So, last time there was actually a lot of interest in the new Planetside, so I’d like to get a little more info out there. Starting with basic things like who everyone is, and faction benefits, then going on to the delicious scraps of info we’ve been fed so far. First and foremost, the best news of it all. PlanetSide 2 is free-to-play, and will feature a cash-shop like what’s found in League of Legends. Power won’t be for sale, but you can buy convinence items and cosmetic changes. Hard to think of anything they can do to make Vanu look more amazing though.  Hopefully we can generate even more interest in the game and give a long, long life. Part of the joy of PlanetSide is the massive battles and the world filled with constant warfare. So, let’s start with the basics; the Three Empires.

Terran Republic:

One of the more common in promotional materials (that I’ve seen), the Terran Republic are loyal to the Earth government that has been cutoff ever since Auraxis lost it’s connection with Earth. The TR weapons and vehicles focus on speed above all else, whether it is vehicle speed or rate of fire, the Terran Republic can’t be matched in terms of speed. They are also more reliant on numbers than the other factions, needing more people to fill the air with as many bullets as they possibly can. Their designs also tend to be fairly fluid and slender. Good choice if you want to be group oriented, to bring the most out of your Empire’s strengths.

New Conglomerant:

The New Conglomerant are the second of the three Empires, and are a group of misfits ranging from massive corporations to thieves and terrorists. Their weapons may not be as state-of-the-art as the Terran Republic’s, but don’t let that fool you. In terms of raw power, nothing can beat the NC. Their weapons and vehicles pack the biggest punch and will hurt like hell if you happen to be caught by them. They also tend to be more armored than what you’d expect, but all that firepower and armor comes with a cost, and they aren’t the most mobile of the empires. Their designs tend to be extremely bulky and have more than a few sharp angles. Good for more solo (relatively speaking, you will still need backup) players, giving a bit more punch to make up for a lack of numbers.

Vanu Sovereignty: 

The third and favorite Empire of mine, the Vanu Sovereignty. The VS are a group of transcendentalists who believe the ultimate evolution of humanity can only be achieved by incorporating more of the ancient Vanu technology. As a result, their armor and weapons tend to be the most out there, having lasers and plasma where other empires might use bullets. While the Vanu Sovereignty aren’t the hardest hitting or quickest of the Empires, their mobility is second to none. While the Terran Republic may be quicker, the VS have greater mobility with anti-gravity technology. While the New Conglormerant hit harder, they can’t match some of the utility the VS bring to the table. Though, I could be biased about this. Maybe. Vanu design is more out there, with triangles and overlapping metal plates. Also, their color is purple. Whats not to love? Good faction for players who want to abuse the greater mobility of the vehicles or use the different weapons the Vanu have at their disposal.

And those vehicles are incredible.

And those are the three factions. Regardless of who you pick, every faction has access to common pool vehicles. Things that don’t really differentiate, and only really have varying color schemes. Other vehicles like the Scythe for the Vanu Sovereignty, or the Prowler for the Terran Republic, are unique to each faction and not available to the others. So if you want a Mosquito, you’ll have to go Terran. Want a Vanguard, time to go New Conglomerant.

Expanding off the vehicles, some have differing equipment you can add to change how the vehicle functions. Sadly, you can’t turn a jet into a tank with transformer tech, but you can shift your role. For instance, the Scythe is a light attack air-craft unique to the Vanu Sovereignty. It can be configured as a support air-craft, with Anti-Air weaponry to support the slower moving planes in the Vanu fleet, or to protect ground troops and vehicles from air attacks. However, it can also be configured with weapons specializing in ground targets, switching roles from protector to a hunter-killer plane, scouring the battle-field and showering troops and vehicles with death from above. It can also be fitted with both, taking on both roles as the need arises, but won’t have the specialized armaments needed to really excel. So you can choose to specialize in one area, and do excellent, or become a jack-of-all-trades, master of none if utility suites your preferences. Not all vehicles can be configured to fit different roles, but don’t be surprised if certain tank shells fire off napalm to burn down infantry while others are simply massive hunks of lead for punching into armor. You can decide what role you want to specialize in, within a reasonable field. Don’t count on becoming an Anti-Air tank with your main cannon, no matter how satisfying it may be to blow a buzzing little Mosquito out of the air. You have support gunners for that.

Though looking at it, NC may already have Optimus as an ally.

On the topic of specalization, if you played PlanetSide, you may remember how your character could be built back then. Virtually any way, as long as you got the CERT for it. Well, that system is now (somewhat) gone, and instead a class system has been put in place. So while you can’t build an ubermensch of a soldier, you can pick an area to excel in at the cost of something else. Infiltrators will make great assassins and snipers, but that light armor isn’t going to help you in the slightest if you try to take a machine-gun to the front lines. CERTS return as skills and weapon-prerequisites, allowing you to advance in a chosen path. Some CERTS may also have prerequisites, but you can train anything that suits your fancy. If you’ve ever played EVE Online, CERTS now function like skills in EVE. You can only be training one CERT per account at any given time, but CERTS continue to train even if you’re offline (though some will train faster if you’re online and pursuing that skill). So you can, say, train up a CERT as a pilot, but hop on to some ground warfare while your CERT is training and not worry about it. Just remember to pick something else to train once you’re finished. Hopefully a Queue system will be implemented like in EVE, but we haven’t heard anything about it yet. There is also a Battle Rank system, which is basically a Level Up by a different name. Higher Battle Rank will open up higher level CERTS to train, so don’t think you can afk CERT up to the best stuff. You’ll have to get your boots dirty and that gun well-worn before then.

As a final note, for a free to play game PlanetSide 2 looks absolutely incredible. How incredible? Well, check this out for a moment…

Seriously, that is being given away for free? That’s stunning. Especially of note are the Day/Night cycles. Auraxis has a complete cycle, so planning attacks around what time it is adds a whole new level to the complexity. Imagine it, sitting around a base at night, chatting with friends or looking at what CERTS you want to train up when a shadow crosses the moon’s light, a fleet of light attack aircraft gunning down into the courtyard as a line of half-dozen tanks roll over a hill, safely hidden in shadows while the fleet got in to position, opening up on the base as the ambushing strike force runs for the base, a fierce and chaotic battle breaking out as the defenders finally forms up and gets to the defense, their own vehicles rolling out to protect their hold.

Now imagine that happening all over the world. Welcome to Auraxis, where war is never-ending, and there are never a shortage of battles to be fought, of resources to be taken and defended from the other Empires. What will you become, a fearless pilot, or a walking tank, commanding your legions across the battlefield? The options are limitless for what role you can take in Auraxis’ future, so gear up and prepare to fight.