Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Suggestion: Quickly Expand Social and Non-Combat Aspects

The true potential of Dust 514 resides in its ability to create a true sandbox and allow every manner of gamer to enter the galaxy of New Eden and seek out their own enjoyable experience. Gameplay has to support the new player who simply wants to navigate the politics of hi-sec, the merchant who specializes in selling weapons at a reduced rate, the gladiator who seeks fame and fortune, the pirate and even the veteran alliance that is plotting a major campaign.

Competition, PWNage and leaderboards are what brought people to online gaming, but mics, interpersonal relationships and communities are what makes them stay. The importance of the social aspect of Dust 514 simply can't be overlooked. We've decided to focus on some of the social aspects this title can expand upon in order to fully achieve the depth and innovation many see in its future.

1. Social Areas - While Dust 514's first third person social area is obviously the War Room, we hope to see many more. Casinos, social sections within the Gladiator Arenas, Space Stations, Gentleman's [and even woman's] clubs, Bars, Corporation HQs and even CONCORD Stations. Providing numerous places where players can interact will be a wonderful way to push the social envelope, so to speak.

2. Corporation HQs - If there's a better place to interact with corpmates in a non combat environment we've yet to hear of it. Whether its meetings in boardrooms, tactical planning in War Rooms or simply conversations in other areas, this mechanic is important. The depth of gameplay [and spying] can be increased by allowing methods that permit non corp members to enter and be aware of the location of these secure premises. Nothing could be worse than allowing the enemy to know where you reside and the password to enter. What assets did you say were in your corp Warchest again?

3. Politics, Spying - While these aspects indirectly affect warfare only a fool would fail to acknowledge their importance. Politics is quite simply "warfare by other means" and the ability to acquire intel on enemy plans, strategies or even the location of their Corp HQ or War Barge may provide serious advantages in gameplay. The sooner gameplay allows the application of these two aspects into Dust 514 the better its ability to retain players will be.

4. Grouping - One of the biggest challenges for the developers are more user-friendly, efficient and quick ways for players to play with their corpmates and combine their forces. Nothing will hurt gameplay more than roadblocks to grouping up large numbers of players, easily joining the matches of allies and other friendly forces, not to mention quickly regrouping when the inevitable server-kick or disconnection takes place. These things must all be easy to do in Dust 514.

5. Space Stations - Hopefully someday soon 'walking in stations' will become the big deal in Dust that it is in EVE. There probably isn't a better place for capsuleers and mercenaries to interact and the possibilities that attacking, protecting, destroying or owning these structures adds to core gameplay could be revolutionary.

6. VR Trainers - On the heels of their use in Mordu's Tourney, even if these cost AUR to customize and maintain [and they should] they will be among the most popular and useful assets in New Eden. Nothing will support the use of advanced tactics, and organization like virtual facilities where corporations can train and prepare their personnel for war without risking ISK and other assets. We can only imagine how much a Danger Room style setting with automated drones, varying difficulty, corp competitions and obstacle courses will enhance gameplay.

7. Notable Locations - While DCUO wasn't the smash hit many believed it would be, one of the things the SOE developers did well was recreate the DC Universe in virtual form. famous locales like the Daily Planet Building, Luthorcorp, The Bat Signal and countless locations are depicted perfectly. New Eden has a rich history with places like the Amarr, Gallente, Minmatar, and Caldari homeworlds, Choonka's Diner, The City of God, The Electric Museum, The Golgothan Fields, Vapor Sea and the Jita Trade Hub. The ability to visit locations like these adds to the game's lore more than you know.

8. Social Events -Whether its an alliance dinner, an Amarr Victory Parade, presentation of prizes after a tourney, a diplomatic summit or simply listening to gossip in a null-sec bar after Burn Jita, social events have to play a critical and central role in the console version of New Eden. Doing this makes Dust 514 more than a game, but also turns it into a portal into EVE and a truly unique social experience.

9. Quick Instances - The problems with many current MMOs is that while they feel massive and persistent, they simply don't provide an option for the player who only has 30 minutes for some quick gaming. It takes 30 minutes to group up with allies, another thirty to decide on a goal, 30 more minutes to decide on tactics and then 30 minutes to play the match. Many players need less of a time commitment. While PVE sounds like it will fill this role it needs some goal oriented options for players who still want to be an asset to their corporations. Providing some theme based PVE like attacking NPC-controlled planets, stations or ships might be a good way to prevent PVE from becoming bland.

As always, we'll continue to attempt to help push and publish ideas that innovate gameplay as much as we can. Have any ideas that need sharing? Be sure to contact us at magww@live.com


  1. like these kinds of articles much better

  2. concord stations would be the perfect place to run when the wrong people are chasing you.

  3. Before fantasizing and dreaming away to all the possible exciting and enriching add ons to the game community/social wise, first and foremost just frigging make this is an experience in which you go into battle with more then 3 measly friends.

    1. +1 make groups huge. we want to be able to have 24 man groups.

    2. no kidding. groups should be as big as the biggest game modes.

    3. I agree. Make grouping similar to EVE fleets. Maybe even require someone to have the skill to be a Platoon Commander or something so that you could have multiple groups in your platoon, or something like that.

      Also invites in the same way there are fleet invites. Open it up to corp, or alliance, or set by a standing level. It is nice having the option to make the group how you want like you can in EVE.

    4. I meant to say adverts. Being able to advertise a group or platoon to people set by whatever factor you choose.

    5. Also,how about improving the actual combat aspects first.

      As it is right now,the beta has sub par shooting mechanics that need vast improvement.

  4. Very nice post. I definitely appreciate this site. Stick with it!