Posts Tagged ‘SOE’

Vanu Beginnings: PlanetSide 2 Officially Open To All

Do you have plans for this evening? Do you have plans for any evening in the next, um, forever? Well, cancel them, because it’s time for war. RPS wants you – yes, you, with the hair and/or complete lack of it – to enlist today and help us fight the good fight for all that is free and purple in PlanetSide 2. Can you do that? Can we count on you? Because we don’t have the budget for a bunch of rah-rah-rah propaganda posters and videos. Sometimes, instead of eating food, we just eat pictures of food. But we do have this launch trailer. Well, for now, anyway. I can’t promise I won’t eat it.

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SOE Killing PlanetSide 2’s Free Player Grind

And I will name it Barney. After the character from The Flintstones, of course.

By and large, I’m very glad that free-to-play exists. It’s brought many fine, exceedingly hi-fidelity games back into the PC gaming fold, and I can’t argue with the option to jump in without spending a cent, coin, point, spacebuck, gorgle, or smarnx. Well, except when I can – and usually, that’s when the subject of unlocking comes up. The reason? It’s almost always excruciatingly slooooooooooow. Because naturally, those darn developers – who apparently need to eat occasionally and sleep under roofs (the nerve!) – want you to drop a few extra dimes to speed up the process. It is, then, somewhat shocking – but no less appreciated – that SOE’s taking steps to buck that trend with PlanetSide 2. Or at least make it a bit less of a bitter pill to swallow.

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An Afternoon In Amerish


With huge changes appearing in the latest Planetside 2 patch, I decided it was time to pull my purple battle trousers, and head back into the fray.

Or, more accurately, amble like a lamb in the ultra-picturesque verdantly-carpeted meadows of temperate third continent, Amerish. Ooh, flowers!
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A Beta View Of MechWarrior And PlanetSide 2

What do MechWarrior Online and PlanetSide 2 have in common? Well, they both have robots, guns, cold levels that affect gameplay, free-to-play options, explosions, planets, sides, walking, death, life, founder’s programs, other kinds of robots, rocks, trees, smoke, and battles that tickle fancies and funny bones. Also, war.

Oh, and they’re both in beta. I knew I was going somewhere with this. Anyway, videos!

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Less Pocket, More Monster: Dragon’s Prophet

'Whoa, it's like looking in a mirror,' the dragon thinks to itself, shortly before reflecting on the fact that it's never actually looked in a mirror before.

SOE’s new F2P fantasy MMO, Dragon’s Prophet, sounds like Pokemon but dragonier. I mean it, too. That is exactly what it sounds like. See for yourself: “In a world shaped by dragon-kind, more than 300 unique dragons roam the lands. Fight, capture, train and ride them in order to unlock their unique skills and abilities.” But, in reality, that’s only one aspect of its sky-searing DNA. The rest, meanwhile, might seem a bit more familiar if you’re from ’round these PC-friendly parts.

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Planetside 2’s Handsome Third Continent Revealed!


Temperate and spectacularly mountainous terrain features in the reveal trailer of Amerish (below), which will be the third continent that Planetside 2 will feature at launch. It’s disgustingly pretty, probably more so than the other two, as you can see. I think I’ll end up playing here as much as I can, so that wearing purple armour and murdering an infinite army of similar begarbed space gentlemen can feel more like a nice holiday.

Oh and if you’re looking for RPS types to play with, we’re getting organised over here.
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It’s A Plan: PlanetSide 2 Launching November 20th

First we will capture this miserable planet, and then we will finally take down GI Joe once and for all.

Right then, it’s official: PlanetSide 2 isn’t facing a delay or staying in closed beta until 2013 just to taunt you. One day more than one month from now, it’ll be live and freely available for all (well, those with gaming PCs herculean enough to handle it, anyway). It’s been quite some time in coming, but – during SOE Live’s opening keynote in Las Vegas – John Smedley announced that this is it. So the day of reckoning is nearly at hand, but what exactly will it entail? Well, wouldn’t you like to know. And you can, after the break.

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

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.

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PlanetSide 2’s Ice Continent Dropping This Weekend

That's the soul-broken stare of a man who's forgotten what beaches even look like.

PlanetSide 2 takes place on a planet. An entire planet. If it didn’t, it’d be named Countryside, LargeLandmassSide, or Fred. And so, in that spirit, SOE’s adding a whole new continent – one of two more that are ultimately planned for the launch version. This one’s called Esamir, and it appears to be the estranged landson of the ice planet Hoth, what with all its frigid unpleasantness and potential for series-defining moments starring Harrison Ford. Take a peek at its peaks, valleys, and dangerously low-flying aircraft after the break.

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A Galaxy Away: Planetside 2’s Spawn Bus Victory

Desert bus simulator.
There was something I neglected to mention in my previous observations about Planetside 2’s version of the venerable Galaxy drop ship, and that was the tactical implications of having it as the mobile base and spawning point. I’d been meaning to discuss it for a while, but then SOE went and fixed the problem. They promoted the Sunderer – Planetside 2’s bus-like person-carrier – to the role they had originally designated to the Galaxy.

Thoughts on this, and more besides, resides below.
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SOE Revise Planetside 2 “Membership” Benefits

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!

PlanetSide 2 Tackles ‘Pay-To-Win’ Problem

The best things in life are free. Evidently, these are some of the best things.

Redundancy police, beware. I’m about to commit a heinous crime the likes of which will make you physically ill even after your 30 years on the force. I will now use the word “impressive” until it loses all meaning. Here goes: PlanetSide 2 is an impressive game. It’s impressively large, yet also impressively free-to-play, and that impresses me. Not only that, SOE’s been impressively open about the development process and its intentions for the gigantotronic shooter behemoth. And now, based on a new post from creative director Matt Higby, I get the impression that SOE’s impressively dedicated to steering clear of pay-to-win’s slippery slope.

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Next For PlanetSide: New Continent, Performance Tweaks

'A Whole New World' from Aladin is now stuck in my head. So here. Share my pain.

PlanetSide 2‘s beta is up and running (and flying and shooting and doing whatever tanks do), and it has many things. Jim, of course, has chronicled a large number of them in his characteristically handsome fashion. But, if you believe SOE’s rhetoric, that’s only the tip of the iceberg. And it’s not particularly difficult to believe, seeing as it’s getting ready to drop an entire continent on us. And then another continent after that, but probably not until much, much later. Also headed to our side of the PlanetSide planet: performance improvements, gunplay tweaks, and, well, maybe a delay – if need be. According to SOE, this one’s launching “when it’s ready, and not before.”

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Foreverquest: EverQuest Will Never Stop Expanding

There's not enough skeleton imagery in this picture.

I remember when I first played Everquest. I was younger then – naive, optimistic, and completely unable to grasp the concept that a PVP server meant idly tapping the attack button around other people could cause an international incident. Still though, it was my first MMO, and what a magical experience it was. I’ll never forget my first death by Sand Giant or related, nearly naked corpse run through Terror Country. I tried it out again recently, though, and it’s, uh, really different. But I suppose that makes sense, seeing as there have been 18 expansion sets. And now it’s about to get even more different with a 19th. Also, EverQuest II’s hitting number nine, because… jeez, really? Nine? Where did the time go, everyone? What were we doing?

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PlanetSide 2’s ‘Alpha Squad’ Grants Instant Beta Access

That man on the far left looks incredibly uncomfortable. Maybe he's a contortionist?

Thus far, PlanetSide 2 has proven to be pretty great, but it’s definitely not perfect. The main issue, as I see it, is that it’s not currently being played by everyone on Earth. But then, it is only in beta, and that’s simply the nature of the beast. It doesn’t have to be, though. Not anymore. SOE, you S-O-see, just kicked off a new “Alpha Squad” program. Yes, it’ll run you $40 for a planet-sized shooter that is – technically speaking – free-to-play, but this is actually a pretty nice deal. Allow me to explain.

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SOE Reveals Steam-Workshop-Ish ‘Player Studio’

I really, really, really want those gloves.

MMOs are pretty much about two things: breaking and taking. Kill ten things, take six things, etc, etc, etc. Monsters, boar gizzards, fish, barrels – nothing is safe. But all that destruction can get a bit exhausting at times. I mean, who hasn’t met an Orc, ogre, or space marine who just wanted to paint? So now SOE’s letting players balance out their wanton destruction with a little creation. Player Studio, as the new system’s known, will allow players to submit custom items to the likes of EverQuest, EverQuest II, Vanguard, and (eventually) PlanetSide 2 for potential use by everyone in each respective game. It does, however, seem a bit less community driven than, say, Steam Workshop.

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Planetside 2’s Galaxy Is Different, And Other Thoughts

Missed you, big guy.
Blimey, I really am enjoying Planetside 2. Even more than I thought I would. But the initial excitement of epic ultra-war is passing, and I have begun to gather my thoughts more sensibly. And they have begun their precipitation upon the changes made to the Galaxy dropship – a lumbering skybeast designed for hauling folk around the wide open maps – which is central to both the original Planetside, and the opalescent sequel. Its role, however, is a little different in the new game, and something about the way Planetside 2 works means that one of the most thrilling aspects of the original game – the hotdrop – seems to have fallen into disfavour. I’ll try to explain, as well as bundling in a bunch of other thoughts on the ongoing beta, below.
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Planetside 2 Beta Is Go For The Privileged Few

give me my suit give me my suit give me my suit waaah

AND I’M NOT ONE OF THEM WAAAAAAAAAAH.

That’s all this post is, really – a public lamentation that I’m not part of the latest New Hotness, said New Hotness being fab-looking MMOFPS Planetside 2, which will finally open its doors to a selected few members of the public later today (about 7pm UK time, I believe). Hopefully I’ll be welcomed to the ranks of the eternal tri-war before too long – meantime, how have you lot go on? Clearly, we shall have to form some sort of enormous RPS faction once this thing is up and running for more of the public. No doubt the recent reveal that Planetside 2 is coming to Steam in addition to SOE’s Station platform will help make what’s already likely to be a huge playerbase all the huger. Sign up for the beta here, though it may be sometime before you’re given the king’s shilling.
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Un-Reality Not-TV: Bullet Run Goes Live

I honestly cannot figure out who's trying to fight whom in this screenshot.

Well, I suppose I have to give SOE and Acony some credit for their approach to gritty, ripped-from-the-headlines F2P shooter Bullet Run: at least they ripped it from a different part of the headlines. Specifically, top billing’s been given to Bullet Run’s “unique storyline” about a reality TV show on which insane people try to kill each other in stylish fashions to claim their 15 minutes of fame. DON’T WORRY THOUGH: there’s a magical “Synth” device that brings them back to life, so it’s all perfectly harmless. Or, you know, kind of really disturbing. But integrating a focus on style into the shooting is, at least, kind of interesting.

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