Goin’ Up! PlanetSide 2 Adds Base-Building

Construction arrived in PlanetSide 2 [official site] this week, letting players build their own little bases. If you’ve been hoping to build a quiet little get-away spot, put up a shed, set out a few lawn chairs, fire up the barbie… yeah, that won’t happen. Especially given the sort of people pootling around, tooled up and looking for trouble. No, this is warconstruction, letting players build little warbases as waroutposts and even to help contribute victory points to the free-to-play MMOFPS’s wareffort.

It all starts with an Advanced Nanite Transport, a four-man vehicle which can harvest minerals from nodes. Deploying the ANT opens up construction menus, which lets folks build walls, bunkers, mannable anti-infantry turrets, silos, and building-fixing repair modules. Fancier structures which are initially locked to players include anti-bombardment shields, garages, one-way shield walls, more types of turret, and modules granting turrets AI to fire by themselves.

Then there’s the HIVE, which can generate Victory Points. The closer they’re deployed to enemy Warp Gates, the more VPs they generate. Each faction has a limited number of the cores needed to power HIVEs but can smash enemy HIVEs to steal the cores, so I imagine jostling for good HIVE deployment spots and trying to take them down might spark all sorts of scraps.

PlanetSide 2 is free-to-play, available through its own client or Steam.

But hey, why read my recap construction when you could watch player ‘Wrel’ showing it off? He certainly knows far more than ol’ muggins here.

Ta to reader ‘gritz’ for the tip.

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  1. Palladian says:

    The video mentions you can bypass the resource requirements of buildings with the credits you can buy out of game. I admit I haven’t played PlanetSide since beta, but it sounds like it has the potential to introduce pay-to-win by the backdoor.

    • Anti-Skub says:

      Fucking stupid design decision, but not for the reason you’d think. Honestly it doesn’t matter a huge amount that you can pay for resources because it doesn’t really matter if you win or lose. The player constructed bases just become a new objective for everyone to fight over, so someone else paying to build one almost ends up being beneficial to everyone, even if they aren’t on the same team.

      The other thing is that given the average lifespan of a base is usually measured in minutes, it is EXCEPTIONALLY expensive to repeatedly build them with real money…it’s also really not very time consuming to just get the minerals yourself and it really offers very little in the way of personal gain…basically no one’s going to bother paying for it.

      Which leaves the biggest flaw in the whole system. It’s not that it IS pay to win…it’s that it LOOKS pay to win. It looks so much worse than it is to people who don’t play or are new to the game. And when Planetside has perpetually struggled to convince new players to stick around, and the primary reason that new players give for abandoning the game is that it “feels pay to win” even when, for the most part, it’s not…it’s just about the stupidest thing the developers could have done.

      • Aerothorn says:

        See also: implants, which not only look P2W but are so inscrutable that I, a PS2 veteran since beta, totally ignore them.

    • brucethemoose says:

      As a very frequent player, it doesn’t feel like a problem in-game.

      A: The resources to build are plentiful, as players love to “mine”.

      B: Building a structure isn’t an automatic “win” either. In fact, building a VP gen is kinda a liability, as it draws fire from all over the continent requires ALOT of effort to defend… Plus, there’s a tight cap on the number of structures you can have standing at once, hence any sizable base will require many players.

      C: You still need (non purchasable) cortium to power the things you build.

      I haven’t heard of anyone purchasing structures so far.

  2. haldolium says:

    And as usual with PS2 updates, give it 4+ weeks until the worst bugs are patched and another 3 months until its somewhat balanced…

    • Premium User Badge

      gritz says:

      This update has been shockingly bug-free, except for small things here and there like everyone being switched the same default voicepack.

      • brucethemoose says:

        This ^. It’s really rather astounding, the community is shocked.

        • haldolium says:

          True. I was just overworked and didn’t notice how shockingly little bugs there were when I played on release day

          • TehTR says:

            Especially since they pushed it to live with very little testing.
            Did they even get a successful stress test running? I heard the first two were cancelled.

  3. Premium User Badge

    Cooper says:

    If you’re looking to try it out, do hop on the RPS Mumble. Since the construction update we’ve had one or two squads online each night.

    Come join and try and figure out how it all works with us!

  4. El_MUERkO says:

    I stopped playing when they shortened the player/max/ground/air draw distances shortly after launch. Did they every undo that?

    • brucethemoose says:

      Draw distance seems fine now, with the sole exception of constructed turrets in huge bases.

  5. April March says:

    I always bounced off PS2 because the levels just seemed… bland. (also you have to coordinate with people, and ew, people.) I did have some modicum of fun when I found myself defending a marginally interesting base, so maybe I’ll give it another try now.

    • SomeDuder says:

      You should try and hook up with the RPS PS2 community. I prefer single-player/solo stuff as well and when I was still playing PS2 I preferred staying in the background, but PS2 really shines when a combined arms assault on an enemy base kicks off, and the RPS PS2 community is pretty inoffensive in terms of the characters that are usually online. You can commit as much as you want and still have a grand ol’ time shooting the disgusting amount of guns and cannons in this game.

      I got sick of PS2 after a few months though, since it’s all so pointless – there’s no goal, there’s no reward for conquering all the nodes (When you do, the map just resets after a bit), it’s just war for war’s sake. Plus, the 3 factions all share the same equipment (yea, few exceptions, but c’mon) so it’s bland as fuck.

  6. L33CH says:

    This almost makes me want to load PS2 back onto the rig, however i’m afraid i’ll commit the bandwidth and effort to end up on an empty oceania server just to uninstall shortly after, can anyone confirm people still play?

    • brucethemoose says:

      You mean the Briggs server?

      Eh, it was notoriously underpopulated before the update, but that might not be the case anymore. It’s worth trying IMHO.