This entry has been written from an ‘out of character’ perspective to discuss the Fanfest 2014 Dust514 keynote.
I have been looking forwards to this keynote for months. I am very curious to know where Dust514 is going in the next 6 months to a year and so really am hoping to hear some big ticket announcement of a concrete major new feature that will push the game forwards in terms of content and its relevance to the EVE Universe. I want to see the EVE-Dust link become much more of an actual thing so that the players of both games start to care much more about it. I would also love to see the previously promised PVE content involving rogue drones and taking their stuff to make other stuff. I am not expecting to fight inside a Titan’s engine room though. Something else I’d like to see is the introduction of Amarr and Minmatar architecture to shake up the visuals some.
Outside bet? Announcement of work starting on a port to the PS4 and upgrade to Unreal4 tech.
What I don’t want to hear is a protracted announcement of a few more Dropsuits and weapon variations, or a few more vehicles (Amarr HAV, Minmmatar dropship…). Dust has has in patching/iteration mode for the year since it officially launched, I think it is time for something substantially new. Something that might justify a named expansion rather rather another Uprising point release. I think I might be feeling a bit cynical after yesterday’s content-light EVE Valkyrie keynote given the unusual mid-day slot for this keynote.
OK, the show is about to start. So let’s see what we are really getting…
CCP Rouge took the stage for a quick recap of Dust514’s first year since release in which he mentioned the number of clones destroyed (felt kind of meaningless tbh as I have no clue how that compares to any other online FPS) and so forth. The stat that got my attention was that it took just 22 minutes and 14 seconds for players to conquer every district in Planetary Conquest mode (currently Molden Heath low sec).
We saw a piece of concept art as CCP Rouge touched on ambitions to bring the promised PVE content including Rogue Drones, so that’s still in the plan but no details were given.
We then got to the meat. CCP have been working on ‘Project Legion’ for a few months now and brought with them an early prototype which they ran as a live demo. Before the presentation I was speculating on a PS4 port and graphics update. What we are actually getting is a PC release!
Also, its a huge graphics and interface update. I am stuck with a low quality stream as my current connection is pretty poor but it looked like a very impressive improvement over the current PS3 version even at an early stage of development. Everything about it just looked plain better. Here is a shot of the warbarge screen which by the looks of it might be replacing the current mercenary quarters.
It just looks like a slicker and prettier interface all round (apologies for the low resolution, I didn’t bother taking shots of it in-match for that reason). Bringing Dust to PC makes at least as much sense as a PS4 release as it hopefully opens the door to greater direct interaction between the two games and taps a new market of players. It is a very competitive market mind you.
CCP Roghue talked a little about plans to use Dust’s large maps more extensively in opening up the PVE in more sandbox-ish areas. Really not sure how that will come together or when but there it is.
What we also weren’t told is when Project Legion might be released. It was stressed that this is an early build but there was no hint whatsoever as to how long CCP think it might take to deliver. Still, I found it to be an impressive demonstration.
Then the presentation ended. My jaw actually dropped. We did get one significant and impressive looking reveal, but that was the entirety of the presentation. There was no mention of any upcoming additions to Dust as we know it or, well, anything.
Intro. Dust is coming to PC. Run demo. Done.
As impressive as that one (work in progress) thing was, I really had expected there to be a second thing. Even if it was something purely iterative. I just went from optimistic-for-the-future happy customer to ‘left hanging’ in a very short time span there.