Put briefly, Planetside 2 has three continents for the three factions to fight over. Each has its own terrain (desert/plain, snow, and a sort of forest/jungle) and a dozen or so large bases to fight over, with twenty or so smaller installations scattered around. That's a lot of territory to conquer....and it would be great. But Planetside 2 is all about certs, certs do everything for you....they allow you to "specialize", they let you buy new weapons or equipment...they do most everything. They are gained from combat experience (doing everything from healing allies, killing enemies, to sneezing on a tank). Thus everyone wants to maximize their experience gained per hour so as to maximize cert gains.
There is a problem though; you get about 4 certs worth of xp for taking a facility (1000, and that's in addition to the combat experience you get doing so), and guess how much you get for defending? None. There is no bonus for defending. Furthermore, there is no restriction on which facilities a faction can attack...the speed at which they capture is determined by "influence" but otherwise everything seems to be fair game. So this means that the best way to get xp is to take territory, not to stay and defend what you have. It leads to this.... (image comes from a reddit post, currently PS2 will not allow me to take screenshots)
|Notice the bars showing each continent's faction population (top right of each) with the total population on the bottom right.|
I've railed on certs here, but I'll address them in another post....but for now, with certs being the prize everyone is chasing, SOE needs to do something to bring the zergs together, because it would be a lot more fun to actually fight a formidable foe.