Um... How do I play this game?

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#1 Posted by Sackmanjones (5513 posts) -

So I just downloaded Planetside 2 since it was free and I have always wanted to play the first one. So I jumped in and man I have no idea what I'm doing and what to do. Control wise it seems pretty familiar and that just takes muscle memory to get used to it but everything else in blank on. Is there a guide or someone on here that could explain to me how the game works? I'm just really lost on how te overworld map works and how to build vehicles etc... Maybe I missed a tutorial but any explanation or help would be awesome. The game seems really awesome in concept and from what I saw (an all out battle probably involving 150 people). Thank you in advance for your help!

Sorry for any spelling errors, I am on the mobile site

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#2 Edited by DatCrab (11 posts) -

Well,I do have 2 nifty guides for a Planetside 2 begginer,

Youtube one:

Loading Video...

And the other one is a really well written guide that's quite long:


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#3 Posted by FrankCanada97 (4186 posts) -

Yeah, the game sort of throws you into the middle of things without explanation. Here is an official page with some youtube tutorials detailing different aspects of the game.

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#4 Posted by Marz (6017 posts) -

Totalbiscuit has a pretty good basic guide video.

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#5 Posted by Mesklinite (889 posts) -

Thanks for the links guys, I'll check those out as well. The UI in this game is HORRIBLE.

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#6 Posted by ricetopher (1077 posts) -

All of these videos are good resources, and there is also the official wiki, which can be found here

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#7 Posted by Sackmanjones (5513 posts) -

Awesome ill check em out when I get home. Glad I'm not the only one that felt overwhelmed just jumpin in

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#9 Posted by beepmachine (631 posts) -

I was totally lost when I started the beta. Didn't play the first one, and a lot of the descriptions in the UI are vague at best. But once I got into it it was pretty great. Forget 150, I'm sure there were times when I was in a battle with like 300-500 people at once if you consider all the infantry, vehicles, and aircraft from three factions.

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#10 Edited by dgtlty (595 posts) -
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#11 Posted by Mnemoidian (1016 posts) -

@DatCrab: That image is rather outdated, especially the part about resources and influence. While much of the other information is ok, that is not a helpful image to share, as it'll only further confuse new players.

Similarily, your video, while informative... it is outdated.

@Sackmanjones: Don't worry too much about it, SOE has done a terrible job showcasing mechanics in the game, and there are a lot of mechanics - just avoid shooting and driving over friendlies and stick with the zerg (the large body of friendlies) and you should be fine, getting started. Make sure you join a squad, even if it's just a random one (press 'insert' to automatically find a squad, if there is one available (usually is)).

Most of the guides here have some good information.

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#12 Posted by DeathTrap (377 posts) -

They really need to do a better job of introducing new players. I've actually played Planetside 1 before and I get lost about what's happening pretty easily. I agree with , SOE did a really horrible job of explaining, new players.

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#13 Edited by Humanity (16215 posts) -

@DeathTrap said:

They really need to do a better job of introducing new players. I've actually played Planetside 1 before and I get lost about what's happening pretty easily. I agree with , SOE did a really horrible job of explaining, new players.

I was, and am, in the same boat. Played a ton of Planetside 1 beta and loved that game. I would sneak into bases and hack them right under the enemies nose, once that alarm rang I'd book it out of there and it would be very fullfilling.

Not only am I still, to a lesser degree kinda lost in it - the amount of players is so staggering combined with how weak you are at the outset, and how much more powerful weapons are that you can just buy that you can get steamrolled really easily.

I want to play infiltrator because that was my favorite class from the first game, but my starting sniper is so incredibly weak that I need like 2-3 headshots in a row to kill the most basic infantry and after several hours of playtime I've accumulated maybe 70 points while a decent new rifle will cost me 500? They just seemed to not even bother with balancing. At least Blacklight Retribution manages to add some balance to their free to play model and you can kill people as easily with the beginner rifle as the upper tier unlocks. In Planetside I honestly feel really very underpowered and not sure if I want to devote countless hours to accumulate something that everyone around me has just paid for - and to what end? So when activity lowers on my server all our territories get re-taken overnight? I just don't think the base shooting feels all that great.

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#14 Posted by Mnemoidian (1016 posts) -

@Humanity: I decided to buy the "long range" sniper - because I was getting frustrated with the dropoff and slow speed of sniper rifle projectiles of the standard rifle - and I'm feeling much more confident now. Headshots are single-shot kills (though still requires some skill, even with the highest magnification scope (x12?)). I'm not sure if the standard sniper rifle can't get one-shot headshots or not, or if it's just much harder to hit the head... but as soon as I feel like players are warping around a bit too much to have sniping be anywhere near reliable, I tend to swap to Heavy Assault or MAX.

That said, I'm really torn about the price of things in the shop/certifications. On the one hand, I've been able to accumulate a couple of hundred certs, gotten a bunch of unlocks (squad command, sunderer AMS, bunch of weapon attachments). After being forced to swap servers by some friends, I was able to recover pretty quickly, and reached BR10 in under 4 hours or so. But yeah, some weapons and attachments are really overwhelmingly expensive... and the hefty limitations on weapon trials (yes, you can try out a weapon for 30 minutes (every 30 days, per weapon (though, 7 hours? between each weapon trial)) before you buy it.) is not helpful. They REALLY need to introduce the VR training area again, it's even more important here than it was in the first game, really.

My main frustration now lies in that I'm starting to get a feel for there being a deeper level of Planetside 2 gameplay, much like how you could disable advanced vehicles in Planetside 1 by taking out the generator at a key enemy facility, but I'm still regularly asking myself basic questions like "Can I blow up the SCU/Generators with (explosive) weapons, or do you have to overload it and wait?", which is a real shame.

Best tip I can give anyone, is to try to figure out where generators and Spawn Control Units are, it's important to blow those up when assaulting bases, and for retaking/repairing when defending. Also, it's also important to hold capture points - they are the key to success far more than getting kills, which is what a lot of people seem to be doing (fighting in the courtyard, while the enemy takes the capture points, doh?).

About a dozen hours in, I really do like the game, though I'm frustrated by how the game hides relevant information. You can get some amazing moments if you stop and look at what's going on around you, at times. Like being in a massive night fight where there are just bullets and tanks, etc everywhere!

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#15 Posted by Humanity (16215 posts) -

@Mnemoidian: Maybe we (or just I) have gotten spoiled by modern videogames with a lot of helpful prompts, arrows and highlighting - as Planetside 2 offers just a clusterfuck mini map. Different shields apparently have different icons on them that correspond to locations on the mini map - but even when you press H to enlarge that map it's still incredibly difficult to read. I can't fault them much because in all honesty I think most games offer very poor mini maps. At the same time this isn't basic rush in and get stuff. You need to take down a generator to take down the shields, move up, take out other generators to disable spawning and take over nodes to enable teleports into the bio domes etc. None of this is clear even when I know what I have to do. Countless times Ive gotten into those bio dome situations where we are assaulting, have access to teleports, get into that shielded room and then it's a standoff. How do you progress past that? Is it really up to a tricky infiltrator to cloak, run past the 50 guys in MAX suits and turrets and hope that you can get to the generator in time to place a charge? I almost wish there was an optional mode, or maybe level limited mode that turns off after BR5 where you see bright lines drawn on the ground telling you exactly what you have to disable next and exactly how to get to it. Unless I go to my own biodome and run around seeing what the layout is like, then it's just an impossible trial and error while under constant barrage of fire to figure out where you have to go to advance in an enemy installation.

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#16 Posted by Mnemoidian (1016 posts) -

@Humanity: The bright lines idea isn't a bad one - maybe just have it optional? Requires development time though... hopefully SOE has some plans for how to make things clearer in the future.

Yeah, the minimap isn't great, and neither are the HUD icons for stuff like generators - especially when they are VS controlled - I feel like Terran icons stand out quite well, but bases often have a purple-ish tint, which makes the on-screen icons almost impossible to see without really focusing on them.

I agree that Biodromes are the hardest to really figure out - single control-point, with the "obvious access point" (the vehicle pad on the ground) being inaccessible to assaulting forces due to the shield - which, as far as I know, is powered by generators hidden in the main base upstairs.

Now, I'm not exactly sure which room you are referring to, so bear with me (also adding some additional information for anyone else confused about any part of the Biodrome assault)... but the first thing you do is take the lifts from the ground to the big platforms that hang off of the side of the Biodromes. Easiest way to find the lifts is to look up at the Biodrome and identify where these platforms are (they are huge, hard to miss) - there is a rather large building at the bottom of the tip of each of these platforms - take the lifts from the ground to the top of the building, and then the lifts from the top of the building onto the biodrome platforms.

Which brings you to the second stage of the assault (assuming you had to fight to get access to the lifts), which is getting from the platforms into the base proper... this is typically rather a bloody battle and can degrade into a stalemate. I guess the way to break the stalemate is to lead a second assault on the OTHER platform. Eventually, you'll (probably) push the defender back and be able to move off of the platforms.

Next objective is then to destroy the generators (and gain access to the SCU). I'm not sure if you can blow them up with weaponry, or if the only way to destroy them is to approach them, hold down your "Use" button 'till the meter fills up (think the control points in Battlefield, where you arm a bomb). I'm also not 100% sure what the SCU actually DOES. Does destroying it stop spawning all-together, or just slow respawning greatly? No idea. I always feel like the defenders keep spawning in the spawn room even after the SCU is destroyed, but very few/rarely. Certainly worth destroying, either way.

(As for how to get time to do this - join a squad, make your squad take out one of these objectives and then to hold it.)

At the same time, assault the control point.

(Ideally, I'd want to have one squad holding the control point, one per generator and one squad on the SCU, let "the zerg" take care of the majority of the enemy players).

Now, with generators down, SCU down and control point being held, your job is to defend those points. Generators and SCU can be repaired fairly quickly, even by a lone engineer, and I've lost more than one assault on a base because no one was defending the control point.

The spawnroom is always protected by a one-way forcefield, which stops all bullets/damage and personell from opposing empires from entering. What this means is that you should never, while assaulting, stand where someone inside can see you, as they can kill you, but you can't kill them. I prefer to line-of-sight the forcefield, that way I know that any enemy I see, I can attack. (Oh, and keep an eye out for the balconies above, people love to stand up there and snipe).

Hope that helps? :)

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#17 Posted by Humanity (16215 posts) -

@Mnemoidian: That is helpful of course thank you - but as I mentioned earlier only up to a point. I kinda knew half of that already, but when you're up there it is hard to actually put that knowledge to use when the shit is quite literally hitting the fan. The stalemate situation you mentioned is what I always have problems with. Theres a solid line of turrets and MAXs and you seem to inherently have so little health as any other class that just peeking out from behind the one way shield means instant death.

I play VS and we usually fight the Blue faction (NC?) and most Biodomes in our region have teleporter rooms and jump pads. The jump pads propel you up onto the landing platforms much like elevators do in certain other Biodomes. The teleporter rooms, if taken over, will actually teleport you into the rooms with one way shields up on the second story close to the main generator. Usually it ends up with people spawning in the trucks right outside the teleporter rooms which are a ways off from the front entrance, we all teleport into the tiny rooms upstairs in the dome and then it's just taking pot shots from the doors.

It's an alright game and I see a ton of potential but I think health is a big issue, people go down too fast and respawn too fast. You never feel like you're making a dent. Sometimes I'd kill three doods, get gunned down, I'm back up there within 10 seconds, nothing has changed. Respawns should be longer and players should have more health so it's not just this crazy shooting gallery.

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#18 Posted by ProfessorEss (7957 posts) -

I also fired up Planetside 2 and felt dumped in the deep end. I'll have to come back and check this thread out when I have some free time.

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#19 Posted by Mnemoidian (1016 posts) -

@Humanity: Well, yeah, it's largely a game about logistics - killing 3 dudes is a lot less valuable than taking out an AMS-Sunderer, or gaining access to one of the nearby facilities with spawning abilities.

It's a bit of a weird dynamic where you'll gain the most benefits (score, xp, certs) from doing something that doesn't actually benefit you or your empire as much - ie: you get more benefits to yourself from just hunting for kills, but you'll most likely never defend or succeed in assaulting anything unless you take out spawn capabilities and vehicle terminals for enemy empires.

And yeah, New Conglomerate (NC, Smurfs, Power Rangers) are Blue/Yellow, Terran Republic are Red/Black, Vanu Sovreignty is Purple/Teal :)

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#20 Posted by ProfessorEss (7957 posts) -

@Mnemoidian said:

It's a bit of a weird dynamic where you'll gain the most benefits (score, xp, certs) from doing something that doesn't actually benefit you or your empire as much - ie: you get more benefits to yourself from just hunting for kills, but you'll most likely never defend or succeed in assaulting anything unless you take out spawn capabilities and vehicle terminals for enemy empires.

That's a bit of a bummer. Do you think this is intentional?

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#21 Edited by Mnemoidian (1016 posts) -

@ProfessorEss: I'm of two minds on that.

On the one hand, it's a real bummer that the really beneficial things will net you less score/xp/certs per minute than following the zerg, camping spawn points, etc.

On the other hand, it gives each player a strong incentive to kill opposing players, and gives gives you situations where there are half a dozen liberators bombing a base which has players in every AA turret flakking the sky, while there's hundreds of players on each side blasting each other. it looks great and it feels ... good? And suddenly the third empire gets involved and everything just gets even more crazy.

I think they have probably done it intentional, because the majority of players will follow the path of least resistance (highest score/minute), especially as it comes from a staple of First Person shooters: "Having a high Kill/Death ratio is good". If it was more beneficial to avoid conflict and just cap, I think that would just

Now, I've got Premium and using an XP boost (+100% XP total)... but I get about +200 XP per kill, about +500XP for a facility and +1500XP for a base. Healing gives something like 15 XP per tick (every 3 seconds?) and Repairing gives about 12 XP per tick (every 3 seconds?). Spotting an enemy that is killed gives... +40XP? Not sure what you would do to get people to focus more on objectives? +10 XP per tick if you are one of the X of 2 (or 6) to be at a capture point the longest? ... giving XP for destroying and repairing generators and SCU's could be problematic, as it would be easy to farm in an organized manner (then again, that happened in the first game too).

It's certainly got it's issues (especially with unlocks), and I miss some things from the first game... but largely, even in the first game, it was technically more beneficial, in a score per minute sense, to stay with the zerg and focus on your KDR... but really, the ones winning the battles were the guys who were sneaking around enemybases disabling advanced vehicles... and getting very little xp for it.

So it's probably for the best? I mean, I know I was the one who won my empire the battle when that stuff happens, and I can always join the zerg for the next base? :)

(edit: and I need an editor for my replies...)

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#22 Posted by themangalist (1869 posts) -

@Mnemoidian: Oh man I gotta join some fellow GB-ers. Anyways, interesting discussion on multiplayer shooter scoring design. Frankly, I thought BF3's suppression assist was ingenious - it allowed bad shots and scatter weapons to get some points for actively engaging in combat and it helps the team. The thing I always hated about the BF conquest is the sneaky peeps who capture checkpoints instead of fighting in the front lines or choke points. Every round just turns into a cat-mouse chase.

I think it is important to reward the team for capturing points and generally helping their faction advance, but sneaky prawns really needs to be discouraged. It's kinda cool to be a 1 man army when people can pull it off, but if possible, a commando squad sounds much more fun and rewarding to me. So, I prefer more assists, less sneaks.

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#23 Posted by Christoffer (2325 posts) -

Thanks for the tips. I've been playing for a short while and have a lot of trouble finding my way. Once I figured out how to easily get in the fight I just picked a medic or a sniper and joined the frontlines, without a clue where we were actually going, or why.

But it still seems like a fun game so I will stick with it.

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#24 Posted by Mnemoidian (1016 posts) -

@themangalist: Oh, definitely! I hate cat-and-mouse capturing as well, but I often find people in Planetside 2 standing everywhere EXCEPT at the Capture point - I've even seen some extreme cases where the New Conglomerate has been assaulting a Vanu base... but it's the Terran Republic who "wins" the base, despite not taking part in the fighting, because neither the NC nor the VS were actually paying attention to who held the capture points ( /facedesk ).

I did think the Supression stuff in Battlefield 3 is pretty good, but while it's certaintly a system I think would be good for Planetside 2, I don't think it's the the way to fix the problem... though it may be the right "way of thinking", to get to a solution :)

I don't really feel like the game has much of cat-and-mouse play currently, though I'm worried the game may devolve in that direction. I've noticed it's very rare for bases to be successfully defended once an assault ramps up, though I'm hoping that's just a matter of us not really understanding the intricasies of the game yet - as I have been part of a few succesfully defended bases that were very strongly assaulted. (typically a matter of defending generators, SCU, cap points while actively hunting down Sunderer-AMS' and taking over the nearby facilities)

Anyway, unfortunately, as a European, I'm not part of any GB outfit - I'm hanging around Woodman, not really part of an outfit at the moment. But yeah, playing in groups is certainly the ONLY way to play Planetside 2 - you are unlikely to accomplish anything at all on your very own.

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