As many of you will be aware, I am currently spending any and all of my free time in Planetside 2, a free to play MMOFPS from SOE. To quote SOE “PlanetSide 2 is a Massively Multiplayer First Person Shooter that delivers truly epic, massive combat on a scale never before seen in stunning, breathtaking detail. Battles take place not between dozens of troops, but thousands; with air and ground vehicles slugging it out alongside squads of troops. Whether in open fields, tightly-packed urban centers or enormous structures, winning requires strategic teamwork and a quick trigger finger.”
The premise of the game is that there are three factions in an eternal war over resources on a remote planet called Auraxis, using guns, tanks, planes and more to fight this war. These factions are:
“The New Conglomerate was initially formed on Earth as a mega collective of civilian corporations who worked alongside the Terran Republic until they felt that the Republics rules were too strict. The N.C. feel that any form of control is “oppression” and that they fight for liberty and freedom. The Vanu see them as unenlightened about the benefits harnessing the alien technology their way would bring. The Republic see them as rebels that would destroy their democratic way of life and form an oligarchy under their corporate masters. Its no surprise they will have to fight both for their cause.”
“The Terran Republic was formed by the unified Earth government after global war in the 25th century. Their idea of freedom was a bit more strict than some would like but many argue it has successfully kept Earth without war for hundreds of years. Their time on Auraxis has caused them to rely heavily on their honed military tactics and wide reaching resources. They were the originators of the colonization effort of Auraxis. The New Conglomerate see them as an oppressive and tyrannical government. The Vanu see them as unenlightened about the benefits harnessing the alien technology their way would bring. Its no surprise they must fight both for their cause.”
“The Vanu Sovereignty are a Transhumanist cult of academics, intellectuals, and technology worshipers who believe human destiny lies in the further development and exploitation of the alien technology. They viewed the rules the republic put on their research as oppressive and fight for the freedom to experiment on, alter, and integrate human beings with the alien technology that was found on Auraxis. They believe all this is the key to the future and are willing to do anything in pursuit of this goal. Of course this is at odds with both the Terran Republic and New Conglomerates views that they could end up destroying all of mankind or render us no longer human by all the integration and alteration. It’s no surprise they must fight both for their cause.”
The combat in this game revolves around thousands of players fighting over various continents and the territories, bases & outposts on them. Capturing territory gives your faction resources which you the player then spend on guns, tanks & planes to take more territory, or to just harass the other two factions while they try to take territory until it is taken by another faction. Its a mechanic that has worked for 9 years at encouraging conflict, and as it does not involve any PVE, its one that has kept me playing the Planetside for a good chunk of the past 9 years – despite not liking shooters. And now Planetside 2 is here, and its free!!!
Another draw is that unlike some shooters, this one has thousands of players all fighting at once, with many of them fighting together as Squads/Platoons or Outfits. These groups are usually more organised than a simple zerg can be and always undertake actions as a group of like minded chaps. For instance the the first Friday after launch saw the outfit, WE FORM PURPLE [RVBP] try its hand at taking an enemy structure, running an armoured column and even attempting to drop MAX suits on top of another enemy base. Many fights were won (& lost) and some good times were had. See the pictures here:
Guns, Tanks, Planes & Mangala? IM SOLD!
So you like the video, or just want to see why I am making all this fuss over a “simple” shooter, then follow these simple steps to come play with me:
- Well firstly you need the client, so open Steam and find Planetside 2 (or go to the Planetside 2 website and download direct from there);
- Once installed, follow the instructions on the new launcher that pops up to create an account – or log in with an existing SOE account if you have one;
- After that, simply hit PLAY and create a character. Just make sure you create a character that is representing the VANU SOVEREIGNTY;
- At server selection, choose MATTHERSON. Yes its a US East server, but its very busy (Goons, TEST, Reddit, PL, and many others are here) which is a GOOD THING in Planetside terms;
- Let me know your name so I can add you to our Outfit;
- Jump on mumble and join in the fun;
On your first log in to the game following character creation, you will be immediately thrown in to a “tutorial”, which consists of your character being “hotdropped” into a combat zone, and also made a member of a random squad with no explanation. Just die, and then leave using the command “/squad leave”. It is the worst tutorial ever, even EVE 6 years ago had a better one. However there are various tutorials on the game’s website – they can be found here – as well as this great video by TotalBuscuit that outlines the basics quite well:
After watching those following your first death, log back in and I will get you an invite to the outfit. Join us on mumble as mentioned above and pay attention to comms. Hopefully you’ll start to understand things more.
If Mangala is not online to get you into the Outfit, then look up any of the following people:
- Catalyst XI
We now have a Steam group – so join that as well: http://steamcommunity.com/groups/RvBPurpleside.
NB: Some text and faction images are borrowed from Planetside Universe & a thread on Something Awful.