Today we've got a behind-the-scenes look at how Sony Online Entertainment approaches game optimization for the MMOFPS PlanetSide 2. In the first part of this cheeky video series "Operation: Make Faster Game!", members of the team discuss specifics of what they're working on. For instance, someone mentions that "input processing on the HUD" is causing a delay of 0.3/0.4 milliseconds.
The PlanetSide 2 World Domination Series Pre-Season Challenge is a competition that pits the three empires against each other, with each week's winners reaping the rewards. Dominate territory and fight for control of the world as you contribute to this five week event, ending on October 21. Whether you're a member of the New Conglomerate, Terran Republic, or Vanu Sovereignty you can leap into the game now and contribute to the effort. If you're not a member yet and are unsure of which empire to join, head over to the official site and take their empire quiz!
Those who have pre-ordered Sony’s next-generation console have even more reason to celebrate, with the news that PlanetSide 2 will be heading to the PlayStation 4. There’s no promise that SOE’s flagship MMOFPS will be ready for the console’s launch on November 15 (29 in Europe), but it will contain everything currently in the PC version.
When I spoke to creative director Matt Higby in a roundtable discussion at Gamescom, he was upbeat about the move, promising that it will look as good as a PC on the highest settings. While there won’t be any cross-platform play, Higby also suggested that we might see a facility to transfer characters from PC to PS4 servers and vice versa, all in the name of helping us play with friends.
“We’re not doing it [cross-platform play], but the main reason is logistical. When you’re releasing something on the PlayStation Network, it goes through a different level of QA from SCEE and SCEA. We can’t guarantee that our PC and PS4 servers will be on the same version all the time, so that means we can’t have characters jumping back and forth or playing on the same servers.”
While the PS4 version is still in the pipeline, the PC version has already clocked over five million users. On August 16, European publisher ProsiebenSat.1 took the unusual step of launching a retail version. Priced at €10, the box contains codes for that amount in store currency, along with exclusive items and useful boosts. It also contains a DVD, saving 8GB of download time for those suffering with low-quality internet.
There is something tremendously appealing about the concept of the Player Studio. It places power in the hands of gamers and encourages them to design and participate in their favorite games in new and interesting ways--while making a little money too.
PlanetSide 2 continues to undergo constant change. The Road Map—an outline of current development that the players actually contribute their opinions to—promises improvements in a variety of areas, including outfit recruitment.
There can be few additions with a bigger impact than the recently announced Battle Islands. The first of these smaller, more focused fields of battle might be misconstrued as just an instanced battleground made for SOE’s partnership with MLG.
From early on in PlanetSide 2's beta--when chatting to SOE developers such as Tramell Ray Isaac and Matt Higby--it was evident that a competitive, eSport capable element to the huge MMOFPS was on the cards.
Today we get a glimpse of how this might be implemented with the Major League Gaming-ready Battle Island Nexus.
Did you always feel underdressed on your Flash quadbike?
When laying siege to the miscreants on Auraxis -- TR for the win -- did you want to be able to move quickly over the terrain but with a bit more firepower and a lot more bling?
With the advent of Update 08, the new strike vehicle, the Harasser, looks to be the answer to your problems.
Not only is there a shiny addition to PlanetSide 2's vehicle stable, but Update 08 brings new AV weapons for MAXs for each faction and much more. Check out the video below for the Harasser in action and read Matt Higby's recent outline of what else to expect -- including the delicious new TR stormtrooper-esque helm.
It's a shooter box, I'd argued dismissively. A scaled up version of Team Fortress 2, without the hats and grim humor. It won't have any lasting appeal, I’d persuaded myself, when there are so many other established multiplayer shooters. There's nothing new here at all.
I was wrong. Planetside 2 is possibly the natural evolution of the modern shooter. By swapping small maps that support 8 players a side and replacing them with giant landscapes that contain thousands, it reflects the ebb and flow of war in swirling, chaotic glory. It is by no means perfect, but it is incredible to experience.