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The MMOFPS returns! PlanetSide 2 gets a trailer


The world of massively multiplayer online games is full of fantasy and Sci-Fi role-playing games. Years ago, however, things weren’t like this. In 2003, Sony tried something different and released an MMO first-person shooter. PlanetSide was essentially a giant war, with three army factions battling for supremacy of the many regions of a world. It had voice commands, flying vehicles, RPG-like weapon upgrades, different armor classes, and a lot of other features made popular by team-based PC shooters like Starsiege: Tribes.

Since 2009, there has been talk of a PlanetSide sequel and today Sony released the first trailer and screenshots for PlanetSide 2. From the looks of the Website, it appears that the new game will largely follow a similar format with three factions fighting one another–the authoritarian Terran Republic, the New Conglomerate rebellion, and the alien Vanu Sovereignty–with a number of land and air-based vehicles. What we don’t yet know is what the business model for PlanetSide 2 will be, though the FAQ leads us to wonder if Sony may make the game free-to-play, and make its money off microtransactions.

While we enjoyed the original PlanetSide game, it never reached the success of other MMO games we think because few players saw the need to continue playing what was essentially a never-ending game of King of the Hill. After a while the battling seems pointless. However, it continues to chug along to this day. We look forward to seeing how Sony has improved the game.

Below is the official teaser trailer.

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Jeffrey Van Camp
Former Digital Trends Contributor
As DT's Deputy Editor, Jeff helps oversee editorial operations at Digital Trends. Previously, he ran the site's…
‘PlanetSide 2’s’ creative director talks about the PS4 and what’s next
planetside 2 creative director matt higby talks about bringing the game to ps4 and whats next ps2b

Sony Online Entertainment is bringing its massive, multiplayer RPG shooter PlanetSide 2 to the PlayStation 4, which is no small feat. The free-to-play game launched last November on PC, and gameplay revolves around thousands of players struggling for to dominate the planet Auraxis across multiple continents. We spoke with creative director Matt Higby about bringing the game to the PlayStation 4, and how it has changed since launching last year.
How long have you guys been working on the PS4 version of the game? How early did you know it would be on the PS4?
Matt Higby
We knew that we were going to be prepping it for next gen system for a long time. When we were building [the game's engine] ForgeLight, we kind of had this idea in the back of our heads ... that this was something that we were actually going to want to bring over. Back then, the PlayStation 4 was called Orbis. It was like some super secret project, but we knew a lot of the details about it. And we knew that it was something that was going to be able to run our game. So it was something that we were going to want to be able to take advantage of. 
In terms of actively working on it, since around the time that we launched, we split off a couple of the engine coders and people who had been working on enhancements to go and start working on optimizing the engine to be able to be more multi-core friendly and things like that. There is actually a separate team of coders right now that we've been building up that are working on doing all of that transition stuff, and it's a lot of work. 
There's a lot of engineering, kind of like plumbing work taking apart and reconstructing of the engine that needs to get done for it. That's the major thing that's been changed about the game. The engine, and some things with the UI, to make it work better on the gamepad. Other than that, they're getting PlanetSide 2. 
Will it be cross platform between PC and PS4?
"The game, six months later, is very, very different than the game was at launch."
They'll be separate, but not for any technical reason, mainly for logistical reasons. Some of the ways that the PlayStation Network works are a little bit different - in terms of like currency that you use to purchase stuff, is PlayStation currency versus the Station Cash currency. And the update cadence is a little bit different. You have to go through a separate approval and QA process on the PS4, and we don't want to necessarily handcuff the PC updates to the PS4 approval process. So we want to be able to keep the servers updated separately. So we want to be able to keep the servers updated separately.
From a technical standpoint, they’re both going to be running on the same thing. We have talked about the idea of doing character interportablity between both. So potentially players who have a PC character, but decide they really want to play on the console because some of their console friends are there, might be able to drop their character on the console and play it there too.
Have you seen it yet running on the PS4?
Yeah. Yeah, we actually have. DC Universe Online is actually running on a PS4 right behind you, so we've had a PS4 devkits for a while. What we're doing right now ... so ForgeLight is a completely new engine. The game is not to the point where it's completely playable on it, but we have assets running. We can render scenes on it and things like that. And we've also started working on adjusting the UI, and we can be working with that on the PC with a controller plugged in and see how does it feel, does it work, do you interact with it well. A lot of the times the menus are kind of cumbersome, they are designed for mouse and keyboard. Those are sort of the biggest developments right now, and where we need to spend some time is on that interface and controls.

Will the game still be free-to-play?
Yes, absolutely, completely free-to-play. Really very little with the core game mechanics are changing. We are still going to have 2,000 players, it's still going to be 64 square kilometer maps, there is still going to be thousands of hours of character customization. Massive team play. All those sore of elements are all going to be there. The business model is going to remain exactly the same, and the only thing that you'll have to buy with money is going to be cosmetic items. Everything else that effects game play can be unlocked through gameplay.
We're really happy with PlanetSide 2 as a title, it works really, really well. Our biggest problem right now is just that you need to have a monster computer to be able to run it pretty well. So, it's really awesome that people will be able to buy a $399 box that's going to be able to run at maximum settings in basically perfectly controlled environments. You don't have to worry about all these different types of hardware it can support. So that's really exciting.
That reminds me, I played it a lot at launch but haven't played in awhile, and now I have a new gaming PC. I need to see how it looks now.
You know what, we are six months post-launch right now, and we're about to release our eleventh update. We took a couple of weeks off in December for the holidays after crunching. But we've maintained the cadence of updating the game basically every single two weeks with new content, bug fixes, new systems enhancements. The game, six months later, is very, very different than the game was at launch. We've improved so many different areas of the game, from user interface, to new ways for you to customize your character, and the game plays a lot better.
One of the big things we've been focusing on recently, and we're continuing to focus on, is new player experience. So people jumping into the game can more quickly figure out why this is such a cool and unique game, because that was sort of cumbersome and difficult. If you had friends, it was awesome, and you knew you could jump in and play with them. But if you were in there by yourself, sometimes it was really challenging. You had to work really hard to figure out where the fun was. Once you figured it out, and understood how it worked, it was super fun. So, building in more things to help on-ramp people into the game has been such a huge focus for us.

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Planetside 2’s next patch squashes bugs and boosts firepower
Planetside 2

"I've said before that while 2012 was the year that Planetside 2 launched, 2013 is the year when we're opening up the afterburners and aiming for the stars. After a well earned rest the team is energized and ready to get back to 'kicking *** and fixing bugs. And we're all ou--' er, oh yeah, okay, we've still got some bugs to fix."
Those words come courtesy of Planetside 2 creative director Matt Higby. They serve as a preface to a post Higby recently wrote on the Planetside Universe forums which details the upcoming patch scheduled to hit the MMO at some point before the end of January. The list of changes and alterations made by SOE in this addition are pretty sizable, so let's take a look at the list and see what jumps out at us:

General performance increases, particularly for lower end GPUs
Experience (XP) system enhancements:Server transfer token available in Depot

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Planetside 2 beta adds in-game Twitch streaming

With PlanetSide 2, Sony Online Entertainment hopes to drop players into a massive, chaotic warzone populated with other, like-minded virtual killers in an intense race to see who will be the last one standing. Given that premise, it should come as no surprise that simply watching the chaos unfold would have a certain entertainment value, even for people who aren't playing the game.
Whether or not that proves true, Sony Online Entertainment has announced an agreement with gaming-centric video streaming site Twitch (formerly TwitchTV) to add a new button to the game's user interface that would instantly allow players to stream their in-game exploits. According to SOE this makes PlanetSide 2 the "first game in market to enable direct one-click streaming to the Twitch platform." Further, the company claims that it's currently " in discussions with other top developers/publishers regarding similar integrations."
Those that have been following Twitch since back at its days as part of, shouldn't be surprised by the news. Many see the rise of eSports as one of the next big gaming trends of the coming years, and the rapid success of Twitch is testament to that. One of the most significant problems with the expansion of the medium though, has been the technology needed to stream games. On PCs there are a few options, but console streaming requires specific equipment that most gamers don't have, and probably aren't willing to purchase at this time. As Twitch expands and more companies follow SOE in including streaming options, that should change rapidly. 
As for solid, important details, here's what you need to know: First, this new button will supposedly be updated into the game at some point this weekend. SOE says "sometime between Friday and Monday," so adjust your schedules accordingly. Secondly, SOE warns that while this new feature will be up and running in the next few days, it may not be entirely functional. The company claims that the button will be visible to everyone in the PlanetSide 2 beta, but that it "will probably not be fully functional until the actual game launch." Which, for the record, is scheduled for November 20.

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