planetside

Official Site: PlanetSide
Studio: SOE, now Daybreak Game Company
Launch Date: May 20, 2003
Genre: Sci-Fi MMOFPS Sandbox
Business Model: F2P
Platform: PC
See Also: PlanetSide 2

Massively Overthinking: Are MMOs designed for 'low-skill gamers'?

Ages ago on the MMORPG subreddit, a player made a bold statement: MMORPGs are designed for low-skill gamers.

"I remember being dazzled by EverQuest and Ultima as a child," he wrote, reminiscing about his memory of high difficulty old-school games. "I recently loaded up [Star Wars: The Old Republic] again, and I'm shocked. Piss easy. Everything. XP falling from the sky. Mobs dead in one GCD. Brainless. The same reason I quite every MMO. I never meet people, I never feel challenged. I just feel bored. 'Wait till endgame' isn't gonna cut it anymore. I'm over it. I'm done. I feel like I'm just hitting the 'Reward' button again and again and again, solitary and alone, like a stupid little rat in the cage." He then basically blames the perceived shift of the genre on people who don't want games to be "like a job": "The genre just seems to be fueled by mediocre, anti-social "consumers."

I wanted to pull this back out to see whether our staff and writers agree with the claims -- and whether we all have some advice for this fan, who concludes his rant by asking people to change his mind. Howsabout it, Overthinking fans?

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Massively Overthinking: Unholy MMORPG hybrids

Massively OP reader and frequent tipster Gibbins wants us to play match-maker.

"I love the wonderful world that Bethesda created with the Fallout franchise, not too bleak but very post apocalypse with a very kitsch '50s feel from the time of duck and cover educational films, but I wish it were multiplayer. The huge volume of mods for Fallout is also is a massive bonus, giving the game great variety and replayability. On the other hand, I also love the satirical in your face style of GTA Online and its no-holds-barred multiplayer experience, but I wish there were more to the story and more support for mods. Both games offer so much, and I would love to see how each studio would add to the other's game. Which two development teams would you like to see married... and which game would be their love child?"

Let's complicate Gibbins' request and say that the love child game must be an MMO! I've posed his question to the team for this week's Massively Overthinking.

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The Daily Grind: Are you concerned for Daybreak's other MMORPGs?

Last night's startling news that Daybreak plans to sunset Landmark abruptly in February (while forbidding player emulators) sent the MMORPG community into... I'll call it "resigned and weary outrage." At Massively OP, we just spent the last month reliving last year's EverQuest Next cancellation thanks to the fact that it "won" so many awards -- Biggest Disappointment and Biggest Story, the reader vote for Biggest Blunder -- and was our most-commented-on article of the year. Landmark's sunset is sadly just a capstone to a year already dominated by Daybreak's decisions.

(The bummer is Landmark also narrowly took our serious award for Best Crafting, which it probably deserved, but most MMO gamers will never get to try it to understand why.)

Our comments last night were filled with concern for Daybreak's remaining games. We counted around 14 games canceled, most of them in the last few years, with DC Universe Online, PlanetSide 2, EverQuest, EverQuest II, and the two H1Z1 halves being the only games left under the DBG banner (plus the mystery game they've been hiring for -- and it's now publishing Lord of the Rings Online and Dungeons and Dragons Online but doesn't actually own or develop them, so they're probably safe). Do you think Landmark was the last remnant of a bad business decision finally getting cleaned up, or are you concerned for Daybreak's other MMORPGs?

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The MMOs we lost in 2016

If you thought we lost a lot of MMOs in 2014 and 2015, wait until you see 2016's list.

It's easy to shrug off some of these, like the non-MMORPGs, the games shutting down in far-flung countries, or even Hellgate, which sunsets and revives at least a dozen times a year now.

But others sting. Asheron's Call, due to sunset in January, is probably the smallest MMORPG on the list, but it casts a mighty shadow over the genre and will be deeply missed by veterans. The cancellations of EverQuest Next and Revival still stings. PlanetSide had a long and storied run, while DUST 514 may yet live again. And our youngins will now miss out on introductory games like Super Hero Squad Online and LEGO Minifigures.

Farewell, old friends.

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Perfect Ten: The biggest MMORPG stories of 2016

As we start to come to grips with the fact that we will be turning over the calendar into 2017 in one short month, it might just be for the best. In the real world, 2016 was a rocky, unpredictable year, and even among our collective favorite hobby, it featured some highs and lows that very few saw coming.

This will go down as the year that Daybreak broke our hearts, a mobile game erupted into a global phenomenon, drama over an illegal emulator sparked multiple stories, and some of the biggest MMORPG launches came from eastern imports.

So while there might be a few more huge stories left in 2016, let's spend some time revisiting the major headlines to get a better feel for the shape of the year that we are about to leave behind.

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EverQuest Online Adventures revival project solicits aid

It's been well over four years since EverQuest Online Adventures was unplugged and its servers shut down, as SOE deemed the old hardware (PlayStation 2) and minuscule population not worth supporting.

However, there is the faithful remnant that has been trying during the intervening years to get the console MMORPG back up and running. This week, the revival team put out a call for help with its project to establish an EQOA emulator that works on both the PS2 and PC.

"Unfortunately, the few people who are working on it are also employed and such and no one gets paid working on this," the author writes, "and we are in desperate need of more people who can help on the technical side of things. Moral support is great but we need more technical help."

If you have the skills and the desire to be part of the project, you can contact the team through the Reddit comment thread.

Source: Reddit

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The Game Archaeologist: Classic PlanetSide

Unlike fantasy, the sci-fi genre has had a rocky relationship with MMORPGs. While studios have tried just as hard to make and promote them, there seems to be a curse that hovers over some of these games. From the canceled (Earth & Beyond, The Matrix Online, Tabula Rasa) to the radically retinkered (Star Wars Galaxies) to the relatively niche (Anarchy Online), sci-fi has struggled to be seen as relevant and embraced as its bigger brother.

That isn't to say that these games or the genre is worthless, just that it's a harder sell in many areas of entertainment. Fortunately, studios haven't given up on these games, and some of these titles -- such as EVE Online or Star Trek Online -- have proven that they're worth pursuing.

Enter PlanetSide, circa 2003. While sci-fi MMOs, multi-faction PvP, and online shooters had been done separately at that point, PlanetSide stepped up to the plate to combine all three into a persistent war on an alien planet. Today we'll be setting our sights to the far reaches of the galaxy and beyond as we explore one of the more unique MMOs in existence.

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Daybreak seeks talent for an unannounced game

What might be brewing in the secret laboratories of Daybreak Game Company? That's the question of the week, as the studio is recruiting talent for a mystery title.

On Daybreak's career page, the studio has several job postings for an "unannounced title." Some of the positions available include a lead designer, product manager, senior designer, and senior environment artist.

According to some of the job descriptions, the game looks to be a free-to-play multi-platform FPS title: "The Daybreak Games San Diego Studio is looking for a game designer to join a development team working on an unannounced, multi-platform project. Ideal candidates will have previous experience developing first-person shooter games, with a focus on the design, creation, and maintenance of core game systems."

Could this be a brand-new game, an expansion, or something related to PlanetSide 2? Give us your thoughts in the comments!

Source: Reddit, Daybreak

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Daybreak is cutting out game cards

If you're a big fan of buying game cards for Daybreak's various online offerings, you should go snap them up now before they're gone. Daybreak has officially announced that it's getting rid of game cards as of November 8th, 2016; no more grabbing PlanetSide 2 or EverQuest II cards when you're in the checkout line. Even if you find them around after November 8th, the cards will no longer activate, so you'll be out of luck.

Any cards you already have can still be redeemed, and you can also convert existing game currency into the new H1Z1: King of the Kill Crown currency through the end of 2016. Cards cannot be used on consoles, however, even previously purchased cards, so players who enjoy Daybreak titles like DC Universe Online on consoles will be out of luck. If you've got a few cards yet to be redeemed in your desk drawer, now is the time to take care of them.

Source: Official Site; thanks to Kinya for the tip!

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R.I.P. PlanetSide

With barely a whisper in memory of its long-running MMOFPS, Daybreak closed down the PlanetSide servers this past weekend.

The studio had previously stated that the sunset was due to "evolving needs and technical requirements" involved with running the 2003-era game. Last year, we had listed it as one of seven MMOs that was operating on borrowed time.

To honor PlanetSide, we have two videos to share after the break. The first is a recording of the final minutes of PlanetSide (language NSFW) made by YouTuber Steven Messner, while the second is the old trailer for the game to hit you right in the feels.

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Daybreak bans, unbans thousands of third-party key purchasers

If you bought and activated a key for EverQuest, DC Universe Online, PlanetSide 2, EverQuest II, or a Krono subscription from a third-party reseller, you might have found yourself on the nasty end of the banstick this week.

Several sites are reporting that "thousands" of Daybreak players have been locked out of their games following the purchase of such keys. Daybreak does not take kindly to these resellers, claiming that many of them have obtained these keys through dubious methods. Red Guides notes that there is nothing in Daybreak's Terms of Service or EULA restricting where keys can be purchased.

In a possibly related move, EverQuest's newest expansion, The Broken Mirror, is no longer available to purchase through Steam.

Following the June 30th actions, the studio is reversing those bans and deciding to issue warnings instead. One player shared a letter from Daybreak, which you can read after the break.

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Massively OP Podcast Episode 70: E to the three

The podcast team is back to tackle an incredibly busy week dominated by E3 news -- and word that several games are heading off into the sunset. Will the good overcome the bad? The joy dominate the sorrow? The white knights conquer the trolls? Listen in and see!

It’s the Massively OP Podcast, an action-packed hour of news, tales, opinions, and gamer emails! And remember, if you’d like to send in your own letter to the show, use the “Tips” button in the top-right corner of the site to do so.

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Daybreak to sunset PlanetSide 1 and Legends of Norrath

It's Friday night, and you know what that means: another big announcement from Daybreak. The studio announced this evening that it will be sunsetting the Legends of Norrath card game as well as the original PlanetSide.

July 1st, at 4:00 PM PT, we will be closing the PlanetSide 1 server. PlanetSide 1 has a very important history with Daybreak Games and a special place in the hearts of those who work on its successor. While we have run the game for free since 2014, due to evolving business needs and technical requirements it has become necessary to conclude this service.

We hope you will take this opportunity to enjoy the remaining time available with each other and please help us give PlanetSide 1 the sendoff it deserves.

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