PlanetSide 2

Last updated
PlanetSide 2
PlanetSide 2 Cover Art.png
Developer(s) Rogue Planet Games
Publisher(s) Daybreak Game Company
Composer(s) Jeff Broadbent
Don Ferrone
Engine ForgeLight [1]
Platform(s) Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4
Release
  • Microsoft Windows
  • November 20, 2012
  • PlayStation 4
  • June 23, 2015
Genre(s) Massively multiplayer online first-person shooter game
Mode(s) Multiplayer

PlanetSide 2 is a free-to-play massively multiplayer online first-person shooter developed by Rogue Planet Games [2] and published by Daybreak Game Company. It is the sequel to PlanetSide , which originally released in 2003. [3] [4] As in the first PlanetSide, PlanetSide 2 chronicles the efforts of three factions as they fight for territorial control of the planet Auraxis. [5]

Contents

PlanetSide 2 holds the Guinness World Record for the biggest first-person shooter battle, with over 1,158 players being recorded in a single battle. [6] The game beat its own record in 2020 when 1,283 players participated in a single battle. [7]

Gameplay

PlanetSide 2 is a re-imagining of PlanetSide , featuring the same world and factions and taking place at roughly the same time period. As in the previous game, players, who represent one of three factions, attempt to control the planet Auraxis by capturing numerous territories. The game is an open world with large battles featuring up to 1,200 players per continent on foot and in land/air vehicles. [8] PlanetSide 2 is faster-paced than Planetside, featuring modern first person shooter elements such as sprinting, iron sights, and regenerating shields. [9] The game features 6 distinct infantry classes and 18 different vehicles, each of which play unique roles on the battlefield. [10] [11]

Players gain experience by killing enemies, aiding allies, and capturing objectives. As they progress they earn levels (Battle Ranks) and currency (certification points, or Certs). Certs allow the player to unlock upgrades and weapons which offer situational advantages over enemies. With the certification system, players are able to specialize into certain infantry or vehicle playstyles. [12] Daybreak Cash, a premium currency, can be purchased with real-world money and is used to buy weapons and cosmetic items; any weapons purchased with Daybreak Cash are the same as or functionally identical to those purchasable with Certs and thus offer no advantages unobtainable for free-to-play characters. [10] Another currency, called ISO-4, is used to obtain and upgrade Implants which provide additional advantages.

Continents can be captured, or "locked," by a faction. When a faction gains 100 Empire Strength from capturing territory, an Alert is triggered, which lasts for 90 minutes. [13] Whichever faction controls the most territory by the end of the alert captures the continent and all players are awarded Certs and ISO-4, with the victors earning substantially more. A combat advantage is also given to the winners, which will be active until that continent is once again unlocked. [14] More than one continent can be open at once if server population increases.

In April 2016, the construction system was launched, which allowed players to build their own bases. [15] Using a vehicle known as the ANT (Advanced Nanite Transport), players harvest Cortium and can construct cover, turrets, artillery, and modules, which enhance the defensive and offensive abilities of a base.

In March 2020, the Outfit-focused Escalation update was released. [16] Outfits are player-led communities comparable to clans in other games. The update granted Outfits access to tactical tools which include on-demand ground vehicles and orbital strike access. [17] Outfits can also call down massive spacecraft known as Bastion Fleet Carriers to the battlefield for a limited amount of time, which are capable of attacking both ground and air forces. [18]

In October 2020, The Shattered Warpgate, a story-focused update which introduced a seasonal campaign and daily missions, was released. The first update to directly integrate gameplay with PlanetSide lore, the update added a time-limited campaign players could participate in to earn special weapons and cosmetics. [19] [20] The continent of Esamir was completely redesigned to complement the story elements of the update. [21] All three chapters of The Shattered Warpgate ran from October 2020 to July 2021.

In July 2021, the major update _Integration was released, which overhauled the Nanite Systems Operatives (NSO) faction. The faction is now free to play for all users and was given new vehicles (the Dervish Heavy Fighter and the Chimera Main Battle Tank) along with additional directives, a visual upgrade, and a multitude of new weapons. Premium members have the option to play on their faction of choice while free to play users are automatically assigned to the faction with the lowest population. [22]

Story

Although the story is very similar to the original, Sony Online Entertainment (SOE) announced that award-winning author Marv Wolfman has joined the SOE team to write the ongoing historic fiction for the game. This is the first time the PlanetSide franchise narrative has been detailed. [23] The PlanetSide 2 blog is regularly updated with lore that provides insight into how the war on Auraxis came to be.

Factions

Development

Promotion at E3 2012 E3 Expo 2012 - Planetside soldiers (7640586184).jpg
Promotion at E3 2012

The first official indications that a PlanetSide sequel was in development appeared in 2009. On September 25, Sony Online Entertainment (SOE) sent a mass e-mail to current and former PlanetSide subscribers, asking to fill a survey that would help SOE design the next generation PlanetSide. "We plan to expand the PlanetSide universe with another game and we need your help with the design. After all, who knows the game better than you, our customers, the people who actually play it! Don't worry about the original PlanetSide, it isn't going anywhere." [27] In addition, SOE registered the domain www.PlanetSide2.com on September 21. [27] On October 11, SOE president John Smedley posted on his LiveJournal account that the sequel's working title is PlanetSide Next. [28] [29]

Little was revealed about the sequel until December 2010, when Smedley said that SOE would be launching a first-person shooter in March 2011, [30] which was soon confirmed by Paul Williams of SOE as referring to PlanetSide Next. [31] On March 31, 2011, SOE announced that it would be ending development of their spy-themed MMO The Agency and refocusing efforts on EverQuest Next and PlanetSide Next. [32] Smedley confirmed that PlanetSide Next had been delayed – the result of recently switching to a new game engine – and would be available later in the year. [33] The working title was later changed to PlanetSide 2. The official website was later updated to show a video trailer of the upcoming game. Many interview videos were taken after that showing sections of gameplay, but the biggest off-screen game play video was shown at 2012's GDC, showing most of the game aspects.

SOE President John Smedley announced that a closed beta test would begin July 30 or 31 2012 "barring any unforeseen circumstances.". [34] On July 30 Smedley announced that the beta testing would be delayed until at least August 3 "to make sure some stuff is awesome.". [35] On August 3 Smedley announced that the closed Beta would commence 2pm PDT (GMT-7) Monday 6 August. [36] The beta closed on November 17, 2012, pending the game's official release November 20, 2012. [37]

Game engine

The game uses SOE's ForgeLight engine which in turn uses Nvidia's PhysX API for its physics engine. [38] PhysX was originally also used for to display realistic particle effects, [39] [40] but this was later removed due to stability issues.[ citation needed ] The new engine enables higher player counts and more realistic vehicle handling compared to the previous PlanetSide . Weather and day/night cycles are also possible as well as volumetric fog and clouds which players can hide in. [38] With the new engine, a hitscan system is no longer used, and each bullet is simulated as a realistic projectile affected by both gravity and velocity.[ citation needed ]

Another improvement over PlanetSide is the introduction of locational hitboxes for soldiers and vehicles, which allows for custom damage multipliers depending on where models are hit. A headshot will do significantly more damage than a bodyshot would, while a shot below the torso will do less damage. These damage multipliers can be customized per-weapon as well - most small arms do significantly more damage with headshots, while explosives, some vehicle weapons and certain high rate of fire guns will do no additional damage with a headshot.

In 2019, the PlanetSide 2 engine was upgraded to use DirectX 11, while it had previously been using DirectX 9. This update provided significant improvements to performance and hardware compatibility. [41]

Business model

PlanetSide 2 is free-to-play and includes a cash shop for players to purchase in-game convenience items and cosmetic changes using real money. For example, a player can purchase camouflage (paint) for their weapon or vehicle. [42] The developers have indicated an admiration of League of Legends 's freemium business model. [43] In 2011, SOE CEO John Smedley said the cash shop "will not sell a more powerful gun or vehicle." [44] During the beta for the game, Rock, Paper, Shotgun's Nathan Grayson noted that the cash shop sold secondary weapons for aircraft, [42] but changes have since been made to the game before it left beta.

The game also offers a subscription which provides players with increased experience, cert points, and extra resources, which are used to acquire things such as grenades and medical kits. [42] Grayson said that the goal of these benefits were convenience rather than making subscribed players more powerful than other players. [42] However, Grayson noted that people purchasing these offerings might then be able to quickly acquire a large number of powerful items. [42] Creative director Matt Higby said, "success on the battlefield is still entirely player skill based, [players purchasing cash shop offerings will] just be less impacted for re-deploying to the battlefield. That is a huge benefit, no denying it. Is that 'buying power'? Well, that depends on your definition." [42]

Players are also able to create cosmetic items (such as helmets, armors, and decals) for the game with the Player Studio. The Player Studio operates on a revenue sharing model where the creator of the item is paid each time their in-game item is purchased. The most successful players have earned tens of thousands of dollars from their creations. [45]

Release

PlanetSide 2 launched November 20, 2012. [46] European players were initially unable to play due to an incorrect game launcher on the Steam platform in addition to EU server issues.

Sony Online Entertainment's President John Smedley mentioned that a Mac version might be planned for PlanetSide 2. Smedley said: "I absolutely strongly share that view. No you aren't going to see PlanetSide 2 on Linux. You will see it on Mac though". [47] The official PlanetSide 2 Twitter account responded to a question on the topic of a Mac version as "Stay tuned for all potential updates. ^Spoiler". [48]

A PlayStation 4 version of the game has been said to be released alongside Sony's new console November 2013. After the console launch when the game was not released, players learned that the launch has been rescheduled sometime in late 2014. [49] Sign ups for the PlayStation 4 version's beta began on the game's website in December 2014, and was launched on January 20, 2015. [50] [51] The PS4 version officially released on June 23, 2015. [52] [53]

PlanetSide Arena

On December 13, 2018, Daybreak Game Company announced PlanetSide Arena, a spin-off of PlanetSide 2. The game would similarly feature massive battles and combined arms gameplay, but mainly support game modes such as battle royale and team deathmatch instead. PlanetSide Arena was released for Early Access on September 19, 2019. [54] It was shut down on January 10, 2020 due to low player counts. [55] [56]

Reception

Critical reception

PlanetSide 2 received positive reviews from critics. Aggregating review website Metacritic gave the PC version 84/100 based on 42 reviews. [57]

Critics praised the large scale battles, impressive graphics and free-to-play model. GameSpy stated that, "PlanetSide 2 shows the PC off. From the gorgeous lighting and huge draw distances, to the intense, multiplayer battles." [61] IGN gave the game 9/10 praising the battles, "The scale of PlanetSide 2's battles is often breathtaking, as lines of tanks fire at bases while aircraft light up the sky and hundreds of players fill the scene with healing beams and lethal weapons fire." [64]

Awards

PlanetSide 2 won several awards at the Electronic Entertainment Expo 2012. IGN awarded it "Best MMO Game" and "Best PC Game"; GameSpy awarded it "Best Shooter", "Best Free to Play" and "Best PC Exclusive"; and from PC Gamer, "Best Shooter", "Best MMO", "Best of Show" and "Most Awards Received". PlanetSide 2 received numerous other awards and nominations from several critics. [65] In 2015 Planetside 2 broke the record for most players in a single FPS battle on the Jaeger server, where 1,158 players simultaneously took part in a battle. [66] This record was later beaten again in 2020, with 1,283 players participating in a single battle. While the previous record had been set as part of an officially sponsored event, the new record resulted from a player count surge driven by the Escalation update and the COVID-19 pandemic. [7]

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