Planetside: squad thoughts

I’ve been putting together some thoughts on planetside as concerns small squad strategy and tactics. My experience has been generally positive, and in broadstrokes can be summed up as:

  1. I’m happier when the squad is in combat.

  2. Hacking bases is more rewarding than defending bases

  3. 15 minutes of downtime is the maximum amount of downtime I can tolerate happily.

  4. Super hot battles are fun, unless things are so bad you spend more time with the respawn timer ticking than in actual combat.

Having said that, I’ve put together some points that our squad might consider (and add or detract from) when we’re grouped up for an evening.

· The squad should fight on continents where the NC are on the offensive. I think we’re happier and more productive when we’re hacking, getting base xp, and moving from base to tower to base, repeat. Its better xp and offers more variety in terrain and situations. Therefore, a short scouting of prospective continents should be done before we settle on a continent, and the chief point to analyze should be whether the NC has momentum.

· The squad should try to be on the leading edge of base attacks. Wherever the bulk of the NC force is, if the hack is on, we should be moving to the next base rapidly. This affords us more opportunity for battle and to be the group that puts the hack on. It also allows us to use more of our vehicle certs, for both transportation and assault. Hack and go should be our motto (unless the hack is tenuous). One person left behind for xp is already standard among us.

· As a unit, we need to know when to quit. There are definitely battles that we know we can’t win, such as being trapped in an isolated tower, and often times we’ll spend an hour or more getting pounded in these situations. I admit, the action is pretty fun, but it can also be frustrating. I think it would behoove the squad to cut bait and go on the offensive elsewhere, even if it is a guerrilla effort.

· In dire situations, as described in the previous point, we should use the HART more. The average hart waiting period is what, 3 minutes? 4? I don’t recall high high the hart timer is. Although it may seem like a waste of time, if we can go sanc instead of being mauled, and then hart in to a more optimal spot on the same cont, then its worth our time.

· I’ve gotta finish lunch, but I’ll finish by saying the most effective enemy I’ve seen are what appears to be squads that stick together, in proximity. Both as vehicle armadas and even massed cloakers (now that sucks). We have a tendancy to be every where but together. I think my other points, stressing mobility and vehicle use, will keep the squad compact and in a tighter formation so our medics, engineers, and darksighters can help each other out.

Feel free to add or disagree with me!

I agree with most of what you say, except that I think defending can be extremely fun. Last night I was on defending the last tower NC had on a continent, and that was fun. Then, after a brief interlude doing other stuff, I went to defend a base that was under heavy Vanu attack. That was a BLAST, some of the best fun I’ve had in the game. Not that being the attacker wouldn’t have been fun too–it was fun just because there were around 100 people on each side. But defending is just as fun as attacking IMO.

To address the points you made:

  1. Being on the attack is definitely better XP. I don’t care that much about XP, though, so for me, I’m just as happy defending as attacking. Therefore, given a choice between a hot defense and medium-hot base-hopping, I’d rather do the defense. In other words, I would rather go wherever the action is hottest without taking into account whether our side is offensive or defensive. However, I know other people are more concerned about XP, and I have no objection to doing offense-only if that’s what the squad wants.

  2. There’s no reason to leave someone behind for XP (see thread on PS XP explanation). Other than that, I agree that if no resistance is forthcoming, I would rather move on after the hack goes in rather than staying to defend an uncontested hack. No action = boring. FWIW, it also = no XP.

  3. I like fighting even when we’re outnumbered, but I agree that there comes a point where we’re overwhelmingly outnumbered and we should just leave. If you can’t walk up the stairs without meeting five enemy MAXes all by yourself, it’s time to go elsewhere.

  4. The HART can definitely be useful. I think the recycle time is 10 mins, so the average wait would be 5. It’s best when we are losing a continent–just recall and go to some other continent (or recall and try and get some reinforcements).

  5. I ABSOLUTELY AGREE THAT WE SHOULD STICK TOGETHER MORE. It’s difficult once folks start dying, because then some people are on the front and some are not. But we should use rally points and so on–the squad is a lot better if we have four or five of us, at least, working together to mass fire and use support (like JASON–I take NOT NEARLY enough advantage of his medic abilities). I will make more of an effort to coordinate with the rest of my squad so that we are working side-by-side.

(Fucking double post)

(Fucking triple post!)

I just wanna be a flyboy shuttling badasses to/from the LZ. Can I do just that? I want to build up a rep that when I’m around, decidedly badasses hoping in my craft know they’re going to get there and back.

That would be really handy Derek if there was a cap the flag component in base capture. Maybe they’ll have that in the oufit challenges some day. In the meantime, everybody loves a friendly gal. Just don’t name yourself galick, or galor or galag. :D

Ry, I’m not an xp whore, but I do enjoy getting cert points. I’m never happy with my mix of certs, and getting new ones makes things interesting. Of course, with a little patience I can cert anything, but its a good goal to go up ranks.

Okay, some thoughts on these thoughts:

  1. yeah, being on the offensive is good. Unless it’s a continent where NC is on the offensive and there’s almost no defense. Then it’s a lot of running to the next base and waiting for 15 minutes, which is HORRIBLY dull. This whole thing should become less of an issue as the server gets more populated, though.

  2. Leading edge good. But very tough if our squad isn’t big that night. If we have a pretty full squad, then we stand a chance of taking a tower or something. Otherwise we all die, respawn at some distant tower, and hoof it back. We need a couple good AMS pilots who know how to hide an AMS in an inconspicuous place. :)

  3. You’re TOTALLY right on knowing when to quit. Sometimes we’re just doomed, and hanging around just gets progressively frustrating. No shame is recalling to the sancatuary and taking the HART to more enjoyable grounds.

  4. We do a terrible job of sticking together, and it bugs me, because you’re right. Three guys sticking withing 20 yards of each other can pick off individual enemies like crazy, and not suffer a casuality of their own. It’s a little tough when there’s lots of vehicle and foot seperation, but we can coordinate better.

I would add -

  • Damnit, I wish the hack timer was 10 minutes. 15 minutes seems to make for a lot of “hurry up and wait.” I understand giving defenders a chance to stop an enemy hack in progress, but 10 minutes still seems fair for that.

  • Voice sure would rule, if it worked in game better. There’s just no better way to coordinate, and it’s easier to crack jokes and stuff, and to give detailed info about the number and location of enemies, and so on. Giving direcctions to a gunner like “9 o’clock!” when he’s facing the wrong way would be nice. But the in-game voice thing blows goats. In the meantime, we need someone to volunteer a QT3 voice server of some type - GameVoice, Roger Wilco, TeamSpeak, whatever. I’ll download whatever client someone wants to run a server for.

So how about it…can anyone put up a passworded voice server for the QT3 outfit? Something we can just fire up and join (even to just listen if we don’t have a mic) every time we play? Something that will be up pretty much 24/7?

You can definitely do that. Grab the Galaxy certification–it’s the troop transport. People love having a Galaxy available, and it takes skill to fly it because it handles like a bathtub. I’ve definitely flown with some good Gal pilots, and it’s great…conversely, I’ve unwittingly jumped aboard one or two flying coffins, and man was that lame.

I’d like to pick up AMS sometime in the near future. I have 1 cp sitting around, but it’s 2 to get AMS. I might do it next level.

I second the vote for a voice server. I have a GameVoice and I can try to set it up. I have DSL and run behind a router and firewall, so it might be a pain to get it working–and I confess to being a total idiot with this sort of thing. People are always telling me open port this, subnet mask that, and I have no fucking clue what any of that is about. But if people can help walk me through it, I’ll give it a shot. If it has a serious adverse effect on my performance, though, I’m going to drop it.

Ok, this game wasn’t even on my radar screen since I’m not a huge FPS fan, and even less of an MMO player, but all the talk here has gotten me interested and I picked the game up over lunch today.

I’ll try to join y’all tonight. Are there any skills I should take that would help out? I was thinking about either engineering or, like Derek, transport flying.

Also, I have a server w/static ip that’s up 24/7, so I’d also be willing to host the voice server, but I have no experience with any of that software.

RogerWilco works ok, some other solutions may have better quality but RogerWilco works on the shareware principle so you don’t have to lay out a lot of money.

I’ve found that teamspeak is pretty good as well.

also: I hate you all for making me want this game. that is all.

One nice thing about the game is that almost all of the skills are useful. Advanced Medic isn’t, and Advanced Hacking is only semi-useful. Other than that, I can’t think of a single skill that isn’t good to have in your squad. If you’re not big into shooting stuff, you would do well with engineer, medic, hacker, or any of the transport vehicles (Galaxy, Sunderer, Deliverer). Send any of us a /tell in-game and we’ll sign you up in the outfit (it makes the game a lot better, and you can leave anytime you want).

Remember: to join us, you must play on the Johari server, fighting for the New Conglomerate.

Strongly agree with the high level points up top.

I took Galaxy cert so I could help us coordinate better when we’re online with critical mass. Though those who rode on my maiden voyage had an, uh, interesting experience… :)

One thing that might help is if we are more aggressive about recruiting up to at least 8 members in the squad, even if they are randoms. It’s just really hard to do anything as as squad of 4 unless you’re already in an existing hot zone. Also if we have more people we can be much more effective in using the multi-person vehicles like Enforcer and Vanguard.

I can’t agree enough about sticking together… maybe as more of us hit CR1 to use waypoints we can be more aggressive about using them and coordinating.

Personally I can’t use voice comms too much because our computer room is right outside the kiddo’s bedroom. But at least I can listen in.

Somebody recruit me into the squad! My char’s name is Mappy.

Send any of us a tell in-game, and you’re in. I’m not sure that we can invite you while you’re offline (although I’ll try it next time I’m on). Our character names are:


Cool!! I was reading the manual during lunch (I have yet to install the game) and it the looks really, wicked. I’m gonna try and get cert for all airborne vehicles. So, how long will that take?

Galaxy is 3 certs, Mosquito is 3, and Reaver is 4. IIRC you start out with four certs, and can gain two more if you do all the training stuff (you get free XP for training, sufficient to get you to battle rank 3 if you do it all), for a total of six to start. You’d need four more certs–BR10–to get certified in all three vehicles at once…that would probably take a little while (I’ve played probably six or eight long sessions and am BR 9). But you could get certified in two of the three air vehicles pretty much right from the start.

Of course, two new air vehicles (the Liberator bomber and the Lodestar vehicle transport) are going to be released soon…

James, why don’t you download theTeamSpeak server and set that up? I’ve heard great things about it (haven’t tried it yet), and it’s free. Gamevoice is crippled in its shareware version. It’s also got a Linux version, in case that matters.

It’s specifically supposed to work well for those behind firewalls and is really low on bandwidth. Or so they say.

So anyway, if you want to set that up just post the IP and password here and I for one am willing to give 'er a go. And I would suggest that, for the sake of testing, even those without a mic try to connect to the TeamSpeak server just to hear.

BTW - those grabbing the TeamSpeak client… Go to the Sound Input/Output Settings and use the Local Test button to set the sensitivity of your voice activation if you don’t plan on using Push to Talk. By default it might broadcast all the time just from your ambient sound. The CLEP Windows 5.2 Kbit sounds like the best codec to me (for the bandwidth). It’s the one on the bottom of the dropdown box.

Ok, Teamspeak is up and running at, password qt3. I just set it up with default settings and opened the port, I’ll learn more about it and tweak it later. I left my mic headset at work, so I won’t be talking, but I’m on. Let me know if y’all have any trouble connecting.

I’m on Johari as Mango. I don’t know how long I can play tonight, and I’ll probably spend some time doing the training, but I’ll try to /tell one of y’all and get hooked up with the outfit at least.

Did you get an outfit invite, JamesG? I hope so. If not, send any of us a tell next time you’re on.

Erik, I tried to invite you while you were offline and it didn’t work. Sorry.

Awesome job tonight, folks. We had much better coordination, I thought. We just need to smooth out the part where we move from one fight to the next. It’s a lot easier with a Galaxy. Also, I wish we had more medics. But that was some terrific fighting tonight. Great job all around–locking the continent was like the crowning touch.