Friday, December 28, 2012

Group Queues and Solo Merc Queues?

To many, the frequency of imbalanced matches in Dust 514 at this early stage is concerning. The amount of redline matches is excessive. They see a system where poor matchmaking too often allows games that are grossly imbalanced and one sided. We've come to the conclusion that this has more to do with blending games together with casual and hardcore players than anything else. That in addition to not using a mechanic that seeks to balance teams seems to be blame for a lack of competition in these instances. One of the solutions might lie in allowing newer players and those interested in solo play a separate queue from the hardcore players itching to test out larger groups and team play. Some would argue that this is what Corp Battles are for. Unfortunately though, no one actually uses corp battles. We've sent 'reporters' out to observe no less than twenty corp matches and exactly one was coordinated well and started on time. The global nature of the playerbase and real life commitments still make online scheduling more of a crap shoot than anything else.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Developer Perspective: Mizz Smarty Pants

 Most of our readers dont have the backstory of our attempts to get an interview with former Zipper Dev Mizz Smarty Pants. Trust us when we tell you we have literally tried for years to get her to sit down with us. When she was still working for Zipper, she wouldn't budge in regards to giving us an exclusive or inside info. Having moved on to brighter pastures, she finally agreed to sit down with us to talk a little about MAG, but mostly about the forthcoming experience we call Dust 514. In this piece shares her early opinions on spawning in Dust 514, why communication and chain of command could play a more pivotal role, and how giving commanders real gameplay tools could truly revolutionize the tactics of the game.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

When Death Comes Knocking...

An undertaker, in full uniform, walks into Purgatory Hall, one of many rooms in the space station.

"All rise for the execution of Sam 'DrDoom' Nero," echoes off the bulkheads, reverberating into the ear drums of the select two hundred men and women allowed to experience an undertaking of a former captain, mercenary, and brother.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

12.13 Corp Power Rankings

While the history of contemporary planetary warfare is still being written, the truly elite corps appear to be rising to the top. After talking with a number of CEOs, capsuleers and witnesses to the combat simulations taking place in Morduspace we have generated the initial corporation power rankings. The New Eden community has spoken. At the moment its pretty obvious to those watching which groups are separating themselves from the rest of the pack.We used specific criteria when we ranked the corps but certain things eliminated groups from contention. While we took the communities opinions into account, we felt like raw performance in the tourney was important as well. Groups that had more defeats than victories were frowned upon a great deal. Expectations also factored in a great deal. For instance, while PRO didn't make our final rankings, few can dispute that they didnt exceed the expectations many had for them. Other groups did not perform up to expectations and their ranking suffered because of it. Without further delay, introducing the initial New Eden mercenary corp rankings.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

New Modes: Prioritize Communication

 You hear that sound? Its the excited playerbase regarding new game modes [yes, even if its only for a weekend] the monotony of Ambush and Skirmish had reached a boiling point for many. The 'build fatigue' we referenced earlier was real. Now there is talk of new game modes and we couldn't be happier. These are just the kind of beta events that will keep the game fresh and the playerbase fully engaged. Bravo, CCP as this is the second event in as many weeks.

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.