This entry has been written from an ‘out of character’ perspective to discuss the announcement of Uprising 1.2 for Dust514.
I started playing Dust514 just as the Uprising build launched, at release. Since then I have been a bit surprised that there hasn’t been more updates, I was expecting CCP to be aggressively pushing out updates post-release and talking extensively about what else they are planning on adding, but instead things seemed to go very quiet post-fanfest. So it is something of a relief to hear that there is an update coming out next week, as I felt something was definitely needed!
It is my opinion that CCP need to prove to their console customers that they are serious about the claim of Dust514 being a game that is still being actively worked on and improved. Particularly given its mixed reviews, metacritic is currently showing an average score of 60 with a 6.6 user rating. I wouldn’t call that terrible, but it certainly isn’t great.
Luckily, or perhaps I should say tellingly, CCP seem to be recognising this as well. This part of the Uprising 1.2 Dev Blog stood out for me:
We listen to your feedback, as well as to feedback from the media. As a result, we have decided to move into a faster, more iterative update cycle. We will be pushing out point releases (Update 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, etc.) on a near-monthly basis. This is unique in the console space, only possible because our friends at Sony work with us to evolve the submission processes to suit free-to-play massively multiplayer titles like DUST.
We are intensely devoted to delivering the best DUST 514 experience possible. Throughout road-mapping the update process, we have focused on fixing and perfecting our core game systems. Over the next few releases, you’ll see us polish the core gameplay systems (aiming and aim assist, controls, vehicle handling, movement on the battlefield) and improve on context and immersion (getting you into a battle, adding a welcome screen, and more). Planetary Conquest will also be getting a lot of love.
I think that Dust will benefit considerably from stepping up the update cycle. That list of problem areas to address is very much on the money as the core controls really do need tightening up. Personally, with my admittedly poor control pad skillz, I find sniper rifles to be pretty much unusable due to the imprecise controls. I strongly suspect that most of the people out there sniping are using keyboard and mouse!
I hope that the ‘getting you into a battle’ part means a reworking of a new player’s first interactions with the game. There is presently way too much text being hurled at the player to read and make sense of when they should really just be pushed into a match ASAP. The game is a shooter, not a text adventure! 😉
It is also good to see that this update will include some more graphical and sound updates. I’ll have to wait and see exactly how big of a deal these will turn out to be but every little helps. A bit more visual polish is always a good thing, particularly in the FPS genre.
I’m curious to see what form the new dropsuits will take. Commando suits having the ability to equip two light weapons sounds interesting and useful, as a number of times I;ve deployed in my medium anti-vehicle suit only to find that the vehicle(s) I was going to hunt aren’t about any more. Then I’m stuck with a swarm launcher that is useless against infantry… I’m not sure what exactly the ‘Neo’ dropsuits are going to be, if I’m reading it right then they will have new (integrated?) armour modules that will open up more armour-based options. Somehow.
Well, the new options should prove to be a good thing so this should be a very welcome update. With, crucially, more to come not long after!