Planetside 2’s Construction Update Creates a Sandbox Experience

By | May 1, 2016

 

playerbase

An entirely player-built base

Planetside 2, released on PC in 2012 and PS4 in 2015, is an open world Massively Multiplayer Online First Person Shooter(MMOFPS). Players fight over large continents that support thousands of players, with some battles involving hundreds of players fighting over a single region or base. Players not only fight on foot, but can also utilize vehicles, aircraft, and machinery to win battles.

On April 27, Daybreak Games released the construction update. This update allows players to create custom bases with others through a variety of structures, all of which can be destroyed by enemies. To create a base, players gather Cortium, the resource used for the construction of any sort of structure. Cortium can be found throughout the map, and is gathered using a Vehicle called the ANT. Upon gathering enough Cortium, they then place a Cortium Silo, which can hold up to 50,000 Cortium. From there, they can place a variety of structures, listed below:

  • Rampart walls, Sunderer garages, bunkers,  and other  various structures that act as protective cover
  • Turrets that specialize in anti infantry, anti vehicle, and anti aircraft
  • Various modules that buff structures around it, that drain Cortium over time.
  • The HIVE, which is used to generate victory points(see below)

If players are confident in their base, they can construct a HIVE generator. The HIVE generates ‘Victory Points’, but requires a constant supply of Cortium to operate. The more dangerous of a location your base is, the faster it generates victory points- this encourages factions to create bases closer to enemy territory, rather than hiding it deep within their own. Each faction starts with 2 cores, and they are automatically assigned to the most efficient  HIVE’s on the map, as long as they have an adequate amount of players defending it. If a HIVE is destroyed, the faction that destroyed it steals its core, which they can use in their own HIVEs. For this reason, it is important that you have a quality base before constructing a HIVE.

The construction system and victory point system does not eliminate the purpose of the preexisting bases(regions). Capturing regions still provides a very important tactical advantage for the purposes of providing spawn points, vehicle/aircraft depots, and more. Defending a player-built base is very difficult without controlling nearby regions, as without them, you’ll have nowhere nearby to spawn vehicles, or somewhere to fall back on.  In addition to generating victory points through HIVEs, Victory points can also be achieved through capturing regions via a control point style of gameplay. By reaching 15 Victory points, a faction is victorious, and locks down the map. Currently, there are 4 major continents, and 2 are active at any time. These maps swap out each time a faction wins a map. Locking down a map secures a buff for that faction, such as cheaper vehicles or consumables.

Gameplay

This video contains 50 minutes of Gameplay of the new update. The video starts with us just starting out our base, which we built up over the course of 15-20 minutes. Eventually our base was attacked, and it held quite well. Unfortunately, I did not manage to get that in the video.

Reception

 

Most players are extremely satisfied with the update. Many say it’s the most fun they’ve had with the game since it’s launch in 2012. There are some flaws with the update, such as the potential for griefing, as well as some minor balance issues, but the developers have stated some plans to resolve many of the concerns with the update. Personally, I’ve never encountered a griefer while playing, and I’ve yet to have any issues(besides occasional crashes). There are issues, but they aren’t significant enough to ruin the gameplay experience.

Overall, the update makes the Planetside 2 experience much more unique and exciting. Custom player created bases stir up the experience, as you never know where the enemy will place their bases, how they will design it, and so on. I’ve been playing the update for a few days, and I can say that the game feels different every single day. So far there doesn’t seem to be a “Meta” for base location/design, and I hope it stays that way. In many ways base location and design is situational, depending on population, enemy decisions, important objectives, etc.

If you’ve ever thought of coming back to Planetside 2, now’s the perfect time. There have been numerous performance improvements since launch, items are easier to earn without paying now, and the game overall is much more fun. I pretty much never drop below 60 fps on an i5 6600K and a r9 380X while playing at 1080P.