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PlanetSide 2

Choose My Adventure: PlanetSide 2

Sci-Fi, Polls, PvP, Opinion, War, Free-to-Play, Hands-On, Choose My Adventure, PlanetSide 2

Planetside 2
Welcome to this all-new edition of Choose My Adventure! We've made some changes to the way this veteran Massively column works, so I wanted to take some time to explain how things will work from here on out.

In the past, you chose mostly everything for the column's writer to do in a particular game (that you also chose). We've decided to streamline the process and make it more of a three-part "review" of sorts with a fourth part set aside for voting. I will select the game to prevent the recent problems we've had with cheating, and you will choose my path within it. That means there will be one week of voting and three weeks of my impressions of those choices for each game.

So let's go ahead and get into the polls for this PlanetSide 2 edition of Choose My Adventure.

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SOE All Access changes pushed back two weeks

EverQuest, EverQuest II, PlanetSide, Business Models, Free-to-Play, DC Universe Online, EverQuest Next, Miscellaneous, PlanetSide 2, Subscription

All Access
The big changes to SOE's All Access plan will be held back two weeks while the studio finishes work on it, moving it from the beginning to the middle of April.

"Looking like new membership plans will go live around 4/16 instead of 4/2," SOE President John Smedley wrote on Twitter yesterday. "Lots of stuff to finish."

The new All Access pass will give players premium access to all of SOE's MMOs, a discount in the store, and a monthly stipend of Station Cash for a flat fee of $14.99 a month.

[Thanks to BabaGraPL for the tip!]

February will be a big month for PlanetSide 2

Sci-Fi, Patches, Previews, War, Free-to-Play, MMOFPS, PlanetSide 2

PlanetSide 2 screenshot
PlanetSide 2 continues to gain updates and new content. It's still pushing itself to be the best place to find massive battles with the most players, and a recent host of tweaks, fixes, updates and changes have made many MMOFPS fans very excited for the rest of the year. So what's happening to the MMOFPS in the month of February?

We asked Matt Higby, Creative Director for PlanetSide 2, to explain just that.

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SOE's Higby on bringing PlanetSide 2 to the PS4

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

PlanetSide 2
PlanetSide 2 creative director Matt Higby stopped by ShackNews for a quick interview this week. The piece focused on fan feedback as well as the upcoming PlayStation 4 version of SOE's MMOFPS.

Higby says that "designing the UI/UX to be more console-friendly and figuring out ways to better contextualize the massive scale combat for players who are used to more arena-style FPS gaming has been the most challenging" aspect of development thus far. "This is something we encounter with the PC version of the game, too, so we're used to thinking about it, but bringing this game to the console market puts an extra layer of importance on these goals," he explained.

PlanetSide 2 gets an updated development roadmap

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

PlanetSide 2 bomb girl
SOE has updated PlanetSide 2's roadmap website. What does that mean for you? It means that you can get an idea of what the devs are planning to push live between now and June.

New stuff in the works includes the continent of Hossin as well as continent locking, which "will hopefully enhance the feel and depth of PlanetSide 2's overall metagame significantly." Outfit recruiting functionality is also getting a revamp, and top contributor outfits will also get some recognition in the form of "belonging" labels on captured bases.

[Source: SOE press release]

Free for All: My three favorite MMOFPS games have a shoot-out

Sci-Fi, Video, Culture, Game Mechanics, PvP, PvE, Opinion, War, Free-to-Play, Casual, MMOFPS, Humor, Free for All, Post-Apocalyptic, Livestream, PlanetSide 2, Sandbox, Defiance, Firefall, Buy-to-Play

MMOFPS screenshots
I love a good MMOFPS or MMOTPS. A good one. Currently, I have three favorites: PlanetSide 2, Defiance, and Firefall. I have enjoyed other shooters in the past, games like Mechwarrior Online and APB: Reloaded and even a handful of standalone titles. There's something in a shooter that satisfies on a primitive level, some sort of textural quality that when done right can generate a good gaming session of zoned-out, open-mouthed pleasure. There's something even cooler about a multiplayer version of the same genre. I don't mind killing baddies alone, but blasting the face off of a monster is a lot more fun with dozens of other players around.

As you can see, I have a problem. Let's forget the fact that I play way too many MMOs as it is because between these three games I can easily kill a weekend and leave no room for games that I need to write about. That means I need to pick a favorite. Let this be a shootout to determine which MMOFPS will be my home. My awesome, loud, deadly home.

I've nominated three categories and will pick a winner for each. May the best shooter win!

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Smedley expounds on benefits blunder and SOE's philosophy

EverQuest, EverQuest II, Interviews, MMO Industry, Free-to-Play, DC Universe Online, EverQuest Next, PlanetSide 2, Dragon's Prophet

When SOE first announced the membership changes coming to some of its titles, the company stirred up a storm that was completely unexpected, according to CEO John Smedley. After listening to the community, the studio reversed parts of the proposal and unveiled an extra benefit: a $14.99 All-Access pass.

But even after a few extra posts explaining the changes and the reasoning behind them, there were still some unanswered questions and remnants of confusion from the quick succession of announcements. Why were some titles in SOE's arsenal listed part of the pass but others aren't? Which membership gift is actually the one going forward? When will these changes take place? And what about the European players? I sat down with Smedley to answer these questions and get some added clarity on these changes,

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Weekly updates coming to PlanetSide 2

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

This should see a 50% increase in available things to burn.
Would you like your favorite game to update more often or less often? Odds are you're prefer the former; barring the occasional update that badly breaks something, updates are a good thing. That's why creative director Matt Higby took to the PlanetSide 2 forums to break the happy news that the game's update schedule will be increasing to weekly patches. Yes, that's weekly, starting next Wednesday and continuing through the remainder of the year.

Higby explains that the new schedule will have several benefits, starting with the team no longer requiring frequent hotfixes to take care of minor bugs and performance issues. It also means that each individual update will be a bit smaller, resulting in fewer moving pieces and a lower chance of introducing bugs with any given update. Larger features are still being developed, and they'll be moved into the new weekly schedule, but players will be able to expect at least something once a week.

SOE considering an one-subscription-covers-all plan for $14.99 a month

Fantasy, Sci-Fi, EverQuest, EverQuest II, Business Models, Economy, Vanguard, Free-to-Play, Free Realms, DC Universe Online, EverQuest Next, PlanetSide 2, Dragon's Prophet, Wizardry Online, Subscription

EQN
SOE President John Smedley took to Reddit today to address the "fear, uncertainty, and doubt" that's been swirling about regarding the subscription changes made to its games, most notably PlanetSide 2 and EverQuest II. While he lists several reasons why the studio is doing this, the main reason is a big change in the works: SOE is considering implementing a one-subscription-covers-all plan moving forward.

"We are considering (and are likely going to move forward with) a plan that means if you subscribe to one of our games you are a subscriber to all our games (this applies to PC titles only, by the way) all for the current $14.99 a month," Smedley wrote. "That's a benefit most companies simply can't offer because they don't have our portfolio of games. The goal would be to let you pick an item in each game you play."

He implied that this plan will also cover EverQuest Next Landmark and EverQuest Next. Other reasons for the subscription change include helping players buy larger items on the marketplace, internal issues regarding people stockpiling Station Cash, and disparity between computer and console promotions.

For a more in-depth look at the subscription plan changes, read our recent Norrathian Notebook column.

Sony Online Entertainment changes benefits for subscriptions

EverQuest II, Business Models, News Items, Free-to-Play, Miscellaneous, PlanetSide 2

You can choose whatever you want, as long as what you want is this.
It's a fairly common model for free-to-play games that offer a subscription -- subscribers get an allowance of cash-shop currency in addition to other benefits. It's how Sony Online Entertainment's games have worked for as long as they've had the model. But EverQuest II and PlanetSide 2 subscribers are seeing a new version of subscriber benefits, one that removes the usual Station Cash allowance and replaces it with an item worth the equivalent amount or more.

Every month, players are given a choice between one of several items worth up to 2000 Station Cash. This item must be selected on a monthly basis, as benefits do not carry over from month to month. While the net amount of rewards should be functionally identical, it will mean fewer options about what you acquire on a monthly basis, especially as Player Studio items are listed as exclusions from the list. If you're unhappy with the change, you've got time to say so, as the change is not going into effect until February 3rd.

[Thanks to Balsbigbrother for the tip!]

O:MFG! It's another PlanetSide 2 performance patch

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

PlanetSide 2 mech
Hark! It's the second phase of PlanetSide 2's Operation: Make Faster Game! SOE has published "the largest balance update to date," including "engineering improvements to physics systems and a revamped Esamir."

There's also a seasonal event designed to let sci-fi soldiers celebrate Auraximas by taking down snowmen for fun, XP, and a "Snowblower" title. Have a look at the PS2 forums for a full list of patch notes and changes.

[Source: SOE press release]

PlanetSide 2 offers massive deals for the holidays

Sci-Fi, Events (In-Game), PvP, News Items, Free-to-Play, MMOFPS, Promotions, PlanetSide 2

Nothing says happy holidays in PlanetSide 2 like a brand-new gun to blow the opposing factions to smithereens! And thanks to two weeks of deals, you might just be able to pick up something special to share your holiday spirit. From December 18th, 2013, through January 1st, 2014, PS2 will have a daily sale that includes 50% off an entire category (such as Helmets or Rifles) as well as a special Item of the Day that members can buy for only 1 SC. Players who aren't subbed can also take advantage of the deal of the day, but their cost will be 99 SC. Want to see what each day's deal is? Log in and check it out!

Next SOE Live hits Vegas August 14 - 17, 2014

Fantasy, EverQuest, EverQuest II, Events (Real-World), MMO Industry, News Items, Vanguard, Free-to-Play, Free Realms, DC Universe Online, EverQuest Next, PlanetSide 2, Dragon's Prophet

If you're still kicking yourself for missing the big reveals of SOE Live 2013, you've got plenty of time to make preparations for next year's convention. Mark your 2014 calendars for August 14th through the 17th; that's when fans from the whole arsenal of SOE games will descend upon Las Vegas to mingle with devs, participate in contests and tournaments, attend player and dev panels, and catch reveals of upcoming content in their favorite games. SOE Live 2014 will also features access to beta programs as well as plenty of in-game and real world swag.

The annual fan convention will return to Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino, and tickets will be available for purchase in early 2014. Additional information will be forthcoming later, but you can catch the reveal trailer below.

[Source: SOE press release]

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Choose My Adventure: The weather outside is frightful

Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Super-hero, Aion, Guild Wars, PvP, PvE, Free-to-Play, Hands-On, Casual, MMOFPS, Champions Online, DC Universe Online, Choose My Adventure, Allods Online, Post-Apocalyptic, Miscellaneous, PlanetSide 2, Defiance, MMORPG, Buy-to-Play

Choose My Adventure
December is here, which means it's about time to throw some logs on the fire, grab every blanket in the house, and collapse under the mantle in a freezing, sobbing heap. This week's arctic blast has left the United States feeling a lot like Northrend, but for those of us in certain parts of the country it's just the beginning of what's sure to be a long, hellish winter.

However cold it may be outside, there's always a warm, toasty inn waiting in our favorite games. MMOs also provide sunny vistas, hot deserts, and steamy swamps, all of which make great places to escape nasty real-life weather. Even when it's cold in an MMO, it's still warm at our desks. In this edition of Choose My Adventure, I'm depending on you to help me hide from the snow that's piling up outside of my window.

You don't have to send me somewhere warm, but I'd appreciate it if you send me somewhere fun.

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PlanetSide vs. PlanetSide 2: The key differences

Sci-Fi, Video, PlanetSide, Business Models, Classes, Game Mechanics, PvP, War, Free-to-Play, MMOFPS, Livestream, PlanetSide 2

PlanetSide screenshot
If you're a PlanetSide player who has been around since the beginning, I don't need to explain the differences between the original and its follow-up, PlanetSide 2. But if you're an old-school player who has never touched the second version, a new-school player who's never played the original, or a player who's brand-new to the universe completely, then this article about the PlanetSide duo and what sets the two games apart is for you.

The first and most important difference is each game's population. I am not exaggerating when I say that the original PlanetSide is today merely a shell of its former self. I tried on several occasions to find a fight to join and was only once able to locate a tiny battle in one small corner of the world. That's something to keep in mind if you give the elder game a deeper look.

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