Planetside 2 is the best free to play game ever - give it a try

I know we have another planetside 2 thread, but that one is already several pages deep with various stuff and you have to go pretty deep into it before you get to anything that would try to sell you on the game. Plus there’ve been reasons to hold back on the recommendations until now.

One, upon release the game was really still in an advanced beta stage, not really meant to be what it was at release. With game update 2, we’ve reached the point where they attempted to be at release originally. Which is not to say it’s totally polished now - but they’ve made progress and they’re working on it. They’ve especially increased the GPU optimization so that it should run better on a wider variety of systems.

Two, the SDMB players were unfortunately on the lowest populated US server, which negated the whole epic scale point of the whole thing, but tomorrow they’re going to be merging some servers to get the populations back up. I didn’t want to try to drive people to play the game only to discover the scale - what makes this game so special - just wasn’t there most of the time.

So now I can recommend the game without reservation. Planetside 2 is a free to play, massively multiplayer online first person shooter/tanker/pilot game with a sci-fi aesthetic It’s unrivalled in scale by anything else, with continents that can host 2000 players, and battles can involve hundreds of them on foot as various classes and hardsuits, and in all sorts of ground and air vehicles. The aesthetic actually reminds me a lot of the war scenes in Firefly - a big battle looks quite unlike anything else in gaming. Here’s a random short video example of what I mean. You can take and lose territory, there’s a persistant war.

Without getting into a big discussion about it, I normally hate free to play games but I love this one anyway. If you never buy anything you can still be a viable player - the only things that are exclusively unlocked with money are cosmetic, everything else can be earned with time spent playing. And technically they try to balance purchasable items as sidegrades - for example another purchasable verison of a rifle might have a larger magazine but a slower reload time, or more damage but lower rate of fire, that sort of thing. Or with tanks, you start with HEAT ammunition which is pretty decent against everything, but you could unlock/buy HE (infantry) and AP (armor) specialty rounds. That said, it’s not perfectly balanced, and some purchasable things are generally upgrades. Still, you shouldn’t feel as though you’re useless or overmatched as an exclusively free player. That said, if you wait for a 3x sale day (where they sell 3x as much monopoly money as usual for the same price), you can buy a lot of stuff you want for just a little money.

There are three factions. The New Conglomerate are the tea party of Auraxis - ostensibly fighting for freedom from the evil government, but really funded and controlled by the large corporations. We’ve decided they’re some weird combination of frat boys and rednecks, sort of YEEHAW PASS THE MOUNTAIN DEW, BROSEPH!

The Vanu Sovereignty are militant scientologists, except they’ve found some technology that a future Tom Cruise android has left for them. They have, overall, the best equipment, but if there’s a balance change that takes away some of that advantage they all go hang themselves IRL, so their population can drop. Most of their camos look like ridiculous pimp pajamas, but to their credit they do have a modeller on board whose only job is to finely hone the female vanu’s spandex ass. They are lead by this guy

The Terran Republic are the rightful government and professional military. They are also the best looking faction.

The SDMB mainly plays Terran Republic (we have goof around characters on other factions), on the server Genudine that will soon be merged into Helios on the west coast. We’ve probably got around 30-35 people in the outfit/guild, but only maybe 15 of them regularly play with us anymore. Maybe the merges, which should revitalize the game, will bring people back. We regularly play together - we’re always on voice chat (mumble) and pretty coordinated, usually doing something pretty productive that all the idiots on our side can’t manage to do, but sometimes awesome shit.

Mumble is free and great and you should get it. Our server is (remove the slash, I’m just protecting against bots) port 32768. It’s strongly recommended if you want to play with us you get on voice chat - there are 2 people who for some reason will play with us but won’t get on it, and it’s a hassle to type things out to them, and they’re missing out on a lot of the fun. Add me (senorbeef) on steam if you want to see when we’re getting active. We’ll probably be playing all weekend to check out the merges.

The game requires a pretty decent computer. It’s unusually CPU hungry for a game, especially in the massive battles. A mid range gaming PC should be fine. In game, you can hit alt-F to get a frame rate and it’ll also say GPU or CPU to show what’s bottlenecking you at the time. If you’ve got a low frame rate and you’re CPU bottlenecked, turning off shadows (find the planetside 2 useroptions.ini file, change overallquality=-1, lighting=0) or if it says GPU then play around with all the other settings.

So yeah, it’s free, it’s improving on a regular basis, lots of SDMBers to play with, and it’s one of the greatest games ever. Only reason not to try it is if you have a hobo PC or you are a filthy peasant.

We can use this thread to help new players get into the game. So post away with questions and issues.

More random gameplay videos to show it off:
Original launch trailer

gameplay with high graphics (best in 1080p)

Giant tank battle from beta (1-2 minutes is enough)

I need to figure out how to make cinematic videos like this guy - I suspect it’s turning off the hud and then doing a pan and scan thing.

Mostly infantry battle footage I recorded the other week

Drunk SDMBers goofing around harassing the NC

So what are you waiting for? Try it.

Hmm. Mind if I offer a counter-opinion? It’s a negative view of the game, so only people who want to read it should. And probably only after you’ve played it for yourself and given it a fair chance.

Then you should come back here and tell us how you liked it :slight_smile:

Planetside 2 is boring. Not exceptionally so, mind you, but in that “Can we make slightly more money with a slightly newer F2PMMO?” kind of way. It mixes mediocre infantry combat with lumbering vehicles and aircraft that fly like they’re from the Wright era… plus laser cannons.

Take the visceral, constant danger of Call of Duty and replace it with stat-based gunplay, personal shields, and armor. You basically have something that brings you back a few decades to where “first person shooter” means “circle-strafe around your opponent, slowly withering away their health before they do yours”. Oh, and lest I forget, if you grind enough you can eventually hop into an armored exoskeleton… and that way you can have twice the guns, twice the armor, twice the drudgery.

That’s PS2 infantry combat, unless you’re unfortunate enough to be either a sniper or the victim of one. In that case, replace actual combat with “telephoto whack a mole”. Either you’re a sniper and you wait, wait, and wait, and try to camp enough to eventually earn a sniper rifle that can actually kill with a headshot…

…or you’re the target infantry trying to regroup with your squad after the 5th sniper kill, so you’re running from cover to cover from the moment you spawn, zig-zag bunny-hopping the whole time but it doesn’t really matter because the distances are so vast and there is so little regional support from your team unless you’re in an Outfit and a good Squad, and the sniper is just slowly but surely accumulating body shots on you, and your gun doesn’t work over long distances because “balance” in this game is based largely on gun stats and not your personal skill as a player… and then you die. And you think to try again as the sniper this time, and you know roughly where your attacker was so you flank them and kill them with a few mediocre body shots of your own, but the death feels strangely unsatisfying because they’ve respawned a moment later and your kills don’t really amount to anything more than a few XP.

The round never ends, the match never ends, the war never ends. It’s just constant, pointless battle with an RPG veneer, but minus any sort of a real plot, quests, or significant class differences between sides. The different factions have different skins and weapons with slightly more or less firepower, reload time, distance, spread, etc., but by and large they feel similar.

And vehicles? Take the Battlefield series, up the armor on everything, lower their maneuverability, speed, and firepower and there you have PS2 vehicular combat. Everything is slow and silly, and every minor skirmish is a battle of attrition and patience as your squad tries to take out their vehicle and their squad tries to heal it and the weapons don’t really do much and occasionally a wayward shell kills an infantry member, but there’s not really much sense of power or purpose to any of it. Everything feels like Battlefield with a layer of protective foam, deliberately slowed down and weakened to facilitate the RPG layer, to facilitate the grind, ultimately to bore you enough that you’ll want to take the Sony Store shortcut and just buy your way up. Which I did, but it still wasn’t much fun.

Ah, but you see, it’s different when it’s super-large scale and epic! That’s right, take all the mediocrity, supersize it… and you end up with a vast network of inconsequential skirmishes stretched across mind-blowingly large maps that require either half an hour of running or significant resource expenditures in vehicles… ah, that’s right, back to the grind.

To do anything worthwhile you have to grind or buy, not because it’s necessarily inherent to the gameplay, but because just surviving the wastelands long to get close to the actual gameplay is a huge chore in itself. You can only Instant Action teleport every so often, and when your mobile spawn points get destroyed (and they will, because they’re prime targets), you’re back to vast desert treks or desperately trying to camp enough to save up resources for your own vehicle.

You do this for a few hours, your character levels up, you get more certifications and weapons, and you feel incrementally less mediocre, but still slow as fuck and outmatched by people who have simply sunken more time or money into the game than you. And then a big plane flies by, upgraded with various weapons and loaded with hardcore players with hardcore weapons, and you have no particular recourse because you’re just an average player with average weapons and (if you’re lucky) an average squad, and if you’re really lucky one of your squadmates might actually be next to you. Then you look at him, him at you, and you both suddenly realize that this is all quite futile anyway, so you aim up at the sky, shoot a few wayward blasters at the big plane, it turns around, kills you both, and finally you’re free. Hurrah.

Eh. And I didn’t set out to blast PS2, for what it’s worth. I played Planetside 1 in its alpha, beta, and release stages – with much initial excitement. I also played PS2 since beta, with a little less excitement because it seemed like nothing much at all has changed, but I gave it a fair chance and it just failed to deliver. If they’re already merging servers this soon after release, that’s a sign that I’m not the only one who feels this way. Too bad, so sad.

Back to Battlefield.

Link to the game?

How do you control movement? Mouse/keyboard enough to play, or does it need a joystick or game controller or something?

Why even ask if you’re going to ahead anyway? Yeah, it’s kind of rude for the second post in a recruitment/give it a try thread to be overwhelmingly negative. You could’ve aired all of your thoughts in the regular planetside 2 thread, but chose to do so here - for what purpose? All it can do is sway some people not to try it.

Also, I think most of your objections are pretty ridiculous.


What? Are you talking about Planetside 1? Do you think 2003 to 2012 is “slightly newer”? Planetside 2 is a huge generational leap over PS1. Otherwise what MMOFPS are you talking about?

Are you talking about the super nimble fighters or the multicrewed bomber and transport aircraft? Either way that’s not a fitting description at all. If anything, the fighters are too wildly manueverable.

In other words, you die the moment anyone sees you

What the hell is “stats based gunplay”? Because the weapons actually feel a little bit different, unlike COD where every small arm is the same 900 RPM no recoil perfectly accurate instant kill gun? Because you actually have to aim and hit people with multiple rounds and compensate for recoil and leading and drop instead of just killing everything if you point in their general direction and let 'er rip?

The best thing that could happen to FPS games are that they could be brought back a decade. Back then, the games were balanced for skill. Fights would be won by who used the best tactics, moved the best, aimed the best. Not who saw the other guy first and instantly killed him with 2 bullets from a magic perfectly accurate super fast shooting low recoil weapon.

God forbid fights actually involve movement, cover, teamwork, and aiming. No, they should all be over in less time than it takes you to even try to look in the direction of the person who’s shooting you.

You can hop into a MAX from the first time you spawn - granted, not with the best weaponry for any particular role.

I have to wonder about your playstyle. What percentage of your deaths are due to a sniper? I’d put mine at under 3%, possibly lower.

Ok, so your objection is that sniper rifles are more effective at long range than, say, submachine guns. Should they be equally effective?

It’s weird that you talk about “personal skill as a player” but then you lament the things that actually turn the game into being able the personal skill of the player. If this game had the super low TTK of the games you so love, you’d just die left and right without ever participating in a two way fight, using meaningful tactics, out-manuevering or out-aiming the enemy.

You’re scoring a lot of body shots for a guy who’s concerned that his personal skill level isn’t accurately reflected in the game

How in the fucking world can this be an objection to Planetside 2 in particular? “Kills aren’t satisfying because my enemies can respawn” applies to EVERY MULTIPLAYER FPS GAME EVER.

Just like every other FPS ever? It’s okay if you play the same map in COD 500 times, but if you push back and forth along a continent in planetside 2, suddenly it’s boring and pointless. “Yeah, we conquered half the continent and fought over several square kilometers of territory, but there’s no real point to this… I’m gonna go play my 15000th round of nuketown”

PS2 tanks aren’t significantly slower or less manueverable than BF3 tanks. The M1 in BF3 feels like the vanguard, the Prowler is a little quicker, and the Magrider is far more manueverable. The armor is higher, sure, that’s the same thing with TTK - longer fights mean that tactics, teamwork, aim, and manuever become relevant, that only increases the skill ceiling.

So you’re lamenting that two teams are using teamwork to keep their own tanks alive while manuevering into position to keep the other team from doing the same? And this, to you, makes the game feel somehow low skill?

And tanks have no power?

You must be one of those people that think “hardcore” mode, read low ttk mode, in video games makes more hardcore and more skilled than other gamers. It’s such a silly idea. Can you really possibly think those epic fights in Q3 that involved manuever and map control and multiple weapons where 2 highly skilled players would duel it out over a minute indicates weakened, lowered skill versions of Call of Duty’s instant kill as soon as you see an enemy with a fast firing no recoil weapon?

If you’re “grinding”, you’re doing it wrong. Play the game and the points will come. This, again, is a particularly bizarre criticism because those games you love so much also use a “grinding” system of unlocks.

Yes, of course it is. Would the opening scene of Saving Private Ryan be as cool if it was 4 guys battling over a shoe closet?

You almost never actually have to run anywhere. You can spawn at any spawn point your team controls in like a 1.5km radius, and you can uses flashes to drive somewhere if you need to which represent almost free resource use. You can also instant deploy to your squad leader or any of the hotspots on the map, or your squad leader’s beacon, or any of the reinforcement points which are the 3 top places on the map that your team most needs help.

It really sounds like you’re playing it wrong.

People in your beloved COD also have more gear when they level up compared to you. Again, your objections (battles are ultimately meaningless, there’s an unlock grind, enemies respawn instead of I guess having their games deleted as soon as they die) apply to every other FPS game - or most, in the case of unlocks.

They overexpanded early on with more projected growth, realized it isn’t going to happen, and merged. The stigma of merging, because people have a reaction like you did, kills viable games because it makes them afraid to manage their population properly.

Yeah, have fun when your personal skill is reflected in fights that last an average of 0.2 seconds, so you can pat yourself on the back about how hardcore you are.[/spoiler]

Mouse and keyboard will do everything. You can fly with a joystick but to be honest the way they model joysticks makes it really hard to do any precision aiming so mouse+kb is actually better. Fixes are coming, they say. Not sure what you’d used a gamepad for.

I downloaded mumble, and I’m downloading the game now.

When I try to connect to mumble using the server info you provided, it says “Server connection failed. The remote host closed the connection.”

I removed the slash in the info you provided. Was I supposed to replace the slash with something else?

On the connect window, hit “add server”

Something should pop up

Label: [whatever you want - SDMB works]
Port 32768
Username: Whatever you want

Of course remove the “REMOVE” word from that address.

My experience with Planetside 2 was “you died!” I only played once, admittedly, maybe it was because we were sieging The Crown, which as I understand it is kind of a bitch to take. There just seemed to be two kinds of people: canon fodder, and those hiding behind a rock never doing anything. I survived for about 45 minutes as an engineer repairing tanks, but I could only stand the front lines never moving an inch for so long until I quit.

Maybe I should try again when such a high-value target isn’t the objective?

Strange. That’s exactly what I did the first time, but now it works.

The Crown is pretty unique in that it’s by far the most defensible base in the game, which means it can stonewall a large number of attackers, leading to a big stalemate in the area. It’s definitely more fun to be on the defending side of that than the attacking side. I like to play at the Crown occasionally, but we probably don’t spend more than 5% of our time there.

The battles are much more fluid pretty much anywhere else.

Yeah, the Crown is not representative. Ever since the last game update, which IMO made it even MORE defensible, I don’t really enjoy playing there. Not even really because I get killed constantly (though that happens sometimes) but because it just seems pointless, not to mention which every time my faction ends up holding the Crown, it usually means we lose vast amounts of territory elsewhere, because everyone is hanging out defending the Crown instead of defending any other territory on the map. Annoying.

I definitely would not judge this game based on one play. Also, it definitely helps to be in a squad. I play with a friend of mine, and we do a two-man (well, one man-one woman, but whatever) squad where I’m usually playing engineer and he’s usually heavy assault, though we switch it up a little sometimes. Coordinating over voice chat and using actual tactics and strategy makes the game a lot more fun and playable than just doing it solo lone-wolf style, IMO.

I’m pretty excited about the server merge, too. My friend is in the UK, so we play on Ceres, which is an EU server. It hasn’t been quite as bad as what I hear from you guys on Genudine, but it does get pretty ghost-town-like outside prime time hours. I’m hoping that after the merge maybe there will actually be enough player population to have battles on continents other than Indar. A girl can hope.

You should create an alternate character with us on Genudine/Helios and play sometimes when you aren’t playing with your other friends. I know it sucks to start a new character and not have access to all your stuff, although with account wide unlocks sometime soon (which I doubt will be comprehensive - probably just faction neutral stuff), but we have lots of fun stupid antics and stuff it’s worth coming over for, at least part time. That goes for anyone who’s already playing on some other server/faction as us.

Edit: That’s unlocks for purchased items only. I think you get all factional items on any other factional characters (so it helps if you’re TR), or neutral stuff like liberator/lighting/etc. stuff.

Playing with a squad really helps to avoid being a crop for others to farm. I picked up quite a bit from the SDMB team, and there is another outfit, SOTO, which plays on the same server, they have some decent leaders and direct the squads arround fairly well without and “OMFGyounoobtwonk” type nonsense.
It is very much a team game.

Created an alt on Genudine called ArroganceExMachina and got him to BR5 - not sure how much I’ll play but I work nights and get off around 6am my time. Maybe I’ll hop on to the US servers when I want to play after work.

I mistakenly thought you wanted to start a discussion. I didn’t bother reading the other thread.

I will ask a mod to delete my comment, though I’m not sure if that’s possible.

It’s not necesary to delete it, it just seemed like, since this thread is more of a “hey, the gaming shaping up, you may not have heard of it but it’s free so give it a go” thread (the title of the other one didn’t even mention F2P, so people may not have known that and didn’t even look), and the other one was a general discussion, it seemed like you were kinda trying to discourage people from trying it. Now with a paid game - if you were to run it and say “don’t pay $50 for this junk” I’d understand, but since it’s free, might as well give it a go.

I also found the particulars of your arguments quite bizarre. Basically “killing people is pointless, they just respawn, you have to grind to unlock weapons, and you keep fighting over the same battlefields, I’m going back to COD/BF3” mixed in with a little “you’re not hardcore unless your fights last an average of 200 milliseconds and are completely one sided”

I just don’t want people to dismiss it before they’ve given it a try. It’s a very unique game, we have a lot of regular SDMB players, and it’s free.

I really like this game, although I have only limited playtime for it.

Although it’s a classless game, I mostly stick to playing an engineer, occasionally driving a Lightning tank around. I typically do support stuff, like repairing tanks and fixed guns. And the occasional max who stands still for a moment. If there’s nothing to fix, I’ll use a fixed gun or set up my own turret. I’m a fairly good shot with those things and vehicle guns, because the recoil is manageable. The handheld gun I use is a shotgun with slugs. It has a fairly short range and nasty recoil, but it hits really hard.

My Lightning tank is equipped with infrared (not thermal) and HE rounds. I basically do anti-sniper patrols. The HE around doesn’t hurt armored vehicles much but it is devastating to infantry. With the IR scope I can see the snipers and can usually one-shot them. I’m also effective against infantry hiding in buildings; a HE round through the window can clear out a room fairly well.

Useful note to new players. use the Q key to “spot” an enemy player. It makes them pop up on your teammates’ minimaps and you’ll get some bonus experience if they are killed within a short time period.

Oh, I wanted to add that the development team is awesome. They interact with players often. They update the game often. I’ve seen steady improvement in gameplay since the beginning. And the have a clear roadmap of what they’re adding in the future.

I did say they’d probably want to try it themselves before reading, and I spoilered it. My comment was more for people who may not want to go through the hassle of signing up and downloading the game.

I stand by my opinions, though you disagree with them, but I apologize for putting it here instead of the other general discussion thread. That was poor taste on my part.