Looking back at Planetside
So as an experienced Planetside player i figured, why not write up something when looking back at what Planetside was.
Planetside is different. Planetside is in my opinion the best mmorpg.
Yes, RPG ! You dont agree ? read on...
Planetside did (and still do) provide players with the first chance to truly take team gameplay to the next level. By providing a game platform that would bring together up to 366 players in a playfield about twice the size of the average unreal tournament or counter strike map.
The carnage and high octane action fps you could get from 300+ twitchy and highly trained multilevel teams clashing every time all three empires would converge on a base of strategic importance is unsurpassed by any other game.
So why RPG ?
Well, when you start out your first character you are imidiatly give every opportunity to be whatever you want to be. From transport pilot, medic, heavy weapons specialist or whatever floats your boat.
Outfits (as clans are called in PS) always have certain roles that needs filling so as soon as you get into one you can actually do something you like that means something for other players around you.
It kinda gave me a huge kick knowing that when we decided to launch an attack on our enemies, readied and loaded up 100+ players in air transports (galaxies), there was nothing else that would ensue massive panic and complete readiness amongst our enemies awaiting our onslaught.
Often i would get reports back "Holy (rears end) its an Ostekake galaxy raid ! ! !" - those where the days :)
The only way you can coordinate that many players towards common goals in a game is if these players, understand, respect and profesionally execute their own role and the role of others in their team.
In this way, Planetside, was the best RPG i have ever played !
So what does other games have to learn from Planetside ?
Well, first of all - the amount of online gamers clashing in a small and confined area without utterly and completely lagging out.
Second, it was'nt any grinding, as soon as you logged in you could be anything you wanted to be. You could even create a new character just because your outfit needed you to fulfill a certain role for the night - that made the team play very easy.
Last but not least, the every single tactical and strategical, both local and global actions or objectives, had a meaning. From the single solo playing guy who saved the day for hundreds of other players - actually making a REAL difference for others, to global command of hundreds and hundreds of players towards common strategical goals.
World of Warcraft tried and utterly failed, they had to resort to tiny play fields with their battlegrounds and they had to totaly nerf players ability to lead across guilds by using global chat.
Well, Blizzard ignored the fact that with power comes responsibility to treat your fellow players respectfully and as human beings and not as your personal cartoony rag dolls you can bash and throw around as you please. In Planetside they let the community evolve and only those players with the right abilities would in the end get the job done with leading and sharing responsibilities for the unbelievable task of actualy coordinating that many players at one time, trust me its NOT a one man gig. Mix this with cultural, ethical and political differences among the hard core of 20-30 regular commanders per server and you got issues to solve. Mostly we could resolved our differences, because we where trusted by the game administrators to do so - and in the end we did. So yes, we had our arguments in command chat, TRUST ME we did ;)
If this was the intentions of SOE or just plain ignorance doesnt matter.
The end result was good, simply because SOE unleashed the community and let it evolve. Thus history was made and Planetside will forever stand in history for me as the best Fantasy first person shooter role playing game, EVER !
In short, if you have not tried planetside yet... You should !
Because it represents something realy special when it comes to game mechanics.
Now i'm looking forward to Funcom's Age of Conan and truly hope they can learn from both their community experience in Anarcy Online and look at what other games have done. Then maybe, just maybe, we can get to see something truly unique in gaming history.
To put it in planetside lingo...
Think Xbox instant action spawn in a galaxy seat, millions of online Xbox players just itching to enjoy being cannonfodder, combined with real deep - in depth - lore and a massive MMORPG, building on all the mistakes of former MMOs. Then mix that with thousands of guilds across hundreds of servers in one seamless gigantic pvp battlefield set in a violent and grotesq world where individuals and groups of players battle it out for fame and glory. Its truly a "I have a dream" vision.
Might be worth to mention that all this comes in a FullHD 60 frames per second presentation and if this comes to pass then Hollywood realy needs to start looking for something else to do..
We can only hope :)
Thank you for reading my ramblings and please forgive my none native english, i hope it wasnt to bad...