PlanetSide 2 is going the free-to-play route, and is still hashing out the details of its membership models. Sony Online Entertainment recently shared some early plans on its membership benefits, along with thoughts on where those benefits would cross the line into "pay-to-win."
In a lengthy post on the PlanetSide 2 forum, the developers explain some of the benefits. Some ideas include 50% increases to the passive cert growth rate, experience rate, and resource gathering. You'll also have an increased resource pool cap size, and priority login slots. The team is also taking suggestions and highlighting a handful.
The team also gave some frank commentary on the dreaded concept of pay-to-win. "As much as I want to give you the definitive answer that Planetside 2 is NOT pay-to-win, it turns out it's actually a fairly personal question and people define what exactly pay-to-win is in their own way," the post states. "Rather than try to convince you that Planetside 2 isn't pay-to-win, I want to talk about why I'm convinced it's not."
The post goes on to note that everything is available as a free player, and everything that impacts gameplay is unlockable. When unlocks do come, it is more of a side-grade than an upgrade, offering a different play style with benefit trade-offs. Finally, a head-to-head with another player ultimately comes down to skill, though the post notes that some consumable items like grenades and med kits can give an advantage. As a whole, the developer feels this makes the game "legitimately competitive."