It will hardly come as a surprise to anyone that knows me that I’m very excited about the recent news about Planetside 2/Next.

For those that haven’t encountered Planetside before, it is a true MMO-FPS that exists in a persistent world, it is purely based on PVP with no PVE elements at all. The game battles 3 opposing empires in large continental battles fighting against each others with massive battles contain up to 399 players, featuring a mixture of vehicles, aircraft, Power-Armour and soldiers alike. That blurb doesn’t do it much justice but you get an idea.

At first I thought that SOE may create an entirely new game based in the same universe, but after some consideration about the timescales, the use of the “Next” name and fan-bases loyalty, I now think that SOE may be going for a complete overhaul of the 7 year old game to bring it up-to-date with the modern gaming scene rather than making something new.

It’s my opinion that the following elements of the existing game need to be addressed for a new version:

  • Engine – Despite not being a big part of the game, the most frequent comments I hear about Planetside is that it looks old. I sadly have to agree, the graphics haven’t really been updated launch. Moving beyond DirectX 8 will been the biggest benefit as the game doesn’t utilise any of modern graphic card functionality.
  • NetCode – CCP have demonstrated that designed & dedicated technology is able to manage large scale battles, SOE can gain maximum benefit from streamlining the netcode.
  • ClientSide – One of the biggest problems that Planetside had to overcome at launch was how to manage the 100’s of players running around and blasting away at each other. The now infamous client-side functionality has been one of the areas that lead to this games downfall. Hackers manipulated the client-side processes to their own gain and ultimately drove out the honest players.
  • Of course don’t forget that SOE surveyed the players to ask various question about the game, I would expect many of those improvements to be included as part of “Next”.

As normal I may be way off the mark but I’ll remain hopeful that the key components of the game will be preserved despite the overhaul.

Are you going to sign up?