By Nathan Grayson on January 26th, 2013 at 9:00 am.
These days, plenty of developers talk about how they’re going to work side-by-side with their fans, but PlanetSide 2‘s actually doing it. Case in point: a newly launched Reddit-esque “Roadmap” system. In short, it outlines every last plan SOE has for the next six months in fairly exhaustive detail and then allows players to both discuss and up/down-vote based on their personal preferences. Do not, however, take this to mean SOE’s now at the beck and call of ravenously hardcore players. It promises to listen, but acting’s another story.
SOE CEO John Smedley took to, er, Reddit, actually, to explain the Reddit-like system:
“Does this mean we’re changing it to ‘the mob rules’? absolutely not. It’s just a simple tool for us to be able to gauge sentiment about a particular topic. Remember it’s still a forum thread (although with cool nested comments) and we’ll still be reading what people are actually saying. However if we list 5 topics for February and people highly vote 4 of those 5 and everyone hates on one of the ideas, it’s fair to say that’s going to get our attention.”
Thus far, well-liked standouts include a spawn room tunnel system to keep campers guessing, account-wide unlocks, a VR training area, temporary “locks” on continents one faction’s completely taken over, player-generated missions, a swamp continent, and vehicle zoning. Granted, that’s just the tip of an already looming six-month iceberg. There’s tons more where that came from, and a lot of it concerns smaller but potentially even more game-changing tweaks.
Long story short, PlanetSide’s steering the SOE ship, and SOE wants fans to – at least, in part – steer PlanetSide. If nothing else, this demonstrates serious commitment to the shooter-flavored MMO. I mean, if Smedley and co proceed to not deliver on any of this without good reason, they’ll never hear the end of it. They’ve opened up a two-way street. Here’s hoping they know what they’re getting themselves into.