Saturday, July 16, 2011
Dust / Eve integration
I've seen the A Future Vision video on the integration of EVE Online with Dust 514, and I think that is a lot of marketing with very little hope of actual realization. The video shows a character in EVE betraying a character in Dust 514, and I don't think such a thing is going to fly.
Dust 514 is a first-person console shooter on the PS3 and PS Vita, which will not run on a PC. It features 32 vs. 32 battles of limited duration. It is basically a competitor for games like Halo, whose latest version Halo: Reach sold over 3 million times. This is the kind of market CCP is shooting for. Compare that to the size of the market of "EVE players who also have a PS3 and want to play multiplayer shooters sometimes", and the inherent design problem becomes rather obvious: Dust 514 has to be as attractive as possible to the typical consoler shooter player, regardless of how attractive this makes the game to EVE players.
I do believe there will be *some* integration between EVE and Dust, like EVE players being able to pay Dust players as mercenaries for battles, and the Dust battles deciding planetary ownership in EVE. What I don't believe in is EVE players being able to influence Dust battles directly, not with air strikes and treachery as shown in the video. Imagine a group of 32 players close to winning a battle now losing it through an air strike directed by a player in a different game. There will be maybe 1 or 2 who "get" the connection between EVE and Dust and are okay with that, and 30 players who don't give a damn about EVE and are loudly complaining how unfair it is that their battle is decided by somebody not even playing the same game. Thus I don't think the integration will ever go this far. Slow motion MMORPGs like EVE and console multiplayer shooters are two worlds apart, and the amount of integration you can possibly implement without seriously hindering the success of the shooter game is small. It will be interesting to see what they can pull off, but I wouldn't put my hopes too high.