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PlanetSide 2

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

eq2
'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!

PlanetSide 2 reveals its newest vehicle, the Valkyrie

Sci-Fi, Video, Game Mechanics, Previews, PvP, News Items, Free-to-Play, PlanetSide 2

PS2
SOE has today revealed the Valkyrie, the first new vehicle added to PlanetSide 2 since last year. What's the Valkyrie?
Packed with a front-facing turret for up-close-and-personal air support, the Valkyrie is a fast-attack gunship that serves as a nimble transport for up to six soldiers (pilot, forward gunner and four rumble seat passengers). Whether it is flying over the dense swamplands of Hossin or through the narrow canyons of Indar, this fast-moving versatile aircraft is sure to change the war on Auraxis.
In the making-of video below, Senior Art Director Tramell Isaac explains the process by which the developers conceptualize and then "jazz up" ship models.

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SOE Live 2014: PlanetSide 2 plans battle islands, a fight finder, and more

Sci-Fi, Interviews, PvP, Free-to-Play, MMOFPS, Events (Massively's Coverage), PlanetSide 2, Sandbox

PlanetSide 2 got some big updates over the last couple of months, but there's plenty more planned for the MMOFPS. Creative Director Matt Higby, Senior Art Director Tramell Isaac , and Lead Designer Luke Sigmund detailed some of those plans at SOE Live. Specifics include the squad mentoring, the Valkyrie aircraft, battle islands, a fight finder, and more. They also showed off the progress of the Playstation 4 version, which will launch in early access before the end of the year.

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SOE Live 2014: Studio to stream convention for free

Events (Real-World), Promotions, Livestream, Miscellaneous, PlanetSide 2, Landmark, H1Z1

ps2
SOE Live's streaming schedule is up for this week's convention on the official Twitch channel, and fans of the studio have a very good reason to check it out: It's totally free.

SOE announced today that players will not need to spend any money to watch the convention's 20-plus hours of livestream coverage. The stream will begin on Thursday evening at 10:00 p.m. EDT and continue off and on through Saturday night.

If you really insist on giving SOE money for this, however, the studio will bow to your demands. SOE is selling a SOE Live Digital Pass upgrade that will deliver to the buyer a 7-day Landmark beta key, a Twitch chat badge, several emoticons for the Twitch channel, and in-game items for both H1Z1 and PlanetSide 2.

Meet PlanetSide 2's new producer, Directive achievements

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

A solid base for future operations, you know.
It's important to know the development team of your game of choice, isn't it? SOE's David Carey recently took on the role of producer for PlanetSide 2, and he hopped on the forums to introduce himself, explaining to fans who he is, what he hopes to accomplish in the game, and what he hopes to receive from the community.

Carey reveals that he has spent a long time working with Matt Higby and has plenty of experience working on other titles. His primary goal is to have an informed playerbase with a clear picture of why changes are being made, even in the event that the players and devs disagree. He also stresses the importance of constructive criticism over personal attacks and the team's need for open communication with the fans. If you're a regular PlanetSide 2 player, you owe it to yourself to check out the full letter.

In other PS2 news, SOE has implemented a new achievement system called Directives. You can view the full press release after the break.

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PlanetSide 2 opens up double XP to celebrate new Hossin map

Sci-Fi, Free-to-Play, MMOFPS, Promotions, PlanetSide 2

PlanetSide 2
To help celebrate the release of Planetside 2's Hossin content, Sony Online Entertainment is opening up a Double XP weekend for all players from July 18th (today) through the 20th.

This double XP can stack with other in-game XP boosts including VIP membership, Hossin continent lock, purchased consumables, and more. If you want to go a step further and track your XP gain in its newly doubled state, you can do so through the Planetside 2 Players site, the PS2 app, the Recursion Stat Tracker, or the DasAnfall Stats page.

SOE Live player panels include support for military gamers

Fantasy, Horror, Sci-Fi, EverQuest, EverQuest II, Events (Real-World), Free-to-Play, DC Universe Online, EverQuest Next, PlanetSide 2, Landmark, H1Z1

soe live
SOE Live posted its list of player panels today for its convention, with topics ranging from supporting military gamers to fansite management. The full list is as follows:

Friday, August 15
  • 11:00 am - 12:00 pm -– EQ2U & Dragon's Armory
  • 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm –- Live Together, Die Alone: Surviving H1Z1 as a Group
  • 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm –- Inter-Outfit Operations in PS2
  • 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm –- Become Your Character: Tricks and Tips for Cosplay
  • 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm –- Military Gamers: Taking Care of Each Other
Saturday, August 16
  • 10:00 am - 11:00 am -– Social Media/Steaming & Fansites
  • 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm -– Effective Guild and League Management
  • 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm –- Improving Your EverQuest
  • 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm –- DCUO – Advanced Raid Tactics
  • 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm –- The New Conglomerate
  • 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm -– Hardcore Decorating in EQII
  • 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm –- EQII Game Macros, ACT Triggers, and You!

SOE explains PlanetSide 2 patch scheduling

Sci-Fi, MMO Industry, PvP, News Items, Free-to-Play, MMOFPS, PlanetSide 2

Have you ever wondered why MMO studios patch their games when and how they do? Well, wonder no more, at least in PlanetSide 2's case. SOE producer David Carey recently took to Reddit to explain why the MMOFPS' server downtime typically starts during European prime time.

PS2 is a worldwide game, Carey says, and so bringing the EU shards down independently isn't feasible. "We can't have multiple client or server versions out in the wild at the same time," he explains. "Another reason is that we update once a week or more on average," Carey continues. "We need people to run the patches, so we really can't just say 'hey you guys are working overnight tonight and maybe two other nights this week, we'll let you know.' I mean, they have families and that's just not fair. So that rules out some time slots like 2:00 a.m. local other than for emergencies."

PlanetSide 2's Hossin update is live but not entirely done

Betas, Sci-Fi, Bugs, Game Mechanics, Patches, PvP, News Items, MMOFPS, PlanetSide 2, Sandbox

PlanetSide 2 players are today logging into the Hossin patch, a major update with a new continent with more than 80 new bases in a new biome. The update includes the first phase of the new continent locking mechanic for territory control and perks for guilds -- sorry, outfits -- including new recruiting, decal, and capturing systems.

Creative Director Matt Higby warns, however, that "Hossin is not finished":
If we wanted to "finish" Hossin without sacrificing the quality level we've established, it would probably be 3 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. [...] Right now about 50% of the bases on Hossin are "done" to the point that we're completely satisfied with the quality of the level design and visuals, about 25% of the bases are first pass [...] and another 25% are [placeholders]. We expect these bases to function correctly, provide all the necessary utilities to make the game work - they're just not 100% up to our standards of level design quality quite yet.
Higby calls this the "Early Expedition" approach and says the teams will continue work on the "beta" continent over the next few months.

[Thanks, theKavorka.]

Norrathian Notebook: SOE says bye-bye ProSiebenSat.1, hello Landmark Player Studio

Fantasy, EverQuest II, MMO Industry, Free-to-Play, DC Universe Online, EverQuest Next, PlanetSide 2, Player-Generated Content, Norrathian Notebook, Landmark

Double the pleasure, double the fun! SOE made two big announcements Wednesday that brought smiles to the faces of many fans. One said goodbye; the other said hello. But both were good news indeed, especially for Norrathians.

Sometimes parting is just sweet, without the sorrow. Such is the case with the first bit of news: the departure of ProSiebenSat.1 from SOE. That's right, my European compadres, rejoice because SOE is bringing you back into the fold! The deal that quickly went sour for fans squished between the US company and the European partner is over, and SOE's titles are returning fully to its portfolio while region locks are being lifted. I can hear you all singing hallelujahs and dancing in the street!

The second bit of news worthy of celebration was the launch of Player Studio in Landmark. Although it arrived later than anticipated thanks to the international tax registration processes, the wait was worthwhile because players from not only the U.S but also Canada, Sweden, France, the UK (yes, including Ireland), Germany, Norway, and Denmark can now submit items for sale to other players. That means that aspiring money-makers and non-builders who want to buy their cool items can finally find one another and do business. And that just paves the way for the system to work in EverQuest Next.

As great as the announcements are, neither is without a few downs mixed in with the ups. Norrathian Notebook explores both bits of news to get you the necessary details.

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SOE and ProSiebenSat.1 splitting up, account migrations coming

EverQuest II, MMO Industry, News Items, DC Universe Online, PlanetSide 2

"Sony Online Entertainment and ProSiebenSat.1 have jointly decided to migrate all PSG accounts for PlanetSide 2, DC Universe Online, and EverQuest II back to SOE in the near future," wrote SOE's Linda "Brasse" Carlson on the company's forums.

SOE and PSG originally joined forces in 2012 to the dismay of European gamers who opposed the forced transfer of existing player accounts and regional server restrictions that threatened to affect international guilds and sub-communities.

PlanetSide 2 players are invited to fight over new server name

Sci-Fi, Events (In-Game), Free-to-Play, MMOFPS, PlanetSide 2

planetside 2
Usually a server merge is a somber affair, but the team at PlanetSide 2 views the upcoming consolidation between Waterson and Mattherson as an opportunity for a cage match to the death. The prize? The right to retain the winning side's server name following the merge.

SOE is planning a "ServerSmash" battle for Friday, June 20th, between the inhabitants of Waterson and Mattherson. Outfits can sign up to represent their server during the event.

The studio acknowledged that this event might be a siren's call to griefers and asked for good sportsmanship: "We implore both the participating servers, as well as the community at large, to take the high ground and help us make this a fun, amazing event that we can all appreciate."

[Thanks to OdinsPride for the tip!]

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