jsmedley (john_smedley) wrote,

What Planetside Next means to me

We all have our vices. For some gamers RPG's really do it for them. One of the things I've always loved about SOE is that we built our company on the core idea of making games across many genres, and that includes the world's first MMOFPS, Planetside.

I love Planetside. I really do. It's an amazing game. you won't find any other FPS where you can have a 100 vs. 100 battle raging. And we pulled this off 5-6 years ago.

There's a great description of a Planetside battle here:


I really couldn't sum it up any better than that. To me the idea of a massive firefight on that kind of scale is why I'm a gamer. 

Planetside had a lot of really great things about it, but it also had some frustrating things. The whole Sanctuary concept is something that slowed things down too much. We also didn't get people back into the action quickly enough.

But the core of Planetside - massive battles with vehicles and infantry was something we nailed really well.

To me, Planetside Next means we get a chance to take the essence of everything that was fun in Planetside and make it a lot better. Massive battles on a scale no other FPS will touch. None of this 64 player stuff. REALLY MASSIVE. With much better organization, and a tight focus on making sure the action is always going on, with awesome graphics.

Damn I love Planetside. I really do.


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First, I'd like to say that I'm very excited for a new Planetside. I started playing the original around 1 month after release and played until 2006. The game was excellent, it did things that not many other games attempted.

However, what eventually drove me away was the declining population, BFRs, and lack of substantial updates. Declining population was to be expected as time progressed, so thats somewhat forgivable, but not when its caused by the other two factors. I know I'm not the only one who didn't like BFRs and the lack of updates. The updating issue speaks for itself. BFRs drastically altered the balance of the game, and destroyed the original mechanics the game was designed around, one/two people should not have that much power. Had BFRs been in the game since launch, it may have been different, but since they were thrown in quite a long time after launch, they turned a lot of people off including myself.

Things I think need attention for the game are:

- Empire balance needs to be handled better(I had characters for all 3 empires, and I don't care what the VS die-hards say, they were the overpowered empire not the underpowered empire, Lasher 2.0, Magmower, etc)
- More frequent updates and patches. Drastic vehicle and weapon updates (mainly something like a BFR type update) should have more community input before implementation.
- Keep at least 3 empires, maybe introduce a fourth.
- If sanctuaries are kept around, maybe introduce the possibility of short length sanctuary strikes under certain conditions.
- More empire specific vehicles and weapons.
- Keep evolving the playstyle as time goes on. What I mean is that I'd like to see fresh playstyle ideas (like the capital system) introduced from time to time, but have these new playstyles in addition to the existing ones.

Sorry for the long post, but I wanted to add my thoughts, because I want the Planetside Next to succeed and be as fun as Planetside was when it first started out.
"you won't find any other FPS where you can have a 100 vs. 100 battle raging. And we pulled this off 5-6 years ago."

World War II Online and Cornered Rat Software did this before Planetside did.

And Planetside is also NOT the world's first MMOFPS, WWIIOL is.
hmm. technically you are probably right, but I put WWIIOL into the sim category not the FPS just due to the pacing. I've played it a fair amount.

First I'd like to say I loved Planetside from the very moment I stepped into it. Thank you John and SOE for creating such a fantastic world!

I played a great deal of Planetside during very early closed beta and early release, particularly. These days were the game's golden ages. I was a CR5 commander in beta and live. The command system was great, but I think you need to keep playing at least semi-hardcore to maintain it. As young teenagers and children got command rank, it started to get out of hand. So many people have CR5 now on Planetside it disgusts me.

I would have to agree with other posters in saying that Planetside has truly become session based. When I utilized the command system early and put together some of the very first 'raids,'the game was truly a simulated war. Massive. Commanders were almost playing a macro heavy RTS game. I'm not saying that small micromanagement based squads are bad, but you actually had the option to play with these massive armies.

This wasn't the best screenshot I found of this, but if you were on during the last days of beta on Markov, you should remember this: http://mrzioto.com/games/ps/bfb.jpg

It works, believe it or not. Early in Planetside, it was used as a hub to organize squads, plan missions, create raids such as in my screenshot. Since the game has become so session based, it is now seen as an obstacle. One early change I remember is when they broke up the Sanctuary into 3 separate areas, obviously at the time for performance reasons. This contributed to killing the social aspect of Planetside. Another thing, in the early days, people actually cared about being in an organized squad. No one wants to zerg and die over and over. Planetside used to be a game where your squad actually paid attention to chat and listened to instructions. To get high command rank fast, I needed to work with a good squad. Nowadays, you are LFS from logging in, get invited to a squad almost instantly, and proceed to zerg. Even without voice chat, I was able to make a very organized squad.

More 'end-game' situations: Giving enemy tech for capturing home continents was a start. Why not add Sanctuary raids?


Lessen the cooldown to 30-60 sec, possibly instant. Perhaps to conteract abuse, limit the amount of times you can use it, or add a few minute cooldown after using it, etc. Still a great system.

Battle Rank:
It worked out. Certification points need to be scarce. Having a ton of certification points was bad for the game. Why? Because if you had a large amount of points, you could do almost anything on your own. Having low cert points helped contribute to the MMO factor. You needed that solid Medic, or that Galaxy pilot to get from Point A to Point B, etc.

I can't say how demoralizing it is to play modern day Planetside. There are hackers on almost everyday that are playing just blatantly. Who knows how many toggle on randomly to get a great K/D, but are careful about it. With paid undetected hacks, whose to stop you? Even people blatantly warping and destroying generators take several hours to be removed from the game world. They come back with another free trial and are at it the next day. Please do something about hacking from the start. Put a real emphasize on development: How can we make this game hack free? What kind of systems can we implement to quickly remove hackers and exploiters from the game?

Positional Shots:
The game should have a higher skill cap, enough said. Not being able to shoot headshots is one of those things that really ruin the immersion and fun of a FPS. I beg that with newer technology you can make this happen!

Bases: Give us more of a variety. VASTLY edit the floor plans. Give us more interaction other than command consoles and generators.w

Environment based battles: Bridge battles were some of the funnest times in Planetside! Make sure environment makes for a different variety of battles again! Islands, bridges, craters, etc.

Music: Great job in the original! The tracks are great, and I love how the music can change based on resecures, etc. Please deliver again!

(cont from above comment)

Visuals: Awesome, and the best part is my framerate back in 2003-2004 wasn't awful, even without a top end computer! Do this again and you have gold.

Beta testing and release date: Don't get pushed around on this. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE do not release this game until it is DONE! Planetside was NOT. It was the shell of a game with more potential than any MMOFPS ever created.

Thank you for reading!

TR Markov CR5 - Beta/Release
DROW Planetside Former Team Lead

Re: Planetside Next...


10 years ago

For me Planetside is something new I've gotten into, although years ago when I first saw it on a friends computer (no PC back then) I was impressed by the scale, it was like watching a movie with base assaults and I was so impressed I subbed a few years later just based on seeing that action.

But there is also another draw to it, I love Sci-fi, and Planetside feels like Sci-fi.

Unlike too many supposedly sci-fi games in comparison which just look and feel like US army with a couple of ray guns which to me is a dull concept, Planetside feels futuristic yet immersive and that adds a lot to my enjoyment.

So I'm hoping they can capture that feel again in Planetside 2, along with keeping the other things that makes it was it is along with the extra goodies we can do today such as rag doll physics, more hit boxes, critical damage (e.g. knock out cooling systems and need a engineer to fix etc), and destructible terrain etc (even if it needs special weapons to deconstruct fortifications).

Not sure how the battles can be encouraged to be fought over the entire map, maybe allow for entrenching, altering the terrain etc, and command directives to encourage people to take and hold? Getting that command to work better between total strangers will be interesting to see.

Personally I never found the sanctuary a problem here, but that's one thing I find exciting about games. Whenever planetside next appears I know I'll be getting something new different and hopefully better then I could imagine.

Thanks Smed and the rest of the team at SOE for producing such a great game (and I'm a fan of EQ2 too).
I love PlanetSide too- me n' my friends have been waiting for a continuation for years.
It is a great thing that you want to make. I play PS for 3 years and surely love it. But i will ask you only one thing:
big armies, outfits and platoons are great but do not forget single players. I usually play in small squad with my friends, and our most beloved vehicles are Thunder and Enforcer. So do not forget 2 and 3 mens vehicles! And make much more of them!
More vehicles - there are already plenty, but an even greater variety would be amazing.
Bigger vehicles - Mobile spawn units that can launch ground and air vehicles. Anti-grav carriers and supertanks come to mind. Smaller fighters and larger bombers - More aircraft types to choose from that have different advantages. This will really help a player who identifies with a certain vehicle and wants to use it all the time not just because of how it looks but the way it performs - ie WW2 turn and burn fighters VS boom and Zoom fighters.
More complex vehicles - The current majority of vehicles are drawn from real-world dune buggies and such. Add 6 and eight wheeled beasts to the mix and the game look seven more futuristic. Hoverbikes, tracked vehicles and antigrav units of varying sizes and crews as well.
Sanc - this is actually a very good meeting place to form raids. The only annoying factor is the the Hart, but that's not too bad, only when yo miss it
BFR - they need to be bigger and have larger crews. They should be siege engines unable to go into courtyards but able to duke it out through the toughest bombardments(unless attacked by a coordinated grunt unit a la current BFRs).

Keep maxes, they rock
I loved Planetside. What drove me away, finally (besides the TRx hackers), was the monotony of the battles. All the bases looked the same, felt the same, and had the same types of terrain in their immediate vicinity. Same with towers.

My opinion is that there must be more variety with base types, terrain, and reasons to fight in places other than in the immediate area around a base. Caves didn't do it, because they were very restrictive. Open land battles over an area with the objective of fighting towards an objective that is perhaps smaller than a tower, but still useful, could accomplish this.

Client side hit detection has to go. Getting killed by some jack-ass around the corner just because he's got a laggy connection sucks big time.

BFRs were unnecessary. As much as I enjoyed running around in them, they were too powerful, and filled a niche that was already filled - tank killer. They weren't superb at anti-infantry, they were OK at anti-air (but 2-3 reavers would still kill a BFR reliably), but against tanks they were beasts. However, we already had anti-tank weapons, both in smaller vehicles, bombers, reavers, and hand-held weapons. They were discouraging to the average gamer - a single guy can hardly do anything against a BFR before being stomped on or otherwise killed (excepting EMP grenades, which I almost never encountered), whereas that same single guy can do quite a bit more to a tank. Regenerative shields only added to this problem.

A communal system for commanders to vote on the next target would be AWESOME and incredibly useful.

A higher cool-down timer on orbital strikes would be useful, too. Those things got far too common late in the game. Some factional variety in orbital strike effects might be cool, too.

More anti-cheat protection would be great, as well as more participation by the admins/mods to catch cheaters. TRx proclaimed PROUDLY that they cheated, and released YouTube videos of their cheats (many of which wouldn't have worked if client side hit detection wasn't there). Nobody ever did anything about it, and that is beyond sad.

Can't think of anything else at the moment - those are my biggies. Regardless, if there's a big launch, I'll be playing again.
You're a complete tool. TRx are completely legit players. They don't cheat. If one is proven to be a cheater they get kicked. Just because they're better than you doesn't mean they cheat.

If you take EVIDENCE (aka. VIDEO) of them cheating take it to their website and post it. trxclan.com/forum
I love Planetside since it came out in May 2003 and you can count on me for PLANETSIDE 2.
By the way if you can improve Planetside I will love you forever but that doesnt mean I won't kill you in Planetside 2 if you're not a Terrran Guy ; )

AgentOrange, Terran Forces, Veteran from Werner
One of the biggest flaws I seen in planetside was the lack of field artillery. Yes we did have the flail but it was horrible and just junk for the actual field artillery missions required of field artillery. That and it required a vehicle mod just to pull one which was horrible. I mean you make one of the most important instruments in war fare one of the rarest pieces of equipment. I am an infantryman in Americas army and field artillery is our best friend. The infantry is regarded as the queen of the battlefield and artillery is called the king of the battle field and always has been. America began using artillery in 1775 during the revolution, during this time an artillery man was paid more than the infantry and even the cavalry. In 1784 when the army was abolished all but a detachment of around 80 men to guard government stores. Those men were artillery, thus artillery is the only MOS that has been in continuous service. In WWI field artillery was the most dominant force in trench war fare being responsible for 75% of all combat casualties. In WWII field artillery was just as devastating. General Patton was quoted saying, “I do not need to tell you who won the war. You know, the artillery did.” May of 1953, 280 mm gun called “Atomic Annie” and fired the first nuclear shell down range. Artillery has been known to break mens will to fight and has been a determining factor in every engagement in history. Except the Panama war due to the tree canopy. There is no way you can have a massive FPS war game with organized armies and not included field artillery. I hope to see militaries most important tool included in planetside next.
There has been numerous times in the planetside universe that I have wanted to be able to call in for artillery. Artillery plays a key role in military victories especially infantry due to these particular missions.

Counterbattery fire: delivered for the purpose of destroying or neutralizing the enemy's fire support system.
Counterpreparation fire: intensive prearranged fire delivered when the imminence of the enemy attack is discovered.
Covering fire: used to protect troops when they are within range of enemy small arms. Defensive fire: delivered by supporting units to assist and protect a unit engaged in a defensive action.
Final Protective Fire: an immediately available prearranged barrier of fire designed to impede enemy movement across defensive lines or areas.
Interdiction fire: placed on an area or point to prevent the enemy from using the area or point.
Preparation fire: delivered before an attack to weaken the enemy position
Suppression fire: that degrades the performance of a target below the level needed to fulfill its mission. Suppression is usually only effective for the duration of the fire.

Different types of artillery are also varying.

Mortars- would add a unique aspect to them since infantry squads could pack these and deploy them as needed out of their back pack.
Howitzers- typical gun, 105mm or 155mm cannon
Naval Artillery- battleship 12” cannons used in destroying other ships or weakening costal defenses
Self-Propelled Artillery- Howitzer cannons mounted on a tracked vehicle
MLRS multiple launch rocket system- Shoot and scoot tactics, very powerful rocket launching tracked vehicle capable of taking out a whole grid square (1km by 1km)

"In WWI field artillery was the most dominant force in trench war fare being responsible for 75% of all combat casualties."

Exactly. No one wants to die to this crap 75% of the time, it's a game. Flails were up there with BFRs as one of the worst additions to PS.
Hey John,
A long time Vet here who misses Planetside a lot. I wanted to say a few things, and I appreciate you letting us know whats going on with a potential sequal.

I've recently read the article you referred to and it struck true with me as well, and after finding this blog of yours, I'd have to agree that Planetside is/was the greatest MMOFPS made and I believe Planetside 2 will only Reistablish that title. No other FPS MMO or otherwise has captured my FPS love like Planetside so thank you for making a new Planetside.

With that out of the way, I'd hope to leave a few suggestions. An opinion of course to add to the collective pot of loving Fans.

The first thing I'd like to suggest is a Goal for the Planetside New for the players. Warfare base control is fun, but there has to be something else to keep them playing. Take a look at "Gone with the Blastwave" Strip one as an example and I hope you enjoy :)

Instead of making Sanctuaries, I would recommend Headquarters that CAN be captured. This would give incentive for everyone to fight. Sacking an Enemy's headquarters would be great fun. And fighting to reclaim your HQ would be great as well. And how would they do that with your Headquarters being taken over? By becoming Renegades/Outlaws/underground Freedom fighters temporarily whose goal is to take back whats theres or Take someone else's Headquarters and make it theirs. You could have several Haven Cities/Metropolis filled with pedestrians and people where undergrounds could gather to rise up and reclaim an HQ/Base, etc.. and start it up again.

For Character progression, I'd like to make a suggestion on various profressions available in Tuning Weapons or Vehicles slightly for personal/outfit preference. As well as a sense of economy for getting better gear. (perhaps if enemies obtain your gear if its better and can use it or reverse engineer it for parts for their gear for upgrades). But nothing too severe as to create horrible imbalances and put Battle Rank Restrictions on better items.

Anyways, Thanks again for bringing my love for planetside back around. I can't wait to see the new game when its done.
Another beta tester here (TheEvilBlight). I kept my beta CDs, and still do to this day. They're chilling in the media mail wrapper with the letter thanking me for participating in the beta, a corny reminder of sentimentality. I blew my AP tests and my high school GPA with the Planetside beta (which is probably a bad thing, but I still made it graduate school).

The beta experience was probably the best FPS experience ever in living memory. Nothing beats a multi-gal hotdrop onto a contested base. For budget reasons FPS mechanics didn't keep up with the times, a fatal mistake since FPSers have different expectations than MMORPGers.

The current definition of "MMOFPS" is basically an enlarged multiplayer server. People know in their hearts they won't pay for that. But to see a hundred people fighting it out is something people will enjoy immensely. Hard to say why, but diving into a giant free-for-all while surging away from the tingling noise of an orbital strike on the AMS is great fun.
I myself would pay for planetside next, I would even pay more for it than a WoW subscription. I still pay for the original planetside and will continue to pay for it until planetside next comes out. Planetside has been the only game besides ones from my childhood that I can get lost in. I can go on missions in the planetside world for hours at a time. If its a saturday I'll turn on some college football (if its time for the season cant miss my wolverines) and log onto planetside and start to conquer. I really dont care much that there is no end game either. I dont think MMO games can really have "end game" scenarios. Now what could happen is season play. Goes on for four months and whatever faction scored the most on however its ranked is that seasons victor. But just like WoW obviously all MMO games are never ending. I would happily pay for this game. I dont care if there is in game ads somewhere or not, I just want to play this game.


10 years ago

There is a company in china who made a game, this game is planetside... Everything about this game resembles planetside. It has maxs even a unit called a skeeter which is an aircraft with a chain gun. It has another aircraft much like the reaver which fires rockets... Sounds to me like this company ripped off my most favorite game all the way. Except they took all the parts that made planetside wrong and put them into their game and left out all the parts that made planetside right, namely the large maps. To my understanding Welkings maps are rather small. Also seems like there are no continents just maps to load and play on. Only thing i liked about watching welkin videos is the fact they had field artillery that looked pretty awesome. Other than that this games looks like crap. Three factions which are robots no humans. Small maps. Towers are not really towers more like buildings. They also could not be original they had to rip off planetside. Two thumbs down for this horrible law suit of a game.
There's no real way to test a massive game like PlanetSide claims to be.
a few testers cant even begin to represent the massive populations of the game.

Instead, make the game as real as possible.
Say you introduce BFR's (Without the players consent). Give them only to the Vanu or something, say its a technological breakthrough.

If the players think the BFRs are fair, the other two factions 'develop' BFRs. If the players decide that the BFRs unbalance gameplay (even if they were on both sides), then instead of having the other two factions develop the BFRs, they develop a type of weapon that tracks a BFR you lock on to and insta-kills it. Now anyone stupid enough to use a BFR will get shot down and pretty much annihilated if they think of going into a battle with a BFR.

Also, if you introduce a new map, or even a new section of the map, just drop a meteor on it for no reason. In the middle of gameplay. So, you're defending the last base on the continent (Which never gets taken over because the terrain and other factors make it a practically impenatrable base) and suddenly, a meteor falls from outer space, landing on the base (destroying it) and the continent is covered in ashes for a few weeks.

Just make the game seem like its constantly evolving (What you guys were trying to do in the first place) but before you implement an idea, always have a fail safe just in case the idea goes wrong.

Nobody expects game designers to create the perfect game and never screw up a patch. We just expect that when designers completely fuck a patch up, they'll go back and fix it. Natural disasters, or the regular progression of technology would be a good way to implement new ideas, but with still having other strategies for fixing possible problems.

And if all else fails, just remove the patch from the game. Again, nobody expects games to be perfect, we just expect the company to try.
I second this post wholeheartedly. Also, the Black Ops race was a stupid decision by the dev team.....everyone hated that.
Back in the "old-day's-of-Planetside" before the caverns and BFR's.There was a clan called Natural Selection (NS) on Werner. In our high point we had members numbering HUNDREDS.

To this day i still play almost every game with the great guys and gals i met when playing on Planetside.

There is one thing that we all have in common - Planetside. The awesome scope of the game, it's sheer immensity, has lodged it's place in our hearts forever. We remember battles raging all day, continents contested, giants slayed and we tasted the ashes of defeat, we saw Druckwelle fill the skies.

Like everyone else, the BFR's and Caverns where the moment when a Gaming Legend cocked up. I signed up to Werner again six months ago or so, and at the busiest time found 4, YES FOUR, other people in the entire game.

Though NS became E.V.E. (european vanu elite) and then post-planetside MiA (Monkehs in Action) and Black Lotus - both sister corps with the majority of the original Planetside players, one thing remained - we all sigh when we remembered what planetside was before the BFR/caverns.

PLEASE don't make the same mistakes again.

To get people out of the constant take-base-take-tower-take-base... scenario:

Divide continents into territories, These each have a main base, and is divided into smaller sectors. Sectors will give resources to the bases/towers etc.. in the form of Spawn units (lose the sector governing spawning, and you are limited to a certain spawn's per minute, the more spawn sectors controlled the more spawn's you get.) Resource sectors (each player in a territory gets a limited amount of Resource each, if 3 people want a tank, they wait untill they have enough resource to club together for a tank. If the Territory is completely owned by their faction, they have no problems getting vehicles etc..)

The main base's have control rooms, from here the resource is distributed between spawns / defence weapons / shields. With overall command being voted for by, or allocated to, the highest (base) command rank player in the control room. - commanding a base well sees your command points increase, and vice versa) - with individual players being able to Mutiny Vote the current commander.

Territorial commanders have an area like the simulated battle area that each base has next to the spawn room in the existing game, except when they stand at the table they can view a map screen that shows current activity, unit placements, platoons present, sectors controlled etc...
If they don't control 'Comms Links' in those sectors they get fog of war for that area, or limited info.
The Territorial Officers then post orders to the clans/platoons/guilds what have you, and these are picked up by any squad that fancies that mission, each could be assigned reward points to add incentive for dross jobs like nanite running.

Part 2 to follow...
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