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Anniversary Inbound

Well hello there. We are rapidly approaching our ten-year anniversary, and as mentioned in the last dev letter, we've taken some time to review the roadmap and realign our goals for the end of the year. We'll get into where we landed on that, talk about the last Outfit Wars, and give you some insight into what you'll see for the 10-year anniversary update.


End of the

Despite keeping pretty good pace with our initial ambitions toward the start of the year, the development of the 1v1 version of Outfit Wars took longer than anticipated, putting us on the back foot for subsequent releases. After taking most of September to get realigned and generally slow down, a lot of what was originally intentioned for the last leg of the year has at this point been put on the backburner. Don't despair though, because we've still got a lot of important updates and fun stuff in the works for November. Before we get into that though, Outfit Wars.

The number of upcoming redacted is, unfortunately, also redacted.

Outfit Wars

With the first Nexus season of Outfit Wars now officially behind us, it's safe to say that this event was a mixed success. A solid format that creates a clearer competitive venue, those who have played on Nexus seem to really enjoy it, and the casting of each event by community members was top notch. On the flip side of that, the first three weeks were marred by issues with hitching, team sorting, and UI readability problems; the map has at least a couple areas that can use some cleanup; and there are some functionality improvements we can make for squads and platoons getting organized in the zone, among other issues. That said, based on the number of participants and the quality of teams making their way to the top, it seems like we have a solid foundation to build upon for future wars.


Congratulations to the winners of this first 1v1 season!


  • Gold: Recursion
  • Bronze: Un1ty


  • Silver: Recursion
  • Bronze: Vanu Sovereign Katz


  • Gold: 1e Regiment des Para Commandos
  • Silver: Los Piratos
  • Bronze: Dignity of War Tactical


  • Gold: Big Men
  • Silver: Hydra


  • Gold: Onslaught Union
  • Silver: The Last Ravens
  • Bronze: WECN


Shining, Shimmering, Splendid

A big part of what's coming in November pertains to improving the visual feel of the game. We're not trying to reinvent the look, and even to call it an overhaul would be reaching a bit beyond our targets, but we are pushing the art style forward. The intention here is to drop a fresh coat of paint on the existing game, which is possible thanks to some new tech, revisions to existing art, and a lot of work behind the scenes. Standard disclaimer: What you'll see below is in almost all cases, a work in progress, as tuning, polish, and testing remains to be done. 



When it comes to anti-aliasing (the smoothing of jagged edge visuals,) PlanetSide 2 has used "Edge AA," which is realistically about one step above not having any anti-aliasing at all. With the November update, we'll be adding options for TAA (temporal anti-aliasing) FXAA (fast approximate anti-aliasing) and a combination for TAA+FXAA.

An example of TAA+FXAA turned on, eliminating a lot of the jagged edges you'd typically see in Sanctuary.

Default EdgeAA in Sanctuary.

New TAA+FXAA in Sanctuary.


Revisiting the Art

We first looked into reverting back to older, larger texture sheets to see if there would be any significant gains in restoring them. That investigation yielded few positive results, so we ultimately made the choice to push the art forward than to fall backward. A couple of the changes we've targeted are to make our metals feel more like metal, and to bring back some of the specularity (shininess,) and dial back some of the places where we use grunge overlays excessively.

With the updated Lightning you'll see more metallics, more vibrant paint, with more clearly defined edges.

Updated Lightning textures.

Current Lightning textures.


Interior Sky

One of the background technologies we've developed is the ability to detect and change a sky file while in an interior space. Esamir's Containment Sites, don't really do this, despite faking it pretty well with designer-placed server volumes. With the new tech, we are able to integrate volumes into the props themselves that can align to the actual shape of the building. We currently use this tech to neutralize the impact of the outdoor lighting on the indoor spaces.

Using the new indoor sky, we can create interior spaces that feel more true to how they would be lit. You can also see less grungy interior walls of the updated art here as well.

New Indar interior at noon using indoor "sky" tech.

Current Indar interior at noon.


Screen Space Reflections

With the changes to specularity, we've also added an option to take it a step further. "Screen Space Reflections" (or SSR) is a technique of adding reflections to surfaces, based on what the camera can currently see. There are definitely limitations to this technique, but it creates a cool effect that can add more life to a space. Here's an example.

With SSR enabled, you can see reflections on the floor from the surrounding lights and equipment. As a note the interior sky file in the Tech Plant here is still a work in progress, and way darker than we'll send Live.

New Screen Space Reflections (work in progress indoor lighting.)

Current, non-reflective Live.


Water Reflections

Similar to the SSR above, we've also added reflections to water surfaces. This quality is handled in a setting separate from SSR, so you can tailor the visuals. With water reflections, we can more clearly differentiate the water's surface from what's below, instead of the juice-drink sort of look we have currently. You'll also see terrain and objects reflected on the water's surface.

Both the sky, terrain, and structures can be seen reflected in this shot.

New Water Reflections.

Current Oshur Water.



One of the steps we're taking to improve on the visuals is to revamp ground explosions from projectile impacts (like tank cannon shells hitting the ground.) The end result will feel more modern, be better optimized, and help resolve a long-standing problem where explosions that land close to you can be very difficult to see. Here are some examples of old versus new, noting that these, like many of what's been showed already are work in progress.

Old impact.


New impact.


But wait, there is, indeed, more.

What's shown above is some, but certainly not all, of the visual updates we'll be making in November. On the gameplay front standby for a better performing spawn priority system, a smattering of balance adjustments, new tricks up the Bastion Fleet Carrier's sleeve, and a new style of facility capture gameplay that will change the battlefields of Auraxis forever. Soooooo, we'll talk about it all as we move into November!

Thanks all.

-Wrel, Lead Designer