Everything You Need To Know About PlanetSide 2′s Beta

By Nathan Grayson on July 14th, 2012 at 12:00 pm.

Fire! If we pool our resources, maybe we can blast our way out of this tiny website image prison.

The PlanetSide 2 beta approaches. If you gaze off into the distance, you can see it lumbering our direction – largely because the more-massively-multiplayer-than-every-other-massively-multiplayer shooter looks to be bigger than Earth. SOE’s officially rolling out the red carpet in the form of a conveniently organized what-you-need-to-know list, and – as it turns out – it translates roughly to “a lot of things.” Let us slip into our most comfortable sifting gloves and have a go at it after the break.

First up, when’s it kicking off? Well, there’s still no official date for you to fantasize about, but an external tech test is slated for any second now, and not long after that, the games will begin. SOE explained:

“Our external testing will be kicking off sometime this week (to be totally clear, I mean the week of July 9th – July 15th) with the technical test that we’ve been talking a lot about. This test will let us make sure the game runs across a variety of hardware configurations and the people invited will be hand picked based on the requirements in our hardware matrix. We’re currently internally evaluating the build we expect to be used for this test and those players who have been selected will be receiving invites as soon as we’re ready.”

So that takes care of when, but how about who? Initially, PlanetSide 1 vets will be first in line. However, SOE notes that “we’re not going to be opening the floodgates by inviting all of the thousands of PlanetSide veterans on day 1, but you are still the highest priority to get invites as we expand the testing circle out.” After that, priority beta keys – ala those handed out in a recent PC Gamer competition – will be your golden ticket into SOE’s magical murder factory, with basic keys from devs or E3 unlocking shortly after.

Also, in case you had any doubts, this isn’t a glorified demo. It’s an honest-to-goodness bug-squashing beta, so expect a few hiccups along the way.

“Beta testing is a critically important part of our development cycle on this project, we may be asking you to only play on tanks for a play session, or only play aircraft. We are doing true beta testing, not just a game demo and we implore those of you who are invited to understand and respect that. Things will break, the server will be unavailable sometimes, we will cancel scheduled tests when we find something that breaks before the test starts. All of this will help us make a better final game.”

Which is good news, seeing as these things are incredibly valuable tools that have, in recent years, gotten chewed up and spat out by the marketing spin cycle. I’d be lying, however, if I said my motivations for wanting in were entirely altruistic. Say what you will about the industry’s glut of shooters, but PlanetSide 2 looks totally bonkers. Sure, the central action I’m performing is about as sophisticated as swinging from monkey bars, but I don’t mind so much seeing as I’ll be on the biggest playground ever.

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21 Comments »

  1. Xzi says:

    Wait for it. Wait. For. It.

    SQUEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE! So damn happy.

    I was actually looking forward to this beta a bit more than the Steam summer sale. Which says a lot, as I’ve already spent over $100 on that.

  2. jikavak says:

    PLANETFACE

  3. Mbaya says:

    Good to know its on the way, and nice to see they’re making an effort to treat the Beta as something more than a hype building demo, been a long time since I was involved in something more than a stress test.

    I find it can be an interesting experience in itself, frustrating at times, but when people work together to assist the developers (such as the pure tank playtest mentioned) you can not only help them iron out issues before launch, but experience scenario’s that may not ever appear in the released game.

    I still have fond memories of the original games beta, now, I wonder if my NC uniform still fits…

    • RakeShark says:

      Aye’s it’s good to see a MMO developer take the beta seriously and have planned tasks, rather than let everyone essentially play the unfinished game for free.

      • Bobzer says:

        Yeah but people forget that real beta testing is boring, menial work most of the times, repeating tasks over and over again. I expect lots of people with their sleeves rolled up, eager to go in and squash some bugs and then give up after a week because of intense lag, crashes, game breaking bugs, frequent patches and annoying testing times.

        Then you’ll have the guys who roll in for a day or two to see how the game feels and never even look at a bug submitting form.

        Either way I would wager less than 10% of the people who get keys do any actual beta testing.

  4. Crimsoneer says:

    I am so, so excited for this.

  5. marcusfell says:

    I want to play with only aircraft!

  6. MacGuffin says:

    Can not wait.

  7. Fincher says:

    Even with the warning about hiccups, I foresee much anger about beta problems and the like.

  8. Vorphalack says:

    I assume their hardware matrix is an elaborate network of GPU farms suspended in a virtual reality network to power Matt Higby. Now I just have to figure out how to get selected by the silicon hive mind…..

    • Stochastic says:

      I think what they mean is that they’re trying to cull users with PCs that span the gamut of hardware specifications. Your interpretation is far more amusing, though.

  9. rockman29 says:

    Someone offered to sell me a beta key for 16 USD. I can’t decide whether or not to go for it…

  10. lionheart says:

    Greetings, friend. Do you wish to be as happy as me? Well, you’ve got the power inside you right now. So use it. And send one planetside 2 key to

    planetside2dude@gmail.com,
    742 Evergreen Terrace,
    Auraxis,

    Don’t delay! A sense of minor satisfaction is just one Planetside 2 key away!

  11. aircool says:

    Planetside is what MMO’s should be like.

    Beware beta fatigue, it has claimed many a would be gamer.

  12. RegisteredUser says:

    Curious to see how this turns out(the final release).

  13. Brothabear says:

    Tho i hate SOE with a passion, I got my beta key activated. all to do now is wait

  14. kaffis says:

    Minor correction, Nathan — keys obtained from PCG, Twitter, and SOE Events are the same “priority level,” if you will, as veteran status. Each of the first waves of beta invites will be composed of a mix of those sources, rather than every veteran getting invited before the explicit beta keys do.

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