A look at the PlanetSide 2 World Domination Series

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A look at the PlanetSide 2 World Domination Series
PlanetSide 2 screenshot
PlanetSide 2 players have been asking for something that gives their favorite game a bit more persistence. Conquering territories is a lot of fun, but it can sometimes become repetitive and less satisfying when those territories simply turn over to the next empire that decides to take it. This is where the World Domination Series has stepped in to give the game and its loyal fanbase even more reason to log in and fight.

The World Domination Series hands out points to factions that hold on to an area for longer periods of time and will eventually give out points to individual players. Even though it just finished a first wave of in-game testing Sunday night, it will soon be accessible through a handy scorecard in-game and lists the daily, weekly, and seasonal scores as well as each empire's server- and game-wide performance. Each territory is worth a certain number of points, but holding a territory for longer periods of time is worth even more points. At the end of each week, rewards will be handed out. During the testing, the rewards consisted of experience boosts, but it'll be expanded later.

How does this new system affect the rest of the playerbase, and what's in store for it in the future? We asked Matt Higby, Creative Director for PlanetSide 2, to answer some these questions.

PlanestSide 2 screenshot
If you play PlanetSide 2, you will be contributing to the whole system. Just playing the game puts you in the running for a score and a reward. Of course, you get to choose how involved you get with the game-within-the-game, but with a simple press of the tab key, you'll be able to see the current leaders. Hovering over a territory will show you how many points it is worth and when the award will be handed out, in case you decided to head to that area to contribute.

It's not as easy as it sounds, however. The other empires can see the contested areas as well and can head there to fight you. Higby commented on how important it is to prevent players from just logging onto characters from the winning empire in order to snag a reward, as PlanetSide 2 allows players to have characters from different empires on the same account. Right now the awards are based on world-wide performance, but there are plans to base them on individual server performance to make it more personal and to make players care more about how they did. World-wide measurements mean that individual performance doesn't add up to much.

This new meta game does have some effect on the live server population as players switch sides often. Switching awards to individual player performance should offset this switching and population swaying. After all, players want to help their favorite empire win, but it's likely that players value individual recognition even more.

PlanetSide 2 screenshot
What are some of the goodies that can be won by participating in this event? During the test it was experience boosts, not a bad prize when you consider that a player didn't have to do anything directly in order to participate. Later on, the prizes will likely be custom decals and titles, items that don't have an effect on gameplay but do provide their weight in bragging rights. Higby wants this system to be a framework for competition rather than a way to earn gameplay advantages.

When asked for advice for a new player or someone returning to the game, Higby said the best idea would be to join up with a good squad (you can automatically join one by hitting the default insert key) and heading to the territories that are handing out the most points. At the end of the week, the points are totaled and the awards are given. He emphasized that this system is designed to bring the players one step closer to enjoying the epic, long-term goals that they have been asking for. Even though the battles in PlanetSide 2 are massive as they are, they are not necessarily persistent. This new system could help to change that.

If you want more information about recent changes to the World Domination Series -- like new scores for holding territories, difficulty modifiers, and even new bounties that are placed on the most valuable territories -- head to the official forums. If you've enjoyed this beta "warm up," then be prepared for the real thing, launching in late November. Expect direct integration of challenges in the UI as well as the inclusion of some pretty nice awards for helping out your favorite empire!

When readers want the scoop on a launch or a patch (or even a brewing fiasco), Massively goes right to the source to interview the developers themselves. Be they John Smedley or Chris Roberts or anyone in between, we ask the devs the hard questions. Of course, whether they tell us the truth or not is up to them!
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