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PlanetSide 2

Planetside 2 continent two years in development is now live in "early exploration" state

Hossin: swampland, but solid enough to land a troop carrier on.

Hossin. If the name of Planetside 2’s new continent sounds familiar, that’s because it’s been bandied about since the game’s launch - and been in development even longer.

“We’ve figured out that creating a ‘good’ outpost in Planetside 2 takes about 2-3 weeks of level design, art playtesting and iteration time minimally, per outpost,” said SOE’s Matt Higby. “Multiply that by 80 or so, and you’ll get a good idea of how much work is required for a high-quality continent.”

Even now, Hossin isn’t done.

“There isn’t any other way to say it except to say that Hossin is not finished,” said Higby. “If we wanted to ‘finish’ Hossin without sacrificing the quality level we’ve established, it would probably be three months before it was ready to go live.

“We don’t want to wait that long, and we don't think you want to either.”

Currently, SOE are happy with the level design and visuals for about half Hossin’s bases. 25% are at a ‘first pass’ stage of development and distinguishable in-game as such. A further 25% are identical placeholder areas based on an existing outpost SOE already know works well.

The level design and environmental art teams at SOE will spend the next few months iterating on those, and every couple of weeks more bases will be finished and patched into the game. In the meantime, Hossin is a sort of live beta area.

The Planetside 2 Public Test Server isn’t an option, says Higby, simply because hammering out a continent isn’t the same as tweaking a weapon: it involves large scale balance and flow testing.

“We know that we won’t really discover what works and doesn’t work in the continent until it’s live,” explained Higby. “We’ve had to go back and redo a lot in our other continents once they were exposed to the masses and we expect Hossin will be similar.” 

Elsewhere in the update, SOE have implemented continent locking - a system which makes huge swathes of the map unavailable for spawning or interacting in once it’s been captured, until another in dominated and locked by an empire.

But undoubtedly the first thing you’ll notice on logging in is the dirty great new landmass. Do you think you’ll give it a good trampling?

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Dog Pants's picture
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I'm assuming that 2-3 week figure isn't consecutive, or else they have at least three years work ahead of them. At any rate I'll be taking my purple spandex into the swamps for disco night as soon as I get chance.

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Acid Hoover's picture
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It's absolutely glorious.

I logged in last night to find the continent in darkness, and the base I spawned at was surrounded by glowing flora and fauna.

The terrain is absolutely teaming with detail, and it made the whole fight a really trippy experience. Especially with the laser show that typically accompanies night time engagements.

As the sun rose and we moved on, I then go to see all the fog and the god rays piercing through the giant trees.

They're done an amazing job on that 50% of the base design. There's some really unique layouts and designs for the bases, and I haven't even seen them all yet. Just check out some of the capture points at Genudine Holographics.

It was definitely worth the wait.

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