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  Monday, Jan 8, 2001 Report News | Archive | Top  
Massively Multiplayer Mayhem from Missouri
- Posted 2:49 PM By Krogue
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Don't you just love the illiteration?

Well, Verant Interactive, the St.Louis based company that brought us Everquest, is at it again. They are getting ready to release Planetside, the first ever massively multiplayer persistent world first person shooter of epic proportions. Yeah, you got it, this thing is about 30,000 people in one place blowing the crap out of each other in real time.

Talk about Unreal Tournament on steroids. This game looks like it is going to be kicking a whole lot of ass. Especially, if our Missouri boys from Verant end up doing half the job and creating half the success of Everquest.

Check out this preview excerpt from PCGamer:
So it's you and about 30,000 strangers trying to kill you. You've got a small band of homeboys on whom you can depend for fire support. There's a corporation for which you work, and they'll give you the basic amenities as long as you keep paying them their 20 percent skim. The weapons being used against you are the cutting edge of the far future's most finely-developed killing technology. And did I mention that your taxes are almost due?

Planetside is set in a far future of relentless warfare and cutthroat competition between mega-corporations. Starting from the safety of a corporate-controlled home city, you will take on freelance assignments, form up long-term alliances with permanent teammates or just attach yourself to ad hoc "parties," and then venture out into the demilitarized zones to accomplish your missions.

The basic idea, according to lead designer Kevin McCann, is to put players in the role of "mercenaries or worse." You play as a member of a near-lawless futuristic society where life is cheap and ammo is expensive. Seeking to make a living the only way still possible, you'll farm yourself out as a hired trigger in service of one of four massive mega-corporations. The corporate parent will provide you with basic housing, arsenal, and support, in exchange for a cut of all the cash you earn in the field.

Planetside works off a reward system that encourages you to stick with one character (no matter how many times the guy may get fragged). The idea is to develop this character over time and watch him evolve and expand.

McCann and his St. Louis, MO-based design team are looking at every possible way to provide compelling reasons for large numbers of strangers to cooperate and wage large-scale battles. The only real way, of course, is to provide a self-serving incentive for these massive efforts: thus the idea of Sanctuary influence. If dozens of players can organize the invasion and take-over of the bases surrounding a Sanctuary, they'll all reap the rewards (and revel in the glory) of economic advantage within that Sanctuary. Using such tricks, McCann hopes for large-scale strategic battles to occur naturally in the gameworld.
For the full article and screenshots, visit PC Gamer's full preview at PC Gamer Online.
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