Quote of the Day – I Got Your Massive Universe Right Here!

“This amazing achievement shows not only how truly massive the PlanetSide 2 universe is, but also how inclusive its online community is,” said Annie Nguyen, Video Games Records Manager at Guinness World Records. “This title truly embodies the international, record-breaking spirit of Guinness World Records.”

Statement at Guinness World Records site

PlanetSide2 got an achievement in that they set the world record for most players in a single FPS battle, managing a peak of 1,158 in their “truly massive universe,” allowing them to join other distinguished record holders at the Guinness World Records site.

That is NOT Blawrf McTaggart!

That is NOT Blawrf McTaggart!

Now maybe they can work their way up to 4,070 players, like the battle at 6VDT-H, or even 2,670 players, the peak number participating at one time at B-R5RB, because 1,158 is something like the population of Jita on a Saturday afternoon.

Okay, I know, this isn’t and apples to apples comparison.  Those EVE Online events weren’t hyped up attempts to set a record by getting people on a server.  They were just fights that happened because of player interaction.

Erm… that wasn’t what I meant.

I mean, having 1,158 players spread out over a whole world map is clearly more taxing than having at least double that number on the station grid in 6VDT-H… plus drones… hrmm…

Battles spread out over the map

Battles spread out over the map

Well, it is certainly easier to render spaceships than… wait, what are those?

Drop ships are not spaceships

Drop ships are not spaceships

Well, at least this record makes more sense than that time World of Tanks got awarded the record for the most concurrent players on a server for a game where you play 15 vs. 15 matches.

Anyway, congratulations to the PlanetSide 2 team!  They showed those other FPS games who was the boss.  Now back to MMOs.

19 thoughts on “Quote of the Day – I Got Your Massive Universe Right Here!

  1. The Mystical Mesmer

    Back to MMOs?

    You and I recently linked data which asserts that games like Planetside 2 are actually also MMOs. After all, it can be argued that 1,158 constitutes a massive number of players, the game is clearly multiplayer, and it’s online.

    Right? ;)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. bhagpuss

    The last thing I want to do is defend the Guinness Book of Records methodology but it IS a record for “most players in a single FPS battle”. Not in an MMO. Unless CCP are claiming EVE is an FPS it doesn’t really matter how many spaceships fight each other there, does it?


  3. Wilhelm Arcturus Post author

    @Bhagpuss – I am not saying EVE deserves the title, I am just putting a little perspective around the size of the achievement.

    A little disappointment as well.

    SOE’s site claims that they can support battles ranging up to thousands of players (PlanetSide 2 is a true “Massive” FPS game which will allow thousands of players to hit the battlefield on the same server), but could only manage 1,158 after putting out the call for a community pile on. I was in a battle with more people than that on Sunday afternoon (1,207), but it didn’t even spark a blog post. Maybe I am becoming blase on numbers, but color me mildly unimpressed.

    And, as The Mystical Mesmer has pointed out, there is also a bit of the absurdity present again in the whole what is an MMO and what is not idea.

    I know, is it “Pick on SOE week again?”


  4. Scott

    Disclaimer:Not an EVE player, but you knew that. :) Does time dilation have an effect, though? Slowing the tick rate in EVE versus realtime in PS2 must count for something? I’d certainly rather watch a PS2 video or livestream. I’ve never managed to watch a full EVE video on these huge battles because the time dilation leaves me wondering if anything is actually happening.


  5. Wilhelm Arcturus Post author

    @Scott – If I was going to watch a game on streaming, I’d probably choose PS2 as well. EVE isn’t a great game to stream. You need a good color commentator to explain what is going on, because you can never see much on the screen when they stream. EVE isn’t even, objectively speaking, a very good game to play. But the teamwork and the fleets and the big fights and conquest of space from other groups, that is what makes it compelling. And it can be very immersive when you are deep into something.

    PS2 is like any FPS, run in, shoot, die, respawn, repeat. Fun for what it is. But EVE has just enough inconvenience to make death something you want to avoid and sting a bit when your ship blows up and you have to go get a fresh one if you don’t have one handy.


  6. Azuriel

    but could only manage 1,158 after putting out the call for a community pile on.

    PS2 went from 25 servers two years ago down to 4 today. Most days you’re lucky to log onto a continent with more than two 48v48 fights going on. I was extremely surprised that they broke four digits.


  7. Wilhelm Arcturus Post author

    @Azuriel – I have to admit that I haven’t heard much good about PS2 since launch and haven’t played it myself in ages. Back when I did it seemed to be well stocked with aim bots. The only time I hear about it is when Smed tweets, and he has been all about H1Z1 lately. But just before that he was tweeting about them trying to fix some horrible lag problem.


  8. SynCaine

    The real news is that there are 1100ish people who still have PS2 installed? Insane.

    Also funny that Guinness (surprised that they are still a thing) went full “SOE being SOE” with this one. Oooh, all 1100 people in 2015? Stop the madness!


  9. Pingback: Quote of the Day | I HAS PC

  10. Jester

    Aheh. This post reads a bit like a carriage manufacturer writing from 1901. “Congratulations to the new-fangled automobile manufacturers for getting one of their contraptions up to 12 miles per hour! There’s no future in those noisy, stinking, infernal machines but at least they can almost match the speed of a good horse now!”


  11. Wilhelm Arcturus Post author

    @Jester – Because PlanetSide 2 is the future? Because EVE Online server technology is backwards? Because Guinness “being there” most people at once records are totally a thing we should respect?

    Seriously, I do not understand where you are going with that. Is this just more hate on null sec from you?


  12. Jester

    There’s no question that games like this, with hundreds of human-shaped avatars on a single shard sharing a single experience all able to affect each other at the same time whether they intend to or not, are the future of multi-player gaming.

    EVE shows one possible path but it is a technological dead end. What PS2 did is much more technically viable, realistic, and challenging. For instance, in EVE, I cannot hide behind terrain or another ship. There is almost no friendly fire in EVE. There is almost no customization in EVE. As a result, what PS2 accomplished is *much* more challenging and impressive.

    With all due respect, for you to dismiss it with irrelevant comparisons to other records or say what they did is irrelevant to MMOs stinks of sour grapes.


  13. Wilhelm Arcturus Post author

    @Jester – “And keep in mind: I don’t even play PS2 and I think what they’ve accomplished is damned impressive.”

    Wow, you have no first hand knowledge, but you are impressed! That is one hell of an endorsement! They should put that on the box!

    Sorry, sarcasm went overload there.

    Anyway, impressive, yes and no. There are a lot of tricks to keeping the poly count down and PS2 uses them quite liberally. Play it. You’ll see. The models are very simple relative to even WoW, the view distance varies with load, there are a lot of terrain features that obscure the distance, and as you can see on the map I included, and the battle was spread over a large arc of the server as indicated by the orange highlights, so there wasn’t really 1,158 players on grid, so to speak.

    But here is the kicker, most of what you mention doesn’t even matter to the server, it is all lumped on the client. The server is just math, no graphics. That makes the PS2 apples a little more comparable to the EVE Online oranges.

    This post was more of an eye roll about Guinness and, by extension, SOE playing their game with a totally staged event that probably does not represent the reality of the game to grab some cheap PR. Evidence to support that includes a link to an even more dubious record in the post. I’ve rolled my eyes at Guinness events before. I will do it again. (Plus I was attempting to troll a specific person who has been over this ground before.)

    After all, up until H1Z1 occupied all of his thought, Smed was promising on Twitter that SOE was going to fix the bad lag issues that PS2 players were still experiencing a couple of years after launch. That is something happening with normal daily server loads That alone makes me wonder what SOE had to do behind the scenes to pull this off… a capacity they claim they can support in their description of the game.

    I am not going on a “Trash PS2” campaign here. Games or companies I do not like I simple do not write about. But if they are going to go for the big record headline, I feel just fine looking askance at it.


  14. Jester

    Understand that I don’t mind or care that game devs have to make major technical compromises. Until all of us have the computer core from the starship Enterprise on our desks, connected to the Internet via ansible, game devs are going to have to make major technical compromises.

    I’m pointing out that I’m particularly impressed with this combination of technical compromises. Putting more of the load on the client? Smart! Limiting what the client presents to the player to what’s in the player’s range of vision? Smart! Reducing resolution of models and textures, or doing so as load increases? OK, kinda annoying but I can see why it would be a good technical decision.

    I personally am willing to accept those and the other compromises that PS2 makes for a sim where terrain is a thing, you can’t shoot me through four of my friends, and where tactics matter. And I not only believe it’s a far better set of compromises than “Primary is Jimbo, secondary is El Toro”, but that this set of compromises augurs well for the future of large scale multi-player gaming.

    Even if I don’t play PS2 and I don’t like SOE.

    Looked at from this viewpoint, the dismissive tone of your post struck me as a variation on Bill Gates saying 640K really ought to be enough for anybody. Thus my original comment.

    As for cheap publicity gimmicks? Every single company developing games out there lives for them, you know.


  15. Wilhelm Arcturus Post author

    @Jester – “As for cheap publicity gimmicks? Every single company developing games out there lives for them, you know.”

    Which doesn’t make them any less cheap. Besides, I like to talk about games and cheap gimmicks give us all something to argue about.

    Though, I still think your willingness to accept design compromises on a game you don’t play rings a bit hollow. But fine, you get to buy the next round of beers for that.


  16. Jester

    I’m an old man (reflexes) that doesn’t like SOE (SOE). So no PS2 for me; I’ll patiently wait until someone else picks up this ball and carries it down the field a few more yards. But I don’t mind buying a round.


  17. SynCaine

    Jester you are massively over-valuation what SOE did here from a tech perspective, especially because this WASN’T 1k+ characters on a screen fighting, it was 1k on a map, with said map likely divided across multiple machines just for this occasion (we all know how that works, don’t we?). It would be the equivalent of CCP doing a press release saying they broke the record (by a few orders of magnitude) by counting the number of ships in High-Sec, because High-Sec is “one map” .

    Back in 2009 or so DF1 had siege battles of about 1000 people, and that was a tiny indie dev with combat far more complex than PS2 (and this was 1k people all basically in the same spot, though clipping was brutal unless you made specific tweaks to your config file, though many did). DAoC relic raids on the bigger servers likely pushed 1k players as well, and again all of those players were actually in a similar spot. CU right now is running tests with 1k+ characters on a screen online, and that’s a kickstarter studio.

    That you are bitter-vetting EVE right now in terms of combat, it doesn’t change all those ships being on grid, sending pings back and forth to the server. Also PS2 isn’t really a FPS. I mean it is technically, but go play it; it’s like putting down BF4 and firing up Doom.


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