Common Problems and Misconceptions

After playing the game for a while, new players often develop certain misconceptions:

“I keep dying, it must be because my starting equipment is bad!” 

No. An enemy with a shiny weapon keeps killing you over and over because he is much better than you are, not because his weapon is better. Equipment choice does matter, and certain weapons will be stronger in certain situations.

However, your starting weapons are among the best in the game, they are powerful and versatile, and there is no rush to replace them. It is absolutely possible to do exceptionally well with just the starting equipment, and experienced veterans have proven this over and over.

If you consistently get your ass kicked, consider doing what your enemies have been doing: invest some time and effort in learning how to play.

“I got killed and it looked weird, it must be because enemies are hacking!” 

No. It cannot be denied that some people find ways to cheat in PlanetSide 2, just as any other online game, but their number is exceedingly low. There is a logical and legitimate explanation for every questionable death. Most common culprits are:

1) Normal Internet Delay. In short, everything you see enemies do on your screen, they have done on their screen about ~0.2 seconds ago. So if you see an enemy shooting you, he has already been shooting you for some time on his screen. Most automatic infantry weapons take about ~0.2-0.3 seconds to kill with headshots at close range, and many veterans and talented infantry players are very good at landing those headshots. 

So if you see an enemy running around a corner and shoot you in the face, he has already done that ~0.2 seconds ago, and you are at a huge disadvantage and probably will not even get a chance to react. 

Another consequence of Internet Delay is being killed “in cover”. This often happens when you get shot while running into cover. You may have made it into cover on your screen, but your player model on enemy screen was dragging ~0.2 seconds behind you, and got shot.

2) Inaccurate Death Screen. When you die, you get a chance to see how much health and shields the enemy had when you died. That information is very inaccurate. It is a common situation when one player shoots an enemy, that enemy turns around and kills him with superior gunplay skills, and on the deaths screen the killed player will see the enemy having full health and shields. As said, that information is inaccurate and should not be treated seriously.

Sometimes people just don’t pay attention. Like in this video, I shoot the enemy Heavy Assault, but death screen shows my killer at fulI health. If you pay attention, you’ll notice that I get killed by a totally different guy. However, when I recorded this, it seemed like a blatant hit detection bug to me.

That’s why it’s always useful to record suspicious moments and inspect them more closely later.

3) Individual Internet Lag. When a certain player’s internet is lagging and having a packet loss, that player will appear warping all over the place, teleporting and rubberbanding. Here’s how it looks from the perspective of such lagger. So for an enemy killed that way, it will appear as if he just randomly died. 

4) Server Lag. Sometimes a similar thing happens to all players on a server at the same time.

5) Massive gap in skill and experience. Some veterans are so ridiculously good at shooting that killing a lot of enemies even when massively outnumbered is barely a challenge. 

6) Abusing movement mechanics. It is possible to “break” your character’s animation to make him a much harder target. Some of the veterans have gotten very good at this.

“I get the drop on the guy, shoot a whole magazine into his back, and he just turns around and kills me! What do?!”

This is a very common experience among beginning players, and there are many possible reasons for it. Most of them have nothing to do with cheats or bugs.

Reason 1. Lack of understanding of Weapon Mechanics. A lot of people don’t understand how Cone of Fire works, and do not understand that it’s possible to miss most of your shots even if the crosshair is vaguely around enemy’s head. Example.

Reason 2. Do not understand just how tough the enemy can be. A Heavy Assault can have up to ~1800 effective health, depending on equipment combination. “Shooting a lot” does not always translate into “shooting enough”.

Reason 3. Massively higher enemy skill. A player with a few weeks of experience should not expect to easily kill a veteran with years of experience, even from advantageous position.

Not to brag, but I’ve pulled off a lot of “turn around and shoot the guy” myself.

Most of the time, it’s the fault of the player for giving a warning before delivering a killing blow. When sneaking up on somebody, players often spot the enemy before shooting them. It’s a big mistake, because enemies can hear the spotting voice too, and immediately identify your faction and position by it.

Other times, players start the fight on bad terms. Like the enemy is about to turn the corner, and the player shoots him, dealing minimal damage. Then the enemy jumps from around the corner, and uses the Internet Delay advantage to kill the player first.

Often the poor aim prevents the player from killing the enemy before he starts reacting, spins, dodges the rest of the incoming fire and kills the player. Example.

“My faction keeps losing fights, it must be because my faction equipment is bad!”

No. Only skill and coordination are important. Community Smashes and other organized events where faction is assigned randomly have proven that faction choice has no effects on the odds of winning.

Often the people who shout about faction balance the most, have never actually played other factions, and don’t really know what they’re talking about. A weapon feels much more powerful when you get killed by it over and over again, but it might not feel so powerful when you use it. You shot an enemy and he died. That’s what’s supposed to happen, right?

Sometimes people who think other factions are better switch to them for a short time, and have a great experience, which just confirms their initial bias. It takes a certain time to accumulate enough experience to make a qualified judgement, and how well you do in any given play session doesn’t really have anything to do with faction balance, and mostly depends on luck and population balance at the time.

“My faction is outnumbered all the time, it is unfair!”

PlanetSide 2 enforces strict population balance on continents with a lot of players, so if you’re getting outnumbered at one fight, it’s likely that your faction is outnumbering the enemy at another fight.

“Players in my faction are noobs!”

Your experiences will change from day to day. Especially on a weekend prime time, when one of the server’s high-tier outfits is doing ops (coordinated play sessions). You’re going to see all sorts of different skill levels of enemies and allies.

Complaining about other factions having lower / higher skill population or making generalizations really serves no purpose. Colors on the sleeve mean much less then the community playing.

Every faction has exceptional outfits, and every faction has mediocre ones. Over time those outfits learn, grow, and evolve, or die off to be replaced.

– CuteBeaver

“PlanetSide 2 is pay to win, look at all those expensive weapons and Implants!”

No. You don’t need new weapons to “win” or enjoy the game. Implants remain random even with cash investments, and buying them with money would be very cost-inefficient.

There are powerful combinations of equipment that veterans tend to gravitate towards, but they usually require a certain amount of skill and experience to use properly in the first place, and they are more like an alternative playstyle rather than a direct advantage.

It’s next to impossible to convert cash into direct combat advantage in game. In this regard, PlanetSide 2 is one of the most fair free to play games. 

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