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PlanetSide 2

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!]

E3 2014: PlanetSide 2 PS4 demo showcases visuals, performance

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

While PlanetSide 2 has been out since the end of 2012 on the PC, it isn't due out on PlayStation 4 until later this year. At E3 2014, we got a hands-on demo of the game with lead game designer Luke Sigmund and executive producer Clint Worley to check out how the console version of the MMOFPS is coming along. And it's definitely coming along.

Sigmund said that In order to get PS2 ready for release on the PS4, the team has been focusing a lot of attention on optimization and getting the controls feeling right. Currently, the team is doing daily playtests to get feedback on the look and feel of the builds. Sigmund emphasized, "The things we are focusing on for the PS4 are usability, new player experience, and optimization. For us, it's just a matter of getting it right. We don't want to put it out there and not be happy with the way it looks."

So how does it look right now? Pretty darn good!

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PlanetSide 2 launches an E3 PS4 trailer

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

Sorry, guys.  I knew that three-bean chili was a bad idea.
PlanetSide 2 is expanding to the PlayStation 4 in the near future, and there's reason for fans to be excited. Not just for the momentary giggle when you realize that you're playing PS2 on a PS4. There should be more details available at next week's E3, but for now, you can feast your eyes on the game's console trailer just past the break.

If you're expecting some heretofore unseen game mechanics, you'll be disappointed, but if you're looking forward to seeing the game in action, you'll be quite pleased. It's all of the large-scale science fiction warfare from the PC on a console, and it doesn't look half bad at that. If you own a PS4 and want a bit more territory-controlling shooting, jump on down to the trailer.

[Source: Sony Online Entertainment press release]

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SOE adds implants to PlanetSide 2

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

PlanetSide 2
SOE has added implants to PlanetSide 2, and the firm's latest press release says that implants allow players to "make additional strategic loadout choices to better handle various situations they come across in game."

Implants have three tiers, and everyone gets a low-level Tier 1 enhanced targeting unlock for free. Additional implants can be obtained via gameplay drops and progression or purchased in PS2's cash shop.

[Source: SOE press release]

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PlanetSide 2 shows off PlayStation 4 graphics

Screenshots, Free-to-Play, Consoles, MMOFPS, PlanetSide 2

PS2 PS4
Sony Online Entertainment is gearing PlanetSide 2 players up for the upcoming release on the PlayStation 4 by showing off a couple new screenshots with the PS4 graphics.

These teaser images are photos of a screen (probably not the best way to show off new graphics to the internet), but of particular interest to fans is the inclusion of the PlayStation Vita in one of the shots. The strategic placement of the Vita and box hint that it's not accident, but we have no official word yet on the Vita's role in the game -- or a release date for the PS4 version either, for that matter.

Check out the two new screenshots included after the cut.

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SOE announces game-specific player events for SOE Live

Fantasy, Super-hero, EverQuest, EverQuest II, Culture, Events (Real-World), News Items, Free-to-Play, MMOFPS, Events (Massively's Coverage), DC Universe Online, PlanetSide 2, Sandbox, Landmark

Are you headed to SOE Live this summer? We are, even if the game list is a tad shorter than in previous years. And that's why we're excited to see SOE's latest official post about the convention, set to run in Las Vegas, Nevada, this coming August 14th to 17th. The studio has announced special events for several of the games it plans to feature at the event:
  • Plane raids await EverQuest fans.
  • Deck-building games and PvP tournaments lie in store for DC Universe Online players.
  • EverQuest II players will participate in speed instances and a murder mystery quest.
  • Landmark devotees will be treated to a mega-build event and a harvesting-themed dice event.
  • Finally, the studio has planned a squad showdown event for PlanetSide 2 players.
Early bird registration for SOE Live ends on Monday.

SOE compensates players for All Access issues

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

EQ2
Acknowledging that the recent switchover to the new All Access program has been "frustrating," SOE announced today that it will be compensating its playerbase for these issues.

The studio will be handing out 50 replay badges to DCUO players, adding an additional week to seven-day Landmark closed beta keys, and triggering double XP weekends for Dragon's Prophet, EverQuest, EverQuest II, and PlanetSide 2.

"The implementation of this new membership plan across SOE's game portfolio has been one of the most complicated updates to our billing system to date," SOE apologized in a post. "As fellow gamers, we know that this has been frustrating and we sincerely regret any inconvenience this has caused."

SOE updates Landmark, pushes back international Player Studio rollout

Betas, Fantasy, EverQuest, EverQuest II, Contests, Economy, Patches, Free-to-Play, DC Universe Online, EverQuest Next, PlanetSide 2, Landmark

Landmark
It was the best of times for SOE and it was the worst of times. It was the season of glorious patches and of disappointing delays. It was also May 1st, in case you haven't checked your calendar.

SOE delivered an update to Landmark's beta today, including claim feedback, chat improvements, new props, and the ability to teleport to other claims from the gallery view. The studio also launched its first competition, this one to create visually stunning landmarks for the game's environment. The competition will conclude on May 7th.

Unfortunately, international players of SOE's library looking to partake in Player Studio goodness will have to wait a while longer: "Initially, we hoped to expand Player Studio to Canada, France, Germany, and the United Kingdom on or before May 1st, but given the intricacy of the program and our recent launch of the new All Access Membership plan, we have decided to roll out international support for Player Studio at the end of May."

SOE's revamped All-Access membership plan is finally live

Fantasy, EverQuest, EverQuest II, Business Models, MMO Industry, News Items, Free-to-Play, DC Universe Online, EverQuest Next, Miscellaneous, PlanetSide 2, Subscription, Landmark, H1Z1

SOE
After a brief delay this month, SOE's Mark Tuttle announced today that the refreshed All Access membership plan is now live across all of the studio's core games (and some of its future titles), including EverQuest, EverQuest II, DC Universe Online, Landmark, PlanetSide 2, and eventually, EverQuest Next and H1Z1.
For $14.99 per month (or less if you purchase multiple months at a time), players can now have top tier access to all participating SOE games. This means if you want to take a break from sneaking around Auraxis in your Stalker Cloak and test your mettle against the dragon, Nagafen, or The Joker in DCUO, you can do so with all member benefits. And since your Station Cash wallet is good in all SOE games, you can drop some coin on a snazzy new outfit in EQII to announce, "Yes, I have arrived!" To continue the awesome, as a member players get 10% off the Marketplace price of that item! Go ahead, splurge for the spikey hat and the bunny mount!
Tuttle reminds players that station cash must be manually redeemed via the claim button within a game's marketplace and that a discounted package deal (12 months for $99.99) is also available.

Addendum: Tipster Joshua points out that PlanetSide 1 will also be partly supported by the new plan. SOE explained, "We will offer PlanetSide 1 as free to play game for everyone when the new program rolls out, on or about April 29th, 2014 (or sooner!). Please note that PS1 has no Marketplace and will not see further game development. We know that a large number of people have played it in the past, and we hope you'll enjoy it again, on us."

SOE's All Access transition now slated for April 29

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

All Access logo
SOE has again postponed its transition from Gold individual game subscriptions to a single All Access pass. Community guru Colette "Dexella" Murphy posted the following announcement on SOE's forums.
In an effort to ensure that the transition to the new All Access membership plan is as seamless as possible, we are going to be taking a little more time to test. So, we will be pushing the launch date of All Access to Tuesday, April 29th. Because of the portfolio-wide nature of this plan, this may prevent us from doing any individual game updates in EverQuest, EverQuest II, Planetside 2, and DC Universe Online. These updates will resume normally after the All Access launch. We appreciate your patience and you'll agree that our new membership offering is worth the wait.

PAX East 2014: PlanetSide 2's Higby on weekly updates

Sci-Fi, Game Mechanics, Interviews, Free-to-Play, MMOFPS, PlanetSide 2

The influx is coming.
It's been three months since PlanetSide 2 started updating once every week, if you don't count one update that was pushed back simply because it wasn't quite ready. As creative director Matt Higby put it to me at this year's PAX East, the schedule comes second to making sure that every update is the best it can be. But it's still been quite a ride, and it means that the game has kept up a schedule that's astonishingly fast.

More than a year out from launch, Higby has a lot to say about the game's development process as well as the updates it's already undergone. It's not an unmitigated success story, but it's filled with a lot of lessons and improvements. And like any MMO, the game's development is far from finished. In PlanetSide 2's case, it's a complex process that requires supporting new players, veterans, casual gamers, and professional gaming, sometimes in unconventional fashions.

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