Published on January 26th, 2013 | by Fraser Brown2
PlanetSide 2 Roadmap
PlanetSide 2 is immensely fun, as I may have briefly mentioned in my review of the MMOFPS a couple of months ago. It is, however, somewhat limited in that it is a perpetual war with no victor and no goals aside from shooting folk and capturing bases that you will more than certainly lose within a day. For the time being, that’s been more than enough to keep me entertained, but it’s starting to go a wee bit stale; lacking, as it is, in the depth and fleshiness that keeps a game of this ilk rich in players.
Fortunately, SOE have been extremely forthright and transparent when it comes to detailing their plans for the future of the title. Not long after launch the team openly chatted about their three year plan (and beyond), including mentions of NPC factions, resource harvesting and even a seamless ocean splitting up the game’s vast and diverse continents.
A game so dependent on emergent gameplay really requires a lot of player feedback, and SOE had promised to work with its playerbase to help develop the game into something that can last. It’s a promise that a lot of developers make, but one that is often sadly hollow. It looks like SOE are sticking to it, though, as they have recently launched the PlanetSide 2 Road Map – it’s rather nifty.
Broken down by month, the Road Map details updates, new features and general game direction for all players to see. Beyond this, the community can up or downvote items on the list, as well as discuss them on the forums — each item has a dedicated thread. It’s a marvellously efficient and open way to gauge player interest, though it should be noted that this is not a case of mob rules. SOE is just looking for player feedback, it is not giving them the keys to the car.
I like this direction a lot. It doesn’t compromise SOE’s vision of the game, yet invites players to be active participants in its ongoing development. The three top items this month are things I personally would love to see, and I’m glad that most of the community appears to agree:
In our ongoing effort to mitigate spawn camping, we are planning on adding some spawn room tunnel networks to provide additional escape paths. The current plan is to add these to all Tech Plants and Amp Stations.
We want to mitigate the impact of render distance on enemies that are a direct threat. For example, anyone that pilots air vehicles can probably attest to how lame it is to get shot down by AA players that didn’t render because of the distances involved. We want to make sure that doesn’t happen.
This entails adding more windows and doors, as well as a canopy to protect against aircraft. This should make spawn camping more difficult and will be present across all small outposts.
The list runs all the way to June, so you can see the exact direction the game is moving in for the next five months. I look forward to see the impact this has on the game and how these updates are implemented. PlanetSide 2 has the potential to be an incredibly unique title, and player involvement can only help SOE fine tune their ideas and figure out exactly what people want to see going forward.