Planetside 2 is the first game to use the Forgelight engine and here’s Matt Higby (Star Wars galaxies, everquest 2, free realms, clone wars), Creative Director for Planetside 2 telling all about the sequel.
First of all, I’m really thrilled to be premiering this game here at fan faire. Represent our most passionate fans.
Planetside is a truly unique and unprecedented gaming experience. We made planetside 8 years ago, with planetside 2 we’re hoping to blow the roof off of the mmo fps market.
This is a game that we’ve been wanting to make for a very long time, it’s a game that has been evolving for years and it wasn’t until recently with the Forgelight engine that we really had the technology to bring to life the vision for what we knew Planetside needed to become.
A lot of what you see in Planetside 2 will be familiar to those of you who played Planetside 1 but what I’m going to talk to you tonight are a few of the aspects of the game that are brand new and unique and things that we’re adding to the Planetside experience.
The number one design goal for Planetside 2 is to deliver on massive warfare. What massive warfare means is, it’s a promise that the battles you experience in planetside 2 will be amongst the most epic and memorable that you have ever had in any FPS or any MMO ever.
We’re talking thousands of players, competing directly, no instancing, it’s open world combat, massive continents and this game is unlike anything you have ever experienced in an FPS.
One of the things we’re adding to support this massive warfare is a brand new territory control and conquest mode. This is going to turn every square inch of the map into contestable, valuable real estate that you want to control.
As places are being captured and conquered, the actual topography of the battlefield will be changing. Areas that used to be secure, that used to be controlled by your empire yesterday might be the new place of battle today.
Now that means, not just facilities are contestable but every single square inch of the map, you might be fighting one day over a volcanic ridge or a completely desolate dry river basin and we’ve hand crafted all of the terrain in this game to make sure that no matter where you play, no matter where you fight will be exciting, will work really well.
So players that control territory and players that control territory will gain access to resources. Now, resources aren’t like in everquest where you have to go to a resource node and bang on it, it’s not like that, you’re not going to hit a ore node with your assault rifle to try to get some ore in Planetside.
You are going to be automatically given resources based on your territory control, the territory your empire controls and your success in capturing and defending territory. Resources are going to be used throughout Planetside 2 for a variety of different things such as upgrading your weapons, attaching new weapons to your vehicles or even shortcutting certain skills on the certification tree.
The importance of resources to Planetside 2 can’t be overstated. These resources are going to add so much to the way people play and the way that your empire, outfit and the way that you manage resources is really going to affect your success or failure on the battlefield.
And later we’ll be going going even further with resources. In the future resources will be used for more sandbox features perhaps your outfit will be able to build its own facility, create its own defensive structures, build its own vehicle pads, we really do want to explore the sandbox nature of the games and we do think planetside is an awesome IP to do it in.
Another one of our cornerstone features with planetside 2 is massive customisation. What this means to me is that we want to make sure that players can play the game the way they want to. One of the main things you’re going to customise is which empire you fight for.
In Planetside 2 we’re really pushing the diferentiation of the different empires and we’re bringing back all three, so we’ll have the Terran Republic which are the strength in numbers, militaristic, disciplined group. We’ll have the New Conglomerate which is Guerilla Tactics and unconventional warfare and the Vanu Sovereignty which is about high tech gadgets, high tech weapons and some of the most technologically advanced vehicles on the battlefield.
Now, these empires aren’t just going to have different tools to be able to be able to fight differently, but the tactics and strategies that they use are going to be completely different as well.
Another place we’re allowing you to customise your game is through classes. Classes are brand new to Planetside but they’re familiar to those of you who played a lot of modern FPS games. The classes in Planetside are going to allow you to really have a distinctive combat role when you play the game.
You will be able to switch between classes seamlessly and they’ll all have their own upgrade paths but each time, each class is going to have a specific purpose in battle and those of you who are more support oriented are going to gravitate towards engineers or medics whereas the people who are more interested in in your face, gung ho, infantry action might be more interested in playing as heavy assaults or MAXes so classes add a ton.
The last thing I’m going to talk to you about is massive depth. One of the things all the classes, vehicles, weapons have in common is they all advance through a massive certification tree. The amount of advancement you’ll be able to do in Planetside 2 is going to be astounding and this certification tree affects all aspects of the game – Implants, weapon attachments, even outfits and squad leadership are going to be able to be customised through this certification tree.
The mechanics of this certification tree uses an offline, time based unlock system so some of you who might be familiar with EVE Online will sort of understand this concept – you’ll be able to advance while not even playing the game. Now this is really cool because it allows folks that maybe don’t have as much time to game will be able to keep up with their friends who seem to be able to get on all the time.
We’re still limiting these skills based on your characters overall battle rank so you’re not going to be able to just create a character day 1 and just sit there, wait six months and suddenly be the most awesome character in the world. You will definitely be continuing to play the game to unlock access to new skills and then those skills will be trained using the offline system.
We really think this is a great approach towards advancement in an FPS and allow us to have a huge amount of customisation, a huge amount of depth and it’s ultimately going to serve a massive warfare. So there’s a lot more to talk about Planetside 2, I’ve only got 5 minutes or so up here.
In the coming months I’m really looking forward to being able to talk to you about Planetside 2, about some of these features and really describing some of this stuff more in depth. We’re going to be starting that tomorrow at 10AM. I know that’s a little early for Vegas, but I do hope that some of you guys can crawl out of bed and wipe the alcohol of your face and come down and see the panel.
There’s gonna be Tramell our Art Director, Josh our Executive Producer, myself and John Smedly will be there to answer any questions that you guys have about anything I talked about tonight or any questions you have in general about Planetside 2. So I really do hope to see you guys there and I really do hope to see you all in Planetside 2.
With the industry saturated with MMOs, do you really need another MMO ? Let’s Talk. – Editor