PlanetSide 2 Free To Play, Beta This Year

By John Walker on September 8th, 2011 at 3:04 pm.

I think his muzzle flash might be getting too big for its boots.
UPDATE: See below for SOE’s comment.
I hadn’t really considered PlanetSide 2‘s payment model. I just assumed it would be the same as PlanetSide. For I am a fool. Speaking to the efficiently named Chinese site 17173.COM, translated somewhat on the equally perfunctory title MMO Site, SOE president John Smedley gave a few hints about how it’s all going to work. And inevitably, it’s some form of Free To Play. But what form?

UPDATED COMMENT FROM SOE’S Mr SMEDLEY:

1) There is some really bad translation going on here – while I have publicly mentioned the game will be some form of free to play before…the Blizzard style auction house isn’t a part of that. I was asked what I thought of that move by Blizzard I said I thought it was a good idea and it would help with farmers. I also said we had done that years ago with Station Exchange. So no…. There is no RMT auction house (in fact we haven’t ever even talked about an auction house for the game period). We aren’t ready to announce specifics yet but expect something that will be very player friendly. I mentioned League of Legends as something I really liked.

2) I was asked about beta schedule and I said we were aiming for late this year or early next year but we don’t know yet.

3) I did say that I believe SWTOR will be the last large scale MMO to use a sub model. The game looks great btw and I will be playing myself. Bioware is doing an awesome job.

Well, that’s yet to be determined. The game itself will be free, but it seems they may be trying to avoid a microtransaction model. However, quite what was said is getting confused in translation, despite the best efforts of the sterling folks at Planetside Universe. However, it’s clear that Smedley believes The Old Republic will be the last MMO to usefully use a subscription model.

Also gleaned is the knowledge that the game should go into beta toward the end of this year, for release early in 2012.

If any Chinese readers want to give it a better translate for us, please get in touch. Because I’m dependent on Google’s translate, which offers wonderful poetry like,

“That FPS games “Star OL”, of almost all the players played their classic Bong. Unfortunately, issues such as charging method, which ended early in the operation of the national dress, has become a dusty memory in years to come.”

Big thanks to PSU for the tip.

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48 Comments »

  1. Njordsk says:

    Well let’s just hope the F2P won’t be scaming us on an AoE online’s level.

    Looking forward to try it out, even though the end of the year is soo busy

    • Tams80 says:

      AOE Online’s method is awful. I saw DLC in GAME for £20 yesterday and it was only for the Greek civ! An absolute rip off.

    • IncredibleBulk92 says:

      It’s such a dumb game, you play dozens and dozens of missions to get your civilization to a level where you feel competitive and because of the way the unlock trees work your always holding either a rock, paper or scissors so you can’t really improve your game.

      I hope planetside does a better job. TF2 and LoL have done a great job of showing how free to play games can exist and still be fun for all players.

    • Kdansky says:

      Not sure if I should be delighted or appalled at how badly most F2P games try to rip their customers off. If I have to pay significantly more than 45€ for a game, it has to be silly good. Yet many of these F2P titles come it at a multiple of that easily.

    • passingstranger says:

      I think it can safely be said that Gas Powered Games missed the point of Free to Play when they’re charging $100 for six months of content.

  2. ZIGS says:

    “That FPS games “Star OL”, of almost all the players played their classic Bong.”

    Wait, you need to be high in order to play this?

    • SF Legend says:

      “which ended early in the operation of the national dress”

      As opposed to the original method of patriotic cross-dressing, yes.

    • ZIGS says:

      I say that’s a change for the better. At least lan-parties won’t be so awkward now

  3. coffeetable says:

    The original PS had a promotion going for years where you could play for free up to a certain level and with severe restrictions on vehicles/equipment. Maybe they’re just making it official now?

    • Dachannien says:

      And they stopped doing it because so many of the people playing on the free accounts were cheating.

  4. Jim Rossignol says:

    I think this could work fairly well, as long as the pricing is right. Option subs for command rank options, etc.

    • Dominic White says:

      Seconded. Let the free players be the rank and file grunts, but perhaps keep stuff like command roles and flying transport ships to paid players that can be tracked and banned if they’re griefing tossers.

    • Hallgrim says:

      A la carte pricing is a terrible thing for competitive online games. I hope there are 2 options ‘free’ and ‘sub’, not a hundred “pay $2 for an artillery strike” type things.

    • DrGonzo says:

      I would rather those roles go to those who are good and experienced, not those who are willing to pay. They rarely go hand in hand.

    • Napalm Sushi says:

      Yeah, that sounds far too much like the bad old “sale of commissions” model to me, although an experience requirement in addition to that might work out, since those willing to pay are also those likely to put the most time into the game.

    • Njordsk says:

      Only $500 to unlock everything !

      Summer sale, 3% redux, only today !

    • Quine says:

      I just had a vision of the command roles all being taken by moneyed idiots in top hats and monocles, blithely sending yet another wave of impoverished fodder under the enemy’s guns, and it was briefly glorious.

    • djbriandamage says:

      I hope it’s nothing like that Battlefield Heroes game where you could only win if you bought for-pay consumables. That was way too insert coin for me.

    • Danarchist says:

      As long as I don’t have to go broke to play the class I like I will be happy to throw a few sawbucks their way :) I’ve always enjoyed either engineer or combat medic roles in this style of game, hope I can do one of those.

  5. Mutak says:

    A testament to how awesome Planetside was: I had a very visceral reaction of anger at the mere sight of the red and grey uniforms in the screenshot. So bizarre. I don’t normally get caught up in the faction BS in games. Horde and Alliance in WoW – could not care less, but show me one of those Terran fascists or a damn Vanu nooblashers, and my blood starts pounding.

    BLUE AND GOLD FOREVER!

    I suppose it goes without saying that i am looking forward to this game.

  6. Machinations says:

    FINALLY

    EPIC SCALE SHOOTER RETURNS

    Barneys, Elmos and Smurfs prepare to DO BLOODY BATTLE

  7. mbhlin says:

    Top game goods in http://bit.ly/5jbkVf ,there can help you to play games so easy

  8. Tigersmith says:

    Lets just wait a bit guys before we get clarification on this. Should be getting some really soon fyi :) just keep a eye out on PSU.

    In the mean time how about you all resub to planetside 1 so i have more people to shoot.

    • Dachannien says:

      Also, since Smedley was talking to a Chinese website, he may have been talking about payment options in China. SOE is contracting out their service for Planetside 2 to a Chinese company called The9, and the servers will be completely separate from the ones that SOE is running directly. It’s reasonable to think that the payment options could be different as well.

    • obowersa says:

      Deal ;)

      Now. Which server are you on and who are you gunning for ? (Vanu forever!)

  9. jti says:

    All this free to play nonsense, what it really means is “pay to play properly”. P2PP

  10. Xiyng says:

    Good, good. Almost guarantees that I will be playing this. I just can’t afford a subscription right now… And probably not in a few years either.

  11. Heliocentric says:

    Sorry guys, its vanu for me, only because an amphibious armoured column is too awesome.

    • ZephyrSB says:

      Tell that to my Thunderers. Althought we do need you, Vanu never get boring to shoot at.

      (also, ph3ar my awful driving skills)

    • Saiko Kila says:

      Tactics used by the shooting guys in this video is the tactics Soviets used against German bunkers in certain fortifications. They were placing a cannon to face the strengthened door (which was a massive piece of concrete and steel) and shooting at it. About 300 times. It wasn’t very sophisticated.

  12. Kdansky says:

    Now they only need to make it Pay2Win, add Ironsights, add cover mechanics, and to top it off some melee instant kills, and we’re off to utter-shit-territory. Will gladly play some more TF2, which despite all the hattyness is still a great game where the default weapons are the most competitive ones*.

    Just sell me the bloody game for full price without any subscription, and sell purely cosmetic items on top of that. Easy sell, no enraged crowd, good money. Guild Wars should be everyone’s idol.

    *I played like 370 hours of that by now, and I have about 90% of all guns they ever released, but if I want to win against a good team, I’ll pick default Soldier or Demo. The Eviction Notice is the perfect example of how you do microtransactions without Pay2Win: 150% attack speed, -60% damage per hit. You’re essentially at 60% dps. There are border cases where this weapon is superior, but on average, it’s much worse.

    • djbriandamage says:

      Why on earth didn’t the Guild Wars pricing model take off? I was certain it would be the next big thing, but microtransactions seem to have eclipsed it.

    • Nick says:

      Whats wrong with ironsights now?

    • Dominic White says:

      Consoles invented them.

      (True story – soldiers all fired from the hip until the NES was released)

    • MrBRAD! says:

      It does have ironsights.

  13. Biscuitry says:

    There’s not much new here, actually. Most of what’s being discussed was already announced in english. I’d go into more detail, but I don’t feel right doing so without being able to cite sources, and I don’t have the links to hand.

  14. aircool says:

    I’m getting to like F2P models, but that might be because I have enough money to buy whatever I want :-p

  15. Zedo Mann says:

    Will it be on Steam with F2P?

  16. terazeal says:

    Sweet, I love free stuff. I just hope there’s no optional payment stuff like this is in so many “free” games these days. Bringing outside factors like how much money you have into a game is just poor design.

  17. Pie says:

    Just read the interview, dun have time to translate the whole thing but I can do some highlights…
    - support up to 2000 players at the same time
    - EVE-like skill tree (which we all know by now)
    - with certain skills you can modify your vehicle and make night-vision goggles
    - you learn skill SLOWER while offline, which can be boosted by paying money (Greed is good anyone?)
    - capturing different territory gives the faction different resources which gives the player different weapon, vehicle and upgrades
    - Its a F2P, they haven’t decided the details beside the one mentioned earlier, but they(the editor) stressed on F2P doesn’t have to involve selling items, and can sell contents individually instead
    - Beta will start somewhere between the end of the year and early 2012 in US
    - NO mention of release date

  18. LGM says:

    Free to play = pay to win, we all know that now. Why not just make this a real game instead of a shitty “free” game that’s not really free anyways? I was excited about this, now I will pass on it for sure. All these companies can take their F2P games which aren’t really free at all and shove them up their asses.

    • aircool says:

      F2P != PTW. I reckon there’s be a subscriber option where you get access to all content, but still pay for cosmetic items. After all, the original Planetside had a F2P element added. It restricted you to a certain level, but gave you enough skill points to specialise in one particular area. You weren’t underpowered as such, just more restricted. After several months in PS, I never really changed my skills as I always used the same gear; Cycler, Striker and Hacking skills.

      If a game was ‘Pay to Win’, I don’t think it would last very long. The best F2P models are the ones which work like an extended demo. Maybe PS2 will limit F2P players to certain skill trees, or character slots etc… If you enjoy the game enough, you might be prepared to subscribe so your character can be more flexible.

      And that’s the bottom line with a good F2P model. Being restriced and being underpowered are not the same thing.

      I never like the idea of F2P until quite recently. The game that changed my mind was Battleforge. When it went F2P, there were plenty of F2P players who would kick my arse in PvP, or perform extremely well in co-op. I may have had a load more flexibility, which was great, but in no way did I have a ‘Pay to Win’ advantage.