How earning Certs works
>For every 250 XP points you get, you will be rewarded with
1 Cert point.
Generally, most weapons in the game on average cost 1000CP to unlock. So you if you wanted to unlock a new gun in a week, you'd have to earn about 143 Certs everyday, without spending them on anything else.
Note: The easiest, (and the fastest) way to get Cert points is to have a member which is 50% xp boost. And if you tack on a 'Heroic Boost' to that, which is another 50% on top of that, you'll find yourself earning Cets 100% faster.
I will however take into account that the vast majority of Players will not want to do this, and I will not judge them for this, or Alienate them by Tacitly writing them off in this Guide.
There is also another option. Double XP weekends!
These are great to get a huge boost to your Cert gain, and in a few hours, you'll find yourself already making the Quota for the next couple of days, and that's if you stop there.
All these little things help you get level up a lot quicker if you take advantage of them.
From this point on then, I will go about this guide with the agreement that you are attempting to maximize your Cert gain, without spending any money. (Which I do not recommend. Supporting the devs keep this game alive is a good use of your money in my opinion, and they certainly deserve it.)
Now, onto the meat of the guide.
These will be the bread and butter of your Certing experience. Not only are they easy to get (10 kills shouldn't be do difficult for anyone), but they usually unlock without much effort from you.
A few of the easiest Ribbons to get are:
The AMS support Ribbon
This one is particularly easy to get. All you need to do is deploy a Sunderer down, and let other players spawn into it. (35 spawns) All it requires of you is a decent knowledge of where a large fight is going to go down, and get there quickly before others start setting down Sundys as well. Or place it father back, in a protected spot. So when, if the assault goes sour, and the enemy is forcing your team back, they'll have no choice but to spawn into yours, which hopefully is the one which turns the tide of the fight.
The Repairing Ribbon
This one will need your active participation on the field. Simply, do what your class is designed to do; repair stuff. Just repair anything that moves. If you're in a large fight, stay near a large collection of vehicles, (A tank convoy is a good choice) and wait for the bombs to start dropping, then mop up the damage. Easy points. The only down side is that you might be squashed by your own team mates as they try to hide from the hair of rocket launcher shells being fired at them, or you get blown up with them.
The Resupply Ribbon
My personal favorite. The Resupply Ribbon allows you to keep supporting your team mates by giving them ammo. Again, you'll need to be the engineer for you to drop ammo. One of the fastest ways to get XP. The Medic is a bullet magnet as enemy forces will actively hunt the guys with the green beams shooting everywhere, but you are exempt from this.
Simply plop a box of ammo next to a few dudes in an entrenched position and let the XP flow in.
Only downside is that, if you're not a great player, you might be blown away by gunfire before you can lay down ammo packs, as the job will necessarily have you be near the action at all times.
I mention these 3 three ribbons specifically, not just because I find they are the easier to obtain on a numbers stand point, but because the actions required to obtain them happen in the background, without constant active effort from you (The repair ribbon to a lesser extent of course)
By itself, these little droplets of XP will not be in large amounts, but that's where the efficiency comes into play. If you're doing all of this, those little bits of XP add up fast. And if you're also getting a decent amount of kills, and generally being a good, useful player, you'll be raking Cert points in no time.
When you reach a specific amount of kills with a weapon, you unlock a medal, and the XP/Certs that comes with it.
Here is a chart that explains how many kills you need to gain each medal and it's subsequent upgrade. Special thanks to the PlanetSide 2 Wikia for helping me. I will upload it them in due course.
Note: One should take into account that kills are progressive. You do not need to start over for each medals, and progress towards the next medal is cumulative.
That being said however, this is not the most efficient way of grinding Certs per'say. It's just a nice add on to the pile of Certs you should be making. Also it helps you get better with a single gun if you're trying to push to the top medals. A safe time to switch out weapons and try something new would be the gold medal mark in my opinion. The time it takes for you to climb the mountain of kills needed for the highest teird medals isn't worth it when you could be getting medals with other guns.
As far as kills themselves go, the modifiers are many and varied, and I don't know every single one, but I will try and show the logic behind it.
Each kill is 100XP (with no modifier), which means 2.5 kills/Cert.
Extra points is handed out if you kill a individual who has accomplished some goals already in there life. A spawn kill (Eg. A player who has just spawned in a hasn't done any damage yet) results in no XP being dealt out. This was obviously due to the huge amount of spawn camping done by teams who got ahead.
On the otherhand, a 'High thread' target who you kill will earn you an extra 150XP, while an 'Extreme menace' target is worth 300XP.
The problem with these bonuses is that it's simply a jackpot if you kill a high value target or not. Given the games random elements, you'll usually have no clue that the player you're shooting at is worth a shedload of XP until you kill him. You can't make a habit out of expecting huge amounts of XP from every kill, but it's nice to see happen every once in a while at least.
Ground/Air vehicles offer a absurd amount of XP to those who deal the final blow (meaning the last piece of damage to kill the player). Your #1 priority should usually be to either blow up an enemy as quickly as possible to avoid another player from taking the kill, or to steam as many kills as possible. Assist XP is based on damage done however. This mitigates the blow if someone else gets the kill, but you deal out the majority of the damage.
Sunderers, MBT's, Liberators: 300XP
ESF, Galaxies, Lightning's: 400XP
Note: This does not count the extra XP on top of that if you kill the infantry inside!
Tips to maximise Cert gain
Play Engineer, but Cert into Combat Medic
Engineers and Combat medics already are the fastest way of getting insane amounts of XP. THe difference however, is that arguably the Combat Medic only comes into it's own when you fully (or close to) cert up the abilities of the class. Engineers however, can start making loads of XP from the get go by dropping ammunition packages. That said, you should aim to drop packs down in places which are dense in Ally movement.
Note: After earning to much XP, the game will automatically switch off your XP gain from Ammo packs as a precaution that you are not exploiting the game, or just generally boosting.
The point is that, from the get go, the Enginneer class can be start earning you Certs. The Medic is only really effective once you upgrade some of it's abilitys. However once you do, I consider it to be the best Certing class in some situations, (Some things never change in PS2) and generally more helpful to your team.
Join a Squad
You can join a squad by pressing the 'Insert' key on your keyboard, or you can simply go to the Social menu and find a squad there.
This will allow you to drop into the heart of battle easier with the 'Squad Deploy' option.
Providing ammo, repairing, spotting, healing, and generally helping your squad will net you bonus XP to help you gain Certs. There is also something to be said about a certain amount of coordination helps in your survivability, which mean you'll be alive longer to get XP, which means more Certs!
Spot absolutely everything
Just like in Battlefield, PlanetSide 2 will allow you to mark enemy's (and their equipment) on other players,and your own HUD's and maps for everyone's general convenience. If an ally then kills that target, you get a spotting bonus.
Additionally, when enough spotted targets die (5 targets), you gain the 'Spotter' ribbon.
Spotting is essential if you want to be effective in game, and it gives you bonus XP for doing it so it remains of lucretive benefit for you to remember to hit that 'Q' button as much as possible. So again, Spot everything!
You'll never hear many people endorsing this, as in most games kill stealing is heavily frowned upon and wont make you the team favorite. Here however, it really doesn't matter. I should reiterate this from my last tip. There is no real reason why you shouldn't do this aside from a few ethical reasons. However I prefer to think of it as you just doing your best to destroy the target. If you happen to kill the target, great!. Plus, the meat of the XP will be rewarded to the person with the most damage dealt, so It's not depriving anyone of significant points.
The 'enhanced targeting module' is insanely useful in this situation as you can see vehicles remaining health, so if you don't think you can kill it, you don't need to fire at it and risk revealing your position.
Shoot at ESF's
Regardless of what weapons you have, shoot at the ESF's. They're only lightly armored and even small arms fire can bring them down. Again, the 'Enhanced targeting module' helps immensely in this regard. If they so happen to crash into a mountain shortly after you get the final shot on them, you will get the kill. As I said earlier in the guide, Vehicles provide monstrous amounts of XP if you get the last shot on them. If you do many to kill them, you'll be rewarded with a nice flow of Certs for your trouble.
Know your Role!
Often times, especially in the heat of combat, you'll find yourself tempted to deviate from your classes strenths. There will times, on occasion, that events will force you to adapt to a situation, however in most cases, you need to remember you strengths as a class.
For example. Heavy Assault: The bread and butter of the FPS gamer. Simply the all around killing machine. Can effienctly kill from medium to close range, but have trouble with long range engagements.
Light Assault: Versatile, highly adaptable, but low on health. Effective at medium range, and should favor keeping the enemy at a distance, preferably where they cant see you.
You get the point. The devs have made it paramount that you play to your classes strengths if you want to succeed. This will translate into Cert gain if you're not getting rekt every few minutes.
Be vehicle competent
You will almost always be rewarded with a boat load of XP for your service. If possible try and be the gunner/driver to a two man vehicle. That way you'll earn a portion of the other players points every time they score a kill. The gunner I find is a little more profitable in terms of XP as you dont need to worry about crashing into things, and you can simply concentrate on killing enemys.
So if you see a vehicle with the gunner seat empty, make a beeline for it. If you arn't proficent in Vehicular combat by now, you dont have much of an excuse. That's what the VR training map is for.
Defend the Points!
When a base is being attacked, if the point is being contested, the first person to get there will invariably get a ton of XP for each segment of the capture bar is filled. If the player can stay alive that is.
Likewise, standing guard on a capture point will provide you with a small amount of XP every so often, so long as there are enough enemies contesting the point. Additionally, you also receive bonus XP if you kill enemies who are also inside the capture points field of influence. Playing the objective will always get you far more experince than any other exploitative method no matter what anyone tells you. That's what makes Planetside 2 one of the better objective shooters for me.
Pay attention to the Flow of the battle
One of the stumbling points new players face is not knowing when to leave the area and find a new fight. Instead they repeatedly bang there head against the spawn rooms wall, getting mowed down over and over until they are forced to spawn away.
When it comes to efficiently, you don't want to keep throwing yourself into a fight you can't win. It's unproductive, and it wastes your own time.
To keep this from happening you'll need to constantly ready to change strategy in order to keep the fight going. I find that 25/40 man battles remain the most lucrative. That way you have control over what you're doing and you don't have to worry to much about getting shot from every angle as soon you step outside from anywhere. More breathing room allows for quicker analyses of the situation and whether you think you'll be able to work the battle to your advantage.
So there you go. I hope this guide helped you get that shiny new gun that you wanted for weeks.
Everyone should remember that nothing in this game happens quickly. The grind is inescapable. Sometimes all you need to do is sit in a base, camp, and wait for the enemy to come rushing in a hail of gunfire. You can expect to be that stupid all the time though.
To even form a rudimentary perspective of the game, you'll need to play this differently than 99% of all shooters. Not only is this due to the games vast amount of players, the versitilty of the maps makes it so you can die from virtually any angle, at any time.
If you're already a vet and just wanted some extra tips, I suppose I'm preaching to the choir a bit.
However some invaluable tips never go amiss.
Looking back, it's insane how much the game has changed.
I remember when there were no extreme menace bonuses, no ribbons, no daily ribbons, vehicle bonuses were garbage, assist bonuses were static, and it didn't scale with how damage was done. Not to mention the absurd number of balances the game has had. All of this, I would like to thank the Devs wholeheartedly, for making this a game a functional product, unlike some games which are getting churned out right now.