Monday 13 June 2011

Dust 514 is a big deal

You may know that CCP (the developers of EVE online) are working on a shooter called Dust 514, certainly I'd known about it for ages, but have been taking what was being said about it with a very large pinch of salt. It sounded too good to be true. However since E3, it seems like they may well deliver the goods and by the dark Gods... if they do, it's a big bloody deal.

If you’re reading my blog then you’re more than likely a MMO gamer and as such it may well be that you don’t really care about yet another FPS shooter. However, this time around you really should care; Dust 514 has the potential to be the biggest step forward in MMO gaming since… well, since Ultima Online.

You should know about EVE, but if you don't then check this video for an idea of what the game looks like.

EVE Online

In EVE players and their Corporations (guilds) travel the universe in their massive spaceships, in a massive ongoing campaign to control star systems and their resources. If you’ve not played EVE then I can safely say that you have no idea exactly how HUGE their campaign and universe is. These systems of course have planets, but as a spaceship based game they’ve never really done that much other than be a source of materials and so on. As Corporations take over systems you would assume that there would have to be some land based warfare going on to capture the planets, but as a space based game you’ve never seen any evidence of it. That is until now.
Dust 514 players are going to be the armies that fight these battles. Yes, they are going to be fighting the battles and taking part in the same wars that the EVE players are involved in. EVE Corporations will hire mercenaries from Dust, or even recruit Dust players into their Corporations (or the other way around!) and these armies will be transported around by the EVE spacecraft and then fight the battles planetside in Dust 514. In fact the games are going to be so linked that a Dust player can call down air strikes from EVE players in orbit around the planet they are fighting on, or even use ground based defences to return fire…
It’s going to be the same server, the same gameworld, same voice coms, same economy, the lot... It is two different games viewing a shared universe from completely different perspectives, with players from both games working together to achieve their goals.

Dust 514 and EVE

Now you could say that games like Planetside have kind of done this before. Planetside certainly does have players able to fly transport aircraft, interceptors, tanks and more, alongside people focussed on infantry and with the battles across a whole planet, its clans did have to consider the logistic of moving their players around. Yet the big difference with what CCP is doing is the linking up of two utterly different types of game play and environments. If you’re flying a plane or walking on foot in Planetside, you’re looking at the same landscape in the same way, much like say playing a Battlefield game. Where as the gameplay, the environment you’re playing in and pace of play for a Dust vs and EVE player are completely different. Also we are talking about doing this across two different platforms (Dust is PS3 only). This is a bit like linking up Silent Hunter on PC with Call of Duty on Xbox.

So it doesn’t matter if you’re interested in playing either game or not, because it’s bigger than that. You should instead be very interested in where this could lead. The MMO genre has stagnated, with everyone wanting a bit of the Warcraft cashcow, it’s like publisher and developer’s balls have shrivelled up. More and more generic MMO quest and raid farm bollocks continues to arrive.

The future potential..

Dust 514 is hope for the future, because if this works as they say, then we’ve finally moved forward. Not just another EQ/WoW clone with different graphics, something that has the community as the core feature, where players have genuine impact on the game world and isn't just some glorified chat lobby with sterile instances accessed through a dungeon finder. Think about the potential for MMOs if this was to work.. Smashing apart the borders between different types of games and melding them into these epic player driven campaign systems. Silent Hunter mixed with World of Tanks, IL2 and Medal of Honour, each game with enough room to be specialised instead of trying to merge everything into one egnine. What about traditional MMORPG games? Where could this go?

Or of course it could fail utterly, not reach it's potential, be a technical disaster and be a hugely embarrassing flop for CCP, but regardless I salute them for actually trying to drive the genre forward. I will buy the game on principal, because things like this deserve our support. Unlike most developers these days, CCP have shown themselves to have BALLS OF STEEL. Also, rather unlike the latest Duke Nukem by all accounts. Shock horror... Anyways, for more details I would recommend this post over at Massively, or click here for the official site and this fan site has a lot of info, screenshots and more video.


  1. Aye if this works this is going to be balls-to-the-wall brilliant! Hopefully so!

  2. Its a awesome idea, but EVE and DUST isn't working for me. Sure I like the idea, it can work out perfectly and be awesome.. I don't doubt that.
    But for me? well, I won't play it.

    My problem is that I think FPS games should be played on PC and vehicles games on console.
    Since the day I played my first car game on a console I have never played a car game on PC for more then 10min, I just like is so much better on console.
    And FPS? well, did play a lot (way to much) FPS back in the days before I started with MMOs. All on pc, and all my attempts of playing FPS on console have ended up in a hand controller in the wall. The aiming isn't fast enough, my belief that I control that thingy on the screen isn't good enough compared to when I sit at my PC.

    So if they could just swap it around and give me Dust on Pc and move that Eve thingy to PS3 I'm a happy panda :p.. I really hope the whole concepts works out and that its something we will see more of. But why on earth does they make Dust for PS3? owell, its just me. I always liked Xbox better then PS.

  3. EvE isn't a driver game. You control your ship/actions with mouseclicks. So both game are perfect for PC

  4. while I will most likely not play either it is very very interesting news. if this works out we are truely taking about a new standard for the industry.

    linking games across platforms while providing different types of gameplay is a huge step.

    now if the folks working on DMO or Planetside Next don't shit themselves after seeing this they have no idea what they are doing

  5. I know eve isn't a car game or driving game. Float around in spaceships isn't my thing at all. But if I would consider it, I would most likely prefer it on console and have movement to one of those little sticks that is used for moving in all directions..
    But even moving a spaceship or any kind of flying thing is better on pc then the feeling I get when I try a fps game on console..
    I only wish they either did Dust to pc or both pc and ps3. Would really like to try this concept but I'm not buying a ps3 or even play a fps on a console. And I'm not gonna play EvE since I don't like the whole spaceship thing.

  6. I never played EVE nor have I ever felt the slightest inclination to do so. In fact, every game that involves any kindo f space warfare I stay clear of. If not, I tend to end up disoriented, incredibly nauseous and blown to tiny little pieces to forever wander in space, a testimony to my nabness.

    I have nothing against FPSs though and I've even warmed up to them recently with each new release. So I won't discard the possibility of me eventuallty picking up this DustDigits business.

    I must say, this strategy of making your games more appealing by releasing other games that are co-dependant on it sounds good, at first glance, especially when compared with the current trend of releasing DLC or sequels based on the same formula wrapped in almost new wrapping paper. But we can't know how reliable this whole thing will be. Will the amount of players (or lack thereof) in one game make facets of the other unplayable or unattractive? I dunno, but I'm sure the devs are on it. They don't seem fools to me. I have been fooled before though...

    But bring it! The idea alone has made us all drool a little. Oh oh! And how about a Civ like RTS for when the planet is under your control? Oh! Or a Tomb Raider style one for exploring those ruins of an ancient civilization that the RTS people stumbled upon when placinga new farm. Or even a Harvest Moon style one if you fancy being one of the farmers!!

    I should go calm down now...

  7. [shakrah]
    Gotta say I am puzzled by the PS3 only port... do they really see a continuity between the console community and EVE?
    EVE always looked to me as a second job more than a game, hence my aversion to it, and I woudl not expect the console players to be swayed by this.
    Or is this a ploy to get me to buy a console? Playing with a pad comes as natural to me as shovelling sand with chopsticks, so this would be a pass.


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Half man half pixel. Music obsessive, likes a drink, occasional bastard.