Sony Online Entertainment is taking the battle in PlanetSide 2 to a brand new continent in the coming weeks, with the release of Esamir. Veteran PlanetSide players will remember Esamir as an icy wasteland on Auraxis.
We had a chance to sit down and talk with Tramell Isaac, Senior Art Director on PlanetSide 2 and Leonard Gullo, Lead World Designer, about Esamir and what the new continent brings to PlanetSide 2. The differences between Indar, the only currently-available continent in PlanetSide 2 and Esamir are much more vast than the obvious environmental aspects.
From the sound of things, Esamir is much more vast than Indar. With far fewer outposts and only one tech plant to speak of, battles will be fierce on Esamir. On the flip side of that, you're going to notice a distinctly larger amount of land to traverse between outposts, making vehicles even more valuable than they have been to date in PlanetSide 2. On Indar, you can walk from outpost to outpost if you want to - it will take you a while, but it's not unheard of. On Esamir, you are definitely going to want to grab a vehicle if for no other purpose than to facilitate a much quicker route to your next hotspot.
With this increased emphasis on vehicles, you're going to want to exercise some caution when making your way across the map. Things like friction and loss of traction are properties that SOE has taken into account on Esamir, so don't expect your rubber-wheeled vehicles to perform as normal on icy surfaces. There are bridges that you can take that will be more secure than driving on the ice, but that might be exactly what the enemy is expecting you to do.
If all else fails, as Tramell Isaac said, 'If you're on a Magrider, you're good.' So there's always that.
Keep reading for more on Esamir, the next continent in Sony Online Entertainment's free to play shooter, PlanetSide 2!
The environment on Esamir is a drastic difference over Indar, as well, with some of the major changes coming in the lack of a full day/night cycle as well as harsher climates with blowing snow, thick fog and an actual sense of snow blindness in the bright, white snow at high noon.
In icy climates like Esamir, you're not going to experience the full night-day cycle that players are currently used to on Indar. Instead, you will experience something closer to dusk instead of the pure darkness of nighttime and some very bright sunlight in the middle of the day.
So, how do you actually get to Esamir when the map goes live? SOE has made it incredibly easy with the Warpgates system, carried over from the original PlanetSide. Moving from Indar to Esamir and vice versa is as simple as visiting a Warpgate and traveling to your continent of choice.
While vehicles are definitely stressed as your journeying across Esamir and as you're moving from outpost to outpost, the fighting once you arrive at these outposts is going to be evenly balanced between infantry and vehicles. In these outposts, there will be a system of trenches that infantry soldiers can navigate, giving them flanking routes to maneuver around vehicles while staying out of their line of sight.
These trenches will provide great incentive for players to jump out of their vehicle and continue the fight on foot.
PlanetSide 2 is going to keep getting bigger and better as the game progresses through closed beta and ultimately launches. SOE has ambitious plans for the future, and they've detailed the release plans for continents after Esamir debuts. First up, we're going to be playing on Amerish - a verdant, forested continent that is already in-development. Searus comes next, a brutal, volcanic continent that will force players to deal with lava flows in this desolate landscape.
The first four continents were specifically chosen for their extreme natures. Each continent will bring something radically different to the table, offering a massively broad array of environments for players to choose from when all is said and done.
We're looking forward to getting some hands-on time with Esamir in the near future and we'll be sure to post a follow up after we've seen the icy continent in action for ourselves.