When Planetside 2 is officially released at some nebulous point before the end of year, those of you willing to plunk down $15 per month on the game will be greeted with a host of bonuses for your hard-earned cash. “But wait, isn’t Planetside 2 supposed to be a free to play massively multiplayer online shooter?” we hear you wondering aloud. Well, yes and no. While it is possible to play the game without paying for anything, publisher Sony Online Entertainment has decided that the best way to pull in profit from this title would be to offer intensely dedicated players the chance to pay for a more fulfilling experience.
While SOE initially published a list of the benefits paid members would receive in Planetside 2 a few weeks ago, the company received a ton of feedback from prospective players, and has thus decided to amend the rewards on offer. Have a look at the new scheme the company plans to offer, courtesy the official Planetside 2 forums:
Here are our revised and final membership benefits:
- 25-50% increased resource gain.
- 25-50% increased XP gain.
- 25-50% increased passive cert point gain.
- Note: Each of the above start at 25% and increase by 5% per month of sustained membership up to a total bonus of 50% each at 6+ months membership.
- Priority login queue
- Early Access to new cosmetic items on the store
- 500 StationCash each month
Price will be 14.99 / month
You’ll notice that many of those benefits include a range of potential utility. For instance, that “25-50% increased resource gain.” According to SOE, while paid members will initially see a 25 percent increase in resources they acquire, their account will slowly creep toward that 50 percent maximum as long as it remains active. Thus, to fully reap the rewards of this plan, a paid player must continue to pay Planetside 2’s subscription fees for at least six months. Or, as SOE puts it: “If you buy a multi-month sku you will be automatically elevated to the bonus value for the last month of that sku, so if you bought a 6-month membership sku you would immediately receive the 50% increased cert gain. If your membership lapses you will have 30 days to reestablish your membership to retain the increased bonus amounts.”
While most of these items are pretty self-explanatory, the one that leaves us scratching our heads most is that mention of a “priority login queue.” Hypothetically that means that players who shell out cash for a subscription will be granted access to an exclusive queue when attempting to log into the game that will be completely unavailable to those playing Planetside 2 for free. Though this might be an innocuous addition, it raises concerns that SOE will inadvertently release a game that is effectively unavailable to the free-to-play masses during its periods of highest popularity. Presumably you can see why this might miff prospective players whose key interest in the title was first spawned by the idea that the admittedly impressive MMO would offer a solid, comprehensive gaming experience absolutely free of charge.
If you find yourself suddenly full of vitriol toward Planetside 2, Sony Online Entertainment, or the concept of capitalism as a whole, we invite you to deposit that rage in the comments section below.