Monday, March 11, 2013

Address Market Inconsistencies

We dont envy the game designers at CCP. While much of what excites us about Dust 514 is still yet to be released, the depth and detail we have already is very impressive. The marketplace for instance, is littered with details and information that helps you make a decision before you buy an asset or spend valuable skill points. Make no mistake, poor decisions with SP and ISK can have far reaching consequences. Rightfully so, we haven't heard anything about a respec system in Dust, so for all intents and purposes the paths we choose skill point wise are final. This is why it is so important for Market data not only to be correct, but also complete. Dust 514 is 'a game of inches' in the truest sense of the word. Details that can be overlooked in other titles make all the difference on the battlefields of New Eden.

While we have a lot of respect for what CCP has done with the detailed aspect of this game, we took a look at some of the head scratching decisions regarding data, consistency and information that we think could be improved. Lack of consistency and low value insures that anyone with a brain who reads the specs on certain items will deem them worthless. Pointless items will go unused and simply take up valuable memory for no reason at all. Here are a few decisions we'd like to see rectified:

1. Damage for AV grenades - Yes, we will continue to beat this dead horse. The correct damage for all weapons is absolutely essential. If i'm putting together a tank killer fit I need to know what weapons will perform best. Someone even mentioned we should test this ourselves. Just what is the purpose of the marketplace, then? And how many casual players will test weapon values to verify they are correct? None, zero and zilch, thats how many. They will see 150 splash damage for AV grenades and cross them off the list of antitank weaponry, when in reality they are on a par with Forge Guns for effectiveness. Then they'll tell their friends 'That game sucks, tanks are indestructible' Correct weapon data and info in the marketplace for all weapons and assets, please and thank you.

2. Scrambler Pistol Range and 450% modifier - The 450% headshot modifier might be the worst decision in the history of FPS. It just begs to be exploited. In addition, the range of pistols is much too high. Rather than turning every weapon into a sniper rifle, it might be better if the Sharpshooter skill increased range slightly but the real advantage was more efficiency over range. Why would any pistol have more range than the SMG? Shouldnt weapon ranges go: shotgun, pistol, SMG, HMG, assault rifle, laser rifle, sniper rifle? We tend to think so.

3. Tactical AR Accuracy - I'm reading this straight from the Marketplace: Normal AR Accuracy rating? 56.0. Tac AR Accuracy rating? 55.9. Hold on, isn't the Tactical the weapon that trades fire rate for accuracy? Its Accuracy rating should be in the 45-50 range and its max range about 90-100m. If this is just a typo, fine. Just know that the detail oriented, stats nazis will choose the wrong weapon based on these numbers and claim the game is broken. People will make informed decisions based on the marketplace, it has to be correct and consistent.

4. Self Destroying Vehicles - No vehicle we pay ISK for should explode after 30 seconds of non use. Wouldnt it be a better idea to eliminate free vehicles? Isnt everything supposed to have a cost anyway? If people want LAV BPOs have them purchase them in the marketplace. Oh and vehicle locks, please and thank you.

5. HMG Range - We're not HMG haters but giving these weapons too much range makes them the best decision for every engagement and they are already the Gods of CQC. Sure some realism nazi will scream about how real life LMGs have ranges over 1000m. So what? Lets preserve our sanity and choose game balance over realism here. This weapon has to sacrifice range for damage or it breaks the game. Its range should top out at about 50m even with all the bells and whistles.

6. Breach AR - Another weapon phased out of relevance by over tuning. Its simply too slow firing to be effective. Even the scrambler pistol shoots faster than its pitiful 400 rpm. Why? It already sacrifices power for a small clip size. If the normal AR has about 70m of range, the breach should be effective at 80-90m so that it has a forte, since the burst AR is superior in CQC. A fire rate of 600 rpm would seem almost perfect. At its current rate its worthless.

7. Missiles - See above. Missiles in past builds probably had too much splash, but the fact that we can laugh at militia missile launchers now needs addressing. Either make these lock on AV weapons or tune them with lower damage and splash then before, but please do something.

8. Breach SMG Fire rate - Did we read this right? This weapon fires more slowly than the AR? Should any SMG fire more slowly than an AR? Maybe a better design might speed up the fire rate and give it lower range then the normal sub. The current version will collect dust as it has no niche in gameplay.

9. Heavy ISK Inefficiency - Take a look at these numbers. A series scout 15,000 ISK, A series assault 14,000 ISK, A series Logi 17,000 ISK, A series Heavy 28,000 ISK. B series scout 23,000 ISK, B series assault 20,000 ISK, B series Logi 25,000 ISK, B series Heavy 40,000 ISK. Scout VK.1 101,000 ISK, Assault VK.1 91,000 ISK, Logi VK.1 112,000 ISK, Heavy VK.1 246,000 ISK. What gives here? Is this disparity because the heavy has a lot of hit points? This is more than balanced out with slow movement, turn speed and no equipment slot. Heavy dropsuits should not be 40% more expensive than their counterparts. The Prototype Heavy suit costs more than the Gunnlogi Tank which has 3600 base health! The prototype heavy? 742. Someone fell asleep at the wheel here. Making the Heavy more of an ISK drain is fine. Making it cost more than a bloody tank is ludicrous. This has to be rectified. Because the smart merc will just buy the 'real' tank and call it a day.

10. Armor Inferiority - Armor is the red headed step child of Dust, as shields are easily superior. Armor has almost as many negatives as positives. No autorepair rate, movement penalties, no high powered slots. It could use a bit more balance. Isnt Armor supposed to be more resistant to energy weapons? If so, we can hardly tell. We're not asking for laser-proof, but the resistance needs to stand out a bit more than it currently does. Maybe infantry will get armor hardeners with higher percentages than shield hardeners. Whatever happens, armor needs something to prevent it from becoming obsolete.

11. Sniper Rifle Zoom - Why would the charge sniper rifle with a slower fire rate and more damage, have less zoom then the tactical sniper rifle which sacrifices damage for a higher fire rate? Makes no sense right? We agree. Needs Fixing. Give the weapon with more damage the comically big scope.

12. Weapon Ranges - Wouldnt it be nice if the weapon ranges were listed on our stats page and updated when skills like sharpshooter were added? We say yes.

13. Ishukone Sniper Inefficiency - Stats for the first tier sniper rifle 190 damage, 50 rpm, 25 ammo. Stats for the Ishukone Proto Sniper Rifle 209 damage, 50 rpm, 25 ammo. One of these weapons costs 4,000 ISK and takes up 30 CPU and 4 PG. The other costs 40,000 and has a CPU cost of 93 and PG cost of 14. Why even bother? Anyone with half a brain will just put a complex damage mod and save 26,000 ISK, 5 CPU and lose 1 PG. We're not asking for OP weapons but they need to be upgrades if they are going to cost more. Damage isnt always the answer. Maybe the Ishukone gets a 10 round clip, or less scope sway, perhaps the higher meta level means it can be customized more when weapon attachments are introduced. Something must be done to add a bit more value to some of the higher tier weapons

14. Tactical Sniper Rifle - We touched on the zoom earlier, but why would this weapon have less rounds than the lower fire rate variant? The clip size on tactical should be 7 rounds if the other versions have 5. At least give it a faster fire rate.

15. Melee Base Damage - When someone told us that all dropsuits did the same melee damage we laughed. Then we checked for ourselves and almost cried. Dropsuits are wonderfully separated by survivability, movement, turn speed and even shield recharge rate, but a recon suit does the same melee damage as a heavy? Not in a million years. If the Heavy does 135 dmg, assault should be 70, Logi 50 and Recon 40. Change this quick before IGN sees it and puts it in the official review or something.

16. Vanishing Assets - The instances where assets like nanohives and drop uplinks turn invisible need to stop. In a shooter with this much persistence assets can't vanish into some pocket dimension at random. While this is certainly still beta, something like this cannot transfer over to retail. These items must be persistent so that we can nuetralize and find them in the game world at all times. If the enemy wants a stealth drop uplink or nanohive have them pay for a Tier five version in the marketplace.

17. AR Range - No assault rifle save the tactical should have a range exceeding 90m even with sharpshooter maxed out. Sharpshooter should allow the weapon more efficiency and damage within its range, not turn it into an autofire sniper rifle. The AR is the best medium range weapon in the game and is a solid CQC weapon as well. It cant be effective in every situation or no one will use anything else.

18. Terrain Issues - There are still too many instances where we can the enemy in our crosshairs at range [particularly snipers] and hit detection [or terrain that we cant see] makes this a one way engagement where the sniper can hit others but is immune to return fire. This title is still in beta so it still has issues, but this one needs attention.

19. Scanning & Profiles - Right now these features are one of the mysteries of Dust 514. How does it work exactly? What makes us show up on the enemies minimap? Will they see us if we sprint instead of walk? What if we walk slowly? How does each dropsuit vary? Does the minimap show us 360 degrees or only our cone of sight? What will active scanners reveal? You get the idea. These aspects must be spelled out easily for everyone to understand. This wont go over well if only the 1% of the playerbase who regularly talks with devs in IRC Chat learns the mechanics of scanning and profiles. Casual players don't even know IRC exists, so it cant be the best place to disseminate information.

20. HTH Skill - Is this a modifier that increases the effectiveness of Nova Knives? Inquiring minds would like to know.

21. HAV Cost - One aspect that has to be addressed is the cost of tanks. A fully fitted militia shield tank is 266,000 ISK, a militia armor tank is 249,000. To have any prototype infantry armor at or near this cost is madness. If anything tanks should be in the 750,000 to 1M range. Tanks can dominate the battlefield almost completely when used correctly and if any asset should be a considerable ISK drain, it should be them. Lastly, it might be a better idea to separate skills as Vehicle Circuitry, Vehicle Shields, Vehicle Armor and Vehicle Combat Engineering. Making aptitudes that improve both dropsuits and vehicle stats is just too broad. Mercenaries should have to commit SP to specialized vehicle skills instead of cross training.

 As always, we'll continue to attempt to help promote and publish ideas that help establish, enhance and grow the Dust 514 community as much as we can. Have any ideas that need sharing? Would you like to join our staff as a writer? Be sure to contact us at



  2. agree on AR range. heavy cost too.

  3. tanks should def cost more

  4. i feel like they should go the other way with HAVs. make them cheaper and weaker. that way we can have tanks in games, the rock part of the rock paper scissors stays in place, but you don't get the laughable situations of needing 10 papers to beat 1 rock.

  5. i hate heavies but theres no way the proto suit should cost more than a tank.

  6. About the costs of tanks, weapons, etc. I think you've missed the point that all the items in Dust (except the militia gear I thought) will be made by players in EVE. This means we'll have a fluctuating market where the prices can vary wildly. It's a sandbox and I like my sandbox to be a bit gritty.
    See it as a survival game; only the ones who know how to use what they've got will win! ;)

    Just my two cents really. About the skills and weapon attributes I agree. It shouldn't be allowed that I can be shot down more quickly with a standard AR while I'm shooting at a bunny with my laser rifle at a far range.

  7. Do us a favor and stop asking questions followed by answering them. It's very annoying and it gives the false premise that you speak for all of us.

    1. Yes
    2. I have no problem with the range of the pistol. As for the 450% thing, I hasn't decided my opinion on it yet.
    5. The range on the HMG isn't the problem. The heavy armor just needs to be cheaper and weaker. Like how that one Anon guy above me stated about tanks, but tanks don't need to be nerfed to that aspect. I'll get to that later.
    7. What if I want to take out personnel? I shouldn't be able lock on to personnel
    9. Of CCP never touches the stats for the heavy, then the ISK prices shouldn't be touched either. Not all heavies are specced to use tanks and militia tanks are crap. Why should it matter if the dropsuit is more expensive?
    10. I agree lasers need to be weaker against armor. The shield damage shouldn't be touched.
    12. Yes
    13. It's fine. That sniper already always kills.
    15. Doesn't bother me. People rarely melee anyway.
    16. Very annoying bug. And an invisible assets would be dumb to implement.
    17. My AR sharpshooter is at level two right now, it's crap.
    18. Never had this issue...ever.
    19. I don't know any tank driver that cross trains, they all specialize in tanks. Militia tanks suck, a few standard AV grenades can easily destroy them. The only thing that needs to be done with tanks is a nerf to the shield booster thing(?The thing that makes your tank virtually invisible for ten seconds). The recharge time should be long than thirty seconds.

    1. u should talk less, play more. no one with a brain is ok with the 450% mod for pistol headshots. ur ok with heavy dropsuits more than tanks? there needs to be a suspend posting privileges on the internet when people type foolishness. people rarely melee? the issue is the inconsistency, try to stay on topic. also, the terrain bug is a popular issue. u must not play much if u havent heard of it.

    2. I'll just ignore your insults, particularly since you don't even attempt to post proper grammar. You're making it harder for me to read your posts. At least I try to be clear. Get off your high-horse.

      The reason, I have not decided on the 450% is because I'm use to pistols killing me in one shot. At the same time, this game grants you give more hit-points than most. I also don't run into enough pistol guys to know if it's a problem. Just because I haven't decided doesn't mean I'm for or against it.

      Militia tanks are crap. I'd rather face a crappy tank that I can take out with a few AV grenades than a god-mode Heavy. And would you look at that, the crappy tank is cheaper.

      Why should any dropsuit have more melee power than another other than "because it's realistic"? The melee stat shouldn't be there at at in my opinion. It gives the idea that you can improve it.

      Maybe I haven't encountered the terrain issue because I don't snipe. I've been able to hit everything with my weapons range so far. The problem I have with terrain right now is how I can't climb up certain terrains despite that it might seem like I can.

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