. Likwise, when attempting to defend the larger bases, I often find myself sprinting around aimlessly without an enemy in sight… only to lose the entire base to a single enemy who’d hopped the wall in a jetpack and casually strolled unharassed to the capture point. I’m sure the servers will eventually contain more players, but this leads to my other point:

    2. Performance. Now I KNOW its beta, and I know this is very early days to be talking about performance. Most importantly, I recognise that they’re improving optimisation on an almost daily basis. However, right now the recommended specs stand at:

    – Intel i5 processor or higher / AMD Phenom II X6 or higher
    – 8 GB RAM
    – nVidia GeForce 500 series or higher / AMD HD 6870 or higher
    – 1GB Video Memory

    This is absurd. On a mid range PC that is around 3 years old (with a couple of upgrades), I am struggling to run anything but the smallest battles on the lowest possible graphics settings, which include the current placeholder textures and an edited ini file. Whenever I mention this I always seem to get criticism from Mr “well it runs fine for me on my hex core, 16GB RAM, monster GPU rig”, but I believe its an important issue for any game that is looking to maintain a large, free-to-play playerbase. People will not play if they cannot run the game on a reasonable PC. Plus, as I mentioned, right now the game is somewhat sparsely populated – I dread to think how it would run once open beta begins if optimisation is not significantly worked on. Which I STRESS is apparently the case. Just throwing it out there.

    • The Changingman says:

      As it stands, the server populations aren’t anything like high enough to allow for more than one real front-line, so while there are epic battles to be had (say, trying to hold The Crown for the glorious TR against simultaneous assaults from NC and VS), the rest of the map will probably change hands because one lone infiltrator is wandering around undefended bases because the bloody Instant Action button dropped him at Mao or some other distant, empty hexagon. You’ve screwed me for the last time, Instant Action.

      And as for performance, it seems like there’s no difference on my system between high, medium, and low settings when it comes to framerate, so maybe things still aren’t implemented well there. Where it does all go to hell is when a few dozen infantry descend on a base, mixing it up with a smattering of vehicles and aircraft. Get involved in anything of Planetside-level scale and I don’t know if it’s the engine, or maybe netcode, or what, but I’ve witnessed more than a few facility captures as 1fps flickbooks. The Battle of Hastings was depicted at a higher framerate.

    • d34thm0nk3y says:

      Well I’m running the game pretty well on high-ish graphics and I don’t really think I have a monster PC. My spec:

      AMD Phenom II X4 @2.9GHz
      4GB DDR2
      ATI Radeon HD 5830

      They are still optimising too, though I don’t think the recommended specs will ever be that low considering the sheer size of what they are doing.

      • Elriond says:

        I have to agree with the previous posts on frame rates. I use a quad core q9550, gtx 260, 4g ram, 100g SSD and get abysmal fps even running on the lowest settings. Obviously i’m running on several years old hardware, but I should at least be able to play without shuttering in the larger battles.

    • povu says:

      I know that’s not what you want to hear when you have a good system, but the game still looks pretty nice on low settings. You still get that massive scale. I have a Intel Core 2 Duo E8500 3.16 Ghz and a ATI HD4850 512 MB and while admittedly I haven’t been in any HUGE battles yet, it runs okay with everything on low, but textures on medium, at 1920×1080.

      But yes, more optimization would be good.

    • Ovno says:

      I was having major frame rate issues initally, tried turning down all my settings made no difference, then I did something I haven’t had to do in a long time, I lowered my res from 1920×1080 to 1440×900 and it made a massive difference, now i tend to get between 30-60fps at most times and lowest ive seen in a big fight was 10-15, which is still suprissingly playable….

  10. jonfitt says:

    Is there space in PS2 for someone who just wants to get very good at flying transports?
    If the transport becomes the respawn point are they badgered into leaving it in a good position rather than using it for transporting people? That sounds somewhat dull. I guess they could hop out and defend it, but I’d rather be swooping in to drop people off, and arriving just in time to pick them up?

    • dontnormally says:

      I thoroughly enjoyed just carting folks around in Planetside1.

      Pick up. Transport. Hot drop. Return. Repeat.

      • dsi1 says:

        Nope sorry, now you just land your gal and become part of the fight. Logistics as a whole have been removed thanks to the AMS-Gal’s ability to do absolutely everything important in the game and do it five feet from primary objectives.

    • Premium User Badge

      Aerothorn says:

      Jonfit: Definitely, it just depends on how the gal is being used. Most of the minor points don’t take long to cap, so the gal can fly over, hotdrop some guys, land, load back up, and repeat. At the longer sieges, it is good to stay put for a while, but the Gal now has five built-in guns, plus you’ll want to hop out and repair it, so you’ll usually have plenty to do while it sits there, if you aren’t completely averse to shooting.

    • Captchist says:

      There really is.

      Particularly with the way upgrades are at the moment – they are slow to save up for – there is room to specialise in something and have a much better version than other people.

      For example, you can replaces some of the turrent guns on your galaxy with Mortars. Worse Air to Air defense, so you rely more on Air support, but once you’ve landed your can support the attack by firing in mortar volleys. They take a while to earn though, and so at the moment almost nobody has them because they are busy upgrading other things.

      Equally because of the proxy and squad voip chat built in, you can at the moment just land a Gal in your base. Shout out to get a squad together and then just start marauding around.

      It’s very pick up and play friendly and there is definitely room to find a role and a rather unique setup. Those moments where you pull your team out under fire, or arrive just in time with a squad hot dropping to push back an assault really do happen with amazing frequency.

      Total aside – the air combat in the game is utterly amazing at the moment. Took me a day or two to get used to the controls, (they need to allow more varied key bindings) but now that I’ve got the hang of it I feel like an absolute boss. As Vanu fighting in our own territory (a rocky, canyon area) many air battles turn into that scene from Independence day where you are flying down the canyons dodging missiles and flying under arches of rock, bridges and dodging in and out. The buildings, tunnels, and bridge can all be flown in around and under allowing for some pretty special moments. The aircraft turn on a dime, and hover really nicely – particularly the more nimble Vanu Scythes. It’s a really unique experience and even if the infantry gunplay isn’t great (it’s just about average- but getting better) that air dog fighting experience is truly exceptional. Recommend this game as is. Will have to see how the F2P holds up.

    • Billzor says:

      I had thought the Gal, like other vehicles, was very mod-able. If you didn’t want to be a mobile spawn and more of an air cav/troop transport, then you had those options. Sounds like the spawn point is built-into the craft itself, though. Not sure how I feel about that.

    • Ganjatron says:

      Yes there is, I had a guy the other day randomly land and pick up a bunch of us, then proceed to talk over voice like he was a rail operator. It was pretty awesome, he bussed us all around the map and we took lots of the smaller outposts. He’d tell us when he was over the point to drop, then go land, once the job was done he was there to pick us up. A totally random player with zero coordination turned into a rocking good time, so yes there is room for you.

  11. LukinStone says:

    On the hot drop issue, I think a more explicit way to indicate (by the pilot) it was time to drop would help. I think newer players don’t realize they won’t take damage from falling during a drop. Maybe ever allow the pilot a button to clear the infantry out of his ship.

    Also, I think command and support features that would be controllable from the warp gate facilities and expand as specific installations were captured would be cool…and it would let players take a break from the action while still participating. The ability to remotely switch between base turrets, the ability to edit a command map ( they had something like this in PS1) which everyone on the same faction could see and off-site artillery are all higher level features that could be implemented. I know some of these things are planned, but I think the real trick is going to be how to make new players understand they will be more effective if they work with/follow orders more experienced players.

    And, of course, making sure more experienced players are being jerks and are worthy of being followed.

    • DK says:

      There is a certification a Galaxy pilot can pick up that lets him eject all his passengers at will. And by “there is” I mean it’s description is in the game, but it costs 99999999 cert points.

      • RaveTurned says:

        That prohibitive cost is the devs way of saying “This is what we have planned at the moment, but it’s not ready for you to play with yet because it’s not implemented/not tested/we’re not sure about it yet”.

  12. Dina says:

    I wonder if my previous criticisms have been adressed yet. I really should hop back once I free myself from GW2’s evil grip.

  13. Brosepholis says:

    The early VS MAX artwork looked alien, not ‘wimpy’. The 3D model, on the other hand, looks like a crab person. And not in a good way.

  14. povu says:

    I wonder how well this game will scale on servers that aren’t very full. If there aren’t many people around it sounds like it could get a bit boring, people capping smaller bases alone with just a few decent battles at bigger bases around at any time.

    Then again, I’m sure they’ve taken the right number of servers to keep that into account, and the free to play model will make sure a lot of people will give it a go, and the graphics are supposed to scale up really well.

  15. povu says:

    Another thing, does anyone know what the ‘graphics quality’ option does? It’s not a set of preset options, that’s what ‘overall quality’ is for, and it’s probably not textures, because there’s a setting for that as well. It’s also not the internal rendering resolution, because there’s an option for that as well (in case you want to play Dark Souls style).

  16. Tiax says:

    Does anyone knows about a beta key giveaway I could try my luck at ?

    • zeekthegeek says:

      If you have $8 IGN Prime has keys right now. You also get in a few other betas and free games for the remainder of the month, and a key for a permanent discount at Gamersgate. Not a bad way to go if you really want to try out a game.

      • psyk says:

        Is open to all on friday

        • derbefrier says:

          is this for real?

          edit: the ign contest said its open to all ign users on friday the 7th so maybe you could get in then i went ahead and paid the 6 bucks and i am downloading it now! Cant wait to give this a try

    • MadMatty says:

      spam their Twitter like 20 times (not in a row) and they´ll hand you a key….. if youre really good at Kissing Sony Ass, you´ll get it earlier (just sound like a naive teen fanboy, that´ll do the trick)

  17. RaveTurned says:

    I didn’t realise the hotdrop was alive and well in PS2. The first time I got into one I eagerly thew myself out of it over one of the facilities (I forget which) – and promptly plumeted to a bitter and disapointed death. I’ve only tried it since as a light assault, but now I know there’s a cert for hot dropping it I will investigate further. Is there any indication in the UI for people onboard to know a drop system is available, or do passengers need to ask the pilot?

    Of course the verticality that you meantion mean Gals are now great for parking on top of high plateaus above enemy bases just out of sight, and sending swarms of light assaults to BASE jump down and try to capture while other classes give covering fire. On the scale of epic feeling, jumping off the side of mountains always scores pretty high. :)

    • Captchist says:

      It’s not a cert, any time you jump out of a Gal you automatically hot drop. It just comes with zero indication (no animation, no message, nothing to give away the fact you aren’t just plummeting to your death).
      There have been a couple of glitches with it though – you can occasionally bounce when you hit the ground, and so you die on the second landing.

      • RaveTurned says:

        Hmm, really? I only remember trying to do this once without a jetpack, but that time I’m pretty sure I just splatted rather than bounced. Maybe I clipped a wing on the way out, or did something else to cancel the drop mechanic? Or maybe dropping was just bugged at that point? Yay, beta!

        I’ll investigate further.

  18. Mattressi says:

    Is this game playable without a microphone (and, preferably, with everyone muted)? Or is it pretty much essential? I guess if any game is going to make me start using a mic, it would be PS2. I just hope it has a populated Australian server.

    • d34thm0nk3y says:

      I’m pretty sure you can turn off voice chat if you want to and you don’t need a mic to communicate to people. There’s still a chat box to type.

      • pepper says:

        Currently there are only EU and NA(East and West) servers. I dont know if they plan on a AU server.

  19. zaik says:

    Got to say, PS2 has been the most and least fun I’ve ever had with a FPS.

    When it’s just me, I wander around for hours looking for a real fight(usually I just find 5 or so Vanu running around capping deserted areas), then suddenly find myself getting steamrolled by 50 cycler maxes.

    Playing with a squad or two of people I actually know though? Most fun I’ve had since Borderlands, maybe longer.

    • mrjayeye says:

      That’s been pretty much my experience as well. I don’t think I’ll get the urge to play again until the game goes into open beta and the player count increases. Right now the game is too empty and I’m not having much fun.

  20. Eskatos says:

    The game certainly is pretty, I just wish it would get more than 5fps in battle scenes on my computer.

    • Grape Flavor says:

      It’s very faithful to the original then, because I beta tested PS1 and the performance was horrible on what was considered a decent rig at the time.

      I don’t have a good enough system to run PS2 yet, but I imagine the situation will gradually improve.

      • Eskatos says:

        I just feel sad about a. not being able to play and b. being a waste of a perfectly good beta key. But mostly a.

  21. Cooper says:

    I’ve been flying a Galaxy a heck of a lot so far.

    (For transport I prefer driving the Sunderer by a long shot, but the practicality of the bang bus is severly limited.)

    I see a lot of hot dropping. Whenever I’m in an organised squad, the default strategy is to pull Gals and hotdrop. But this only works as an ongoing strategy for outposts.

    Fly to target, drop. Land Galaxy. Spawn any dead squadmates at galaxy. Load up Galaxy.

    With that routine by the time the Gal. is landed, the control point has switched hands and you can take off.

    Do this fast enough and you can have a main base surrounded by your own influence and then hot drop on that base to begin taking it.

    What hotdrops lack is a usefulness in taking Main bases. What with Instant Action, the ease of grabbing fighters just to Zoom somewhere, and if you are organised enough than squad beacons; once you haev an outer spawn location at a main base, it’s just infantry hotfooting it all the way. No need to hotdrop anymore…

    Edit: As for certs I am LOVING the medic’s revive grenades.

  22. Wedge says:

    Hopefully Phantoms come back in eventually? Running a coordinated squad of invisible planes that would suddenly drop a squad of troops on the unwary was the best thing ever.

  23. starclaws says:

    Jim you guys just need to get 2+ Galaxies and air escorts. But it sounds like eventually that’s all it will be in Planetside 2. Atleast in Planetside 1 … Some of your forces were required to be on the ground so they could protect the ANTs and AMSs. Now, it will strickly be galaxy after galaxy and other air units. One galaxy will be landing to setup spawns and the others will be dropping troops now. Before in Planetside 1 they would load the AMS into the lodestar.

  24. cronach says:

    Am I the only one on here without a PS2 beta key? :( Signed up 6 months ago and nothing…

    • Mattressi says:

      Don’t worry, you’re not alone – not that that’s much consolation. I signed up months ago too and still haven’t received a beta key. I’m really looking forward to this whenever I get to play it.

    • brulleks says:

      Can I join your misery club too? : (

      On the plus side, all the beta players will be doing the hard work of enduring all the bugs and optimisation problems, so when we finally get to play it the game will be spanky and shiny.

    • Derppy says:

      Protip: If you need a key for a beta, Google “[Game name] giveaway” and search for pages indexed within an hour, if you don’t find anything, try 24 hours.

      Did it a while back and it took me to Curse’s Planetside 2 giveaway. Had to create an account and use US proxy to get the key, but I got it and it worked just fine.

      I don’t know if they still have keys left, but in case they do, here’s the link: link to (Registration and US IP address required)

      • Mattressi says:

        Thanks for the advice. I couldn’t find anything recent, unfortunately :(

        I tried the Curse link and all I can say is they are complete bastards. They say I need to have an account to get a key, so I sign up, sign in and find out that they have none left. Real douche move making me sign up just to see they’re empty. Won’t be going back there again, that’s for sure.

  25. TriumphOfMan says:

    “So, I suspect, the hotdrop has lost its tactical relevance. A shame. But not to worry: we’ll just have to hot drop nostalgically, whether tactically wise, or otherwise.”

    Uhhhh…. no. Not even close. Hot drops are still one of the most effective ways to enter a fight. Our outfit is one of the strongest on West 01 and shock trooping with galaxies is the number 1 attack method.

    • pepper says:

      This indeed. More then once I’ve been able to pick off galaxy’s coming in low and slow for landing filled with troops. AA guns and a few Scythe’s or Liberators can do serious damage before the Galaxy is in. Note that if you would approach from the flight ceiling you can usually get in a out before the enemy has a chance to respond. I usually fly as high as possible looking for targets.

  26. Hunchback says:

    I have been in the beta since it was actually alpha or as they called it – technical test. I played a bit, got frustrated by the EXTREMELY bad performance and uber ugly graphics at first, the game looked like it was 10 years old and is running entirely on “software” (hope i am not the only one to remember this option in games :P) (turned 28 yesterday, feeling ancient now). So i deleted it at that point…
    I reinstalled it the other day, since some of my friends got beta access as well, and i have to say i am impressed with the huge improvements they’ve made on basically every level, but especially performance wise. I guess the end product will be kinda great.

    Now i am not a Planetside 1 player, so i can’t compare. I really love the concept of the game though, being a big fan of BF (boo CoD lol), but i have to say i am quite skeptic about the whole deal. It has nothing to do with the devs or the game at all, it’s just that after that many years spent online i fear the average intelligence level of random people online is WAY too low to allow for a serious, organised and sensible game of this type. I am afraid that even if one gets a proper team with many members, the game might still end up ruined by the -rest- of your chosen faction and the enemies. I guess we’ll have to see.

    What bothers me more though are the visuals. I might be spoiled by Frostbite, CryEngine, etc but i do find that PS2 graphics look quite outdated and it’s not even out yet. Yes, night battles ARE very pretty as nights are really dark (you can barely see anything except bullet tracers and explosions, that’s awesome) but the rest is really… bleak. It doesn’t provide any “realistic” visuals like Frostbite does (skins, weapon textures, surfaces) so it’s really not realistic. There’s no destruction of anything at all, and afaik only some non-existing surfaces can be pierced by bullets (i mean things like cloth etc which is more of a texture than a surface). At the same time, the visuals are not all that “imaginary” either, such as we could get from the Unreal engine, no great colours and amazing lightshows, no crazy particles… It just feels odd, maybe the same way Rage did to me, but even more since PS is not even cartoonish. And all that comes with kinda crazy system specs requirements… *ponder*
    Yes i know, SCALE… The map IS huge, battles CAN in theory feature hundreds of players… But in reality, the map is kinda empty outside of the bases, it’s all empty orange mountains. And then, some BF3 maps are not ALL that small either. Not saying that they are anywhere near the PS2 map, but still there are some BIG maps that are much more beautiful, feature highly destructible buildings AND kinda lower spec requirements.

    (I know that destructible buildings and terrain might sound crazy in the PS context, but call me crazy if you want, i believe that it could actually make the game much more interesting if done right – Make buildings and stuff MUCH harder to break than in BF, so that it takes a lot of tank/other-artillery fire to break. Make it reparable by paying resources and/or engineers work. Make it so that capturing a base comes with the price of having to repair it for it to function and be defendable. Then you get the to make the decision of weather you try and make a backdoor somewhere in the defenses, or maybe level the whole thing to the ground and pay up to repair it while risking a quick counter attack with your pants down, or why not send in some commandos to blow up a wall and silently capture a point while the enemy is distracted by the front line assault… It can work, if done well)

    Rant Mode – Off

    • Spengbab says:

      Thats the reason I really cant get my hopes up regarding multiplayer games – random idiots, babies and herkaderka no-speak-english and the rest of the Internet scum just seem to want to press W and Mouse1. Fuck tactics, fuck cooperation, kill some guys and alt-F4 when you get killed.

      Reading about the massive tank columns, coordinated drop pod action and convoys of fighters protecting Galaxies sounds great, like scenes out of big war movies, but this only happens now because its just the people with technical knowhow (However limited it may be) and groups of players actually wanting to play together that manage to get beta keys.

      Once the random players get into the game, its just gonna be a mess, though as always, I hope Im wrong and PS2 will be the start of a new era of beautiful massive multiplayer cooperation and peace on Earth.

  27. Hazzard65 says:

    “Initially it will be okay with the sheer spectacle of the game, combined with the fun of organising people to fight, but I wonder about long term…” I’ve wondered this myself, but then again I also thought – Really what we have is a game very similar to a Battlefield or a Call of Duty where rather than cycle through a tonne of different maps, loading each time and breaking the immersion you essentially have potentially hundreds of maps/ scenarios where the immersion is never broken… the map never loads and the experience is never interrupted. I suppose really if you are looking for a grand chessboard to war over then ultimately (depending on if things change) this may not satisfy in the long term.

    • Masked Dave says:

      The difference being that you can win (or loose) a round of CoD or Battlefield, the thing that burned me out of PS1 was that I started to feel like nothing we did mattered, because there was no victory condition so we could never *win*. Fighting for a base only mattered if it was getting you closer to an eventual total victory.

      I don’t think it should be easy, (especially with 3 factions and massive maps) but I do think it should be possible to drive one team back into their home base and either close off their portal to get back into the fight or have a massive final battle against that home base (where the home base defences are incredible tough) giving the defending team the ability to rally and the attacking team the chance to knock them out completely.

      Players on that team could still play with other characters on different servers or on the remaining teams.

      When only one team remained the game would re-set.

      It would allow for inter-team play on a much broader scale (say the Vanu are overpowered on one server, well the NC and TF teams could arrange a team up to take them down, only for the TF to backstab the NC when all their forces are committed) and just give players something to fight for.

  28. Shockeh says:

    I don’t know why, but I find the textures (especially player textures) somehow ‘fuzzy’. I’ve cranked all the settings, installed new drivers, reset the Nvidia panel, etc. It just looks like someone passed a blur over the textures themselves.

    I see some of the HD screenshots that have been kicked out, and think ‘Why doesn’t my game look like this?’

    Random Edit: When are we getting RPS folk together in Planetside, gents?

  29. SAM-site says:

    So far I’ve found PS2 to be exciting and very much delivering on promise, however the concerns I have over the (unexpanded) original stem from a lack of diversity in the war. With mobile bases, buggies, amphibious APCs and ANTs being gone from the game it’s tending towards a singular strategy in assault. There must be 3x as many Galaxies flying around compared to the original, and while the amount of aircraft in play is spectacular it has made the game very different.

    It always felt to me that the original was a ground assault supported by air, now it feels more like air assault supported by ground, and as such has lost some diversity in approach – not least of all because galaxies no longer transport light vehicles (which was very cool).

    Maybe I’m just grumbling as I miss my deliverer (5 man APC), and I’m certainly not knocking it so far, I just think there may be an over-reliance on gals now.

    • DK says:

      Yeah the fact you can’t carry a lightning in a Galaxy takes away a huge chunk of the “giant mobile transport” feeling. It would also help if you could cert away the ability to deploy on the ground in trade for having people spawn in while still airborne. Have a dedicated hot-droppper Galaxy vs the land-and-be-a-fortress Galaxy.

  30. TwwIX says:

    I am love it! It’s everything i wanted Battlefield 3 to be and then some. From the scale to the tactical and team oriented gameplay. Those of you complaining about performance need to seriously consider buying a new processor since this game is very CPU intensive. They’re having trouble optimizing the game for dual processors. A proper quad core is necessary and standard these days. They’ve significantly improved the performance since the tech test started. I am averaging between 35-100 FPS atm.

    My specs if you’re wondering,

    Asus Sabertooth X58
    i7 920 Bloomfield @ 3.8GHz cooled by Corsair H-50 Push-Pull
    EVGA GTX 470 SC (Stock Speeds)
    G.SKILL 6GB DDR3 F3-12800CL9T-6GBNQ
    1TB Seagate Barracuda 7200RPM
    Corsair TX850W

  31. Jon Tetrino says:

    I’d skip Firefall for now folks, the beta of it has leaned strongly in favour of arena PVP rather than the co-op that the game originally was pitched as. While a big PVE milestone is coming, for the moment it’s very lacklustre, especially when you compare it to PS2.

    Sure you can say it’s two different kinds of egg, but if you want a better comparison, it’s trying to ape Tribes at the moment and it fails at this.

  32. Gers says:

    I feel like the only person who doesn’t like where the game is right now. At this stage it’s almost completely abandoned a lot of the core design of the original, and while seems like they’re trying to change that it’s so different right now that it’ll be quite a feat to pull that off. But I don’t want to write an essay about it here and for some reason people get really defensive about this game, despite it being early enough in development to actually have the game change for (in my opinion) the better.

  33. BluElement says:

    Firefall is more accessible now? Then why am I still waiting for a beta invite for the last 5 months. :'(