PlanetSide 2 lead designer Luke Sigmund on what to expect from the PS4 version.
PlanetSide 2 was 2012’s leading MMO on gaming PCs and now Sony Online Entertainment are bringing it to the PlayStation 4. Unfortunately there is no release date for the PlayStation 4 version but there is a lot we don’t know about how it’s shaping up. So to learn more, GamingBolt got in touch with the game’s lead designer Luke Sigmund. Check out his response below.
Leonid Melikhov: How closely will the PS4 version match the PC during launch?
Luke Sigmund: They will be the same game. The biggest difference is between the PC and PS4 version is the user experience. We’re redoing all of the UI screens so its native to the console and we’re focusing heavily on performance so the game runs awesome.
Leonid Melikhov: Will players need PlayStation Plus to play PlanetSide 2?
Luke Sigmund: No, they will not. We are a true Free-2-Play.
"Right now we're not planning keyboard/mouse support. We've talked about it, we want to get in beta and see how many people really want it and then we'll re-address that decision."
Leonid Melikhov: Can you tell us what resolution and frame-rate will PlanetSide 2 run on the PlayStation 4? AKA, 1080 60 FPS?
Luke Sigmund: We are running at 1080p [on the PS4] and our goal is always going to be 60fps but because of the scale of PlanetSide 2 we are going to see more fluctuations than a lot of order games do. In a battlefield we can get like 64 vs. 64 but in PlanetSide 2 we can have 100’s versus 100’s so that might bring about some frame rate dips.
Leonid Melikhov: Safe to say at least 30 locked?
Luke Sigmund: Yes, definitely. We have a lot of heuristics in the background that control things like the number of players that you see on the screen. So we can tone all that down and we can make sure that we are always at a playable frame rate. An awesome thing about the PlayStation 4 is that we know exactly what everyone hardware’s [specification] is, so we can optimize around that but on the PC we have a hundred different video cards.
Leonid Melikov: Given that you’re going from keyboard/mouse configuration to the DualShock 4, what will be the control scheme like? Will you be taking advantage of the controller features such as the Touchpad and will be there support for keyboard/mouse for the PS4 version?
Luke Sigmund: Right now we’re not planning keyboard/mouse support. We’ve talked about it, we want to get in beta and see how many people really want it and then we’ll re-address that decision. We are using the Touchpad. We’re using it for a-lot of the UI side stuff like rotating your character and we use the “pinch” functionality to zoom in and out on the map. Then we’re looking into using it for shortcuts, so for example; if you get a squad invite, you’ll swipe right or left to accept or decline that invitation.
" We have a an app for PlanetSide 2 that will be supporting the PlayStation 4 accounts. Everything we have in the app you'll be able to use as a PlayStation 4 player. In that app you can see your outfit which is PlanetSide's version of guilds, you can see all your stats, you can see everything about your character. It's really detailed, it's a really cool app actually."
Leonid Melikhov: I like that you guys are taking advantage of the controller in some sort of fashion, particularly the system. I think it’s a good idea.
Luke Sigmund: Yeah, I think the Touchpad stuff is cool. I think it’s difficult to use for real gameplay, just because different people have different hand configurations.
Leonid Melikhov: Do you have plans for second screen support via iPad or Vita version for PS4 version of PlanetSide 2? Can you please share details on how it will work.
Luke Sigmund: We have a an app for PlanetSide 2 that will be supporting the PlayStation 4 accounts. Everything we have in the app you’ll be able to use as a PlayStation 4 player. In that app you can see your outfit which is PlanetSide’s version of guilds, you can see all your stats, you can see everything about your character. It’s really detailed, it’s a really cool app actually.
We are looking into the Vita support, but we just need too see if it make sense .
Leonid Melikhov: Can you tell us how micro-transactions will work on the PS4?
Luke Sigmund: It’s actually going to be exactly the same as the PC version, exact same setup. If you play you will earn Certification Points which is our earned currency, you spend that on weapons but you can also shortcut that with our paid currency. We’ll also have all the customizations, camos, all the decals and all that stuff.
Leonid Melikhov: What additional content can PlanetSide 2 players expect in the immediate future?
Luke Sigmund: Since we launched, we’ve done 30 updates [to the PC version], so we update frequently. The biggest thing we have coming up is a brand new continent called Hossin. It’s going to be coming out pretty soon. It’ll definitely be there for the PS4 launch. We have the Directives system, which is an expansion on the achievements idea, so we’ll actually have tiered-layer achievements.
We have new Outfits features coming. We have Outfit Base Capturing, when an Outfit goes and captures a base their name will now be splashed on the map and it’s shown in the game along with their decal and banners. We’ll also have Outfit recruiting as well.
"The game looks fantastic, we have no problems running it. What you're seeing here is our Ultra settings on the PC. This is as good as the game can look for us. We've put a-lot of work into our shaders to transition them over from the PC to the PS4 and we think it came out looking fantastic."
Leonid Melikhov: What are your thoughts on the PS4? Do you think PlanetSide 2 will be a true estimation of what the consoles are capable of graphically?
Luke Sigmund: That’s a hard question…
Leonid Melikhov: That’s the point (laughs)
Luke Sigmund: (Laughs) Yeah, I think we’re really pushing it. The game looks fantastic, we have no problems running it. What you’re seeing here is our Ultra settings on the PC. This is as good as the game can look for us. We’ve put a-lot of work into our shaders to transition them over from the PC to the PS4 and we think it came out looking fantastic.
Leonid Melikhov: This might be a little-bit off-topic but I think H1Z1 uses the same engine as PlanetSide 2?
Luke Sigmund: Yes it does, it’s our Forgelight engine. H1Z1 uses it. It’s what we’re trying to do for all of our projects.
Leonid Melikhov: What kind of modifcations have you done to the Forgelight engine to support the PS4 version?
Luke Sigmund: Mostly it’s been multi-threading support. Forgelight didn’t have a ton of that at first, so it was kind of an issue with the AMD processors. Now that we’ve added more of that support it’s running better on PC and it runs great on the PS4.
Leonid Melikhov: Sounds awesome. Finally, how long do you think you will keep on supporting PlanetSide 2? Are there talks about a sequel anytime soon?
Luke Sigmund: We going to support PlanetSide 2 as long as players want it. That’s what we do at SOE, we run long-term games. EverQuest we’ve been on 15 years, so if the players are still playing 10 years from now, 15 years from, now we’re gonna support it.
Leonid Melikhov: Is there anything else you’d like to tell us about PlanetSide 2?
Luke Sigmund: You can follow us on twitter @planetside2. We also have a website www.planetside2.com so check us out. Check out our roadmap and give us feedback on features.