I started off thinking Id title this article Why the Chicks Dig Blue, but I thought I might take some flak for it. While I changed the title, the premise remains the same. Planetside 2 will be composed of three factions and this article will focus on deconstructing each faction in an attempt to understand exactly why the New Conglomerate consistently comes out on top as being the most righteous.
The Vanu Sovereignty is not a faction without merit. After all, who could entirely write-off a faction thats captured the attention of Maggie Krohn? Hotties aside, the Vanu boast a significant technological advantage over their counterparts. The maneuverability and speed of their Magrider and Scythe are certainly threats on the battlefield, but both burn brightly when rocked by the awesome rocket-flinging might of the NCs Reaver.
The VS weapons do have some advantages. They tend to be beam-based and thus have no trajectory to compensate for, which is handy for those medium-range shots or firing on the move. Firing rates for the Vanu trend just between the chain-gunning Terran Republic and the slower rates of the New Conglomerate.
The problem with VS weaponry is the fact that the damage has a fall-off over distance. Engage the VS at range and they might as well be putting on a psychedelic light show for all the damage theyll do. It looks great at night, especially with the new day-night cycles and the great graphics in Planetside 2. Its like theyre guiding the bombs in on their heads with little reverse target markers.
I guess that does bring up another point in Vanu favor. If they ever did manage to win a battle, the celebratory firing into the air could signal the start to a great concert. Which makes one wonder if perhaps that was the real reason behind the development of all those beam weapons. The VS claim that their weapons are the result of technological advances, but perhaps rather than religious zealots, theyre really just connoisseurs of special pharmaceuticals and in search of a good time.
The poor Terran Republic; weep for them my friends. These guys are so unloved that theyre the only faction not represented by a K9 mascot in the SOE offices. Dante sports the purple collar and Qiu, Higbys own dog, sports the blue. Thats right, folks--the Elmos dont like dogs. Need we any additional reason to detest them?
Churning out shock troops, the TR are well aware of the fact that while they may hold a certain numerical superiority. Their problem is a lack of skill, and their weapons show it. The TR compensate for the poor quality of their soldiers through massed fire, which is a staple of their weaponry. Where the NC focus on making each shot count, the TR throw massive amounts of lead down-range in the hopes that some of it may hit something.
You have to give it to the Terrans. Their Prowler tank with its dual main guns is a tank worth respecting. With a lower profile and speed on its side, the Prowler can be where it needs to be in a hurry and lay down a lot of rounds in rapid succession. Also, Id be remiss if I didnt point out the fact that TR infantry are nothing to sneeze at either. Focused and firing at the same target, the Terrans can cut through nearly anything like a buzz saw with their higher fire-rates.
Thats all well and good, but because the Terrans are most effective when theyre grouped and firing en masse, they tend to also make nice little targets for the heavier NC rounds. Its kind of like bowling, except that the pins that dont get knocked down start running around screaming in confusion.
Blue is Better
Two words: Matt Higby. Everyone knows where Higby comes down on the question of factions, and its no secret the man is True Blue. The Planetside 2 Creative Director has good reason to be in the NC Fan Club.
The noble New Conglomerate soldiers are freedom fighters struggling against the oppression of the evil Terran Republic and the oppressive dogma of the Vanu Sovereignty. The NC story is one of struggle while over-coming adversity while selflessly sacrificing to achieve a noble goal, that of freedom. Compare that to playing with cool lights and toys like the Vanu, or marching in straight lines like the Terrans, and the NC are kind of the obvious moral high ground.
Story aside, the NC just have cool tactics. The Blues make themselves unassailable with solid armor and staying power, and then they focus on hitting hard and fast with that one perfectly placed shot. When the NC go on the offensive, they attack hard, fast, and with precision. Its like the Samurai of Planetside where other lesser factions either spray out tons of lead in hopes of hitting something, or run around firing wildly while evading other shots. The NC hit hard. Once. Its the single perfect strike of the freedom-loving samurai.
The weapons and vehicles of the New Conglomerate in Planetside reflect this philosophy, like the well-forged katana holds the soul of its wielder. There are few who would not feel their knees knocking at the first sounds of Reavers on the wing. Imagine the distant roar growing louder as those monsters of destruction shove their ammo-laden way through obstinate air on their way to deliver justice-laced rockets to those who would stand in the way of freedom. Theres no need for cheesy Vietnam-era music when these guys take to the air. They create their own deadly symphony.
Not to be outdone, we have to mention the pride of New Conglomerate Freedom Corps, and that would be the Vanguard Medium Battle Tank. We call it medium, for the same reason you might refer to a defensive lineman as tiny. If you knew of no other reason why the NC are better than every other faction out there, this would be it. This liberty-loving leviathan boasts a 150mm cannon of aimed death. Theres nothing like a little bowling ball of bowel adjustment flying at you at something like 1700 meters per second to make a man realize his days of imperialistic oppression have been ill-chosen.
So if youre looking at Planetside 2 and youre not entirely sure of which faction to choose, allow me to make a humble suggestion. Join up with the boys in blue. Everyone else is just in the game for themselves. The NC are in it for freedom, and there is no better cause than that. Plus, our toys are loud. Really loud.
People Make the Game
So, now that Ive demonstrated the obvious superiority of the New Conglomerate, let me tell you why you should play Planetside 2 no matter which faction you choose. The answer is community. Many of you reading this have been members of the Ten Ton Hammer community for years and know the value community adds to anything, whether game or website. If youre not a member of the Ten Ton Hammer community, check it out. Weve got a great bunch of folks here. Planetside is like that as well.
Ten years of playing Planetside and youll find fans so hardcore that they die their hair, wear t-shirts to work, have Planetside-related desktop backgrounds, and Ive even seen bumper stickers on cars announcing which faction they belonged to. PS fans have serious loyalty to their factions, and the best part about it is the good natured way they interact with each other. Youve played other games where opposing factions have similar zeal, but they constantly troll each other, both in-game and in the forums. Not so much in Planetside, though.
I dont think Ive really ever seen any earnest attempt at the same behavior in Planetside. Youll see players of opposing sides teasing, but rarely anything other than good-natured fun. Youll frequently see Matt Higby end an interview waving an NC flag because he knows the interviewer is a Terran fan, or maybe making cracks about the NC superiority. Other members of the Planetside 2 staff often flaunt their favorite factions and engage in teasing with the community and among themselves on a frequent basis.
So if you like fighting for a cause, play NC. If you like having really awesome weapons and vehicles that make your enemies scream like little girls, play NC. If you like driving or flying some of the most heavily armored and heavily gunned vehicles in the game, play NC. For everything else, theres Not-NC. Whoever you choose, choose someone and come have a little fun with us.
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