Saturday, October 3, 2009

MCC taking fire! Fall back! [OOP]

Looks like Eurogamer got a preview of the upcoming DUST 514 at Fanfest, and boy am I jealous. Hopefully CCP will release the gameplay footage they showed off after Fanfest. The article goes over some interesting points that I figured I'd share my opinion on.

If CCP is different from other developers in one way above all others - and CCP is definitely different from other developers in more than one way - it's philosophical.
This is so true. In addition to EVE, I'm an avid World of Warcraft player. So what. Bite me. Anyway, CCP and Blizzard have such radically different policies that would need multiple posts to list. The most obvious one though, is public relations. Blizzard is incredibly secretive about what they're doing when you compare them to CCP. It'll be a cold day in hell when Blizzard announces their ETA for an upcoming major patch (the equivalent of an EVE expansion).

One other thing to touch on: CCP has the CSM, which has proven to be incredibly successful for bettering the game. Although it's not widely known, Blizzard actually has something along these lines too. They've basically recruited the best players to come out and play the game ahead of everyone else and provide feedback. This little internal testing team provides insight on class changes and content balance etc etc.

Initially, EVE players will be able to hire DUST players to attack planets or districts of planets for them, and players of both games will be able to join the same Corps and Alliances. 
The first thing that came to mind when I read this was a small squad of Amarr paladins bunkered behind blockades and trenches, laser rifles at the ready, as a vast but poorly equipped and undertrained army numbering in the thousands swarms their position. Goonswarm has landed.

Goons aside, the opportunity to fight for your EVE corp on the ground in DUST is going to be interesting when applied to carebear corps as well as over here at the Guristas Associates. I don't really think we can 'pirate' planets but it would be interesting to see CCP include a mechanic where during the course of a major battle small 3rd-party raiding groups could come and wreak havoc on both sides of the conflict. Alternatively, the DUST side of TGA and other corps/alliances that don't focus on PvP in EVE could simply serve as another moneymaker.

There will be a command structure, with infantry and squadron leaders on each side led by a player-commander on board the hulking Mobile Command Centre airship.
I think this is going to be an important part of how well DUST succeeds. For casual players who aren't really interested in the politics and ramifications of alliance battles, CCP is going to need to find a way to make sure some impatient kid doesn't end up with control of the MCC. But I'm sure the Goons will show everyone how that works anyway.

Here, things get a little muddy, because money comes into it - both real and virtual. Naturally for EVE's ruthlessly capitalist universe, you'll be amassing wealth - in the same ISK currency as the PC players - and there will be a player-driven economy feeding into this customisation system. But you'll also be buying items for real money, through micro-transactions - because DUST will not charge a subscription fee, but CCP needs a steady source of income from the game because "we need to run servers and so on", says Sveinsson.
Not much to say on this since I'm not market player but CCP is gonna need to be careful about monetary balance. Because the cash flow is EVE -> DUST, people who are already in possession of large amounts of ISK are going to start with a massive advantage. The same goes for Micro-transactions. They'll need to make sure that the only way to win isn't spending lots and lots of real-world money. I'm amazing that they aren't requiring a subscription though. Awesome news!

But a couple of districts on each planet are reserved for DUST's mercenaries - and these have special value as staging posts for War Barges, the giant orbital craft that house the MCCs and act as optional social areas for DUST players, with apartments, hangars, promenades and trophy rooms.
This is awesome. It means DUST players will have something to fight for beyond ISK to get better at more fighting. You'll pay me to shoot some Gallente and then I can go buy a warehouse to show off my Warthogs- I mean Caldari-mobiles? Yes please.

"DUST is a catalyst for EVE players, one of many that you can subscribe to if you're trying to capture system," he says. "DUST mercs will just be more points. If the incentive is great enough they will use them; if you don't want to use them and your enemy does, you'll have to."
Looks like the primary effect of DUST 514 in EVE will be in relation to the new sov system in Dominion, but I'm hopeful that they find a way to incorporate DUST into low-sec and even empire space. On the other hand, maybe TGA will be drawn into 0.0 either as mercs or sov-holders with all these new mechanics!

And that's all I've really got. If you didn't do it already, scroll back up and click the link and read the whole article. I'm out.

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