Interview: War on Esamir

ZAM interviews Tramell Ray Isaac and Leonard Gullo as PlanetSide 2 reveals the second continent of Auraxis and much more.

Though it might appear that the drivers and pilots are mainly being catered to, the grunts who like to put their boots to the ground have nothing to fear regarding the outposts. Gullo stated “We really hand crafted those areas to try and give the infantry some benefit. There’s a lot of trench warfare on this continent and those are mainly around the facilities and outposts.” Part of the reason for the trench warfare is to change up the infantry vs. infantry combat. Some of the trenches will lead under the walls of facilities making them vital points of access. The other added advantage of the trenches is they allow infantry to consolidate their position, meaning any long trips to get to the outpost aren’t over in a frustratingly quick manner.


The fights on the continents will be kept quite separate initially. Gullo explained that there will be no metagame between Esamir, Indar and the other areas (more on that later) as not all of the maps have been implemented, though that is a part of the dev team’s plan post-launch.

Gullo explained that getting to the new land from Indar should be pretty straightforward for players to move to the continent of their choice “Warp gates will be your link between the continents. You just go back to the warp gate and access the terminal and choose to go to Esamir.”

A change to the way all facilities are handled will also be in today’s patch. Previously, warp generators could be damaged for a tactical advantage by simply blowing them up. Instead, attacking players set the units to overload, setting off an alarm which warns the defending side that they have 60 seconds to try and stop the infiltrators. This should add many new flashpoints and more ebb and flow between defense and attack.

I asked the degree to which customization would be available for players, particularly for outfits wanting to stand out from the crowd, Isaac responded that “You will have outfit decals that are available in the store. We will be exploring allowing people to make their own decals at a later date, but we will be supplying a large number of decals and outfit logos to choose from at launch. You will also be able to pick and choose from a number of different camo patterns that you can outfit yourself with; those will be within the faction color range.” He also stated that those choices would include snow camo patterns, which sound ridiculously cool – no pun intended.
Excitingly, the plans for Auraxis – and beyond – are not stopping at Esamir. Amerish is already in the works, a continent which should be lush and verdant and there are even some early stages of contemplation for a fourth continent named Searus, a volcanic landscape that could come some time after launch.
In fact, the boundaries for PS2 could be well beyond continental borders. I asked why the team had decided on just one planet with multiple continents instead of many planets as used in the original PlanetSide. Isaac said, “Start small, get it right the first time, then make your way out from there and then after that, the sky is the limit.” He continued, “One of the things we learned from the original PlanetSide is first of all you have to make the game stable, friendly and fun.” 
Indeed even the sky doesn’t appear to be the limit for the game in the future, “We don’t actually have to be held to ground combat, we could always go into space” which would be a logical and exciting direction. 
Whatever the future, the first step toward it begins on the PlanetSide 2 beta servers today.

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