Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Dust 514: Various Contract Types

One of the best innovations of the contemporary shooter genre has been the number of different game modes that prevent our experiences from being the same rise and repeat of constant deathmatch. Games like MAG brought us Domination that relied not only on the ability to kill the enemy, but also showed us the benefit of progressive objectives in gameplay. SOCOM showed us the benefit of genre-changing modes like Demolition, Escort and even Extraction. Never before had we been consumed with rescuing hostages or getting VIPs out of a hot zone. The Battlefield series gave us Conquest and another progressive objective mode with Rush. We're expecting Dust 514 to push the envelope even further. As much depth as the game itself is offering, nothing will make the game more monotonous and bland than a limited amount of experiences that offer little variety. Alone, Skirmish and Ambush simply won't cut it. While 'game modes' may seem to contradict the open world, do-as-you-will style of EVE, both the fiction and gameplay can be satisfied by allowing variety in the form of different contract types. Just as important is that after the game's launch player corporations have the ability to issue contracts along with the CCP generated ones that will also be in rotation.

New Eden is an open environment where all things are possible. This must be reflected in gameplay by offering a plethora of contract types for players to participate in. Here are a few of the ideas our writers came up with along with some of the great ideas we've seen on the forums.

Sabotage - Pretty straightforward, this contract type asks a corp to destroy an asset. Perhaps its a facility, ship, or any kind of asset, really. Obviously players would be limited by a time limit to complete for the contract to be successful and earn ISK. The key here is to allow the contract provider to designate exactly what they want destroyed and for CCP to develop a mechanic where assets can be damaged and eventually rendered to a smoldering mess.

Escort /Convoy - Here's a contract type where either VIPs or assets need to move from one area to another and need a group willing to complete the task. The contract would stipulate that these need to be protected at all costs. Difficult contracts like these may even offer more compensation and might also provide sabotage elements for an antagonist. Corps could even haggle over a price. These could even be PVE missions where defeating scores of enemies over a fixed period and preventing damage to the VIPs or assets results in success or where another actual corp has the job of sabotaging the convoy.

Assassination - We think the time is right for a developer to reintroduce a single death game mode back to shooters. Right now the shooter genre is completely dominated by the respawn mechanic. While we don't hate respawn, there is a different pace of gameplay that we see when players can't respawn and when one death means you can no longer participate. We think Assassin contracts are the perfect environment to display the high stakes nature of contract killings. The operative question is when both capsuleers and mercenaries possess clones and are effectively immortal, how on earth can someone be assassinated? The solution is simple: Use NPC VIPs as the targets. Allow PVE contracts where the goal is to kill the target and expand this by allowing players as both antagonists [assassins] and protagonists [bodyguards] in a true skill based game mode where one mistake can mean total failure. Protecting people like the CEO of a NPC corp or murdering an Amarr finance minister are just the kind of thing that could add to EVE lore. We envision these as smaller modes (1-4 player max) with a longer time period to complete the mission. These can also be PVE and co-op missions for a team of assassins or bodyguards.

Capture/Steal - Just like it says, these type of contracts would have the corp take assets or secure personnel from another corp or political group for ransom (a Caldari NPC CEO for instance). The kind of assets could be chosen from a group that CCP could determine. Maybe experimental technology is the target, maybe blueprints, weapons caches or vehicles are the goal. The intent here would be to make off with whatever you're contracted to.

Seize Territory - This contract type has a corp seize control of predetermined territory by rival corps who either own it or are contracted to protect it. Obviously these contracts would be successful when the enemy is eliminated and the area is controlled. CCP is obviously already developing the mechanics for these type of conflicts.

Open World - This is the New Eden that most EVE players are used to. One without the contract mechanic that would make things more user friendly for console players. Where players can do as they please and aren't limited to contracts. Perhaps a trip to the strip club or another 3rd person Social Area is in order, maybe we'll just go visit another corps HQ, or our own and run some practices in the Virtual Trainer. The possibilities here are endless and we hope they just aren't limited to social interactions. A mechanic where we are given a display of our contacts, watched lists and 'hot areas' in the galaxy could be a great way for players to decide what our corp does next. Maybe we'll assist an ally in a seizure campaign, continue Burning New Eden with the Anarchists or see what capsuleer corps need mercs for planetary conquest, the possiblities are endless.

 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. Zzzzzz what happened to the drama articles? when will you finish the corp ranking? you guys got lame.

  2. totally agree about the game needing modes.

  3. played socom and i agree that theres 2 much respawn in fps nowadays. would love a single death game mode.

  4. i really like this one

  5. while i agree with most of this having a strip club would be a little silly because while catering to a more mature player base is a great concept the games free so any kid who listed his age as 18 when registering for psn could go in there and be hanging out in a virtual strip club. and whats the point of a strip club? so that really lonely super losers can stare at virtual breasts? if they want to do that they can go play leisure suit larry.

    the third person social areas are an amazing idea but they should stick with them being places like a viewing station for the gladiator arena or bars or the corporations HQ

  6. our clan pieces aren't going anywhere. we'll be doing our revised power ranking next week.

    1. lol "revised power ranking"

    2. "revised power ranking" AKA Kissing the asses of the new powerful groups.

  7. Sabo would be interesting, Dust mercs could be sent to disable enemy buildings for a set period of time or they could be deployed onto starbases and destroy ships that are being built. (Aborting a baby Titan anyone?)

    I read some stuff on the dust forums a while back about Incursions for Dust, you should look at that, it was really well done.

    How about interviewing random corporation leaders? Talk to small groups and get their idea on things, talk to big groups. Hell talk to everyone!