Monday, April 1, 2013

PlanetSide 2 (Part One)

How long has it been since I've last introduced an FPS MMO? Quite a while, right? So...with my trigger finger itchy, I went around snooping for something in this genre that would catch my eye. Eventually after looking a fair bit, I settled upon downloading this game called PlanetSide 2.

PlanetSide 2
What caught my attention with this game was its persistent warzone concept which features massive combat between factions, vying for actual territory instead of the usual boring round matches in regular FPS games and the non-progressive instanced maps in war sims.
PlanetSide 2 - Planet AuraxisPlanetSide 2 - Indar Continent Map
The premise of the game essentially revolves around the conflict between three factions, on a planet called Auraxis. However, the actual fighting only takes place upon three specific continents rather than the "whole" planet.

On each of the three continents, Indar, Esamir and Amerish, the entire landscape is further divided into individual territories which are all conquerable. But to conquer (defend) them, players would need to group together and occupy (protect) specific/multiple facilities found in that territory.
PlanetSide 2 - Piloting a TankPlanetSide 2 - Piloting an Aircraft
And to do so, there are all sorts of weaponry, vehicles, aircraft and turrets (base installations) at the player's disposal. So the extent of the warfare can actually be in the form of multiple battles ranging from infantry conflicts to tank battles to even aerial dogfights or a mess of all three entities, all occurring at the same time given that there's sufficient players and coordination of course. Not to mention that at any point in time, there may be more than one faction interested in the particular territory and the conflict swiftly degrades into a full-out fragfest.

What's more, the so-called "borders" between each of the linking territories are almost non-existent apart from splitting up the massive landmass for mapping and territorial purposes. There's no loading, no pausing nor skipping when you cross between the territories. There is no limitations and restrictions as to where you should launch your siege upon the targeted facility. Attacks can come in any form and from all that ought to keep you on your toes constantly.

Capturing Of A Facility
The first point to remember here is that the actual holding and capping of facilities can only be done by infantry units and not armored vehicles or aircraft. Therefore, regardless of how strong these armored vehicles and aircraft are, they can merely act as overpowering support units at best. The majority of the task will still lie upon the charging ground troopers...but that doesn't mean that you can't exit your vehicle or aircraft to take over the facility yourself (though that would mean you've became just another infantry unit for the picking).
PlanetSide 2 - Facility Points Under CapturePlanetSide 2 - Recapturing a Facility Point
The actual capturing process kindda goes somewhat like this. In each territory, there will be a certain number of "control points" labelled "A", "B", "C", etc. Each of these will generate some sort of "capture points" (when held onto) which would affect the direction as well as rate of progress of a colored "capture" bar. The name of the game is to invade and hold as many of those control points and for as long as you can until sufficient capture points are generated and the territory becomes your faction's. Upon doing so, the color of the territory as shown on the map will change to that of your faction's.

Consequently, all enemy personnel (i.e. the initial defenders) found in the secured shielded parts (usually the area where defending troopers spawn or revive) of that territory will now have to "evacuate" from the said premises or be forcefully purged by the system via sustaining continuous massive damage until dead or having left the secure area.

Anyway, for a control point to generate capture points for your faction, you will have to "flip" it by first focusing on clearing out the opposing forces from that point and then hunker down at that point and wait as it generates the capture points.

A colored "capture" bar will then appear at the left corner of your screen above the mini map showing the progress of the capturing. It would initially appear full and is found beside the logo of the defending faction. But as you gain more capture points, it would slowly decrease until its gone and then the bar would reappear beside your faction's logo as it slowly increases.

When the colored bar reaches the end, you would have then successfully taken the territory and subsequently becomes the faction to "defend" it now. However, if at any point before it reaches the end, the defending force manages to take over more control points and thus generate more capture points than you, your progress bar will be halted and start to decrease just like it was with the defender's. Ultimately, you can think of this as something like a tango going back and forth, back and forth.

One important thing to know about when holding a control point is that the numbers present make that particular control point generate more capture points and thus affect the speed at which the colored "capture" bar progresses, but to a certain extent of course. For example, in the screenshots shown, there were at least 2 enemy infantry units at each of the control points, A, B and C at Arroyo Torre Station. And that itself was the maximum allowed limit for affecting the bar's progress. Placement of any more units there would not have any effect on the capping speed but will still have its tactical advantages since the more units you have, the better your chances of capping and holding the point as well as maintaining the capping speed should one or more of you fall.

In the other screenshot, there were only 2 of us defending the control point at Eisa Tech Plant. And although the maximum allowed limit for affecting the capping speed was 6 units, it wasn't really necessary to have that many units there since the control point was technically ours and we were just defending it. It would be more useful for the other units to fan out and secure the perimeters, preventing the enemy forces from reaching this control point.

Next: PlanetSide 2 (Part Two)