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Teala's Wickedly Cool MMORPG.com Blog For The Masses

Just my thoughts on MMO's, roleplaying, game companies, and the people that play these games.

Author: Teala

Planetside 2 - A quarter the game Planetside 1 was.

Posted by Teala Thursday January 24 2013 at 8:33PM
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Sad, I tell you.   I recently dove head first into SOE's newly released game Planetside 2 and all I have to say is...I feel like I am in beta test of the game.    There are so many bugs.   So many faction weapons and vehicle imbalances.    Continents seemed like they were just slapped together willy-nilly.   There is no strategy to this game - it is all about numbers - who can zerg the most.

And those are just for starters.    Let's not go into the fact that the game is all ready bleeding players at an astounding rate.   Since I have started playing back in the beginning of Dec of 2012, there were nice pops on the servers and you could always find a decent fight, especially during the 2x EXP Holiday Special.    Since then...the pops on the servers have nose dived.   

I will be delving into all that is right and all that is wrong with this new version of Planetside, and though some people will no doubt be disappointed in what I will say - tough.   I speak the truth and with over 150+ hrs of game play now, playing all the different factions(NC,TR, VS), I can assure you I have the necessary experience playing the game to have an adequate opinion of it.   If you expect me to sugar coat my views - look elsewhere.    This blog is not for you.    I will be dishing the good, the bad, the ugly, and the downright nasty side of Planetside 2 in all its entirety.   I would highly recommend reading up on Planetside(the original game) before reading this - because I do not do a lot of backpeddeling to bring you up to speed.  If you are not familiar with the old game, you'll be clueless on what it is I am talking about in some cases.   With that said, let's begin.

Graphics

One of the better aspects of this game is the graphics.  The graphics are on par for the most part for an MMO being produced in 2013.   SOE did do a decent job, not great, but a decent job in this area.    I like the way the different continents look - the ones that are currently in the game that is.  Indar is desert like.   Esamir is a frozen wasteland.   Looks kinda like Hoth.    Amerish is sorta woodsy, mountainous place.    OK, maybe more mountains than woods.    Draw distances are about what you would expect in a game like this, so the continents actually do seem rather large, though you cannot travel all the way to their edge, the game doesn't permit it.   You are limited in using the whole of the continent.    Which is a bit of a bummer.    There are few places I would like to see, but can't because of this.  :(

I like the distinct look of the three factions.   VS look all futuristic, not only in their battle gear, but the vehicles and weapons they use.   Terrain Republic looks like a militaristic faction with their weaponry, and vehicles, very totalitarian in nature.   The New Conglomerate is militaristic, but not at the level as the TR.  Still each faction is easily discernable from one another from looks alone - accept for the shared vehicles that are in the game that each faction has access to - like the Liberator Bomber or the Flash ATV.   

Not many choices in the character creation, not like you had in Planetside one.    You are very limited in this regard to like 3 selections.   Same with vocal choices.  There are I think three as well.   Though, unlike PS1 you cannot pick which voice you'll go with, it is attached to a particular face.   So you really have three options across the board for males and females.   Where in Planetside 1 you had if I recall half a dozen voices, and various faces to choose from.    So yeah...character creation is a pretty much non-existent in this game.   You can customize the look of your character in game though to some degree using clothing options and camo - so it isn't all that bad.   There are a like a dozen camo options, various helmets, and you can add like composite armor to your character(composite armor does nothing - just changes your characters appearance - be aware of this).  So though character creation is lacking, there are many ways to customize your character after the fact.  Same goes for most weapons(they can be camo'd) and vehicles(these too can be camo'd and you can even put stickers on them).

There is a night and day cycle in the game and though I wish it were a bit darker at night, I think the level of darkness is suffecient.    This is cool because at night you really have to step up your game in order to see your enemies.   Any type of infrared or night vision is a must have in night time situations - so cert into a night vision scope as soon as possible(think it cost like 30 certs).   With the night comes the fire works as well.   This makes night time battles really stand out compared to the day time ones.   All the tracers and explosions can give off some great looking fireworks.    I sometimes just kneel in a secluded place on a hillside and watch the battles rage at night because it truly is like a huge fireworks display.    What I think is scary is that something so beautiful has an underlying uglyness to it - in that you know a  battle is going on and people are dying from this beautiful display of lights.   It makes me wonder if real soldiers ever feel the same way in actual combat.    Maybe someone that has experienced it can tell me if they feel the same thing.   Anyway...yeah, the graphics in this game are not a 9 or a 10, but I would definitely give them an 8 - if you have a machine that can run them at max settings - especially the world graphics, the art department at SOE did a great job here.  

Sound

Wow...if ever there was a game that should get a 10 for sound Planetside 2 is it.   The sounds in this game are by far some of the best I have ever came across in a game.   Seriously, it is not often you hear about the outstanding sounds used in a game, but this is one time I have to say, SOE easily gets a 10.    Yes, I actually gave out a 10 for a game - you can all faint now.   

No really, I have played my share of FPS games and sound is very important to an FPS gamer - especially when you know you are being hunted by a member of the opposing force.   If you can't hear them walking or sneaking around - you can't tell where they are at.    That is not a problem in PS2.  PS2 has this down like no other game I have played.   By listening to the sounds of footsteps you can tell if a person is far away, near, to the left, or right or behind you.   In fact I shot a guy in the face that was creeping up behind me to stab me in the back the other day while playing.   He asked in a /tell if I was using a hack.  I replied no, I heard your footsteps.    I know many people like to listen to music while gaming(as do I), but when I play an FPS music is the last thing I want to hear - for this reason alone.   I want to hear everything around me - including the stealthed infiltrator that is sneaking up behind me to stab me in the back. 

I cannot say enough about the sound in this game.  Weapons have unique sounds as well.  I can tell an EM6 LMG apart from a GD-7F simply from the sound they make when fired - and nothing sounds as sweet as the EM6 LMG in game as far as I am concerned.   When it fires it means there is some serious hurt being brought to bare against an enemy.    This is important for game play as well.    With the unique sounds weapons make, you can tell if the person you are facing is using an LMG or carbine or even a shotgun.    Most FPS are like this, but I think Planetside did it best because there is some serious sound use in this game that really makes it stand out like never before in a game and I love it.   

Same goes for vehicle weapons.    You can actually hear the difference between a HE round and a normal round being fired from a Vanguard tank.   One has a slower "Kaaawhooom!" then the other.    Seriously, try it out in game and you'll see there is a slight difference.   Sound is paramount in an FPS next to sight - and SOE got the sound right in this game.

The music in game is - I turn it off.   As I said, I have no use for music in my FPS.    So I cannot really say much about the in game music other than I know it is there - I just do not listen to it.   Some say it is decent, I wouldn't really know because I only heard a short bit of it before I went into sound options and turned it off.  

The only game I ever gave a 10 to for sound I think was MOunt and Blade.   Planetside 2 is the second game I am giving a score of 10 to because the people that did the sound in this game did an outstanding job and deserve the best score I can give them.   PS2 gets a resounding 10 for sound.   

TIP:    Get a good set of headphones.   This will enable you to hear the games sounds like never before.   It is one thing to have good speakers, but a good set of headphones are a must for PS2 as far as I am concerned because then you can really hear the game in all it's wondrous glory.

Game Play

OK - this is where me and SOE have a serious issue and why I think PS2 is only a quarter the game that PS1 was.    PS1 was a pretty sensless game  - with bases and continents changing ownership quite often, sometimes on a daily bases.    In PS2 bases can change hands in minutes.    This is one thing that really annoys the beejeezes out of me in that there is absolutely no reason to defend a base at all in this game and often times it takes mere seconds for 1 guy - 1 guy - to capture a whole base.    Then again - doesn't really matter, since most bases serve little to no purpose in the game.   Even if you have a BIO-LAB that is suppose to give the side that owns it a boost in health - it is so little a boost you do not even notice it considering how fast you can die in this game.   So PS2 is about as pointless a game as one can play - next to any FPS game like COD or BF2.    It is just on a larger scale.    Instead of playing a single map like you would in COD or BF2, in Planetside it is just a continuous run from one battle map - to another - no need to load a new map or wait for the next match - just run to the next hot contested base - that is typically within shooting distance of the previous one you just fought for.  

It is nearly impossible to take and hold territory for any length of time in this game simply because there is many things wrong with the core part of the game.   Nobody wants to stay behind and defend a base.   There is not enough incentive to do so.    All the EXP is mostly from capturing bases - not defending them.

NOTE: If you do defend a base you get a 17% increase in EXP for like killing an enemy player or repairing damage to the base.   A 17% percent increase is not worth the effort when you can easily get 1300 EXP for capping a base.    EXP in this game is vital because that is how you earn certs.   The more EXP you earn the more certs you earn.  Certs are spent upgrades for your character.    Want a better scope for that rifle.   Earn EXP, to earn certs - so you can get that upgrade.   Defending bases will not earn you the needed EXP in a timely manner to be able to afford that upgrade for your scope.   So - everyone is more into capturing bases rather than defending.

This sucks.   Why does it suck?  Because then there is no incentive to actually hold and control territroy.   I have literally ran with squads that would take a base, and move to the next, and while we are taking the base, the one we just capped is being re-capped by the enemy and when you mention this to the squad leader or the person in charge - they quickly remind you - "you get no EXP for defending a base".  

I am sorry - SOE blew it big time in this area.   I give them a big fat 0 here.   Even in PS1 we had a lattice system and it actually required some strategy to play the game in order to take a continent.  In PS2 there is absolutely no strategy at all.   If you can field enough people to create wide swathing zerg that can stretch from one side of the continent to the other - you can just zerg the map and take it.   I know - I have helped do it six times using those very tactics.   Just zerg.    That is all this game is about is one huge zerg.  If you can put more people in the field than your enemy and do it in a timely manner - you can take a continent and do it fairly easily.    Instead of it taking days or even weeks to take a continent like it did in PS1 - it now can be done in an afternoon - in just a few hours if you have the right people playing and enough of them.  

Another bad thing is - there is also no lock out timer.   Take the continent - who cares?!  In another couple of hours you'll most likely lose it because well - there is no lock out timer.    That means that the opposing force can come right back and re-take all the land you just captured and it starts all over again.

This is bad.   Why is this bad?  Because then it becomes a battle of "INDAR".   It is one long battle for one continent all the time.   And that is what this game has become - it should be re-named Planetside 2: the Battle for Indar.   Because that is what is has become.    The other continents are rarely actually fought over.   The only time people actually go to the other continents and try to take them is when their forces have been pushed off the Indar map.    They all go to another map and quickly cap it.  No worries though.  In couple of hours all that ground you captured(mostly devoid of other opposing forces players) will be taken back by one of the other two factions.  

Really, of all the games I have played this game takes the cake in that it has no rewards for capturing and holding territory - which is suppose to be the core premise of the game!   It is about large scale territorial control.    We had it in PS1 and it worked for the most part so the game did take some strategy to play it and there were rewards for doing so.  Plus we fought over all territory - not just one place - all the time!   In PS1 we fought on all continents/planets - not just one.   We had battles on Cyssor, Searhaus, Oshur, Amerish, and half a dozen others .  Not so in PS2.   In PS2 it is all INDAR.

When you add to the fact that the number of people playing on regular basis has dropped off significantly in the last month, it makes it even harder to take a continent - especially on servers where there so few people playing.    So everyone pretty much ends up playing on Indar, and most will be found fighting for one base in the center of the map named "the Crown".    So yeah, that is PS2 in a nutshell as for game play.    Fight for Indar, and capturing the Crown.    Reminds me of BF2 when they introduced the Karkand map - all infantry version - that is all you could find to play on servers at one time.    PS2 has become BF2 and Indar and the Crown are our Karkand.    It has gotten that bad. 

It is sad, too, because the other continents have different environments and require a different play style to capture them.    Esamir is a cold Hoth like continent, not many hills or mountains and pretty flat.    So it is very hard for aircraft to avoid AA and armor is more exposed to fire from all directions.   Amerish, the mountainous continent is great place for infantry battles because the only real way to get around that place efficiently is using a Galaxy transport plane to move troops or to use Sunderer's in mass.   There are too many mountains and valleys on the continent for armor to get around and having played there a few times I gave up using armor and just went full time infantry.    Planes have a better time of it on Amerish due to the mountains, but  then again, as I soon learned they could spell your doom as well, especially in dogfights.  It was very easy to get turned around and not realize you had lost a lot of altitude during a heated dogfight and you make one wrong turn and WHAM! - you slam into the side of cliff or a mountain.    So it sucks for aircraft as well.

Now we add in the fact that PS2 lacks a lattice system, or the need for ANTs and no LLU runs and you quickly learn that PS2 is missing 75% of the things that made PS1 the game it was.  PS1 was still bad in that it had it's problems like people back-hacking or the diminishing player base that eventually hit the game in late 2005.   But P.S. is new and it has all ready seen a large drop in players and the game itself is so borked because it doesn't even folow the core premise of its own game design - it makes PS2 joke of a game in regard that it is nothing more than a jacked up version of BF2 or COD.    PS2 should be more. 

I do not even want to get into the fact that this game is suppose to be about teamwork and not Rambos, but I have to also say that unlike old PS1, PS2 does not promote teamwork and or squad play.   There is absolutely no reason to join an outfit or play in a squad.   Why?  Because unlike PS1 that rewarded good teamwork and squad play - PS2 does not - at all.    In PS1 we had shared EXP.   If you were in a squad, you shared EXP.   If you were in an outfit and in a squad for your outfit and played on same continent and same grid as the squad - you were rewarded with better shared EXP.   PS2 does nothing in this regard.   Playing in squad is only good for communication purposes and that isn't really necessary when all you have to do to capture a base is run up to a little tower like thingy and wait until it switches to your side.   Everyone is going for the tower and everyone is going to kill anyone on the opposing force that gets in their way - so yeah - no strategy there.   Just zerg.

Now take all that and put bases in the game that are nearly impossible to defend.    With the exception of "the Crown", most bases in PS2 are a joke when it comes to be defendable.   I mean seriously, gun implacements that face a shear cliff or have a big tree right in their line of fire?   Then unlike the old bases that had domes protecting them, these bases have none - zero - squat.    Then place said bases in the bottom of a valley or a canyon and this allows all kind of horror to be rained down upon the defenders from the attackers and you are just shooting ducks in a box.   It is so stupid silly the way the bases were designed and layed out in this game.  Everything is open.   Doors, windows, vehicle exits - all over the place and huge!    It's like telling the enemy - shoot here!   Because there is no place to hide.    Considering how many people use planes and armor in this game(which I haven't even discussed that aspect yet) the defenders of bases are totally at the mercy of the attackers.  At least in PS1 we could defend a base to some degree - not so the case in PS2.  I am not the only one that has complained about this issue because that is one of the biggest complaints from players in this game is the base designs and the inability to defend them.  

Then add to that the the bases defenses are sub par and is it any reason bases are so eaily over ran?   Not in this game.  Taking a base in PS2 is easier than taking candy from a baby and the turrets are a joke on top of that.  In PS1 anti-air turrets could be manned and un-manned - they had auto fire mode even when a player was not using them.   That means if an enemy aircraft flew within range of an AA turret the turret would start shooting at it.    Not in PS2.   It's as if all the technology the PS1 warriors had at their disposal was simply forgotten over the years and they became stupid or something.   Is this part of the games lore I wonder that warpgates no longer work - that our home bases are gone - that bases are open and can be captured on a whim?  Must be - because PS2 bases suck compared to the old ones.  

Now if we take all that, and toss in the new armor and planes and holy vehicles fragfest from hell - armor and planes rule Planetside 2.    I know this game is suppose to be a combined arms game - in that there is suppose to be a mix of infantry and vehicle combat - but play the game and you tell me if that is how it is.   It is nothing like the old Planetside in thsi regard and anyone and their mother can now get a tank or a plane and then add to the fact that the driver is now the gunner for all MBT(main battle tanks) and you have an instant recipe for the game to be named Vehicleside.   I mean, come on, when you see so many tanks that the road vanishes because there are so many of them - there is a serious problem here and I have seen this in game.   Columns of tanks and lightnings that are so vast - you wonder if anyone is actually playing infantry at times.   I once stood on a canyon wall and counted no less than 60 tanks on the opposing side one time - 60 tanks!   Stupid silly.

In PS1 it took three people to main a tank.  A driver and two gunners.  The driver drove the tank and the gunners manned the guns.  It took team work and effort to become effective.  In PS2 it is like playing an arcade game from the 80's Battlezone.   OK maybe not quite so archaic, but you get the picture.   This is another area SOE needs to address and that is the overwhelming use of tnaks and planes in this game.   These were used in PS1, but not to the degree that they are used in PS2 and it doesn't make the game better - it makes it worse.  

As for the classes you can play in game: Infiltrator, Light Assault, Heavy Assault, Engineer, MAX - these haven't really changed since PS1 except now Infiltrator and Sniper Class are all in one.    Unlike the old PS were you needed to cert into specific rolls, PS2 allows you to cert into all the various classes.   This I really like.   This allows you to play any roll in game when needed.   The problem comes though when you realize that so many class specific  skills cannot be played at the same time.   For instance an engineer is very limited in the amount of tank mines it can carry and you cannot carry anti-personal  mines at the same time as you can the anti-tank mines.    This means you must adapt to the situation in which one or the other is needed and sometimes you are far away from an AMS or an equipment terminal.    In old PS1, if you kept advancing your class it just got better and you could do more.  In PS2 it is more of, here is all you can do, but you must pick and choose what it is you want to do at this moment.   No biggy,  I can live with it.   I just hope that in the future they allow us a more verticle progression rather than a horizontal so that there are certain goals and specializations we can cert into.   As it is right now, everyone can do everything and nobody is really specialized in nothing.

A game of this this and type and for what it attempts to be, teamwork should be the of the utmost importance to achieving goals.  This is were PS2 really fails in my opinion simply becuase for a game that is suppose to be about teamwork and cooperation, there is very little - unless of course you run with an outfit that does makes use of squad play.   I am lucky in that I do run with a group of players that do like this type of game play.    PS2 should promote this type of game play.   But it doesn't.    As I have said, PS2 seems to be more geared toward the individual player instead of the team player.   In PS1 we had was was called shared EXP.   This helped bring players together as squads and to work together to accomplish goals or missions.  In time these squads became good at working together and a good squad of 20+ players was worth 100 non-squaded individuals.    If PS2 had this in game, you'd see more people squading up and these squads would start to become specialized in what they did.   They would find their niche' as we did in PS1 and this in turn makes for a better game experience for lla those involved.  

I mean in PS2 we had outfits that specialized in what is known as MAX Crash Units, we had sniper teams, hacking teams, and teams that worked at getting ANT's to stations that were undersiege.    It took real teamwork and effort from the players to make things work.   Sadly, PS2 really doesn't require a whole lot of this type of game play.  

I will say that running with a squad that knows what it is doing does make things go a bit smoother if you do encounter some resistance from the opposing side, that is the only time communication within a squad is actually really necessary and it helps to have a good squad leader for just such times.    I have had the luck of playing with just such people in PS2 and it helps make the game a lot more enjoyable.    So I do recommend finding a good outfit and squading up with good players - if it weren't for them - I doubt I would remain playing the game.  So this is the shout out to the members of SKIN and the 4475th Ranger Elite of Genudine server - you help make Planetside 2 enjoyable and I thank you all for the great times we've had in game - so far.  I hope we have many more.

So for game play - I give Planetside 2 a big fat score of : 0

No points for this part of the game because it is so broken and borked and so far off the core premise of the game that is doesn't deserve a higher score than that.   SOE needs to really fix this part of the game ASAP.   Because as long as they continue to do nothing about it - the game will keep bleeding players.  The game was suppose to be more than a BF2 or a COD.   Right now - it is not.

Balance

This is important in any game.   If the games skills and weapons are not balanced properly - it can make for a bad game.    Planetside 2 has it's share of balance issues - there is no denying that and if you do deny it -then you are a blind fanboy/girl that just doesn't want your favorite OP faction to take a hit so that the game is balanced.  

In Planetside 1 I never played another faction more than I did my NC character.   Yes I did try the other factions and played them, but I fell in love with my NC faction and remained loyal until the day I stopped playing.  Not because NC were OP, but because NC had cool weapons - not OP weapons - but cool weapons and I liked the NC in general.    Vanu were Barney's and TR were Elmoe's.   I killed my share of the opposing team using the weapons we had and didn't think the other teams weapons were all tham much better or worse than ours - I always thought we had our strengths and weaknesses.    That was cool in PS1.   I could use my Gauss rifle and it was as good as the cycler or the lasher in most instances.  

Then I played PS2.   OMG...this is another area of the game that is just totally borked.   There is no balance in this game and yeah I am going to raise a stink about it because holy frakking hand granades - PS2 is one of the least balanced FPS games I have ever played.   

I have played all factions in this game - NC - TR - VS.   If I were to list in order the faction that is OP in this game - I can say so without taking a breath and do so in a heartbeat - VS.   If you want to play PS2 on easy mode - go Vanu!   All around, their weapons and vehicles are superior to anything that they other sides have.   Tanks - Magrider wins.   Planes - It's a close call but I have to say Scythe.    Infantry Weapons - VS is the easiest to use and control.

Seriously...did SOE do any balancing regarding the weapons - especially the rifles and pistols.   I say this becuase playing NC in Planetside 2 is frustrating when your bullets go all over the fricking place no matter how in control you are.  Even with the forward grip cert and compensator on the muzzle - there is little change to CoF for NC weapons.  The recoil and CoF is horrible compared to the basic weapons TR and VS have.    

I just want to say, that I did an experiment.    I have now played all three factions in this game and as I see it, the majority of NC weapons are crap.  Plain and simple.    I created a Vanu character and a TR character to see the differences.   Vanu hands down have the best over all weapons in the game.   That includes main battle tank - practically zero drop in rounds as the fly to target - it's like using a laser it is almost that accurate - and at a distance - it beats any of the the other two factions main battle tanks.    

Going back to combat arms.   I started PS2 playing NC.   I noticed that the NC whenever they went against Vanu or TR, even if we out numbered them, we had a hard time taking ground.    It's becuase the Vanu and TR have superior fire power.   I would rate them like this.

  1. Vanu
  2. TR
  3. other
  4. NC
You noticed the other I put in the list.   That's because anything else is better than the NC in this game.    NC just plain suck.   Maybe that is why on many of the games servers they are dominated by either Vanu or TR.   NC is garbage.  
 
As I mentioned I did an experiment.  I can say this without a doubt, because now that I have played all the factions for some time, my K/D for the various factions is not even in the ball park with one another.   I am a decent FPS player.   I had a decent K/D for PS1 and I expected the same going into PS2.    Imagine my surprise to learn that my faction of choice is the most gimped faction of the game.    I just couldn't believe that the NC weapons were as bad as I was seeing.   Surely the other factions weapons are just as bad. 
 

Right...right?

Not even.    My first experience with NC weapons I left the game scratching my head.   I was like, why can't I hit anything?  I can't be that bad of player.    I managed a .5 K/D with the N/C my first 10 hours of gaming with them.    A .5 - that means I died twice as much as I was killing( 1 to 2 ratio).    Like I said, I am a decent FPS player.   I can shoot a player off a castle wall in a full gallop from the back of my mount in Mount and Blade: Warband with a bow.     Anyone that has played that game knows that is no easy task.   I have played countless hours of PS1, BF2, CoD, and a smattering of other FPS games.    So it is not my ability or skills as a player - I am not that bad.   Hell I do not even use a recticle to aim with in Skyrim.  Really, I am not that bad of FPS player.  Except in PS2 playing NC.
 
I really couldn't believe I was that bad.  I was right...I am not that bad.   I created a Vanu character and right away, I knew things were like night and day.    In my first fight as a Vanu, in the first battle I dropped into, and in the first 3 minutes I made rank 2.   By the time that battle was over I had battle rank 4 and a K/D of 7/1 - yes, that is right - 7 to 1.  For every 7 players I killed I died once.   The basic starter weapon for the Vanu light assault is like a killing machine.  That is just their basic starter weapon!  
 
The infiltrator pistol is extremely deadly and accurate as hell and can pick people off at insane distances.    Don't even get me started on the differences of the starter sniper rifles.    People say Vanu are weak in that area.   Not even.  It is a semi-auto, that shoots further with little drop, and is accurate as all Vanu weapons.   So easy to get headshots with that weapon at a distance compared to the NC and TR starter sniper rifles.  
  
TR weapons are almost as good as the Vanu(some TR weapons are actually better - especailly the carbines - nothing can compare to the TR's LC2 Lynx - it eats Vanu and NC for breakfest, lunch and dinner).   Little, to no, recoil, less damage, but hey...when you are firing a gazillion rounds in a matter of seconds - what does it matter.  You kill what you aim at 75% of the time.   I managed a 4/1 K/D on my TR character.   Compare the Vanu and TR K/D's with that of my NC character with it's poultry K/D of 1/2.    Something is not right with the game balance in Planetside 2.  
 
SOE needs to buff the NC weapons to be on par with the Vanu and TR.   It is sad that there is that much of an extreme difference in the factions.   It became clear to me after playing the three, why so many people were playing Vanu and TR compared to NC.   NC weapons are the suck - there is no other good way to say it.
 
So unless you like a serious challenge - you like playing a game in hardcore mode that requires a lot of skill - stay as far away from NC in this game as you can.    I'd be like everyone else and go either Vanu or Terran Republic - at least with these two factions you have a decent balance.
 

BTW if you think I am wrong.   Go play NC for a few hours, get use to their weapons.   When you feel comfortable playing with say the EM6 or Piston or Gauss Burst S and can hold your own, create a Vanu character and play - then come tell me there is not difference in basic weapons.     Then let's talk if you still disagree with me. 

NOTE:  Two things the NC have that actually are good is the NC MAX with the Hacksaw and the NC's starter sniper rifle.   These are two things that the other two factions need improvement on - because the NC are superior here.

When we talk about balance, that also includes the balancing of server populations and world populations regarding the factions.   Take note.  If you are looking for as balanced game in this regard - look elsewhere, because PS2 has no mechanics in place to balance faction numbers on servers.   Some servers have hardly no TR playing on them, while others are dominated by the other faction.  Same for NC and VS.   Some have large numbers of VS and some have large numbers of NC.   Some are so bad that it makes you wonder how anyone could stand playing for an opposing faction when you are out numbered 10 to 1.    So be very careful if you intend to play this game and haven't done so yet.   Faction balance on servers is completely borked.   There maybe a couple that are somewhat balanced - but most favor one particular faction over the other two - like Connery with the NC, or Matterson with the TR.   

What is really bad is that SOE is adding a character transfer system on the 30th of Jan.   This could send the servers into hyper unbalanced mode.   A lot of people that play NC on Genudine are talking to switching to Connery - a server all ready out of balance where NC dominate the server.   So be very aware of this issue.    You have been warned.

 

Cheats, Hacks, and Mayhem

I've played my share of games and no game online that I have ever played has so many cheats, hacks and just plain old players causing problems in a game than I have in Planetside 2.    All Points Bulletin(APB as many knew it) wasn't half as bad as PS2 is.   PS2 is so full of them a day will not go by that you do not encounter half a dozen people either outright cheating using an aimbot or wall hack.   Then we have people that can actually hack the game and do things to other players - like teleport them to their deaths - or send them in a cascading loop of constantly respawning.     Yes...this can happen and does.    I have encountered it myself and you cannot fix it in game.    You have to stop the game, shut off your comp, reboot it, and then go back into the game and hope they do not target you again.   The game literally becomes un-playable if they do target you with the infinite loop respawn.   

SOE says they are working on stopping this.   I do not believe them.    Why?  Because cheaters I have reported, are still in game cheating as much as ever before.    They were not banned.  

Want to see the kind of crap you'll encounter in PS2.   Here are some videos showing the kind of cheating, hacking and BS you'll find in this game.    Cool thing is, with this video evidence nobody can claim I am making this shit up - as they often do.    So I'll let the videos speak for themselves - they will tell you more than I can ever write here.   

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Zm23oHVLWE

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NEVA8c_X6is

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_79dCQuuzHA

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nlzIfe73uZM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PXZ-1ieNaAc

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CnajkL2pcyE&feature=youtu.be

That is just 6 vids.  Go to Youtube and do a serch and you'll see hundreds of these types of videos.  

Bugs

Do not care what anyone says, but falling through the ground or floor of buildings in a video game should not be something that happens that often in 2013.    Not the case in Planetsdie 2.   Get use to it, because it will happen often.   I think my character has died to this bug probably a hundred times since I started playing.    You'll be running along and suddenly the screen goes white, and you realize your character is falling.   Look up with them and you'll see the world disappear above you as you fall to your death.

That is just for starters as far as bugs go.    I have been playing and keeping a list as I played.   Here is that list of the bugs I have found. 

  • planetside stop working crash - whole areas of game just lock up - freezes and the area crashes.
  • grenade launcher not reloading
  • grenade launcher not switchable sometimes
  • grenade launcher deals no damage 50% time
  • LA Jumppack stop working till reload - * supposedly fixed.
  • AP mines disapear from inventory till reload
  • LA Jumppack upgrades does not work from 2nd rank
  •  Amerish map does not match real terrain
  • leaderboard does not work most time - and still doesn't work
  • shields and walls in spawn rooms not protecting from C4, grenades and mines (but protects from  rocketlauncher splash damage)
  • draw distance (sometimes, in heavy fights, it is near 10m and flash riders and turret gunners not rendering)
  • video memory overflow (white flickering, fps drop after 10-20 minutes of play and crashes)
  • fall through textures - floors and ground.
  • ammo tower does not render from distance (can be shot through, its annoying then defending the crown) Random vehicle explosion
  • some jump pads not working at all and some works only 50% of time
  • placing turret on jump pads landing pad cause arriving players to suicide
  • some objects textures are missing
  • c4 sometimes deals no damage
  •  turrets stop rendering after being destroyed and just disappear.
  • life bar in HUD sometimes shows full damage when you respawn - requires you to either heal immediately or redeploy to fix.
  • hacked terminals that are destroyed become un-fixable
  • sunderers killing people that are spawning near them
  • buster rounds dealing no damage - requires you to jump in a Sundy to man a gun - and then jump out to fix the issue.
  • turrets locking up when heat level is maxed - and stay at max heat level making them inoperable.
  • medics healing tool not disengaging and running continuously
  • engineers repair tool not turning off after overheating - requires a player to respawn to fix it
  • repairing a turret with an engineer tool can kill the engineer that repaired it
  • sometimes players get launched into the air when running of a cliff or getting bumped by a vehicle, physics bug - ending in a suicide message and respawn
  • /re regional chat is buggy and works only sometimes
  • friendly faction markings not showing up when spotting - especially liberator bombers
  • AP mines sinking into floor or ground partially and not delivering full damage or none at all
  • concussion grenades do not work because they do not effect the area they explode in - but in he area they were thrown from
  • rocket launchers firing multiple rockets at one time - but only one does damage - a visual glitch that makes people think you are hacking
  • staying in a spawn room for a few seconds past the point of when opposing team takes a base causes the warning message that you are in a restricted area to stay on your screen until you are killed or redeploy
  • sticky grenades do not stick 70% of the time
  • keybindings do not always work when you remap them - sometimes takes multiple attempts
  • voice and audio options not staying where they are set - even after you respawn they sometimes reset
These are just the ones I have come across in game.  I am sure there are plenty more out there.   SOE is dropping the ball when it comes to getting rid of bugs.
 
Now - now for the nasty stuff - and when I mean nasty - these can be game breakers for some people.   How SOE plans to deal with it - I guess it is just a waiting game.
 
In PS1 you were not allowed to switch factions any time you choose and it wasn't until later that you could actually create a member of the opposing faction on the same server.   Not the case in PS2.   In PS2 you can not only create a character on the opposing factions side - there is no timer like there was in PS1.   That means you can switch sides any time you like.  Forget the spying that could occur in this game do to this.    No there is a more sinister thing that players are doing and that is TK'ing friendly forces.    That is right, having problems taking the Sunderer out on the opposing side - the one they have tucked away in the tower on the Crown.  No worries!  Just create another account!  Create a character on their side on the same server - go to the Crown and destroy it!   Yes - you can do this.  No SOE has no plans to change this.   It really is that simple.
 
Having a problem with all the AA bursters taking out your planes - which is stopping your air zerg from bombing the beejeezes out of the enemy hold up at TI.   No problem.  Create a new account.  Same server.  Same faction as your enemy and TK the MAX bursters!  Problem solved.    Seriously, you can do this and people do it all the time.   When you see level 1 characters running around blowing stuff up or Tking MAX's and you will - trust me you will - it is probably a bunch of people from the opposing side that cannot break your defense and have decided to destroy your forces by just TKing.   Weapons lock - the game does have this - but it requires you to have killed a number of vehicles and or people before it actually occurs so one level 1 guy can TK a number of people before he gets weapons lock.   Yes it sucks.    There  have been numerous proposals to fix this - and SOE still does nothing to address it.    So yeah - this is something you'll just have to deal with because SOE apparently doesn't care that it occurs.
 
Another thing that bothers me about PS2 is that the developers do not use the main official forums to stay in touch with their playerbase.  No instead they use Twitter, Facebook, Reddit and PSU(Planetside Universe).  Why?   Would it really be so bad for them to, you know, make use of their official forums once in a while?  Why is it like this for SOE?  CCP uses their official forums, and all the other social coms.   Most of the people that play Planetside 2 stay up to date via the official forums and not some 3rd party social website or app.   Why would it be so frakking difficult for the developers of PS2 to do the same?   Is it really too much to ak for them to post regularly to the main forums as they do to Twitter and Reddit?  Seriously...as a paying customer I do not want to have to run around to various other 3rd party websites trying to chase down info on what is going on in the game.   It would really be nice if the SOE developers would make use of the official forums the way other game companies use theirs.    That is what they are in place for.    So please start using them!
 
Want to know something else?
 
Be careful deleting a character.  There is a bug.  SOE knows about it.   You can accidentally delete more than the character you are trying to delete.   If this happens and you  delete one of your main characters - tough luck!   SOE has no way to recover your deleted character - at all.   That also means that if your account is ever hacked and the person that hacks it deletes any of your characters - you're not going to get them back.   Even if you spent real money buying that character weapons, camo, or whatever - it doesn't matter - SOE cannot replace your character because they do not have a backup system if your character is ever deleted.   You have been warned.
 
Just so you know I am not joking about this.    Here is a quote from TSR - Jesse S from the Planetside 2 forums.  Hit the quote to read the thread this quote is taken from if you like.
 
Jesse S.
Technical Service Representative
Sony Online Entertainment
 
So there you go.  This is Planetside 2 - this is the game as it currently is.   It can be a fun game at times and like the previous game  - can be addictive - until you realize that this is not a successor to the previous game.   It is nothing like the previous game except if does have TR - NC - VS and they shoot one another - that is about all this game has in common with the previous game.   As far as  I am concerned Planetside 2 is only a quarter of the game Planetside 1 was.
 
 
 
 

 

Paragus1 writes:

My playtime with this game lately has been casual, but my character is also NC and it is outright silly how the other races guns compare to our in terms of cone of fire, recoil, and effectiveness at range.   I can put my gun literially in the mouth of a terran and empty the clip and still miss somehow, meanwhile he can shoot me on auto from far away and not miss.

I'm very good at FPS games and I can hold my own, but comparitively I agree with your take on the NC and I have too much invested at this point in terms of certs and friends that I'm not switching.

As a light assault player mostly, I am still baffled how the jetpack bug is still in the game.   Nothing says "F you" like jumping off a cliff and hitting the jetpack and finding out halfway down that your pack is bugged.    I'd like to see them patch more frequently to fix things like this.

 

I'm never eally played PS1 at length so chances are I don't know what Im missingint erms of how it compares to PS2, so I don't really dislike the game, but there are areas that could definitely use improvement, especially in the factional balance department.

Fri Jan 25 2013 12:32PM Report
Xsonic writes: I quit because I got tired of the vehicle spam : / It is almost impossible to blow them up as infantry. Fri Jan 25 2013 11:13PM Report
Skilial writes: Teala, I haven't finished reading this yet, but in short answer to your question about someone that was a real soldier and saw the explosions and such at night...it is exactly as you described it, more or less. If you need details, PM me. Otherwise, I will just assume I answered your question. Sun Jan 27 2013 8:46PM Report
DakJ writes: You are correct on all accounts... I just wish I realized all of this myself before blowing money on the game.  Absolutely zero balance and 99% of the time you spend in game is being ran over by a 100~ vehicle zerg. Mon Jan 28 2013 4:51AM Report
Rovn writes:

I always enjoy Teala's posts and this is no exception.

Everything she says is correct.

I simply want to point out that in 2009 Teala was still hoping for a PS2, she had very good ideas for it also.  Such as randomly generated maps and some Player vs Environment.

She had really high expectation for PS2.

Flash forward, it's 2013 - Planetside 2 is out, it's fun, it's free.

No PVE, no randomly generated maps.

But it does have better graphics, runs smooth, great sound and I find it entertaining.

It's ranked in the top 15 on Steam and a 6 Month Roadmap has been released showing development progress.

Tue Jan 29 2013 2:53PM Report
Asellia writes:

I read this post, and personally, I enjoy this game quite a deal. Oddly, I have not run into "falling through floor" bugs unless that is recent, I haven't played in a month or so due to a lot of new game releases, and waiting on patches; which is mostly out of hte mentioned strategic aspect. There really is no 'reason' to defend, unless you just enjoy it. It's near impossible, next to no benefits, and the bases themselves are useless.

 

However, I will say there's a few things in here I do not agree with, and I do not find "correct". Being in a squad will give bonuses to experience, last I checked; as will reviving, and giving ammo to squad mates. It should have the same effect as "Shared EXP", without giving afkers/poor players a whole bunch of experience they had not earned.

 

As far as vehicles, yes, there are a LOT of them, and they dominate; I personally hope they become a bit easier to destroy. Granted, I run in a rather large outfit as NC as well, and it's not TOO much an issue. We blow them up by having three people shoot at the same one (Thank god for teamspeak, ingame voice -sucks-). All the same, air does seem dominating at times, due to well, one thing I didn't see, the Liberator. Liberators only kill liberators. It's kind of bothersome, as they have enough armor to flee before being blown up.

 

As far as the 'zerg tactics' go, I cannot lie (Or i could, but I wont, lol.) and say "Oh, yes, the zerg thing is just a big joke, it's not possible". It is, there is a point where odds become overwhelming, but, at the same time, it's not unstoppable. It depends on who's zerging, where, and especially who's defending. Trying to avoid seeming as if I'm 'bragging', me and my outfit have defended with numbers of squads (Maybe 1-2), i'd say at least against a hundred or two hundred enemies, and have managed it until reinforcements arrived on SEVERAL occassions. We have also conquered continents with some help (Granted, not Indar very often), with a few squads as well. Coordination, and teamwork is VERY MUCH key. One thousand noobies may outdo five good players, but ten platoons of unorganized people wont outdo five of organized. It's still very much teamwork involved.

 

As far as other things true, the Indar thing is a major thing, as for the tank lines, yes, it's bad, but I do rather enjoy it. It's fun to fight against, and fight as.

 

NC weapons and such are extremely poor, but there's a few good ones. It requires a LOT more skill to hit, but if you do, you do a lot more damage. I've never had TOO much trouble as NC. I've noticed a large difference in weapons due to what little I've played of Tr though.

 

One other thing I wouldn't call true at ALL, is, you CANNOT, NOT, capture baes in mere 'seconds', even as one person, unless we're talking a base that takes up like one hex; which makes sense, if there's noone there. If there's people there, killing one guy is not difficult, you can spawn endlessly; and it STILL takes a good 30seconds or so. 

 

The more people on the point, the faster it is; by default, it's neigh-impossible to take many bases alone, due to the time it'd take, multiple objectives, and so on. Having areas AROUND that base is very useful, as is having each point occupied, and well defended/numbered.

 

As for a lot of the complaints, however; I have read that a lot of these are going to be fixed. They mentioned in the road map, I believe (Or was it next patch?) enhanced defenses on bases, much smaller windows/doors to prevent tanks/air from shooting into them so easily, a better meta-game, to hopefully make base capture, and holding more meaningful, a fourth continent, "Sanctuaries" and "Lock-out timers" for continents, so once locked out, the enemy cannot even spawn there; teleporting between warp gates with vehicles and such, so you don't need to disassemble them. There also seems to be stuff about better resource systems, to make resources more meaningful, instead of having near-endless supplies as it SEEMs, and a LOT more. This is all on the roadmap of the main website, you should take a look!

 

It seems that while it is a mess now, a lot of this is VERY much in the plans to be fixed.

 

Overall, personally, I give the gameplay a seven or eight at least. It needs improvement (So maybe a 7), but it's quite fun, and unlike most things on the market. I mean, personally, I find it a little unfair to give it a zero, because a game isn't exactly how you wanted/the first one was. I mean, a two, three, or four? Sure thing, but a zero is a little rediculous.  But, at the same time, I rate it higher, because as a game itself, thinking of it at the moment PURELY as a shooter and not some bigfancy  strategy game, it's far beyond any modern game on the market at the moment. The large battles, the base capture (And while pointless, it provides an objective past "shoot"), the vehicles, and especially playing with my outfit; it's a TON of fun. That's what a game is all about. For me, I don't need a 'reason' to do things, if I have one, that's GREAT, but if I enjoy it, I'll do it anyways. I LOVE defending bases against absurd odds.

Wed Jan 30 2013 5:41AM Report
Denambren writes:

To the author,

I highly recommend having someone review your written work before you submit it. The points you've made in this posting may be very valid, and your opinion may be very worth hearing, but the English used to convey it could use some editing. It seems like a shame to diminish your credibility with so many writing mistakes when you clearly have a lot of information to share.

Thu Jan 31 2013 12:04PM Report
Nifa writes: It's a pretty, pretty game. Too bad it's so messed up. Sun Feb 17 2013 4:41PM Report
VirgoThree writes: @Denambren It's a personal blog, not a professional article. No need to be grammar police on a blog :) Wed Feb 20 2013 7:07PM Report
fifa14cheats writes: [URL="http://www.fifatutorial.com/"]FIFA 14 Tutorial[/URL] Tue Jul 30 2013 10:35PM Report

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