Friday, January 11, 2013

Use ISK as Motivator

 One of the early lowlights in Dust 514 has been one of the same FPS behaviors we see the world over. Players putting individual accolades before what should always be the ultimate goal: VICTORY. We already see it in the form of snipers never leaving the spawn, players putting KDR before winning and players disengaged as a whole. Too many matches end up one-sided the moment one side strikes a hard blow early. It has a lot to do somewhat with the persistent nature of this title. While we wouldn't trade its depth for anything, the simple truth is that there's a point in too many games where players say "I'm dying too much" or "Screw this, i'm losing too much good gear." At that point they make the choice to cut their losses and we see the aforementioned spawn sniper behavior and other foolishness. CCP has already introduced a paradigm shift in the minds of gamers by tying your compensation to your ability to finish a game. It has gone unnoticed to some, but it strikes a blow deep into the hearts of quitters and exploit abusers everywhere. Leave early to preserve your KDR or prevent the loss of assets and you get nothing. Its simple, effective and beautiful.

We're big fans of making a record of deserters somehow, and we can't wait to see what this 'mercenary file'  CCP alludes to contains, but something has to be done to give players incentive to care more about the outcome of matches. The solution is simple, but albeit hardcore. The incentive to win simply has to be greater than the alternative. Think of it, how can the rewards for victory and defeat possibly be the same? Its almost comical if you consider it. Nothing kills competitiveness faster than equal rewards for winner and loser. Imagine for an instant a world where everyone in the World Cup got the same trophy, or any sport for that matter. This is New Eden and 'fair' is a folly. Maybe we should give the same amount of SP and ISK to everyone so no ones feelings are hurt [note sarcasm]. While gameplay should provide low level games where players can farm small amounts [30,000-60,000] of ISK whether they win or lose, medium to high rewards should only be awarded to the victor of a match. In addition, salvage should only go to the victors. Dont the defeated flee the battlefield as quickly as possible? One look at the way New Eden is setup as a place where risk is associated with reward [various levels of secure space] shows us that a system like this can not only work, but is similar to what is already in place.

While SP gain should remain the same, its poor form to reward the victorious on the same par with the defeated. There must be a line in the sand that separates winners from losers.We also took a look at some of the issues this might create.

What about the players who will just quit out of matches going badly?
If you know FPS players like we do, this will take place at a staggering rate if ISK rewards are winner specific and matches start going badly. The solution here is simple as well and tied to  'slapping the wrists' of deserters. Implement a 50pt SP penalty for leaving matches early. This won't devastate anyone's clone progression but will serve the purpose of eliminating quitter style behavior. Quit enough and you're regressing.

What about people who lose power or get server kicked?
This is easy. Fortunately the system should be able to tell the difference between getting booted from the server and stuff that can be tracked like 'quit game', 'turn system off' or pressing the power button on your PS3. Once again, Quitters are foiled.
What about SP gain?
SP gain is individual performance that should be unaffected. SP is the equivalent of battle experience and should not be less for the loser of a match.

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


  1. agree with this 1000%

  2. well said. N Eden not for the light hearted. or losers.

  3. hardcore but good. people shouldnt get ISK just for showing up and sitting in the spawn.

  4. I agree with this but at the same time I don't agree with this. There are times where my corp as backed out of matches not in rage or dispair, but to pick up someone who was dropped or just got on as we were loading into a match.

    Normally I use my weak gear first to feel out the match along with getting critical assets captured (Using scout suit for speed) and strategic uplink support in case things go pear shaped and we need to have a good spawn in. If I feel that I can successfully pull off a match with minimal impact (Even if I dip into the negatives a few hundred thousands) then I will call in my good suits. If that doesn't profit then I will switch to a downgraded version of my suits that allow me to still be effective while being half as cheap or so. The life of a logi is very adaptable.

    If we are being red-lined I would call in a dropship to run the blockade or use my Scout uplink suit to get a spawn in for my squad which can then capture an objective thus allowing the team to have another chance at the game.

    KDR is all fine and dandy but I believe that Win/Loss is the real factor in any FPS game. The ability to work with your team as a single unit can trump even the best. At least in my opinion.


    1. ^ we do this too. game needs ability to follow like we could in MAG. much bigger groups too.

  5. -50 SP?

    Nah make it more like -10,000

    I really dont care how hard it is and if it forces them to spawn in the MCC and do nothing for 10min then it doesnt matter

  6. They really need to turn on the team function so more that one squad can play in the same game. I know they haven't done it because they don't want casual players to be cut out of the betas by clans but even if they allowed two squads to stick together you;d have far less of these types of games.

  7. Depending on how much CCP wants to (potentially) piss of their customers and how much of a sense of humor they have (which is pretty good, but...), they can make some "Wall of Shame" Achievements:

    Achievement Unlocked! "Blasted 3rd-World Internet!"
    For a pattern of disconnects that just. keep. happening.

    Achievement Unlocked! "Drama Queen!"
    'No, seriously! It really IS a coincidence that I loose power or disconnect every time I am losing a match! I swear!'

    Achievement Unlocked! "Cement Shoes"
    Earned for players who barely move XYZ far from a spawn point, and somehow racks up kills using a sniper weapon.

    Achievement Unlocked! "Yella-Belly Coward"
    'Nuff said.

    -they *should* have the stats to make these achievements possible. Let's get 'er done!


    1. PS3 doesn't have Achievement Unlocked.

    2. Doesn't have to be anything to do with the PS3... It'd be a built in feature of the game.

      Windows doesn't have achievement tracking, nor does Mac or Linux distro's... Yet you still get achievements in WoW, GW2 or any other MMO.

  8. I have the same opinions on most of the ideas,but there are ways around getting negative SP for quitting.Simply push the PS button and disconnect from PSN and you have circumvented that penalty,or just disconnect your modem.

    Getting no reward in either stats,ISK,or SP is penalty enough for quitting matches.You have no stats to brag about,no ISK to show for your effort,and no SP to skill up with.

    I think the first thing that needs to happen to curtail the "I'm the best" mentality is to totally get rid of KDR.Simply have your WP,total SP,and total ISK earned,and that's about it,with a ratio of each of those stats per hour played,which would also include your total amount of time played as well.

    With that information,you can easily make a pretty good assessment of how good a player is if you are trying to recruit them.

    Unfortunately,gamers are a selfish bunch and don't really care about the team,and only care for their personal accolades.Just look at what Brink tried to accomplish with a game mechanic that encouraged and rewarded team play much more than individual play.Unfortunately,I don't know if that game flopped because of that aspect or because of technical issues that plagued it right out of the gate.

    Either way,I think the very first thing you need to do to establish a game that fashions itself as a game that is about team play,you have to get rid of the elements that encourage players to think that "heh,I did this",instead of "hey,we won".

  9. I agree with a lot of this article, with one exception:

    What about the players who will just quit out of matches going badly?

    I wouldn't charge them a straight up fee, as if a corp member or RL friend gets kicked from the game, you should be able to follow them so you can stick together. Alternatively, if you're internet drops, a sibling/partner/whatever resets the router, a breaker trips and your electricity supply drops for a few seconds. Then you should instead be flagged as a deserter.

    Deserter Status - You have fled the field of battle, and cannot rejoin another game for 10 minutes... Although, I think if you were to hand over a small bribe of 50sp to your superior officer, then this whole matter might simply disappear!

    So if you're playing with friends or corp mates, you can choose to wait it out with being penalised. Of course the amount of SP charged can increase depending on the frequency of the players desertion habits, their level, total playtime, or any other balancing issues that CCP see fit.