It's been a while since SOE provided a big update for PlanetSide 2's ongoing war for Auraxis' precious resources, so it's filling the fourth major patch with an extra armory's worth of re-balances and additions for release on Wednesday. Creative Director Matt Higby outlines the patch's contents in a forum post, and some interesting features are set to arrive after the base-tweaking focus of the last update.
Do you know what the ever-wars of Auraxis needs? More wars. SOE seems to think so, at least, and Creative Director Matt Higby posts word of a few server merges taking place next week to help supersize battles raging in low-population realms during peak hours.
Soldiers of PlanetSide 2's Miller and Connery servers might've noticed they're spotting other mudfoots at a greater distance. Though we can't totally rule out the possibility that everyone's goggles received a secret spit-polish overnight, the more likely explanation is that SOE is testing out a range increase for infantry rendering.
Three unspoken bylaws lie at the heart of PlanetSide 2's army-against-army battles: Always wear arctic camo for added coolness. Thou shalt watch where you drive that thing. And lastly, whoever controls The Crown controls the fate of the universe.
Perched atop a rocky outcropping square in the middle of the arid canyons and blasted deserts of Indar, The Crown is Auraxis' version of a quintessential fortress. It's prime fodder for last stands, blazes of glory, and intense stalemates lasting weeks at a time. Many avoid it for its costly price of victory. But despite a pursuit that inevitably involves funneling into a rocky rampway for vehicles or a precarious switchback path snaking along the base's rear, many more flock to The Crown for the advantageous position it bestows upon its victors, who are able to then strike outwards in every direction.
We wanted to find out more about The Crown's genesis and future, so we got in touch with SOE Facilities Designer Corey Navage and Creative Director Matt Higby for some answers.
As part of SOE's focus on factoring player proposals into PlanetSide 2's major updates, the PlanetSide 2 Reddit group's Community Design Meeting draws suggestions and feedback directly from players for direct submission to SOE. As PlanetSide 2 Creative Director Matt Higby stated: "I see our role on the development team as curators of the game, not necessarily the wellspring of all ideas."
In a forum post today, Sony Online has laid out a plan for the first major patch to PlanetSide 2. The 22-point outline includes changes to how XP is earned in PS2, weapon and UI adjustments, the addition of SMGs as a weapon type, and a promise to improve game performance, “particularly for lower end GPUs.”
With PlanetSide 2's external beta ceasing operations today, developer SOE has paid particularly close attention to sustaining its focus on tweaking metagame mechanics and balancing gameplay based on tester feedback leading up to the MMOFPS' November 20 launch. In a forum dispatch, PlanetSide 2 Creative Director Matt Higby revealed plans to grenade the certification points grind by doubling gain rates and adjusting weapon costs.
The way Planetside 2’s Galaxy dropships work is set to change in coming patches - just one of a large number of improvements born of beta feedback, detailed below. As you’ll know if you’ve been listening to the PCG UK podcast, there are doubters among our ranks, who cite the way Galaxies can be used as mobile spawn-points as a major game breaking bugbear.
And though I personally think PlanetSide 2 is the most exciting MMOFPS to be found this side of Barnard’s Star, the beta’s certainly not without flaws: it can feel a bit incoherent, neither clarifying how all its systems interrelate nor placing your actions in the context of a meaningful global strategy. But we have good news! Our chat with hirsute lead dev Matt Higby addresses all of these exact issues.
PlanetSide 2's creative director Matt Higby must be the most interviewed man on the planet. It seems that he spends moretimebeinginterviewed than he does working on the game. Maybe he's interviewed when he's driving to work, or while he's having a bath.
The latest people who've joined the mile-long queue to interview Higby are our megachums over at GamesRadar, and he actually said a few things he hasn’t said in his billions of hours of previous interviews.
Planetside 2 creative director predicts an MMOFPS renaissance: "they’re really difficult to make, so good luck”
Planetside 2 excitement is hitting an all time high. There’s 30 minutes of footage and a bunch of new screens here, which you should almost definitely watch. It’s like a beautiful dream coming true. A massively multiplayer FPS dream with magnificent scale, day/night cycles, vehicles and jetpacks.
Creative director, Matt Higby is just as excited as the rest of us. "It always blows my mind that there aren't more MMO FPSs" he says, after showing a live demo at GDC.
Straddling the fence between MMO and online shooter can’t be easy, especially when it comes to character classes. We've spoken to Planetside 2 creative director Matt Higby about the roles available to each faction, and how SOE have taken steps to ensure that Planetside 2's classes are flexible, and easy to identify at great distance on Planetside 2's vast battlefields. You'll find plenty more information in our six-page Planetside 2 preview in the latest issue of PC Gamer UK.
On top of its three factions - The Vanu Sovereignity, The New Conglomerate and The Terran Republic - there are six character classes each to choose from. “Each faction has specific gameplay implementations that basically make each faction feel like a unique game,” says Higby. “Terran Republic isn’t always going to beat Vanu and New Conglomerate isn’t always going to lose to Vanu, but they have a unique approach that they’re going to have to take to take those guys out.”
Sony Online Entertainment’s upcoming MMO/FPS hybrid Planetside 2 is aiming to shake things up a bit. Taking a Halo-esque approach to its sci-fi universe, it aims to combine the persistent world of an MMO with the visceral, responsive mechanics of a first person shooter. As part of our six page preview in issue 233 of PC Gamer UK, we spoke to Planetside 2's creative director, Matt Higby about the staggering size of the new battlefields.
“We have enormous, enormous gameplay space,” says Higby. Planetside 2’s settings - continents on the planet Auraxis - measure an epic eight kilometres square, with weapons capable of firing a full kilometre in distance. "One of our largest development efforts on this project has been hand crafting every single area of those eight-by-eight kilometre continents," Higby told us. In this vast space, three factions fight it out: The Terran Republic, The New Conglomerate and The Vanu Sovereignty. And those fights can become pretty vast.
A few weeks ago Graham got to interview Planetside 2's creative director, Matt Higby, about the MMO sequel.
Even though the interview was conducted before last night's post from CCP, the now contentious subject of Eve Online's Council of Stellar Management came up. They're a selection of players who represent the player base and meet with the developers to discuss development.
Matt admits that it's important to keep players happy, but insists that developers must maintain a clear vision during development: "The quickest way to fail, I think, is trying to be everything to everyone. You can't really do that. That's the surest and fastest way to make a bad product. We will have to say no to some things."