PlanetSide 2 is quite good. We've actually pointed this out on a couple very rare occasions. But it's by no means perfect. What puts it head and shoulders and a bottle of Head and Shoulders above the rest, however, is the fact that SOE acknowledges this. Constantly. And instead of trying to cover up fundamental flaws with new features no one asked for, it (usually) rallies its development legions in an effort to tackle glaring flaws. So then, what's next on the docket? How do GPU performance fixes, a total XP system revamp, and the addition of an SMG weapon type sound? Probably not like anything, because they're just bullet points on a list right now. But soon. Soon.
SOE didn't really detail the GPU enhancements or the breadth of its SMG selection, but the XP revamp's sounding quite tasty. Here are the main points:
- Dynamic XP system for player kills, players who have more kills on their current life are worth more XP. Freshly spawned players will be worth a fraction of the current kill reward.
- Partial damage XP for dealing damage to vehicles that you don't end up killing.
- Population XP / Resource bonus moved over to continent population instead of global.
- Better display of XP sources for things like defensive bonuses & population bonuses.
- Rebalancing of XP rewards to help support tasks.
Other highlights of the patch include a brief invincibility for freshly respawned players, a "Hot Spot" system that points out active battles on the map, spawn buildings that are allegedly "less campable," and anti-air buffs.
So basically, it's a bunch of much-needed tweaks - at least, on paper. Granted, a new weapon type brings potential imbalances, and that magical respawn bubble could be exploited under the right circumstances. So who knows what people will figure out when it drops? But it certainly seems like another large step in the right direction, and - somewhat astonishingly - SOE's hoping to have all of it implemented on January 30th. Granted, creative director Matt Higby added the usual "game development is messy" disclaimer, so nothing's set in stone.
For now, though, there's quite a lot here. Are you happy with the changes? And really, are you happy in general? As in, with life? You've been looking kind of down lately. Come here. Let's have a hug. There you go.