O:MFG! – SOE Finally Optimizes PlanetSide 2

Whoa. I'm so shiny, I can see a mirror's reflection in myself.

If I didn’t know any better, I’d say SOE wanted to keep PlanetSide 2 all to itself. That would explain why the technicolor dream MMOFPS has been the stuff of mid (and even some high) range rigs’ nightmares since day one. But then, nobody likes the idea of being desperately poor and all alone forever, so I’m guessing SOE just made a gigantic boo-boo on its priority list. But now, finally, it’s managed to set all of that right with a huge optimization patch. If your machine choked, sputtered, and excused itself from the table (or life) after trying a bite of PlanetSide 2, now might be the time to give it another go.

Here are the many multifarious fruits of O:MFG – aka, Operation: Make Faster Game, whose goal, amazingly, was to make the game run faster. This is just a portion of a massive list of patch notes.

  • Refactored game rendering to better utilize multiple CPU cores. The same has been done for UI rendering.
  • Optimized the CPU cost of some purely aesthetic physics objects
  • Added adaptive complexity levels for physics simulations based on current client performance
  • Disabled redundant physics processing between remotely-simulated vehicles
  • Improved simulations between complex compound shapes, primarily vehicles
  • Sound emitter optimization
  • Numerous optimizations have been done to remote character processing to reduce the cost of per-player processing.
  • We found that players getting in and out of vehicles was causing some performance issues. This has been addressed and is working as expected, now.
  • Audio asset clean-up
  • Added a frame rate smoothing option. (This is on by default and trust us, you probably want this. It will make your frame rate smoother and reduce spikes. Your FPS counter will show as lower overall, but that’s not a bad thing.)
  • Adjusted the default graphics settings. (If you push Reset to Default, it will set the graphics settings appropriate for your system.)

As for who should benefit most from this, technical director Ryan Elam explained that SOE focused on machines owned by 80 percent of PS2’s player base. That means quad-core or above, AMD and Intel, 4G or more RAM, Windows 64-bit, and AMD and nVidia GPUs. CPUs, however, got the bulk of the focus, as “it’s a great deal easier to lower GPU settings when you want higher FPS.”

Apparently, players have been seeing performance increases well over 30 percent in 100-person warbattles, which is quite a pie-in-the-sky-scraping leap if true.

This is just O:MFG 1, too. SOE’s not finished applying spit-and-shine to its game’s rustier bits, so expect more improvements soon-ishly. For now, though, how’s the new and improved PlanetSide 2 running for you? Was this update worth all the hoopla, or is it simply a matter of too little, too late?


  1. SkittleDiddler says:

    Sorry Sony, too little too late. I’ve moved on to other games.

    • meepmeep says:

      Seeing as it’s getting towards that time of year, I would like to nominate Planetside 2 for the ‘Whingiest Gaming Community of 2013’ award.

      • MrUnimport says:

        Surely someone who’s moved on no longer counts as part of the community?

        And SOE has given us a lot of things to whinge about.

        • meepmeep says:

          They’ve also made a game where you can battle with thousands of players across continents on another planet, including ground and air vehicles.

          As someone who grew up with the Atari 2600, the fact this game runs at all is a stunning technical achievement.

          • boats says:

            Meh not really. Anyone else play WW2 Online back in the day?

          • MrUnimport says:

            True enough, but the fact that they only just fixed the bug where the Engineer’s deployable turret would start shooting into its own forward shield after a while should tell you a lot.

            As does the fact they claimed to fix the rockets in the Striker’s magazine not animating properly (rockets would disappear when the weapon was pulled out or put away and not reappear until the thing was reloaded) but in fact just made it so the rockets are permanently in there and stopped them from animating at all.

        • Baines says:

          I wonder what the percentage breakdown is for people who have vocally “moved on” from any particular game. How many have legitimately moved on, how many are just grousing while still playing, and how many never really played to begin with.

          • FRIENDLYUNIT says:

            I dunno, but while I’ll not likely be renewing my yearly subscription I’ll be certainly continuing to play for free.

      • jaguar skills says:

        That’s a hell of an accolade to be throwing around willy nilly. This is the broader gaming community we’re talking about, after all. The Planetside 2 community is up against;

        Every MMO community since Ultima Online
        The COD community (didn’t one of their guys get a death threat for changing the fire rate on a gun?)
        The BF3/BF4 community (these guys will sadly never get the award due to the COD guys but they’re strong contenders nonetheless)
        Anyone that considers themselves a combatant in THE CONSOLE WARS
        People who like The Witcher (they don’t whinge about that game itself, just whatever “inferior” RPG you choose to spend your time with instead)
        The Minecraft community
        The Terraria community

        There’s a lot more, but that’s the shortlist. Any of those guys would give the Planetside 2 dudes a run for their money.

        • Ernesto25 says:

          I’ll throw sc2 and moba communities as well for a nomination. Can’t wait to see who wins

        • sabasNL says:

          You forgot the League of Legends community, the worst of all.

        • 1nco says:

          For sheer massive battles PS2 cannot be beat, I have been gaming for over 20 years and this for me is the one I like best, no other game even come close to the sheer scale of some of these battles, I never had a problem with the game ever, some people expect amazing performance on their outdated DDR2 machine running a Pentium D with a X1650 well it aint gonna happen, and as for the whiners that moved on, good bye! Do not let the door hit ya on the way out :) no room for whining in the gaming arena. I played for a spell on old drivers that did not show me the loadout station displays and never had any tracer fire, so after this optimization and driver update it is like a whole new animal.

          • shuffl2me says:

            well i am running this on a
            FX-6100 (OC @ 4GHz)
            16GB ddr3 1600MHz
            Gigabyte HD7850 OC 2GB edition
            pre-O:MFG i would run with 90FPS warpgate, but only about 20FPS in a big battle (original Crown style)
            now though im running with a warpgate 120fps and about 45 in a huge battle (biolab farm)

            now my machine its a top top-end machine, but its not a ddr2 machine

    • akstro says:

      Its an online game. How the hell can it be too late?

      • fish99 says:

        …because you don’t get 2 chances with most players. Honestly most of the people who left after seeing poor performance will probably never try the game again, which is a huge shame. You only get that initial rush, that 250K+ (edit) people who tried the game last november, that only happens once.

      • SkittleDiddler says:

        I’ve got tons of other games to play, games that actually run properly on my PC. Why would I go back to one that couldn’t be bothered with proper optimization until a year after release?

        • Asurmen says:

          Because it now is optimized? I fail to see how previous bad performance somehow makes the game untouchable for the rest of time.

          • SkittleDiddler says:

            Did you somehow miss the very first thing I wrote? “I’ve got tons of other games to play”.

            I have no incentive to go back to Planetside 2, what with all those dozens of year-old games in my library that were playable from day one. Besides, I’m not willing to waste the bandwidth on downloading something that may or may not perform up to standards — given SOE’s prior dubious claims of “we fixed this, we fixed that, now shit works”, I feel totally justified in ignoring the game.

          • Asurmen says:

            I did read that, although I don’t see how it’s relevant as it’s possible to play more than one game at once. Considering it takes very little time to find out whether it runs better, I don’t see what you lose. It just seems like you were saying that a game is always going to be bad and not worth your time no matter what the developer does. Of course if you don’t like the game that’s a different matter but not playing because it doesn’t run well but they fix that and not trying again seems weird to me.

            Your choice obviously.

          • SkittleDiddler says:

            Planetside 2 has been out for a frickin year. ONE YEAR. And they are finally getting around to implementing some (possibly) effective technical fixes? Sorry man, but in my book, one year for that kind of poor customer service is just about ten months too long.

            I hope you can understand why I don’t want to encourage that kind of behavior from developers and publishers, hence my personal preference to never go back to Planetside 2.

        • 1nco says:

          I am sure you have other games to play when there are 200+ players per side, good luck with that, BF4 is a total joke EA dumps a patch and it crashes everyone so I know you are playing that one hardcore and the graphics suck, not what I expected.
          SOE has been 100 times better than anything EA has ever released and at least cheaters get their accounts banned unlike any Rockstar game or EA. Cheaters should be publicly executed and Planetside does a good job of keeping those losers away.

    • Spakkenkhrist says:

      Poor Sony, they are going to take this badly.

    • Eggy says:

      Something like Battlefield 4 haha. Talk about a mess and I paid 45 euros for that.

      • sabasNL says:

        45 euros is nothing. The guys who pre-ordered BF4 + Premium have lost about 100 euros now.

        I’m not one of them though. And after forwarding ports, flushing my internet connection, updating my graphics card with beta drivers, and tuning my performance, I can finally say that BF4 works like a charm for me. And it’s worth it, much better than Battlefield 3.
        You shouldn’t have expected that it worked on Day 1. It’s a multiplayer game from Electronic Arts, every gamer should know by now that you won’t be able to play immediatly. It wasn’t elected as the worst company of the year without a reason.

    • Lemming says:

      Call me Sammy the Suspicious Snake, but I suspect you would’ve moved on ‘because new games’, regardless of the state of PS2. I imagine that’s the case for most. Multiplayer shooters rarely hold onto the same audience numbers they started with. Only the hardcore tend to hang around for much longer.

      I really enjoyed Tribes 2, nothing changed in that regard, but I just moved on to other games any way.

      For those that love Planetside 2, this is a great day indeed.

      • SkittleDiddler says:

        Well, I’m always looking for that “perfect” multiplayer game to fix my long-term jones, and Planetside 2 certainly had potential. Technical issues turned me off (on multiple occasions, stretched out over various revisits) from investing any meaningful time in it.

        You’re right, in a sense. If I had felt any particular loyalty to the Planetside brand, I probably would have been more willing to put up with its negatives.

        • Lemming says:

          What other shooters have you tried that didn’t make the grade? Just curious as I don’t play a lot myself, so if you’ve sampled many I’d be interested to hear your thoughts.

          • boats says:

            Excuse me sir, could you disclose information about your preferences so I can shit on them? I don’t seem to have enough data to shit on you yet.

          • SkittleDiddler says:

            Sure. CoD (several of them), Battlefield 2+3, Bad Company 2, Homefront, Unreal Tournament, Day of Defeat, Red Orchestra 2 (the only one I play with any semblance of regularity anymore), Counterstrike, Team Fortress 2, Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory, Left 4 Dead, Heroes & Generals, and a shit-ton of Half-Life and Quake deathmatch back in the day. There are literally dozens of others I’ve dabbled in that I’ve completely forgotten about by this stage in my life.

            As dumb as this is going to sound, Homefront is the only one that’s even come close to making me feel like I’ve found the perfect competitive shooter. It was a great mix of Modern Warfare and Battlefield, and I played it compulsively up until the developers started releasing late-stage patches that completely broke the mechanics.

          • Lemming says:

            @SkittleDiddler Homefront passed me by, sadly. Is the new CS: GO any good? I dabbled in CS:S for a little while, but wasn’t sure if this was going to be that different. L4D always gets a look in with me, and I used play a lot of Quake/Quake 2 network DM at college.

            @boats. You’re a twat and you should feel like a twat.

          • SkittleDiddler says:

            CS:GO is…alright. The community is decent enough, and the gunplay is effective. One thing I really dislike about it is the map design — stock maps are very blandly constructed, and they seem a little more “on rails” than what I’m used to seeing in other online shooters. That said, I can certainly see GO growing on me as long as I’m willing to put more time into learning the tactics and the layouts.

            If you played Source, then you’ll know what to expect with GO. They’re virtually the same product.

            If you’re interested in something a little more realistic and can stomach steep learning curves, Red Orchestra 2/Rising Storm is highly recommended. Huge set-piece maps, plenty of opportunity for cooperative teamwork, and gratifying mechanics. They have campaign runs for the online portion now, which can lead to some absolutely epic battles. One of the best shooters out there IMO.

          • Lemming says:

            @SkittleDiddler I’ll put RO on the ‘to try list’ then, thanks. Any non-realistic shooters you’d recommend? Or is it all just waiting for Titanfall?

          • SkittleDiddler says:

            Quake Live is reliable fun, and they devs are moving from a browser-based version to a standalone in the near future. Other than that, maybe Gotham City Imposters (F2P, pretty much populated solely by hardcore adherents these days) or Blacklight: Retribution (also F2P, with a wonky upgrade system).

            I’m really not into the twitch shooters anymore, so my opinion in that area may not be the most dependable.

    • InsanityStroke says:

      To be honest, it’s not like you had to pay for the game. In addition to that, if the game is optimized now and (judging by your comment) you left because of the lack of optimization, you would have no need to refuse to try the game again. I mean, I’m not disrespecting your opinion of which you’re completely entitled to, but I’m just stating that it isn’t entirely justified.

    • 1nco says:

      Cool we will not miss you at all either :) Not another game like this out there with as many people at one time, your loss our gain.

  2. Eukatheude says:

    “Finally optimizes” isn’t too fair. They’ve been working mostly on this since launch.

    • MrUnimport says:

      Actually this optimization initiative was begun at the cost of halting all other development, just a month or two ago. And it’s actually done quite a fair job, especially for high-end rigs that were struggling to run the game. My less-than-cutting-edge computer has seen a decent increase in smoothness too. If that was your main objection to the game, I’d recommend hopping back in to see how it runs.

      Most of the other objections have been somewhat addressed since launch and the game is a lot more interesting than it was back then, specifically thanks to alerts and the lattice system. It’s still a game with problems but I think it’s actually more fun to play than BF4.

      • Eukatheude says:

        I’d love to play both actually, however i’ve been short of a gaming machine for the last year and will probably be for another 4-6 months or so.

    • LionsPhil says:

      Yeah, that’s a lousy headline. This whole gamer mentality where “optimize” is some magic binary checklist item developers can do to make things not slow is pretty dumb and unpleasant.

      • Asurmen says:

        Considering that’s pretty much what they did, the headline is accurate.

  3. mickygor says:

    The improved engine performance has brought for me an improved skill performance. I’m getting more hits, more headshots, etc… and this is all thanks to a consistent 20fps boost in performance. It’s glorious!

    • colossalstrikepackage says:

      Hmm… Might jump back in when I next get some time…

    • MrEclectic says:

      Same here. Used to get 25fps at huge battles, now never goes below 50-55, and it’s been a huge accuracy and situational awareness boost.

      Also, somehow they managed to make the game look even better now. It has a sharper look, with clearer lighting.

      • Rizlar says:

        It’s so noticeable in big battles. Where everyone used to get CPU bottlenecked, it’s now running pretty close to max fps.

        And the lighting tweaks were both unexpected and delightful! O:MFG FTW!

      • BrotherCabbage says:

        I still can’t get above 25 in big battles, or even just wandering around inside biolabs. Then again, I’m running an AMD processor (FX8350), and the game has historically hated AMD, so whaddaya know.

  4. mouton says:

    PS2 is unique in terms of scale, but I just couldn’t get over how aimless it all was. Hordes of players milling around the map, sometimes meeting, but usually steamrolling undefended outposts. When they met, it was all about chaotic spam of all sorts. F2P aspect was not very inspiring either.

    Still, I am anxious to see the next game in this vein, whenever it might happen.

    • LionsPhil says:

      Yeah, have the design changes it’s been through done anything to address this? Since while its chugsville performance on my aging processor (vs other new games) was a turn-off, that was the real killer for me. It felt like (the layman’s idea of) a WW1 over-the-top-boys-into-the-machine-guns war of utter futility, all pushing back and forth for nothing.

    • stoopiduk says:

      Check out the RPS outfit, a good group of players and some comms makes all the difference.

      • mouton says:

        A fun group of players can make almost any game good. The design itself should encourage proper gameplay.

        Of course, I have no idea how one would fix the PS2’s issue of aimlessness. It is an unique and ambitious project and I don’t think this kind of game type has yet been “solved”, like many other game varieties have been.

        • mickygor says:

          Alerts were introduced which set wide reaching goals for 2 hour long “missions” every few hours. They can be quite fun when hotly contested, but usually about an hour or so into the alert it looks like one side is winning, and a bunch of people swap over them to ensure that they do (and that they get their sweet sweet xp reward)

      • Vorrin says:

        yes, the rps outfit is pretty great, tho in my few experiences with it, there was quite a bit more ghostcapping than I would have liked.

        I fundamentally always want to be in a battle when I play, time being limited.

        • Ernesto25 says:

          I second this for the time i i played ps2 it was very good sometimes ghostcapping occurred but usually it was to find good fights that were not biolabs.

          • Rizlar says:

            They have been introducing links between bases called the ‘lettuce system’ or somesuch. It is supposed to reduce ghostcapping and funnel the zergs together.

            Re: aimlessness, since playing with an organised outfit this has not bothered me. There is a lot of depth and balance to organised play which is not at all apparent on the surface. One of SOE’s big problems with PS2 is getting more players to engage with organised, tactical and strategic play, which can be very rewarding.

            TL;DR: getting spammed to death from god knows where is not fun, but when you are the ones organising a Lasher nest to rain death on the enemy (link to youtube.com) or working out how to counter such a move it becomes a lot more interesting.

      • kaffis says:

        But.. but.. the RPS outfit is Vanu!

        And, you know, Brit times. ;) But Vanu is, by far, the worse offender.

    • Jools says:

      Unfortunately, nothing has really improved in that area. PS2 has desperately needed a real metagame since beta and SOE has been glacial on that front. The sad part is that PS2 is fundamentally a great game. Good fights remind me of the way Battlefield games played before DICE decided to imitate the hell out of Call of Duty, but good fights are few and far between. The metagame still encourages big outfits to run around capping undefended territory and discourages zergs from actually engaging each other in decisive battles.

      • kaffis says:

        The problem of failing to reward defense and holding territory adequately has haunted Planetside since PS1’s beta. SOE would really do well to recognize that it takes two sides to have a battle, and you have to make sure that a) the defender gets rewarded for showing up (and has time and information to do so), and b) the losing end of the fight is at least having enough fun to stick around until it’s decisive.

    • chris1479 says:

      Praise Jebus. I’m so happy someone else has brought this up and it’s not just me. I wanted and still want to like this game SO MUCH. I must’ve reinstalled it three times now after various patches/updates thinking it might click this time…

      But no. I log in. I wander around. I click join a squad/instant action. I admire the scale of the battles for a few minutes. I die repeatedly from snipers. I wander aimlessly a bit more.

      I even tried to join a proper crew on TS etc and it was fun for a few weekends but it’s kind of a hassle to log in and have to talk to a bunch of strangers to get anything done. Not to mention 90% of the stuff they talk about isn’t particularly relevant to what you’d be doing at that particular time.

      On the other hand if you just log on, join a squad and try to have fun… it’s just… meh. Spawn… run around… get sniped… spawn in a sunderer… run around… get sniped… spawn in a vehicle… fly around… get popped from someone miles away.

      It’s only fun if you find taking potshots at faceless generic enemies, on a generic map, with generic ‘bases’, to make vapid “progress” that will simply be steamrollered back over and forgotten about within 12 hours “fun”. Every aspect of PS2 except for the scale – which is fantastic for a couple of hours – is totally and relentlessly generic. Pew pew pew. Respawn. Pew pew pew. Respawn. Pew pew pew. Respawn. Pew pew pew. Ah fuck it.

      Other than that it’s just lots of loud noises and respawns and “attack this!” “but why, sir?” “BECAUSE REASONS”. Basically, deep down it does not *feel* like there’s any reason for what’s going on in PS2, there’s no socialising, no social aspect to the game itself other than Teamspeak etc (which isn’t in-game obviously), there’s no trading, there’s no economy, there’s no exploring, there’s no looting exciting new equipment, your deaths are totally meaningless because you’ll respawn in 10 seconds and there aren’t any consequences whatsoever anyway, all so you can jump back into what feels like the battle you’ve already had 50 times before. And the same lacklustre, twitchy, identikit fights are going to be repeated ad nauseam until they just switch the servers off.

      I totally get what some fabs are saying. I love mindless fun as much as the next guy. But if I wanted mindless fun I would play Battlefield or CoD, not Planetside. Planetside is supposed to be about grand sweeping plans and long-term strategy, depth, character depth and skill. But it has absolutely no more skill than CoD has but with a huge amount of futile jogging inbetween forgettable and indifferent skirmishes. The game is just not fun enough and has plenty of flashy (albeit generic) visuals and explosions that sit atop a game that just doesn’t have enough depth to justify the lacklustre and aimless gameplay.

      Something about the aiming in PS2 also just doesn’t quite sit right with me, it feels “wrong” in a way that BF3/4 or even CoD don’t. I could compare it to perhaps being some kind of mobile gun platform floating around on a hoverboard. I think the distances over which the fighting and battles take place are actually just too large much of the time and it boils down to “hide behind a single pixel better than your foe whilst trying to snipe someone who is a glint on the horizon”.

      It’s kind of like a schoolground fight almost: Not much real damage is going on, the opponents are sort of hanging back as far as possible whilst flailing their limbs wildly, and at the end of it all no one has been hurt and it’s all been forgotten about by lunchtime.

      In short the game is just forgettable. And I say that as someone who really reaaaaally wanted to like this game. The game is just not fun enough and has plenty of flashy (albeit generic) visuals and explosions that sit atop a game that just doesn’t have enough depth to justify the lacklustre and aimless gameplay.

      • mouton says:

        Regarding motivation to fight:

        They could very cheaply give people a bigger stake by fleshing the setting a bit more. They could pay a good writer – comparatively a very small cost – to write and flesh out the goals and personalities of the factions involved. Perhaps even give them plausible reasons to fight, instead of “GRRR WE R REBELZ” “HURG WE R EMPIRE” and “SPARKLES”.

        Hell, it lacked even something as simple as decent good voice acting here and there – “Push the Sandrakers off our world!”(T:A) or “Find the intruders!”(NS2)

      • JakobBloch says:

        Lets be fair here. There is not a persistent multiplayer game made to this time that has any kind of long term goal or consequence in it. LoL, CoD, BF, SC or any of a hundred other games are just about playing a match and then reset. When it comes to mindlessly replaying the same thing over and over these games has Planetside 2 beat by a long mile.

        Lets go over some of your points and why I think you are wrong:

        Snipers: Snipers are one of the very few dangers in the game and on a list of dangers it is pretty far down the priority list. That being said as the game is so big and the maps so open hunting down a sniper can be quite entertaining. Knowing the terrain is also a part of it and of course standard FPS logic. So stuff like: Don’t outline (stand in a place so you are outlined against the sky), don’t stand in the open, keep moving when in the open use cover and so forth.
        That being said I am sure snipers can be frustrating to new players especially.

        Hassle with getting a group to do stuff: What did you expect from a game that sports battles with hundreds of people on either side? You want there to a nice NPC leaders spoonfeeding you action and enjoyment? In battles like that your lone contribution will count for very little. Some of the biggest scoring players in PS2 have little to no effect on the battles that are going on as they are not actually where the important fight is. A group of well organised people with good communication and response times can make a huge difference. These groups don’t grow out off nothing they have to be built… out of strangers. This is not anything ANY game will do for you.

        Futile and forgettable skirmishes. Again that is the same as any other FPS… and then there is those moments. That one time where you and your group smashed your way to the capturepoint, locked it down and saved the base, that time where you dropped on a base, held your ground and captured it despite overwhelming opposition. Or that other time you ambushed a column of tanks as it was trying to outflank your own tanks. Or conversely that other time where you outflanked the enemy battle lines and systematically destroyed them from one end to the other allowing your own frontline to move up. Or that time… Or that time… or that time.
        Conversely there are also the bitter times. Not as pleasant but equally memorable. That time where you hold so hard and in that last second the enemy saved the base. That time you had been holding out for a long time only to the see 3 transport aircrafts coming your way and no way to shoot them down.

        Long range fighting: Hmm odd. It is generally accepted that most infantry fighting happen at ranges up to 50 meters. Granted I have had some good long range fights but for the most part vehicles dominate areas where those fights happen.

        No ingame talking: There is an in game VOIP but it is not very good. The quality is bad and it glitches at times, so a full sentence is squished into half a second. That is why many outfits use TS, Ventrilo or others for their communication.
        That being said I know of outfits that exclusively use the games own voice communication, because it means no one needs extra software and so that anyone can hear them, even players that play with them but are not actually in the outfit.
        Beyond this the game has a chat system a lot like any other MMO and in it you will find a lot of smack talk in large battles.

        No looting, no exploring, no economy: This is a tactical FPS. Not an RPG. This is not a grand adventure into the bowels of the earth to fight the great evil. It is a never-ending war in a star system where ancient technology has made everyone immortal (I shudder for their mental health though).

        Long slogging from fight to fight: When you start your approach to the next base the fight has already started. This is the initial stage. You are pocking your angle of attack, air and ground vehicles have started their bombardment of the defences and are hopefully pushing the defenders of the walls. You then roll in with sunderers and get them into advantageous positions. You setup fallback positions first and then move in with forward spawns and then and only then does the fight that most other FPS games portray start.

        No depth: As with any game PS2 has a lot more depth than initially meets the eye. There are subtleties that you won’t notice before you have been playing for weeks. There are probably subtleties that you will never notice at all. In many cases these subtleties have nothing to do with the game itself but is in the community and will change from server to server.
        To give an example there are air combat. One player might just fly in and get shut down in short order, or just get out with his tail in flames. He might decide that flying sucks. He might be me. Another player however has noticed a flow to the air game. It starts high with long range bombardment. This will not net him a lot of kills but it will enable him to pressure the ground forces and forcing them to seek cover. This in turn lets his ground forces move forward and set up their own bombardment and further push back the defenders. At this point the air player will start the second phase bombardment where he goes in low and fast and does high speed bombing runs to take out enemy vehicles, focusing on anti-air. But this is just one way of doing it.
        The key thing here is however is all this subtlety and depth is not based on the individual but on the team. You are continually trying to raise the odds for your own side winning.

        Mindless fun: PS2 is anything but mindless. Sure you can have some mindless fun in it but do not be fooled. Someone is using your mindless fun to win his fights even if the only thing he does is to place a sunderer in the best place or if he tricks you into attacking a place where you do no good.

        Ultimately it smells like PS2 is not a game for you. It was a game for me however (which is odd as I usually don’t enjoy multiplayer FPS). As a result I would like to warn people from taking you advice and instead take mine.
        Its free. Go try it out. get in an outfit. Get into some organised play. Have a bash. If you don’t like it all you wasted was some time. I am sure you have wasted more time on stuff you actually paid for.

        (the last 2 paragraphs were ment in good humoured “poke-poke” fun and will hopefully be taken as such…. except the part encouraging people to try PS2 because I really think people should)

      • fish99 says:

        Honestly it sounds like you never spent long enough with the game to know what was going on and therefore appreciate it. I dunno maybe I’m wrong, how many hours did you play, and how many of those were in a squad?

        For the record I put 250 hrs into the game, all of them playing lone wolf (i.e. not in a squad) and I don’t really recognize most of your criticisms from my experience. I could always find a good interesting fight somewhere in the game, and it was usually found away from the zerg. I see PS2 as a gigantic sandbox FPS, and like all sandboxes you need to explore what it has to offer, learn how to find tasks you enjoy, and in some ways make your own goals.

        • chris1479 says:

          A sort of interesting and weirdly wise answer! Wish I could get along with the PS2 oompah-band anyway though. Sounds a lot of fun when people talk about it.

    • Smoky_the_Bear says:

      Yep this is my main problem with PS2 as well. I love the visual style of it and the idea is great but felt like I spent 90%+ of my time just running around with a group doing little to no fighting. That’s not why I play an FPS.

  5. Mercykiller101 says:

    If only Trion would/could do this with Rift

  6. revan says:

    Has anyone visited GOG.com lately?

    • Longtime Listener says:

      Oh gods, that is a dangerously addictive way of doing a sale.

      • revan says:

        I know, right? Inhuman.

      • Ross Angus says:

        The effect is slightly lessened, if you hit refresh. But urp. Effective.

      • LionsPhil says:

        Really? I found it so blatantly manipulative that I just closed the tab again.

        • Longtime Listener says:

          Exactly. Dangerously addictive.

        • cfcannon says:

          I tried to buy one game that still had 200+ left but of course it was over before I could get the purchase done. Oh well. I’m done with their sale. Back to steam where you save nearly as much without having to put up with this nonsense.

          Only reason to go back to gog is for old games that no longer run on modern pcs or some lesser known games not available on steam or desura.

          • Hmm-Hmm. says:

            Personally, I quite like GOG for the lack of DRM. I also find it more comfortable to use than Steam (and any other game service).

  7. maximiZe says:

    Can anyone tell me how it fares on a machine with specs similar to mine (560 Ti, Q6600, 4GB RAM)? It’s quite a hefty download.

    • LionsPhil says:

      I have roughly that processor and RAM and it was playable *before* this, albeit not smoothly. I have yet to be convinced to reinstall it. (Dunno about your graphics card.)

    • KhanIHelpYou says:

      A fellow q6600 brother! May our outdated technology chug on for a little longer.

      I haven’t played in months but when I stopped is was getting 40-50 frames in the warpgate and 15-20 frames in large firefights and 15-35 in medium one. Occasionally I would get lucky and have 25-45 fps in a very small fight. All CPU locked.

      For comparison I get 45-55 fps constant in BF3 on high settings.

      Hopefully the optimisations will have improved that now, I stopped playing because I was finding the framerates un-fun. I did however clock up a good 144 hours before that though.

    • maximiZe says:

      Thanks guys, I’ll give it a shot then!

  8. stoopiduk says:

    Lots of positive feedback from the RPS Outfit last night, except for a few login issues.

    The game looks much sharper, frames are up, and a load of players are coming back to check things out.

    Come join us in the forums, on Mumble, grab a med gun and fight. For Vanu!

  9. nimbulan says:

    I think they missed their window for people caring, BF4 is out now. In any case, performance optimizations mean nothing if I can’t run the game for more than a minute without it crashing.

  10. Grey_Ghost says:

    Tried it a month or so ago, just couldn’t get into it like I did with PS1. Was amazed at the amount of bugs I ran into, and searching the forums showed many of them had existed for months. Graphics was the least of it’s problems as far as I am concerned, and I can’t really see myself giving it another chance.

  11. zeekthegeek says:

    Now if they could only make it feel like guns had any impact whatsoever. They are maybe the most gutless weapons I’ve ever played with in a game, no sense of damage unless you’re actually reading the hitpoints.

  12. Mr. International says:

    Honestly this update did nothing for me, game runs just as bad as ever. I mean I can now max my settings and run around empty places with beautiful FPS but as soon as I even look in the direction of a big battle, especially the bio towers or whatever, it becomes terrible as always

  13. Horg says:

    If it’s kinder to AMD processors than it used to be i’ll log back in at some point. This week, competing for time with the XCOM expansion, I don’t think PS2 can win that fight.

  14. Surgeon says:

    As far as raw frames go, PU01 has made a world of difference.
    Overall, it just runs a lot faster.
    However my frames do spike a shed load from 220ish down to say 89/90 just running around.
    What has made this all worth it though it the combination of the optimisation and the introduction of the Smoothing feature.
    With Smoothing and V-Sync on it feels great, I get stable frame rates and even during a massive battle on Indar last night, it ran perfectly.
    The low frame rates from my data seem to be when I die and it switches to the death cam, so it doesn’t quite paint the perfect picture from a data point of view.

    Overall, I think they’ve done a great job.
    Maybe they should have done some of this work before it was released, but it’s not like I haven’t had an entire years worth of the best multiplayer fun and spectacle anyway.

    Here’s my data

  15. Chubzdoomer says:

    Game runs RIDICULOUSLY well now! In areas where it used to drop into the 30s and 40s, I’m now getting 60-70 FPS with my GTX 780/Intel i7 860. I definitely think the CPU-based optimizations made the biggest difference. If only the game had released with these optimizations … I can only imagine how many players it would have. I think they’re going to have a tough time convincing people to come back. I hope I’m wrong.

  16. Wedge says:

    This is horrible news. As someone who has always been able to run the game flawlessly, I’ll not longer be able to take advantage of all the poor saps suffering from framerate issues! >=o

  17. RC-1290'Dreadnought' says:

    Well, it looks like my PC is still too slow. I guess it’s truly becoming too old (The processor is an E8200.) Can’t wait until I can afford to upgrade.

    It’s really smooth and pretty at the warpgate though ^_^