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Letter from the Creative Director - Update 2

Hey all!

Happy New Year, I hope you all had a great 2012 and are having an amazing start to 2013. On the Planetside 2 we had a pretty **** fantastic 2012, but we're looking forward to even bigger and better things in 2013! I've said before that while 2012 was the year that Planetside 2 launched, 2013 is the year when we're opening up the afterburners and aiming for the stars. After a well earned rest the team is energized and ready to get back to "kicking *** and fixing bugs. And we're all ou--" er, oh yeah, okay, we've still got some bugs to fix.

While we were out we were still paying attention to the forums as well as twitter, reddit, facebook and all the other places you guys interact with us; we've heard a lot of your excellent feedback, ideas, concerns and consternation. One of the biggest goals of our team has been and continues to be listening to our community and following YOUR direction for what this game needs to become. We're going to be talking a lot more about this philosophy in the coming weeks and how community involvement is going to directly impact our development schedule & priorities as we reveal "our" plan for the next 6 months. For now, we wanted to address some of the biggest issues we're seeing come up over and over again, so that's what we're focused on for January's update.

Game development can be messy and there is always the possibility that something from this list may slip or not pass QA, and more details will be released on the specifics of all of these items as we get closer to the patch date, but I wanted to get this info out to all of you as soon as possible, so with that in mind, here are some highlights from what the team is working on finishing up for LU02 which will be released on 1/30/13:

  • General performance increases, particularly for lower end GPUs
  • Dynamic XP system for player kills, players who have more kills on their current life are worth more XP. Freshly spawned players will be worth a fraction of the current kill reward.
  • Partial damage XP for dealing damage to vehicles that you don't end up killing
  • Population XP / Resource bonus moved over to continent population instead of global
  • Better display of XP sources for things like defensive bonuses & population bonuses
  • Rebalancing of XP rewards to help support tasks
  • Server transfer token available in Depot
  • UI changes to emphasize score per minute as a primary metric of player comparison
  • Sortable columns on outfit management & addition of "last online" column
  • New weapon type for all empires: SMG
  • Short period of invulnerability will be added to freshly spawned / revived players - breaks upon game actions such as entering a vehicle or using a weapon.
  • Dynamic / player configurable colors for minimap & overhead indicators for enemies, friendlies, and squads within a platoon
  • New Hot Spot system that displays where active fights are occurring on the map
  • New spawn buildings with more exits, protected balconies and easy roof access to make them less campable.
  • Tunnel systems for amp and tech facilities to give access from spawn rooms to interior of bases and base walls without having to go above ground.
  • Making MAXes render more reliably at long distances for players in vehicles
  • AA improvements, notably flak changes for turrets and skyguards, giving them some better ability to aim, although not drastically impacting their DPS.
  • Fixes to missiles so that they more reliably detonate and actually blow stuff up
  • Air vehicle weapon tweaks
  • Increases to reload speed for certain HE ground vehicle weapons
  • And of course... lots of bug fixes

Whew, it's going to be a busy month! We know this doesn't address every issue that's been brought up recently but we hope it knocks out some of the big ones. Hopefully you will see from this update (and the feature plan for the next 6 months, when that is revealed) that we're taking your feedback and concerns for the game very seriously. We're here, we're listening and we're committed to continue to work with our community to build the best online game the world has ever seen.

As always, your feedback is very welcomed, here, on reddit, on twitter and everywhere else you may find us.
Cya on Auraxis!
Matthew Higby
Creative Director - Planetside 2

Edit: I wanted to add that just because you don't see things like "metagame fixes" or "render distance" on this list doesn't mean they're not high priority changes or that we're ignoring those issues - they're just larger problems and as you'd expect that means they generally take longer to solve. Just because something isn't getting addressed this update doesn't make it lesser or lower priority than the things that are addressed in the patch. When planning an update we have to balance what we need to do with what we can fit. Those type of large scale adjustments are built from a variety of changes over a long period of time, not just one bullet point in one update note. Once we have the longer term plan out there for you guys to look at you'll see how some of these more meaty changes slot into the schedule.