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Planetside 2 – An Opportunistic Traitor… Sort of.

January 5, 2014

I had gotten quite burnt out with Planetside 2 recently after series of constant (and consistent) losses as Vanu. I decided to give the other two factions a try, and I really wish that I had done that much earlier – it’s a VERY refreshing take on the game to see how things are from “the other side”.

By playing all three sides I never feel “cheated” if my side loses anymore. It’s much more difficult to get overly invested in the performance of “my side” if I’m really playing on all sides. Likewise, I feel like I can have more fun on characters that aren’t my “main”, where my KDR isn’t as likely to be scrutinized by Outfits I might apply to join. I can horse around – doing jumps off of hills in a jeep if I want, without as much stress. It’s like driving a rental car, basically.

Plus, the difference in weapon choices is nice. This is MOSTLY aesthetic, since weapons and vehicles are analogous between the three factions, with a few modest differences. I will state for the record that I enjoy the Mosquito MUCH more than either of the other two ESFs – it just handles better, and it feels much more like a Battlefield 2 chopper. Plus, it’s not nearly as loud as the Reaver, so I tend not to get noticed (and shot down) as quickly. Lately I’ve just been using it as a personal taxicab – parking it outside of hotzones and using it to hop between hotspots.

The main battle tanks are also different between the main factions, however their role (and performance) on the battlefield is largely undifferentiated. As a heavy infantry, they are all kind of the same to me, with Mag Riders being more obnoxious due to their ability to juke in any direction – but most good tankers know how to position themselves to avoid rockets anyway. I don’t tank much, so I can’t comment much more about tanks than that.

Otherwise the most noteworthy difference between the factions, where the equipment differences between factions is quite radical, is in rocket launcher selection. This is particularly important for me, since I have spent most of my recent game time playing as a Heavy Assault.

I won’t mince words: the Vanu Lancer is /garbage/ – they definitely got the short end of the stick. I’m sure that some “pro” players can do some amazing things with the Lancer, but I find that it’s too situational to be chosen over the Annihilator. It’s too weak for close range, it’s too slow for long range, and it’s barely adequate for medium range – especially since most vehicles are DESIGNED to kill infantry at medium range, and the Lancer takes f.o.r.e.v.e.r. to kill ANYTHING.

Next up is the NC’s camera guided Phoenix. I like this quite a bit – it’s a substantially more useful than the Vanu Lancer. I still prefer the Annihilator for /most/ situations, but the Phoenix is great at putting pressure on tanks and Sunderers during a stalemate. Its damage is too low to be useful in rushes, and the lack of splash damage makes it useless against infantry – but being able to destroy vehicles on the other side of terrain is incredible – there’s no other weapon like it in the game. Nothing else lets you deal unanswered damage from the other side of a mountain.

And lastly we have the TR’s lovely T2 Striker. It’s just the Annihilator (my favorite launcher) in machine gun form. It can EASILY and consistently take down an ESF in a single burst, and it can take out Harassers in two. Liberators take three (or so), but it will almost always make them tuck-tail and run – something none of the other launchers can boast. Tanks are another story, as it takes a few reloads to put the hurt on them – by which time they usually notice you and ruin your day (since so many tankers run with anti-infantry HE rounds). Nevertheless the T2 Striker is simply a huge upgrade over the standard Annihilator.

While I’m yacking about PS2 I might as well plug another fantastic video from Wrel: How to Grind Easy Certs (Part 1)… This is a video I wish that I had seen a year ago. It’s solid advice /all around/, with a focus on actually unlocking the goodies. The video also highlights exactly why I don’t like doing large platoon / outfit ops – because they often throw themselves right at the wall (and die over and over) OR they are busy back-capping unpopulated areas… which is just sooooooooo exciting <rolls eyes>. The video also emphasizes playing the Heavy Assault, a class I feel is better for solo gamers to play, due to the boost in survivability and its fairly high lethality, at least in comparison to medics and engineers. Wrel encourages a more conservative gameplay style (for getting certs anyway) – something that took me a while to embrace, coming from kill-die-respawn-repeat FPSes. But after starting to play more conservatively (i.e. waiting behind corners for reloads, staying back from the front line, providing more support, picking off vehicles and snipers at range), I found that I’ve greatly increased my average lifespan, KDR, and enjoyment of the game. I feel that I’m contributing more when I’m standing upright than when I’m a corpse on the ground.

With that, I’ll leave you some of the funniest dialogue ever (from which I borrow the “corpse on the ground” comment): Sebudai – The Motivational Speaker or How Juggernaut Learned Naxxramas.

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