Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Surprise Attack!

WARNING: Thinking thoughts too much may explode brain.

There is a rumor of Surprise Attack not being an actual option. Hearing this news, our brains went into overdrive about something DUST related, and we camped out under a rock for a couple days. After due deliberation, we decided that we are disappointed. Why? Because everything we know about EVE tells us it's a sandbox title where CCP establishes broad guidelines, steps away, and then lets the players experience the game with the most hands-off policy ever seen by a developer.

Which brings me to our point- why can't we plan an attack on the enemy, decide when they are at their weakest, and then strike with power and ferocity? If New Eden favors the brave, cunning, sneaky, and downright bastards, why would we be limited to engagements where we announce ourselves to our enemy? Rules of warfare? Colonel Alois Hammer would gladly plant his regiment on your doorstep, sirs. One of the aspects that Dust is implementing is a persistence never seen before in console gaming. At its core, persistence is about a living, continuing game world, regardless if we're logged in or not.

1. "Because you can't kill people when they're not logged in." - Oh. Right. Good point there. That would be a little unbalanced now wouldn't it? The more devious players might even add their enemies PSN accounts under the guise of "wanting to schedule a corp war later," wait until the targets log off, and then blitzkrieg with a fury not seen since Jack Bauer. However, our next question would be: is a game truly persistent if we no longer exist when not logged on? What if our avatars went into auto-pilot when we were logged off? I mean, we can train for skills in EVE (and hopefully DUST as well) when not actively logged in, right? So what's the big deal with putting our characters into a predetermined activity where they guard assets or protect a headquarters when we're not logged into the PSN. Sure this would mean we'd have bots in Dust (not to say there won't be anyway.... damn ISK farmers), but is there a better alternative to making DUST truly persistent? We certainly can't think of one.

2. "Because its not fair." - Yes, of course, there is the "fair play, morality, righteousness, and the ability to abide by the 'Gentlemanly Code' argument." But this is New Eden. With EVE players who have stolen and broken everything possible in and even outside of the game, it's a step up or sit the hell down situation. There is no fair. The world is cold, war is hell, and life's a bitch. Fair? Fair is dead, and so are you if you advocate any of that nonsense. Many view New Eden's consequences as its most appealing feature. Limiting us to the "playing nice" with our opponents simply won't cut it.

3. "Prepare for it." We tried to put ourselves in the shoes of CCP for this one. We believe their "hands-off" policy and "more, not less" outlook shines here. Providing the proper counters is the key to balance. Instead of limiting us, why not instead give players the tools to deal with a crafty opponent? If there are bases or headquarters in Dust (and we hope there are), couldn't there be defenses that corporations could purchase? Long range threat detectors, automated turrets, orbital mines, perhaps even satellites designed to fire on enemy forces that venture too closely. Let's not forget the PS Vita for those of us who plan on purchasing it. Just the thing for pesky corp trying to take advantage us doing real life things, and different time zones. There are ways to effectively dissuade or defend against a surprise attack for those with foresight- just give us the tools. We'll take of everything else.

Here's what some of our writers thought:
"They're should be a high risk, high pay scenario for attackers. For example, if you lose, the attackers are rewarded with a lot of your ISK, and all of your equipment/vehicles you were using at the time. However for a regular attack, the reward would be more modest since the all parties are in the know (or should be)."
"Give a short time frame for the attacker to carry out the actual attack before its a failure."
"Give the defender immunity from surprise attacks after one for a couple of hours to allow them regroup maybe. Not so surprising anymore..."
"The PlayStation Vita could be an instant method to help or protect against surprise attacks since we can't take a PS3 with us everywhere. Create some sort of 'social mini game' to up the percentage of the attackers losing."

Well, we know what we're proposing isn't without controversy. Think our thoughts went too far? Not far enough? Got opinions of your own? Better ideas? Leave them in the comments. Thanks for reading.

Editor's Note: Did we just create a market for a well-done mobile app that tells you if your forces are being attacked? Why yes, we think we did. The VITA is Android based, and so are a lot phones. *hint*


  1. u blokes dug deep on this one. excellent read.

  2. "step up or sit the hell down" loves it!

  3. Although I like the idea the major flaw here is that even in eve there are no major surprises to an extent. Even though you can gank anyone at a station or camp a system it takes days to conquer important assets. With 0.0 POS's you are looking at 2 days 7 hours with systems you are looking anywhere between 4-6 days. The surprise attack comes from having to prepare on short notice but think if you could just take planets at a whim daily. Especially with 50k (im going with eve numbers here) people on at any given time throughout the day.

  4. If you can just do surprise attack on installments without prior warning, it would become the dominant strategy. Worst of all, it would be boring as hell, attacking an empty planet with no defenders, no actual battle.

    Even if there are turrets and mines and such to defend against surprise attacks, it would be very boring because there would still be a lack of human players. Needing all these measures to prepare for surprise attacks would put even more strain on smaller corporations that are just starting out and have yet to amass the money needed for these defenses.

    The game would still be persistent even if your character is gone when you log off, this is because the planets and valuable assets still exist, and are still changing. Allowing players to have their characters run on auto pilot would require CCP to develop enemy AI which will cost them extra time and effort.

    I'm pretty sure EVE is a game that is extremely based on player interaction. Making it so that players don't even have to be there for them to be attacked would go against this.

  5. like it as an option. needs to be balanced painfully however. maybe in an expansion.

  6. happens in eve in a sense with reinforced mode and battle timers. all they need to do is bring it over to dust.

  7. that high risk/high reward suggestion was good too. be just the thing to make people reconsider doing those.

  8. I have to agree with Kagehoshi. I certainly would not enjoy attacking a bunch of drones with little to no actual players around to knife...or otherwise dismember, brutalize, kill, etc. That and his comment that it would put to much of a strain on smaller or newly formed corporations. Those would be major flaws, you all saw what happened when MAG dropped 2.0 and those new player who just backed off, because it was so difficult for them to begin...not that I want it easy peasy, but there needs to be some sort of middle ground between the intelligent and the ignorant...because, most of us are going to start out as utterly ignorant until we learn our way around. I, for one, would not like the idea of assets being taken from me if I had no way of defending myself.