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I've been playing in the PS2 beta for a while now and though I keep going back night after night, it's more out of an interest to see if the developers will make any nice changes, than actual game enjoyment. I mean, it's not a bad game, it has its moments, it's just all a bit pointless. There's a big battle going on in the middle usually, then you'll get people backhacking other bases so people will go out and take those back, while that's happening another base nearby will be taken so you go to that, then that's captured and, oh, they took the first base back again, so you go there...
It's just back and fore, back and fore, no real reason, no real purpose and wow does it ever get tedious. You can go back and fore like that all day, meanwhile that same battle is going on in the middle, someone might go forward, someone might fall back. Then you can log on the next day and the exact same thing will happen all over again. This game is desperately in need of PS1's original lattice network, plus more areas for the three factions to conquer. At the moment I find myself wondering why I'm bothering, it's just fighting for fightings sake.
Then you look at the classes, vehicles and weapons and how to upgrade them and quickly realise that this game screams Pay to Win. I mean, I started my current character about 5 days ago, played about 3-4 hours a night after work, and I managed to raise 5000 auraxians (that's credits). To purchase a new weapon can cost upwards of 20,000. No surprise then that you can also pay real cash for those extra weapons.
Are these weapons powerful? Hell yes they are. Most people seem to have gained enough for anti-air weapons now and honestly, it's not even worth taking an aircraft up if a few of those are around. With rockets that auto lock and flak weapons with massive range and damage, it's just not worth the cost in resources. I was in a battle earlier to take a base back, flying around with my Galaxy trying to find a suitable position, and if I even saw an enemy far off in the distance I was taking damage and having to flee from missile locks.
Will they balance these things or will it become an arms race, where everyone is paying real cash for the next upgrade so that they can keep up? I don't have the answer to that one. I'd bet that they keep the power level up though, to entice people to open their wallets.
I'm also against the idea of classes. Looking at the certifications and how many you seem to get over time, it seems you'll be forced into a role as the cost of some of those certs are pretty high. They do seem to increase even while you're offline though, which is something I guess. Like I'd log off with about 5 certs then join the next evening and find I have 28.
The bad thing is that a simple cert can be really expensive. Small things like a suppressor on your weapon are about 5pts, but placing a zoom function on a vehicles weapon can be 15 for the very basics, increasing with each extra level, so a 1.5x zoom will be 15, 2x zoom will be 25, 3x will cost 40. And you have to get the first to get the next, so to get 3x zoom will total out at 80 cert points. That's just for one weapon on one vehicle.
Of course, this is still beta and I'm sure there are changes to come - hell, a lot of certs still aren't active yet. But considering they've lifted the NDA and are willing to accept what people currently think of the game reaching consumers, then I can't see a whole lot of changes coming down the line. I think we'll see the locked certs slowly open up, a few tweaks here and there, then they'll call it done.
For me, it's far from done..