Oh ye, naysayers
The Nexus is the first iteration of Battle Islands created by Sony Online Entertainment for two reasons. To provide a competitive map for MLG and to create a stopgap between two continents for the future continental lattice. The Battle Islands themselves are smaller versions of the three primary continents, Amerish, Esamir and Indar. They provide a more impactful and distinct version of the battle flow available on the live servers.
The continental lattice will tie all the continents together, establishing a deeper metagame and more meaningful gameplay by providing each faction with a “home” continent with Hossin in the middle as neutral territory. The continental lattice will direct flow from one continent to the next in an effort to mark a distinction between home territory, neutral territory and enemy territory. It is SOE’s attempt at a grand design for the metagame in Planetside 2 and if the design of The Nexus is an indication of where SOE is going with this, then it’s a sign of good things to come.
If I had to describe The Nexus in one word it would be “awesome”. It was designed by Xanderclauss, Game Designer for SOE. PS2 Creative Director Matt Higby provided the first test match on The Nexus between NUC (Numero Uno Clan) and Future Crew. NUC and FC being the top two competitive outfits in Planetside 2, it was fitting they were allowed to be the first ones to test the competitive viability of The Nexus. NUC fielded a full platoon while Future Crew ran with 32 core members and filled the rest with TIW and some other nonaligned players.
Out of the two matches held, the first one was a semi-serious romp around the bases and the second featured a much more lax environment as people were invited to fly, drive, and run around The Nexus to revel in its glory.
The Nexus still has some bugs as lattice and base ownership aren’t working properly, but that’s to be expected from its first run through. What I can say is The Nexus is an exciting mix of the high walls of Esamir minus its claustrophobic spawn rooms, with bases designed to provide multiple entries and exits, high cliffs to rain hell down on approaching armor columns and a reasonable flight ceiling for air jockeys to duel it out.
The Nexus is formed with nine bases. Each middle base closest to the Warpgate is the home base for each team and the middle base is attached via lattice from the two middle side bases. I didn’t get a chance to take any screenshots as the excitement and rapid redeploys in NUC kept us moving and the unfamiliarity of the base design caused a little confusion on our squad’s part, but we (NUC) did get in a pitched battle with FC between two bases that involved Harasser, Lightning and Battle Bus tug-of-war battles that had two deployed Sunderers firing all their guns at each other in a cacophony of glorious explosions. Everyone bailed from the two Sunderers and flung rockets at each other. It was a scene straight out of a Hollywood movie where you don’t know who will win through all the smoke and debris – simply amazing.
Here is a video by Vanu Labs showing The Nexus lattice:
The few bases we attacked and defended (I only got to see five of the bases due to Platoon leader orders) were well designed. They vary greatly from the Live server bases and provide opportunities for flanks, counter-attacks, concentrated pushes and the excitement of last minute holds. One base in particular had six anti-vehicle turrets facing a narrow road like some wicked death trap out of the Matterhorn. The roads through which our squad had the opportunity to drive were tight, with switch backs lining the paths between the westernmost bases.
Some bases featured large warehouse type buildings similar to the SCU buildings in Tech Plants with smaller buildings providing cover surrounding the larger central building. The home base features a point underneath a raised platform with two generators protecting it from attack. The home bases were designed to be difficult to take, which became evident to us as we dropped on FC’s home base. We were greeted by the shields and in the confusion fell to FC’s defensive efforts.
what the nexus means for planetside 2
The spacing felt good with 48 v 48. In fact, it felt almost perfect; because of the rapid redeployments of our Galaxy-bound squads we were able to respond to nearly any threat. Some bases are single cap points and others are three cap points. I don’t have exact details as my squad was too busy redeploying and fighting FC but the action felt good. It was constant, non-cramped, and hammered in the idea that maneuverability in The Nexus will be vital.
The combat in The Nexus with 48v48 was intense. Every person is important to their squad as some of the combat was so small scale that any mistake could cause a squad wipe. Squads moving together in organized fashion with supports playing passively will develop into the first metagame in The Nexus until outfits figure out more dynamic ways to attack bases. Platoon leaders and Squad leaders will be pushed to the limit in organizing coordinated strikes/defenses, and micro-managing squads to ensure maximum survivability. The Nexus will be the measure of how good an outfit really is. There are no excuses in The Nexus and once SOE nail down their observer cam into a more polished product, combat for MLG and other community events will provide what many naysayers have been saying won’t happen since MLG and The Nexus was announced: an engaging viewer experience.
Throw public play out the door, because everything changes in a 48v48. Mistakes in public play aren’t often punished because of the nature of respawns and vehicle resources; we still have to wait and see how SOE manage resource income in The Nexus but if it remains the same, vehicles and Maxes will be valuable, scarce commodities. The income in this first version of The Nexus was +27/tick for Vehicle, Infantry and Air resources.
With MLG looming on the horizon and community events like Community Clash potentially getting their hands on The Nexus the future of compettive Planetside 2 is bright indeed.
I believe in the Planetside 2 community and I believe that SOE will do their best to bring us a polished, enjoyable, challenging product – The Nexus is proof of that. With optimization as top priority over at SOE and an increase in framerates coming soon, this game, the game we all love to play, is poised to make itself well known and respected in the eSports and gaming community.
This article originally appeared on TheMittani.com, written by kidRiot.