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PlanetSide 2 Details: Air Vehicles, Time-Based Unlocks, New Classes, And More!

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Posted July 8, 2011 - By Kevin Kelly












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 Planetside 2 Details: Air Vehicles, Time-Based Unlocks, New Classes, And More!

PlanetSide, Sony Online Entertainment's game that was released "ahead of its time" according to creative director Matt Higby is getting a sequel. While the world's first MMOFPS came at a time when broadband wasn't as widespread as it is now, and system requirements were just high enough to keep most people out of the game, the development team for the newly reimagined sequel views those hurdles as a thing of the past. The ambitious new title wants to "Revolutionize the FPS genre" according to SOE president John Smedley, "We're making the game we want to play."

PHOTOS: PlanetSide 2 Concept Art and Screenshot Gallery

Smedley, who is a big fan of the FPS genre and is looking to take a week of to play Battlefield 3 once it's released, along with Matt Digby and other key members of the development team game us some details about the game and explained what they're doing to revive the "underutilized" MMOFPS genre. Customizeable weapons, a large array of vehicles including aircraft, an ambitious class/skill tree system and more is coming to the game. Read on for the full details.

PlanetSide 2 Announcement Trailer »


The team readily admit that they learned a lot of things from PlanetSide's mistakes, and they're taking those out of the game this time around. Sanctuaries, which presented a safe haven for the three different armies in the game, were meant to be a place to seek shelter, but other teams figured out how to lock people out, making them ineffective. Often times you'd have to stand around waiting for a shuttle to arrive to take you to where the fight was. Both of those barriers to battle will be gone this time around. You'll also be able to spawn on your squadmates this time, something that Smedley liked from Battlefield: Bad Company 2 and incorporated into this sequel.

Additionally, they're adding in a large resource metagame that is driven by territory control. Hold on to a territory longer, and you'll get more resources. Those resources are the source for new content and combat, and will drill down from the army level, to your outfit, and to your individual soldier. The classes are overhauled as well, with players now able to switch seamlessly between classes during the game, and they're adding a time-based unlock system as well, taking a page from EVE Online.

PlanetSide 2 Details: Air Vehicles, Time-Based Unlocks, New Classes, And More!

You can select the skills in your skill tree that you want to level up, and those skills will continue to advance even if you are't online. You'll have to visit your queue to manage things once per day, but it's a nice way to keep things moving forward even if you aren't engaged in a full-scale battle. Of course, you can't just leave the game on autopilot and rank up all the time, but it's a good way to provide skill increases when you're not actively taking part in the fight.

The game's setting will be revamped as well, no longer just being sprawling vistas on a generic, war-torn battlefield. The sequel promises enormous maps that are big enough to where "a vehicle will be a requirement," some maps that are specific to vehicular combat, and even bombed-out urban settings. Events that happened in the original PlanetSide will tie in to PlanetSide 2 as well, and a backstory will play out that connects the two games together. There's also a mission system in the game that will no doubt provide further story elements to the title. 

REVIEW: PlanetSide

John Smedley said that SOE plans on doing something that no MMO has ever done before, and that to announce a "three year plan for PlanetSide 2" sometime soon. They plan on listing out all of the features and ideas that they want to add to the game. Which is definitely very ambitious, because they're creating an agenda that fans will expect them to adhere to over that three year period and beyond. However, when asked if PlanetSide 2 could come to the PlayStation 3, just like SOE's own DC Universe Online, Smedley deadpanned "Next question!" But, he did go on to say, "We have 'other things' we're working on that will incorporate our games onto other systems. And maybe not just on the PS3." PlanetSide 2 on the Vita? We'll see.

PlanetSide 2 Details: Air Vehicles, Time-Based Unlocks, New Classes, And More!

Here are the ful details from the game's fact sheet:

Game Description

PlanetSide 2 takes all the groundbreaking features from the original game – massive multiplayer battles, distinct empires to rally around, and enormous continents where intense ground and air combat unfolds – and adds features that modern gamers have come to expect out of the FPS and MMO genres. With advanced technology, years of gamer feedback, and a new SOE proprietary MMO game engine called Forgelight, PlanetSide 2 offers a truly competitive and visceral FPS experience with massive warfare, massive customization and massive community.

Across the continents of Auraxis, thousands of players will come together in enormous battles to win control of critical territories and key resources for their empire. With a an extensive skill tree and free-form class-based system, players will be able to customize their soldier, weapons and vehicles to match their play-style, as well as the needs of their squad, outfit or empire. Battles can last for days or weeks, so players will need to build alliances and specialized combat outfits to take on long-term strategic and tactical initiatives. With air, ground and seaborne combat, the battles will be larger and more intense than ever.

Key Features:

  • MASSIVE WARFARE: Battles will take place not between dozens of troops, but hundreds; with air and ground vehicles slugging it out alongside squads of troops. Whether in open fields, tightly-packed urban centers or enormous structures, winning will require strategic teamwork and a quick trigger finger in the massive battles.
  • THREE EMPIRES: Players will have their choice to join three different empires:
    • Terran Republic – With a militaristic government, the Terran Republic uses its Imperial authoritarian might to impel humanity to peaceful coexistence through any means necessary.
    • New Conglomerate – A loosely connected group of rebel factions and idealistic freedom fighters, the New Conglomerate fights against the hegemony of the Terran.
    • Vanu Sovereignty – A technocratic faction that believes humanity can only evolve by rediscovering and tapping the lost technology of the Vanu.
  • BATTLE FOR TERRITORIES & RESOURCES: The core gameplay of PlanetSide 2 is about holding key territories and controlling valuable resources. Each battleground holds valuable resources and key positions, and the empire that can conquer (and manage to hold) these territories will be rewarded with fuel bonuses, ammo bonuses, tech bonuses, and more.
  • PERSISTENCE: In Planetside 2 battles will last longer than a match timer. Battles will last for days or weeks, and finally taking control of the base means it’s yours until someone can take it back. Working strategically as a team to capture key tactical positions such as power plants and ammo depots will have long-lasting effects that can shift the tide of battle.
  • ENORMOUS MAPS: PlanetSide 2 will launch with several continent maps; every inch of which will be contestable space. With the new territorial control meta-game, landmass will have intrinsic value even without notable installations or major features.

PlanetSide 2 Details: Air Vehicles, Time-Based Unlocks, New Classes, And More!

  • FREE-FORM CLASS-BASED SYSTEM: Players will be able to unlock diverse combat roles by advancing through the skill tree, including several classic roles from PlanetSide. As players unlock new roles, they will be able to switch between them at will.
  • MISSION SYSTEM: Both SOE and players will be able to drive content, easing new players into the game and allowing veterans to feed content to players.
  • SKILL TREES: Players will be able to build their soldier to match their play-style, or to match the needs of their squad, outfit or empire. Each combat role, vehicle and weapon will have extensive skill trees. These cert trees will allow players to grow characters laterally, unlocking weapons, attachments, equipment, specialized skills, and more.
  • OUTFITS: Outfits (guilds) will also be able to customize themselves – allowing outfits to have their own identity, reputation and role in the ongoing war.
  • WEAPONS: Players will be able to access more than 20 basic weapons, which can be customized to players’ preference or purpose.
  • VEHICLES: More than 15 vehicles with two unique vehicles per empire. Players will be able to customize each vehicle, unlocking new skills and features.

We'll have more PlanetSide 2 details in the coming months, and look for a full preview once we actually get to play it. 

PlanetSide 2 Details: Air Vehicles, Time-Based Unlocks, New Classes, And More!
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