Friday, November 18, 2011

Is the Medic Obsolete?

Crazy question, I know. For this to be taken seriously, please disregard the following facts we don't know yet:

1) How much it's going to cost for a new body
2) Wait and/or travel time to jump back into the game
2b) Where we can pop up/spawn
3) All other stuff concerning what we don't know about Dust 514

With that in the back of your mind - enjoy.

"MEDIC!!" The com in my ear explodes with sounds of excruciating suck. Pain is still pain - immortality or not.

"Retro-Five-Cross," I say calmly.

"This is Zulu One, Raiders Company Sergeant, we need a medic asap on our position." Their position pops up with a 'bing' sound on my HUD- reminds me of video games I used to play. "Copy that, Zulu-One. ETA 90 seconds."

The pilot of the MCAS-VTOL heard the conversation. Before I even finish talking to Zulu, she starts flying in direction of the embattled company. Good pilot, could use more like her. Unfortunately, the other pilots aren't so hot on ferrying me around and providing close air support while I work. Their life spans tend be..... lower, because it may take me anywhere from 30 seconds to 5 minutes to fix a problem, while they're up in the air releasing hell upon the enemy to keep them from getting at me and mine. Think its a good job? These crazy pilots, better known as 'Angels,' have an average in combat lifespan of 45.7 seconds. With air-to-air superiority jets, ground-to-air missiles, air artillery defense plasma tanks, cappie lasers, the occasional volcanic ash, 'blur-birds,' mini Ice Ages, and sandstorms powerful enough to bury a whole city, along with a plethora of ground pounders pointing their weapons up to kill the ugly bastard unleashing the beautiful destructive power of a nuclear bomb... yea, you get the idea. Crazy Ivans apply only (in this case, Ivaness).

During all that stuff, I heal, fix, modify, and basically 'recharge' the company. Great right? Guy drops in, does all this great stuff. Then kills himself. Yes, I have to die. Explains why medics are called, 'Saints' or 'Martyrs' - depends on your perspective. Why? Well, the corporations who created my healing suit figured they didn't want it falling into enemy hands, or have rogue teams of 'unkillable' medics springing up, or any other uncontrollable factor. Corporations run on stability - doesn't matter if that stability is chaos or peace. With this in mind, the soldiers who I just healed are directed to kill me once I am done, if I don't pull the trigger first that is. What if they don't? The fusion bomb in my suit goes off - killing them along with me and my suit. Anyone within about 1000 yards is dust. So, odds are, they will kill me first. Good times, right? I'm going to die each time I do my job. Pays well though...

"15 seconds out - ready?" The ground below is alight with fire, twisted vehicles, and scared and fractured bodies. Work time.

"Ready. And Angel, could you not blow up in a ball of fire this time?" The last thing I see before jumping is her middle finger over the seat.

Jumping from thousands of feet in the air is fun. It's also terrifying. What if the landing jets on my suit don't work? What if I accidentally hit another aircraft in mid-flight? What if I land in the water and drown? Lava and burn? Bottomless pit and just keep going to the other side? *sigh* New body with the same old human fears.

I see pieces of Zulu company as my landing rockets flair. A corporal by the name of, "Sears" shows on my HUD. "Are you the Martyr?" he screams.

"We prefer, 'Saint,' and no - I'm the ice cream man! Want some?" I hold out my medical torch to him - it's all white. He stares at it blankly with wide eyes. "Uhhh......."

"Of course I'm the 'Martyr.' Get the hell out of the way so I can do my job before I die." I push past him and move up the hill. My com link sounds off about this and that squad trying to maneuver into better positions to kill the opposing mercs and take the objective. Things don't sound so great. Half way up, I spot the sergeant with four men on the ground. He waves as if I couldn't see him and starts to walk over to me. Oddly enough, or not, he has his machine pistol out. Guess he doesn't want to lose this position due to a human fusion bomb walking toward him, that he just called in. That's called good C.Y.A.

"Sergeant, Retro-Five-Cross at your disposal - what's the situation?" sounding off like a new recruit just out of basic. Perhaps I can lighten the mood.

He looks me square in the eyes, and sounds off like sergeant talking to an officer, "TARFU, heating up to FUBAR. We got 3 enemy platoons converging on this position, 25% of my guys are stuck at forward base Gecko with no ground or air transport to get them here, and another 50% are in the MCC awaiting ATG (air-to-ground) launchers, but will probably be deployed to hold the fuel depot instead of the only offensive position we have left to counter attack from. If that isn't enough, our cappie fleet is fucked, resupply is gone, I have four guys down, and we're probably going to lose the damn planet we took from them in first place because of one fucking spy taking down our space defense cannons. Sir." By this time the sergeant is out of breath and looks like he wants to punch our current battlefield CO. I don't blame him.

"I understand sergeant, but lets start with one thing at a time - your 4 guys."

The sergeant looks over his shoulder at them, "All yours Doc. Recharge'em so we can hit those damn Goons back."

"Damn straight." I walk over to the four and start my med sensors. Oh, the wonderful gizmos of my suit - they can pick almost every type of combat wound, watch vitals, and assist with surgery. Can you imagine the opposing side capturing my suit? They could have full time medic on detail. Makes sense why command wants me to die promptly - no heart beat or brain waves, and my suit burns itself from the inside.

One is missing a leg, another both arms, and the other two just have multiple gunshot wounds. Which to start with? The one with the leg is bleeding profusely, so he looks like a good start. I apply my med liquid with the 'torch' to his stump and it cauterizes the wound. Next stage is applying regrowth liquid. Last stage is his stump in an expandable limb tube. Basically works like this - liquid mixes with wound, starts growing a limb right where the old one used to be using memories from the mind mixed with DNA, and said new limb grows inside the expandable tube. Two downsides: 1) 4 minutes to regrow a leg limb and, 2) if the tube is punctured, there is a lot of pain for the patient- to the point of passing out and possibly into cardiac arrest and/or coma. In that case, waste of medical juice, and I shoot him or her in the head. Hence the heavy scout above me still releasing death...

A thunderous explosion sounds over head. I don't even have to look up - it's my bird. Screw my thoughts. I turn to the merc with no arms and shoot him in the head.

"What the fuck did you do that for?" The sergeant looks pretty pissed. Another of his guys not in this position to counter attack.

"He has no workable limbs to fire a weapon, nor head gear to help him fire a weapon. The recharge process would've taken 7 to 8 minutes for two limbs. He's better off getting a new body and being redeployed in the next 4 minutes to the fuel depot to help defend." I walk over to the other two and apply more med liquid from the torch. "These two should be able to fire and move in 2 minutes, and will be perfectly fine in 3 minutes." The name, "Ricks," pops up on my HUD as I look at the one leg merc. "And Ricks there, will be good in about 3 minutes. Three out of four isn't too bad."

The sergeant's eyes burn holes through my head. Still not happy.

"On the bright side, you have me for another...." The timer on my suit starts counting down from 1 minute. "... minute."

The sergeant looks down at the ground, thinking. He starts to turn to the battles behinds, but stops and looks at me. "Good conclusion, Saint." Faster than I thought augmentations could make possible, he pulls out his machine pistol and levels it at my head. Another good day at work.


Ok, so perhaps the medic isn't obsolete. :) What I am trying to accomplish here is a re-imagining of how a class works. I picked the medic because it's a very important player on the field; near instant healing and/or prolonged in combat life time to others. No one can imagine an MMO game without it. Hell, it would be a lot harder to do dungeons in WoW without one! However, what if you didn't? (That damned 'what if' question) Well, you would obviously get another class that would increase the damage done or had some kind of cool support ability to increase damage done by the group or decrease damage taken to the group. Would corps do this in Dust?

Maybe. For instance, I introduced ATG launchers. If anyone ever played MGS4, you know what I mean. They launch themselves off the USS Iowa (I think it's that ship) onto the big Metal Gear boat to invade. Same concept. Launch people off the MCC into combat. Great right? Well, to balance, you can only launch one person at a time, with a 15 or 30 second interval between (or something). So, if you launch that guy into an enemy group - chances are he or she is dead and that was a waste of a launch, money, time, etc. I'm almost fairly certain Battlefield 2142 had something like this. Point is - this gets support to your group faster and logistics matter- a lot.

However, the big question the public really doesn't know yet - what's the cost of dying? Do you pay a crap ton of money, and appear on your squad leader and go to town a la Battlefield 3? Sit around until your squad gets wiped out and then jump back in? How do you get onto the field? Is there a special building where there are clones? If so, can you take it out? Or do we drop down from the heavens through parachutes or landing jets? This is the war economy so risk and money are king.

Another question (Yes, opinions are like a-holes, everyone's got one - stick with me) and this is the important one - since this will be an MMO, can we put 'points' or training into healing abilities to the point where we don't really need a medic? Out of this comes the passive vs active debate - do I have to push a button to heal myself or is it automatic? Would wasting a button press hurt the player more than help them?

Other points about the medic class:
1.) What about a biomedic? Regrow actual limbs or parts of the body on the battlefield. This in the future, so why not? Could be an interesting mechanic and way to change up the healing process.
2.) With the biomedic - on the fly DNA changing? Stays within the limits your character is trained for. Want more speed or stamina? Here you go. Want more strength to lift that jeep? Here you go. All of this on timed intervals or something so its not abused.
3.) More of a matter for medics to do their job in a game? More rewards for healing rather than shooting a person.

Like I've said - many questions. Since its still kind of early, I don't think its that bad of an idea to raise a couple (or ton lol) of questions. As you can see, I'm highly interested in the medic/healing class as that's the class or area I'll probably end up playing. Thoughts from others on the medical class(es) and other classes are welcome and highly appreciated. I would like this to a great game out the door, and not one that needs 2 gigs worth of updates to fix.

Oh, and btw, MCAS-VTOL, stands for Medical Close Air Support - Vertical Take-off, Landing. :) Here's to hoping to an awesome acronym for some random vehicle or weapon.

Articles to look for: (no particular order)
-- "Do my farts smell like snozeberries?"
-- "Population Control"
-- "12 year boy or Girl Gamer - You Decide!"
-- "Vengeful Spy"
-- "C-Suite Executives"
-- "EVE Players Suck"
-- "DUST Players Complain Too Much"
-- "EVE and DUST Players are Arrogant, Retards Who Couldn't Take A Piss Without Mommy"
-- "Writer Burned At Stake, Story Tonight!"

Lastly, above image was by some person named "outlawink"

Good Hunting!


  1. great story. even better question. makes u think!

  2. Hey I know this isn't the place to put it but...Is MAG still somewhat alive? and another question would be how many players will Dust 514 allow on one map?

  3. Anon1:
    We dont know how many players will be on a map in dust yet.

    Interesting read, brings up some interesting questions as to how to deal with the medic class, especially will eve/dust lore. I like the idea of "meh will take to long to fix u up lad, have a bullet to the skull instead".

    Just hope to god the beta starts in the next few months so we can get answers to all these questions.

  4. solid article, bro.

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