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.
Three representatives from the SOE dev team have each taken responsibility for a side during the next month or so of territorial conflict. Adam Clegg has pulled the New Conglomerate under his wing; Taylor Dowell the Vanu Sovereignty; and Dave Bennett the Terran Republic.
Players will compete at all hours of the day in weekly territory control challenges to earn points for their Empire. Then, at the end of the week, SOE will tally points and announce the standings (prompting two sides to attack their cause with new vigour and one to fall into a false sense of security, I imagine). Five weeks later, SOE will crown a winning Empire and every one of its soldiers will receive a decal and title to lord over their rivals.
The week will full stop every Monday at 12:00am PDT, ending finally on Monday October 21. You can already track the score of every Planetside 2 server individually, as well as the overall score for each Empire globally, in real-time on the official site. And you might have a vested interested in doing that: every player involved in the fight who winds up on the winning side for that week will be subject to a three-day experience boost.
The point system works thusly: every hour a territory is retained by an Empire, that side gains three server-specific points. Captured small outposts will add one point to the tally, large outposts will add two points, and facilities will add five points.
SOE’s advice? “Conquer the world and hold it for as long as possible.”
Sounds dead easy. Have you contributed to the fight for your server yet?