Some time ago I asked Matt Higby from Planetside 2 if he’d be kind enough to answer some questions from the MordorHQ community. The questions were all about Planetside 2 from a Battlefield players perspective. There are a lot of BF players disenfranchised with the BF series, and a lot of us are looking to PS2 for our next game.
To my absolute surprise Matt agreed to answer a “brief” Q&A. Needless to say the questions he received were anything but brief, and that was after I’d culled down the community’s questions considerably.
As Matt is rather busy at the moment, Jason Good, who is Sr. Game Designer on Planetside 2, has been kind enough to answer the questions sent in. These answers have also been posted over on MordorHQ in this thread:
I’d like to thank Jason for taking the time to answer the questions, Matt for agreeing to them, and last but not least Taina at SOE who’s had to handle these questions on our behalf.
1. Will there be any training simulation and/or tutorials, for vehicle training and a gun range?
• Not at the moment, but it’s not something we’ve ruled out developing down the road.
2. What aspect of the game is going to make us want play for a longer time?
• There are a few different aspects to cover when it comes to longevity, but for me certifications (essentially abilities you can unlock with experience) are doing the heavy lifting. We plan on launching with a ton of certification trees for everything from classes, to weapons, to vehicles that will let players tailor their classes, vehicles, and equipment to specific strategies and play styles. If you want access to everything, you’re going to need to put in some time. Plus, we’ll be adding in additional certifications as we go, so there should always be something new to check out.
3. Also, are battles on different continents interrelated in any way?
• Combat across continents is related, but indirectly. While there are no mechanics that will impact you on Indar because of fighting happening on Amerish, you could see a dramatic impact when it comes to player behavior. It allows for things like a feint on a different continent to set up a major attack, or just being able to strike where your enemy doesn’t expect.
4. What are the major do’s and don’ts BF vets should be aware of as not to offend PS vets too much & are there any key history or issues in the PS1 game life that BF vets should know about before firing up PS2?
• The community that has grown around PS1 (and subsequently PlanetSide 2) strikes me as pretty welcoming to new players and converts. The general consensus seems to be that the more people in the game, the better time everyone is going to have – the more the merrier. There are a few additional layers of strategic gameplay going on, and the scale is significantly bigger than you might find playing Battlefield, but beyond the learning curve associated with the specific PlanetSide 2 related gameplay, features and mechanics, I don’t think BF veterans are in store for too many landmines.
5. Will we be allowed to pick up fallen kits from friendly or enemy players & will there be squad spawning?
• The current design does not allow you to pick up the kits of fallen friends or foes. To this point, it just doesn’t really fit with the rest of the game.
• There will definitely be squad spawning. The current plan is to tie the ability to squad spawn to a deployable beacon that can be unlocked via the leadership certification tree.
6. What are the requirements to start an outfit? Can I have different command levels within an outfit, and what happens if players in another server want to join my outfit? Do outfits have their own VOIP system?
• There are no requirements to start an outfit, but you’ll need to recruit and carve out a reputation to be one of the elite.
• Outfits do not have command levels and are specific to each server.
• Outfits, squads, commanders, and people in your proximity all have access to their own voice chat. You will also have the ability to create private password protected channels as well.
7. Where will you have servers, for example in NA, Europe and Oceania?
• I don’t have specifics on where all of our servers will be at this point, but it’s a safe bet to say we’ll have NA and European servers at the very least.
8. How many levels of command will there be, and how will outfits work together to achieve larger objectives? For example, will there be a command structure higher than an outfit that can coordinate several outfits? If so, how are they elected/chosen?
• Squads have six members with one leader. The active leader will be able to use his special leadership abilities while acting as the leader
• Platoons are a group of four squads. There is a platoon leader which is the leader of the “alpha” squad. The leaders of each squad will be able to use their special leadership abilities for their specific squad.
• Squad and platoon leaders can gain access to a special command channel where they can text and voice chat with other leaders to form structured attacks.
• Outfits are more of a social group of allies than something tied to tactical organization. You will have a name, emblem, and voice and text chat, but will not see them on the map, or be able to use leadership abilities on them unless they joined your squad or platoon.
9. About the gunplay, will it be purely arcade, skill based or in between (BF3 being arcade). And could you expand on the ttk, recoil, deviation the game might have. Are they aiming towards a hard to master philosophy with a high learning curve?
• We’re aiming for (no pun intended) an arcade feel that has room for the skilled players to stand out. Our goal for the TTK is around 1 second at the average engagement range, though that will scale as the range changes. Recoil and deviation will vary based on weapon, but I’d say we’re a moderate recoil, low deviation model.
10. We BF vets are assuming continued support for PS2 with new weapons, vehicles, and maps, how often could we expect to see new content? Every 6 months? 3 months? as needed? Year? Also, what kind of things can be expected post-launch? Naval vehicles in a water continent? Space battles? Hovering bases (titans)?
• In terms of adding new weapons, vehicles, maps, etc – we want to be cognizant of maintaining appropriate balance. With that being said, at this point I’d roll with “as needed”. Everything else you listed sounds totally awesome. There are definitely plans for post-launch (some of which may or may not already be represented in your list) but right now we’re all focused on executing External Beta and commercial launch.
11. Are you allowed to have multiple characters from different factions and if so how many character slots are players allocated? Is there the ability to faction switch without rolling a new character (assuming you are allowed multiple characters)?
• We’re only allowing one character per server. You can switch your class on the fly and unlock every possible cert on one character, so it shouldn’t be overly constraining.
• Post launch we plan on adding the ability to do a paid faction switch, similar to the concept of paying for a server swap on other MMOs, but there is no in game mechanic allowing you to defect.