March 22nd Reddit Q&A - PlanetSide Universe
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March 22nd Reddit Q&A

On March 22nd Matt Higby began answering questions in a Reddit Q&A: We have put together an article the covers all of the various questions that were asked and answered.

The below questions were updated March 23 @ 10PM CDT.

Q: How do you plan on addressing the "rich get richer" problem where as an empire gains more territory and resources, they gain more power over the other empires?

A: this is a tough problem to solve.

Q: We saw outposts in the GDC gameplay - are those outposts the capture points for an entire territory?

A: yep, for smaller regions that type of outpost would be the capture point, for larger regions its full facilities.

Q: How are territories captured?

A: by capturing the outpost or facility on the region.

Q: What sort of empire population incentives exist to encourage us to play on under-populated empires?

A: Resources and experience boosts

Q: Do empire-specific benefits transfer to common pool vehicles. For example, are NC common pool vehicles tougher, TR faster, VS more maneuverable, etc?

A: Nope, they're pretty comparable. You can attach different things per empire, though. Notably ES weapon attachments.

Q: Do continents have unique benefits provided to empires?

A: Not the same way as PS1

Q: Do continents have different resource abundancies?

A: Yes

Q: Is Indar a small continent, relatively speaking? Will others be bigger?

A: Indar is our current max-size continent.

Q: Will we be seeing Cyssor make a return at some point in the future?

A: I think so.

Q: Please tell me Ceryshen is on the list...

A: won't be a launch continent, but it's on our list

Q: What incentives do I have to fight on one continent vs another?

A: It'll just depend on where the fight is, what type of resources you want to go after, where they're available. You might also be really interested in something like tank combat and certain continents might work way better for that than others.

Q: What incentives do I have to fight on one continent vs another?

A: It'll just depend on where the fight is, what type of resources you want to go after, where they're available. You might also be really interested in something like tank combat and certain continents might work way better for that than others.

Q: Will there be one "Server" like EVE with many different continents to fight on, or will we see the traditional server-based communities in other MMOs?

A: It will be setup like traditional MMO "shards".

Q: How will you keep fights intense throught the day through changes in population through prime time, late night, early morning, etc.

A: We'll spool up fewer server generated missions with lower population. I'm hoping what will happen is there will be fewer simultaneous battles, but the battles will be just as intense.

Q: You said the bio lab was an "Infantry capture point" in the GDC video - what did you mean by that?

A: There is a huge infantry only map inside the dome of the biolab.

Q: How many different facility types are there for PS2?

A: Right now we're building 3 full scale facilities. Each tech plant will have unique elements and layouts, though.

Q: What sort of things can be upgraded on facilities?

A: At ship we won't have customizable facilities, but post launch....

Q: How many different capture points exist within facilities?

A: 5-7

Q: Do facilities provide unique benefits? Can you provide an example?

A: Tech plant allows you to spawn Galaxies.

Q: Can outfits upload custom logos or have custom skins through the station store?

A: We've discussed this but haven't really locked down if it'll be possible. I hope so, it seems awesome.

Q: If there's an outfit bank, is there a 'free tax' that is used to generate resources for that bank? 3) Can outfits enforce a uniform for each class/vehicle to ensure the outfit has a professional and distinct look?

A: This is definitely something we want to do.

Q: Will outfits have a resource bank that can be used by players to buy things like Galaxies for outfit use?

A: Not currently

Q: How often to resources despawn and shift around the continent?

A: Right now they're static and predictable, a certain region will be a hot sector because it's sitting on some sick resources

Q: Do empires have different resource needs from other empires?

A: You'll need all the same resources but you'll put them towards different things, for instance, what may be for air vehicles on one empire is used for ground vehicles on the other.

Q: How many different resources are there in PS2?

A: 4

Q: Can players stockpile a lot of resources or will we always be on the hunt?

A: there will be a cap to resource pools, ideally you won't ever feel like you have more than enough resources.

Q: In what ways are you encouraging players to go after resources as significant objectives?

A: personal benefits, you are going to want plenty of resources to buy vehicles, grenades, med kits, etc.

Q: How are resources accumulated & distributed to individuals?

A: You'll earn resources both as divedends on your empire territory holdings as well as personal rewards

Q: Can squad leaders draw on the map like PS1?

A: We'll probably add this.

Q: Are there waypoint systems like PS1 where squad leaders can mark targets and objectives?

A: Yes

Q: Other than squad spawn, what other benefits do squad leaders provide?

A: enhanced spotting and squad bonuses are two things, we have some other tricks up our sleeves which I don't want to get into quite yet...

Q: How does squad size affect Squad-spawn rate? To put it another way, why would I have a squad of 10 instead of 5 squads of 2? The squad of 10 has 1 leader and therefore 1 spawn point, while 5 squads of 2 has 5 spawn points and appears more resilient and harder to wipe out. Do you scale the spawn rate of squad-spawn with the size of the squad to encourage larger squads?

A: Squad leader -> spawn point isn't necessary 1-to-1. You'll want to be in a larger squad for several reasons, shared experience, etc.

Q: Do Squad Leaders get a spawn beacon similar to BF2142 that the squad leader can put down/pick up that allows a specific location to be the spawn point for the squad instead of spawning on the squad leader? This was a rather cool feature of BF2142 and allowed the squad leader freedom to move out and attack and not hide in a corner protecting the squad spawn.

A: Right now you can squad spawn on the squad leader, or if he's speced for it on any member of the squad. We don't have a beacon although it's been discussed.

Q: Will there be leaning or a cover system?

A: no fixed cover system, we're still very cover based, but we don't have a Gears style sticky cover system.

Q: Will there be third person?

A: No 3rd person except for certain vehicles (right now aircraft)

Q: How do I get resources? Being in a captured area over time, or capturing one as a one time thing, or repair? Could I farm a friendly vehicles damage from environment damage as an engineer that is repairing?

A: you'll get resources passively from owning territory and also actively when attacking or defending territory. Yes, I suppose you could farm environment vehicle damage as an engineer, sounds boring though, and really slow.

Q: Will the teaming up be the same as PS? Where you get 6 for a squad and then 16-32 for a platoon, and an Outfit for a clan? If so, is it possible to level up said clan to get special abilities or items?

A: Teams will be similar to what you've described here, and yes, you'll be able to customize and level up outfits, although its looking like a lot of that functionality will end up being post-launch.

Q: Whilst playing the game, I would get frustrated with the Vanu's ability to use it's weapons against doors, due to it's Area damage, it went past the doors and hit everyone beyond it who were trying to get out. Will this be fixed in PS2?

A: There will still be area effect weapons, but hopefully they'll be a bit more balanced.

Q: Will resources come back?(What I mean is driving the truck out of the base and into those teleport bubbles, filling it up, and driving it back) I saw it as a cool and strategic feature, sieging a base until it's power went out and then attacking.

A: We don't have NTU gameplay like that, but resources will play an important role in the game.

Q: Hey Higby, long time PS1 player here totally pumped for PS2, and my question has to do with the Uncapturable footholds on each continent. It seems to me that this will cause fairly consistent battle lines on each continent, aka you will often find yourself controlling the same territory due to its proximity to your "sanctuary", are there any plans to rotate these footholds or something else to avoid this?

A: We've talked about that, right now we aren't planning on doing it, but it really wouldn't be too difficult if we wanted to. I've seen some really unique ideas from the community over on the PSU forums about this too.

Q: Will darklight make a return to counter infiltration suits?

A: Yes, but in the form of scopes / darklight flashlights on weapons, rather than implants.

Q: Can any class spot? How is spotting intended to work?

A: Yes, any class can spot, but how well they spot and how many people radially that they share their spot with will probably end up being something that infiltrators have certs to increase.

Q: Do engineer mines count as the "Explosive" slot for Engineers, or is it like BF3 where they sacrifice their repair tool for mines?

A: They'll have a dedicated grenade slot and a explosive slot. Right now mines are part of a ACE tool and you can take anything with you on it, that'll probably change.

Q: Is there a medical box like the ammo box that Medics put out? We didn't see healing mechanic clearly in the videos.

A: Medic Healing is active using a healing gun.

Q: Can Engineers deploy repair/healing/ammo dispensers?

A: Nope

Q: Can light assault give more than one box of ammo? How often? Does it persist until picked up/destroyed/death or does it last a set period of time like BF3?

A: it lasts until it runs out and you can only have one out at a time. We're still deciding if Light Assault is the place for this ability.

Q: What is the unique class grenade for Infiltrators, Engineers, and Heavy Assault?

A: We're going to do a weekly theme on grenades in the future, so I don't want to spill too many beans on this. Sorry!

Q: Can infiltrators capture/hack significantly faster?

A: Capture no, hack yes. Right now infiltrators are the hacking class.

Q: Other than sniping and scouting, what value do Infiltrators bring to a fire team? In other words, why I would want one in my heavy infantry squad?

A: They'll be able to hack terminals for you so you can resupply behind enemy lines, they'll also be able to lay down explosives and other subterfuge elements to cause havoc.

Q: Is the sunderer intended to repair on the move?

A: Currently it's repairing on the move and we're seeing how that feels, definitely subject to change.

Q: How survivable is a Galaxy relative to other vehicles, like a Tank?

A: It's the most survivable vehicle, more so than tanks.

Q: How did the Truck Nuts debate go? Did you green light station cash for truck nuts for the Sundy?

A: Not well for the pro-nuts side, sadly.

Q: Can a vehicle be under the effect of multiple Sunderers (i.e. does the repair benefit stack?)

A: No

Q: How close does a vehicle have to be in order to receive the Sunderer's repair benefit?

A: 5 Meters

Q: Does the Sunderer's repair benefit affect other Sunderers?

A: Nope

Q: I know you're a champion for this to be released on Steam, and your Vanu lovin' bud is somewhat opposed... what would you say the chances are of having this as an option for distribution? Whatever pressure you put on SoE to have this on Steam, thank you.

A: I haven't heard much else about Steam since GDC I would still be surprised if we're not on there.

Q: What benefits will come with this subscription option that we've heard about? We won't hold you to anything since that's the business side and I'm sure things will change, but what do you see happening there?

A: Can't really announce anything about the membership quite yet, still nailing it down.

Q: Will there be battle ranks AND command ranks?

A: Battle ranks, no command rank as in PS1. Command uses a different system

Q: Will there still be a HART?

A: no HART, although we do have drop pods. Squad spawning uses them.

Q: is it going to take 11 shots to kill someone with a sniper rifle?

A: No way. Sniper rifles will be pretty powerful. 3-4 hits without headshots.

The below questions were updated March 22 @ 8PM CDT.

Q: Will there be additional NS and ES vehicles added in later patches?

A: Keep in mind that each of the vehicles has different roles that it can play based on personalization. That will add a lot. But yea, we'll be adding more vehicles in the future for sure.

Q: What lessons learned from PS have been introduced into PS2?

A: I think the most important ones are on things like downtime and getting players to the action faster.

Q: Will only certain people be able to spawn as squad leaders? Will there be a slot for a commander that controls their teams resources or makes calls on where missions should take place? Are there restrictions in place to allow only experienced players fill the role as commander?

A: Nope, its all about who follows you - no hard restrictions.

Q: One of the things that people(including myself) were concerned about over at /r/planetside was the idea of dedicated drivers being removed for MBTs. Shifting from the model used in planetside(driver + main gunner(and sometimes secondary gunner)) to a battlefield style, where the driver controls the main cannon. Does the team have any plans to address this concern?

A: I've talked quite a bit about the driver gunner issue on MBTs in the past, so I don't want to rehash it too much. Suffice to say, drivers will be the gunners for tanks and MAY eventually be able to spec into having a dedicated gunner - that way the newer players don't feel ripped off that they can't shoot their tank and the really dedicated guys can have a dedicated experience with potentially some additional unlockable weapons for dedicated gunners to balance the # of players required

Q: Will there be a "boot up" time for vehicles to prevent people hopping in and out of them to repair and hopping back in instantly?

A: We'll probably implement a brief bootup time for vehicles.

Q: Will we be able to show of medals and merits och chest (don't remember where it was and what the name of it was) but kill X people with X rifle/vehicle and get a medal to display.. in Planetside 2?

A: We don't currently allow display of merits/medals on characters.

Q: The Cross-Contintent strategic depth seems to be gone from PS2, by looking at the way continents are set up with 3 "sancutaries" at opposite locations. Will the cross-continent play exist in PS2 as it did in PS1, making a locked-out faction unable to hack any base unless that base was drained of NTU?

A: One of our goals with the game was to keep more of the world active at any given time. Part of that is because we honestly can't produce the number of continents that were in PlanetSide with the level of hand crafted detail we're putting into them - so we need to use them more efficiently. So, looking purely at it through PS1 goggles it's less strategic since we don't have continent locks, but there are a lot of other nuances with the territory control system that should help retain a strong sense of strategic gameplay.

Q: What I enjoyed about the Cert system of PS1 was the ability to use my variety of skills to quickly fit into a situation. For example, sneak into a base full of people(which is a rush in itself), hack out a MAX suit and wreak havoc. Will the class system make this sort of strategy impossible?

A:No, the type of situation you just described is completely possible in Planetside 2.

Q: Have you considered selling voice-packs(A:k.a greenhorn, rough, etc) in the store as a cosmetic item? If so, have you considered doing a voice-over yourself?

A: Yes, we have. I even wanted to get some of the original voice macro packs on the store. Dunno about doing one myself, I HATE hearing my own voice, I can't even watch any of the Planetside 2 promotional stuff because of it.

Q: As a long time fan of Planetside, seeing that you're using punkbuster really makes me nervous. It's widely known that punkbuster not only doesn't stop hackers, it annoys legit players because it often fails to update properly. Free to play will greatly exacerbate the hacking problems which are bound to happen with punkbuster.

A: Punkbuster is going to be one facet of our anti-cheating strategy, not the only thing. I don't want to go too deep into this except to say that we hate hackers as much as you guys do, and we'll be doing everything we can to make sure that Planetside 2 is as hacker-free as possible. I also pinged our Technical Director to see if he had any additional info on this, here's what he said: "Anti-hacking is obviously very, very important to us. We pay attention to what the community is saying about it, and want everyone to know not a day goes by that we aren’t thinking about ways to better our anti-cheats/anti-hacks. Make no mistake, though, Punkbuster is just one of the tools in our toolbelt, it is by no means something we’re just leaning on. We have over a decade of experience with people doing everything they can do to get into our games, and even so we will do a better job with Planetside 2 than we have done before. As far as Tribes, I would suggest that the absence of evidence is not evidence of absence."

Q: About how big is the team developing Planetside 2? What kind of "resources" is Sony throwing at it? Any other details of the behind-the-scenes you could lend some insight on?

A: Right now the game team is about 90 people. It's a seriously badass group of developers with tons of experience across MMO and FPS games. We're definitely putting a lot of effort into making this game, it's a passion project for not just the team but SOE as a whole all the way up to the brass.

Q: What other mmos have you worked on other than PS2

A: I've worked at SOE for over 10 years, I started in QA working on the original EverQuest expansions (around the time of Velious). My first design gig was on Star Wars: Galaxies where i mostly did data monkey work. on EverQuest 2 I created a lot of game systems such as the collections system, the arena pets system, exploration, lore and legends quests, etc etc. More recently I was the User interface / user experience lead on Free Realms and the creative director for Clone Wars Adventures.

Q: Surgile, yay or nay?

A: nay! in fact we don't have an activatable runspeed buff. All of our implants are passive.

Q: I just wanted to say thank you.. for making a sequel to the greatest game I ever played. Just one question, will there be an acquisition timer for MAX's again ?

A: We may have to institute a cool down on MAXes although we don't have one at the moment... like many things we're going to really see where the rubber meets the road once we get to betA:

Q: Will the MAXes use the new shield system or will they retain the old armour system and still need repairs from engineers? What hit detection does PS2 use? Is it a client-side one, a server-side or a mix between them

A: Right now MAXes use armor, they're the only infantry class without a shield and do require engineers to support them. The hit detection is a mix, there are clientside and serverside checks.

Q: I know it's probably too early to give any exact answers, but I was wondering: How large is the initial beta wave expected would be? Considering how many copies of PC Gamer sold, and how many PS1 vets there are, how will players be prioritized as to who gets in first? Will opt-in sign ups even have a chance at getting in until much later?

A: Not totally sure how large the initial beta wave will be. Probably in the hundreds - thousand range. That prioritized queue is a pool, so we'll pull from that pool until it's empty. This will all be based on our project needs. Beta is a really important tool for us on the game dev side and we need to be sure that we're getting our needs met so that we can make the best game possible. Opt-in signups will be invited later, again, as needed.

Q: What feature in PS2 are you most excited about that wasn't in PS1? As in, what new addition do you think will "make" the game?

A: I really hope the territory control system works as well as we think it will. If it does, it'll add a ton of freedom and strategic choices to the meta-game and keep the feeling of the game fresh every time you play, rather than playing in the same areas of the same continents over and over again.

Q: Will the customization system focus on skins/textures or will there also be the option of changing parts of the model for the classes as well? ie. shoulder pads, helmets, boots, etc.

A: There will be geometry changes possible with the cosmetic customization... we're trying to be careful to not go too overboard here though so that we maintain recognizable class silhouettes. There are a lot of VS screenshots out there! Tramell is a VS die hard (and die often) so he sneaks in VS screenshots as much as possible.

Q: In PS2, every vehicle has some kind of mine protection,and everybody can use C4, no Spitfire turrets in PS2,no personal armor repair. What is there for an Engineer to do besides repair vehicles and place a manned turret? Can you place a manned turret almost anywhere or are you limited ,like in PS1?

A: Engineers will have other tricks up their sleeves besides just the turret, being able to place dynamic cover, mines, and the like. Although vehicles will be able to have mine guards, they'll be giving up something to do that, so the assumption that everything will be safe from mines isn't totally accurate. Right now turrets can be placed virtually anywhere, but some restrictions may be added if we find it being heavily exploited in betA:

Q: Will there be joystick support for aircraft when the beta goes live?

A: Yes. I got a pretty slick Logitech G940 force feedback setup with rudders and a thrust stick the other day, it's a lot of fun to fly with.

Q: What are the basic classes that everyone is going to get at first and will there be any unlockable ones?

A: Currently no classes are "locked" from day one you can play any of the classes or drive any of the vehicles in the game. You can also freely switch between classes at equipment terminals or when respawning so you're never locked into a class. Each vehicle and class will have tons of customization and multiple roles to specialize in based on certification, so there will be role based things to unlock (i.e. being a surveillance focused infiltrator rather than a sniping focused infiltrator, etc)

Q: Have you guys locked down what classes are going to be in the game?

A: Yes, absolutely. We have 6 right now:

  • Light Assault - quick strike commando type unit
  • Heavy Assault - strong anti-vehicle or anti-infantry troop
  • Engineer - combat deployables and vehicle support
  • Medic - keeps you from being a blood smear on the ground
  • Infiltrator - sneaky sniper / gadgeteer with cloaking suit
  • M.A:X - large mechanized battle suit suitable for anti-air, anti-vehicle and anti-infantry depending on loadout

Q: Will there be a way to "lock" a continent for your empire like in PS1?

A: Right now we don't have the concept of continent locking. Each empire has a small foothold on each continent and can fight on them at any time. We're doing this because we want more areas of the world to be under contention at any given time than PlanetSide 1 tended to have. As with most things, this is something we'll adjust in beta if the need arises.

Q: Is it possible for the PS2 server to handle thousands of players in one hexagon or at one base? or is there some kind of in game system thing that stops this from occurring? The largest battles in Planetside 1 had pretty rough framerates. So I'm wondering how this will be handled this time around.

A: Truthfully any time 1000 players decide to stand next to each other you're going to have some problems. Luckily in Planetside you'll be most likely killing some percentage of those guys before they totally fill up your screen. We don't have any planned heavy handed methods to keep people from travelling where they want to within a continent, but we will be doing things like putting missions up to encourage players to spread out and keep around optimal player populations in battle areas.

Q: What is your contingency plan if one of the factions get extremely under populated (let's say less than 10%)?

A: Faction balance is a tricky problem for sure... it's one of the things on the project that keeps me up at night. Right now our plans are all positive incentives to play on the teams that have a lower population, we're trying to stay away from negative consequences for over-populated teams, although if we get a real problem with over population we'll probably have to do something heavy handed like that.

Q: Spying - I am concerned about the ability to spy in a F2P game. What's stopping me from creating an account on an opposing faction, only to gather intelligence about troop locations, movement, and plans? I can use this information to my advantage. For example, I can gather data about how to flank a troop movement, inform my faction that a base was just left empty, or have my outfit change specs based on if a platoon is air heavy, vehicle heavy, etc... Please explain any mechanisms you have to deter people from doing things like this.

A: Spying is another issue. We won't be stopping you from creating a player on enemy empires, we just can't. We'll have a good, robust grief system in place to keep you from being able to kill all the defenders of a base before going in yourself on your other empire, but that is definitely a challenge to combat.

Q: AI (stated long term goal) - Would this be Auto-defense on bases? Attackable convoys for resources? Please no bots or companions, thanks.

A: We have LONG term plans to add AI in the form of a fourth faction, we'll see if that pans out, but it should be pretty cool. Auto-turrets are something we could do right now but we just aren't - we want defense to be player-active, not passive. Might change in the future if necessary.

Q: Humbly request the ability to prone at some point (your last AMA said no plans currently), even if it's not initial release. It just really helps with the realism aspect.

A: Prone probably won't happen, if we do it it'd be well after release.

Q: As a NC player, will I be able to buy or loot a Pulsar or Cycler? They all showed up in the cash shop and looked to be obtainable.

A: The marketplace offerings we showed at GDC aren't representative of the final offerings, you won't be able to acquire cross-factional weapons. We also don't have looting in the game right now, although that's an ongoing debate.

Q: Will the air vehicles have countermeasures to combat enemy AA missiles?

A: Air vehicles will absolutely be able to equip countermeasures, although they'll be trading other functionality to do so.

Q: In PS1, anti-armor rockets were near useless on infantry... In BF3 they were one-shot kills on infantry. Will PS2 rockets be closer to BF or PS?

A: Direct rocket hits will probably kill light infantry classes in PS2, but the splash damage is tuned to not be as devastating to infantry as in BF3.

Q: Will ANTs and NTUs still be a thing?

A: Right now we don't have a concept of ANTs, but we still have logistical elements for sure, mobile respawn and resupply and the sort. Our facility capture gameplay is quite a bit different than the first game, though.

Q: I heard they weren't going to include the Phantasm in PS2, why is that?

A: Our goal with vehicles was to get as many different vehicle roles covered with the smallest number of vehicle and player customization. A Galaxy with a cloak module that had some strong tradeoffs might fill the void felt by Phantasm users at some point...

Q: Will there be organizational tools for outfit leaders?

A: A lot of our hopes for massive coordination both for outfits and in general rely on the mission system. Our design for the mission system is that players (including your outfit leaders) can create missions which are then accepted by players to complete. Ideally by having various levels of granularity we will allow large groups of people to coordinate without the overhead. We've got a lot of work to do to make this perfect, and my hope is that by having some big organized outfits helping us out in beta we can hammer out all the features that you guys want / need in order to have the best possible experience.

Q: Have you guys decided on including a premium subscription yet?

A: We will have a premium membership, although we haven't locked down exactly what that will include. Our goal has always been to create the game first and then build the business model that best services the game, rather than trying to conform the game to some particular business or membership model.

Q: Will Planetside 2 make vehicles/deploy-able assets feel valuable and worth protecting?

A: Vehicles you spawn will cost you personal resources, so you'll definitely want to keep them alive and not just toss them away.

Q: How does day combat differ from night combat?

A: Our plan is to make nighttime dynamic. Sometimes (like when there is a full moon) it might not be TOO dark, but other times it'll be really dark and having nightvision / spot lights will be highly advantageous.

Q: Which community are you more looking forward to getting feedback from in the beta, the MW / BF players or the Planetside 1 players?

A: I think each of those groups you mentioned (as well as non-shooter MMO players, old school arena shooter players, etc) will have valid feedback and concerns. The PlanetSide community is going to have the most expertise about how the massive shooter gameplay works, for sure.

Q: PS2 looks so amazing, but I'm so very scared of it being too laggy in both framerate and network to play on such a massive scale as like.. 500+ people being in the same zone.

A: We have a lot of projections and tests with hundreds and thousands of bot clients. Lag, network and framerate, are huge concerns for us also. These sorts of problems are why making MMO games are so difficult -- luckily we have a bit of experience with solving them.

Q: Do we have the same Health/Armor mechanic in PS2 as we had in PS1, or is armor going to be more of a "damage reduction" thing? How is that mechanic working?

A: Armor does have some damage mitigation properties, but it's a bit more flat than PS1. We have shields too which can be customized and will have various configurations per class.

Q: Have you decided on a Vanu MAX ability yet?

A: Still haven't finalized VS MAX abilities. What do you guys think would be cool?

Q: Is the TR tank still going to require three people to be fully functional?

A: No, the TR tank will be fully functional with the same crew compliment as the other ES tanks.

Q: Will we be able to do old school "Generator-drop-and-hold" operations to seriously inconvenience the baddies, like we could back in Planetside 1?

A: You'll definitely be able to do some cool coordinated behind-enemy-lines attacks - generator drop-and-hold isn't quite what it is since we don't have Lattice anymore, but similar concepts for sure.

Q: Have you nailed down any of the Outfit game mechanics more than when we last talked?

A: Outfit advancement mechanics are still in flux enough that I don't really want to commit on what it will look like quite yet.

Q: How is F2P and the store going to work in beta? Will things be purchasable? Will purchases carry over after launch?

A: once we're reasonably sure that we won't do any character wipes we might unlock commerce during betA:

Q: Taunts, how are those going to work? Any cool ones?

A: Taunts will play on the enemy screen when activated, we haven't implemented this system yet so I can't tell you which ones I think are cool yet

Q: Spotting, max distance? Is it a cheap way to spot things? How do you intend to implement it?

A: There will be a max distance on spotting, and a max number of spotted targets, we've been thinking about ways to make this a bit cooler and work better with massive battles - so don't expect it to be just like BF3 or something.

Q: Will there be HATS?

A: Yep, we have hats.

Q: K : D... Is there something better to focus people on in what is essentially an objective based game? Score:death?

A: Achievements. K : D is easily understandable and usually meaningful. Scoreeath may be another metric we surface.

Q: Visual customisation, how in depth will it be? Customisation on the same level as changing individual armour parts like Halo maybe?

A: it won't be as robust as Halo, they didn't need to worry about hundreds of players with hundreds of customizations. Ours will be leaner.

Q: eSports, how do you intend to implement this? You've made hints about intending to.

A: Tournament modes are something we've talked about adding post-launch. It's something i'm really passionate about so I'm looking forward to it.

Q: Eyefinity, will it work? Also, track IR?

A: Not sure on Eyefinity and TrackIR, we have them on our compatibility list but we haven't do anything to specifically implement either so far.

Q: Do you guys use in-house tools to design the levels? I know the engine is in-house, but...what do you use to build the levels?

A: we build our maps with an in house terrain tool and objects built in Maya and Zbrush

Q: Entropy in cash transactions and trading? Bit like TF2 boxes and keys? Will that kind of thing be in?

A: there is a design on the table about random loot (crate) type system. It's a fairly common mechanic in F2P games, dating back several years, and obviously it works quite well in TF2. We'll see...

Q: Will all Implants be consumable (such as the XP Booster that we heard about)? Or will there be some that are slottable and remain indefinitely, such as a Fast-Reload Implant that might work like a CoD perk?

A: All implants are consumable. They're a pretty important drain in our resource economy.

Q: What are some Engineer-specific explosives? We've learned that some/all Classes have access to C4/Boomers/demopaks, and TwoThreeSix said that Engineers get the widest array of tactical bombs. What are some of them?

A: Engineers are dope. They're exclusively able to deploy tank mines, they also have armor piercing underbarrel launchers which are exclusive. They'll have a turret that shoots explosive shells, through the cert system engineers can specialize in different explosives like HE claymores which do additional damage and we're playing around with having anti-AOE certs on them that cut down on damage taken through explosives (so they can hang out near vehicles and not get chewed up by the explosive damage as much)

Q: Does the Combat Medic have access to heavier weapons than the Engineer? (ie- the Combat Medics in the amazing GDC demo were wielding non-carbine variants of their ES rifles; can Engineers wield non-carbine variants/assault variants as well?).

A: Engineers and Medics will probably have very similar weapon classes, engineers are going to have the advantage of being able to deploy turrets that are extremely powerful, though stationary.

Q: How many slots will an Engineer have available to them to carry devices/deployables? Will they be able to carry more than one device at a time? And/or would their be a sidegrade that allowed them to drop another kind of item (such as their sidearm or nanite-repair tool) in favor of holding two deployable items at a time?

A: We're still messing around with the rules for this, right now they have a tool that allows them to deploy a variety of combat engineering - we'll probably break this apart and make you select what you'll be deploying ahead of time (maybe in a few buckets of available deployables)

Q: Will it support SLI/Crossfire?

A: We will support both SLI and Crossfire.

Q: How does changing factions work? Like a cool down period before you can switch?

A: You select an empire when you create your character and from then on you're locked into that empire. Since Planetside 2 is a free-to-play game there is no limit on the number of characters you could create to try out the other empires, though!

Q: I've heard it said that a veteran player would have up to a 20% advantage over newbies, disregarding skill. Is this 20% from straight upgrades, or simply being more equipped to handle certain scenarios via sidegrades? both?

A: This is sort of misleading... I'll try to clarify.

Our goal is to allow no more than a ~20% variance in player power between someone whose unlocked lots of stuff and optimized their build and someone who hasn't. We really want the determining factor in any mano-a-mano battle to be player skill, no upgrades, implants, or whatever. So ideally a 5 minute player and a 5 year player can be competitive with one another.

The vast majority of items that you can unlock are "sidegrades" that present some tradeoffs, i'm giving up damage to get a faster firing rate or giving up runspeed to carry a bigger gun. Obviously certain combinations of these will have benefits that aren't strictly 100% perfectly balanced against every other choice, but we hope to keep these imbalances to under 20% so that the competitive landscape can be maintained.

Things that you'll be able to straight-up "upgrade" would be potentially things like having minor health regeneration, minor runspeed buffs, time to switch to ADS with different scopes, etc. Again, all totaled, we don't expect or want those differences to exceed a 20% variance.

Q: There has been a lot of concern over the "cash" shop if you will and one thing you've always said is you won't be able to buy power, but "convenience" items are on the table. I'm almost more worried about that because what that seems like to me is faster respawn, lower timers, things like that.

A: for me, "power" means i'm buying something that when I stand toe to toe with you gives me an advantage that you don't have. I have more health so it takes you longer to kill me, I have more bullets so I don't have to reload as often, etc.

While faster respawn times or my ability to acquire resources faster are, from a certain point of view, increasing my power it doesn't affect my ability to kill you and your ability to kill me, so, to me isn't "buying power". Now, if your entire empire buys a theoretical implant that lets you respawn faster, your empire has a power advantage because they spend less time dead, but that's a kind of abstract view of things and kind of unrealistic. In reality, you're personally trading money for time - buying convenience, and that, in my book, is okay. I'm positive this will spark debate, and I'm looking forward to reading it!

Q: How much of an importance will stealth be for Infiltrators? Will they be able to use the night/shadows and cloaking to sneak past people or will people just be able to spam markers on them and then the entire enemy team can just see that?

A: Infiltrators will have a lot of different options, we see them being specialized to be 100% cloaked sneaky behind-enemy-lines guys who stab enemies to death or setup explosives, or as sniping / recon guys with weaker cloaks (time limited, limited visibility) who use their cloak to move from location to location and for "oh shit" moments when someone sneaks up on them. There will be a lot of possibilities, infiltrators are probably the most diverse class right now.

Q: Are you guys going to consider bringing back the old voice commands from PS1?

A: We have something similar (although simpler) than PS1. I really want to bring the VOICES back as customization.

Q: I've heard you or one of the other developers say that you're focused on sidegrading rather than upgrading. Still, will max-level players have any sort of upgrade (or feature/ability) that low level players don't have?

A: One of our goals is to keep a strong sense of competition between veterans and newer players. Obviously veterans will already have huge advantages in terms of knowing the game, knowing what weapons to use in what situations, etc. That's already quite a bit of advantages without layering on game mechanic advantages on top of it!

Q: How will intercontinental travel work, Will I be able to fly my reaver into a warpgate to defend a base on a different cont. more speedy, or will have have to deconstruct in a spawn tube, load in a base wait a timer our possibly and spawn all over again.

A: You'll be able to use warpgates to take vehicles from continent to continent.

Q: Are we going to have destructible base components, I.E spawn tubes, Terms. Generators. On that, will I have to switch to a engineering class to repair theses. I.E if a gen is down and i cannot switch to this class could i possibly pull a glue gun out of a locker in a light class to repair the fallen gen?

A: We'll have destructible objectives like equipment terminals in bases and engineers will be able to repair them.

Q: A big part of the first one was side strafing, aka warping, will this be a valid tact ( or frustration to some people) in PS2

A: We're doing everything we can to make the ADAD spamming not be possible in PS2.

Q: Will we be seeing higher in Hacking like in PS1. I.E hack the command console of a base and disable radar. Poison turrets, So on and So fourth.

A: We have a lot of plans for post-launch hacking enhancements, at ship it will most likely be fairly rudimentary since hacking isn't a big focus for us right now.

Q: During the GDC demo I noticed a bunch of Object popping. I.E a tree would come out of nowhere, I'm assuming this is becuase of the alpha nature of PS2 right now. On that in terms of a graphical standpoint could a player tweek lets say flora density to improve gameplay performance?

A: We don't have options for disabling flora right now. Anything that can affect gameplay we want to remain on, i.e. you can't disable weather, sunbeams, etc. This stuff is client side so it's probably not too difficult for someone to disable if they really wanted to.

Q: Can explosives be attached to friendly maxes? What are the current limitations or thoughts on where it can be placed?

A: Probably not on friendly MAXes. Enemy MAXes though, for sure.

Q: Has there been any internal discussion about redesigning the magrider to function more like the TR and NC tanks with a free rotating turret and broader appearance?

A: Lots of discussion, the current plan is to stick with the Magrider as is.

Q: [VOICE] Are there persistent channels that exist, that officers in an outfit can have moderating privileges over?

A: You'll have a guild channel that you have moderation controls of. We may allow you to create sub-channels.

Q: [VOICE] Is there an ability to join more than one channel at a time? Such as, Outfit General, or Outfit Command

A: If we allow multiple channels you'll be able to join multiple channels, toggling between them for push-to-talk might be an issue, you may have to bind several talk keys.

Q: Can non-outfit individuals join our outfit channel if we wish?

A: Right now no non-outfit players would be allowed in the outfit chat.

Q: Is there an ability to tie out of game capabilities with the voice server, so we can see who is online without logging in game?

A: You'll be able to see who is online without having to go in game.

Q: Can a player create their own channel that isn't tied to an outfit/squad/vehicle that will remain persistent even if they log off?

A: Right now there isn't ad hoc channel creation, but I imagine it would be fairly easy to add if that was a common request.

Q: Will in-game voice be able to be detected by enemy players in close proximity? If that's not a baseline feature, will there be something like an implant that will let you eavesdrop?

A: No, no cross-empire ease-dropping

Q: T-ray described the Scythe flying like a UFO. Does that mean that it 'strafes' in mid-air? If not, can you elaborate on how it flies?

A: It can move vertically and laterally at speeds far greater than the other ES planes

Q: Will the VR Training zone be coming back?

A: No VR training right now.

Head on over to the forums to discuss any of the questions above!

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