Why Planetside 2 is failing

I’m a big fan of Planetside 2, but months after its release it’s clear the game is not the blockbuster hit many thought it would be. First-person-shooters are arguably the biggest selling games out there, so you would think a MMOFPS like Planetside 2 would do pretty well, but that doesn’t seem to be the case. Instead of growing, PS2 has been losing players from the get-go.

Without a doubt the main reason why the game is failing remains frame-rate. An upcoming update later this year will be addressing this issue to make the game run better for those on mid to low-end PCs and boost the frame-rate to about 60 frames-per-second.

The second reason is the simple fact that there are absolutely no tutorials explaining anything in the game. Considering the amount of info displayed on the interface, it can be very overwhelming for new players causing many to quit without giving the game a real chance.

For those able to get past the first two issues, they’re then confronted with the fact that there are more players piloting vehicles than on the ground. Over the last few weeks its not been unusual for me to see only a handful of players running around as opposed to dozens and dozens of tanks and airships. It seems 3 out of 4 base take-overs involve only tanks and airships with just enough infantry units to stand at the hold points. This is further compounded for me as I tend to play the sniper class exclusively so when there’s only vehicles in a battle, I can’t do anything.

Everything from cost to damage-output to defense stats on just about every vehicle, especially air, is completely out of whack. I was piloting a light tank (Lightning) and it took about 15-20 hits to destroy a turret, where in comparison a Heavy infantry unit with a rocket launcher can destroy not only the turret, but the Lightning tank in 4-5 hits. Is Sony trying to tell me that a guy holding a rocket launcher is more than twice as powerful as a Tank’s cannon? When balance doesn’t make common sense it pushes me away from the entire game as I’m sure it does to others. I don’t care that the rocket can take out the tank in 4-5 hits, but why would anyone build a tank that’s so weak it can’t destroy anything unless it hits it 15 times? Imagine if a firetruck was designed that used a garden hose. That’s the type of stupidity we’re dealing with in PS2. The Lighting should be able to take out any vehicle in 4-5 hits and the heavy tank in 2-3. To make up for the big increase in firepower you would simply double or triple the cost of tanks and adjust reload speeds. Common sense would be restored and balance added.

How about the Liberator airship, which might as well be a god damn Star Destroyer. I can literally attack it for a minute straight with a turret and still not destroy it, but that same ship can destroy my turret in 3-4 hits. Give me a break!  At least add an energy shield or something to explain its godly armor plating that seems to make it near invisible. Does Sony not realize airships are a LOT more susceptible to damage then just about anything else? Why is the strongest vehicle in the game an airship? Shouldn’t the heavy tank have better armor?

Up next is the Longshot sniper rifle which is advertised as “only a Heavy with his shields turned on has a chance to survive a hit to the face” which is complete and utter bullsh*t. I’ve scored a head-shot on every unit type and not received the kill many times (although 95% of the time I do get the kill). In fact yesterday I not only got a headshot on a Heavy with no shield, but a follow up leg shot still didn’t get the kill, not until I hit him with a second body shot did he go down. Either it’s a bug or helmets are insanely strong. Either way the Longshot should be renamed to Mediumshot because it can’t kill for sh*t at range. Once at long range, I can only get kills on Light and Infantry units consistently in one hit, every other class is 2-3 shots. To happen once in a while, I’d say maybe I was hitting the shoulders, but it’s not once in a while, its almost every shot. The fact is the Longshot does not kill in one hit at long range, period.

Planetside 2 needs an enormous and complete balance update of its vehicles with emphasis on them making common sense.  If Sony plans on keeping vehicles prices as cheap as they are, then they have to introduce new anti-vehicle weapons for all classes because right now infantry players are fodder to vehicle players. As a sniper I spend the majority of my time trying to find battles where there are players I can actually shoot and not 15 planes flying overhead killing me, but my patience is wearing thin.


  1. I’m sorry, but it’s not nearly as bad as you make it out to be.
    For the tank, the standard Lightning is equipped with a HE cannon, which is quite weak against armor (like turrets) but has a large blast radius for anti infantry. To compound the issue, the standard lightning cannon fires some extremely weak shots, in exchange for being able to fire 6 of them in rapid succesion. This is great for suppressing infantry, but not so great for taking out other tanks.

    As for Liberators: Get a Dual Burster MAX out, and that liberator will be shredded in a couple of seconds.

    All in all, i’m sorry, but you seem to just not be familiar with the games mechanics, and instead of actually trying to learn, you go on a rant.

  2. So your saying an infantry unit with 2 guns attached to his arms is more powerful than an turret twice the size which is specifically designed to attack aircraft? That makes no sense. This is the type of stuff in PS2 that drives me crazy . I get some vehicles are better at certain tasks then others and an anti-infantry vehicle take makes a lot of sense, but don’t make it a tank then, make it a humvee or something that makes sense. A tank’s cannon should never be not be weaker than an handheld rocket launcher. Its just frustrating when a Heavy kills you faster than you can destroy a turret.

  3. I havent played enough of it to get into the mechanics of units, but I do agree with the points about losing players from the start. Frame rates for starters can be awful.
    I have tried a number of times to get into the game, but the lack of a decent hands on tutorial does hinder me getting into it. They do need to make the initial learning curve a bit smoother – that isnt carebearing thats just common sense.
    There are a lot of vehicles, I do find that I am on my own running around a base as the lone infantry bod often, and right now just cannot summon up the enthusiasm to keep on slogging at it.
    I do die a lot and very quickly, although this is probably more down to me being a fair bit pants rather than balance issues.
    Shame because it does seem promising, and there isnt anything out there that does the same things as this game.
    The latter part of the article does sound like a bit of a rant mike ….. however if balancing is as bad as you paint then they really do have their work cut out.

  4. The issues that are in the article are minor. Its like Jondare said, you need to spend some more time in the game to understand mechanics. I believe that the main reason for leaving players is the most simple explenation. . THE GAME HAS NO END ! You can fight and kill but you can never be a winner or a loser.. If PS2 creators want to change it I suggest creating a point system. Every location gives 1-3 points per hour (defends on importance of location) the team that reaches 10 k first wins. And the prices should be random signle use items.. it would work perfectly.

    PS sorry for my english, I didn’t write in this language for a while..

  5. Planetside 2 or Verdunside 2 as it should be called.

    – Vehicles are cheap, easy to get and use. Making going on foot redundant save for the maschocist.

    – Bases can’t be defended, easiest example is when you lose the shields on the gates. Then the lolriders come pouring in like a flood, and start camping the spawn room which is so badly placed that I think the devs must hate the players. The common answer is then: “Leave, the base is lost. Don’t get farmed.” So yes, I leave. Thinking why do I even defend? Bases are good for 1 thing: Capping then leaving so you can cap it again while sitting in a tank.

    – Airpower. Now it seems to be a bit stemmed with the AA buff, but alot of players left because the airpower during those critical weeks after launch just bombed the snot out of you from miles away. Which leads me to why Verdunside 2 dont have joysticksupport in a game which have planes. Just boggles my mind (and my joystick). Keyboard and mouse is not a proper way to fly for me and alot of others.

    – Hackers. When planetside 2 hack movies have more views than the tutorial videos, you know this game got some issues, Planetside 2 have no punkbuster or ip-banning, leading to that players need to report and provide evidence to SOE who bans the hacker who makes a new char and continues the griefing. Excellent. Added that people on the forums lament the very slow, near non-existent removal of hackers leads to either a) a swamped report system with a helluva lotta hackers that needs to be removed or b) they dont care.

    -Framerates. Dont need to say anything than this game runs very poorly and is very badly if optimitzed.

    – Repetition. It goes like this “VS are taking Esamir. Lets leave for indar, vehicle spam and take that then ghostcap Esamir back later” Meanwhile in the VS camp “We’re taking Esamir, lets leave Indar and then ghostcap Indar back later.” Sounds very fun.

    – Steep prices for similarlooking weapons. Optional if you buy, but just go to the forums and see all the QQ from pilots who got their NV zephyrs and daltons nerfed. How would you react if you bought a weapon/attachement youfelt was just right for 7 dollars or 70 hours of gameplay, then get it nerfed? Happy? Lower prices

    – The extremely sloppy release.

    -Release game
    – Go on 3 week vacation
    – ?????
    – Profit

    I think not. The release hurt the game badly in terms of losing players, being that the devs were not there in the crucial first steps to release hotfixes as they do now which is too late. Ofc there are the diehards that would play this game even if there’s only 1 TR, 1 NC and 1 VS left. But I think that this game have had its chance and failed to deliver.

    Personally, for me this game have turned my life a bit around. Seeing that wasting time on a badly designed game was just plain stupid, I started working out again and begun on a sci-fi novel (with defensible bases!!!! ;)

    I’ll log back in after the 30th of jan to see the changes, if it blows my mind to make me a couch potato again remains to be seen.

  6. I would just like to point out that I love the game and I think that the only reason why this rant has been posted is because this person has obviously not played more deeper and learned more about the game.

    Yes I agree that the tutorials suck and there needs to be better ones.

    The devs definatly need to make the game more beginner friendly.

    And I certainly believe there needs to be a winning/losing system to the game such as capping and locking continents and recieving consumable rewards.

    And what the devs should have done and should do as soon as possible, is advertise Planetside2 in a better way. I’m sure SOE have enough money to advertise the thing on tv as well as the Internet. And I am sure it would be successful because the lure is very good!

  7. I agree with a lot of what Mike said but a lot has changed since then too. Granted this is now nearly 7 months later and I played back in December/January too.
    The whole tank vs heavy with rockets thing seems to be off though. I mean, a Heavy shoots one rocket, has to reload (takes awhile) and then re-expose himself to fire again. He will have to fire several more rockets while the tank could just run him over or fire a shot (or 2) to take him down. Advantage is Tank over Heavy 9 times out of 10. Multiple Heavies with coordinated rocket strikes will usually win though.
    Turrets may take multiple tank shots, but they also aren’t moving targets – they are stationary. So its easy to take them out. The default Lightning tanks weapons fire 6 shots (rapidly) before reloading. Assuming you miss once and then figure it out, the turret won’t last long.
    The tutorials still kinda suck, but at least now they have added a Virtual Reality Training area where you can try out all weapons, vehicles, add-ons, etc.

    The game is improving a lot, and there are countless updates and improvements with many future ones planned . Sure there are still cheaters in the game, but its not overwhelming.

    They now have alerts – which give more a more meaningful goal to try to achieve. Some that even cross multiple continents. This can be fun to compete with against the other factions. Lots of coordination, lots of big battles.

    The recent addition of the harasser has been great too. I think its a little overpowered, but I also think people are slowing figuring out how to counter it better.

    Some of the things I do think need improvement.
    Still some game crashing, display driver issues. But I do see that when having a decent system the game looks great and plays amazing. I just wish it was more consistent.
    I suck at air flying and I agree a joytick (joystick support) would be an improvement.

    I think SOE should do a TV spot or put out some more video links on major websites once the game is a little more stable. Because this game IMO is better than Call of Duty and Battlefield – if you like the idea of an ongoing war/battle that doesnt ever end.

    Another continent could be fun too, if the population increases. But with Alerts bringing all factions to fight over things of importance, its going in the right direction.
    I like the idea of better awards for winning those alerts. As long as it doesnt get too unbalanced.

  8. It is now September, 2013, 9 months after launch. SOE has dropped 23 PS2 servers (or 32), only 9 remain active due to falling player numbers. Likely will fall again soon as the EU servers have very low populations outside of their prime time. So much potential, wasted.

  9. Aircraft and Tank armor remains the number one reason I play other MMO’s. I still log in weekly and give it a check. But seriously – have you ever seen a real hand-held SAM? I see the gamer tags out there a lot of these guys are, or were, in some branch of the military. A handheld SAM can decimate almost single attack aircraft with one shot (ONE SHOT).
    I’m not going to drag Sony down (they do that all by themselves) until some of the notes you have made are fixed, people will continue to move on. My son and his buddies wont play PS2 for a ton of reasons – and if you cannot keep the 18 yo group – you aren’t going to keep anyone. They do play Modern Warfare and from what my son tells me – is the same game, only better (that I truly dont know)

    Fix the armor and save the cheerleader.

  10. @jondare Hey buddy, here it is over a year later and vehicle spam is still killing the game. They had to merge servers even, LOL.

Comments are closed.