Planetside 2: What a MMOFPS Should Be

I’m finally getting around to giving you guys my thoughts on Planetside 2.  Aside from being extremely busy the past two weeks, I had an issue with Planetside.  Every single time I would play my computer would completely lock up after about 10-20 minutes. I finally identified the problem: STEAM.  Uninstalling from STEAM and reinstalling via SoE’s standalone client solved my crashing,a nd I am finally able to enjoy the game.

I want to touch on just a few points that I feel make Planetside 2 a game worth playing.

Exciting Combat

Tonight we were defending a research station close to Vanu’s WarpGate when suddenly the entire sky was filled with aircraft.  It was one of those mind-blowing moments that are so awesome they make you slam your hands onto the keyboard desperately trying to hit Print Screen.  Although it felt like hundreds of fighters, bombers, and galaxies, in reality it was likely closer to 40.  Still, 40 aircraft suddenly flying over is insane.

Those 40 aircraft proceeded to wipe out most of our defense, then a handful of galaxies deployed several dozen ground troops.  While I was watching the enemy rain from the sky down upon us, a Sunderer burst over a wall and smashed into position, deployed its spawn beacon, and proceeded to flood our base with dozens of more enemy soldiers.

The entire experience was glorious, horrifying, and exactly why I play Planetside 2.

More after the break.

Meaningful Character Progression

The more you play, the more certs you earn.  Certs are spent on purchasing upgrades and new items.  You want certs, and you want lots of them.  Despite leveling up and earning new battle ranks, I feel like certs are the true experience points, or what you really need to improve your character.

There’s also currency points used to buy infantry, vehicle,a nd aircraft.  If you want a tank you’ll have to spend some currency.  This stop people from getting vehicles and going on kimikazi runs, because you’ll only be able to buy a few vehicles before having to earn points to get more.

I feel like I can see progress when I play, and I get to play my way.  If I want to be an Engineer, I can spend my certs buying upgrades for that.  If I want to drive a Sunderer and transport troops then I can spend my point upgrading my vehicle to be the best it can be.

Massive Battles, Very Little Lag

Like I mentioned before, battles are huge.  I think there were about 412 people at the battle tonight.  That’s about 400 more people than games like Guild Wars and SWTOR can have before becoming a complete lag-fest. I think my framerate dropped from high 40’s to low 30’s during the worst of it.  Gameplay was smooth throughout. Latency was minimal, although towards the end of the fight when numbers grew I started to experience enemy player pop-in.  Leaving the area and traveling only a few miles away to another outpost reduced the latency lag.

Cash Shop: Powerful, but fair

All weapons available for certs can be unlocked with Station Cash (SoE currency bought with RL money).  Unlocks are pricey — very pricey — but can be found in bundles and occasionally on sale.  The unlocks are really, really good.  If you drop $10 your tank will be better than someone else’s tank, but with time and skill anyone can have the same upgrades.

Right now I’m trying to decide how long it will take to get the weapons, and whether or not it is more reasonable to buy them.  For example, if it takes 6 months to unlock something or $20, it may be worth paying for that upgrade if it’s something I want bad enough. I’d love to hear from some of you who are more knowledgeable in PS2 cash shop matters.  So far, from what I can tell, it appears fair.

Give it a try — It’s FREE

You should definitely try out Planetside 2.  The game is free, after all.  So far I haven’t spent a dime, and I’m having a ton of fun.  Well, that’s only half true. I bought the founder’s pack to get into beta a few months back so technically I have some Station Cash on-hand.   Planetside 2 is exactly what I expect from a MMOFPS, and what I wish other MMO’s could mimic with their PvP.

  • I’m starting to get annoyed with Steam lately. It seems to lock up and crash for no good reason, or I’ll try to boot up a game and Steam will pull the “process is not responding, would you like to kill it or wait for it to catch up?” Then the program will catch up and decide to launch a completely different game than the one I clicked on. No Steam, I said Max Payne 3, not Counter Strike Source. They aren’t even close to one another.

  • Unless I am doing it wrong, you can only unlock a few things with station cash. For example, You can only upgrade vehicle or infantry weapons – which may or may not be close to “sidegrades” of what you start with. A lot of the real power comes in upgrading the weapons and those improvements you cannot buy with station cash.

    If you pick one class and want to max it out – I think buying a weapon is probably worth it (assuming there is a “go to” weapon for that class) since weapons are really expensive.

    It is a weird experience – you do improve your equipment and you do better with the new equipment but it seems that it is more important to put in the time learning the game and you get better by just becoming a better player…it is fun though…I havent even gotten to run with an organized operation – I imagine that is where it will really shine!

  • The ‘only’ thing you can buy with Station Cash are weapons, which are very pricy indeed. In your post however you state spending 60$ on a tank. While this is possible to unlock all different weapons, this would not make the tank a lot stronger, since you can only use 2 at the same time at a cost of roughly 6-8$ per weapon. And if you play Vanu you don’t really want to change your main tank weapon, meaning that after getting a secondary, your tank will be as strong as money can make it. 90% of the strength will come from certs.

  • I would give it a try, I just can’t create an account. The US registration site redirects you to that Pro7/Sat1 version, which will redirect you back to the US.

    Steam wouldn’t work for EU players either

  • As a EU player I also have had no problems whatsoever with steam.

    If you’ve installed it via steam and can’t remember you SOE account login details then you need to create a prosieben account and add “environment=psg” at the bottom of the “LaunchPad.ini” file in the PS2 install directory.

    Not being able to create an account I have no idea what the problem is there, never encountered that before.

  • I played it, but i’m not really hooked. Dont know why really, ’cause I played alot of BF3 and PS2 is pretty similar. I cant put my finger on it.

    On a different note

    Playing Skyrim again, and enjoying the heck out of it.Its been nearly a year since I played last, and both the new DLC’s are pretty good. Its really fun

    I like D3 as well, they have made it alot better the last couple of months

  • u must play with friends or an organised group to get the best out of this, cant believe the amazing battles ive been in never had that experience before

    u cant pay for the side grades, like a hand grip or better scope u need to earn those, you can pay for weapons but that depends on your play style, playing heavy i like the default Gauss saw with a better grip and scope

    i actually paid for an xp boost which meant i earned certs quicker then got my upgrades quicker

  • Also, if you buy weapon…they sometimes have Double Station Cash days and the weapons are on sale sometimes for half the price…so you can get them for a quarter of the original price.

  • I’m loving the game so far. The performance for me has been excellent. Love being able to choose the different classes based on the situation I’m in. Love the 100% PvP progression. I can’t help but to keep thinking that this is how GW2 WvW should have been. I think if you took Planetside 2’s game design, and then took out the FPS aspect of it and replaced it with a fantasy mmo style setting, 3rd person traditional mmo combat, and 3 sides with 5 unique classes per side, you would have a massive hit in your hands. 100% pvp all the time, massive fights, all progression through pvp.

    Definitely a big fan of this game.

  • @MMORaid:
    i7 930 @2.8ghz
    6gigs ram
    GTX 460

    @Sleepysam: I don’t think the 3-monther is necessarily applicable to a MMOFPS. It’s more like Battlefield 3 with persistent elements. How long do you play a FPS?

    @Argorious: Thanks for the clarification. I edited my post to reflect that only weapons can be bought.

    @Sanek Taver: You’re right, $60 is an exaggeration. I’ve changed it to $10. I do believe that spending that money makes your tank’s weapon much better. Maybe I should have used the Mosquito as an example: Buying the Hellfire Rocket Pods makes the Mosquito infinitely better, but costs 1000 certs or 700SC.

    I’ve taken some screenshots to help show people the cash shop:

  • Definitely got me a bit intersted, I didn’t realize this was going to be Free to Play when it came out. Downloading now. Tough I have a few quick questions. When I start it up will I have to pick a certain faction or something? If there’s a certain server/faction/whatever that other KGC people are playing in, I’d gladly join in.

  • @TheRedComet: Yes, you choose between three factions. KGC playing Terran Republic on Mattherson. We play together in the evenings.

  • I am quite terrible at Planetside 2, and half the time I have no idea what is going on, but it can be fun. At the very least it is an incredible visual spectacle.

  • Glad you’re liking it Keen. Also glad you’re on Mattherson. Probably some of the best competition since a ton of PS1 vet outfits landed there. If you ever get shot out of the sky or rocket podded by an zebra stripped Scythe with hearts cover its cockpit, know I did so with much love!

  • @blub go to open a us station account there. use that in the window of the planetside2 game when it asks for station account.
    Works just fine.

    I like the game, but I have to agree it takes way to long to gather enough certificates to buy 500 or 1000 weapons. So yes since I do like the game I did buy currency.
    Its a good game. Just wish it ran much better. Still poorly optimized.

  • Its great fun, especially in a good Outfit (guild/clan).

    That said, they did release it in a “beta” state, because it is F2P and who doesn’t like to make money? Who *doesn’t* release games in a beta state these days though?

    Having fun, and that’s all that matters.


    Bend before the will of Vanu.

  • Playing it on:
    AMD AM3+ Bulldozer 4ghz
    8 gb RAM
    Nvidea GeForce GTX560

    I wonder if an SSD would make a big difference, but not having to much lag playing with this setup. Running 1680×1050 and getting 20-30FPS in large engagements.

    The way you can advance your toon is what really has me hooked. Your first upgrade should be a scope for your weap fyi. But there are so many ways to specialize that you can really hone in on upgrades to fit your particular playstyle. Its the sort of vertical (via level-only gates on certain items) and horizontal progression (do you upgrade your class abilities or vehicle abilities or weapon abilities…), done really well in P2, that is what makes or breaks MMO’s (take some notes ANET!!)

    Also the continent sizes are about perfect. Big enough so you need vehicles to get around, but not so big that finding fights is a problem.

  • EU Woodman (and Miller) are hugely unstable and overpopulated so my experience has mostly been a negative one – there’s even a rumour SOE are using very old DAOC kit to run PS2 in Europe.

    I think I’ve had 2 nights where I did not get booted from the server, random server reboots, freezes or crashes multiple times. When that does not happen the game entirely locks my PC itself every now and then.

    When it works I’m finding it just OK: I feel so far the balancing is FAR from done (especially AA guns), some of the bases are a sprawling mess and there simply are not enough continents.

    I love the graphical overhaul and there’s been some truly amazing fights (especially at night when the sky really is lit up by tracers and lasers) and it has potential but I still think they should have delayed the launch by another month or so.

    Having said all that once they do address the stability I’ll probably buy Premium Membership and try to relive the glory days of PS1 – one of my all time favourite games until they utterly ruined it with those Crystal Caverns and Mechs.

  • your welcome :p

    and nice, i’ve not seen any big air plays but plenty of great ank lines and infantry sieges.
    I still absolutely suck at this game and much preferd PS1, but I enjoy it when i get to gun tank or bomber. or playing support or max