Across the continents of Auraxis, thousands of players will come together in enormous battles to win control of territory and resources for their empire. With an extensive skill tree and a free-form class-based system, players will be able to customize their soldier, weapons and vehicles to match their play-style, or the needs of their squad, outfit or empire. Battles can last for days or weeks, so players will need to build real alliances and combat outfits to take on long-term strategic and tactical initiatives. With air, ground and seaborne combat, the battles are more intense than ever.
Various character, vehicle and artillery customization features will be available to players constructing the perfect fighter for their favorite of the three empires: The Terran Republic (the conservative, authoritative nation aiming to reunite the clashing factions), The New Conglomerate (a liberated faction fighting to remaining free) or The Vanu Sovereignty (technophiles seeking to develop and exploit alien technology). Also, an in-depth and adaptive class system – with ranks, unlockable traits and skill sets – will give players complete control over their online warrior.
The Harasser is a lightly-armored highly mobile 3-man assault buggy. Designed primarily for hit-and-run attacks and rapid strike team insertion, the Harasser fills a really fun role in the game. It has a dedicated driver, a gunner who has access to a top mounted 360 degree turret and a rumble seat which can hold any infantry class, including a MAX. Some cool tactics are opened up with the Harasser, some of my favorites so far are to use them with Burster MAXes as a fast moving AA response, equipping a Gate Shield Diffuser to soften up defenders in a courtyard before sending in troops to blow the gens, or of course, using the Turbo to launch yourself over cliffs to your firey death - which isn't so much a tactic, but it's still pretty fun. We can't wait to see the ways you guys use the Harasser to bring a new dimension to the vehicle gameplay on Auraxis!
Each empire specific MAX is getting a new set of AV weapons, these are each designed to compliment the existing MAX AV weapons, by creating a long range AV option for the MAX, while the current ones will provide better overall DPS in close range situations. Since the item preview page is pretty good now, I'll let the UI do the talking on these new weapons:
Along with the Harasser, the PlanetSide 2 dev team released several new features with Game Update 08, including new empire specific MAX AV weapons, MAX cert balance pass and MAX cosmetic items, such as helmets and armor. More MAX updates, such as new abilities and additional weapons are slated for the future, so stay tuned!
MAXes aren't the only ones getting some new cosmetics with GU08; due to overwhelming player demand, new sci-fi inspired infantry helmets that works on all non-MAX classes are now available for each empire.
Additionally, in honor of Cinco de Mayo, the team has created some special decals that will be available in the Marketplace for a limited time only.
We've also got a set of 2 new Helmets and 1 new set of armor for each empires MAX.
We're not 100% done with all the MAX updates yet, however. So, for GU08 have decided to hold off on releasing the new MAX abilities until we have have a bit more time to make sure they are properly tuned. With any new ability or item that substantially changes the way an empire plays in an asymetrical way, we need to be extremely careful about making sure they're perfectly tuned and counterbalanced before releasing them. By keeping these abilities on the Public Test server for a few more days and continuing to iterate and refine them based on feedback from our Public Test players, we hope to get all of the kinks worked out and unleash them on the rest of the servers soon!
MAXes aren't the only ones getting some new cosmetics with this update, each empire is getting a new infantry helmet that works on all non-MAX classes. These helmets were made based on a lot of requests for more sci-fi inspired helmet options, and we hope you dig them as much as we do.
Balance and Tuning changes:
GU08 is also bringing a substantial balance pass on many infantry weapons, virtually all carbines, LMGs, Assault Rifles and SMGs are being touched in one way or another, as well as many of the attachments. The exact changes will be available in the patch notes, but the general idea of this tuning is to carve out specific roles for each weapons, ensure that the weapons intended to shine at long range are doing just that, and that the ones that are supposed to be close quarters slayers aren't dominating in the medium and long ranges as well. This is being done in pursuit of a goal for us to lessen the dominance of any "one-size-fits-all" weapons in the game.
Tank armor has been increased for GU08 in order to give our lumbering armored friends a bit more survivability. This change mostly means that each tank is capable of taking 1-2 more standard infantry rockets worth of damage before turning into a pile of slag and getting eaten up by nanites. AP rounds for all tanks, and base turrets, as well as the Dalton and 30mm Tank Buster and Shredder Liberator weapons have a new resistance type which bypasses these armor buffs, making those weapons have the exact same number of shots to kill as previously, and further defining them as the best tank killing weapons on the battlefield.
On the UI front, we've got a couple enhancements that players have been asking for, some of the big ones include:
- The ability to separate the customized colors for players and facilities. Now, player and vehicle indicators on the map and hud can be colored with one setting and capture nodes, terminals, territory control and facilities with another.
- Capture progress bars on the map now animate to denote the direction the capture progress is heading, so you can more quickly understand if it's being captured or resecured.
- Capture progress bars on the HUD now show a time remaining, to be consistent with those on the map.
- Ability to preview items which are in a bundle
- Ribbons and stats now show correctly for vehicle weapons
As always we've fixed a ton of bugs, some of the highlights include:
- Hitting WARP on a continent on the Warpgate map should now put you in the queue more reliably when the continents are heavily loaded
- Vanguard shield should no longer incorrectly drop when taking small amounts of damage from certain weapons
- Fixed an issue where two helmets appeared to be equipped simultaneously
- Many, many more!
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