Tobold's Blog
Tuesday, February 05, 2013
 
Dust 514

I'm not really playing console shooters, as I much prefer aiming with a mouse than with a gamepad. But when reading MMO blogs you can't help but read a lot of commentary on the upcoming Dust 514, due to its connection with EVE Online. Spinks wrote: "CCP is working hard on getting Dust 514 ready for release. The game, which will be F2P for PS3 only, is in beta at the moment. MMO Melting Pot sums up some bloggers’ thoughts on the beta and none of the people they quote actually like the game or seemed inclined to want to play it on release. That could be really bad news for CCP, these are people who were already invested in the genre and probably also play EVE and have Playstations: ie. their target audience." And I couldn't help but wonder if that is REALLY the target audience.

I tried EVE several times, and while there is obviously some shooting going on, I wouldn't call EVE a shooter game. Dust 514 will obviously be very different, with a lot less spreadsheets and a lot more shooting. And as several people repeatedly explained to me that the point of EVE PvP is to create an unbalanced situation, I can only assume that combat in Dust 514 will be significantly more balanced than in EVE. In short, not only do the two games play very differently, they also attract people with very different motivations.

Now Stabbed already remarked that the EVE economy and the Dust 514 economy are very much separate and not likely to intersect much anytime soon. So I am beginning to suspect that the EVE-Dust 514 link is more of a marketing gimmick than a real feature. Beta reviews are decidedly painting a picture of Dust 514 being just a mediocre shooter compared to what else is available on the PS3. Which wouldn't be surprising, given that CCP never made a console shooter before, and isn't exactly famous for great character animation in EVE. It looks to me as if CCP wanted to make a console shooter thinking that is where the money is, and just used their existing game as leverage to promote the new game, without really wanting to integrate the two games all that much.

So what if Dust 514 is just a mediocre console shooter, and the EVE Online link is just means to get the word out and to get journalists to write about the game? I've seen several previews on major gaming sites where the EVE link was practically all they ever talked about, and gameplay was barely mentioned. That marketing strategy certainly works for now, but risks seriously backfiring once the game is released. I don't know if you still read print magazines on PC games, but I've noticed for years a trend where two thirds of a magazine are taken up by hyped previews, and the last third is taken up by disappointed reviews. On release, professional game reviewers actually play the game and start criticizing actual gameplay, and comparing with whatever else is around.

Personally I wouldn't be surprised if Dust 514 ended up with a Metacritic critics score of just around 70. Anybody else want to estimate how the game ends up being received on release?

Comments:
If the game will fail (and I do agree that it will), it won't be because there's no EVE link. Not at all.

The 2 economies will be merged at some point (it makes 0 sense to do it right from the start) and considering how important planets have become in EVE, Dust players will play an important role in the grand scheme of things.

The game will fail because it's a PC game released exclusively on PS3. Easy as that. You say it has no spreadsheets, but it does. The skill and marketplace systems are cloned from EVE and will cause quite the shock to the action-oriented console player.

I predict a PC release 1 second after the exclusive deal with Sony comes to an end. Only after that will Dust rise to reach its potential, if it won't be too late that is.
 
Wait...the skill system is cloned from eve? Am I understanding that right? It will be a shooter where people that joined before you are permanently better than you?
 
Wait...the skill system is cloned from eve? Am I understanding that right? It will be a shooter where people that joined before you are permanently better than you?

Yes.
 
Dust has one thing going for it and will ensure that it has an audience: It is F2P. Do you know how many other F2P games are in the PSN? Two, DCUO and Free Realms.

There's a huge demographic of fps players in consoles, most of which with limited budgets. I'm thining that once word comes out that this free shooter exists, it will do more than ok.
 
I tried to like EVE. Repeatedly, in fact. I have quite the highly-skilled relic sitting inactive, dusted off for more skill-training every time there's a free-reactivation-month special running. But I just couldn't get into it. The mechanics of the gameplay are more chore than joy, and to a cooperatively-minded, risk-averse, compassionate individual like myself, the 'community' is anathema. Toxic and insipid, I've never met such a collection of (barely) people who could be so gleefully proud of the psychic damage they inflict not only on each other, but especially on the uninitiated.

So. While I loathe EVE with the passion and bitterness of an ex-girlfriend who you really hoped would work out, I do quite enjoy first person shooters. I sort of hoped Dust could be my way of having something to do with that very rich universe, whilst inoculating myself somewhat against the poisonous vipers who currently dwell within it.

I don't know how much of the NDA still applies, what with the open/paid betas and all, but I'll say that you're pretty well off the mark with regards to CCP angling to make it a 'fairer' system. Unfairness still rules the day. It's their creed. It's possible to buy godlike power, rendering you untouchable by even the most skilled mortals. The 'fair' areas will be of little to no consequence OR reward. The real money and skills will be had in areas which can be unfair.

And as for how it plays, as a shooter... Well. I won't be playing it on launch. And even if those half-wits (or just blindly optimistic, if you're being charitable) responsible for platform choice come to their bloody senses and put it on the immediately obvious choice of PC, I'm still doubtful I'd pick it up then, either.
 
Depending on how much CCP extended themselves, Dust could hurt EVE very much...It's not a stretch to think that Dust will be CCP's TSW.

Good luck to them though...small and mid-sized mmorpg dev's have just been hammered lately.
 
- Console FPS
- Free to play
- Playstation only

I don't see it going too far.
 
Based on the previews I've read it won't compete with existing console shooters. The only people playing it will be Eve players who are interested in exploring the universe a bit. Well, I think some people will be attracted to the F2P aspect until they realize there is no way to really compete without paying real money.
 
CCP has basically said it does not want Eve players to play DUST. They are looking to increase the number of players in the New Eden universe, not populate DUST by cannibalizing the Eve player base.

As for no one else being interested in DUST except for those who already play Eve, from everything I've read most of the MAG community is moving into DUST.

Also, we are already seeing DUST bunnies in their beta calling for and receiving air (or is that space) support in their matches.

I don't know what the future is, but I really hope the game never sees the PC. Can you imagine the reaction if sov is determined by who has the best aimbots? That could kill Eve.
 
I don't know what the future is, but I really hope the game never sees the PC. Can you imagine the reaction if sov is determined by who has the best aimbots? That could kill Eve.

You are aware that there are aimbots on the PS3, do you? They are just harder to install.
 
I love EVE, hate shooters.
Games are linked, and the link itself is a costly thing not to say it's a technological marvel. Real time exchages between some icelandic server cluster and PSN was hard. Problem is they did that and are not using the link at all adn right now it's used mostly for real time chat. So yeah, they really wanted this to be more then a marketing gimmick, but someone didn't think this all the way through somewhere on the way and the awesome tech they developed is barely used or noticeable.

Also, Sony has an 'announcement' planned for next month. If they go NexGen this year, it's gonna hurt CCP as hell.
 
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