This week at SOE Live the PlanetSide 2 team added to their test servers the continent of Hossin and the first battle island known as Nexus. Creative Director Matt Higby and Senior Art Director Tramell Isaac told us about the new zones and and where we will see PlanetSide 2 go in the next few months.
First up is the continent of Hossin. Hossin is a new giant swamp environment. This continent has been in development since before the game was launched. They have literally spent thousands of man hours in an attempt to make sure they get the balance right. Coming up with the art style for the continent is only a small part of the process. One of the hardest parts of creating a map that is 64 square kilometers is ensuring it is balanced for thousands of people fighting in one area. Every facility on Hossin is also unique. They also have a new facility type. This facility will be about the size of the amp station but has a significant larger amount of interior play space with a more complex layout. The team is trying to make a place for some of the best infantry combat in the game. This is a throwback to the PlanetSide bases where there are more corridors and you have to worry about whether or not there was an enemy around the next corner.
The next major addition on the test server is the battle island Nexus. The battle islands are being created to progress the e-sports initiative. While the continents are 64 sqaure km the battle islands are only 4 square kilometers. They contain only two warp gates connecting two continents. This means the battle islands will only be available to two empires at any one time. They have 9 contestable facilities and are designed for 48 v 48 in e-sports but are open to hundreds versus hundreds in the MMO. For the MMO game battle islands and continents will connect together to form a sort of lattice system. Each continent will connect to another continent and two battle islands. Hossin will lie in the middle and act as a gateway between the three other continents.
In addition to Hossin and the Nexus PlanetSide 2 is having additional tutorials added into the game to make it easier for new players to join the fight. Player Studio has also been recently launched for PlanetSide 2. Player Studio allows players to create decals, hood ornaments, helmets, and camos for the game. Less than one week after Player Studio became available the team has received 63 player submissions and have accepted 15 assets. There is still work to be done before players will see these assets in the market place but rest assured they are coming soon. Tramell also said that they have received more camos than they had expected but was surprised by the lack of decals compared to everything else.
The SOE team behind PlanetSide 2 has definitely been hard at work and players should soon see the fruits of their labor. The new continent of Hossin is a nice change from the current continents in the game. While large scale three faction combat is great it will be nice to see what happens when two empires go head to head over the new battle islands.
Robert Lashley / Robert Lashley is a Staff Writer and Online host for MMORPG.com and RTSGuru.com. Rob's bald and when he isn't blinding people from the glare on his head talking in front of a camera you can chase him down on twitter @Grakulen