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News & Features Discussion  » PlanetSide: Planetside Re-Review

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  Stradden

Managing Editor

Joined: 7/08/05
Posts: 6729

 
OP  9/17/09 9:54:45 AM#1

MMORPG.com's Chris Higgins takes another look at SOE's Planetside in this week's review, a six year old MMOFPS that still has the power to get the job done.

Planetside went live in May 2003 and after six years, the war still rages on. If you are not familiar with Planetside, it is the closest thing to an online war you will ever see. Most online FPS games have maps and time limits to achieve goals. However in this game, it is all about gaining ground by taking over bases. Each faction has a base which cannot be conquered; from there these factions fan out taking one base at a time. Each base must be connected back to your main base which creates a lattice of base connections. At the end of the day, control of the bases is tallied up and a victor is declared. Then all the bases are reset to neutral and war begins again.

The action is on par with any other online FPS on the market but I like this one better because it really feels like a war vs. ten players on a map for five minutes. There are a lot more things that make Planetside stand out above all the other online FPS games out there. This includes not only land vehicles but also a variety of aerial vehicles. It also has a certification system which allows players to not only customize their characters but re-specialize if they should get tired of the same old combat role.

Read the Planetside Re-Review

Cheers,
Jon Wood
Managing Editor
MMORPG.com

  Coyotefriend

Advanced Member

Joined: 2/14/06
Posts: 2

9/17/09 10:44:08 AM#2

  I'm not completely certain why it never took off, I liked the game myself, but I know my brother and I stopped playing mainly because of lag issues.

 

 

  Ralsar

Novice Member

Joined: 8/02/03
Posts: 305

9/17/09 10:44:38 AM#3

So of my greatest experiences online were with the early days of Planetside.  It was really, really fun back in the day.  I'd love to see a sequel.

  Trashcantoy

Apprentice Member

Joined: 12/23/07
Posts: 848

9/17/09 10:49:21 AM#4

 they need to take more care of the new players. i found myself totally lost when i started..

MMOs currently playing: -
About to play: Lord of the Rings Online
Played: Anarchy Online (alltime favorite) and lots of f2p titles (honorable mentions: 9Dragons, Martial Heroes, Dekaron, Atlantica Online)

  Verem

Apprentice Member

Joined: 2/12/07
Posts: 1

9/17/09 11:26:16 AM#5

I think several factors played into its lack of popularity.
1. Lack of any real marketing of the game, rarely saw any mention of it outside the SOE Forums.
2. First MMOFPS out there, the Call of Duty and Battlefield multiplayer FPS phenomenon hadn’t happened yet. This game wallowed in obscurity.
3. Had a SOE Label, there are strident opponents of anything SOE touched.
4. Like any MMO, lack of refining. Bugs that were there on day 1, are there to this day. Doors not opening up.
5. Lack of Developer/Community Relations. I suppose you could make the case for any MMO, but the feeling I always got was SOE was even more resistant to listening to their fanbase.
6. The fiasco that was Core Combat and the walking Robots.
7. Extremely overpowered weapons one day, useless the next. (SurgeAgile JackHammer) Yes typical of any MMO, but when one shot meant a 5 min run back into the action, or a loss of a key base, it was ridiculous.
8. Peoples innate desire to "solo" in a team tactical based game. These people would be the people that run off and do their own thing, only in a squad or platoon to mooch battle experience off the game.
 

Those are just a few I can think of.

 

  Perlinpinpin

Novice Member

Joined: 4/12/06
Posts: 9

9/17/09 11:38:59 AM#6

Best strategic scale mmo ever done !

 

if only it was a bit better on personal dev with more character option

and with the graphics of today, it will be fabulous

 

  nightbird305

Novice Member

Joined: 11/11/05
Posts: 276

9/17/09 11:42:49 AM#7
Originally posted by Verem

I think several factors played into its lack of popularity.
1. Lack of any real marketing of the game, rarely saw any mention of it outside the SOE Forums.
2. First MMOFPS out there, the Call of Duty and Battlefield multiplayer FPS phenomenon hadn’t happened yet. This game wallowed in obscurity.
3. Had a SOE Label, there are strident opponents of anything SOE touched.
4. Like any MMO, lack of refining. Bugs that were there on day 1, are there to this day. Doors not opening up.
5. Lack of Developer/Community Relations. I suppose you could make the case for any MMO, but the feeling I always got was SOE was even more resistant to listening to their fanbase.
6. The fiasco that was Core Combat and the walking Robots.
7. Extremely overpowered weapons one day, useless the next. (SurgeAgile JackHammer) Yes typical of any MMO, but when one shot meant a 5 min run back into the action, or a loss of a key base, it was ridiculous.
8. Peoples innate desire to "solo" in a team tactical based game. These people would be the people that run off and do their own thing, only in a squad or platoon to mooch battle experience off the game.
 

Those are just a few I can think of.

 

 

lol?

Before I go on, I assume we're talking about how the game didnt take off during it's launch and not 4-5 years later. 

1. This I agree with, there wasn't a lot of marketing, but there was some.

2. This is completely wrong. Planetside came out in 2003, battlefield 1942 was out in 2002. Hell medal of honor allied assault came out in 2002, and that had a huge multiplayer following. Also don't forget quake. 

3. The anti SOE thing didn't start till way after planetside was released, around the time swg made the game changes. 

4. There were bugs yes, but the critical bugs were fixed fast. The only issue some had was fps (due to poor gaming machines) and high pings, since it could get messy in some battles. But they did do a fine job optimizing the servers. 

5. Again, this is a later thing and has nothing to do with why it didnt take off.

6. Core combat wasn't a fiasco, the BFR were. They made regular joes overpowered, and were able to quickly turn the tide of battles. This is actually the reason why many people left PS, since they didn't feel like it was the same game anymore. 

7. True, but you got respec tokens whenever anything huge was changed so I dont think this is a game breaking factor (remember, you don't "buy" weapons in this game, you just take them from a machine).

8. Yeah it's not a game for solo players, but that doesn't mean you can't be on your own. But hell, joinning a squad is as easy as going to a hot zone and asking for an invite to a squad in the chat. 

Overall, I feel PS didn't take off due to it's timing. In 2002 we were just getting decent gaming machines for decent prices, and internet was still in it's improving stages (i was playing with 128 kbps -.-). However, what really killed PS for me was the lack of new content, the Islands were all the same, not artist but objective wise, and the caves quickly became dull and boring. What I had always hoped for was new planets and new forms of gameplay like battleships etc. But alas, they decided to focus on the current game mechanics and bugs, and occasionally add a new vehical or weapon. 

Hell, sounds like their team was too small and SOE didn't want it to take subs from SWG/EQ2. But ah well, only SOE knows.

  mmo-a-holic

Novice Member

Joined: 7/29/07
Posts: 6

9/17/09 11:45:54 AM#8

This is not a very accurate review. I will point out some very important flaws.

1. weapons do not get any more powerful as you gain battle ranks. within 5 mins of playing planetside you can wield the most powerful weapon your empire has. The only thing that separates low BR players and high BR ones is in game experience. As you gain battle ranks you gain more cert points which in turn can be used to get qualified to use different equipment and vehicles. The higher your rank the more stuff you can do without recerting, but there is nothing that high level players can get that low lever.

2. this review makes it seem like there are only two unique weapons in the game. Every empire has a special pistols, medium ranged weapon, heavy assault weapon, and anti-vehicular weapon.

3. 2 kinds of bases? wrong. there are 5 different bases with unique roles and base layouts, as well as three different kinds of towers. There is no base in planetside that doesn't allow you to pull ground vehicles and air vehicles. The 5 different base types are interlink (gives mini-map radar benefits within 100m of a base), bio lab (faster respawn times), tech plant (gives vehicle repair abilities, as well as access to heavy armor vehicles such as battle tanks and assault aircraft), amp stations (which provide vehicle shields), and the dropship center (which provides air vehicle repairs as well as an airpad big enough to spawn the galaxy, a 12 man air transport with a cargo bay and the galaxy gunship, same ship but with big guns mounted on it). All of the benefits are linked though the bases so controlling a tech plant is vital to taking bases anywhere on the continent (well planet, they changed it). The three towers are, a watch tower (no guns mounted and an additional level of stairs), a gun tower (just has guns on it), and an air tower (has guns and air vehicle repair pads on top).

4. bases are not reset as neutral at the end of the day, that is only done for events. The ultimate goal in this game is sanctuary locking an enemy empire. This requires some coordination among the empire since you need to pick on 1 enemy while ignoring the another. If i am playing as TR and attacking the VS home continent (every empire has 2) and the NC are attacking there other continent, i need to prevent the TR from attacking NC, which would cause some NC to leave the VS cont and defend against us. Sanc locks happen when an empire owns nothing, and are a rare sight and definately warrant a screen shot.

5. its important to note implants real quick, they can add a unique spin the fights by giving you short range personal radar, extra HP, increased speed, etc.... every implant drains stamina from the player in varying amounts. O, and every time a player jumps it drains 10 stamina. If you reach 0 stamina you are forced to walk until you regain 20, so you wont see people jumping around like idiots and calling it skill (which it isn't).

6. MAX suits: i can't believe these got no mention.while light and medium armored soldiers can provide support to each other though healing and reviving, the MAX is all offense. The max is a personal sized mech suit designed for the express purpose of killing crap. They can't heal themselves, so they require team support in order to be effective. every empire has 3 unique MAX, each designed to kill a certain threat. AI- anti infantry, AV- anti-vehicular (also anti-MAX), and AA (anti-air).

Pros of PS: sheer scale of battles. there can be a max of 400 people on one cont fighting (133 for each empire). i have never seen an FPS with those numbers. There is very little distinction among ranks since they technically can use the same weapons (higher ranks can hold more certifications at once though). Vehicle fights in the game can be epic with coordination. As i have played i have seen 5 galaxy gunships flying in a perfect row circling a base and beating the hell out of it. Its the kind of crap that gives you goose bumps. O, and try holding a generator for an hour.

-scale of battles

-balance between beginners and veterans

-coordination=dominance in this game

-you will never see a guy hoping around to avoid damage

-vehicle battles in this game are very fun

Cons:

-SOE has rectal warts and are ignoring this game while they get treatment (i.e. they don't really care about the game anymore)

-Cheating is prevalent for the above stated reason

-No content is added since the coding is extremely old, and all the devs have since moved on to other projects

-Fighting on the same continents every other day can get very annoying

-Besides trying to sanc lock empires there is no real overall goal to the game

-old graphics

 

afterthoughts: there is no game in existence that has duplicated the scale of Planetside as an FPS. The premise for the game is rock solid and needs to be adopted by newer games. My in game name was RideInMyWhip, BR 30 CR 5 fighting for the Terran Republic.

 

  Erazor01

Novice Member

Joined: 3/16/05
Posts: 109

9/17/09 12:32:33 PM#9

I know the following points are mentioned above, but I think it's worth restating two fundamental errors in the review, which make me think the reviewer has not played the game for more than half an hour or so.

1) Bases are NOT reset to neutral at the end of each day.

2) All bases have vehicle and aircraft terminals.

If a reviewer can't get the basic facts right, then the whole review becomes worthless.

P.S. I love Planetside!

  Jangocat

Apprentice Member

Joined: 8/29/09
Posts: 46

9/17/09 1:01:17 PM#10

The gameplay in Planetside was always great. But unfortunately FPS players have plenty of free deathmatch and capture the flag options so this game never took off. I would have loved to go back but last time I logged on the world was pretty empty, and the graphics are too dated at this point.

  cludinsk

Novice Member

Joined: 10/29/07
Posts: 60

9/17/09 1:04:36 PM#11

Planetside was one of my favorite games of all times... with raging battles involving 100s of people in bases, troops, vehicles and air units, it's epic.

That said, the interface is outdated/painful to use, and it gets boring taking over the same bases over and over. They need more base types, urban warfare, and a system like Eve where the factions have their center areas but groups can take and claim territory around it, giving some point to the fighting. Yes, I'm looking forward to Dust ;)

  battleaxe

Novice Member

Joined: 1/06/04
Posts: 158

9/17/09 2:08:35 PM#12

It had many issues:

Sniper rifles require 2 shots for a kill and load too slow.

The most powerful weapon on a friggin tank is its bumper.

The chain guns, for some balance reason, have a spread pattern you could fly a 747 through without getting hit.  You could jam your gun barrel in someone's stomach and miss over their shoulder.  I guess the gun barrels of the future are made of limp macaroni noodles.

The game is a neat idea, but the immersion is lost because the weapons are all so wimpy.

  rentantilus

Novice Member

Joined: 5/18/04
Posts: 801

9/17/09 2:48:41 PM#13

 I have to say, although this re-review (and some of the comments posted attempting to correct it) were inexperienced at best and wildly inaccurate at worst, I was nonetheless inspired to revisit this game myself, having played it for several years when it was first released.  Indeed, you simply need to download and install the Sony Station Launcher, then you can activate a 14-day free trial of Planetside with no credit card required.

If you're the kind of person that loves FPS games but always laments how they're all missing key elements that make them feel really immersive, real, and epic, Planetside is definitely worth checking out.  Have you ever played a great FPS but wondered why there were no vehicles?  Why the maps are so tiny?  Why you never get to fight for hours over exciting strategic locations because there's some arbitrary 15 minute timer?

If any of that sounds familiar, try Planetside.  Not five mintues after logging in (and I'll warn you, there are a few steps you need to take to make the game work in Vista), I hit the "instant action" button and was dropped into the middle of a three-way raging firefight over a hotly-contested base.  I walked out of our tower and was immediately overwhelmed by the scale of the infantry battle; it was at least 100 vs. 100... at 1pm EST on a Thursday afternoon!  Then you look up into the sky and see dozens of aircraft battling it out... fighters, bombers, troop transports, the works.  Tanks came rolling over a nearby hill and were engaged by a couple of giant mechs.

To me, Planetside will always be the king of FPSs, not because it has the best graphics or gameplay, but because it's like finally one of "us" got to design a game and didn't sacrifice anything we've been wanting for years to satisfy a release date or jittery publisher.  Guns, tanks, sniper rifles, mechs, aircraft, transports, knives, explosves, turrets, stealth suits, medical devices, VR training, huge landscapes, and MASSIVE battles.  What more could you want?

So to everyone here, stop whining and play the game.  It took me under an hour to download the entire thing and start it up.  Even if you played it years ago, it's worth another shot, especially if all you've played in recent times are tiny little meaningless death match shooters.  Cheers!

__________
When you see a new MMORPG, honestly think to yourself: "Is this game designed to EARN my $15 per month subscription with content, originality, and long-term value, or is it just designed to SCAM me out of $50 when I buy the box at the store with flashy advertising, biased reviews, and empty promises?"

  Tuck2000

Novice Member

Joined: 3/20/08
Posts: 363

Bartle Test result: Killer
Killer 73%
Explorer 60%
Achiever 33%
Socializer 33%

9/17/09 3:49:53 PM#14

Planetside was one of tehe best concepts that never got expanded on. I CB and OB's it and it was one of tthe funnest times I ever had in a game. 10 or 20 drop ships flying over a base and dropping full fire teams on bases was a powerful site back then. "As long as it did not turn into a slide show". It was a game to far ahead of its time which is why it never really took off. After going gold it seem like the hardcore fighters left the game. Once the beta faction leadership moved on it lost its way. Other games have tried but I tell I've never came acrosse another game that gave you the War feel that PS did. Its the open world that makes all the difference never knowing whats around the bend.

I think if the game was retooled and a Plantside II was built and tweaked with some add functionality. Then it could see a new golden age and bring the FPS MMO Open world style into the 21st century.

  Wardrop

Novice Member

Joined: 3/18/04
Posts: 469

The meaning of life is attained by caring for the one you have created.

Papa for life!!!

9/17/09 4:05:27 PM#15

Planetside before it was released was epic, crisp, balanced, and deadly.

Then they released the game and nerfed everything out of balance. All in the name of not making the game so difficult for new players id guess.
I'm not sure why they did this, i mean it was perfect just before release It was seriously deadly nothing like todays airsoft guns...

Since that patch they have been nerfing, changing, buffing the hell out of the game. They cant find that balance again.

SOE abandoned the game pretty much, they added bfrs, i love them, i love any new content, though a lot of the people that don't like them, don't like anything that changes game play at all. They have a difficult time adjusting to change.
And they added new air assets then the adv combat engineering.. that was added so they could justify raising the subscription price monthly.

Now the game has alot of hackers and imbalances that really hurt the game. the poor bfrs are really hurt by these nerfs. weapons are airsoft and no one would ever use weapons that shoot so poorly in the future.

There is no real objective, nothing to work toward. You fight hard to take a base and lock a continent, but the question that keeps getting asked is why.. no answer SOE doesnt have one.

  Hersaint

Novice Member

Joined: 6/11/03
Posts: 369

Try not to become a man of success but rather to become a man of value. Albert Einstein(1879 - 1955)

9/17/09 5:19:50 PM#16

Played PS a while back before BFRs. My brothers and I loved it, except for the lag spikes, the noobhammer (we were Elmos, I loved the chainsaw) and the monthly charge. Still now to come back they want $15/month? We just didn't see any reason when you woke up the next morning or played the next day and everything was back to square one. I would definitely have a go at PS2 if it had updated graphics and more reasons to pay a recurring fee than just to keep the servers up for deathmatches.

Snack on it!

  twiggy550

Novice Member

Joined: 10/16/07
Posts: 502

“A man only becomes wise when he begins to calculate the depth of his ignorance.”

9/17/09 6:50:40 PM#17

 I miss Planetside :(

Unfortunately, they still ask for a ridiculously high monthly payment for a game that's lost most of its community over the years. I'm really hoping a Planetside 2 appears or they revamp the original Planetside up as to making it a worthy game once again. I really do miss the epic battles though.

"IRL is a pretty upstanding MMO with thousands of classes, a lot of PvP and even some pretty unique emotes and titles you can acquire. Explore that world first, then we'll talk about this virtual one."

  ITPalg

Apprentice Member

Joined: 11/12/08
Posts: 238

9/17/09 7:03:53 PM#18

Never played PS but heard of it from the days of it coming out.

People that talk about never seeing such scale before online probably never played NovaLogic's, "Delta Force (3): Land Warrior".

I remember maybe 100 or more on better servers lobbing grenades out of grenade launchers, explosions everywhere, sniping and being sniped from long ranges, and the myriad of game styles (King of the Hill, FFA, etc).

Those were fun days.

insert appropriate forum signature here for the terrible signature functions that can't be figured out.

  twiggy550

Novice Member

Joined: 10/16/07
Posts: 502

“A man only becomes wise when he begins to calculate the depth of his ignorance.”

9/17/09 7:06:05 PM#19
Originally posted by itpaladin

Never played PS but heard of it from the days of it coming out.

People that talk about never seeing such scale before online probably never played NovaLogic's, "Delta Force (3): Land Warrior".

I remember maybe 100 or more on better servers lobbing grenades out of grenade launchers, explosions everywhere, sniping and being sniped from long ranges, and the myriad of game styles (King of the Hill, FFA, etc).

Those were fun days.

I heard of that game. Never played it like you said though, and the only reason I can remember it is because I think I read an article on how the game world for that game was made up of voxels. Kind of random

"IRL is a pretty upstanding MMO with thousands of classes, a lot of PvP and even some pretty unique emotes and titles you can acquire. Explore that world first, then we'll talk about this virtual one."

  CosbySweater

Novice Member

Joined: 7/03/07
Posts: 38

We've come for your daughter Chuck.

9/17/09 7:13:45 PM#20

I also loved Planetside.  What turned me off was the underground fighting.  In order to unlock the giant mechs they released your faction had to be in total control of the underground part of an island.  I didn't enjoy the look and feel of this battle area.

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