PlanetSide 2: Interview with Creative Director Matt Higby

What do you see as the number one feature of PlanetSide 2?

Community. When you are playing a multiplayer game it’s all about the people you are playing with. One of the things I’m very thankful for about PlanetSide is that the content is the players. You can’t have a better situation than that. I’ve worked on EverQuest 2 and big, content-driven MMOs before. Having the content be the players is such a better way.

It’s about giving these players systems that allow them to create their own fun, rather than them relying on the fun that’s being created by storytellers that work on the game is much more sustainable. It means you can play this game for years and it’s always different. I’m fighting over this base that I’ve probably fought over 50 times. But every time I fight over it, it’s different. Its not like rerunning a newbie quest again.

Where do you see the future of PlanetSide 2?

More tools to allow players to make the most out of that user generated content. We want to allow players to build their own bases. We want players to come together as an outfit and pool their resources to construct a superdefensible stronghold and defend it. We also want to give commanders more abilities to create fights, to draw more players into the area, to have more ownership of things like tactical plans and attack paths.

One of the things we are working in right now is the expansion of our mission system. Right now we have a system where players can mark an area, like a priority attack flag. All the other players on the continent can look at the map and see that a lot of other people have flagged it as an attack priority and think maybe I should go over there and attack or defend. But we want to build a much more robust system that helps us link together the advanced players involved in all the strategic decision making and the masses of people just in there to have a massive FPS experience.

We want a system that bridges those two sets of people in a really simple way. So these guys can be creating missions that say “I need a Sunderer over here and Galaxy Transports over here.” And then these other guys who have flagged themselves as interested in Sunderer stuff and doing heavy assault will then see all those missions right on the map and know that they are going to do something really useful and really helpful to their Empire.

Thanks for your time, Matt.

What do you think? Has PlanetSide 2 raised the bar for FPS games?

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2 Comments on PlanetSide 2: Interview with Creative Director Matt Higby


On December 10, 2012 at 3:43 pm

It sure has raised the bar on the genre. I loved PS1 and I love PS2. It certainly has a big wow factor due to the epic scale. The hit registration is perfect, which is something I didn’t expect a during 400 player battles. The air combat is very well done. Once the in-game VOIP chat is fixed (it has hardly worked since beta), the tight squad gameplay will be a true highlight.

Some big drawbacks are present that are going to limit its popularity through. Game performance is low even on PCs that can run more detailed games. There are too few infantry only combat engagements. Free to play business model is giving a free hand to cheaters to run client hacks and keep returning after bans. One or more of these issues is the reason why many of my friends refuse to play or continue playing. There’s also the fact that players can pay to skip the months of play required to unlock weapons by paying cash. Those players might be persuaded to come back with a few station cash sales though.


On December 10, 2012 at 10:36 pm

The issue I have with the game is there isn’t a real point to take things over. Yes you get bonuses but in 30 min or less another faction will just come back and retake it.

You really need to be able to kick a faction off the continent so that it feels like it matters that your empire has taking certain things.

I enjoyed the first few hours of it but then it just got repetitive. I never really felt that if i won this big battle that it meant anything past a few minutes.