“Your ability to compete with and kill my character is entirely based on our personal skill”: SOE on pay-to-win in Planetside 2

Planetside 2

By on September 21, 2012 at 10:22 am

Whenever a game is announced as “free-to-play”, the naturally cynical gamer automatically looks for any way in which that could possibly be construed as “play-to-win”. Planetside 2‘s Matt Higby isn’t having any of that guff however, and has laid out in very clear terms on the Planetside 2 forums exactly what premium membership means.

“Cosmetics and Convenience. That’s it. Seriously.”

“Cosmetics are pretty self-explanatory,” he continued. “I think everyone ‘gets it’ with cosmetics and won’t be too upset at buying camo patterns or decals for real money. For us, convenience is purely the act of unlocking something faster, whether that means through buying a side-grade weapon directly with a StationCash microtransaction or earning certification points faster due to a boost or membership.”

On the subject of Planetside 2‘s overall philsophy, he added: “For me, when I say the game is competitive I meant that on a moment-to-moment basis your ability to compete with and kill my character is entirely based on our personal skill. I should never be able to acquire an item that makes it just straight-up easier to kill you, or makes it straight up harder for you to kill me.”

Member benefits currently include 50% faster experience gain, 50% faster passive cert boost, 50% faster resource gain, increased resource pool caps, and priority login.

Source: Planetside 2 (via PCGamesN)

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7 comments (Leave your own)

Member benefits currently include 50% faster experience gain, 50% faster passive cert boost, 50% faster resource gain, increased resource pool caps, and priority login.

How does that ease the minds of those with a ‘pay-to-win’ mindset?

Let’s say that around mid level (I am unaware of what the level cap is) it’s 100,000 XP per level.

A Kill gets you 5 XP

so on a purely kill basis

Non paying players have to kill: 20,000 people at a rate of 5XP per kill
Paying players have to kill: 13,334 people at a rate of 7.5XP per kill

That’s almost 7000 people less that have to be killed by the paying players. You add on top of that the ease of gaining those kills will be increased because being at a higher level from the get go because they level faster, they will inherently gain access to the better equipment faster.

I agree with their philosophy at a maximum level sure. But everyone starts at level 0 when the game launches. Not at max level.

 
Unworthy King

collect0r,

Who cares? It’ll be like Call of Duty in those terms. Some people prestige on the first day, but that didn’t stop any level 1 or 0 (whatever) from owning them.

Like the title says, it’s about skill.

 

There is nothing new to this model and is proven to work very well for everyone. It’s a good way to keep everyone on as close an even footing as possible. Not perfect, but then there aren’t really any other alternatives.

Generally speaking, people who do not have a lot of “disposable time”, i.e. those who have full-time work, family, commitments, etc, might have some disposable income they can use to buy boosts which will help them keep up with those who have a lot more disposable time. Obviously these are huge generalisations, but it’s as close to being able to cater for everyone while still making money; and i really hope these guys make a lot of money in this, which i think they will.

Also, typo in the first paragraph. “play-to-win” should be “pay-to-win”.

 

I don’t know about it, been discussing it on the forums over there, and its a bit of an iffy topic.

All I can say is that I hope for a Once off Payment style offer where I can get some of the bonuses without the whole subscription hole-in-my-pocket-money-leeching.

 

Well… I am playing BETA… Unfortunately, decals and cammo isn’t all that’s on offer…

They also offer weapons.

So when he keeps repeating that there’s Cosmetics on sale he’s right, but there are also guns and upgrades.

If dude A shoots me with missiles he bought day 1, and I’m in a vanilla plane trying to earn my stuff – then he won by paying.

That’s pay to win imo.

That might be purist, however any external influences in a game are an anomaly.

It’s like playing chess, but the other guy is allowed to take your pieces off the board just by paying some cash.

How is that not pay to win ?

I can CERTAINLY understand why the developers might want to create some “grey area” distinction about it actually just being “pay to skip”.

However, if in World of Warcraft if someone just wanted to “skip” to level 80 for $50 paid to the devs, doesn’t that take something away from the game ?

Upon saying that, I have played the game a lot, and the weapons and such are not a big deal to earn, a couple months should have most of what anyone wants unlocked.

I will be playing.

 

spkypwnsuall:
I don’t know about it, been discussing it on the forums over there, and its a bit of an iffy topic.

All I can say is that I hope for a Once off Payment style offer where I can get some of the bonuses without the whole subscription hole-in-my-pocket-money-leeching.

Yeah basically what I have in mind too.

 

thefinn:
Well… I am playing BETA… Unfortunately, decals and cammo isn’t all that’s on offer…

They also offer weapons.

So when he keeps repeating that there’s Cosmetics on sale he’s right, but there are also guns and upgrades.

Cosmetics and Convenience. Buying a Gun early fits under convenience and I would honestly draw a comparison between that and unlocking LoL champions – unlocking weapons is a side-grade, a playstyle difference. So i hardly see how it’s selling power to buy a weapon, i guess as Higby said though, pay to win is subjective, i’ve seen many different ideas from people as to what is or isn’t.

Certifications are my only worry when you compare a New player to one playing for a long time. Even that only matters at the extremes, one player having nothing compared to a full unlock would be noticeable, the question then is how long does it take to unlock just enough to cover most of that gap.

 
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