First major changes to PlanetSide 2 outlined by SOE, coming Jan. 30

VS max planetside 2

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.”

Returning from vacation, PlanetSide 2 Creative Director Matt Higby writes that the January update is meant to “address some of the biggest issues we're seeing come up over and over again.” “While 2012 was the year that Planetside 2 launched, 2013 is the year when we're opening up the afterburners and aiming for the stars,” says Higby.

The patch won't address all of the critiques of PS2's passionate community, whose concerns range from an under-emphasis on teamplay to an " overabundance of vehicles ," as one player put it. But news of the patch does seem to be received extremely well so far, based on the reaction on the PlanetSide Subreddit . 'They. Fixed. EVERYTHING," one commenter writes .

Our biggest hope at PCG, I think, is that PlanetSide 2 will find a way to make fighting in losing or heavily-contested battles more attractive and eliminate the creeping feeling that you're ruining your kill/death ratio by being where your faction needs you most. Changes to the spawn system seem to address this: the January 30 patch will make newly-spawned players temporarily invulnerable, make newly-spawned players worth less XP to kill, and add new, "less campable" spawn buildings.

Planetside preview

Higby's mention of "tunnel systems" being added as a level design element on Amp and Tech facilities is particularly interesting, too. Here's the outline provided by SOE:

  • General performance increases, particularly for lower end GPUs
  • Experience (XP) system enhancements:
    • Dynamic XP system for player kills, players who have more kills on their current life are worth more
    • XP. Freshly spawned players will be worth a fraction of the current kill reward.
    • Partial damage XP for dealing damage to vehicles that you don't end up killing
    • Population XP / Resource bonus moved over to continent population instead of global
    • Better display of XP sources for things like defensive bonuses & population bonuses
    • Rebalancing of XP rewards to help support tasks
  • Server transfer token available in Depot
  • UI changes to emphasize score per minute as a primary metric of player comparison
  • Sortable columns on outfit management & addition of "last online" column
  • New weapon type for all empires: SMG
  • Short period of invulnerability will be added to freshly spawned / revived players - breaks upon game actions such as entering a vehicle or using a weapon.
  • Dynamic / player configurable colors for minimap & overhead indicators for enemies, friendlies, and squads within a platoon
  • New Hot Spot system that displays where active fights are occurring on the map
  • New spawn buildings with more exits, protected balconies and easy roof access to make them less campable.
  • Tunnel systems for amp and tech facilities to give access from spawn rooms to interior of bases and base walls without having to go above ground.
  • Making MAXes render more reliably at long distances for players in vehicles
  • AA improvements, notably flak changes for turrets and skyguards, giving them some better ability to aim, although not drastically impacting their DPS.
  • Fixes to missiles so that they more reliably detonate and actually blow stuff up
  • Air vehicle weapon tweaks
  • Increases to reload speed for certain HE ground vehicle weapons
  • And of course... lots of bug fixes

Honestly, I'm surprised that they intend to deploy all of these changes by the end of the month. Mighty encouraging.

Evan Lahti
Global Editor-in-Chief

Evan's a hardcore FPS enthusiast who joined PC Gamer in 2008. After an era spent publishing reviews, news, and cover features, he now oversees editorial operations for PC Gamer worldwide, including setting policy, training, and editing stories written by the wider team. His most-played FPSes are CS:GO, Team Fortress 2, Team Fortress Classic, Rainbow Six Siege, and Arma 2. His first multiplayer FPS was Quake 2, played on serial LAN in his uncle's basement, the ideal conditions for instilling a lifelong fondness for fragging. Evan also leads production of the PC Gaming Show, the annual E3 showcase event dedicated to PC gaming.