Instructions for Playing Edit
(paraphrased from the Sony playstation.com blog entry; full description along with relevant screenshots, can be found here at Sony's playstation.com blog)
This new gameplay mode is like multi-flag CTF. There are 4 energy cores scattered around the map, generally positioned in the center or between the 2 team’s main bases. Each team has a Reactor in their Home Base where Energy Cores are taken and captured to score points.
Bringing Cores back to your team’s reactor will score points for your team (& personal points for you)…and you can carry more than 1 Core at a time.
The scoring system is progressive, so if someone scores just 1 Core, your team gets just 1 point. If one person scores 2 Cores at the same time, your team gets 3 points. One person with 3 Cores is good for 6 team points. If you manage to work as a team and and one person scores all 4 Cores at once, then your team earns 10 points!
Once you've grabbed a core, look for the dotted green line on your mini-map! It will show you the direction to home.
The personal points are 1 point for grabbing a Core from its spawn point, and 2 points for capturing the Core at your Home Base reactor. If you pick up a core, but pass it to a teammate (press triangle to throw it) so your team can capture more cores at once and thus score more team points, you still get the same personal points (2 points per core) for having helped capture it, no matter who actually does the final capture of the cores. Even if you "pass" it because you got killed, you'll still get your 2 personal capture points per core. So by passing-off a core you have nothing to lose and your team has everything to gain. As long as no enemy grabs the cores after you've passed them, you'll get your personal points for the capture.
Cores are displayed on your character and the more you are carrying, the more you see whirling and orbiting around you. You’ll also see them on the mini-map as pulsing energy symbols. The score is displayed in the upper right corner as usual, but there is a new display there for Collection mode. It’s the little yellow number that shows you how many Cores your team is currently carrying. This ends up being critical for knowing where your focus should be; Offense or Defense.
Strategies for Winning Edit
In addition to following General Strategy advice...
(the most common/useful/important tips are near the top)
- Bases 1st, then cores - In the first minute or 2 of the game, capture bases, not cores. If you let the enemy get too much map control, it'll be hard to score cores the entire rest of the game.
- Never take cores towards the enemy - If you have a core, only travel in the direction of your home base. If you wish to head out in the other direction for any reason, pass your cores to someone who will keep them close to home.
- Rarely score just 1 core - If you only have 1 and don't want to risk grabbing another, wait by your home base, defend yourself/your core (put landmines at the jeep spawn points, etc), and wait for teammates to come with more cores. An exception to this might be if you're holding the core that was closest to your home base...that one can be ok to capture by itself, since it's likely easily re-grabbed. Or if you see that a teammate is about to pass by the spot where you grabbed the core from...he can pick it up again easily if there aren't a lot of enemy fighting right there.
- Score more by giving cores to teammates - If another teammate is holding more cores than you (check the map) and is able to return them, head in the direction of your base, meet up with that teammate, and pass your cores to him and let him return all of them at once. Your team earns more points that way. And you still get points for having picked up and held the cores even if you didn't return them.
- Don't wait too long to capture - Sometimes it's best to just capture the core quickly, even if it's only 1. If you have 1 or more cores and you're waiting at home, if no teammates are on their way with other cores, and, especially, if your cores came from close to home and/or near bases your team controls...capture them. They'll respawn and your team will pick them right up again.
- Score it yet, or no? - If you can't decide, ask your team. It's a judgement call. Look at how many cores your team has vs. theirs, where the cores currently are on the map, where they came from, which bases your team vs. theirs control (& how you guys are doing at holding onto bases), how much danger you're in of having your core taken from you, and what else you could be doing with your time if you weren't sitting at home babysitting cores. Sometimes the answer is easy, sometimes it's debatable, but you can always give it a little thought.
- Run cores wisely - You don't need 4 guys returning 1 core each. If you're near each other on the map, heading home, meet up, pass a core, 1 guy keeps running them back, the other goes back out on the battlefield...to help hold bases, to be out in the vicinity of core spawn points so the minute it's scored, he can pick it right back up again.
- Grab far cores first - Grab the cores that are farthest from your home base first.
- Warn your team when you're about to score - If you tell your team when you're about to capture a core, they'll know the cores are about to respawn and they can set themselves to grab the cores the minute they've respawned. And don't capture them if you see enemy dots moving around the spots you know your cores are going to re-spawn to.
- Control bases near cores
- Control bases near enemy - If you maintain control of the base closest to the enemy, that makes it harder for them to grab quick cores, and makes it easier for you to retrieve a core that might otherwise be hard to get, and makes it harder for them to bring cores back home.
- Reset dropped cores - If you kill a core-carrying enemy near their base and it's a large map, if you don't think you can drive the cores out of there, it may be useful to throw it off the edge so it respawns in the middle! Now it's immediately back halfway across the map towards your base. Of course, a teammate still has to get it....
- Hide from warhawks - Some players have had luck with crouching, un-moving, under a tree while carrying a core. Some pilots don't realize the core is still being carried by someone and just pass you right by.
- Core Mugging - Don't just wait around by core dispensers. Hunt down enemy core-runners in your Warhawk/Nemesis. If the opposing team are foolish enough not to protect their own with air cover, pop 'em as they flee, then snag their cores and head back towards your base. This does two things. 1) It deprives your opponents of a score. 2) It gets you cores. And it's fun. Well, that's three things, but hey.