SOE Revise Planetside 2 “Membership” Benefits

By Jim Rossignol on October 3rd, 2012 at 9:00 pm.

PC games are all about explosions.
By membership, of course, they mean subscription. While Planetside 2 will be completely free to play, a subscription confers a number of benefit. In response to the beta feedback the $15 a month sub will now confer: “25-50% increased resource gain, 25-50% increased XP gain, 25-50% increased passive cert point gain.” Each of these “start at 25% and increase by 5% per month of sustained membership up to a total bonus of 50% each at 6+ months membership.” Then there’s a priority login queue for subs, early Access to new cosmetic items on the store and 500 StationCash each month. Personally I suspect I will be paying for one of these for at least the first few months.

Meanwhile, I’ve been playing a bit in the beta, and feel that this remains one of the most exciting games out there right now. I will have some more thoughts on the progress of that beta a little later in the week. Our community is getting organised in this thread. Join us!

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38 Comments »

  1. povu says:

    What were the original membership benefits like?

    • DarkFenix says:

      They previously had an increase on resource cap instead of the 500 Station cash per month. Pretty sure that’s about it, they deemed the higher resource cap a bit too much of an advantage.

    • dontnormally says:

      They removed passive gain for free players.
      People freaked out.
      The real story here is that they’re going to add that back in.

  2. fish99 says:

    Obvious question but what are the benefits of 25-50% increased resource gain, because that does kinda sound a bit pay-to-win.

    Also if they’re going to have subs I’d like to see a second lower tier with less benefit but costing less.

    • DarkFenix says:

      Vehicles and most types of infantry-grade explosives (C4, frag grenades, mines etc.) cost resources, of which there are three types. You gain resources over time to a fairly low cap (750 of each type, while the cost of an MBT for example is 300), so gaining resources faster is more a safety zone against failure than a battlefield advantage. Faster resource gain gives you the leeway to keep pulling vehicles if you have a bad run and lose two or three in succession.

      • Mr. Mister says:

        So it’s not pay-to-win, but pay-to-loose-less? Because chances of not dying are higher if you can have a grenade over its abscence.

        • DarkFenix says:

          You can stock up on grenades above what you can carry, rather than buying them when you need them. So a lack of resources will never mean you can’t have basics like frag grenades unless you’ve had a serious day’s infantry combat. The spending is divided quite well between the resource types, the one for bare essentials isn’t spent a lot, its only common use is in fact frag grenades. The resources you’ll run out of tend to be the others, which pull vehicles (which are completely optional) and ‘luxuries’ like C4 or mines (which can again be stocked so you don’t run out at a bad time).

          • fish99 says:

            If one faction had a much higher number of subs than another, wouldn’t that mean they could deploy significantly more vehicles in a set time period? I realize it’s not very likely to happen, and I realize resources are also controlled by how many facilities you hold, but still it could be an potentially unbalancing factor.

          • Vorphalack says:

            ”If one faction had a much higher number of subs than another, wouldn’t that mean they could deploy significantly more vehicles in a set time period?”

            No, because there is a cool down on individual vehicle spawns. I can count on the fingers of one hand the number of times i’ve held onto a tank long enough to pass the cool down point, and by then i’ve gained enough resources to just spawn a new one anyway. Unless they reduced or removed the spawn cool down for subscribers you wont see much difference between a sub player and a free player.

          • fish99 says:

            Fair enough.

          • soldant says:

            With that said, you can invest points into vehicles so that you eliminate the cooldown timer entirely. It’s expensive to achieve though. Alternatively you could invest part-way through that line to reduce it by a few minutes or so. Either way you can be countered. I haven’t found it to be a significant issue on the server I play on, where the TR own pretty much everything because they crusade every 5 minutes.

        • Sidion says:

          It’s not pay2win as much as it’s paying to get things ahead of the free players. Weapons are also unlocked using station cash or Auraxium (A resource in the game). This wouldn’t be so bad if the unlocks truly were side-grades, that isn’t the case though. Starting out as a heavy assault (Anti-vehicle class) you get a dumb-fire rocket launcher. This is far worse than the SKEP launcher which costs something like 7800 auraxium (Which will take a nice long while to grind out). Not only can the SKEP lock onto ground vehicles, it can also dumb-fire making it an upgrade from the basic launcher.

          Then you’ve got the air-to-air missles and rocket pods on the mosquito/reaver/scythe which take something like 12k auraxium to unlock.

          It’s almost identical to BF3′s unlock system truthfully, except it’s not earned through use of a specific weapon/kit but rather through grinding out in the locations that offer auraxium.

          And that’s all on top of the slower gain in resources that let you pull vehicles, buy grenades/c4/mines, and use spawn beacons.

          If they don’t fix it I don’t see some player joining 7 or 8 months after release and being able to hold their own without getting lucky and getting the drop on the enemy or having superior numbers.

          • Asurmen says:

            Not really true. Those two examples of the launcher and secondary weapons on the fighters are pretty much the only examples of actual upgrades rather than sidegrades and they’ve previously said they need to fix that so I’m not expecting them to remain like that during beta.

          • MrUnimport says:

            Just to be clear, your Auraxium income depends on the facilities that your faction holds at that moment. The major tech labs and bio labs and amp stations, which show up blue on this map, (http://img827.imageshack.us/img827/2928/qiuhl.png) all offer 10 Auraxium per deposit interval, which IIRC is around a couple of minutes or so. You don’t have to be personally present to “grind it out” in these locations, but you do need to be logged in while your faction holds those territories to reap the rewards of ownership.

            The fact that Auraxium is the only really significant resource takes a bit of the importance out of the other territories but it does tend to concentrate the fight a little bit. It also makes it a bit strange when your squad leader decides he’d rather push deep into NC territory and try to threaten Tawrich with only twelve people, instead of shoring up Dahaka and Saurva against the relentless Vanu advance.

  3. studenteternal says:

    Man, I wish my beta application would be approved for this, you guys make it sound like a lot of fun.

  4. Mark says:

    Been playing in the beta too, it’s still changing a lot and lots of things aren’t in yet (dozens and dozens of unlockable weapons, certs etc) and balance is being played with a lot too (this is a good sign, they’re open minded and are happy to fiddle with things).

    I have a feeling it’s going to be really big actually.

    Hopefully the game will be less confusing for new players by release though, there’s still a lot of stuff I don’t understand (I work a lot and would rather spend time pew pewing than reading forum posts.)

  5. int says:

    Oh I didn’t know about that thread. Sounds fun.

  6. Phantoon says:

    I’m not gonna touch it again until they give TR some love. I suspected I was blowing the Vanu weapons and vehicles out of proportion, so I made a Vanu on another server.

    Jesus christ. How can anyone possibly think Vanu is fair? I took on three tanks in a Magrider, got out and sniped ten people who were so far away they were hardly visible against the terrain.

    At least once I get missile pods on my Mosquitos, those Scythes won’t be an issue, but the base weapon is so lackluster.

    • Smarag says:

      You are telling me that a closed beta is imbalanced? Holy shit, hold your horses gentlemen.

    • DarkFenix says:

      Ok the Magrider? I get that, it’s inherently imbalanced because it can strafe and hovering means it’s rather more stable on bad terrain. The Vanguard does have a shield now though, so it’s only the Prowler that remains a joke.

      Sniping though? What? The VS rifle is well known to be a massive joke (unless you use it point blank ironically), mainly because it’s a sniper rifle that suffers crippling damage falloff at long range, those ten people must have stood very still for a very long time. Give me a Bolt Driver over that thing any day.

      When dismissing the TR for VS you must have missed how damn good the TR’s AI MAX is, or how much better the TR’s basic infantry weaponry is. All sides have their problems, finding fault with only one like that speaks of enormous confirmation bias.

      • Crimsoneer says:

        This is a pretty good summary of Vanu sniping:

      • Phantoon says:

        And I play TR. The Prowler being a joke is the issue. Vanguard being fine against it does not help me. I am not going to go run into NC bases and attempt to steal a Vanguard just so I can shoot Vanu. A Magrider can outrun my Flash if I try to harry one and I’m on relatively open terrain.

        And I thought NC needed a buff prior to this last big patch. Their guns just couldn’t take us or Vanu in any fair firefight. Then they got it, and our guns feel the weakest, because nothing changed for us, other than Vanu got another buff. And the crippling damage fall off? Sure, if you think not being able to one shot everyone you play point a click adventure game against isn’t balanced. Sometimes you have to use the parrot twice.

        And I did not say I was not going to touch it ever again, or that I was surprised at this from a beta. I said I wasn’t touching it until they fixed it, which I am sure they will do. (To the above poster, don’t feel like making a second post) But I’m tired of having tanks that cannot stand up to anything until I get auraxium, so until they do something for the Prowler, or they release the game so I can get Skyguard on the Lightning, it’s a waste of time to play, because I will never ever be able to take on another tank in the prowler, and my lightning will not do any damage with direct hits on anything. The Heat is just too versatile to the point where it doesn’t kill things.

        Also, our Max may be quite beefy, it’s a Max. It being able to take a punch more fits our playstyle- if you’re using the Vanu Max as a front line battering ram, you’re playing Vanu wrong anyways. It’s best as a supporting fire platform, which when used in that way, is utterly devastating. Makes sense the Vanu Max would be more team friendly when they have the biggest reason to grab vehicles for support (and do, constantly). In fact, the hive mind-ness of the Vanu is in their background story for the game.

        I’m willing to give the devs a chance on this, they seem to know what they’re doing- but it’d make more sense if they were testing certs to ALSO test weapons. Would’ve removed my complaints as we would’ve been able to get Skyguard and other essentials in my group.

        • Ergates_Antius says:

          Simple fact about PS[1&2]. Every side things the other 2 sides are unbalanced.

  7. Brise Bonbons says:

    That scaling benefit for maintained subscriptions sounds real frustrating. Seems much better to give people nice trinkets for being loyal to your game (like Arena Net does with the first Guild Wars through character birthday presents) rather than punishing people who decide they (god forbid) want to play another game for a while.

    Other than that, these bonuses seem inoffensive. That said, were I interested in the game (I’m just not excited for shooters right now), I think the scaling bonus would turn me off subscribing. It just feels coercive and leaves a bad taste in my mouth, and isn’t something I’d feel good giving my money/approval to.

    I dunnow, this is one of those frustrating situations where I am aggressively disinterested in a product which everyone else is declaring important and wonderful – leaving me feeling compelled to experience said product, while resenting it for not being something I’m actually interested in. Stupid psychology.

    • Xzi says:

      In that case I guess it’s a good thing you can just try it for free and experience what the game is like without a sub for yourself, eh? Uninstall an hour later if it’s no good for you. No harm no foul.

      So far I’m having a blast in the beta. PS2 is first and foremost an FPS though, so if you don’t like the genre to begin with, it may not be your type of game.

  8. Skabooga says:

    Oh, I’ll happily join you, just it seems to be taking SOE a bit of time to notice me slamming on the glass doors of their headquarters and let me in. Maybe those approaching police officers can help me with this . . .

  9. Dominic White says:

    And just to put things in perspective, there WERE no free players in the original Planetside. You wanted to play at all, you had to buy the boxed game and then the subscription each month.

    With PS2, you can skip the box entirely, and the subscription is optional too, if you don’t mind waiting longer to play with the really big toys. Yes, the free players might be at a slight resources disadvantage individually, but they’ll also likely be outnumbering the paid players five to one.

    And when it comes down to it, just let this salve any wounds you may feel from paying players getting more: You’re getting Planetside 2 for the princely sum of $0.

    • MrUnimport says:

      Something that still surprises me about the F2P paradigm is that free players are still considered the baseline around which the game should be balanced. In a world where people happily pony up fifteen smackers for map DLC, you’d think by now that developers would have convinced people to think of themselves as F2Pers as second-class citizens with the opportunity to buy into the “real” class of player at any time they choose, receiving “ordinary”, “baseline” benefits. Such a redefinition would make players a lot happier with power imbalances, viewing the free experience as something of a “live trial”.

  10. Sardaukar says:

    That 500 stationcash thing is a pretty huge deal, to be honest. If you were planning on throwing money at the game anyways for weapon unlocks and such- and I certainly was- this is like a 33% discount on the sub.

  11. razgon says:

    Sadly Jim, you won’t be able to get the 500 stationcash, since the european playerbase has been sold to ProSieben and as such, you’ll get something…from them that as of yet is unannounced.

    Its not possible as European to be with SOE in the future on any of their games.

    Actually, I dont understand why RPS dont run with this story at all. Prosieben is the devil! They let hired help from forums handle credit card information and thats just the tip of the iceberg.

  12. smg77 says:

    I would play this game in a heartbeat if *any* other company was developing it. I just can’t justify giving any money to SOE.

    • SAM-site says:

      There’s a story here.

    • Ergates_Antius says:

      How about “They’re giving me something I want in return”? Sounds like a pretty good justification to me.

    • Sardaukar says:

      I’m curious about the ire SOE draws; There was the SWG debacle, but from what I know of that they weren’t entirely to blame. Otherwise, they just seem to make generally average (most of their selection) or niche (PLANETSIDE!) MMOs, and then they keep them running far beyond any human expectation. Seems like a good thing.