Updated Tue, Sep 25, 2012 by ricoxg
Classes are one of the major differences between PlanetSide 2 and its predecessor. My last article introduced the most basic concepts of the game, but now we’re going to go into more detail. In this guide, we’ll step class by class through the advantages and disadvantages of each, and also consider how each class is best utilized.
PlanetSide 2 is unique because the territorial control and other aspects of the game combine to create a dynamic experience each time you take the field. Fighting in the tight confines of a tech facility at one point could quickly turn into a tank battle on open fields the next, and it could all end in a stand-off down a choke canyon. Knowing the classes and having a general idea of the advantages of each will allow you to be far more effective on the battlefield as you adapt to those changing situations.
First up is the enigmatic man of mysterious knifings. Part scout, part assassin, and part saboteur, the Infiltrator is a little ball of espionage waiting on a commie to bounce on. Well, unless you’re playing Terran Republic, and then it’s more like you’re looking for that capitalist pig to bounce on. Maybe. Anyway, back to the important part. What makes the Infiltrator in PlanetSide 2 unique is his stealth suit and the sniper rifle. What makes him fun is that there are a lot of things he can do that may not require the rifle.
The Stealth Suit may be the defining accoutrement to the Infiltrator’s arsenal. By pressing “F” the Infiltrator becomes translucent for a period of time, allowing him to move about the battlefield relatively unnoticed. Recent updates have allowed for new certifications which increase the amount of damage the Infiltrator can take while cloaked. Other certifications that appear to be in the pipe allow moving faster while cloaked.
Explosives are a part of the Infiltrator’s arsenal as well. As of this article, the Infiltrator has the use of Bouncing Betty anti-personnel mines, and the standard complement of frag or sticky grenades. Additionally, the PlanetSide 2 Infiltrator has an IFF grenade, which allows him to scan the immediate area for enemy troops.
Hacking and sabotage are also in the Infiltrator’s toolkit, as any deep operation will need to employ an infiltrator if they hope to resupply from enemy-held bases. Besides hacking terminals, the Infiltrator can deploy small hand-held scanners to detect hostiles, an EMP Spiker to damage nearby shields and disrupt cloaking, and the Scrambler which disrupts the minimap of nearby enemy troops.
The Infiltrator will have a modest selection of weapons to choose from throughout his career. The initial loadout is a sniper rifle and trusty side arm, but moving over to the in-game store options become available. In the store currently, the Infiltrator has access to list of new sniper rifles and side arms, but should he wish to change it up, there are also shotguns available to the interested Infiltrator.
Play an Infiltrator if...
... you like scouting, playing lone-wolf, or working with small teams behind enemy lines.
Jumping fences like kids at Lollapaloopza, thanks to small rocket-packs, these guys are the mobile infantry. Working the standard side-arm and medium-ranged assault rifle or possibly a shotgun purchased from the online store, the Light Assault infantry can take the fight to the enemy wherever he may be. Their armor may be tougher than that of the Infiltrator, but due to their need for mobility, it’s not nearly as heavy as that of the Heavy Assault.
Obviously the jump-pack is the characteristic element of the Light Assault class of trooper. This pack can be modified in a number of ways with certifications to become more fuel efficient. Fuel efficiency matters with the Icarus certification, which provides added lift at the expense of having a longer cool-down. With that increased lift Light Assault troops with the Icarus could sometimes get themselves a little too high, and thus the Drifter certification that grants a bit of a controlled decent.
Other components in the Light Assault arsenal are certifications for Flash Grenades and Smoke Grenades. Smoke grenades are a handy accompaniment to the mobility of the Light Assault as they attack and fade, sowing confusion amongst the enemy. Additionally, the Light Assault can certify in C-4. Ah, C-4 and jump-packs, what a wonderful combination. It’s like the FedEx of death, delivering to “the world, now.”
There’s an additional certification panel for Light Assault Tools, but it’s unpopulated as of this point in beta. It’s unclear when options will be added for this section, but the cool modular design of PlanetSide 2 should allow for those sorts of additions easily as the game moves along.
In general, Light Assault is just a cool class to play. It’s likely to become a default class for many as it offers a general baseline between armor and weaponry with the additional benefit of serious mobility. I think pilots will definitely be looking to invest points in Light Assault so that they can skip the ejection seat and use that space for other components.
Play Light Assault if...
... you like fast-paced game-play, being highly mobile, and a certain Elton John song.
I’ve said it before, every Soldier’s best friend is the medic, and that holds just as true in PlanetSide 2. Their healing not only allows you to live longer, but their ability to rescue the fallen might save you a long walk from the nearest spawn. They wear medium armor, and unlike their real-world counterparts, these medics carry light rifles for range or shotguns and a side-arm.
Healing is the Combat Medic’s domain, and they do it well. Certifications still make them more efficient at it and give them cool options like a healing grenade and even a grenade to revive all friendlies in an area. Additional certifications are in the pipe to give them access to several types of healing stations, abilities, and even a shield that stops bullets while providing some additional healing in the vicinity.
Don’t mistake Doc for a total push-over, though. Additional certs allow the medic to pack C-4 for when the wounded can’t be allowed to fall into enemy hands and even a virus applicator that can detect the difference between friendly and enemy units, healing one while damaging the other. Also their rifles give them extended range on Engineers and Light Assault, allowing them to deal out their own share of death from behind the front line.
Play a Combat Medic if...
...you like being that vital part of the team that everyone loves having around and if you like being constantly in demand.
That’s it for our first installment of the Class Compendium for PlanetSide 2. The Infiltrator, Light Assault, and Combat Medic classes all offer unique experiences and each has their own vital niche on the battlefield. I hope this guide had helped you to understand the differences between them, and maybe get an idea of which you’d like to play. Stay tuned for our next article in which we’ll discuss the Engineer, Heavy Assault, and MAX units.