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Sony To Develop PlanetSide Sequel?

Sony have sent out a survey to Planetside players, asking for feedback. Here's what it says:

We plan to expand the PlanetSide® universe with another game and we need your help with the design. After all, who knows the game better than you, our customers, the people who actually play it! Don't worry about the original PlanetSide, it isn't going anywhere.

We want to hear your opinion and to do so we have put together a short survey. The information you provide will play a critical role into helping guide the development and direction of the next hit Massively Multiplayer Online First Person Shooter.

More thoughts below.

Whee! We've been hoping for this news for years, so it'll be interesting to see if they can pull it off. Assuming the game is another MMOFPS along the same lines (which i might not be, given the bit about original PS being left untouched) I'd argue that they need to:

- Make the game scale to different numbers of players, so that low-population doesn't leave players idle. Perhaps providing a series of different sized islands that faction populations can expand across.

- Create a formalised mission system, either player-driven or context driven, that will match squads against each other. This could spread fighting out away from choke points and across the landscape.

- Focus on the stuff that was really interesting! Hot-drops, having to refuel bases under fire: you know, those dynamic and exciting events that were the core of the game.

- Base design. The base architecture was pretty awful. Any new game needs to have less spammy corridors and more open fighting environments both indoors and outdoors.

- Keep the "wide" development of the game. It must not succumb to the temptation of level structures, but instead allow advancing players a wider range of options in their loadout and equipment requisition.

- Have a plan for going forward. PlanetSide's post-release development was a mess. This time the design needs to have a drip-feed of features that have been properly thought out, and not the mess that was rolled out with things like PlanetSide's absurd expansion, Core Combat. We don't want to fight in caves, we want to fight across epic landscapes.

- Keep the mix of air and ground units. Being able to swap between dug-in ground conflict and zoomy air war was amazing. More please.

If it's not an FPS, well, that would seem unwise on Sony's part. I don't think the PlanetSide world is really strong enough to warrant a classical MMO, or an RTS, or any other genre you could hammer the weird sci-fi war into. A remake with a modern engine however...

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