Planetside goes free

Well, sort of.

They’ve gone live with the “play to BR6 for a year, free” plan.

Just a heads-up for those of you, like me, who are curious enough to give it another shot.

It was fun in Beta and Final, for a while, although you quickly ran out of ‘content’ and I never was much fan of De_dust…

Is’nt it almost required to have the addons to be able to fight properly now?

VANU forever! (or whatever they were called, Magrider <3)

There’s only been one expansion, and you can’t even benefit from it in most fights.

Thought everyone wanted a mech.

I was BR20/CR3 when I quit… , it was a fun game, and I did some cool stunts as a ‘ninja’, but I always missed deformable terrain.

If I can blow up buildings and leave lasting “impression” on the landscape/buildings I’ll be back playing in a second.

For a Planetside nobie (never tried it but I enjoy making up my own words), can anyone elaborate on what BR6 really means as far as gameplay is concerned. How many hours will I play before I feel like I’m limited by this constraint? Is it similar to being limited to level 6 in WoW?

Is it similar to being limited to level 6 in WoW?

Man, I hope not. That would limit it to about 2 hours’ gameplay…

When I played, it worked like this:

For every battle rank you gained, (You’ll reach BR6 quickly) you can unlock equipment/skills, which cost points.

E.g. at BR20 you have 20 points to spend (from what I remember).

Say, a Cargo plane costs 4 ponits, a tank costs 5, etc. so you can have a tool-set of different equipment.

5 points gives you access to ninja class (2 points) and a stealth plane (3 points).

4 points gives you access to Anti-Tank weaponry…

You can get BR20 in a very short time, from what I remember.
command rank takes more time, but CR2-3 is attainable reasonably fast.

To advance quickly, I think I remember, you just need to get a good group going (sounds familiar), if you want CR points you have to be the commander, and you capture towers + bases.

You never had HUGE scale battles, even though you were supposed to be able to, due to the limitations in the engine/server/wtf, perhaps its better now, but you could have some fun battles.

My best experience was with my squad, we had dropped on top of a tower, located next to a enemy base which was under attack by another enemy (3 sides)… since they needed everything ‘operational’ for the base to function properly, they needed our tower. We held it for hours, against both sides attackign us from land and air. It was great! =)

Not really. Planetside is mostly a game of player skill, and by the time you are BR6, character levels mostly give you more options rather than make you stronger. It’s a limitation, but not a crippling one. It’s not at all like being level-limited in a game like WoW. You can also respec your skills in the game, if you want to try different things.

I guess it depends on your definition of “huge.” I fought in many battles with hundreds of other players, back when I was playing. They may be smaller these days because they have fewer players, but the engine/servers are definitely capable of handling battles that are far, far larger than what you’d find in any other game.

I played beta + Launch and I never got the impression that the battles were that huge, and due to something they changed in beta->retail the framerate drop was noticeable when there was a lot of fighting going on.

Huge to me would mean perhaps 4-500 attacking/defending the same objective. :-)

Well, 500 is probably larger than the game can handle (I’m pretty sure that tops the pop caps on continents), but I’ve definitely been in lots of battles with 100-200, both in the beta and in the year or so that I spent playing after launch. Since 64 players battles are the largest you’ll find in other games in the genre, it seems like you’re holding PlanetSide to an unreasonable standard.

BR6 is very easy to get to.

I played PS off and on, although I never paid for it. I was in the beta, and I got the occasional free month via some promotion. The fundemental problem of the game was the fact that taking bases quickly became meaningless and the battles ended up being nearly the same. The only variety the enviroment typically had to offer was in getting to the enemy base, but once you were there, it was the same crap every time.

Continent lock meant nothing. Zerg tactics ruled the day. Team work was non-existant.

Id really like to see another stab at a FPS MMOG, but they need to look at why PS has failed. I think the next step for PS is to simply allow you to play for free and have some kind of in-game advertisments. So while running across Solisar, you will see a billboard for McDonalds or something. It seemes to work for AO, they are keeping that game alive somehow when its free.

Planetside newbie advice: first thing when you start, head to VR training and try out all the weapons and vehicles, at least briefly – you get a chunk of exp the first time you try a new weapon or vehicle, enough so to get a rank or two.

Once you’ve gotten a couple ranks, go with UniMax for your first certification.

Finally, Vanu > NC > TR. So nyah!

(I’m almost tempted to re-up my PS sub for a month, but, nah)

Did you solo a lot, of play in squads? Because in my experience, I’ve seen more teamwork in PS than in any other multiplayer shooter save Battlefield 2. Largely because the game makes it so easy to hook up with people you know, but also because squads can afford to field specializations that are beneficial for a group but not suitable for solo play (like Gal pilots). I’m sure the folks from the old Qt3 outfit would agree.

The ease of hooking up with people that you know is a huge deal. I’d love to see a massively multiplayer Battlefield game, because despite offering good tools and perks to encourage teamwork, the existing Battlefield games are practically user-hostile when it comes to helping you play with friends, unless you have your own server.

I think BR6 is actually pretty limiting. As folks have said, the battle ranks are used to purchase access to different equipment. One of the beauties of PS, though, is that you can only carry or use so much equipment at once, so after a while gaining levels doesn’t make you any more powerful on the battlefield, it just makes you more versatile (e.g., it’s nice to be able to drive a tank outdoors but also wear battle armor when the fighting moves indoors – but if all you can do is drive a tank, you’re still awesome on the outdoor battlefields and just stick to that as much as you can).

The problem is, at BR6 you don’t even really have what I would consider a full kit. You can drive a tank, but you can’t repair it. You can wear some of the better armors, but you can’t also carry the heaviest weapons (it would be one or the other). I guess you could pick up UNIMAX (giving you access to all three of the powered armors), but you couldn’t have anything else at all. My feeling is that you don’t have a complete kit until you’re roughly BR8 or 10. At that point, you can be “the best” at one role, and everything after that is just expanding in new directions so that your character can fill multiple roles. But BR6? I think you’d be at a slight disadvantage all the time (slight disadvantage when you’re in your element, serious disadvantage if not).

And you will reach BR6 fast. Most people are BR4 just from completing the basic training, without firing a single shot against live opponents. You can make BR6 I would guess in one day if you play a lot, 2-3 days at most.

Re: large battles, I can’t believe instant0 wants 400-500 people at at time. What’s the point? I fought in battles similar to Ben’s (often the same battles as Ben), and I too would estimate it at 100 to 200 people. At that point, the screen is filled with soldiers and vehicles, and there’s so much fire going back and forth that the air is basically just a hatchwork of laser beams. I don’t think doubling the number of people would improve the experience any, because they’d just spread out beyond where you could see. The game definitely needs more players – it’s often hard to find those giant battles – and it needs better servers, because too often those giant battles are going on but you can’t get there because of the population locks (only so many people are allowed on each continent). But it does not need larger battles.

Re: pointless battles, we go over this every time someone brings up Planetside. How is the battle any more or less pointless than the ones in Battlefield 2? You capture the base in PS, and yeah, someone can capture it right back or it can get recaptured when you log off. But you capture the base in BF2 and the game immediately resets no matter what you do. At least in PS you can try and hold it if you feel like it. If anything, PS battles have more of a point than the one-off battles in other online shooters, because there’s at least the chance that you can hold your gains. Don’t get me wrong, I’d love PS (or some other MMOFPS) to take it even farther and have long-lasting gains or continent locks or whatever, because then it would be even better. But I never understand the knock against PS for having “pointless battles” when every other MP shooter is even more pointless and nobody cares. I guess it’s because PS is presented as an online war rather than a big sandbox where you can have base battles, so people have different expectations.

That’s definitely true, but it’s still less limiting than being constrained to level 6 in a game like WoW.

Re: Did I solo alot

No. I was usually in a squad, well nearly always. It was very rare when I was not. Team work is not “Attack this base, everyone try and run into the controll room.” It was even rare for that. The most coordinate I ever got was goto this base, go to that base. Beyond that, you were on your own.

My idea of team work would be: Bring two artillery up, you two tanks defend them. You stealthers spot. As an example.

Re: Re: Pointless battles
Asking how they were no more or less pointless then BF2 means you really have no idea what this means.

Assertion: Battlefield 2 is a single session game. IE: You finish the battle and the session ends. It is impossible to have any meaning for the battles beyond the battles themselves.

Assertion: Planetside is a PERSISTANT WORLD. When you capture a fort, it stays captured until someone cap’s it back. The world never ‘resets’. Because of the persistant nature of the world, loosing every base and going back to your sanctuary should severly penalise you. Simillarly completly owning 3 continents should give you a large advantange in some way. Ultimatly there is no way to win in Planetside.

Conclusion: Comparing the winning in BF2 to PS is meaningless. It makes no sense.

Now if owning a continent gave you an big advantage in another continent, then battles would have some meaning. I think it still should be more granular too. Owning a certain base should have a very significant impact upon a continent.

As it stands there is very little incentive to defend because the big bucks are in capping, not defending. Even if you balanced the XP, still its not a big deal to lose a base.

In a persistant world that is PvP centric, PvP must be meaningful and have consquences. In shadowbane, if you lost a city (aka a base) that was really important. It was meanigful. PvP in planentside can not be compelling without this.

Yes, combat might be fun, and you will statisfy the FPS part of the equation, but you need to address the MMOG / Persistant world part. To make a good FPS-MMOG, you must have the best parts of both games. Planetside only has one, and that is why people ask themselves why should they play PS and pay for it when they can play BF2 for free. Its because, as you pointed out, there is no more meaning between battles in PS as compared to BF2.

I’m just curious, DeepT: do you actually enjoy gaming? Because I can’t remember a title you’ve expressed anything other than bile for.

Yea I do, you have not read very much or have a very selective memory. Games I have said very positive things about (and this is a very small selection):

Generals and Zero hour
Sacrfice
Age of Mythology
Oblivion
Total Annihilation
Rise of Nations
WoW
Shadowbane
Zelda Windwaker (I haven’t played any other zelda games)
Metroid Prime
Dagger Fall
Balduers Gate 1 and 2
Deus Ex
Fallout 1 & 2
Planescape Torment
Pirates!
Civilization (various)
Rollercoaster Tycoon
Alpha Centari
City Of Heroes
Star Command
Galatic Civ 1 & 2

and many many more.

You might noticed that the ‘recent’ games list is small. This is because for over a year WoW was taking all my gaming time. It is not that I hated every other game that came out, I just didn’t have time to play them.

But I never understand the knock against PS for having “pointless battles” when every other MP shooter is even more pointless and nobody cares. I guess it’s because PS is presented as an online war rather than a big sandbox where you can have base battles, so people have different expectations.

My problem with it is that unlike BF2 where I get to level and play the same battles over and over again, I have to pay £10 a month to do the same in Planetside, just on a larger scale.

I loved the battles in PS, I liked having to actively skill in area x, I really really loved, in an MMO, the element that even as a “noob” I could beat a much higher level player by tactically outsmarting them.

However the lack of a point in recapturing the same stuff over and over again in a supposedly persistent world made it difficult to justify paying a subscription even with battles of 1-200 a side going on.

You mean, like, say, the other empires being able to use your faction specific equipment and vehicles for 24 hours?

You mean, like, say, having individual continent locks provide benefits which apply across the world until someone else gets the continent lock?

You might actually want to look at the state of Planetside before ranting.

–Dave