At SOE Live we got a look at both the 4th continent to Planetside, Hossin, and the first Battle Island, Nexus, as well as how these will all play out in the world and MLG. Battle Islands are much smaller maps than the full continents, and only support 2 factions at a time on them fighting for control. They are also set up with a more structured flow, where you will be attacking and defending from one direction as you try to take over the 9 contestable facilities. These islands are where competitive matches will be held, in 48 on 48 battles, although it will support more players in the MMO game. There will be a total of 3 Battle Islands, each designed off a biome of the 3 current continents, with Nexus being the first one (matching the biome of Esamir), with Extinction to follow suit, and a yet unnamed third. You can expect Nexus to be on the Test Server soon. Outfit leaderboards are also incoming, and this will be how you can qualify for competitive matches.
They also showed off Hossin, which is up on the Test Server now, and it looks fantastic (seriously, ask Trammel Issac, the Art Director, it literally left me speechless). Only the center third of it is currently up though, as they’ll be slowly rolling out the rest over the next few months as they finalize the design. Hossin is a swamp, which huge trees that can keep pesky aircraft looking for easy ground targets hard to find. It is also very murky, so line of sight is affected. A big addition is the new interlink facility, which is roughly the size of an Amp station, but with a lot more interior space. See a trend here? Lots of trees, cover from aircraft, large interior spaces…yeah Hossin will be a fantastic infantry map. Hossin exemplifies all they’ve learned from building other maps, and will feature the latest enhancements, such as the lattice system.
So what does this all mean in the meta game? Adding a fourth continent will allow them to set “home” continents for the different factions, complete with conquerable warp gates. Hossin will be located in the middle of the current 3 continents, and will be a middle point to travel between continents, as well as the 3 Battle Islands located in between the continents.