John Smedley on PlanetSide 2 - PlanetSide Universe
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John Smedley on PlanetSide 2 Bookmark and Share

On this past Saturday we had a chance to sit down with John Smedley (also known as Smed) and ask him some questions about PlanetSide 2. One thing he wanted to make very clear the "Free" component of PlanetSide 2.

Q. Can you elaborate a little bit on the free aspect that has been mentioned?

A. There will be a cash shop for the game however the goal is not to sell power. For example we would sell things like customization because we would like there to be a massive amount of ways to customize your characters. So people could recognize you or your outfit out of a group. We will not sell a more powerful gun or vehicle.

Click here for the entire interview. Tomorrow we will have our final Fan Faire 2011 feature, my personal thoughts and impressions on what we have heard thus far.

96 comments
2011-07-12 04:36 PM
Latest Comments
2011-07-13 01:29 AM
opticalshadow
Re: John Smedley on PlanetSide 2

Originally Posted by Bags View Post
The weapons are side grades and they can be found, crafted or bought, so not really.
well the thign is yes you can buy weapons. and even if you can attain the same thing in game, it allows cash to buy power.

in ps terms why shoudl someone be allowed to drop 30 extra bucks and get all the perks that would take someone to actually play the game for three months, thats buyign power, it might not be exclucive but it will be there. and it rarely stops so short, they will inflate the cash shop with mino minor things. it might start as a special varient weapon that adds looks you can only get cashshop, and it may have a small reload faster click or something. or you may be able to eventually buy certs outright.

this is the problem with cash shops.


im also not a fan of it being p2p with cash shop options. if im paying 50 bucks for a box, andthen 15 a month, why should i pay an extra 10 bucks to incorperate my own logo for my team?
2011-07-13 01:34 AM
Bags
Re: John Smedley on PlanetSide 2

Originally Posted by opticalshadow View Post
well the thign is yes you can buy weapons. and even if you can attain the same thing in game, it allows cash to buy power.

in ps terms why shoudl someone be allowed to drop 30 extra bucks and get all the perks that would take someone to actually play the game for three months, thats buyign power, it might not be exclucive but it will be there. and it rarely stops so short, they will inflate the cash shop with mino minor things. it might start as a special varient weapon that adds looks you can only get cashshop, and it may have a small reload faster click or something. or you may be able to eventually buy certs outright.

this is the problem with cash shops.


im also not a fan of it being p2p with cash shop options. if im paying 50 bucks for a box, andthen 15 a month, why should i pay an extra 10 bucks to incorperate my own logo for my team?
It doesn't take three months to find a weapon in TF2. And it's not buying power... it's buying a side grade.
2011-07-13 01:37 AM
Gandhi
Re: John Smedley on PlanetSide 2

Personally I'd rather have a subscription based game. My experience with F2P cash shop games hasn't been particularly good, I can't quite put my finger on it but I think mostly it's been the communities it tends to create. Maybe I've just had bad luck in that regard, I dunno.

But since they're going for a cash shop I guess there's no use complaining about it. I just hope they can find a way to do it right, because I don't think it's an easy thing to do.
2011-07-13 01:41 AM
Bags
Re: John Smedley on PlanetSide 2

It's actually really easy to do. IT's the one thing RIOT has gotten right with League of Legends. They just sell skins and champions that you can unlock with ingame currency.
2011-07-13 04:39 AM
Oty
Re: John Smedley on PlanetSide 2

Originally Posted by Malorn View Post
Good questions, and great answers.

Only thing I still don't get is how Sanctuaries slowed the game down. The only time I spent a significant amount of time in sanc was when I was AFK (and wouldn't have been playing anyway). The other times I went to sanc was to rally and get new vehicles for hitting a new continent with my squad.
[...]
I think Sancs were great for rally points for switching offensives...I really don't see how they slowed the game at all.
I agree, I'm positive to everything they have said so far and i'm looking forward to the game, but one thing is buggering me. Why is Smedley constntly taking up the subject of removing the sancs? all the time is he talking about just that, I would have bought it the first time but now when he is talking about it like it's something that they need to sell to the audience I'm starting to get worried that somethings not right.
2011-07-13 04:52 AM
Volw
Re: John Smedley on PlanetSide 2

Originally Posted by Oty View Post
I agree, I'm positive to everything they have said so far and i'm looking forward to the game, but one thing is buggering me. Why is Smedley constntly taking up the subject of removing the sancs? all the time is he talking about just that, I would have bought it the first time but now when he is talking about it like it's something that they need to sell to the audience I'm starting to get worried that somethings not right.
They probably had a test group to see which feature of PlanetSide is the most daunting to new players, which turned out to be Sanc.

Not surprisingly really, you log in, have to spend 2 minutes running to HART (even longer for new player to figure out WTF is going on) then if you're unlucky have to spend another 15 minutes waiting. Then the 1 min or so long animation ... then you select where you want to drop. Wait 2 minutes for animations ... and often by the time you land, noone's there already.

So we are looking at a considerable time spent in game, doing nothing.

Also the fact it was empty most of the time, unless staging an assault contributed to its removal.


Also, we havn't seen the footholds yet, which might turn out to be something incredible sexy, that would not work as a separate map.
2011-07-13 04:57 AM
Dreamcast
Re: John Smedley on PlanetSide 2

League of Legends does good doing the F2P...They make money of skins and xp....I never feel underpowered in the game....Sure they could level faster but once they reach their max and I do....We are equal, nothing really OP about it IMO.


Planetside could sell the game for $50 and do the same........thing is can it be enough to support the servers because if it isn't then I could see SOE selling things to make people OP.



I wouldn't mind P2P....But apperantly people have a problem with it.
2011-07-13 05:12 AM
basti
Re: John Smedley on PlanetSide 2

F2p has one big issue: you have to rely on people to buy stuff. Sooner or later you have to sell them something new, and at some point that new thing may slightly improve a player. Once you got to that point you lost, you end up in a cycle of new and better improvements, resulting in new playerrs being food for vets until they spend cash to get the same improvements.
That being said: keep the cash shop light. Dont pull a valve and spam hats and other crap.
2011-07-13 05:35 AM
xcel
Re: John Smedley on PlanetSide 2

I have no idea what he is talking about. Sanctuaries weren't a problem at all. However, what they are doing now I can see working, plus it's way to late to add sanctuaries back in. They have probably already developed the game to work with the unconquerable footholds and redesigning the game for sanctuaries now would require a huge step backward.
2011-07-13 06:04 AM
Gandhi
Re: John Smedley on PlanetSide 2

Originally Posted by basti View Post
That being said: keep the cash shop light. Dont pull a valve and spam hats and other crap.
Well that's the problem, if you rely on a cash shop for revenue then you have to keep putting new stuff in the store to encourage people to spend money there. More stuff means more employee hours spent on things that aren't really going to improve the gameplay, and more hardware resources devoted to all the textures, models and whatnot that these items need.
2011-07-13 06:12 AM
SurgeonX
Re: John Smedley on PlanetSide 2

I don't see the Sanctuaries themselves as being the problem, in fact they were one of the coolest things I remember seeing when logging in for the first time. Granted, this was at the height the population spikes, but witnessing hundreds of vehicles and infantry organising for a push really enforced the epic nature of PS that makes it so unique.

IMO, the problem was simply the awkwardness and the length of time it took to get everybody organised at the Sanc.
Sitting in a Galazy for 10 minutes because some players were selfishly chasing those last kills wasn't exactly fun.
If there was simply a platoon based instant recall, coupled with instant spawning and manning of vehicles, then you'd be ready to go in a minute.

Hopefully they've considered not just the location for these new staging areas, but the problems around organising everyone too.
2011-07-13 08:34 AM
MockZero2
Re: John Smedley on PlanetSide 2

Saying that there is no sanctuaries is him giving us the best example of how closer the game play is going to be to BF2 or CoD. I'm all for it! It should make the getting organized much quicker knowing there is potential for getting an OS dropped on you if you don't. Or something like an OS I guess. Not to mention Smed was also talking about outfit bases eventually. That is going to be your staging area for your outfit. I am very excited about the sandbox ideas they could be coming up with too. Having your own outfit base and planning a big raid on another huge outfit base like DT for example sounds like a blast.

I'm not a big fan of the cash shop though. I never liked that. I would be much happier with a P2P. Still I would have to look at in a way that I would be paying so much per month anyway so why not throw a little $$ at the cash shop to get some cool stuff. I guess I will have to wait and see what is to come with that before I pass judgement. I want the game to be very profitable just because I want it to stay around with all kinds of new content for as long as it can. Maybe I am just a needy like that though.
2011-07-13 08:37 AM
GalacticaActual
Re: John Smedley on PlanetSide 2

I'm also of the opinion that Sancturaries aren't the problem. The HART is the problem.

If the HART could be traded for something like an instant teleportation system then the only waiting in the Sanc would be for when a raid is forming and while that sometimes can drag on it's nowhere near as tedious as waiting for the HART can be.

One thing that I don't think has been pointed out so far is the disadvantage of the "Foothold" idea. If they work as they have potentially been described, a shielded base area that enemy empires can't enter, then they could make things incredibly difficult for any empires planning a raid.

Imagine a scenario where the TR have just finshed capping Ishundar. The VS decide to mass a counter attack from their Ishundar Foothold targeting the Baal area first. But the TR have set sentries up at the other Empires Footholds and can see what type of forces the VS are massing. If the VS are planning an Air heavy attack, the TR sentry can report back to load up on AA (turret upgrades, skyguards etc etc) and the VS soon find themselves flying into a slaughter.

This wouldn't happen if the VS could mass their forces on a Sanctuary before raining down death from above on the villainous TR (think I maybe have just given away my empire alliegence ).
2011-07-13 09:02 AM
Hamma
Re: John Smedley on PlanetSide 2

Instead of a sanctuary some kind of a staging area, even if it was totally separate from the game world so you could group up your outfit to head out and attack then drop as a massive group (with restrictions of course) and begin your attack.

I tend to agree, I don't think the Sanctuary slowed things down I think it was more the HART that made things slower. Keep in some kind of staging area but eliminate the HART.
2011-07-13 09:14 AM
Goku
Re: John Smedley on PlanetSide 2

I never took advantage of the HART unless I wanted to Nuke an enemy base as it was the best way to get in undetected.

But yes I want somekind of main staging area even if it does not have an HART. Best solution I think is to have a orbital station empires can go to. Just have a warp gate within the station so players can get to their target. I see mass drops with vehicles being OP (dropping anywhere on a cont like the HART) if they were going that route. Easy enough to make a spawn in area with equipment terms and a massive bay. We're not talking about making a whole other cont after all.
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