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News & Features Discussion  » PlanetSide: Planetside Re-Review

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Novice Member

Joined: 1/12/06
Posts: 599

9/17/09 7:33:24 PM#21

Is this review a joke?


I played PS in both closed and open betas, and up until core combat after release.  I've been back through the years plenty of times between resubs, and winback offers.  Never misunderstand - I loved the game.

The review is right in that this game felt like war.  This game's world was massive.  It'd literally take you 30 minutes to even try and run from one side of the map to another - a fact barely touched on.  In that massive world you had tanks, aircraft, APCs, and all sorts of vehicles.  Each faction had their own versions of each - some that hovered, some that could be driven in water, some that spammed shells at its targets, and some that lobbed massive amounts of damage slowly.  But you know... that's not the point of my reponse, so try the game or read up if you want that info...


"I will never understand why Planetside never really caught on. I am not sure if it was lack of marketing or what. Even as a six year old MMOFPS it is still not a bad game. However for some reason Planetside never really got the credit it was due."

Anyone that played this game in beta, and particularly at its release can tell you why.  Folks complain about AoC and WAR being released incomplete, well this game was literally a beta-in-a-box.  Everyone in the beta screamed at SOE not to release their imbalanced, bug-ridden game, but they did anyway.  Thank God back then it wasn't the instant death-sentence it's become for games these days, because if it was, PS would've never made it the 6 years it has.  Server outages, lag spikes, bugs-a-plenty, unscheduled downtimes for patching, patch server issues, amongst a laundry list of other problems are why its release stunk like week-old garbage at a daycare.  Those of us that loved PS stuck it out anyway, especially since we were already accustomed to these problems from beta.  We just happened to be paying for the problems now, on a monthly basis.

Honestly, in spite of all its issues, the game was so amazingly fun that those who played it loved it anyway.  People can gripe all day long about there being no motivation for taking bases or caring, as it were, but what's the point in any FPS?  I've never played a shooter that didn't cycle the same maps day in and day out that people quit playing for that reason (not counting the occasional custom map).  Nah, that's not what hurt PS.  What hurt the most was being 5 months into release with game-breaking bugs and balance issues, followed by yet another rushed release - Core Combat. 

So the playerbase, filled with people who understood they were pushed an incomplete game by publisher deadlines, were now handed this gift, for $30, which broke the game much, much worse than it ever thought of being.  Caves could barely be called functional at first.  The majority of the playerbase couldn't even enter them because when they tried, it'd bluescreen, crash the game, or cause a whole host of other problems all leading to the same result - crash.  Those that did hated them for how completely absurd they were in the world of PS, nevermind the inherent issues that already existed.  Enter BFR's.  Deathmachines they were, so imbalanced in a game where teamplay, skill, and balance were key.  Players weren't meant to run around racking up 50:1 K:D ratios, but in a BFR that was your guarantee.  Trouble is, getting one had a steep cost of certs, and required participation in the caves.  So, mass majority can't even access the caves, and those that do are now gods.  SWEET.

At that point, I and a mass exodus of others left PS, sad as we were.  With population decreases, the game floundered.  Planetside was a game built for the masses, and without the combat just stagnated.  In my returns to the game, it was always during times of winback promos or free trials.  At times, the game was very lively, and you quickly got that feeling of why you loved it in the first place, usually causing a resub for a month or two at a time.  Trouble is, after a while you realized why you quit in the first place.  $OE.

Updates always took an eternity.  The team would break something one day, then break something else while they attempted to fix the former problem 6 months later.  Game-breaking bugs still existed, and still do to this day.  It's always such a joy to raid a new continent with your empire - 6 years into the game - and take a technology plant as your first base (wise choice - access to adv. tech vehicles, and plenty of conts start with one) only to watch it get hacked, and the term bug set it.  The "term bug" as it's so fondly referred to, is a bug in which your facility's terminals no longer function.  It's a bug, caused when hackers (no, not cheaters - people who take control of enemy vehicles, equipment terminals etc.) attempt to give your empire control of its facility's terminals again.  Trouble is, when more than one hacker starts hacking the same terminal, and both finish...well, the terminal just breaks (not physically - it just no longer functions).  Suddenly, your faction is stuck on a continent with no bases, fighting from the spawn tubes in their pajamas (starting armor, shit weapons) against soldiers in reinforced armor, MAX armor, and heavy weapons.  FUN.

In my last stint back during their recent 45-day winback period leading up to the ultimate server merge of the UK/US servers into a single server for the game, I had some of the most fun I've had in PS.  Bugs were there, but not as bad.  My latest PC runs the game like a champ - no lag issues whatosever, under any circumstance.  BFRs are no longer godlike - quite the opposite, barely able to score kills for itself at times while on a 30min reuse timer (they're still useful, don't get me wrong).  Balance issues were definitely still an issue.  At the time I was playing, the lasher (Vanu heavy assault) was the weapon of choice.  The VS generally outnumbered everyone else, and a short time fighting them and you knew why.  It was as broken as always, but for their good.  Regardless, it wasn't so bad that you couldn't compete, and there were plenty of good fights to be had.


"So Shiymmas, what's the problem??"

#1: Hackers.  Not the kind you get certifications for in-game.  The ones using software to manipulate the game.  Some are subtle - normal players using hacks to gain slight benefits such as cone of fire reductions (COF) and rate of fire (ROF) hacks that make them have what an edge over players that is very hard to detect because it's hidden extremely well.  However, it's quite the large advantage.  Then still you have others who hack hardcore.  Guys who take it to the extremes of the imagination by teleporting around the game at will, flying through the air all but invincible, firing off entire clips in under a second that should take a minute.  This of course means they can instagib even the toughest of vehicles, the best of players, and literally impact every player on the entire game.  How?  One hacker can push entire forces back by destroying all of their vehicles.  One hacker can single-handidly wipe out a force attacking a control console while trying to take a base.  Not only is it no fun for the guys it happens to, but it also ruins the competition for the rest.  Does SOE do anything?  The in-game options are there for a /report and a /appeal.  In spite of this, the responses are dreadfully slow (one Saturday a pair of hackers ran rampant for hours without being banned) and even when these players are removed, they simply make new trial accounts and return.  As for the subtle guys, well, SOE has no way of detecting them, so they play like normal folks, only making you wonder in the back of your mind from time to time "was that guy cheating?"


#2: Bugs/game balance.  The game, even after 6 years, is dreadfully imbalanced.  The review is right - they've updated it through the years.  The shoe's just on the other foot after each one.  SOE has never gotten it right, or even close at times.  There's always a clear advantage for one side or the other, and it makes being faithful to your faction all the more difficult at times.  After their latest patch after they merged the final two servers, the favor left the VS, and once again they were weak.  This was heavily reflected in-game by populations of 35-40% for one of the two other factions (TR and NC), and as low as 20% at times for VS giving them not even a fighting chance.  Typical Sony.

Furthermore, one of their biggest updates prior to their winback was to increase the maximum level in the game from 25 to 40.  Understand, many players hated the change from the original 20 to 25.  This game is heavily reliant on teamwork, and at BR20 a player had to be very specialized in its role.  The update to 25 didn't break that too badly, but still had an impact in that players could do more.  Now, the cap is BR40.  Before you ever reach 40, a player would have enough certs to be so capable of multiple tasks, they'd never really want more.  It's a good time to mention that milestones in levels have always had rewards be it appearance upgrades (your armor changes looks at BR7, BR14, and BR25, with BR24 unlocking an option to use helmet, hat, or go without, and a command earpiece, sunglasses, etc.) or more implants (first implant is at 6, second at 12, and third at 18).  Players knew the reward at 40 would be something substantial.  Getting 40 is no overnight deal - it took the most hardcore of PS players well over a month (maybe two - I'm not positive) to be the first in existance - and he started at 25.  Many thought the BR40 would get a cape, possibly a 4th implant, maybe even a free cert as a pat on the back, but nothing game breaking.  Nahhhhh, after all, it's SOE.

Nope, SOE busted out the notepad update and simply gave BR40's the wonderful reward of having every last certification in the game.  I'd love to get into why that's game breaking, but suffice it to say, any BR40 will be a super-soldier.  One guy could now hop in the fastest aircraft in the game, stealth it up, zip to an unoccupied/lightly defended enemy base, insert a virus, hack out a respawn vehicle, blow the gens, hack the control console, and hold its CC while backup arrived and when they did, they could revive those buddies, heal them back to full, and repair their armor!  Yeah, shenanigans.  Bye-bye teamplay.


 #3: Price.  People are still expected to buy this game, then pay $15 a month?  WTF for?  So SOE can spend that money elsewhere?  It's clear as a player at this point that SOE's updates are getting worse (slower), and now players are down to a single server.  At least when you had more servers, if you got sick of your main character, you could swap to another server, play a different one, and a different faction for a full-on change in gameplay (different vehicles, weapon sets, etc.).  Now, you have to wait 12 hours to swap sides since they don't like the idea of people playing spies, then jumping back to their usual side.  Yeah, good policy given I can send a tell to my buddy from the other empire anyway.  Yup, $15 a month for them to provide absolutely awful customer service (appeals .. good luck and hold your breath til they respond) and a single server to play on.  Nevermind that loyal VS customers immediately left in droves for other factions, or other games after this latest patch, or that the hackers still run rampant.  I actually paid for another month after my 45-day winback ended.  Huge mistake.  The nerf immediately after, followed by the extreme levels of hacking that exist daily made me want my money back within days after spending it.


In summary, PS had the most incredible potential of any game I ever played.  Hell, it's still my favorite game ever to this day.  That's why it pisses me off that it was run by SOE.  They sat on a gold mine and let it die.  Honestly, and I now understand why people have said it for years, I will never pay SOE for another MMO.  I'd sincerely rather miss a good game than bother.  Between what I've read and seen about SWG, and what I've experienced first-hand with EQ2 and PS, it's just not worth it.  Vanguard doesn't even get honorable mention here.

In all, I'd say try their 14-day trial.  If nothing else, just so you can say you've seen Planetside.  I wouldn't advise bothering to pay for it though, unless you're a masochist.  What a shame, too.  As for this review?  Pfffft.  This guy didn't play for long, and if he did I'm sure he got that amazing feeling PS gives you.  Beyond the honeymoon...........

"The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it."
George Bernard Shaw

“What is a cynic? A man who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing.”
Oscar Wilde


Novice Member

Joined: 11/12/08
Posts: 252

9/17/09 8:55:02 PM#22
Originally posted by twiggy550
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


I don't know what you mean by "kind of random", but I think you are thinking of DF 2. That ran in software mode and was very rough on lower end systems. It was still fun to play sneaking around in high grass. DF: LW was fully graphics card run. I may even still have it somewhere in a box.


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Novice Member

Joined: 5/13/09
Posts: 23

9/18/09 1:39:16 AM#23

Maybe after Bioware remakes the Starwars MMO,  they will remake the Planetside mmo.?

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Novice Member

Joined: 3/16/05
Posts: 109

9/18/09 2:27:00 AM#24
Originally posted by Jangocat

I would have loved to go back but last time I logged on the world was pretty empty


You should give it another go.  After the recent server merge, things are a LOT busier.


Advanced Member

Joined: 7/23/08
Posts: 567

9/18/09 3:42:10 AM#25

 Planetside, hah! I wasted my life on that game. I will contest your thought on it being repetitive, seeing as that is what the game is. Get your gun, go out there and shoot stuff. It's a give or take kind of game, like arcade games. You can call that repetitive, but to steve wiebe, he played donkey kong jr for years and that game just involves jumping haha. After you master every weapon, armor, vehicle, and pretty much everything else. It might get boring, but that'll take time. Yeah basicly the game is easy to understand, get certified for a weapon, armor, vehicle, and well do your thing. The new player experience I can see was lacking, mainly because I learned the game through the porch method. Another player taught me. Back then this game was stacked with players. Now I bet only maybe 1k play, if that. This game was more for twitchy pvp players who liked guns. If you could stand PVPing for hours on another game and like the feeling of competition, this game is for you. Sadly I won't recommend it since the population is drasticly low. I'll sum the game up though for those who want to play

From the begining you chose a faction, New Conglomerate (NC), Terran Republic (TR), Vanu Soverignty  (VU) [ yes I spelled most of that wrong forgive me]. It doesn't really matter what faction you choose, Some have faction-specific vehicles weapons and armors. you can check that out on the website. After you chose your faction, obviously you create a character. Once that's done, you'll be thrown into you faction's Sanctuary. Now comes the slightly hard part. I suggest going into the training center and heading to the Virtual reality room. it's an instance that you can try every weapon, armor, vehicle, or mech. Try them all, you get XP for everyone you try. =] basicly that's your battle tutorial. Now I'll explain everythinggggggg else.

*Ahem* PS is made up of planets and cores (if you have the expansion) Open your map to see all the planets if you click on one you can see the bases and who controlls them. The goal of the game, Capture all bases. I'll try and make this brief there's a lot I can go in depth with but I'll try. To get to a planet you can use your dropship ( Located in your sanctuary, big thing in the middle) it's timed base and what it does is "Hot-drop" you onto a planet. Or you can chose the instant battle function by pressing escape. To get to cores, you have to hot drop to a planet that has a Transporter node for the core you want to go to. Last way to travel is using the Broadcast Transporter in your sanctuary. Look on the map you'll see it. They are the main way to teleport to different worlds. The broadcast one can teleport you anywhere, but one's you'll find on the planets will take you to the places they mark. Worlds can be Population Locked, which  means there are too many of your faction's players in that world, you can't go there yet untill the pop goes down. 

Basis of the game, Bases, and towers. Bases make up the game really. your objective is to capture them, first to capture a base you must have captured a tower that LINKS to that base. you'll notice the line following the tower to the base on your map. most bases have 2. Bases can give you bonuses depending on what kind of bases they are, and some require special methods to capture, but first you need to capture a tower. it's really simple. you need a HACKER certification to do this. I suggest getting Stealth and Hacking. You hack the door terminal outside the tower, then you go in and go up the stairs you'll notice the Control Terminal. Hack it, after you do so the tower is yours. Now time for the base, you can go in two ways, the front gate or the side door. most players will be fighting to get into these so you shouldn't be alone. after you get in, you can either. 

A. Destroy the Power terminal, which leaves the base defenseless, they cant access their supply terminals so they can't arm themselfs unless they use their lockers. and well, the entire base is shut down. 

B. Just go straight to hacking. YOU CAN destory the med terminals and everything by shooting them if you want too. that's up to you.

Follow the players you'll find the hacking terminal no problem it has 2 Flags on the map after you hack the base if the base is a Hack and Hold base you just wait out the 20 minutes it takes for the hack to complete, mainly all your tank-like combatants guard the terminal. After you get the base captured time to repair the damages, if you destroyed the generator you'll need to fix it, or else you can't use anything. ALSO to maintain a base you'll notice the NTU's which is the % of the bases power under its name on the map. you can use a NTU vehicle which you get by training in ANY vehicle. and go to a warp gate (Which I called Transporter's earlier im just too lazy to fix it.) and press V to charge the Truck to get NTU's after you charged press V again to stop and go back to the base, the big green gauge on the inside wall of the base is the NTU silo, when your close press V to recharge the station, if the NTU depletes to 0% the base becomes neutral and doesn't require the 20 minutes you need to wait after you hack it. 

That's basicly the game. there are lots more like players who get dropship certs and you can do a 20 man drop on a base. but hey, you can figure that out.


Good Luck

Played - M59, EQOA, EQ, EQ2, PS, SWG[Favorite], DAoC, UO, RS, MXO, CoH/CoV, TR, FFXI, FoM, WoW, Eve, Rift, SWTOR, TSW.
Playing - PS2, AoW, GW2


Novice Member

Joined: 8/24/03
Posts: 1144

Selling Propane and Propane Accessories in a MMORPG near you.

9/18/09 4:46:54 PM#26

I played Planetside years ago and it was a great game and a one of a kind experience.

However, it's been on SOE station pass life support for years. It hasn't even received any significant new content since BFRs in October of 2004. Of all the games out there, why rereview PS? It's had one foot in the grave for while now.


Novice Member

Joined: 11/06/07
Posts: 297

"The keenist sorrow is that we are the sole cause of our adversities" ~Sophicles

9/18/09 8:12:33 PM#27

 Yeah, planetside at release was amazing...its a combat experience unparalleled and I hope a company (not SOE) will make a similar game with a similar idea, that isnt just a massive FPS (like a halo or COD).  I will say the fault of Planetside is making it a "full MMO".  I would of been more than happy to pay say 3-8$/month to have it as a sidebar to another running MMO, but to pay full per month...just wasn't worth it if you play it casually.

To this day my fiancee' hates it, she almost broke up with me over Planetside...good thing I eventually learned to alway buy her a copy as well :)


Novice Member

Joined: 3/10/04
Posts: 316

"The decisions you make today will effect the rest of your life"
-Danny Devito

5/18/10 7:19:25 PM#28

When I played after its release for a while the weapons were inacurate enough to force what could have been a battle taking advantage of the huge open space maps into a battle so up close to the enemy your team mates ran in front of you causing negative exp penalty.

The Maps are huge and the gameplay is Nothing like a real FPS.   Weapons should be accurate and deadly.   Complain about one shots killing you?  Well don't run down the middle of the field.

If the weapons played out like real FPS people would adjust accordingly.   The huge maps which should be used for expansive long range battles are just a distance to run from one close quartered battle to another.

This post is intentionally written as to not make any sense what so ever. Thank You Very Much.

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