PlanetSide 2, EQ Next, And SOE’s Player-Driven Future

By Nathan Grayson on October 13th, 2012 at 2:00 pm.

I’m beginning to think gaming industry people don’t actually know what the word “dead” means. Back in my day, it was a pretty final thing – oftentimes even considered fatal. Now, though, if something doesn’t have all eyes on it, it’s apparently dead and gone forever. Just ask adventure games and, oh right, that whole “entirety of PC gaming” thing. And now, with the era of WoW’s incomparable dominion drawing to a close, MMOs seem to be getting the same treatment. But that’s a knee-jerk reaction. Nothing’s six feet under just yet. The writing is, however, on the wall, and its message is quite clear: change or lose your audience to boredom’s creeping clutches. But how? Well, if you ask SOE president John Smedley, it’s time to stop railroading players and start letting them live their virtual lives as they see fit. I know because I did, er, ask him. I also asked him about replicating the success of EVE Online, PlanetSide 2‘s eventual planet-based metagame, EverQuest Next‘s new incredibly player-driven reboot, and tons more.

RPS: One of the major trends that’s emerged in triple-A gaming over the years is this move towards presenting games as these flawless, perfectly wrapped packages. Publishers just advertising their game and not really engaging the audience beyond that. Meanwhile, with PlanetSide 2, you seem very willing to acknowledge that your game has flaws and that you’re going to work on them. Is it – at least, in part – about presenting a more human image, basically? Saying, “We’re people too. We play the game. We’re not just this gigantic soulless entity.”

John Smedley: It’s something that we’ve wanted to do for a while. We’re evolving the rest of our games to do exactly the same thing. More openness. More forums like Reddit. Not just sitting on our forums, because people don’t like it when we have to moderate our forums. It bothers some people. So, OK great, I’m happy to go on to Reddit. I’m happy to get cussed out on Reddit. If people want to bitch at me on Twitter, go for it. I’m fine with that.

But the key thing is the one-to-one interaction with people. On Twitter I get a lot of feedback, good and bad. What I’m finding is that even the bad stuff, if I just respond and say, “Yeah, I agree, that sucks,”  it makes people go, “Oh, so you see what I’m talking about. Okay, I get it.” It makes a difference to them. It makes them understand that we’re trying to make a fun game. We’re not trying to dictate from on high how something is going to be. We’ve got our ideas, but ultimately they’re the ones that decide if the game is any good. They pay the bills. We want to interact with them.

I look at a game like EverQuest, 13 years later it’s… Who knew it would last that long? Getting that involvement from the community, having them say, “We like this, we don’t like this,” and having us be able to say, “Yeah, we agree” or “Here’s why I don’t agree with that. Think about this,” that’s crucial.

With PlanetSide 2 we’re even taking that to the monetization element. Matt Higby put up, “Here’s our ideas for what we’re going to charge, what we wanted to have as a subscription for this as an option.” It was amazing, the feedback we got. It was loud and vocal. We made material changes to the plan based on what people said. Five years ago we would have just put that package out there and we would have gotten complaints about it. This time we were able to react before we announced it. It’s a different world. I like it much better this way.

RPS: I feel like one of the reasons that, for a while, that wasn’t the conventional thing to do is because developers were afraid of giving potential customers the wrong impression. “Oh, if we introduce our game to players in this state, they’ll assume that it’s not good. That it’s broken.” For you, is it just a matter of assuming that your players are intelligent? That they’ll get what you’re ultimately trying to do?

John Smedley: “Smarter than we are” would be the way that I would put it. What I’m astounded by is, people will come up with solutions to problems and we won’t. Before, where we would have handed that down from on high, now it’s easier to simply say, “Oh, that’s a really good idea. We’re gonna use that. Love it.” They find solutions to things that are far smarter than some of the things we can do. We’re embracing that.

I feel like we’re the engine and the users now have the steering wheel in their hands. To me, that’s a much better place to be than the other way around. It’s our ideas originally, but at some point you put it out there and say, “OK, here are our ideas for the game. This is where we want to go. What do you think?” Next week, at SOE Live, we’re talking about the future of PlanetSide 2. Even though the game isn’t launched yet, we’re going to be talking about what we’re doing with it. We want our players to say “We like that” or “We hate that,” and if they hate it we’ll change it and do something else.

RPS: That seems to be the trend with more systemic MMOs like that. Similar to EVE, where a lot of what ends up going into the game is shaped by the players. Is there where SOE’s hoping MMOs are headed? To the point of shedding off archaic, grindy quests in favor of dynamic worlds? I mean, I see a bit of EVE in PlanetSide’s structure, but what about in, say, EverQuest Next? 

John Smedley: We are, as a company, embracing that. I don’t talk a lot about EverQuest Next because we’re not ready to yet, but I will say that you’re going to see that times 20 in the next EverQuest. We’re embracing that. That’s the whole game. It’s going to be a very, very different game than the original EverQuest or any other MMO ever made. In fact, we rebooted it. This is the third reboot of it. Users saw the first iteration… We trashed it. We said, “This is just too similar to other games.” Then we did another iteration, and we said, “This is better,” but we trashed that too. This time it stuck, because everybody in the company said, “Oh, yes, we want that.”

RPS: It certainly seems like a “now or never” type of situation. I mean, games like The Secret World, The Old Republic, and even Tera were all pretty good, but people left in droves as soon as they fell back into a predictable WoW-style rhythm. Do you think players are simply burnt-out on that kind of thing?

John Smedley: I do. In fact, every one of the games you mentioned I would consider a high-quality game, and yet… Players just eat through the content and say, “OK, I’m done. Thank you! Next?” Then they go play League of Legends or they go play DOTA or they go play some kind of a game that has emergent gameplay. Because what do you do when you’ve leveled to the max in Mists of Pandaria? What do you do?

Now, it’s funny. My kids and me, we went back to Pandaria immediately. I was telling [WoW lead] J Allen Brack just a few minutes ago, “Hey, they loved it.” And then they’ll be finished with it and they’ll be waiting for the next WoW expansion. It doesn’t mean they’re not going to log in a lot to play WoW, but it does mean that during that time in between, they’re doing other stuff too. That’s the change. That’s why free-to-play matters.

RPS: But designing MMOs like that – hitting that sweet spot between giving players something to do that you created and letting them make their own fun. Speaking in as eloquent of terms as possible, that sounds hard.

John Smedley: It is hard.

RPS: EVE had lightning strike many years before everyone else caught on to it. But very few other games have replicated that type of world, where the players are all about it. They live in it. Players care hugely about each other outside of it. It has its own thriving economy. Things like that.

John Smedley: I think that’s right. That’s actually the space we’re moving our entire company into. The whole company. PlanetSide 2, we did that because we love the game. We also did it because we want a game where the content that we’re making is things like, “Hey, here’s a new style of gameplay. Here’s a new gun. Here’s player bases.”

It’s not just “Kill ten rats, repeat.” The days where you can just make kill-ten-rats stuff and not have the emergent side of things, those days are gone. Here’s The Secret World. SWTOR. Tera. Look at how much money they spent on The Old Republic. It’s a brilliant game… with the wrong business model. That’s the key difference here now. Free-to-play games tend to do this, and then they just keep going. We think that’s why it’s the future.

RPS: One of the major problems all those games have had is keeping people interested over time. The philosophy a lot of them have adopted is frequent new content. New missions every month and things like that. But it still runs out eventually.

John Smedley: It runs out immediately. You put out a new patch with The Old Republic content, and the same week that it’s out, the players have played it all. What do you do after that? That’s why you spend time on battlegrounds. That’s why the job WoW has done, I think, has been brilliant. They focused on stuff like battlegrounds. The pet battle system. Those are smart decisions that they make, because they know that players are going to eat through the content in hours, literally hours.

RPS: SOE’s Player Studio seems like an extension of that to me. Let players make their own new content. How far do you hope to expand that, though? Right now it’s just objects in games like EverQuest and eventually PlanetSide. Would you ever like to see players creating their own missions and gametypes, though?

John Smedley: Stay tuned. The answer is yes, wholeheartedly. We have plans for that that go out a long way, and a game that is going to dominate because of that kind of stuff.

It’s not just players making quests. Don’t think of it just as Dungeons & Dragons. What we’re actually building is the ability for players to put in systems. System-level stuff. We give them some rules, some basic simple rules, and they can make things out of whole cloth. They could build their own battlegrounds style of gameplay. That’s what we want. What we have is an amazing infrastructure and ability to let players do new and emerging things.

We want them to… Not make their own fun. We’re going to make our games amazingly fun. We want them to be able to make things we didn’t think of fun. That’s really what it is. I mentioned Hulkageddon, I love that in EVE. That’s just players putting bounties on something. It’s nothing. That’s all it is. But that’s as fun as anything in EVE. More fun if you ask me. It’s amazingly fun.

RPS: So, that in mind, where’s PlanetSide 2 headed after you finish laying the groundwork? I mean, based on the fact that you recently dropped a whole continent with its own set of rules on players, the game seems more or less built for large-scale expansion.

John Smedley: We have jungle fighting coming in. It won’t be the next continent. It’ll probably be the one after that. It’s planned because we’re still building it and we’re not sure if it’s going to be fun. These ideas are in our heads. We’re going to try it and see what the users think. We have Amerish coming online next. We’ll be talking about that probably next week at SOE Live. We may even give a sneak peek out.

Each of the continents, we want them to play differently. We really want it to be meaningfully different. We want it to be where people can decide for themselves, “I like this style of base capture,” or “I want more open environments because I want tank battles, I suck at infantry.” Stuff like that. We want it to be a meaningfully different place, not just a cold place. The original PlanetSide was more like that. We want this to be different.

Our plan is very simple. It’s continent, continent, continent, planet. We’ll add continents to a planet until we’re done with that planet. Then we’ll make another planet. We don’t want there to be the Scottish highlands on every single planet. We want them to be really different, meaningfully different. Some of those places will have continents that are empty, that players can build bases on. All of them have resources.

We’ll make really super-rare resources, where if you’re on this planet and you’re fighting. This is a great example of emergent gameplay. “Here’s what we’re giving you. It’s a map. It’s empty. It’s got resources on it. GO!” They’ll build bases on it, and they’ll have to defend those bases, 24 hours a day. If people blow them up while they’re offline, tough shit. That’s what we want. We’ll see how it works.

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46 Comments »

  1. BarneyL says:

    Sadly I’m finding Planetside 2 immensely tedious right now. It once in the while creaes a great and memorable moment but for every one of those there are hundreds of “I fell over dead never knowing where I was being shot from”, “My own team ran me over” or “I got the jump on someone but they killed me before I could even get through their shield”.
    All these future plans for new continents are great but as of now it’s a game of throwing bodies at each other without any real purpose.

    • Mattressi says:

      It’s still a closed beta, though. They’re clearly all about working on the mechanics, not just adding new things over the top of broken things, which is great. The beta really does seem to be a proper beta, where they will happily change core game mechanics if need-be. I know what you mean though – started to get a little bored with it, especially since it would take me ages to unlock things, then they’d be wiped (I’m not saying that’s bad – I knew it would happen). For now, I’m going to wait a little before getting back into it. Possibly before it’s out of closed beta and definitely once they have said there won’t be any more stat-wipes. It’s weird to be excited about a game that you’ve already played so much – I’m actually excited about the future of it!

      • Phantoon says:

        Yeah, the stat wipes are keeping me from playing it. My Mosquito needs those missile pods, but weapons get wiped with the certs.

    • Megakoresh says:

      The game has heaps of annoying mechanics. That’s in addition to it’s really quite boring upgrading system, whereas most of the stuff are improvements. They just make you better and more powerful. There is little actual choice and that choice costs so incredibly much that you have no way in a million years to get the stuff without real money.

      The annoying mechanics include for me: Friendly fire, friendly vehicle runover, AWFUL flight controls, the vehicle timers are just plain bad. I can understand times on Sunderers, heavy tanks, galaxies or Liberators, but Flash or Scythe should cost less and have a max of 1 minute cooldown. Right now you need to wait 2m30s to spawn a Quadro. Yep. 2-and-a-half minute wait for a QUADRO.

      I dunno why all this is in there. I certainly agree with the fact that PS2 is tedious. A lot of it’s mechanics make no sense, they are annoying and infuriating as well as illogical. I am trying to find a way to enjoy the game, but so far without success.

      • Mattressi says:

        I like the vehicle timers – it means that you have to play more tactically with your vehicle and try not to die; rather than kamikazeing in, respawning and quickly getting back to the fight. It also means that when you’re defending something, you have a reason to destroy enemy vehicles, since it will take them out of the fight for a little while. No vehicle timer means they get back very quickly – you’d be better off just ignoring support vehicles and only taking out vehicles which are actively capping/destroying something.

        I’d actually like to see a longer timer on vehicles, while making vehicles more potent. As of when I left, Reavers were really just scouting vehicles. The default MG did little damage and the rockets weren’t much better. I’d love to see vehicles as truly deadly machines, that when taken out of action, it feels like a real accomplishment, since you know they are gone for a while.

        I do agree that the upgrades for many things are true upgrades, rather than sidegrades. Hopefully they’ll fix that up. I like friendly fire, though I wouldn’t hate to see it go.

        • Megakoresh says:

          As I said: don’t mind timers on important vehciles, but timers on Flash and Scythe are ridiculous. Especially Flash. Far as I am concerned Flashes should have have half a minute unupgraded timer, but considering the upgrades I would be alright with 1 minute. But not more.

          • soldant says:

            I agree with the Flash. It’s infuriating to get stuck without transport and waiting for the timer to cool down. Personal transport shouldn’t have a timer.

          • JohnnyMaverik says:

            Could not agree more. I’m in an outfit with some of my clan (77y, Mount & Blade NW regiment, our PS2 outfit is the 77th VEF (Vanu)) and one of my biggest gripes is you die, can’t re-spawn directly back into the action with your outfit or squad, and can get any decent transport to get you back into the fight quickly. I always end up having to do dumb things, like spawn a Sunderer just for me, or a Magrider even though we’re only playing in a small squad and are trying to cap as many points under the radar as quickly as possible, so me or others turning up in a heavy, highly visible pieces of armour isn’t really helping much, but nor would be waiting 15 minutes for somebody to run across 1500m from the nearest spawn point.

            It wasn’t so bad before the last character wipe because we had a few people capable or using spawn beacons, but now it happens all the time since we have none capable of using spawn beacons. Admittedly that’s a childish thing to complain about, Beta is Beta and things have to be reset, and you can’t of course just having people spawn where ever they want right away, but ultimately there will be people looking to play together in small outfits or squads all the time, both now and post-launch, and these issues are merely frustrating. The Flash is the one way to get back into the action relatively quick, staying covert and with out unbalancing too much since people sill have to travel and are very vulnerable while doing so, and it’s silly that the cool down is as long as it is.

            I can imagine come launch day a lot of people are going to be very turned off by how limited they are compared to people just 6 or 7 ranks higher than them.

        • Machinations says:

          Without friendly fire, any manshooter game becomes an AoE spam fest. Easy to clear buildings when you can just drop high explosive rounds directly on top of your point infantryman.

          So, dropping friendly fire would be a huge mistake. I wouldn’t play a game of this kind without friendly fire.

          • FRIENDLYUNIT says:

            Sure, agreed, but for me the problem is actually Free to Play + Friendly Fire. That’s a bad combo.

            (To be honest there isnt a heap of AoE in… yet.)

            …I’d have been happier if they hadnt gone FtP. I, like many more than SOE think, I’m sure, would have happily paid monies for this game, and possibly still will.

      • Jim Rossignol says:

        Friendly fire is crucial to this working.

        My feeling is that Planetside 2 will not gel until people can build their characters and their tactics. It’s not really going to be rewarding until you have organised outfits taking each other on, as you did in the opening months of the original.

        • Quinnbeast says:

          Yeah, there’s not too much point trying judge longevity of the game until it’s up for official release. I know a few old hands that are only dipping into the beta on occasion just to see how the changes are going, but aren’t going to be putting the hours in until a lot of the character/upgrade elements are finalised. The beta was always going to be limited in scope and features, and subject to frequent overhauls. To get the most from it, getting into a outfit (lycra?) that suits you will be paramount.

          If they can iron out the clunky bits in due course, it still has scope to be a blinder.

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          Napalm Sushi says:

          It’s crucial to realise that in Planetside 2, rather than being John McClane or Legolas, you’re one of the guys chasing Tom Hanks up the beach in Saving Private Ryan or being pinned by the sniper in Full Metal Jacket.

          If that sounds like a bum deal, recall what happened in those scenarios after those guys rallied and got their collective shit in gear.

          • TomEllinson says:

            I agree wholeheartedly. The big problem our outfit has had with all these new non-PS1 vets is the influx of RAMBO players. Planetside 2 isn’t a match based shooter that’s all about your kill streaks and personal achievements, though it does keep track of those. It’s a game about armies facing armies. It’s about cooperation. It’s about winning glory and victory for your faction, not your self. It’s truly a Massive MULTIPLAYER game. It’s about working together, not pissing around trying to be the lone wolf super soldier you are in most games.

            I’m actually kind of excited to see what sort of features they implement to get people to work together.

    • MadMatty says:

      Well if you didn´t see where you got shot from, you didn´t check your surroundings well enough.
      As for getting driven over by the team, its because theyre a bunch of yobs, innit.
      And the next complaint, is also about you not getting through the shields.
      Is this “i am not good at this game, therefore it sucks” ?

      Sure, the metagame is a bit slight at the moment, but im having great fun with the massive combat.

      Got 3 knife kills in a row about a week ago, finishing my 7-kill infantry kill streak. Bet they were up complaining at some forum.

  2. Wodge says:

    All of this is completely irrelevant simply because SOE is offloading it’s European games onto ProSiebenSat.1, who are even worse than when UbiSoft took over EverQuest 1. Non existent Customer Service, delayed patches, laggy servers and the amazing ability to piss off the players more than SOE did.

    I subscribed to EQ1 for 5 years and EQ2 for three, and I watched them take a good game, and dilute it to yet another WoW clone, luckily for us, they didn’t remove the features that were already setting it apart from Blizzard’s behemoth.

    • Gurrah says:

      Indeed, even though I’m not that impressed by the PS2-beta I was looking forward to playing the odd game now and again – but when they announced their founders-programme and the asterisked hint that the European servers would be maintained by ProSiebenSat1 sat at the bottom of the page my interest dropped below zero. That’s a company that isn’t getting a single cent from me.

      • TormDK says:

        I would suggest that you read up on the offering before making harsh decisions.

        SOE has noted that server hardware for instance will be identical, plus we can play on the US servers should we chose. We are (much to my surprise, I was up in arms about it initially as well) not being region locked.

        Some worthwhile reading ; http://www.planetside-universe.com/showthread.php?postid=811417

  3. Premium User Badge

    Arathain says:

    There’s a lot to this. I remember a turning point in the way the City of Heroes development team approached supporting the game; they started to focus more on the things players said they wanted. They took ideas about features and balance from the forums, and cultivated their more savvy and intelligent fans to keep an eye on things. They were still a great team able to come up with their own ideas, and there were some excellent little “I didn’t know I wanted that but I’m delighted to have it” moments.

    As a result, it wasn’t just that the game kept getting better, and the community also felt more involved and invested. It’s not an easy course to plot, but the payoffs are big.

  4. Unaco says:

    The RPSRTSEUNCPS2 squad have been having great fun in PlanetSide2. Last 2 Fridays we’ve had “organised” sessions of an evening, got together in mumble and in the game, and done our part… For Freedom! We had 14-15 people last night, even though XCOM/Dishonored dropped this week… and Outfit invites seemed to be broken. Rocket Ridge was a highlight, and the whole Palisade defence and counter-attack was brilliant fun. And dear Allah! All of those tanks at Rashnu!

    The game really, really shines when you get some people together and start working together, have someone (Strang and Waffly) organising people, throwing down the waypoints, coordinating etc. It’s a terrific game just now, and only seems to be getting better (except for the optimisations/performance… some people are finding that’s going backwards). Really looking forward to how it’ll turnout, how it’ll evolve etc.

    Come join us, if you love Freedom!! http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/forums/showthread.php?6145-Freedom-Fridays-Planetside-2-NC-outfit-nights

    • mentor07825 says:

      Dirka dirka dirka. Cliff jumping in tanks was also a beautiful moment.

  5. meloncrab says:

    Oh wow, how did they manage to talk about player driven MMOs without mentioning Star Wars Galaxies even once?

    • Machinations says:

      I’m impressed that someone interviewed Smedley without having their soul consumed.

      Or being thrown into space. Consider yourself lucky, mortal!

  6. Arglebargle says:

    He seemed kinda smarmy to me. Hope it works out though. At least Sony doesn’t kill it’s games, like some.

    The ‘player input’ thing could be good, I guess. But go to other sites, especially MMO ones, and the amount of unrealistic suggestion and stoopid palavar is astounding. Hope they manage to have systems in place to deal with the abusive munchkins’ powerleveling designs.

  7. Premium User Badge

    Lacero says:

    I played PS2 a bit and I don’t really get it.

    The comment at the top about it being throwing bodies at each other seems pretty accurate.
    Also, is there a way to get to the front line quickly? When I log in I have to redeploy several times to get near the battle.

    • MadMatty says:

      Yes it is true, i do see you guys repeadately throwing bodies at me. But since theyre worth 100 XP per. person bagged, im not complaining.

      Just keep feeding me!

      Yours Sincerely, Matty

    • Kenny007 says:

      @Lacero: There are plenty of ways to get back to the front. Initially, upon logging in, the fast way to the front is just using Instant Action on the map (Clicking a hotspot and deploying). This should get you within the general vicinity of a fight (though hotspots are a bit finicky at the moment, sometimes triggering when nothing is really going on).

      Once you’re AT the fight, staying in the fight is ridiculously easy. Upon death, it is not unheard of to have 5+ potential spawn points, various bases and outposts and sunderers and squad beacons, so once you get in the area, it’s pretty hard to be ejected, almost too hard.

      Alternatively, if you’d rather get to the battle yourself, just spawn your factions fighter aircraft for a relatively small fee and just fly there yourself. Hop on a Gal at your warpgate. Drive something there.

      PS2 has its issues, many issues, but getting to the front has never been easier.

  8. Stargazer86 says:

    SOE is plenty capable of ruining a game, a’la SWG and the original Planetside. And it seems that they’ve really watered down the PS2 experience with PS1. To me, it feels pretty much the same as a Battlefield MMO would, not a sequel to Planetside.

  9. The_Great_Skratsby says:

    Well, well, well that was a great interview.

  10. smg77 says:

    I haven’t given SOE any money since SWG:NGE. It doesn’t look like I’ve missed anything interesting. The fact that Smedley still has his job is astonishing to me.

  11. BruceFnLee says:

    Free to play for Everquest is a mistake. Anyone who played EQ knows that one of the main reasons it was great was the community. The typical F2P MMO player is not going to be conducive to awesome community created aspects of the game such as the trade tunnel in the Commonlands. In fact, they actively get in the way of such things. I’d gladly pay a monthly fee just to keep children away. EQNext will have a serious problem of playerbase dilution. Just look at what happened when EQ2 went free to play and look at how ridiculously lame their model for free to play is.

    EQ2 PVP was awesome when it came out and then they completely ruined it by introducing PVP gear because “that’s what the players wanted.” This idea that what the players want is good for games is silly. Yes, player input is very important but we must recognize how quickly player input can ruin a great part of a game like EQ2 PVP.

    • Xardas Kane says:

      LOTRO is a F2P game and still has one of the best communities around, so I beg to differ. This coming from someone who lost interest in the game a long time ago.

      • Sheng-ji says:

        I couldn’t agree with this statement more – the LOTRO community are fantastic!

  12. Skabooga says:

    It’s not just players making quests. Don’t think of it just as Dungeons & Dragons. What we’re actually building is the ability for players to put in systems. System-level stuff. We give them some rules, some basic simple rules, and they can make things out of whole cloth. They could build their own battlegrounds style of gameplay. That’s what we want. What we have is an amazing infrastructure and ability to let players do new and emerging things.

    This puts me in the mind of some of the user-created maps for Warcraft 3 and similar games. If that same dynamic could be replicated within a MMO, I would be most interested in seeing the results.

  13. GameGiveaways says:

    Get your beta key at http://planetside2betacenter.blogspot.com/ We have 300 weekly keys, available to users worldwide! Get your key now, while we still have them!

  14. Premium User Badge

    ffordesoon says:

    I’m kind of stunned that the comments are so negative, given that it feels like much of what Smedley said is exactly what RPSers are crying out for in the MMO space.

    Then again, it is SOE. They’ve always been great at talking, but the proof is in the pudding, and the pudding is fun, and until people are having it, there’s no proof, because there’s no pudding.

    Or something.

    • Machinations says:

      SoE owned the MMO market, and their lack of vision and obvious corporate suits meddling in all decisions, contempt being shown for customers etc. lost them that market.

      EQ2 compared to WoW at launch – EQ2 looked like garbage, and worse, ran like garbage even on high-end rigs. Invisible walls, zoning, etc. SoE is great at running franchises into the ground.

      • TormDK says:

        The “problem” with EQ2 was that the engine was very advanced for it’s time, and so required alot of high end hardware to run smoothly. On the plus side it means that it aged very well compared to WoW.

        It was also alot harsher as it followed the model from EQ1 initially, with naked corpse runs and so forth (Plus a party xp debt system)

        Given that WoW catered for the masses, SoE decided to follow the WoW model and eased down on the death penalties, made questing easier to solo etc. I’m to this day still not certain that was the right choice to make – but then I don’t have insight into their finances, and at the end of the day it’s about making money anyhow.

        Which SOE is quite good at based on their in game stores, and the amount of vanity items available. I’ll be the first to admit that I likely spent 4-6x the amount on SoE coins compared to what the game cost off the shelf.

        With the move to go to a free to play model though I just can’t support it any longer.

  15. derito says:

    While I’m ok with structures being vulnerable 24/7 it probably won’t work for PS2. The reason is that, unlike Eve Online, the playerbase is divided between several servers and in different timezones while New Eden is almost always decently populated compared to PS2′s desert servers late night.

  16. Shooop says:

    I just got into the PS2 beta and I’m overwhelming underwhelmed.

    There’s absolutely no place for infantry in the game. If you don’t get in a vehicle, you’re useless.

    • Unaco says:

      Nonsense. Vehicles can’t really capture any points, for one*. There are plenty places for Infantry… in fact, they’re probably the most important, most flexible, most useful part of the game… being able to cap, respawn quickly without cost, resupply at no cost, spawn in anywhere there is a Sunderer or Spawn Beacon, Hot Drop from Gals, spawn at any facility.

      RPSRTSEUNCPS2 squad held a promontory overlooking a bridge around Palisade for an hour or so on Friday night (Rocket Ridge), against column after column of Vanu tanks and Sunderers trying to counterattack over the bridge after we took Palisade. 12 of us (with some randoms helping out), 1 Sunderer for rearming. Most of us on the rock looking down on to the bridge, 2 or 3 down on the bridge itself dropping C4 and popping off little ambushes.

      You say you’ve just got in… I think you’re being too hasty in dismissing Infantry.

      *I think they can’t cap at all… you have to be out of your vehicle to cap anything.

    • MrLebanon says:

      “just got in” isn’t enough time to pass a judgement.

      You need to get involved with some teamwork adn you’ll see stuff like Unaco has described.

      For me, in one word: Pure epicness

    • zaik says:

      Definitely too hasty dismissing infantry. You may want to consider going heavy assault, get used to the rocket launcher. Or just cert into the anti-vehicle lock on launcher and use it, it’s pretty good. LMG is okay vs. infantry, though not great. I’d recommend getting compensator and forward grip ASAP or just getting a shotgun and only fighting in close range.

      A lot of the problem with vehicle vs. infantry is that 95% of bases are WAY too wide open and flat, vehicles(especially liberators) just steamroll everything back to the poorly designed spawn buildings while one or two guys who have been running ever since the last base get there just in time to cap the points after the vehicles have already won the fight. Try out a fight at a biolab if you want some infantry only stuff, all the control points are inside a builing lifted far off the ground so vehicles can’t directly affect the interior fight.

      Also Unaco isn’t quite right about vehicles not being able to cap(they can, I’ve done it), though it’s so rare to be able to drive a vehicle other than a useless flash onto a point that it doesn’t really come up all that often unless you’re fighting in the big desert in the north of Indar. I’ve put Vanguards on several of those.