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PlanetSide 2

Nine questions for PlanetSide 2's PlayStation 4 closed beta

Betas, Sci-Fi, Interviews, Free-to-Play, MMOFPS, PlanetSide 2

planetside 2
Today, PlanetSide 2 has taken another large step for gamerkind by embarking on the closed beta test for its PlayStation 4 version. To help clarify the process of bringing this sci-fi shooter to this console, we sat down with SOE Executive Producer Clint Worley and peppered him with nine eight vital questions.

Massively: Can you go into some of the logistics of adapting PlanetSide 2 to the PlayStation 4?

Clint Worley:
PlanetSide 2 has its own identity, and it is important for us to stay true to that, even on the PS4. Our main focus has been on a redesigned user interface that makes navigation easier for players using the Dualshock 4 controller. Player customization, navigation, and organization are all critical elements that require intuitive controls. The team has done a few passes on the user interface, and now it is time to get it in front of the players. We are looking forward to getting player feedback and tuning the experience for the launch of the game.

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PlanetSide 2 players planning world record attempt for Jan. 24

Sci-Fi, Culture, Events (In-Game), MMO Industry, PvP, News Items, MMOFPS, PlanetSide 2

PlanetSide 2 players are trying to beat the Guinness world record for the largest number of gamers simultaneously in a single instance of an online FPS. That's kind of a mouthful, isn't it? In any event, organizers have taken to the PS2 forums and are planning to pull 1,100 players together on the Jaeger server on January 24th.

John Smedley praises free-to-play on consoles [Updated]

Sci-Fi, Super-hero, Business Models, MMO Industry, News Items, Free-to-Play, Consoles, DC Universe Online, PlanetSide 2

If you ignore all the money I spend on it, it's free as heck!
Sony Online Entertainment president John Smedley knows a thing or two about running free-to-play MMOs on consoles. The studio already has DC Universe Online as a free-to-play title on PlayStation 4, it's bringing PlanetSide 2 to the console soon, and both titles are already free on the PlayStation 3. And there's good reason for it: Smedley said recently to Gamasutra that players on the PS4 have been monetizing on DCUO at nearly three times the rate of PC players.

This isn't unique to the newest console, as DCUO players on the PS3 shell out cash twice as often as PC users. He also notes that it's a challenge to port to the console, as the lack of a mouse has to heavily influence design, plus it requires a method of dropping simultaneous updates across multiple platforms, which in and of itself can be a tricky venture. Read the full article for more insights from Smedley regarding the console market's free-to-play sustainability.

[Update: Smed further clarified his statements over Twitter earlier today. "People think we're becoming a console first shop. NO! consoles are a great place for F2P, but we have always been a PC first company because that's our heritage. We aren't dumbing down PC ever."]

PlanetSide 2's PS4 beta arrives on January 20th

Betas, Sci-Fi, Business Models, MMO Industry, PvP, News Items, Free-to-Play, MMOFPS, Dev Diaries, PlanetSide 2, Sandbox

Planetside2
A post on the official PlayStation blog today confirms that PlanetSide 2's PlayStation 4 beta will begin on January 20th.

"We'll be using this beta period to test our servers, performance, and various other aspects of the game, and we also want you to share constructive feedback on PlanetSide 2," says SOE Executive Producer Clint Worley. "How does the game look and feel? Is navigating through the menus intuitive and utilizing DualShock 4 in the best way? All players in the Closed Beta will have access to our special Beta forums, which will be the primary location for development interaction and feedback. We want the massive battles to make your heart pound and adrenaline pump, so share your thoughts with us."

Beta signups for the PS4 edition of the game have been live since early December. PlanetSide 2 has lately made news for its frank discussions about monetization; SOE president John Smedley admitted that "PlanetSide 2 only recently has turned profitable on an operating basis."

Smedley wants to talk more about monetization

Sci-Fi, Business Models, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, PvP, News Items, Free-to-Play, PlanetSide 2

John Smedley's not done talking about monetization. The SOE CEO posted on Reddit a bit ago and added to the recent discussion surrounding PlanetSide 2 drop rates, the cert economy, and F2P in general.

"PlanetSide 2 only recently has turned profitable on an operating basis," Smedley wrote. He also says that the majority of players have a ton of certs because SOE didn't balance properly and "erred on the side of giving away too many or making things cost too little so we don't make you grind too hard."

Smedley takes issue with the rhetoric painting SOE as "money grubbing a-holes," but he does own up to the company's lack of clear communication on this particular issue.

PlanetSide 2 implant changes aren't a 'money grab,' Smedley says

Sci-Fi, MMO Industry, Patches, Free-to-Play, MMOFPS, PlanetSide 2

planetside 2
Gaming blog In An Age is tracking the recent saga of PlanetSide 2's implant system, noting that the team quietly nerfed the drop rate of free implants and downwardly adjusted the power of tier 1 through 3 implants in order to push sales for the new tier 4 implants. Implants offer temporary buffs or abilities for characters and require an energy cost to activate.

SOE President John Smedley defended the move on Twitter: "Sorry, but we are actually trying to make money. I don't consider it a money grab." In a later tweet, he clarified that the team "made the drop rate [for implants] too high a while ago."

Commenting on accusations of promoting a pay-to-win environment with these changes, CM Tony Jones responded on Reddit, "Depends on how you define P2W. If implants are P2W, then yes, you may not like everything in the future."

The holidays have arrived in SOE's MMORPGs

Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Super-hero, EverQuest, EverQuest II, Business Models, Culture, Events (In-Game), Patches, News Items, Free-to-Play, DC Universe Online, EverQuest Next, PlanetSide 2, Sandbox, Dragon's Prophet, Landmark

EQ2
If you're a fan of SOE's MMOs and also a fan of Christmas, good news! SOE's MMOs also have Christmas! The studio posted a roundup of its holiday festivities earlier today:
  • EverQuest II: The Frostfell Wonderland Village returns this year along with a brand-new quest called The Great Candy (Cane) Chase.
  • DC Universe Online: Players will confront Larfleeze's Orange Lantern Corp. Old feats and rewards are back, as are "new base items, styles, a feat, and collection."
  • PlanetSide 2: It's Auraximas, which means it's time to murder snowmen. Special camo will also be on sale in the in-game store because of course it will be
  • EverQuest: Frostfell in this classic MMO brings Santug Cluagg and a host of new quests rolled out in phases.
  • Dragon's Prophet: Celebrate the The Silver Dragon Festival through January 15th.
A moment of silence, of course, for the SOE games no longer with us after this year's purge. Ahem.

If you're more the type to moon after Landmark and its futurespawn, EverQuest Next, check out MJ's hands-on with Landmark's PvE content update, which launches today. And peek back early next week for Massively's traditional MMO holiday event roundup for all the big games across the genre.

PlanetSide 2 opens beta signups for PlayStation 4

Betas, Sci-Fi, News Items, Free-to-Play, Consoles, MMOFPS, PlanetSide 2

Elsewhere, in a dirty and nearly empty bar, DUST 514 demands another shot of whiskey before falling off of its bar stool.
It's been a while since PlanetSide 2 fans have heard much about the game making the leap to the next generation of console hardware. But that's changing today, as the game has opened closed beta signups for testing its PlayStation 4 version. As always, the closed beta signup is no assurance that you'll actually get to test the game, but it does mean that it's closer than ever to being a reality. Signups currently require nothing more than an email address, although it's probably a good idea to have a PSN ID beforehand. (And a PS4.)

The last word on the beta was that it should be coming before the end of the year, according to creative director Matt Higby. We'll keep hopeful players posted as we get more information.

PlanetSide 2 turns two, celebrates with double XP

Sci-Fi, MMO Industry, PvP, News Items, MMOFPS, PlanetSide 2, Anniversaries

PlanetSide 2 turns two years old today, and if that doesn't make you feel old, well, it should! There's a dev-driven anniversary livestream going on right now, and SOE has also turned on double XP through Sunday, November 23rd.

[Source: SOE press release]

PlanetSide 2's PS4 beta is expected by the end of the year

Betas, Sci-Fi, Interviews, PvP, News Items, Free-to-Play, Consoles, MMOFPS, PlanetSide 2, Sandbox

The PlayStation 4 version of PlanetSide 2 is still on track for beta before the end of this year, SOE says.

SOE's Matt Higby told Eurogamer that the nearly-two-year-old MMOFPS sandbox has been slow to arrive on the PS4 because SOE didn't want it to feel like just another cruddy console port.
"As much as it sounds like we're blowing smoke, we're working hard to release a game that feels like a full-on console experience and not just like a port. So it's taken us quite a long time to re-jigger our user interface and our controls. There's a lot that needs to get done."
The PS4 edition will also sport a slightly different business model in that microtransactions will be purchased with Marketplace Cash (as in DC Universe Online) in place of Station Cash.

More details, Eurogamer reports, are expected in December at the PlayStation Experience event.

SOE provides Halloween makeup tips

Video, EverQuest, EverQuest II, Events (Real-World), Humor, DC Universe Online, Miscellaneous, PlanetSide 2, H1Z1

soe
File this under "No, we are not making this up." The team at Sony Online Entertainment has put together a series of five instructional videos to show you how to use makeup to look like your favorite in-game characters this Halloween, including EverQuest's Firiona Vie and an H1Z1 zombie.

We've got all five videos after the break, although by the looks of some of them, you'll probably best be served by having a professional makeup consultant from a special effects company on hand -- and a lot of cold cream for afterward.

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Halloween makes the rounds in SOE's line-up

Fantasy, Sci-Fi, EverQuest, EverQuest II, Events (In-Game), Free-to-Play, MMOFPS, DC Universe Online, PlanetSide 2, Dragon's Prophet, Landmark

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'Tis the season for spookies and crawlies, and SOE is not above appropriating Halloween for its own ghoulish ends. Pretty much every one of its MMOs is hosting Halloween festivities this month with events, prizes, and macabre decorations.

DC Universe Online is bringing back the Witching Hour and Midnight Masquerade with a few new rewards, Landmark is hosting a spooky building contest, Dragon's Prophet is reprising its Styx Festival, and both EverQuest and EverQuest II are reprising their infamous Nights of the Dead.

Out of the bunch, PlanetSide 2 is the only one with a truly new holiday: Nanite of the Living Dead. With this event, players will be scouring the planet for "space pumpkins" to destroy for fun and profit.

PlanetSide 2 patches in Directive improvements and space pumpkins

Sci-Fi, Patches, News Items, Free-to-Play, MMOFPS, PlanetSide 2, Subscription

We're up all night to get spoopy.
The latest PlanetSide 2 patch is a pretty big one even without the pumpkins. Yes, there are pumpkins. Space pumpkins. You will need to shoot them to get currency, which you can then cash in for Halloween-themed masks, maximizing your character's spookiness through the month. But the patch has a lot of other changes in it as well, starting with major improvements to Directive tracking and overall Directive progression, complete with a new Leadership tree.

Experience awards are also adjusted slightly, changing certain bonuses and how they're distributed to make life a bit easier for players. Offline cert points have also been removed from non-Member accounts and added exclusively to Members, thus making your subscription seem just a bit more worthwhile. For a full rundown of these changes, other balance tweaks, and the like, check out the full patch notes.

[Thanks to theKavorka for the tip!]

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PlanetSide 2: Tramell Isaac out, Bill Yeatts in

Sci-Fi, MMO Industry, Free-to-Play, MMOFPS, PlanetSide 2, H1Z1

PlanetSide 2 is losing one of the most public faces of its team but will be replacing him with another well-known figure from SOE.

Senior Art Director Tramell Isaac announced today that he will be leaving SOE for a new opportunity. "I've had a blast working with you guys all these many months. I will certainly miss you all," he wrote.

However, Isaac said that he's leaving his position in good hands, as former H1Z1 Art Director Bill Yeatts will be stepping into the role: "Bill was on the PS2 team from start to ship so he is very well versed in what is and is not PlanetSide 2. He is running the show now and he may contradict some of the 'rules' I set in the past, but that is now his prerogative."

Isaac is moving over to Boss Key Productions to become that studio's art director.

PAX Prime 2014: PlanetSide 2 meets the PlayStation 4

Sci-Fi, MMO Industry, Free-to-Play, MMOFPS, Events (Massively's Coverage), PlanetSide 2

ps2
PlanetSide 2 is waging a war for your attention on two platforms these days. The big push by SOE as of late is to prepare the title for its testing and release on the PlayStation 4. At this year's PAX Prime, the team said that the MMOFPS should be going into a beta later this year after the devs finish refining the UI for use on the controller.

The PlayStation 4 version won't be sharing the same server as the PC, although SOE predicts that it will become the more popular edition due to the number of first-person shooter fans on the console. Great effort is being made to keep the game as fast and responsive as other FPS titles on that platform. As in many other FPS games on the PS4, voice chat will be a must-have for squads.

The team will be attempting to keep the updates for the PS4 edition as close as possible with the release of the PC title. Because of the approval process by Sony, it won't be possible for the devs to assure a same-day release across platforms.

We asked whether PlanetSide 2 could be coming to the PlayStation 3 as well, but the studio said that the older hardware simply can't handle the title without a serious compromise in game quality.

Massively's on the ground in Seattle during the weekend of August 29th to September 1st, bringing you all the best news from PAX Prime 2014. Whether you're dying to know more about Warlords of Draenor, The Elder Scrolls Online, Landmark, or any MMO in between, you can bet we'll have it covered!

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