Monday, February 11, 2013

[planetside 2] how to survive your first hour

Today was an interesting day. Mainly because while the majority of my friends are busy posting their holiday photos on Facebook and enjoying themselves in their hometown, I am stuck here defending my nation's sovereignty as a proud soldier of the Terran Republic. And yes, I'm playing computer games again. This time it's a massive FPS strategy and warfare game called Planetside 2.

The game was first introduced to me by my dear friend Joshua during an MRT ride while I was still playing RO2 back then and I didn't have much time to try it with RO2 in my hands until a few days ago. While the concept of the game, something like Battlefied 3 set in the future on an alien planet, is awesome, Planetside 2 isn't exactly newbie friendly. It has quite a steep learning curve at the start and if you're like me who's lazy to read through or watch all the long and countless guides on the internet, you'll probably end up dying a lot before you're able to actually kill someone. Mostly from suicides.


for the first few minutes this was my routine


You see, unlike other FPS games where you get to at least go through some sort of boot camp to familiarize yourself with the game controls and mechanics, there is no such thing in Planetside 2. Once you created your character and clicked play, you are straight away thrown into the heat of the battle with no idea what to do. Meaning that from the moment you spawn, you can now drive airplanes, tanks and turrets and go wherever you want in the map, which can be quite overwhelming for a newbie who has no idea what to do in game.

While it's easy to bring up the map (using M) and press the green deploy button to areas that are now in battle, I've found through the hard way that the only thing that you'll get by playing solo in the game is to be killed very much. Like die every time you come up from spawn. Because you'll spawn in the middle of some heavy battle with no idea what's going on. And you don't even know what class to choose yet.

So basically I've learned that in order to not be a lamb that is gunned down by ruthless enemies all the time, you have to follow a bigger group rather than rushing madly into battle. Finding a group to join is one of the first things that you must do every time you log in to the game. It gives you a sense of purpose and direction in game.


as a newbie it is very tempting to just press those little green deploy button in the map, which will most of the time land you straight into an enemy bbq


Groups in Planetside 2 are divided into two categories. The most basic one is called the squad which can hold up to 12 active players at any time while the other one is called a platoon, which can comprise up to 4 squads at any time. The default name of the squads are Alpha, Bravo, Charlie and Delta.

Each squad and platoon will have a leader each, meaning that the squad leader directs the action of the squad members while the platoon leader sets the course of action for the squads under him. The reason why joining a group is important is because running together as a group is always better than running alone. And because experience points in the game can be earned through various ways (not just through killing enemies), being in a squad can help you to earn exp quite quickly too.

To join a squad, all you need to do is to hit the "P" button once you log in to see the number of squads that are available. I would suggest going for squads with more than 9 members because these squads tend to be more organized with an experienced leader. Also squad names that look technical (Eg: Indar | Bravo) are always much better than casual sounding squad names like "We love killing" or "lets play".


the squad interface window. all you have to do is select a big enough squad like the ones with [WCO] because they indicate an outfit (guild) squad which tends to be more organized


The next thing that happens after you join a squad is that you'll notice that a list of player names will pop up next to your mini map indicator. That's the list of players in your squad along with their status and their class. The person who is on 1 is always the squad leader while the members are identified through the name of their squad and their number, for example Bravo 2, Charlie 7 etc.

Also, you'll start to notice that there will be chatter coming in from your squad. Those are mostly instructions of what to do next from the squad leader. The next thing that you might want to do is to bring up your map to check where your squad is and redeploy to them. This is important because the whole point of getting a squad is to move together. And your map would now indicate where the majority of your squad members are too so you can go to them.


you can see all the small little numbers on the map which indicate each individual member of the squad on the map
 

After you've redeployed close to your team, all you have to do is to listen to your speakers for instructions and follow the waypoints set by your squad leader. There will be two waypoints normally used by leaders, one is green for squad while the other is orange for platoon and you'll just have to go to the waypoints (it'll be shown on your map and appear as big arrows in your game) together with the rest of your squad. Most of the time the instructions are pretty straightforward such as capture that point, defend this area and etc etc so there's not much to worry about. The most important thing is to listen. And an extra tip, if your squad gets too quiet, quit it. It is no different from working alone.

What class you choose or what you do after that won't be too much of a concern as long as you stick to the team. The classes are pretty self explanatory and the interface is quite similar to other FPS games so there won't be much of a problem there. Just slowly walk around, stay behind to heal or repair stuff along the way and you'll be fine. If you have any questions or want any other guides just leave a comment and I'll see whether I can write about it. Thanks!


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