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PlanetSide 2 General Article: SOE Live - Beta Testing and the Future

By Suzie Ford on October 23, 2012

During last weekend’s SOE Live event, the entire Sony stable of games got the royal treatment. We were treated to videos and exclusive announcements and much more. It was a lot of fun. Still, it was very obvious that PlanetSide 2, the newest game in the group, is something that everyone at SOE is looking forward to and for good reason: It’s unlike anything else that Sony has put out. So it was with keen interest that we listened to Matt Higby and Tramell Ray Isaac talk about PS2.

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Matt expressed his thanks to the beta testers, acknowledging that testing a game like PlanetSide 2 is unique from the perspective that testing a game like this is unique. The development team relies on thousands of people to play the game, to determine what works or what doesn’t. To that end, alterations to PS2 have all been largely based on player feedback. With weekly updates coming out, it’s clear the team is committed to making a great game.

For now, PlanetSide 2 is sitting in its beta phase of development and the team wanted players to know that they are collecting data, listening to and reacting to what players are saying about the game. It’s beyond adding content and bug squashing, in fact, and is more about making alterations and changes and to make plans about what needs to be done next.

Matt told us that he believes that Planetside 2, even warts and all in beta, is still the best massive PvP game out there and will be for a long time. He and his team have plans to build on it for years and years to come. In fact, he said, PlanetSide 2 will never be “finished” from that particular perspective. Tramell Ray Isaac said they have plans to add new continents, new vehicles, new features.

We have a plan on where we want to take this game into the future. Some of it is really cool and we couldn’t have done any of it without our beta testers.

Continuing on, TR said, “We want you to have PTSD when you’re finished playing PlanetSide 2. We want to ‘stain your brain’ for years to come!”

The team has a lot that it’s chomping at the bit to add, some of which will come in the final push to PlanetSide 2’s release. Here’s what Matt had to say:

We’re going to add competitive elements and add to the meta game to get people to want to play the game on a different level. We want to make sure that teamwork is more seamless and rewarding. This is a game, I’m not shy at all to say, that’s fun to play as a group and not so much as an individual. We’re going to make it easier for new players to find and experience the team play. We’re going to include basic tutorial elements, tool tips, etc. This is the last bit of content we’re putting in during beta, the first eighteen minutes.

Of course, the most exciting news to come out of SOE Live was the announcement that PlanetSide 2 will hit its official retail release on November 20th. Everyone in the place erupted with applause at the news, Matt and his team looking quite pleased and ready to roll. But they didn’t just stop there. Here's what MikeB took from the Keynote address:

 

Additional PS2 highlights from the keynote address:

  • PlanetSide 2 will debut its own internal live-streaming feature (Twitch.tv based) on November 1.
  • SOE Player Studio support.
  • Partnership with Wikia to develop official wikis for SOE games, including PlanetSide2.
  • Name reservations for Alpha Squad members. Players will be notified by e-mail when reservations begin.
  • Alpha Squad will only be available until November 15.
  • Amerish continent announced. Lot of forested area for infantry to hide.
  • Game will ship with all three continents.
  • Searhus, Oshur, Hossin continents announced for post-launch.
  • Additional vehicles, including buggies, snowmobile, coming soon.
  • Outfits 2.0: Uniforms, decals, specialization, recruitment, and browsing.
  • Player-owned bases (non-instanced): Coming post launch, players can attack/defend.

PlanetSide 2 is something very unique, not only for Sony Online Entertainment, but for the MMO space as well. If Matt Higby’s and Tramell Ray Isaac’s enthusiasm and pure joy in what they are creating with their team is an indicator, PlanetSide 2 will be the great game they imagine it to be. From everything I saw, they’re on the right track.

What about you? Have you played in the PlanetSide 2 beta? Leave us your thoughts in the comments.

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