The PlanetSide 2 beta comes to a close tomorrow (16th November, probably at midnight PDT?). The game will be released on the 20th November (next Tuesday) and will be publicly available to players (at the moment, it's a closed-ish beta).
Between the 16th and release day, we won't be able to play. And when it is released, we'll need to redownload the game.
It will be on Steam, but most likely only the launcher - patching will still be handled by SOE's launcher.
As I've made clear previously, I'm not incredibly impressed with SOE's handling of this game. The *game* is good, but the patching, the downtime, etc, is unprofessional and something they apparently don't really care about.
6GB of patches a week then being forced to redownload the whole thing the next week is ridiculous. Having the game shut down for four days is also ridiculous (especially on top of the huge amounts of downtime we've seen recently) - I wonder if the Tribes Ascend pubs will see a temporary player influx.
I do not so far think that PlanetSide 2 is ready for release, but I will concede that they have addressed my major criticism and included some explanations/hints of the game in general. In my opinion, it's still lacking *good* explanations, and it's also lacking a consistently good experience in that games are reliant on a lot of people coming together and working together to be good. The game should encourage this more somehow. It's not an easy problem, but it's one they'll have to solve if they want PS2 to still be making money in 18 months' time.
However, I do remain open to being impressed on the 20th. I think the core devs behind the game are doing a good job, even if the server infrastructure and release management is pathetic.