Sony To Develop PlanetSide Sequel?

By Jim Rossignol on September 26th, 2009 at 8:17 am.


Sony have sent out a survey to Planetside players, asking for feedback. Here’s what it says:

We plan to expand the PlanetSide® universe with another game and we need your help with the design. After all, who knows the game better than you, our customers, the people who actually play it! Don’t worry about the original PlanetSide, it isn’t going anywhere.

We want to hear your opinion and to do so we have put together a short survey. The information you provide will play a critical role into helping guide the development and direction of the next hit Massively Multiplayer Online First Person Shooter.

More thoughts below.

Whee! We’ve been hoping for this news for years, so it’ll be interesting to see if they can pull it off. Assuming the game is another MMOFPS along the same lines (which i might not be, given the bit about original PS being left untouched) I’d argue that they need to:

- Make the game scale to different numbers of players, so that low-population doesn’t leave players idle. Perhaps providing a series of different sized islands that faction populations can expand across.

- Create a formalised mission system, either player-driven or context driven, that will match squads against each other. This could spread fighting out away from choke points and across the landscape.

- Focus on the stuff that was really interesting! Hot-drops, having to refuel bases under fire: you know, those dynamic and exciting events that were the core of the game.

- Base design. The base architecture was pretty awful. Any new game needs to have less spammy corridors and more open fighting environments both indoors and outdoors.

- Keep the “wide” development of the game. It must not succumb to the temptation of level structures, but instead allow advancing players a wider range of options in their loadout and equipment requisition.

- Have a plan for going forward. PlanetSide’s post-release development was a mess. This time the design needs to have a drip-feed of features that have been properly thought out, and not the mess that was rolled out with things like PlanetSide’s absurd expansion, Core Combat. We don’t want to fight in caves, we want to fight across epic landscapes.

- Keep the mix of air and ground units. Being able to swap between dug-in ground conflict and zoomy air war was amazing. More please.

If it’s not an FPS, well, that would seem unwise on Sony’s part. I don’t think the PlanetSide world is really strong enough to warrant a classical MMO, or an RTS, or any other genre you could hammer the weird sci-fi war into. A remake with a modern engine however…

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98 Comments »

  1. Scandalon says:

    So, Planetside the MMORPGRTS then?

  2. MultiVaC says:

    I’d like if they avoided a monthly fee. I don’t know if that’s realistic, but it’s the main thing that could sell me on the concept.

    • TotalBiscuit says:

      You’re right, it’s utterly unrealistic.

    • Mort says:

      I agree (not that it’s unrealistic), I never thought Planetside was enough mmo for my monthly cash, and it would be even less so now in a crowded mmo and fps market.
      In addition to that free mmo’s are in the ascendancy, with SOE’s very own Free Realms doing very nicely indeed.
      So yes it’s a very serious consideration.

    • Dante says:

      I can’t say I’ve ever understood this logic, why is it that it’s only allowed to charge a monthly fee if it’s a WoW clone? It’s massive, it’s multiplayer, let them charge.

      Of course, they’ll need to have the post release support to match that, but I’d rather be paying and getting new content, than not paying and having nothing.

    • Andy says:

      I’ve always found F2P MMO end up costing you more than the usual $10/15 per month with all the micro transaction items they toss in to screw the game balance

  3. Antsy says:

    As someone who loved Planetside when it came out I can honestly say ITS ABOUT BLOODY TIME!.

    There was so much to love about Planetside and its heartening that Sony are interested in finding out what players want from the game rather than just stuffing some half-baked gimmic in and calling it a revolution like most devs seem to these days,

  4. Dreamhacker says:

    Remove the dice-roll mechanics and stick to skill-based FPS combat.

  5. Deltus says:

    PLANETSIDE 2!!!!!!!! YAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

  6. Batolemaeus says:

    Sony, eh?

    If their attitude towards mmos is any indication…rip planetside.

  7. Jezebeau says:

    Gleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

  8. Alex Norris says:

    Considering I still beat myself weekly over missing PlanetSide (I lost out on every PC game between 2001 and 2005 courtesy of the Baldur’s Gate series which I played exclusively for five years; and yes, I am a sad, sad individual), this is awesome news.

    Now we just have to wait for development to start, for media to come out, for there to be gameplay videos and for the game to come out in at least two years, all the while hoping Sony doesn’t fuck this up.

  9. Martin Edelius says:

    Expand on the RPG influenced features with more stats and skills.

  10. Tei says:

    I have receive (And filled) a survey about the topic. I hope we all have luck, and a awesome succesor of PS is develop. *CROSS FINGERS*

  11. ignoble says:

    What I picture is an MMO version of Section 8 with more variety (especially in vehicles) and depth of customization. And this is a very nice picture.

    • Davee says:

      I accually liked PS better than S8. But maby that was because of the fact that PS was an MMO and S8 wasnt? That and the game-mechanics didn’t really appeal to me as they did in PS.

      Anyways, this is awesome! Well, as long as Sony knows what they’re doing…

  12. richmcc says:

    Oh shit yeah. I hope they make it much more shooty, with proper combat and a lack of dice-rolling. Beyond that, I’m just far too excited.

  13. The Pink Ninja says:

    I long to join the RPS Outfit for Planetside 2

    We can hot drop, hot capture, then make hot love

    And in the game

  14. Daniel Hindes says:

    This is exactly what the MMO genre needs to give it a kick in the pants. I only played a little bit of the original Planetside, and – while I love the idea – it just seemed a little bit too janky.

  15. thenagus says:

    World War II online came up in the last few years with some neat solutions for things like scaling the game to server population. They organised it so that the high commands of each side had a number of `attack orders` , and a troops can only capture an enemy town if it has an attack order placed on it. And the number of attack orders available varies proprtionally to server population. So if population is low, all the fighting gets concentrated about just a hadful of towns. Its been a long time since I played, but I seem to remember it working very well.

    It would be great to see another proper MMOFPS. I think theres a huge potential market for games like that. Nice that Sony’s starting off talking to the established community, rather than ignoring then and going straight for more mainstram apeal.

  16. TotalBiscuit says:

    Hell, to the f**king yes. All you haters are weaklings, amateurs, heathens, sodomites! Planetside was the best thing to ever happen to PC multiplayer gaming and it’s about time SOE realised that and pushed forward with a sequel. Nothing has come close to equalling the epic battles and combined arms warfare of Planetside, absolutely nothing.

  17. Inanimotioon says:

    IF THIS HAPPENS.
    Oh my god.

  18. Heliocentric says:

    £50 says its announced playstation 3 exclusive/cross platform.

    Otherwise this game could be exceptional but the emphasis is on “could”. I don’t trust sony to not screw around with the formula.

  19. TwoDaemon says:

    This is excellent news. From an MMO standpoint, Planetside remains one of the few MMOFPS games I’ve seen that I felt actually worked, and it outstandingly proved a fundamental point – large-scale action-based MMOs are entirely feasible, not just now but five years ago. Every time a new MMO comes up, from WAR to Aion, I’ve delivered my traditional rant about the MMO industry refusing to step away from that repeated, copied RPG format. Planetside always comes up in that rant, because it actually worked. I’ve waited years for someone to look back and go “Hey, that Planetside game was pretty good, how about we do that again with modern technology and a few gameplay upgrades?”.

    Roll in Planetside 2 I say, with structured missions and all. I’d play that like it delivered free blowjobs for capturing bases. Every third base, presumably.

  20. Heliocentric says:

    One thing I’d like to earmark as a must for planetside 2 is the ability to cross specialise. Being a stealth jet pilot hacker or a tank driving mine layer. Hell the more individual specialities the better, but they must be crossable, why not have a slow aircraft which a max suit can fly? Or weak jeep which lets you repair on the move, if you have both repair skills and the jeeps!

  21. Kalain says:

    All my prayers, sacrifices and inain rants have come to fruition!! PS2 might be a reality. Oh how I longed for the mass battles in Forseral, the yells over global chat because we had lost a continent, the joy of watching 5+ Galaxy’s flying overhead before spewing out their load all over the enemy..

    But, i’m hoping that they redesign the bases and make the chokepoints proper choke points and not just something you drive by and think “Boy, who would be there?”. Keep the Cone of fire, that was the one thing that I thought was excellent and kept the vast majority of the kiddies FPS’ers away..

  22. We Fly Spitfires says:

    I quite liked the original Planetside so I would’ve mind seeing a sequel. I think Sony would be wise to release it for consoles too as it’s the perfect type of game to play on one.

  23. The Hammer says:

    Oh wow. Give.

  24. TheFrin says:

    filled mine in last night…. couldnt find any news about it anywhere… so i thought i may be a joke

    untill now

    /agree with everything above

  25. Flappybat says:

    “Don’t worry about the original PlanetSide, it isn’t going anywhere.”

    They could have said this several ears ago, it would have been very honest after the expansion pack.

  26. CMaster says:

    That’s sort of exciting.
    Planetside (my experience was through the reservists program) was good, very good at some things.
    But I’m not sure whter a sequel would address the two biggest issues: the first being that it was overpriced, the second being the futility and repetiveness of it all.

  27. bananaphone says:

    My requests:

    - Skill-based combat

    - Improved combat mechanics
    The weapons in PS feel a little limp. I want big meaty sound FX and a nice big explosion when I fire a large gun.

    - Flesh out the world
    PS feels odd. You’ve got this huge map with scattered bases, but in between it’s just empty space. Let’s have some NPC life (hostile or otherwise) and secret things to reward explorers. Make traversing the parts between the combat areas interesting and maybe a little dangerous.

    - Consequences
    PS was a war without end. No matter how hard you fought for a base nothing ever changed, it was just a constant back-forth battle. If they could figure out a way for your actions to have long-term repercussions that would be awesome.

  28. Chaz says:

    My main problem with PS was that the weapons were rubbish and lacked feedback, a rather major flaw for an FPS in my opinion. Most of all though there needs to be some sort of point to all the fighting.

    My guess is that SOE are going to make this a PS3/PC crossover game, with the emphasis on the PS3. And given the way things are going, I expect it will be part funded by micro payments and advertising. Anyway, I’m not getting my hopes up.

  29. Dante says:

    I suppose the main question though, is how are they going to deal with the main reason people quite planetside? Can Sony fix the essentially disillusionment at the futility of war?

  30. Quine says:

    If there was one gaming I could see fulfilled, it would be a Planetside Mark II.

    I’d prefer it if they could keep the original infanfry-heavy feel of the game as it was much more teamplay fun than hotshot pilot pwnage fights or those mech thingies. Perhaps find some way attach some real investment value to the larger toys so that your outfit feels the pain if they get taken down, Eve-style…

    The limited orders system from WWIIO sounds promising- PS had some of the best fights in the smallest and largest groups- having to hold some bridge or bunker for viable strategic reasons rather than just because it was there would be all kinds of awesome.

  31. Schiraman says:

    I’ve been waiting for this news for so long that, now that it’s here, I’m not sure how to process it. I want to believe that SOE can produce the epic sequel that PS so richly deserves, but currently I’m struggling.

    Anyway, I’d say what PS2 needs is a nice, new bug-free engine and some decent net-code that cleverly minimises lag. Oh, and an underlying framework that makes it easy to update the game with new content as they go along, rather than the hard-coded horrorshow that underlay the original PS.

    In most other respects PS was already great, and doesn’t need any dicking around with. Perhaps some better tutorials etc. to help people with the rather steep learning curve?

  32. Sunjammer says:

    Well, i don’t feel particularly qualified, but i tried to get into PS and i was horribly turned off.
    Here’s my list.

    1. Play a lot, a LOT, of Battlefield 2, and steal liberally from the way that game handles squads.
    2. Hire an art director with a background in realistic military design. I’m not saying make it realistic. I’m saying make it Aliens-ey. I want to believe in the conflict i’m fighting. PS looked like power rangers to me.
    3. Smaller objectives next to the sweeping strategic ones. Ones you can carry out yourself or with a small squad.
    4. Improve weapon feedback, and put emphasis on ballistics over energy weapons. Make me feel like i’m actually shooting a gun at something. PS was all kinds of Pew-pew. This ties into #2.
    5. Improve customisation. Fighting clone wars is mad boring.

    Pew pew!

    • Springy says:

      That’s purely a design decision rather than an improvement. In any possible sequel I’d like them to stick to the current colour palette. We’ve got enough games with grey, armoured marines.

      And the Vanu weapons were awesome. If anything, expand upon the principle of diversity. Certainly, keep at least one empire as an assault rifle-heaving bunch of stogie-chewin’ clichés, but face them off against (even more) otherworldly adversaries.

  33. Captain Haplo says:

    So, the question I wanna know is:

    If Planetside’s sequel is go…

    Will we be seeing a return of HERO SQUAD?

    (Say yes!)

  34. PureHalibut says:

    Interesting, the question is can SoE as it is now actually pull it off.

    The optimist in me is pleased they are asking for input
    The realist in me is worried they’re making an mmo by survey

    Anyway, they’re gunna need a bigger boat.

  35. WantOn says:

    Someone, please, just do this already. Planetside saw some of my favourite MMO experiences and I would love to be able to play an MMO FPS again, especially one that improved on some of the faults of Planetside.

    *crosses everything in hope*

  36. Surgeon says:

    Personally I’m hoping they take the MMOFPS genre further, and explore some sort of space combat / planetside combat model, with shared objectives between the two.

    EVE, X-Wing and PlanetSide all mixed together, with lashing of RTS for commanders, would be my dream game.

  37. Nilocy says:

    I seriously want to see more urban combat with this game. And less nerfing. The nerfing was one of the most annoying things ever, they never playtested anything properly in the game. Such as: Biffers, the MCG, the JH, the lasher, the prowler, magrider, vangaurd, everything tbh.

    Also, i agree with all the points there.

  38. Paul Moloney says:

    The main thing is to make sure the game scales properly on a variety of hardware. When PS first came out, it was unplayable on my then relative up-to-scratch PC. By the time I _could_ play it, the game was old hat already.

    P.

  39. StalinsGhost says:

    Some more tactically interesting locations would be nice; a little more variety in the bases, basically. It got boring attacking the same old places just with a different environment surrounding it all the time.

  40. El_MUERkO says:

    Make the environment destructible and persistent, see Battlefield: Bad Company on how to do this.

    Borrow from COD:MW2. Halo3, Killzone2, BF2, ARMA2, OFP 2 and any other good fps, also the Warhammer 40k universe.

    Make it for adults.

  41. Jazmeister says:

    Oooh. I’d go for this.

  42. Zenanon says:

    It already happened, it’s called Section 8.

  43. DMJ says:

    MOAR PLANETSIDE. Please.

  44. dsmart says:

    It’ll never happen.

    Plus I’m gonna beat them to it anyway.

  45. Andy says:

    When I first got my email at 2 am just before I was going to go to bed after a heavy night of playing Planetside my first thoughts were simply “FUCK YES!!!”

    But then I read some of questions that really worried me, and I remembered this was SoE…
    I got a very irking feeling that PS2 will turn into a big steaming pile of dog mess, hopefully people’s answers will sway them to stick closer to the original games formula than trying to come up with something new and shit.

    I also hope it’s still P2P instead of an ad supported, unbalancing microtransation abomination.

  46. dsmart says:

    @ Zenanon

    It already happened, it’s called Section 8.

    Lay off the drugs.

    Comparing the derivative S8 to Planetside is the sort of thing that should warrant a righteous spanking.

  47. Tei says:

    S8 is a counter-strike clone. Is nothing like a MMO-FPS. And not like the MASSIVE game that is Planetside.

  48. Larington says:

    Ahh crap, I forgot to mention removing CR5s and making high level strategy a matter of outfits working together instead of a bunch of arguing about next target as in the current planetside. Oh well.

    Couldn’t resist, uhh, yeah… ID 5364525

    To see SOE undo their reputation for releasing good games but then damaging the gameplay overtime post release. Decide early on on a set of core design goals and make sure you stay true to those design goals post release.

    Planetsides strength is in its teamplay and a sequel should play to that more than to anything else. Few games are even trying to match Planetsides scale, do everything you can to avoid the game becoming an instanced 10 versus 10 (Or whatever) game, theres enough games like this out there now.

    Build the game from the ground up to be resistant to attempts at cheating, including finding appropriate consultants who can advise on methods of preventing cheating, leave nothing to chance in this regard.

    Build the game so that it is easy to modify existing world content, indeed, try not to reduce the size of the art team post release, the least controversial way of adding new content to the game is to provide new planets/environments in which to fight. If necessary, planets can be rotated in and out of gameplay as if the interplanetary links are unstable to prevent there being too much real estate in the game.
    Also, provide some kind of special arena (Or set there-of) for small scale tournament fights of single players or groups of players.

    There should be two types of aircraft, those that can hover/move slowly and those that have to maintain a high speed in order to stay airborne, no combat aircraft should be able to do both.

    Remove 3rd person infantry mode primarily due to its dominant strategy repercussions.

    More infantry deployable weapons, in fact, Heavy Assault should require the user to deploy it, make it a heavy defence weapon, let the main assault rifles rule infantry vs infantry combat rather than giving an obvious dominant strategy in the form of Heavy Assault as it exists in Planetside at the moment.

    Use a system of combat across territorial base borders instead of using interlink lines. But also provide a special kind of landing craft that allows an empire to force open a new front line against an opponent (Creates an opportunity to hack the base in the same territory as the landing craft).

    Each planet should have around 3 continents (Or equivalent landmass if its a waterless planet) on it, linked by grand bridges. Interplanetary combat occurs via portals (And later landing craft like dropships), with sets of portals for aircraft, sea vessels and grand bridges that lead into the portals. Meanwhile, the portals existance means that a player can fly off the north side of the world and attack the south.

    Make it easier for outfits to organise special events, at minimum with an onLogin message that the officers can change to notify players of organised events or better still a messaging/calendar system (Which both outfits and game masters/CSRs can use for various events). Anything that can be done to make it easier/faster for people to work together should be considered.

    You could probably make a nice bit of cash releasing episodic style missions for co-op play for when players grow weary of the ‘main fight’. Also, when the playerbase drops below a certain number, bases should become locked so that one side can’t dominate the universe during a quiet period.

    In addition to providing the standard monthly subscription, include a special timeblock subscription that costs the same amount as a one month subscription that allows a casual/part-time player who only plays the game for 10 hours a week to play the game for, say, 2 months worth (a 10 hrs/week) as a value for money option for folks who don’t have lots of time to play the game. Of course if you go for a free to play option that won’t be necessary.

  49. Biscuitry says:

    I might be excited if it were anyone other than Sony doing this.

  50. GuiSim says:

    I have such fond memories of Planetside.. huge 3 way fights with hundreds of player all over a single bridge ! :)

    TECHNOLOGY = MIGHT

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