Maidvette pushed hard on the throttle, the jets of the Reaver flaring to life as she trailed the damaged Scythe. With the crosshairs trained on the alien-looking ship, she opened fire, the Reaver’s main gun tearing into the Scythe. The Scythe, already damaged from flak, caught fire and exploded spectacularly as Maidvette broke off towards friendly territory.
Smiling to herself, she remembered how many times in the simulations she had crashed the Reaver just trying to turn around just two days ago.
I’ve recently had the desire to try my hand at piloting in PlanetSide 2. Now, after 400 hours of playing the game, you’d think I’d have tried it, but no. Sure, I’ve flown a Valkyrie from the warpgate to a base, but never any real flying. Today, I decided, would be the day I changed that.
I took a look into some guides and some advice from players, and did some drills that people said would help control a fighter better in VR. I did some strafing runs, I did some fancy flying, I was practically feeling like Fox McCloud himself. I figured I could at least manage to do something in the field, even if it was just adding to chip damage from other fighters on big targets.
I decided that night-time would be a good time to try and fly, I figured less people playing might give me more breathing room. I jumped into a fight and took some time to notice that there were friendly fighters around and not many enemy planes, PLUS we had just locked Indar which halves the resource cost of air vehicles. Perfect.
Well, I had plenty of dodging going on. I’m not going to give a play-by-play because I don’t feel like writing “and then I died” twelve times at the end of most sentences. I DID manage to get a single kill (on an abandoned fighter that was sitting on a resupply pad) and several assists on a few vehicles and some other planes (mainly a Galaxy that I and five other planes decided to focus down). However, I learned quickly the cost of taking anti-air lightly. Countless times I was trying to escape one source of AA only to fly into the field of another.
I did have a neat moment where I managed to survive crash-landing, and I even got a Spitfire turret kill (they’re hard to do) while I was supporting the players there with repairs and ammo. All in all, for a day one of flying, I can be certain worse times were had.
This didn’t happen on my first day. But I needed SOME media on this page before the third day so whatever. The guy on the crystal was unlucky enough to be knocked off as he tried to dodge my nosegun and ended up dying from fall damage.
I basically just did some flying in VR. I turned up my aircraft turning sensitivity and it helped with maneuvering pretty well. I might turn it up more since my mousepad’s really small. I find myself almost sliding off the desk completely if I try to do things like barrel rolls. Unfortunately, my friends wanted to do something today and I guess I can’t just play PlanetSide 2 every hour of every day.
This was a wonderful, wonderful day. I decided to try it out for fun since I had the nanites. I actually managed to shoot down things! And most of all, they were actually manned by enemies and in the air! I had a few rough spots with enemy anti-air, but I quickly picked up the tempo of sweeping in to try and damage targets before boosting out and repairing if necessary.
Occasionally, I would be tailed and have to evade enemy rockets, or fighters, or both. Times like those were truly exhilarating, as I was trying to make the missiles crash before they reached me (I only managed to really dodge a few this way) by weaving around obstructions. Against enemy fighters, a true hold on how to move was necessary. I can safely say I have much to learn, but at the same time I was not helpless like I felt before. Tracking flying targets with the noseguns is like nothing I’ve done in an FPS before (probably because it’s not even an FPS when you’re in the air).
How much of this was just being lucky? It might be a lot of it. But I seriously feel like I already have had some effective moments with my Reaver. I can’t wait to get in the skies again, even if it’s just to be shot down by some salty vet who pulled a Skyguard. I’ve only scratched the surface, and with enough farming I’ll be able to unlock more toys to trick out my Reaver with! The only way to go from here is up – Straight into the skies of Auraxis!