PlanetSide: Core Combat - Official Website

Below the continents of Auraxis™ lie the secrets to an ancient alien technology. Join your fellow comrades in uncovering these vast caverns and the technology that will give your empire the edge on the battlefields above.

If you and your teammates have the skill and perseverance to emerge victoriously, you will unlock the technology and tools to gain powerful new weapons, vehicles, underground transports and enhanced empire bonuses. PlanetSide: Core Combat also features:

  • Six new massive underground war zones
  • New Ancient-technology vehicles and weapons which can be used by all Empires
  • Head-to-Head Urban style combat in subterranean cities
  • Missions include not only individual sallies but also team skirmishes
  • Unique alien complexes to explore and conquer
  • New underground environments from volcanic lava flows to ice caverns
  • Ancient technology can be used by all Empires to upgrade existing surface level facilities
Game Chronicles goes inside this exciting new addition to PlanetSide with an exclusive interview by John Carswell.

GCM: Thanks for your time. Please get us started by introducing yourself.
Dallas Dickinson: Hi! I’m Dallas Dickinson, the new Producer for PlanetSide. I’ve been on the job for a couple of months now, and I’m really excited to be a part of this great team. PlanetSide has a lot in store for the players, both in this first expansion and in the future.

GCM: Firstly, what’s your take PlanetSide as it is now? Are you pleased with the community that has developed around it? What do you feel still needs tweaking?
Dallas Dickinson: In an MMO game, there are always things that need tweaking. As it stands, the game is great, and so is the PS community. I still play an hour or two every night myself, and I have a blast. However, we can always improve. We’re trying to mix the gameplay up a bit, with additions like the LLU mode of base capture. In addition, we’re giving people more reasons to hold specific bases, so that both pride of ownership and strategic value will help guide combat. Every week or two, we are adding some new system that deepens and improves gameplay. And the best, as always, is yet to come.

GCM: Although very little on this subject has been mentioned, Auraxis was previously inhabited by a race who left behind some advanced technology (and I believe I also noticed a Stonehenge). Will PlanetSide: Core Combat be digging deeper into the planet’s history?
Dallas Dickinson: If you fly really high over Searhus in a Reaver, you can see crop circles, the Nazca lines, and a message from the Ancients. ;)

Seriously, though – that is exactly what Core Combat is about. The empires have cracked into the planet core, and are finding the remains of this civilization of the Ancients. The technology on the surface has thus far been a hybrid of human tech and what we call Vanu tech. Underground, there are caches of pure Ancient tech – weapons, vehicles and far more powerful items.

GCM: Above all else, what fundamental change did you want to make to PlanetSide when setting out to create Core Combat?
Dallas Dickinson: We are really trying to improve upon what is already there, and to give dedicated players some new variations on the gameplay they already love. At the same time, we have to keep the surface game interesting, as it is the focus of PlanetSide. Players who purchase the Core Combat expansion will get to experience a totally new style of gameplay with the dense urban environments underground, but they will also be able to bring a whole new dynamic to the surface war with the module upgrades.

GCM: What will the player’s objectives be when exploring Auraxis’ cavernous underground and what is being done to ensure that these excursions will be exciting?
Dallas Dickinson: Players will be going into the caverns for one major purpose – to secure and bring out Ancient modules to install in bases. These modules will upgrade the surface bases, and offer benefits to all members of the owning empire. Because of this, the modules will be highly valuable and highly sought-after. Expect chases, huge convoys, and some serious urban ambushes.

GCM: How long will any given upgrade last once implemented topside?
Dallas Dickinson: Tough question to answer. We haven’t yet settled on the lifespan of the modules once they are installed, but it will be a pretty long-lasting effect (long enough that a dedicated group of players could work REALLY hard and fill a base up with all of the modules). But more than that, they can be stolen and they can be destroyed by opposing empires, so you have to work hard to defend the bases where you install them.

GCM: What can you tell us about the new vehicles and weapons being introducing in Core Combat how they will affect PlanetSide’s gameplay?
Dallas Dickinson: In general, the new vehicles and weapons are simply going to broaden the number of potential strategies for squads and empires to employ in the battle for control of Auraxis.

The new vehicles are exciting. The Flail is a long-range artillery vehicle that requires a helping hand from another player to fire accurately. The Router is a mobile support vehicle that allows players to place a two-way teleporter (to and from the Router itself) within bases or in other strategic positions. The Switchblade is an ATV class vehicle that is essentially a mobile turret. Once deployed, it has HUGE offensive capabilities, but is pretty vulnerable to attack.

The new weapons are also pretty darn cool. The Maelstrom is a combination energy gun and energy grenade launcher. The Spiker is a charged-shot gun (the longer you charge, the more powerful the shot). And the Radiator lets you launch grenade-like shots that have a lasting damage effect in an area – great for cutting off pathways you don’t want the enemy to follow.

GCM: Please tell us a bit about how the Urban Warfare in Core Combat will differ from the action already found in PlanetSide.
Dallas Dickinson: As it stands, combat in PlanetSide is generally of two types: outdoor and close quarters. The outdoor combat favors certain weapons and tactics, while the close quarters combat (base interiors and towers) favors others. We are trying to introduce a third type of combat to promote even more flexibility and tactical range among squads. Urban combat will require protection of vehicle convoys and will promote sniping and other concealment tactics. Right now, players generally know where their adversaries are coming from, but the urban environments will promote more recon and communication – the squads that do this better will tend to win the day.

GCM: How will you be handling the issues that arise when one player has the expansion pack while another does not? Will non-Core Combat owners find themselves saddled with any tactical disadvantages?
Dallas Dickinson: They won’t be disadvantaged, per se. Certainly, non-Core Combat owners will not get to have as broad a range of potential strategies, tools or tactics at their disposal. However, this doesn’t make existing tactics any less effective. The mark of a good PS player is making good strategic decisions based on the makeup of a squad. Simply having Ancient Tech weapons and vehicles will not assure victory. Moreover, any squad is likely to have one or more Core Combat players in it, so the squad as a whole will have a broad range of options.

Of course, if you want to have all of the options, you’re going to need to buy Core Combat!

GCM: On the visual end, what sort of architecture and art style will we be seeing in these newly discovered areas?
Dallas Dickinson: The caverns themselves will be subterranean reflections of the continents above – Hossin’s cavern will be swampy while Ceryshen’s will be an ice cavern. However, the architecture of the Ancients will be very different from what we see on the surface. The buildings are generally crystalline in composition (how the Ancients were able to craft such structures out of hard, gemlike materials is best left to the philosophers).

GCM: Finally, what would you say to the PlanetSide player who fears that Core Combat will “fracture” the PS community?
Dallas Dickinson: Pshaw! That’s what I say. As expansions in other MMOs have shown us, the expected fracture never shows up. There will be plenty to do on the surface, and players who enter the core will want to experience the rewards for their action (which can only be felt on the surface). Think of the core as a bunch of excursion zones, where players will go, have a great battle and a great time, but then return to the surface where the larger war rages on.

GCM: Thank you for your time. Would you care to leave our readers with any last thoughts or impressions?
Dallas Dickinson: I do a wicked Sean Connery, but that’s about it as far as impressions go. We look forward to seeing all of you in the Core!