“Many of us found our gaming home in the ranks of the soldiers of Auraxis, our war was on land, air, sea and even underground when needed. There was always a target in mind, something to do, a single squad could take action that made a difference to the global fight, hell a single solider could turn the tide of a battle with a well placed orbital strike.
We fought in the vehicle bays of tech plants, defended stair cases of towers, assaulted rooms carved from crystalline structures. The goals and objectives changed by the minute: fall back, roll armour, hold the line while reinforcements flew to our aid. If there were dull moments, I must have missed them.
You weren’t thinking of your next kill or level, there was work to be done, and despite it being a “grind”, it never felt like it wasn’t the sole purpose of the game.”
- Excerpt from Tales of Auraxis – ChaosNC Archives
It is with a sad heart that say I’ve given up on Planetside 2, conceding to the fact that almost all of the enjoyable elements of the original game were overlooked when in came to designing PS2, presumably in favour of a more mainstream elements found FPS games.
At first I thought that it was just me and perhaps the shiny new engine just wasn’t my cup of tea, however after talking with a number if players it would seem to be a much wider spread concern.
If you are a veteran Planetside player who has played both games I shall ask you a simple question:
How many memorable/heroic feeling moments have you experienced in Planetside 2?
For those that enjoy the killwhoring side of FPS games PS2 is great, but for many others it’s almost a chore to play, with little enjoyment or thanks for undertaking support activities. Ignoring the free to play nature of the game, PS2 lacks many of the original game elements that gave the game some direction, a fact that has been noticed by the folks at SOE given that they aim to bring the lattice back into play.
However it’s a long way from the things that gave PS a unique feeling, from simple things like tower drops to tactical activities such as Gen holds/ base drains. There are large scale battles but they don’t last long as players drift off, or you get back hacked.
Also gone is the hack defense, emergency ANT drop from max altitude via lodestar, 30 person max crashes or re-securing a base with seconds left on the clock.
Maybe one day I’ll return to Planetside 2, maybe one day it will be the game I hoped it would be.
Welshtroll/ChaoticDecimation - SmasherDevourer - TurboTurbot
So this far into the Free-2-Play adventures it’s plain to all that there are frequently some tactics used to help customers part with their recently purchased coins/cash/tokens/crowns/points. However most companies seem to have some morals and don’t kick the arse out of it too much with the occasional item once every 3 to 6 months.
Additionally it is frequently some cosmetic item/armour or a new/unique horse.
However so far SOEs plan seems to be different, by making weapons unlockable with station cash many people see it as a “Win Button” approach and I have to say to a degree it sometimes feels like it. At this point I’d much rather a subscription game than the half and half model, which to be honest feels greedy.
However what appears to be happening at the moment is that SOE announce and release a new weapon, which once players have their hands on it turns out to be highly overpowered.
Once word of this gets into the mainstream player base there is a rush as everyone spends their Station Cash on the new Flavour of the week/month weapon, normally trying to get in on the action before SOE take a nerf-bat to it.
Of course the outcome is that SOE announce that it will be de-buffed in some way in the next patch, but not the worry as here is a brand new overpowered weapon to make up for it, just spend another 700 station cash and you can be a kill-whore like your friends.
As you can see the problem is due to two man factors:
- No testing server has been given but I hear it’s coming soon, lets hope they listen to feedback rather than ignoring it as they mostly did with Beta.
- The internal playtest/balancing is being done by SOE isn’t picking up any problems with these weapons. Now concerning that may of the devs claim to be life-long Planetside players, why aren’t they flagging these overpowered items before they hit the live servers?
All of this ultimately makes me believe this continual delivery of game wrecking functionality is being purely driven by SOE as part of their strategy to milk the players for as much as possible.Bit of a shame really.
Perhaps it’s just me, perhaps I’m that tied up with this game more than other F2P titles that I have most likely missed it happening to this extent elsewhere.
What are your experiences?
The original PS was my first MMO game, MMO in the sense that the world was massive, it was persistent and the theatre of combat was continually shifting and evolving. The game remains the place that spent a large potion of my 20′s, when I wasn’t working, I was on Auraxis, fighting, laughing and making friends with a group of players who remain a big part of my gaming life.
Planetside 2 isn’t a successor, but as the title implies it’s a reboot of the franchise bypassing all of the awkward elements that were shoehorned into the game which had the same effect as the NGE had on Star Wars Galaxies. This is making the world as it would have been made in the original version had technology been available, everything is super sized, from the buildings to the landscapes.
SOE has been rather sneaky and rather than leap into newer versions of Direct X the engine runs on DX9, which for anyone with a modern rig you can run at high end settings without too much trouble, this of course means that older machine should be capable of running the game.
However there a number of elements of Planetside 2 that I haven’t got to grips with yet.
1) Server bound characters
This is a normal practice in MMOs, yet this move in PS2 is hampered by the fact there are limited number of continents on a server thus resulting in locks and queues. Yes I know there were queues for continents in the original game, but you could still get onto the server even if you had to fight in a less populated battle. This new system instantly means that at peak time, not only can you not get to the main fight you can’t even join your outfit and have to fight elsewhere, to me this is a step backwards in character/server configuration.
Maybe just another cheap trick to incentivise players to opt for membership/VIP status.
2) Target audience
PS2 is targeted at more main stream FPS gamers, drawing from players of Call of Duty and Battlefield, this is a both a good and bad thing. Planetside requires team work in order to maximise the enjoyment gained and to also to achieve objectives. A big problem is that standard FPS games allow casual players to join matches solo and work towards a team objective with little or no interaction with fellow gamers.
Players who arrive with that attitude will find the game difficult maybe even boring
It is clear to see this selfish approach with simple acts such as not offering transport when you are commanding a vehicle with 11 empty seats, to the Zerg mentality that didn’t that much fun to watch or endure.
3) Pay wall versus idiot haven
As other games have proven Free to Play titles face a problem griefers, the effect of removing the pay barrier results in a large number of persons who are out to misbehave to the detriment of other players.
This even appears in the form of rage over perceived kill stealing, twice in the last week have I been gunned down due to some moron missing out on a kill (I believe), not that conducive to happy game.
As veteran players will recall the interlink farm was a time sink and primarily used for all those kill whore players to add some more figures to their kill streak. In PS2 the tech plant appears to have filled this role, however there is a stark difference between the games that means in PS2 camping out in a base to farm enemies for XP is a cost that is paid via the loss of other regions.
In the original game the lattice system meant that you didn’t lose too much from a little Interfarm now and again, where-as last night I watched as territories were taken all around us, yet the double XP kept a large chunk of players in one location.
Those as are the biggest issues I have with the game, there are other nigglingly points that aren’t worth pointing out at this time.
PS & Me
Maybe my reason for playing this game has changed, my definition of enjoyment certainly has compared to others. For example last night we end up in a techplant farm, after 25 minutes I commented that we should leave but the feedback from an outfit member was that the “Alamo” situation was the best place to be during double XP.
I promptly redeployed elsewhere, rather gutted that others seem to get more enjoyment out of a repetitive and mundane battle rather than using some initiative.
The game is wonderfully detailed and allows for battles on a scale that we have never seen before, but for me the f2p design leaves a bitter taste in my mouth, which I’m not completely sure if it’s a long term thing at this time.