Today’s PlanetSide 2 update is being dubbed the “NSO_Integration Update,” as it makes a significant change to how the Nanite Systems Operative (NSO) faction works. Specifically, the option to play as an NSO, previously open only to paying members, is now available to free players with a character of at least Battle Rank 20.

F2P NSO characters are considered “Freelance,” which means that they’ll be assigned to whatever faction has the fewest members when they drop onto a continent. They cannot join or create outfits, and all existing NSO outfits have been dissolved. All Access members who play as an NSO can join an outfit with the faction of their choosing, a decision Lead Designer Michael “Wrel” Henderson said met a long-standing desire of such players “to be able to play with friends and outfitmates.”

NSOs will also have access to a wider array of weapons, as well as a pair of new vehicles: the Chimera Battle Tank and the Dervish Heavy Fighter. The Javelin can now equip weapons, while the the silhouette of the Defector has been changed.

We asked Henderson why the change was being made to give access to NSOs to free players, and he told us that “We wanted to balance out population queue times, which affects all players. More players playing the faction means lower queue times for everyone, thus making it more accessible.” PS2’s seen a nice resurgence over the past year or so, thanks to several big updates, and this change should only serve to make the game even busier.

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