You Too Can Backstab In Dust 514

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You Too Can Backstab In Dust 514

It's been almost a whole year since I last previewed Dust 514, but the game is going into full open beta today and we got a chance to get hands-on last week. For those of you needing a refresher before dropping into combat, Dust 514 is a free- to-play MMOFPS that's exclusive to the PS3 and made by CCP, the folks behind EVE Online. The latter point is important because it's part of Dust 514's unique claim to fame. Dust 514 and Eve Online are not just games made by the same company and involving the same setting; the two games are actually going to share the same universe and players of both can interact with each other. For example, a Dust soldier can call down an orbital bombardment in real time from an EVE pilot loitering in the planet's orbit in his battlecruiser.

The most noticeable improvement since last year has been the tightening up of the game engine and graphics. The version we played last year was serviceable, but there were occasional frame rate hiccups and texture issues that you might expect from such an early pre-beta version. Some of the textures could still stand for some improvements, but the game runs quite smoothly even with a number of players and vehicles on screen. The developers are also committed to continuing to make visual updates and improvements; one of the features on the horizon is a system to sample the vegetation and environment of the planets as they exist in EVE. So if a planet is supposed to be lush and fertile the map will reflect that. It's a small touch that may be missed by most players, but one that will bring EVE and Dust a little closer together.

If you've never played EVE though, Dust 514 is still a stand-alone shooter experience unto itself. You call in vehicles, fight over capture points and use squad tactics to your advantage, much like you would in other similar titles. A PVE survival mode based around fighting rogue drones is in the pipeline for future updates. Even weapons were considered when making the game accessible; while they certainly have a sci-fi feel to them, players will instantly be able to connect shotguns, sniper rifles and such from Dust to more mundane fare in other games. However, a recently implemented laser that gets stronger the longer it's fired is a taste of the more flavorful and outlandish weapons to come.

What's at the heart of Dust 514 is a ridiculous level of customization and the game's economy. While your average shooter player can easy replicate some tried and true archtypes in Dust, the real fun comes once you drill down into the flexibility of the fitting system that lets you individually change slotted equipment on your soldier's armored suit. You could make a scout that slots for speed, running around the battlefield at what's nearly Flash-like speed compared to everyone else. Pair that with a high powered shotgun and you've tapped into the boxer Muhammad Ali's catchphrase of "Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee." The developers even shared stories from the closed beta of a group of players specializing entirely in remote explosives. (Need something blown up? These were the guys to hire.) After only a match or two, I had already devised my own class relying on speed, some trusty plasma knives and hacking improvement modules, letting me quickly backstab anyone trying to capture our objectives and go flip the other team's points with deadly efficiency.

Because it's a free-to-play game, currency and economy are also important. The setting spark behind Dust is that a technology is discovered allowing for one's consciousness to be downloaded at the moment of death. So you'll retain your skills and experiences, but all your equipment is destroyed or looted by the enemy. This necessitates buying your equipment in bulk, using the ISK, the in-game currency for both Dust and EVE, you're rewarded at the end of a match. For now, CCP is keeping a close eye on the balance of ISK and prices, but the cross linking of the economies of the games will slowly begin to expand. The paid currency will primarily be used for cosmetic difference, but in the foreseeable future, a Dust mercenary group might take up a contract from an EVE corporation in order to secure a planet for them, thereby getting a discounted rate on the equipment that that the corporation is manufacturing on said controlled planet.

It's this freedom that's really driven EVE and the ambition of sharing this with Dust is what could really make the difference in keeping Dust 514 from being just another shooter. Dust 514 enters open beta today.

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Dust makes me stupidly excited, I'm kinda depressed, that it won't be on PC (at least for a while). Still if there was a game to make me get a PS(3/4) it would be this one.

I for one welcome console players to the madness that is EVE.

And MMOFPS...uh...is...that even a thing? It sounds neat...but I don't own a PS3 :(

erttheking:
And MMOFPS...uh...is...that even a thing?

Planetside 2, Team Fortress 2, Firefall, Tribes: Ascend, Blacklight Retribution.

Those are just the ones i know of. All of them free to play too.

erttheking:
And MMOFPS...uh...is...that even a thing? It sounds neat...but I don't own a PS3 :(

No not really. Its just a regular fps with a small little hub where you buy equipment and stuff from menu screens.

You know, I really didn't care much for EVE when I gave it a try, but if I had a PS3, I could get behind this. I'd probably make a saboteur class, lots of speed and booms.

gigastar:

erttheking:
And MMOFPS...uh...is...that even a thing?

Planetside 2, Team Fortress 2, Firefall, Tribes: Ascend, Blacklight Retribution.

Those are just the ones i know of. All of them free to play too.

...Have I ever mentioned that sometimes it really sucks to own a Mac?

erttheking:

gigastar:

erttheking:
And MMOFPS...uh...is...that even a thing?

Planetside 2, Team Fortress 2, Firefall, Tribes: Ascend, Blacklight Retribution.

Those are just the ones i know of. All of them free to play too.

...Have I ever mentioned that sometimes it really sucks to own a Mac?

Well, SOE says theyll bring Planetside 2 to Mac eventually. And TF2 has been on Mac for years.

On the other hand i dont think Firefall is even out of beta yet, and the other 2 just arent on Mac.

godamn. ounce again ps3 is proving to be a major thorn in my side with all its godamn exlcusives. this might actually tip me over to actually buying that piece of crap. gaaaaaaaaaaah.

I'd get excited, IF IT WASN'T ON A FUCKING PS3.

Seriously, EvE is ON the PC; why wouldn't you put dust on the PC to mingle with the fanbase?

This is gonna crash and burn.

Little Gray:

erttheking:
And MMOFPS...uh...is...that even a thing? It sounds neat...but I don't own a PS3 :(

No not really. Its just a regular fps with a small little hub where you buy equipment and stuff from menu screens.

you know MMOFPS games have been around since atleast 2003 right? And currently there are a number of others as well.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PlanetSide

erttheking:

gigastar:

erttheking:
And MMOFPS...uh...is...that even a thing?

Planetside 2, Team Fortress 2, Firefall, Tribes: Ascend, Blacklight Retribution.

Those are just the ones i know of. All of them free to play too.

...Have I ever mentioned that sometimes it really sucks to own a Mac?

...Uhh, Bootcamp? (if the hardware in it is decent enough to play games in the first place)

OT: I still can't even begin to fathom why the hell this is a PS3 exclusive... So the PC MMO that ranges from Hardcore to Insane politico-corporate manoeuvring simulator gets a shooter spin-off and it's only for PS3???

image

Mr.Tea:

erttheking:

gigastar:

Planetside 2, Team Fortress 2, Firefall, Tribes: Ascend, Blacklight Retribution.

Those are just the ones i know of. All of them free to play too.

...Have I ever mentioned that sometimes it really sucks to own a Mac?

...Uhh, Bootcamp? (if the hardware in it is decent enough to play games in the first place)

OT: I still can't even begin to fathom why the hell this is a PS3 exclusive... So the PC MMO that ranges from Hardcore to Insane politico-corporate manoeuvring simulator gets a shooter spin-off and it's only for PS3???

image

I would if I knew what the Hell to do, but sadly I am technologically retarded. I don't even know if I can get bootcamp or Windows 7 for free or if I have to pay, or WHERE I get them.

All i can think is, imagine all the fun stories in the next few months based on people screwing each other over in amazing ways in EVE/Dust. Will we hear of one corporation controlling a planet through force? Going to be awesome.

Really, really a shame that this isn't on PC (It's also not a good time to get a Ps3 with the next gen just around the corner). I just couldn't get the hang on EvE but with this... Yeah, I would definetly take a look.

erttheking:
And MMOFPS...uh...is...that even a thing? It sounds neat...but I don't own a PS3 :(

*a hushed whisper* It Will be Soon. If anyone can do it, it is CCP.

OT: Ya, It will be nice to have the DustBunnies finally go live. I always look forward to the expanding of the EVE universe.

I am not sure about the Free-To-Play model, seems like you would get too many unsavory types who do not want to work with the team. Or the ones who just randomly pick armor and then complain about the 'assassin' specialist, who studied slot layout and practiced their craft, being 'overpowered' and try to demand a rebalanced (an act of futility in EVE, sure things are changed now and then, but that is not as much rebalanced as it is re-purposing a ship. They did this in the last major release when they re-purposed an old frigate and made it a logistics-frigate).

erttheking:

I would if I knew what the Hell to do, but sadly I am technologically retarded. I don't even know if I can get bootcamp or Windows 7 for free or if I have to pay, or WHERE I get them.

Well, if Apple does one thing well it's to make their stuff as easy as they can: http://www.apple.com/support/bootcamp/getstarted/

Yes, you have to obtain a legal copy of Windows (I guess a pirated copy would work, but we couldn't discuss that anyway and I've never used a Mac at home) just like any other time, but there are many ways to get it discounted such as student promotions, corporate promotions, OEM versions, a friend or family member who bought a multi-install version and isn't using them all (or someone who has a Technet or MSDN subscription), etc.

"... a Dust soldier can call down an orbital bombardment in real time from an EVE pilot loitering in the planet's orbit in his battlecruiser.

That's frigates/destroyers, as of the Retribution expansion. Orbital Bombardment ammo only exists in Small size still. I don't think they're gonna allow bigger ammo sizes any time soon.

Consoles do the dying, PC does the flying...I'm OK with that.

You sir have intrigued me.
I'll definitely be checking it out soon.
Thank god I own a PS3, my JRPGs are the reason I got it, the exclusives are the reason I love it.

I STILL say that making a PS3-exclusive spinoff to one of the "most PC" games of all time is simply the most retarded thing I have heard in ages. I WOULD be interested in this game if it weren't a PS3 exclusive. Since it is, I immediately have NO interest in it whatsoever, and not just because I don't own a PS3. I wouldn't play it even if I did because I still firmly believe that FPSs are wasted on console.

erttheking:
...Have I ever mentioned that it always sucks to own a Mac?

Fixed that for you.

Still, id rather blast them from orbit and then laugh as their corpses melt.

OT: I still can't even begin to fathom why the hell this is a PS3 exclusive... So the PC MMO that ranges from Hardcore to Insane politico-corporate manoeuvring simulator gets a shooter spin-off and it's only for PS3???

They wanted the console audience for their FPS game. so PC was out of the window, PC folk have ever after all (stupid of CCP imo).
Wii cant run it.
Microsoft said "you want to give them free updates? we dont allow that" so CCP just told them to Foff.
and here we are left with PS3, which during developement was found it to be utterly useless when needing to load large enviroments, so DUST is limited due to PS3 having feces instead of RAM.

octafish:
Consoles do the dying, PC does the flying...I'm OK with that.

Sofa Soldiers and Chair Force?

Mr.Tea:
OT: I still can't even begin to fathom why the hell this is a PS3 exclusive... So the PC MMO that ranges from Hardcore to Insane politico-corporate manoeuvring simulator gets a shooter spin-off and it's only for PS3???

image

I was actually looking forward to seeing how two MMOs can interact in such a way, it sounds like a VERY ambitious project... then they ruin it and make the FPS only for Playstation.

So they are going to take their dedicated player base and essentially cut a significant portion of them off to... encourage them to buy a Playstation 3/4? It sounds like the plan of a fool.

The F2P is a great idea though as you would want there to be more FPS players than starship captai--- recruitable mercenary guilds for boarding parties? Commissioned captains serving as close air support and tactical dropships? The EVE guilds turning into Galactic PMCs?! As an avid Natural Selection 2 fan the sheer POTENTIAL here is staggering.

But oh, it's only for Playstation.

Abomination:
But oh, it's only for Playstation.

I'm 80% sure I read somewhere that it will come to PC in due course which is something at least!

Hopefully the battles will be able to have some effect back in Eve. Like if one planet is owned by Corporation A and is generating money into Eve then mercs hired by Corporation B take control, the money flow is changed. Stuff like that would make the requirement for Eve players to actively search out Dust players a very useful one.

Fasckira:

Abomination:
But oh, it's only for Playstation.

I'm 80% sure I read somewhere that it will come to PC in due course which is something at least!

Hopefully the battles will be able to have some effect back in Eve. Like if one planet is owned by Corporation A and is generating money into Eve then mercs hired by Corporation B take control, the money flow is changed. Stuff like that would make the requirement for Eve players to actively search out Dust players a very useful one.

How will Playstation players compete with PC gamers if they're on the same battlefield? On average the mouse-keyboard combo offers a far more precise method of targetting for first person shooters. The PC also offers better communication features... and who knows about modifications.

A console exclusive that ties into a PC exclusive game. Yup, makes sense to me.

The concept behind it is what I find fascinating. I played EVE for a good long while and the idea of interacting with a "completely" different game through contracts and so on sounds very interesting. Tie that into the complex gargantuan economy of EVE that's already in place and it'll be something definitely interesting to watch. No wonder CCP is hiring financial experts to try and make it all work. XD

While I am a little disappointed it'll only be PS3 (I just can't bring myself to play shooters on consoles), it's fairly obvious they are trying to broaden the audience for the universe, while keeping the core game to the dedicated players they already have. Makes a certain level of sense to me. It would be nice to be able to play this on PC one day though.

Abomination:
How will Playstation players compete with PC gamers if they're on the same battlefield? On average the mouse-keyboard combo offers a far more precise method of targetting for first person shooters. The PC also offers better communication features... and who knows about modifications.

Thats a whole separate argument right there, one that I've seen turn into massive threads of flaming rage. No idea though as to how CCP are planning to do, just relatively sure I read it somewhere (Im thinking Giant Bomb for some reason but dont have the inclination to double check this).

I don't play Eve any more and don't own a PS3, but I still really hope this goes well. Not just because I like CCP, but because of what it could mean for the future. A few games have tried things like combining FPS and RTS in the same game but they've never worked particularly well, with the most obvious reason being that the only way to get two genres in a single game is to do double the work and effectively make two games. If this shows that you can develop and release games separately but still successfully integrate them, hopefully we'll see a lot more of that sort of thing in the future. Just think of the possibilities - Grand strategy + RTS + SimCity + FPS, RPG + Dungeon Keeper, MOO + Elite, Star Wars + Star Trek, dogs and cats living together!

Cid SilverWing:
"... a Dust soldier can call down an orbital bombardment in real time from an EVE pilot loitering in the planet's orbit in his battlecruiser.

That's frigates/destroyers, as of the Retribution expansion. Orbital Bombardment ammo only exists in Small size still. I don't think they're gonna allow bigger ammo sizes any time soon.

You can put small guns on bigger ships. Not usually much point, but it does have its uses sometimes.

Before you get too excited, keep in mind that the planets get split up into "Districts", and each district currently supports just 48 players (far less than the 64 you see in the likes of Red Orchestra and most Battlefields), so curb your expectations if you think this is going to be Planetside 2 for the consoles. If SONY Online Entertainment thought that Planetside 2 could run on the PS3 they'd have settled a port by now. :P

I had huge hopes for this game, but having been in the beta, I'm now very dissapointed with the whole thing. The basic shooting mechanics are pretty mediocre, one of the only 2 game modes, ambush (basically TDM) is an unplayable joke due to terrible spawning, CCP can never seem to get the xp system right in any of the several builds they've gone through (you either level up too quickly, too slowly, there's either a daily cap, a weekly cap with diminishing returns, or no cap at all!) and every build brings new and interesting balance issues, either between classes or weapons (don't even try to use a scout suit and a sniper right now and stay the HELL away from heavies!).

I gave up a couple of builds ago when they decided to drop isk rewards to almost nothing, making it impossible to actually play the game because you couldn't afford to buy anythng above the most basic militia items. I tried it again recently and my current basic scout fitting costs around 12k isk, which is pretty cheap, but not so much when you're only getting 100k isk per battle and dieing 5-6 times each game and making nearly no kills because all the vets have been playing for months and are several million sp ahead of you. And the next level of scout suit goes up in price even more, assaults and heavies can cost double or even triple that.

Oh, and don't even try to play on your own, you need to join a corporation like, immiediately upon starting, because new players are going to DIE. But then of course you would have to play with your corp pretty much all the time because casual soloing is impossible. Oh and you better hope somebody in that corp has paid real money into the game to by a UVT, otherwise there's no corp talk channel outside of the squad channels (and, being on ps3, almost nobody talks in game anyway).

Yeah, so dissapointed.

EDIT; oh, and the laser rifle is shit, dropships are useless and a massive waste of hundreds of thousands of isk that wil die in seconds, and tanks are unstoppable killing machines that dominate the battlefield because nobody switches to swarm missiles to take them out, instead hiding in mountains to snipe whilst the enemy captures all the control points and wins the game. Every. Single. Time!

PC and Console gamers? Working together? To take over planets?
Sounds cool, but this can only end in bloodshed.

Little Gray:

erttheking:
And MMOFPS...uh...is...that even a thing? It sounds neat...but I don't own a PS3 :(

No not really. Its just a regular fps with a small little hub where you buy equipment and stuff from menu screens.

You've missed the point a bit; this is going to be integrated, in real time, into EVE. I can load up my destroyer, fly it to a planet and start nuking them from orbit (it's the only way to be sure) if I want. Or if they pay me enough. I could have supplies sent to a soldier in battle, as far as I know. Someone in a completely different part of the world, on a completely different plaform, playing a completely different game. It's as Massively Multiplayer as you can get. </fangirl>

OT: I'm not surprised. EVE has always been about organic PvP so this makes sense. What I look forward to is the whining about losing your equipment when you die :D

I've been waiting to get my hands on this game. A throwback to my days in Eve might be just the thing I need right now and this seems like something I don't have to dedicate my life to. I wish it were on the PC but I can live with a PS3 version for now.

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