Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Hoping for MORE in Open Beta

Unless you've been under a rock for the past few weeks you've heard rumors about what CCP officially announced yesterday. The long awaited Public Beta for Dust 514 begins on 1.22.13 and we for one can't wait. We're eagerly anticipating the moment when the masses get their hands on this game. While some will consider Dust too complex, what semi-casual players open to this kind of experience think of this title is very important, because if players on the fence aren't intrigued by it, the game may never reach the critical mass necessary to field a large and diverse community. There is a faction of players that are looking forward to the kind of gameplay a true MMOFPS offers, we need to make it our business that these people see what Dust is all about, by word of mouth or otherwise.

While we're fairly certain that open access will allow tons of players to try out Dust for the first time, just as important is promotion. Hopefully we'll see Advertisements telling people far and wide to jump in and download the Dust public beta and see how special this experience really is. There are a few other things we'd like to propose because we actually care about this community and we're rooting for this game to succeed:

1. New Content - The options of simply Skirmish or Ambush won't cut it here. Lets go with more if for no other reason than you want to reward the long time beta players with something fresh and new to enjoy. New game modes, expanded groups, better functionality [i.e. following friends into games, proximity chat and indicators that tell us when other players are in a match] weapons, maps, equipment and the maybe even an appearance or ten by the artist formerly known as 'Soon'. Take the top off previously unreleased elements and let the players take them out for a spin!

2. Clean House - Its important to remember that guests to our community will be arriving and that you never get a second chance to make a first impression. Many will boot up this game anticipating quality and might not ever return if the experience isn't what they expected. Making sure the servers can handle the load and limiting technical issues is paramount. There is a rumor that CCP is usually two builds ahead of current beta gameplay, if this is true we'd recommend letting people play the most current version short of retail. Its important to wow these potential players and more importantly, prospective CUSTOMERS. The future of this game could be determined in open beta. Lets roll out the red carpet.

3. Court the VIPs - After all this time the pen is still mightier than the sword. Especially in the world of gaming. We'll never forget how IGN reviewer Nick Kolan had a seriously 'meh' time playing the MAG beta, poorly reviewed it and insured that countless players would never even give it a chance as a result. What CCP is doing here is groundbreaking and pushing the gaming envelope. The overall outlook by the gaming media is decidedly positive, but we have to maintain the momentum and good favor. Set up chatrooms for media [and please give them UVT access, hell throw in some pink Quafe armor just for kicks] so that they can easily group up with veteran beta players early and often and experience the game as intended. Journalists want to love this game, let's help them.

4. Force Feed the Tutorial - Some may not agree with this but we're going to suggest it anyway. Keep in mind its only a suggestion. Dust 514 is probably the most complex console gamer ever devised. As such, maybe just MAYBE...a mandatory tutorial is the way to go. What we're suggesting is essentially not allowing new players to skip through or bypass the tutorial as it is in their best interest to learn. Console fans are among the most know-it-all people known to man in regards to instructions, as we think we have it all figured out. Shooters may be simple at a base level, but Dust is a different animal altogether. It may be prudent in this situation to protect newer players from their own arrogance. Atleast then they'll know why they're dying and how whats happening is doing so. Many a ragequit can be rectified if we just make certain players are as informed as they can be. Keep in mind these will be the same players on your team and in your squad. The life you save could be your own.

5. Increase the Cap - Only a suggestion as we're actually fans of slower progression that prevents the quick maxing out and 90 day turnover many gamers are used to. Now we aren't talking anything excessive, but perhaps an 80K cap with 250 SP afterwards may be a better way for newer players to see the tangible returns that advancing your character can give. Feel free to return to the current progression afterwards, but during this period a small increase may be in order.

In the end, don't forgive to give yourselves a long pat on the back, CCP. You've put together one of the most unique, deep, revolutionary experiences ever seen in gaming. Kick your feet up and enjoy the fruits of your labor, you've earned it.

As always, we'll continue to attempt to help push and publish ideas that help establish and grow the Dust 514 community as much as we can. Have any ideas that need sharing? Be sure to contact us at magww@live.com


  1. good stuff as always

  2. bigger groups a must!!

  3. Almost forgot, our blog will be glad to set up a password protected room for media if it isnt done but CCP could do it better than anyone. Hopefully they will. Allowing the IMPs to bodyguard them for a few hours could prove interesting.

  4. plz plz plz let us follow friends into games.

  5. As a PSU writer who reads this blog regularly I would love to play the game with exp players. when u decide on a password for the media room let us know and we will gladly join.

  6. increase the SP cap CCP!!!

  7. I really can't add anything that you haven't said already,but I find numbers 1 and 2 to be the most important.

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