SOE's John Smedley shared some revealing details about PlanetSide 2, including the fact that the upcoming MMO shooter will be free.
MMOsite carried the English version of the story early this morning, but there were a few points that were lost in translation. So we contacted Smedley for clarification, and he said that while he had previously mentioned that the game will be "some form of free-to-play," SOE is not prepared to announce specifics just yet, but we should "expect something that will be very player friendly." He mentioned that a Blizzard-style auction house won't be a part of that plan but that he was fond of what League of Legends had done with its system.
It's also his opinion that Star Wars: The Old Republic will be the last large-scale MMO with a subscription fee. "The game looks great," Smedley commented, "and I will be playing myself. BioWare is doing an awesome job."
Smedley also made mention of PlanetSide 2's beta schedule. SOE is aiming to begin wider testing of the title later this year or early next year in North America, but the company doesn't know for sure just yet.
PlanetSide 2 is aiming to be bigger and better than the original, with battlefields holding up to 2,000 players at the same time, a flexible skill system that allows players to fine-tune their troops and engage in crafting, and a struggle to control territory between three factions. Interestingly enough, Smedley said that the factions might not always be at each other's throats; the PlanetSide 2 team has plans to launch PvE world events such as alien invasions where all players will put aside their differences to combat a shared threat.