Next For PlanetSide: New Continent, Performance Tweaks

By Nathan Grayson on September 13th, 2012 at 9:00 am.

'A Whole New World' from Aladin is now stuck in my head. So here. Share my pain.

PlanetSide 2‘s beta is up and running (and flying and shooting and doing whatever tanks do), and it has many things. Jim, of course, has chronicled a large number of them in his characteristically handsome fashion. But, if you believe SOE’s rhetoric, that’s only the tip of the iceberg. And it’s not particularly difficult to believe, seeing as it’s getting ready to drop an entire continent on us. And then another continent after that, but probably not until much, much later. Also headed to our side of the PlanetSide planet: performance improvements, gunplay tweaks, and, well, maybe a delay – if need be. According to SOE, this one’s launching “when it’s ready, and not before.”

SOE’s John Smedley took to PlanetSide 2′s official forums to give beta players a status update. Then he pulled out a fine oaken pipe, inhaled deeply, and began an address for the ages.

“We are working hard on Esamir. It’s getting closer and closer to a finished state where we want you guys to play on it. It’s pretty awesome and very different gameplay wise than Indar. After that Amerish will go back to being worked on. These continents are taking longer than we expected and it’s possible we end up launching with two and delivering the 3rd shortly after launch. We’re working super hard but we have some resource bottlenecks. We also are going to see how the game plays with two continents before making any final decisions, so please do us a favor and don’t judge any of this before you play the game with two. Too many people knee jerk react to things. There’s no point. Just wait till Esamir is live and let’s all see how it goes.”

“We are showing with Planetside 2 a strong dedication to launching this game when it’s ready, and not before. But that also means we need you as our playerbase to understand that this is like riding a wave that we have an idea where it’s going but aren’t precisely sure. Actually, that’s kind of fun to tell you the truth. We’ve been seeing gameplay you guys are coming up with that we sure are having fun watching and being a part of.”

Performance issues also got substantial attention, with Smedley noting that both CPU and RAM are big targets right now. He added, however, that “I believe this game is always going to have higher spec requirements for a machine to really play well than most other PC games. I want to be up front about that. At some point the size and scale really does cost. But we’re getting it better every day and every patch.”

Gunplay’s also up for major changes – both in the next patch and beyond. That especially, Smedley stressed, is an ongoing process that’ll solidify as players clash and hammer it into shape. Shooting is, after all, a rather important part of first-person shooters, so SOE’s attention to detail is much appreciated.

Continent-locking and spawn changes, meanwhile, are on the table, but Smedley’s not making any guarantees just yet. “I make no promises here about what our designers are going to come up with – just that the conversations are happening. Please be patient. you can see we’re working super hard to deliver a really fun game. We’re also playing the heck out of it ourselves, and we see and feel what you see and feel.”

, , .

41 Comments »

  1. Scythe says:

    I bought into the beta a few days ago and I’ve been having a blast. It feels like an MMO BF2142, right to the core. I’m playing on a US west coast server from the east coast of Australia and I’ve not encountered any lag. Also; effective voice communication built into an MMO? Incredible!

    • Bent Wooden Spoon says:

      Playing on an EU server from Cambodia myself – have to lead the targets somewhat, but it’s not too bad. There’s definitely server side lag on the go from time to time though.

      I’m having a blast – I’d love to buy in but unfortunately it seems Sony don’t want my money due to my CC being registered in the UK and me being in Asia. More worrying is the fact there doesn’t seem to be any way at all to change your country once you’ve set it. Only info I can find about Sony accounts relates to the PS3, where once the country is set it cannot be changed at all, not even by contacting support. In that case their official suggestion is to open a new account in your new country. Currently awaiting a reply to see if this will be the case with Planetside 2, but if it is I’ll have to sadly pass – no way am I willing to lose any progress I’ve made and any Station Cash I might have bought because I crossed an imaginary line.

      I really hope it isn’t, I’m enjoying the game too much.

      • TormDK says:

        Europeans are being moved to the ProSiebenSat1 organisation anyhow.

        SOE Was one of the few MMOG Publishers that let us play where we wanted. Not so much in the future :(

        • Bent Wooden Spoon says:

          Indeed, but given how they’ll be transferring all EU accounts’ SC over after launch means the capacity is there to do it if they so choose.

          I am getting incredibly fed up with all the hoops publishers and online stores put in the way of me handing over my cash though. Have to give Valve credit, their customer support actually helped me out once even though I was technically buying from another region – I assume it’s because only an idiot would choose to buy the UK version over the Asian, at a higher base price and 20% VAT, so they know I’m not trying to game the system. Pretty much everyone else tells me to put my wallet away.

          Except for GOG and Gamersgate, who make it ridiculously easy, which means all my custom points in their direction these days.

    • derbefrier says:

      same here man. I am completely new to the Planetside Universe and i have been having a blast.

      • Cooper says:

        If anyone wants to have a blast with other friendly RPS folk, we’re organising ourselves on the forums here.

        We had a big night on Tuesday and should be heading out again soon.

  2. thereaalwillie says:

    new patch this morning to address some of the issues he was talking about in that forum, pretty decent patch. sorts the max class out anyway http://forums.station.sony.com/ps2/index.php?threads/update-notes-09-13-2012.18181/

    • Ergates_Antius says:

      •Hotspot indicators should more accurately drop players in the location they are requesting.

      Yay!!

    • Vorphalack says:

      I can’t wait for the changes to the Galaxy and Sunderer. Ground vehicle combat needs to be more prominent, and ninja capping undefended bases with half full Galaxies needs to stop (or at least be massively reduced).

      • Magnusm1 says:

        What?

      • Tomba says:

        An undefended base *should* be capped. Gives players a reason to actually defend.
        Perhaps limited by only having bases on the border between two factions capturable.

        • Vorphalack says:

          You completely misunderstand the problem with the Galaxy. Right now there really is no ground war worth mentioning (outside of large base raids) because the most effective way to gain territory is simply get a few guys in a fairly cheep, mobile spawning, hard as nails Galaxy and cruise the map avoiding fights, capping bases, and farming experience. Yes, farming. Read the dev post or the discussion further down this page to get more info on why the cheep and unrestricted Galaxy is breaking the game in its current state.

    • Magnusm1 says:

      I don’t get it. What’s the deal with “Players may no longer spawn/respawn into a MAX units.”?

      • Premium User Badge

        lasikbear says:

        From later on in the notes: “The MAX will no longer be available for respawn. Players will now access an equipment terminal to use the MAX.”

  3. Stromko says:

    I keep bouncing off the surface of PlanetSide 2. I’m not sure why. I don’t think it’s an unworthy successor to PlanetSide 1, but so far it just doesn’t feel appreciably new and interesting enough to keep me hooked for long.

    It might manage to hook me more once the whole certification system is in, what with the intriguing weapon and vehicle customization to spice things up. The core gameplay loop right now just doesn’t feel rewarding on its own.

    I’m hoping a few balancing passes will make it more enjoyable as well. Making the Reaper gunship only available to one faction would be a fine change, if only the other factions got vehicles that were a fifth as useful. The Vanu interceptor.. or whatever its role is supposed to be.. is just sad.

    • Bios Element says:

      It’s odd you wouldn’t like the Vanu’s Interceptor, Since it’s really much more pilot to drive IMO. It might just be a different style then you like, but I’ve found it quite useful for shooting down other aircraft and harassing ground forces.

    • DarkFenix says:

      Um, what? The Scythe is better than the Reaper, by quite a long way too. It’s faster than it, has a small, sleek hitbox and is a lot more maneuverable. The Reaper is supposedly more armoured and such, but who cares?

      Long story short, in a dogfight the Reaper is food for a Scythe. The only thing in the NC’s favour in the air is their incessant zerg, they almost invariably outnumber Vanu aircraft two to one.

      Hell even the Mossie can’t keep up with the Scythe’s maneuverability, any time I get an enemy flier on my tail I just find a nice big obstacle and pull an impossibly tight turn around it, other nations’ aircraft just can’t keep up.

    • Premium User Badge

      Durkonkell says:

      I’m quite fond of the TR’s vehicles in general, but I envy the Scythe. It’s just the best air superiority fighter in the game, and once you get one on your tail it’s pretty much over for you. They’ll follow you through any maneuver you can think of.

    • Andy`` says:

      What these guys said. I’ve flown all three fighters a lot and fly the Reaver most, but the Scythe has the most accurate guns, a small profile and can stop on a dime. I can fight them but if they remember what they’re actually flying all my usual tactics devolve into “run away” or “hug them with my plane”, the latter usually happening by accident.

      The Mosquito’s nicer to fly too, mainly because flying the Reaver is like flying a brick that just wants to fall out of the sky, but I think the Reaver might have a speed bug which makes it weirdly balanced against the other planes (or it used to anyway, I am unsure).

  4. ZephyrSB says:

    “doing whatever tanks do”

    Blowing up mainly. The damn things seem like they’re made of paper.

    We knew this was going to be the effect of giving the gun to the driver – toning down their survivablity to stop them being one-man rambo machines. Bit like the Lightning, which…umm…is there too.

    Thankfully, there have been whisperings of a new vehicle class, perhaps a ‘heavy tank’, returning to the separated driver and gunner model…

    • pepper says:

      I found the current heavy tanks(hover thingy for the vanu) to be pretty survivable unless your against another heavy. the double barreled quick fire tracked tank doesnt stand a chance even if it gets off the first shot.

      • ZephyrSB says:

        Well yes, you’d expect the tank that can strafe to avoid incoming fire, doesn’t need to deal with the corrugated terrain, and always keep it’s strongest armour on target to be a little more survivable :p

        If you can hit the thing though, it’s armour generally still melts.

        • DarkFenix says:

          Yeah one of the problems with the Magrider is the top armour can be hit by lucky shots from the front, still, at mid range shots should never be hitting you anyway.

          But yeah, tanks are underwhelming in their survivability. That and their role is made needless by the Galaxy right now; why fight a ground war when you can just land a Galaxy on their roof and zerg them?

    • Lev Astov says:

      If they separate the driver and gunner in a heavy tank, I’ll just have to get two accounts.

  5. Derppy says:

    They already pretty much confirmed Galaxy spawning will be a high level certification that should be available only to the most dedicated transport pilots and at no point should Galaxies be a standard spawning point again.

    They’ll also introduce a low level spawn certification to Sunderer, which should make it the primary mobile spawn point.

    This is a fantastic change, because currently Galaxies just flat out break the game. Any team can set up multiple spawnpoints anywhere in the map without trouble, so the borders of the territory become meaningless and being on the front line is an inefficient way to play. Fight over a sector is decided by which team solo flies more galaxies on the location and has engineers repairing them so they become indestructible.

    Now that a ground unit becomes the primary mobile spawn point, the battle should focus on the territory borders that slowly shift in either direction, rather than the chaotic mess it currently is. Galaxy hot drops still allow getting a bunch of units behind the enemy lines, but they can be countered with a little bit of defense and actually capturing a defended sector without ground support should be very difficult.

    • DarkFenix says:

      As nice a change as that is, you can get infinite cert points and you continue getting them even while logged out. Galaxies will still break the game, it only takes one organised clan to have one Galaxy pilot and the ground war instantly becomes entirely meaningless until all Galaxy pilots log out.

      Anything short of entirely removing Galaxy spawning will not be enough, or nerfing it so heavily it’s not an I-win button when someone does it.

      Personally I’m for the idea of nerfing in-combat repairs, ie. if repairs on a vehicle/structure that’s currently taking or recently (ie. last 5-10 seconds) taken damage go at a fraction of the speed (say, 20% or something?). So you can’t have an invincible Galaxy parked on a roof, being heal-tanked by engineers. Similarly no invincible MAX’es, tanks or turrets.

      Another proposed idea is to make Galaxy spawning finite, they get a limited number of spawns after which they need to go back and re-arm at a friendly facility. That would work too, no more infinite zerg, but something more akin to the old Gal hotdrop.

      • TormDK says:

        Well, to be fair – the current ressource Price for the Galaxy Means that a given team isn’t going to be mass spawning them, since we are capped at 750 per ressource, and the galaxy costs 400 to spawn.

        This also means that taking Down a landed Galaxy becomes top priority for the defending team – not something I would view as bad per say.

        We are seeing conflicts of maybe 20vs20 in the beta right now (I was in one such last night, good fun but a bit of a stalemate), the live game could easily feature ten times that (That was the goal as far as I recall?)

        • Asurmen says:

          To OP,I’d like a link to this comment about Galaxy spawning eventually being a cert.

          Also, a squad can atm constantly roll Galaxies. You’d have to lose them very very fast for the first person not to have the cooldown and resources back.

          Personally, I’d prefer the old PS1 idea of a limit of the number of Galaxies being in one hex. As much as people are wanting a front line, certain areas of the map really don’t support it. Also, assuming the Sunderer becomes the future ground spawn vehicle, if you lose your current one, then bringing a new one back to the front takes far too long as Indar has a lot more verticality to it than PS1. This means assaults will totally fail every time one is taken out rather than falter slightly. Also without a Galaxy back hacking becomes an impossible tactic.

          • Andy`` says:

            http://forums.station.sony.com/ps2/index.php?threads/solidifying-spawning-logistics.17169/

            “By default, Galaxies will no longer be able to deploy as spawn points, but they will still be able to deploy into equipment terminals. Note: Terminals moving to a certification/attachment is a future possibility, but at first they will be available by default

            Spawn tubes will be available for the Galaxy as a high level Galaxy cert, it will be expensive and far down the advancement tree. The thought behind this is that dedicated Gal pilots will be able to use the spawning functionality, rather than EVERY pilot. Some limitations may be implemented to keep the eventual “everyone unlocks everything” effect from making Galaxies the defacto spawn tool.”

    • dontnormally says:

      I’m not even playing this game yet and this news makes me very happy.
      This is exactly what I was hoping for.

      /PS1vet

  6. Dana says:

    “I believe this game is always going to have higher spec requirements for a machine to really play well than most other PC games.”

    I remember them saying that they want it to be playable on 5 year old computers hehe.

    • Premium User Badge

      Harlander says:

      It’s surprisingly playable on my 6-year-old PC, actually. Quite low settings, but it runs smoothly the majority of the time. The two problems that appear are:

      Occasionally it’ll freeze for several seconds. This is bad at the best of times, worse if I’m piloting something.

      Eventually it fills up the 2GB of RAM and crashes.

      • Dana says:

        Which is ? Just curious.

      • Eskatos says:

        Well I envy you, my 2 year old gaming laptop only gets a playable framerate inside buildings, and when more than a few other people show up framerate drops into the single digits.

    • SominiTheCommenter says:

      I play in my 2-years-old laptop, with low settings, but it’s playable.

    • Cooper says:

      There’s some real CPU limiting problems and frame rate issues and stuttering going on.

      THing is, their response is fantastic.

      LAst MMO beta I was in was APB: Reloaded. That game was (and still is_ plagued by stuttering and poor performance on even new, beefy machines. We spent ages reporting, collecting data and constructing massive threads with solutions / work arounds. Not once did the GamersFirst devs even publicly recognise the problem or do anything to solve it.

      PS2 has constantly been getting dev input, acknowledgement of the problem and each new patch seems to reduce the numebr of people suffering stuttering or major FPS problems considerably. It’s not there yet, but the strides have been amazing to see.

  7. Surgeon says:

    The whole tech test to beta development process, with the interaction from all the dev’s and the constantly morphing game mechanics, has been absolutely amazing.

    That is how to run a beta.

  8. Alenthas says:

    I’m constantly getting errors and disconnection after this patch.

  9. Kollega says:

    Rolling. I think what tanks do is rolling, Mr. Grayson.

  10. Rahabib says:

    It seems everyone has beta access but me :( anyone need into firefall or dust514?