Planetside 2 is like one big Michael Bay movie; a massively multiplayer first person shooter with explosions as far as the eye can see. It’s a brilliant mix of troop combat, vehicle warfare, and ridiculous aerial assaults. Sometimes you need to take a step back from the front lines and admire the carnage. Thank Auraxis, then, for YouTube.
Here’s what we think are the best videos to demonstrate why Planetside 2 is just so exciting. There’s glory, failure, rage, and bombers falling out fo the sky. And don’t forget: you can join in the action. Planetside 2 is free to join, and free to play. There's no reason not to try it.
PlanetSide 2’s Amerish continent is about to leave surgery with a facelift. SOE’s crack team of cosmetic surgeons have been busy implementing the lattice system - changing base layouts and adding six new outposts - and fiddling around with the mission system for the whole game.
The first update is due out on Wednesday, according to Shacknews, overhauling Amerish, and a second update will drop a week later, bringing changes across all of PlanetSide 2.
SOE has kicked off their second World Domination preseason event in PlanetSide 2, tasking soldiers to fight for their empire on a global scale. With it comes new rules and new rewards, altering point values for capping, score values and a slew of other things.
But this meta event hasn’t been welcomed by everyone, and dissent is brewing as some Corps feel that it’s ruined their experience and have scaled back their involvement.
One of the primary complaints, expressed by PS2 player DeaconOrlov on Reddit, is that the World Domination Series has turned PlanetSide 2’s conflicts into massive zergs, with huge, poorly organised groups legging it across the map swallowing up the most lucrative bases.
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By all reports the Europe was development hell for God. Her work was set about with delays, budget cuts, and layoffs. It’s been 4.54 billion years but the department of continental creation still won’t release the records of how exactly Slough was commissioned.
With that in mind it’s somewhat more understandable how SOE still haven’t released Hossin, the new continent for Planetside 2 which was due for release in April last year.
Well, it has a new deadline. May, 2014. And that’s not the only thing.
With over 6 million players shooting out over 110 billion bullets, PlanetSide 2 has done pretty well out of 2013. To celebrate, Sony Online Entertainment joined forces with cinematic designer Robert Stoneman to put together a flashy, frenetic video showing off the chaos of the war that rages across Auraxis. And there's also a guy standing on a tank's gun. There's always a guy standing on a tank's gun.
If you stick around to the end, you'll spot SOE teasing what's coming up for PlanetSide this year, including the delayed Hossin continent and the first battle island, the alpine battlefield of Nexus.
Last week, SOE announced a change to PlanetSide 2 Premium subscriptions, revealing that by Feburary, the 500SC per month bonus given to members would be scrapped in favour of a new system, where every member would be given the opportunity to select an item worth up to 2000SC. Reactions were mixed, so CEO John Smedley took to Reddit to clarify a few things, particularly why SOE decided to go down this route.
Sony Entertainment Online are on the verge of adopting a new subscription plan to replace those they’ve had in place individually for each of their games. For a fixed fee of $14.99, PC players would gain access to all of the MMO developers’ games.
“That's a benefit most companies simply can't offer because they don't have our portfolio of games," said CEO John Smedley.
The one feature Call of Duty has unquestionably glued to the contemporary first-person shooter is the personal player upgrade system - a simulation of actual modern warfare, in which soldiers are granted necessary equipment for survival in piecemeal fashion based on how many murders they’ve committed.
It’s difficult for a game like Planetside 2 to accommodate that kind of expectation - it’s a massively multiplayer game designed to be played for years on end, and players are already beginning to ‘cap out’ on the existing unlock system. SOE have a sort-of plan, though.
Planetside 2 is one-year-old. You can tell, because it’s starting to run a lot faster, and its parents are getting an awful lot more sleep than they did 12 months ago. SOE are commemorating the year past and the six million players who’ve pledged to-the-death allegiance to either Terrans, Vanu or NC with double XP and, um, a $39.99 USD anniversary bundle - home to special camos, weapons, decals and a six-month heroic boost.
Regardless of whether or not you buy into that, however, you can enjoy a look back over the massively-multiplayer man-shooter’s short history.
At the end of September, the Planetside dev team downed tools on new vehicles and whatnot and instead dedicated all of their staff to OMFG: Operation Make Faster Game. Following a four-hour update process in the dead of last night, you can now take advantage of the first framerate fruits of their efforts.
Ever since I was a tiny child, I've had a love affair with an MMORPG. With huge open worlds, populated with thousands of players, each day would be laced with adventure. Some were short-lived affairs, while others earned months if not years of my attention. From Runescape, through to World of Warcraft, to more complicated fare like Eve Online - MMORPGs remain my preferred way to play.
And I think that if you choose the right game, they could be yours, too. Here’s my list of the 10 best MMORPGs on the market. They’re in no particular order, but whichever place you choose to explore, will be stay with you. Here’s to growing old in strange new worlds.
“Overall we're running faster across all our hardware test cases, in some cases with up to a 30% increase in framerate, and we're not even done yet," said creative director Matt Higby. “We know everyone here is anxious for news so we wanted to share some tentative dates of when we expect to have some of these efforts released to you guys."
That first major patch should be released on 23 October, “assuming that our testing goes well."
Planetside 2 is about done. Not finished, you understand, but functional in every sense SOE had planned it to be when the game first when live as a Tech Test nearly two years ago. As such, they’ve seized the opportunity to embark on OMFG: Operation Make Faster Game - turning over their entire staff to optimisation duties for the time being.
“Every single member of the team, no joke, is actively looking for and implementing ways to make the game faster so we can deliver a better gameplay experience to you," said tech director Ryan Elam.
Let’s just take a second to imagine what the Replies field on John Smedley’s Twitter account must look like. That man, the CEO of SOE, is the public face of several MMOs. Do you think he has his TweetDeck notification bleeps turned on, on the nights the servers go down? How about the week aimbots took root in Planetside 2?
The news that Black Ops spokesmouth David Vonderhaar had suffered “threats of violence" after a negligible gun tweak sparked rightful uproar - but you can bet other developers suffer as much in relative silence.
SOE’s solution? Ban the most offensive and anti-social buggers from their games.
A former Counter-Strike pro once told me that Battlefield would never make it as an eSport, despite DICE’s interest, because competitive play simply doesn’t scale up. “Who’s going to put 16 players up in a hotel?", he asked. In Planetside’s case, the point is amplified. Who’s going to fit an Empire in a bus? How does one go about printing enough polo shirts to clothe the entire Vanu military? It’s not practical.
That won’t stop SOE from fostering a bit of competitive spirit, mind. There’s the World Domination Series coming up, and before that five weeks of preseason shenanigans, which began yesterday.
Planetside 2’s been plagued with criticisms of its frame rate since launch. It’s to be expected that a game which sees hundreds of units blowing each other to smithereens on the same screen may be a little computer intensive but SOE are now making it their business to optimise the game wherever they can.
It’s all part of Operation: Make Faster Game. OMFG for short.
When the cruel winds of Thursday morning brought news of SOE’s recent round of layoffs, it seemed that the Planetside 2 team had escaped unscathed - at the expense of the DC Universe lot, customer service and general QA.
Not quite. A readably saddened John Smedley took to the Planetside forums to tell players that, yes, some of the men and women who pieced together Auraxis no longer work at the studio. But he denied the shake-up would impact development, asserting that SOE “have a large team still working on it".
To us, SOE are mostly the Planetside 2 and EverQuest people - but in the last three years alone, they’ve also been the Star Wars: Clone Wars Adventures people, the Magic: The Gathering Tactics people, the DC Universe Online people, and the Bullet Run people. Not all of those ventures have been the unequivocal successes their flagship universes have, and the company last night announced a major “reduction" of their workforce.