After well over a year of almost no new information on Dust 514 CCP has finally moved into the “pre-launch” phase at this year’s E3 conference. Probably the single largest and most controversial announcement is that Dust 514 will be a Playstation 3 exclusive title.
Now I don’t personally have a dog in the console fight; I am not by any measure a console gamer. The only console I own is a Nintendo Wii which we rarely play. Not that I don’t like it, but its not normally the style of gaming I enjoy; console games to me have always been a social gaming platform, which the Wii excels at. So long story short, I don’t care about the PS3 exclusivity except in that it might reduce the number of players who will try out Dust 514. The Xbox and PS3 have about equal market share for the high-end consoles so Dust 514 may be missing out on as much as half of the potential playerbase. Still, I can only assume CCP knows what they are doing and their stated reasons for choosing Playstation 3 as their platform seem to make sense from my very limited knowledge.
Like many EVE players I’m a little more disappointed about Dust 514 not being available on PC, as I certainly would have played it in that case. I played Battlefield 2 quite a bit back in the day and recently messing around with World of Tanks reminded me how much I enjoy that kind of gameplay when its done well. Still, once again I can understand CCP’s decision; PC and consoles are two very different platforms when it comes to shooters and they don’t want to cannibalize EVE Online subscriptions too badly.
So that’s that. What I’m much more interested in is the trove of new details concerning Dust 514 gameplay and its interaction with EVE. Apparently Dust and EVE will interact on a much higher level than was previously thought or announced. I’m going to focus on three elements for now and perhaps talk about more later.
First of all, currency. The primary currencies in Dust will be ISK and Aurum (AUR) which means Dust currencies will be 100% convertible into and from EVE. We still don’t know the extent to which the two game economies will be linked but with shared currencies its fair to say the link will be pretty in depth. Obviously AUR will play a larger role in Dust since it is the primary method of revenue for CCP in a subscription-less game based on micro-transactions. My hope is that Dust will revitalize the Planetary Commodities economy, which is a little lackluster overall. Currently planets just aren’t worth that much economically as the total combined demand for all their products is still fairly low in comparison to asteroid minerals and moon minerals. Obviously there will be big changes to planetary industry in association with Dust and I’m excited to find out what those are as I think Planetary Interaction is actually a very cool addition to the industrial side of EVE.
Even more shocking, Dust players can be members of the same corporations as EVE players, which is going to completely overhaul what an EVE corporation even means. There are a lot of gaming communities out there where people share the same friends between multiple online games. The Dust/EVE integration will allow this on a whole new level where you and your friends not only play the same online games together, your actions in each game effect the other. With the promised EVE Gate improvements as well this could easily shape Dust/EVE to be one of the most integrated gaming communities ever created. The possibilities of combinations here are endless for the moment, until more info comes in. The real question is what kind of advantages will there be to having both EVE and Dust players in your corporation, or will the game mechanics be more rewarding to having only one type of players in a corp. Time will tell.
Lastly, the game trailer showed and CCP has confirmed that ships will be able to fire on planets and installations on planets will be able to fire at starships. If planets can be made truly valuable through some mix of sovereignty and economics then space battles are more likely to be fought near them and the ability to trade real-time fire between them would be awesome. Certainly it would make control in space or on the ground more meaningful. However, we have to remember that, dramatic videos and images aside, typically one side will be dominant in space. It’s just the way EVE works, most fights are over quick with one side holding the field. So hopefully the opposing side on the ground doesn’t just get toasted every time this happens.
Hopefully we will be getting a steady stream of Dust 514 information from here on out via devblogs or whatever. I’m certainly excited to see where its going.
For more info see the official EVE Online dev blog which has tons more links to cool stuffs.
Also if you haven’t watched the Dust 514 E3 Trailer you should do so, in HD if at all possible.
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