Following on immediately from hitting ‘post’ on the last entry, the Dust514 presentation started on the EVE Vegas stream. It made me happy!
The stated focus for Dust in the near future is to “put more MMO into the MMO(FPS)”. CCP want to put more ‘real systems’ into Dust which means making the place holders operate more like they do in EVE. In my last entry I said that I was really hoping that CCP were working on adding a player driven market to Dust. Well, guess what they are adding to Dust? Yup. A an actual player driven market coming sometime soon in Market 2.0! 😀 There were a couple of screen shots shown which implies that it isn’t too far off.
Another big announcement which I hope we will be seeing soon-ish, is that along with tactical (NPC generated) strikes being removed from Factional contract matches, when an EVE player delivers an orbital strike they will receive kill mails and loyalty points for their efforts. I hadn’t dared to hope that we might actually get to see that happening in any practical time scale but it seems it is also close. That will be an excellent addition and raise EVE player interest in Dust by a considerable margin. That interest is pretty minimal right now, so your mileage may vary I guess.
The other ‘real system’ talked about, but in a much fuzzier time scale sense, was Warbarges. Yes, real Warbarges that are built and flown in EVE from place to place in order to deploy clones/MCC’s to start battles in Planetary Conquest. According to CCP Foxfour in the twitch channel chat, the current thinking is that these things will be ‘freighter size’ and carry about 10 MCC’s at a time. I struggle to imagine that these things are going to live very long plodding through low sec. Hmm.
Apparently, once (if?) the barge arrives at the planet it can be anchored and used to deploy an MCC (presumably with clones) and start stealing resources from districts that can be used to make stuff. Dust players can shoot them down using ground defences. This would be the start of EVE players running Dust-related industry, which is pretty cool. And more EVE-Dust interaction, which is very cool.
According to the presentation, this Warbarge stuff is currently in pre-production with EVE devs assigned to the project. Which means we should see it released sometime next year. I’m hoping that translates to pre-production being done now in the run up to Rubicon (next month’s expansion for EVE) ready to go into actual development for the Summer 2014 expansion/probably become a feature in Dust’s first named expansion.
This is some really promising stuff which marks good news for CCP’s plans for Dust going forwards. This shows a clear deepening of the EVE-Dust link which is I think the core appeal of Dust over other FPS titles. It also sounds like practical and achievable goals. The devil will ever be in the details of course.
In other news CCP again declined to comment on future plans to port Dust to PS4 or PC, simply stating that there are right now millions of PS3’s and no PS4’s, and that they are “laser focused” on the PS3 for now. It seems pretty obvious that this position will change in time as the PS3 nears the end of its life-cycle, but it is I think the right position for now. CCP need to put their energy into making Dust into a great game with realised potential before diverting resources into porting to other platforms. Trying to be a PS4 launch title just isn’t a smart move right now.
I was glad to see someone raise the question of the poor state of voice comms in the game right now. Presently my mic issues are probably the biggest frustration I have with the game, alongside the fact you can’t use push to talk outside of a match. This area of the game needs a fair bit of technical improvement in my experience.
So it was an interesting presentation, although I expect many EVE players (who don’t play Dust) will fail to recognise much of the many good things said within it. I am a little more reassured about the direction of development going forwards than I was a couple of days ago. Now we just need to see it translate into tangible deployed improvements!