How much does PlanetSide 2 cost if you buy everything?
In our PlanetSide 2 review, Rich mentioned that the game “feels closer to the pricier end of acceptable in the free-to-play market.” Infantry and vehicle weapons are priced at $2.50, $5, or $7 (£2, £4 or £6) tiers. All of these can also be unlocked with certification points, the in-game currency earned by playing, but what if you had the silly idea to buy everything for a single faction—how much would PlanetSide 2’s entire arsenal cost?
I hopped in with my Vanu Sovereignty character and did the math.
VS Vehicle Weapons: 14,600 Station Cash
VS Infantry Weapons: 18,100 Station Cash
Purchased individually, that’s $327, or about £204 (directly converted from USD). Keep in mind that, in this absurd Scrooge McDuck of War scenario, big spenders would be foolish to not take advantage of item PS2’s bundles or membership benefits, which aren’t taken into account here. If you wanted to earn the same infantry and vehicle items with certification points, you’d need 42,850 of them—that doesn’t include any unlocked optics or other weapon attachments.
Filling out your sci-fi wardrobe with all of PlanetSide 2’s currently available cosmetic items would cost quite a bit more. For every piece of vehicle, armor, and weapon camo, decals, and other cosmetic items as a Vanu player, you’d rack up 37,500 SC if you purchased them individually, or $375. That math excepts single-use camo.
More than a week after launch, my opinion on PlanetSide 2's relative item costs is still developing. It's an apples-oranges comparison, but PS2’s weapon pricing mirrors League of Legends’ Champion costs, which also sit at approximately $2, $5, and $7 tiers. I don't think it's reasonable for players to expect to pay nothing and get everything they want, but what I haven't experienced in PS2 that I have in LoL is a feeling of surprise and fascination when I pay to unlock a new weapon. As a Vanu, aesthetically and functionally the light machine guns I've played with don't feel noticeably different. I'll often forget which one I have equipped.
I do like that I'm playing a game that doesn't take Call of Duty's "more is more" approach to rewarding me with buckets of guns and stuff after every other match—indirectly, the relative inaccessibility of items in PS2 does make unlocks more meaningful, and keeps most of my focus on the narratives I'm generating by playing. And thank goodness, PS2 does offer 30-minute trials for any weapon. Once activated, a trial for that weapon can’t be reactivated for 30 days, and you can only activate one weapon trial every eight hours.
But other the other hand, asking 500 and 1000 cert points for many weapons (those priced at $7/700 SC, typically) means it's never going to be a worthwhile investment of my cert points to unlock high-tier weapons. Playing with a 10% experience booster, I've earned 1173 cert with a 1.62 K/D in 30 hours of in-game time. That would afford one or two weapons of the higher tier, and maybe two more minor upgrades, like optics.