With a monumental mechanical crash, a giant, heavily armoured foot lands just feet away from, making me to snap my view up just in time to see the Battleframe Robotics unit unload toward the enemy tower… Though I didn’t see anyone at the tower, so I’m not sure who he’s shooting at. I slowly continue my way toward the tower, ducking behind cover occasionally, getting gradually closer; The BFG however just plods on over, pointing both it’s rotary chain guns and the nearest door, and sits there, looking like a puppy who’s latest play thing just got stuck under the sofa and it can’t quiet reach it.
I work my way closer and ready my Mini Chain gun. I poke my head around the door way, glancing down the stairs toward the spawn tubes… clear. I move to the central pillar, then glance around the flight heading up toward the top of the tower… clear. I take a few steps out more and toss a grenade up around the stairs and hit absolutely nothing. I repeat the process at the next flight of stairs, then one one after, I check the area around the control console with Darklight, looking for any camoed soldiers and see nothing. I continue up the tower a little more and clear the roof, also empty. Back inside the tower a squad mate tells me he and his buddy are covering the spawn tubes, and it’s safe to hack the tower’s terminal, which I happily make a start with.
These moments always fill me with suspense, even after years of doing this I still hate turning my back on any potential enemy while I work the console. I’m not certed for hacking either, so this always takes time. I pull out my R.E.K hacking tool and get to work, carefully keeping one eye on my minimap, the other on the chat window. A massive series of explosions outside causes the hulking BFR to explode far quicker than it should have, I ignore it focusing on the hack job, almost done. Another series of shots, and what sounds like a New Conglomerate Jackerhammer firing about 18 times at once, one of the guys on the stairs is reported as KIA … had those rebels developed a new weapon? A lot had changed on Auraxis since I was last here but I’d heard nothing of a new rapid fire weapon in the NCs arsenal… I was never going to get this done in time… I stop the hack, re-equip my MCG and bolt down the stairs to lend my support to the soldiers covering the tower. I get there in time to see a single New Conglomerate soldier teleporting around, like something out of a Japanese horror show, his body twitches and warps around far faster than anything that could be attributed to lag. The second Terran soldier backs away up the stairs toward me, firing his Cycler randomly toward the phantasmal rebel, and I lend my MGC fire sending a hail of bullets to cover the poor recruits retreat. In less than a second of me opening fire, both the I and the other soldier are dead caught in a near instant-killing series of rapid firing heavy shotgun rounds. Faster than my MCG, faster than his cycler…
I frown as I’m presented with the respawn screen and glance over my shoulder toward my router, not quiet sure what I’m looking for. “Was that just lag?” I ask myself before turning back to the monitor and hitting the nearby base as my respawn location. I work my way back up the base walls, and I look toward the tower I was at just as it switches over to New Conglomerate control. I position myself on the wall and watch the direction of the tower… when to my amazement the soldier who claimed that tower single handed starts flying toward the base, not in a vehicle mind… something more akin to Superman. I glance at the global comms log, and there are at least twenty shouts of “Fuc*ing HACKERS!” and “Christ, another damned cheater!” I man up a little and open my com: “Is this normal now?” I ask, expecting people to laugh at the absurdity of my question… “Unfortunately!” is one response, followed by “I don’t think anyone who still plays New Conglom DON’T cheat.” My heart sinks.
After a little research I learn it’s true. Planetside, the game I once loved, my first MMOAnything, is rife with cheating. It’s population now less than 100 people, even on weekends, and a company that couldn’t care about it’s status in charge of it.. The game, for all intents and purposes, is dead. The forum is full of people not asking for new features, not even complaining about the balance, but pleading with the only TWO developers left to just pull the plug on the ONE and ONLY server remaining… and I can’t help but feel just a little upset, and incredibly frustrated. This is two games SOE have killed now, left out to rot and flounder by uncaring developers and uncaring suits just because it’s not Ever-fucking-Quest II. I log into their website and cancel my account to planetside shortly after.
What happened, S.O.E. … what happened?