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Old 2012-12-27, 12:39 PM   [Ignore Me] #1
Rolfski
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Crowd control: How to tame the Zerg in Planetside 2


UPDATE: This topic has made it into an official published article. Feel free to upvote it if you like it :-)

The Zerg, the Swarm, the Steamroller. It’s the most notorious phenomenon in Planetside 2. It’s the ultimate consequence of the game’s promise that size matters. This huge spaghetti of mostly vehicles makes people rage quit and endlessly cry in forums. It calls out for loud demands to the developers to do something about it. It’s a seemingly uncontrollable, untamable beast. Driven by greed and the unstoppable hunger for base capture XP.

This topic is NOT about what SOE should change to control this phenomenon. There are other topics for that. This thread is about what we can do NOW in the game to tame this beast.

In order to control it we must understand it. There are many mechanics in this game that reward sticking together in a big horde. Feel free to give your own analysis about this. In the end I think it comes down that being part of a Zerg seems the easy way to win in this game. You have to keep in mind that many players are not organized in outfits that can bring multiple platoons to the table at any given time. For those players, joining an anonymous horde seems the most convenient way to gain XP. You just ride along; feeling invincible, kill off a few enemies here and there while the base cap XP keeps piling up your cert stock. Easy does it.

So, if easy winning and XP is one of the main drivers of the Zerg, what can we do to fight it?
Below, I give a few ideas. Feel free to add your own and let’s discuss.
  1. Avoid it altogether
    This seems by far the most popular solution in dealing with the Zerg. Just moving away and picking a fight you can actually win vs getting kill farmed is the logical thing to do for most players.

  2. Make it split
    Strategically capping points that forces the enemy to split up and fight at another location is a good solution for smaller, organized outfits. Below is an example where the Vanu Zerg is occupying the center of the continent. Instead of facing the Zerg head-on, the outfit decides to make a move to cut it off. This forces a part of the Zerg to split up and fight at another location to counter the threat.



  3. Redirect it towards the other enemy
    This is a hard one to pull off and very situational but it can be done. The idea is to strategically give up territory in order for the Zerg to fight your other enemy. An example is for the TR to not defend Crossroads Watchtower from a Vanu Zerg but instead retreat to the Crown to redirect the easy XP Zerg towards Zurvan Amp station if that is held by the NC.



  4. Bleed it dry
    As a Zerg drives further into enemy territory towards the enemy Warpgate, it has a natural tendency to divert itself and run out of steam. This can be helped by fighting a war of attrition all along the way, making it slowly losing its ability to spawn vehicles.

  5. Ambush it
    This is somewhat situational but as the movement of the Zerg can be predicted there are a few spots in this game that are ideal for ambushes. Just to give an example: A TR Zerg moving towards the easy XP Hvar Techplant on Indar is vulnerable to Vanu ambushes at the ravines near Quartz Ridge. Anti-tank mines, rocket launchers and Burster Maxes are your best friends is this scenario.



  6. Start your own Zerg
    This can become a handy instrument and is surprisingly easy to pull off. It only takes a squad or two to form up a neat column of vehicles at the Warpgate that will become a magnet to other players. Just wait a few minutes to grow it into a Zerg and then head out and lead the way. Use the easy XP Zerg to attack the big bases while your outfit splits up to capture the outposts surrounding it to speed up the influence. Of course you can always hook in again when the big base is about to flip.



  7. Annihilate it
    Yes, it is possible to defeat the Zerg head-on. The magic word here is the Annihilator. Outfits are just beginning to realize the insane power of this ultimate lock-on whore. A single squad equipped with these rockets can tear down a platoon of air and ground vehicles in just minutes. Players are reluctant to cert into this launcher because of its low damage output, not realizing that a couple of them teaming up can rip apart any vehicle apart in seconds from great distances. The trick is here to call out your targets.



So far my ideas of dealing with the Zerg. Add your own ideas and let’s discuss how we can tame this beast.

Last edited by Rolfski; 2013-01-16 at 11:22 AM.
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Old 2012-12-27, 12:41 PM   [Ignore Me] #2
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Re: Crowd control: How to tame the Zerg in Planetside 2


Your command of MS paint is surely the mark of a superior tactician. No sarcasm.
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Old 2012-12-27, 01:08 PM   [Ignore Me] #3
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Re: Crowd control: How to tame the Zerg in Planetside 2


All good strategies. I like them.
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Old 2012-12-27, 04:34 PM   [Ignore Me] #4
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Re: Crowd control: How to tame the Zerg in Planetside 2


for MSPaint and the ideas - good stuff!
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Old 2012-12-27, 08:00 PM   [Ignore Me] #5
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Re: Crowd control: How to tame the Zerg in Planetside 2


I would go for a war of ATtrition, not NUtrition.
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Old 2012-12-27, 08:04 PM   [Ignore Me] #6
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Re: Crowd control: How to tame the Zerg in Planetside 2


The only way any of those strategies work is if you equal in numbers to the zerg, which means you're zerging, too.

I'm sure you've done this and felt good about yourself, but failed to realize you're zerging too as you tend to pay less attention to the swarm of friendlies around you then those enemies in front of you.
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Old 2012-12-27, 08:06 PM   [Ignore Me] #7
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Re: Crowd control: How to tame the Zerg in Planetside 2


pssh needs more penis to remind me of PS1
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Old 2012-12-27, 08:38 PM   [Ignore Me] #8
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Re: Crowd control: How to tame the Zerg in Planetside 2


Fly around the periphery and lob bombs at their wheeled XP vending machines... i.e. the only way to have fun in this game.
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Old 2012-12-27, 08:39 PM   [Ignore Me] #9
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Re: Crowd control: How to tame the Zerg in Planetside 2


The best strategy for culling the zerg is just letting it go really far, and then capping the territory it leaves in its wake. Sooner or later, you'll bog the zerg down in a bio lab and that will let you really conquer.

Another strategy is quite simply to be a free-thinking player who goes where you think you are needed.
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Old 2012-12-27, 08:55 PM   [Ignore Me] #10
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Re: Crowd control: How to tame the Zerg in Planetside 2


You dont beat the zerg - but you can exploit it(in the original sense of the word.)
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Old 2012-12-27, 09:35 PM   [Ignore Me] #11
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Re: Crowd control: How to tame the Zerg in Planetside 2


Originally Posted by Figment View Post
I would go for a war of ATtrition, not NUtrition.
Fixed that for you, you've go to hate these auto-correct bots
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Old 2012-12-27, 09:47 PM   [Ignore Me] #12
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Re: Crowd control: How to tame the Zerg in Planetside 2


Zerg hunting sounds like a lot of fun.
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Old 2012-12-27, 10:09 PM   [Ignore Me] #13
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Re: Crowd control: How to tame the Zerg in Planetside 2


Originally Posted by Beerbeer View Post
The only way any of those strategies work is if you equal in numbers to the zerg, which means you're zerging, too.

I'm sure you've done this and felt good about yourself, but failed to realize you're zerging too as you tend to pay less attention to the swarm of friendlies around you then those enemies in front of you.
This is simply not true, we had for example a situation of the 5th picture today, and even though the attackers out numbered us by about 3:1 we still won by just having ~8-10 tanks defending against a much larger force by waiting and ambushing them in a hard to move pass.
The same is true for some of the other situations, simply having 1 full tank squad with competent players that play defensively is often enough to take care of several times their number by playing smart and retreating while overwhelmed and simply help flank another part of the zerg.
The zerg might look like a big force moving with one mind, but it's very easy to lure small parts / groups of tanks out of main zerg group and finish them off separately without losses. (with a little coordination you can also deal with almost any amount of air by getting 5-6 people to switch to AA Max suits/occupy nearby AA cannons)
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Old 2012-12-27, 10:20 PM   [Ignore Me] #14
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Re: Crowd control: How to tame the Zerg in Planetside 2


Fighting Zergs seems different on Briggs, probably because of the lower population than the US servers.
If only redirecting them was easy enough.
On Indar, VN and NC basically refuse to fight, instead going for TR.

Last edited by xXArsisXx; 2012-12-27 at 10:33 PM.
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Old 2012-12-28, 01:57 AM   [Ignore Me] #15
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Re: Crowd control: How to tame the Zerg in Planetside 2


All good strategies. I like them.
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