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A New Soldier - Game Update

Today's game update has brought a significant amount of content to PlanetSide 2 including DX11 integration, the Nanite Systems Operatives faction, the Refine and Refuel Continent Event, and more! Read on for a rundown:


DX11 Integration

Over the game's lifetime, there has been no pain point discussed more often than that of performance.

You've seen us attacking this problem from different angles throughout the past year (and the years before that!), and while we've made significant strides with optimizing much of our underlying infrastructure, there wasn't much left for us to improve upon without some major overhauls first.

Our continued quest for improvement has brought us here, after months of work and a coordinated effort from multiple departments throughout the company, we're pleased to announce that DX11 has arrived in PlanetSide 2.

Players on all types of compatible hardware should be receiving notable performance increases due in no small part to this update, but others as well. Numerous third party software used by the game and our own internal Forgelight engine have been updated, and we've also restructured the way that assets are packed and encrypted. This results in not only a more performant game, but also smaller file sizes, and more security from cheaters.

To top it all off, the updates give us better tools to diagnose and address performance concerns in the future.

So celebrate, Auraxians, you've earned it.

 

Nanite Systems Operatives 

Built to function in the harshest weather conditions and most demanding combat roles, our new Nanite Systems Operatives are here to serve. Players now have the ability to create a robotic character on a new, fourth faction, the Nanite Systems Operatives (or NSO).

  • NSO characters are available to players with All Access Memberships
  • Each time an Operative moves to a new continent, they will be assigned to fight for whichever faction currently has the lowest population. This faction will not be re-assigned until the player travels to a new continent.
  • Operative characters use Nanite Systems weaponry only, and have their own special Directive lines available for completion. NSO characters do not have equivalents for faction-specific items, so use caution when purchasing bundles that offer items for multiple factions.
  • A MAX unit, main battle tank, and empire specific fighters are currently missing from the NSO arsenal, and we will be exploring their implementation at a later date.
  • NSO characters can reside in outfits (even while contracted for opposing teams) and can join and lead squads for whichever faction they're currently fighting for. If an NSO character leaves a continent and is contracted to fight for a new team, they will be removed from their active squad.
  • At launch, NSO characters will be unable to access Tutorial and Koltyr.
  • Beyond that, NSO characters operate similarly to a character from any other empire.
  • They have the same health pools, movement speeds, hitboxes and animations, and they die and respawn just like any other soldier.

The design of this system had a few different targets.

  • Firstly, we wanted a way to address population balance without having to rely on a faction queue, which (while effective) isn't a fun way for players to spend their evening if they want to play a particular faction.
  • Secondly, we wanted a way to celebrate and reward our players who have active memberships, and there is no more prominent way to flaunt your support of the game than piloting a combat-ready robotic soldier.
  • Lastly, we wanted to invigorate some of the PlanetSide 2 lore. The release of NS Operatives are the true beginning of a larger story arc surrounding Nanite Systems, and some hero characters you may (or may not have) heard of just yet.

We hope you enjoy these new soldiers, and the havoc they will certainly wreak upon the battlefields of Auraxis.

 

Refine and Refuel - Continent Event

The Refine and Refuel event has been added to the events pool on all continents.

At the start of the event, two Refineries will spawn toward the center of the map. Players are tasked with harvesting Cortium and depositing it into one of the refineries. When a Refinery is full, it will blast off into orbit, and a new one will spawn at another location.

The faction who has refined the most cortium will earn a 20% nanite discount on Sunderer and ANT spawns at the end of the event.

 

Join Combat Revision

This system has been restructured, and should no longer fail to send players off when the countdown completes.

Join Combat now works on a priority system when deciding where to send players.

  • First, it looks for ideal populations and balanced fights.
  • If none exist, it will simply look for balanced fights.
  • If none of those exist either, it will send the player to attack an enemy frontline base, even if that base is empty.

In addition, it now makes decisions on how to send players to fights.

  • Initially, the system looks for hardspawns at the chosen location.
  • If none exist, it will then look for soft spawns at the chosen location.
  • If none of those exist either, it will send the player to that location in a drop pod.
  • In the future, we'd also like to sort players into unlocked vehicles with open gunner seats.

Restructuring Join Combat in this way allows us to deliver players to an ideal PlanetSide experience first, wherever they're available. We then focus on intensifying balanced fights that currently exist, while helping generate new fights along the frontlines. These changes work hand in hand with the spawn system revamp.

Spawn System Revamp

We have made large revisions to the spawn system that will help filter players into more enjoyable fights, discourage overpopulation as it moves from base to base, as well as allow for more freedom to move around the map.

Prior to this update, the spawn system was too restrictive, and didn't point players in any particular direction. Veteran players would often resort to hopping from spawn point to spawn point in order to reach fights they wanted to participate in. At the same time, players were discouraged from leaving their current lane, which contributed heavily to the formation of "zergs" that then move down an abandoned lattice lane unopposed. This experience was detrimental to new players and veterans alike.

The revised spawn rules now work on a priority system, with ideal spawn locations appearing first, and additional spawn locations appearing after a longer wait period, effectively throttling how quickly players can redeploy around the map, while still giving them the option to do so.

Priority 1 Spawn Locations - Default spawn timer

  • Warpgate
  • Last spawnpoint you used.
  • Spawn Beacons.
  • Squad-spawnable vehicles.
  • Other spawn points within your current region if that region is not overpopulated.
  • Allied regions adjacent to an enemy region with less than 12 players at it.

Priority 2 Spawn Locations - 15 second wait time.

  • Spawn locations in your current region if your region is overpopulated.
  • Allied regions with adjacent enemy territory with less than 96 players, and aren't cut off from the lattice.
  • Outfit-owned regions that are not overpopulated, and aren't cut off from the lattice.

Priority 3 Spawn Locations - 30 second wait time.

  • Allied regions without enemy adjacency and aren't cut off from the lattice.

These changes give players the ability to jump to low populated regions to start moving down lanes with less occupancy; prohibits players from redeploying directly into overpopulated regions from outside them; and slows down the respawn time in overpopulated regions when your last-used spawn point is destroyed.

We have a lot of flexibility with this system to either loosen up or clamp down harder on the ruleset, and will undoubtedly make adjustments as it continues to shake out.

 
 
On top of all this, we've also made improvements to the game's UI, adjusted infantry, and more. Full patch notes that include all of today's changes are available here.

We'll see you on the battlefield, soldiers (and Operatives)!

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