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Published December 7, 2012

This week we've got six new weapons for Planetside 2, a new bolt action rifle for each faction and a different carbine for every faction. The new bolt action rifle, the NC longshot, TR RAMS, and Vanu Parallex are all gifted with incredibly fast projectiles and slightly higher damage per shot. The drawback: their bolt actions take longer to cycle, and their reload times could be described as glacial. For the average player they'll be downgrades, because most won't have the accuracy or precision to make use of the bonuses. The even slower action will make followup shots a fantasy. Only buy this if you're really good at sniping and can land headshots consistently.

The Vanu get the Serpent this week, a carbine with rate of fire that would make a TR player jealous. It however suffers from a 30 round clip, meaning unless you are careful about ammo management you will suddenly find yourself face to face with the Serpent's other major weakness, a very slow reload. There are also issues with recoil and the insanely fast cycle rate making it very difficult to pop off single shots in mid-long range engagements. Overall, though, it's a decent gun if you like to play up close and personal without the constraints of a shotgun.

The newest in TR carbines is the LC3 Jaguar, boasting increased hipfire accuracy and faster turning and movement while ironsighted. These bonuses are quite nasty together, giving you the option to panic spray and have a better chance of coming out on top or playing at the midrange shooting game more effectively. Like the Serpent it suffers from a slower reload, though not quite as slow as the Serpent's. Faster turning while ironsighted can be as much a curse as a gift, allowing you to overshoot targets at longer ranges when you're trying to finely adjust your aim.

The NC were graced with the GD-23 Razor this patch, a carbine with better accuracy and less damage falloff, along with a slightly faster reload. On the other hand, it has a low rate of fire, already an issue for some NC weapons, making it quite ill-suited to short range combat. The recoil is also an issue of contention, limiting you to two shot bursts at best when the gun doesn't have selectable fire modes.

I would say the biggest winner this week was the TR. The LC3 Jaguar is incredibly versatile without making many concessions. The Serpent and GD-23 do things other VS and NC weapons did, just in a more extreme fashion, and you could easily get the VX6-7 for the VS instead of the Serpent for slightly slower rate of fire but better reload speed.

Along with announcing these guns, Higby discussed some of the changes coming new week, mostly dealing with AA and the Air Issue. Rocket Pods are going to have a much smaller radius in which they deal full damage and flak armor's explosion resistance will be buffed, a dual pronged attack on the overpowered state of A2G weapons. Furthermore, all flak weapons will receive a small damage buff and a projectile speed buff - the Walker will receive an especially large buff to both of these categories. The lock-on AV and AA lockers will be buffed with longer lockon range and a faster reload, but also require lockon to fire. Quite honestly, I see this as a nerf to lockon weapons, as one of their strongest points was the fact they were the only way to get a scope on your rocket launcher or deal with the annoying drop.

In addition there will be a new common pool rocket launcher named the Decimator added. Its rockets are incredibly slow and it has no lockon mechanism, but deals massive damage to vehicles. This is another odd looking design choice - what reason is there for me to take this over the default rocket launcher? It will need to deal some truly amazing damage to justify the slow projectile giving the enemy ample time to react and move away.

On the whole I don't think these changes will address the real problems with AA. You cannot make weapons that only “scare” people, you scare them by threatening them with death, if you can't kill them there is little threat. They even threw in nerfs for weapons that don't really need them.

Magere
Anna S. is a doctoral student of Virology at an American university. She enjoys Dota and hanging out with her wife, two cats, and chinchilla.