Back in September Sony Online Entertainment announced the World Domination Series Pre-Season for PlanetSide 2. Now what is the World Domination Series? It's a long-term tournament with seasons encouraging the three PlanetSide 2 empires to really go at it across every server. Each week of the World Domination Series there will be a main objective such as, hold onto the most territory throughout the week. Leading to each empire competing for special rewards at the end of each week and the entire series. As the pre-season comes to an end, I took the opportunity to speak with Matthew Higby, the Creative Director on PlanetSide 2.
We Asked: Does SOE have measures to deal with the balancing the population between empires?
What we took away from Higby: Many people have found this to be a significant issue and unfortunately it's difficult with a large player base to keep track of. While discussing the question Higby brought up the fact that they could lock continents or the population on a server if they really wanted to, but we both agreed that'd have even more issues of it's own. Then outfits would have more issues trying to coordinate since not everyone would be able to get in and you've even got small groups of friends that aren't able to play together now. Balancing the population between empires on each server is a tough task to come up with a solution for, but on the bright side, the pre-season has been a learning experience.
We Asked: A lot of what I've seen in the community is that the majority of players have no idea what the World Domination Series is or that it's even occurring. Do you have any methods for it gain more attention?
What we took away from Higby: As the World Domination Series is currently in the pre-season which Higby would say is basically a beta for the series, they weren't trying to get everyone's attention on it. Since it's in an early phase they were allowing for it to roll out as opposed to, “throw it in everyone's face” when there are still features to be tweaked and worked on. Although we've seen now that the scoring has been added to the scoreboard whenever players go to check how they're doing in their game session. Now they'll also be able to see how their empire and the others are doing in real time. When the actual series kicks in there will be more features putting attention on it and more reasons for people to want to get involved.
One of the neat features we spoke about focuses on the individual more than the whole server. The more you participate in the series will grant you more rewards when it comes to the end of the season. How do you participate in the series? Just play PlanetSide 2, it's really as simple as that. We briefly spoke about it, but it basically sounds like if you play for 2 hours you'll get this boost or item, whereas if you play for 10 you'll get something even cooler. Higby said, “You can really make sure you can gain a better reward by participating.”
We Asked: The Top Dog Bounty rule that was added midway into the pre-season a lot of people have been considering unfair, are you sure that's the right idea?
What we took away from Higby: The Top Dog Bounty change makes it so the empire in the lead will have a 50% increased capture point value put on the territories they own making it much more challenging for the empire in the lead. Higby stated, “If one team is running away with it, the other team still has a chance to compete.” The intention for the decision is clear, but the impact has been substantial. Higby believes that the rule should stay in place but the percentage should be decreased to make it a bit more fair. While seeing both perspectives players have on the change Higby stated, “We don't want the Top Dog to be an equilibrium system, but a way people don't give up.” Overall, the change without a doubt needs to have the percentage lowered we established.