Sony announces PlanetSide expansion

And discusses major improvements to the service.

Sony Online Entertainment has revealed its rather ambitious plans for expanding its massively-multiplayer FPS PlanetSide, set to be bolstered by its first expansion pack this October.

According to GameSpot who were reporting from the San Francisco press conference, the main addition the Core Combat pack will bring is underground caverns that echo each of their host world's look and feel, which play host to energy devices. Once captured using an empty container generated at a base, troops can haul the devices back to base for instant enhancements. Some of the modules affect the amount of time before players can reacquire MAX armour for example, while others might have an effect on vehicles. In order to traverse the caverns, players make us of energy-based zip lines, enabling players to float from point to point.

Alongside the new router vehicle - which forms a mobile teleportation system when players deploy a teleport point, allowing players to hop between it and the router - three new weapons were discussed that will be available to all three empires. There's the radiator which irradiates specific areas, making them dangerous to be in; the maelstrom which has been likened to Quake's lightning gun with energy grenades for the alternative fire more; and the spiker, which fires orbs that gain power the further they travel through the air, and can then be detonated at will.

At the same conference, Sony let slip some content updates and gameplay adjustments that will be arriving for PS subscribers soonish, and some of these are set to quiet the game's detractors by correcting many of the gameplay issues raised with the title since launch - including those raised in our review. These include big changes to the experience system, changes to the bases (for example, back doors will only be able to be hacked from inside), a refurbished physics system, 30-man platoons, outfit ownership of bases, and an update to the hacking system to make the pursuit far more skill-based than it is currently. Last but most definitely not least, there is the planned introduction of sideline mission objectives that offer a distraction from the main base capture gameplay should prove to be a major improvement.

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