Thursday, December 19, 2013

Why the Weapons Lab & Trainers are Critical

Its past time CCP added the weapons lab and virtual trainers into New Eden for Dust mercenaries. Recently thousands of players purchased the skills necessary to utilize the weapons added by update 1.7 without ever testing out either the rail or combat rifle. Because Dust 514 requires such a large commitment to specialize into a skillset, the weapons lab that was mentioned long ago is essential. This isnt your normal fps experience where you can create loadouts on a whim and be an engineer, assault or sniper. In Dust you have to spend large amounts of time grinding for sp to obtain the points necessary to purchase the new skills that allow you to specialize. We dont have the option to try out the prototype combat rifle in a test setting and see if it fits our playstyle, and lets be honest, we should. Imagine adding all the necessary skills for the caldari rail rifle only to discover it doesnt fit your CQC playstyle.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Buff & Nerf: The Vicious Cycle

One of the core problems with Dust 514 is the constant flux and drastic change of weapons and equipment. Players are baffled and frustrated by it and its hurting the experience. Why? Because players are creatures of habit and even moreso seek consistency. Its important to understand how difficult it is to balance a game where the classes have real variety, and we respect that. At the same time, the simple fact is that its a generally bad idea to frustrate a small playerbase. The recon suit is a prime example of the push and pull we're talking about. Its initial iteration gave us a suit that was so fast it played havoc on the already subpar hit detection and so it had to be slowed down a bit. Next, came the loss of some slots and CPU & PG. Today its a dropsuit that is almost too easy to kill as a result of the unreal range, dispersion and newly added aim assistance on the most popular weapon in the game: The Assault Rifle. For it to have a basic level of survivability its speed and stealth need a slight boost, as its supposed to counter low health with both of these traits.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Critical: Fitting Penalties

While customization is easily one of the best aspects of Dust 514, there are too many instances where classes are not operating as intended and its hurting gameplay. We have zero issue with a Heavy Sniper, Heavy or Scout Shotgunner as the pros and cons balance out with both. But when suits are comparable in speed to the scout, have close to the protection of the Heavy or exceed the assault in attacking power without any real sacrifice, something is amiss. Bad math has allowed many of these issues to crop up and smart players are doing what they always do: Taking advantage of loopholes in gameplay. This week we saw one of the best suggestions we've ever seen aimed at curbing some of the balance issues that plague Dust gameplay: Fitting Penalties.

Monday, October 21, 2013

EVEVegas info a good first step

We may be on the cusp of some good things in Dust 514. As long as it doesnt take 6 months to implement them. Dusts core mechanics still need upgrading, but it badly needs some real new content. EVEVegas revealed some interesting new developments.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Sandbox 514: Making Dust Matter

Recently a group of hardcore players from the Dust forums decided to do an open letter to the new executive producer CCP Rouge. It inspired the writers at our blog to do the same. While it may take some time for him to change the course of this title, we felt we would do our part to point him in the right direction.The player developed sites that have spawned as a result of this game have been nothing short of amazing. Have you taken a look at Dustboard, DustWiki, Duststats, The Dust Wiki, DustAlerts, DustReports and the newest [and quite possibly most impressive] Dustcharts? Did you know this community had a fundraiser for one of its luminaries [Quickgloves - thoughts with you and your family] dealing with a real life issue? The initiative, drive, dedication and creativity these sites and this community has shown is amazing. They deserve a developer worthy of their support. Where before have you seen so much backing from a community for a game that from a critical standpoint, tanked?

Monday, October 7, 2013

Where Dust 514 Went Wrong [part 3]

 In the final part of our look back at the mistakes Dust made, we look at the decisions made regarding Open World, Strategy, Social Aspects, Variety and Core FPS mechanics. The bevy of features and stellar gameplay using all of these aspects in a casual game [GTA Online] means the time for CCPs excuses has run out. The company had the market cornered on Persistent Shooters with customization and economy less than two years ago, but Rockstar recently used the same format and did a considerably better job. Know this, they wont be the last developer to do so. CCPs ideas for deep gameplay are in the open now.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Where Dust 514 Went Wrong [part 2]

Our first piece detailing the missteps made with Dust certainly made the rounds. Evenews24 is kind enough to repost our pieces and some of the comments and feedback on their comments section were relevant, accurate and provided good insight. To many, at the heart of much of the problem was the fact that CCP promised big but delivered tiny. One fan said 'There's a mysterious, inexplicable, and hideous disconnect between the vision that they hyped and the product they've created. To be on the receiving end of that makes me feel a little violated.'  

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

A Response to 'Where Dust Went Wrong'

Recently we decided to add a voice to this 'Where Dust Went Wrong' series for more balance. We were amazed at much of the dialogue it generated. Some considered it scathing, but most interpreted it as the relevant but honest and necessary piece it was intended as. Dennie Fleetfoot of Dust University has decided to be kind enough to provide his opinion here as well. We decided he was a good selection as he has access to a smorgasbord of opinions from casual players and has been a fixture in the community. 

He agreed with many of our points, but also disagreed with some. Keep reading for his thoughts on Dusts quality, Aiming and Matchmaking and his predictions two years ago.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Where Dust 514 Went Wrong [part 1]

As the numbers of active Dust players continue to fall many will notice our blog has shifted into what can be done to improve the game. Why? In hopes that the issues preventing player retention and game growth can be resolved. Telling the stories of New Eden is nice, but is useless with the game still badly in need of better gameplay and more variety of experience. We cant in good conscience write about the dominant forces in Planetary Conquest when so many core aspects of the game are still broken or missing. We've seen the effects of this honesty take shape. Our last interview request [which we made over a month ago] with CCP has still gone unanswered. A CCP Dev has even blocked us on Twitter. We're unmoved however, while legions of 'yes men' may line up to tell CCP 'good job' by refusing to ask the hard questions, we have consistently criticized the poorer aspects of this game, which to date has been universally rejected by not only gaming media but also casual, hardcore and EVE players.

Anyone who is telling you 'everything is alright' is lying.There has always been a vocal troll element wishing for Dust to fail for one reason or another, that group has a twin that sings CCPs praises regardless of missteps. There has also been a reasonable group of gamers that want to see the game succeed but are willing to be critics when necessary, we consider ourselves part of the latter and we feel this group is critical to providing balance.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

New Battle Contracts

Dust 514 is innovative in many ways; its connection to a PC MMO, the level of depth in character building, and its overall ambition. In many ways however, it is far from being original or compelling. One of such areas that Dust 514 is lacking is the battle contracts, or "game modes" it offers. Right now all we have are neutral point capture modes, and team deathmatches. This blog entry will highlight possible battle contracts that I believe should be added to make Dust a more compelling gameplay experience.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Hardcore Gamers leaving Dust?

 Many have recently predicted the demise of Dust 514. We dont agree, but there are several obvious core issues that have yet to be addressed for a game that has [shockingly] had a retail launch. The problem is that many natives are growing restless. Player numbers are dropping and the CCP strategy of 2,5 and 10 year roadmaps that works well on PC, is failing horribly with console players. More concerning is the fact that the patience of many in the hardcore playerbase seems to have reached its limit. These players are CCP supporters but now are wondering whether the game is still a place for them, as a nasty crop of questionable-at-best casual mechanics has crept into the game. With no word from CCP, they have no clue whether shameful elements like the cartoony LAV issues [aptly named Mariokart 514] are issues they intend on fixing or working as intended.

Its certainly not doomsday as we havent even seen a major marketing push, but CCP needs to address these issues before they spiral out of control. A recent poll showed bugs, technical issues and poor FPS mechanics as players chief complaint. Many recent changes have also tuned weapons with the unskilled player in mind rather than the skilled one. This breaks the game and fails at the core because if the average skilled player can get 30 kills with a Flaylock, the skilled player can triple that. This is the reason noob tubes in any form is a bad idea. Right now the forums are a wasteland of negative threads and shitposting that would turn away any new player curious about the Dust 514 experience. Now is the time to communicate and resolve this, as it may be too late in the coming months.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Destiny will push Dust

 We watched the Destiny gameplay reveal last night and wow, what a truly beautiful game. Bungie nailed its look, feel, even the little things like how the weapon was placed in first-person [so that it felt like you were truly holding it] or the great environments and even the birds. A game with this much detail isn't often massive, but what Destiny may lack in size it easily makes up for in visuals. Amazing how a game with so little lore already makes you almost feel its backstory. For all its lore, Dust does so little to capitalize on it or make the user care.

CCP has to be careful here. Bungie is effectively the rookie playing the same position as them who just took one back to the house.

Monday, June 10, 2013

FPS 101: Reward Player Aim & Skill

Dust is a game that defies and rejects many of the cheaper, dated and bad mechanics of FPS past [hopefully murder taxis will join the list of past mechanics very soon] At the same time its core FPS mechanics could use some upgrading. While we anticipate this and framerate being resolved, A very worthy recent thread on the forums by C Saunders recently remarked on the way contact grenades are hurting gameplay. The thread had overwhelming support [29 likes as of press time] so why are people so up in arms regarding them? In our opinion its because Dust has set a hard line against easy, cheap kill mechanics. When these elements exist they stick out like a sore thumb.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Dust finally getting a functional tutorial?

This CPM post on the Dust forums is evidence that CCP may be finally focusing on a detailed and deep New Player Experience that matches that of the Dust 514 experience. We've gone on the record countless times [like here, here and even here] explaining the need for a functional NPE [the current one is embarrassingly shallow and asks too much learning by osmosis] that not only shows off the depth, lore and originality of this game, but also insures that players know how to be successful.

Its folly to expect players to turn off their consoles, leave the boundaries of the game and go to Youtube, a Users Manual or Wiki website to learn how to play Dust 514. In this day and age players simply won't do it and its unreasonable. We love Dust University and Bojos School but no developer should ever leave it up to the playerbase to train new players. Only social players or those open to learning benefit from this, you cripple anti-social and autonomous players when you do this. We wont beat a dead horse too much but to launch without a proper tutorial cripples the ability for this game to grow, and this decision was inexcusable. Titles should include a seamless experience where everything involved in learning how to prosper should be available to the new player.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

GNN Acquires Secret STB & IMPs Transcripts

Is there a coordinated attack coming on Cronos? Is Kane Spero the mastermind? Was EON strong armed by Negative Feedback? What is STBs role? You be the judge.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Quickgloves: We fight to the last man

'A true SVER Blood breeds greatness. They are infused within our ranks with a sense of self-worth. We are the brethren of brotherhood. We are the LOYAL. We are the PROUD. We are the final few that choose to stand against the mighty. We are the few that will not yield. We will not back down.


-Emergency Transmission from STB Leader Quickgloves from an undisclosed location on SVER Prime.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

What if the Templar Event....

Had a bit more structure.

Imagine for a moment the Templars and their allies spawning on one side of a large map [with an urban environment in the center] and those hunting them spawned on the other. The job of the Templars and their allies? To escape via one of three extraction points on the map where a Bolas lands after the extract point is hacked and a signal sent to summon it.

The job of the hunters would be to eliminate the Templars. The kicker? The Templars each have but a single life [after dead they can only spectate] and when all are eliminated or evacuated the match ends. If 60% of the Templar escape, the extraction team is victorious, If not? The Hunters win.

With structure like this, it could add more variety to the experience and wouldnt simply be Ambush or Skirmish with Templars thrown in. Its a solid game, but Dust 514 suffers from a bit of 'sameness' and 'blandness' of experience and spicing things up could excite the playerbase.

Friday, May 31, 2013

Reviewers issue challenge to CCP

The Gametrailers review trashed Dust 514, giving it a 44 out of 100 and saying it wasn't worth your time. IGN wasnt much kinder, saying the game was a disappointment, lacked a solid foundation and rating the game a 5.8. While we dont agree with either completely, both reviews brought up aspects of the game that need improving in a very short time period. In our opinion, CCP can use these subpar reviews as fuel and a roadmap on what to focus on.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Quickgloves on the offensive vs Imperfects

 Recently we sat down with the STB leader Quickgloves, regarding how he was able to defeat the Imperfects and assemble a Coalition of players to fight against the threat of the Negative Feedback Alliance and their allies.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Add The Logi Frames

 'I am shocked and appalled. Did they just xerox the assault frame, paint it yellow and call it the Gallente Logi? I hope the art team is as pissed as I am. I feel cheated! Tell me this is getting fixed down the road and the different racial versions of the Logi and a true Minmatar Assault are getting added.' -Prius Vecht

DISCLAIMER: While we accept that gameplay and balance are priority, visual elements are important. The specific styles of each race are one of the things that helps Dust avoid the blandness of most shooters. The decision was made recently to save time before launch and to use the same designs of for all medium frame suits. We understand that back end connection and core gameplay issues have precedence, but Dust struggles right now in its variety. Lets see the specific Logi frames for each race [in addition to a true Minmatar Assault frame] added to the games library.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Resource Based Warfare

In the hallowed annals of warfare history, the battle of Thermopylae is revered by many because of the audacity of the Spartans. Three hundred of them died attempting to take on insurmountable odds, by holding a position against the near endless Persian Army. For three days the Spartans held a narrow pass against what was allegedly an army of 1M. Similarly, a week ago in New Eden, Hellstorm mercs found themselves badly outnumbered by Betamax operatives and many clones were lost, but they were able to triumph.

Few would argue that wars take resources. One look at veteran EVE corporations will show you that they have more money than they could spend in ten lifetimes. Finances should work to the advantage of those that have them, in a number of ways. We see making ISK important to Dust battlefields as another way to pay homage to the longtime EVE Corporations, by recognizing their embarrassing amounts of riches when it comes to the funding of war. At the same time, Dust should offer alternatives to the legacy issue where the power blocs have what is effectively limitless income. It would be nice to see an EVE to Dust tax rate high enough to easily have them operating at a loss if they feel the need to throw money at ground conflicts frivolously. Let the ISK flow we say.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

PFBHz finished?

Recent intel suggests the mercenary group known as the PFBHZ has crumbled. Many of the details are shrouded in mystery but it appears that a rash of PC losses has sapped the groups confidence and splintered the membership. Some of the details are as follows: A lack of performance has caused the CEO to step down, a skill level division between two core groups that merged [PFB and the BHZ] caused a schism down the center, a leadership void allowed the corp wallet to be looted and now the corp famous for their toppling of The Imperfects and leaving the Open Trials as the highest rated mercenary corporation..Is a rudderless ship.

GNN will continue to mine our sources for details and get quotes from those involved. More details will be provided as soon as they are available.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Delta Force takes grisly trophy

At approximately 12:20 yesterday morning, the frozen body of Imperfects CEO KANE SPERO was found floating above the planet of Hrober 5. Spero’s ship and pod were both destroyed just 2 hours earlier by Orion Empire pilot LoneWolf Gargoil.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Betamax Striketeam Infiltrates Red Guards

Grezkev uploaded his dropsuit selection from the terminal at his locker. He chose his favorite Mass Driver and then double checked his grenades and sidearm choices. A moment later he felt the Mobile Command Center hit its intertia dampeners. He lurched forward slightly and then secured his nanite injector his right hip.

He could hear nervous banter from some of the other members of the Red Guards. Their mercenary corporation had taken heavy losses in the Tartatven campaign. The area was one of the bloodiest most contested regions in New Eden and morale among the mercs was low.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Vehicle Tuning: LAV

We like the way Dust 514 refuses to support cheap gameplay. Beginning snipers, for example, are support players. Any discussion about snipers in Dust will be filled with tears by snipers used to 'easy' mechanics for the lack of one shot kills and the scope sway in this title. The game demands that you be an actual skilled sniper and not simply a person trying to quick scope, or interact as little as possible away from the battle to boost your KDR. The reload times, limited ammo, movement penalties and fire rates on other high damage weapons show this same pattern. Plasma Launchers, Flaylock Pistols, Forge Guns and thankfully now even Mass Drivers are balanced so they will not reward players with the cheap kills so often seen in FPS.

We were delighted to see how CCP engaged the community when Cloaking Device discussion started. The devs wanted to know what elements we wanted to see. Many players were fearful of traits of Cloaks they had seen in past games and wanted to make sure the campaign against cheap mechanics was still in place. We applaud this. So with all of this consistency, its baffling to consider how poorly current LAVs [now affectionately known as Murder Taxis] have been balanced.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Dust 514 Launches!

5.14 was the day! After over a year in beta CCP finally took the top off and launched the second window into the New Eden galaxy. We couldn't be more excited. PC took off like a rocket as all of the districts were seized within 10 minutes. Don't think EVE players didnt take notice.

Attacks were plenty and the next two days will be full of warfare and spent ISK. Be sure to enjoy it. We will update as much a we can in real time via our Twitter Account if you don't follow us already? You need to.

We also wrote a Metacritic Review. If you enjoy your experiences in Dust 514 you should as well. Its important to support worthy products by giving good feedback about them. Here's the link:

Be well, Mercs.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Downfall... or One foot on the banana peel, one foot in the grave!


     Well, it was a long wait and it's finally over... and as the dust settles (HA!)  it's become painfully apparent that the stuff I posted last year has come true: the game is too hard, the community can't handle it and the devs won't be sticking with their original team oriented, hardcore mentality. 514 has become that which it claimed it would never be: SpaceCOD.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Mega Alliance Merger?

A source inside CRONOS sent us information regarding a merger between CRONOS and The Orion Empire for conquest within the Molden Heath region.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Weapon Tuning: The Tactical AR

The first rule of FPS is very simple: If there is an overpowered weapon or piece of equipment? USE IT. Case in point the Tactical AR. It is currently making its rounds as the current flavor of the month weapon. The worse part of the dominant weapon phenomenon is that it feeds into the copycat nature of online players. In no time everyone uses the weapon as a means to simply keep up, killing weapon variety entirely. Now its supporters will do anything to hold onto its current power level, but the facts are these: Its currently a weapon with extremely high damage, rate of fire, range all while having outstanding hip fire [which is mind boggling with it being a scoped weapon]. In a nutshell its perfect.

We tested it in Ambush on a character with a little over 500K SP and zero points in sharpshooter. We used the sight initially but after realizing we didnt need to, we were able to easily dominate CQC and engage long range targets with the scope when the opportunity presented itself.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Suit Tuning: The Logi

Does the Logi Suit need some tuning? Many say yes. Before anything else classes must first have the ability to perform the functions they were intended to do. Take the assault for instance: It has solid range, protection, movement and can carry an assortment of equipment. The recon suit has unreal movement and it has shields that make stick and move style tactics possible. The heavy is a slow moving, slow turning tank with high DPS. There are certain traits CCP has hard coded into the game through stats. The recon suit is limited by its low protection and while the Assault is solid in all areas, it is master of none. It is very strong in mid-range engagements but it can't deliver damage like the Heavy in the short area and is neither as protected or as fast as its counterparts.

So what are the Logis strengths? It too is balanced but favors more of a support role. While it can certainly kill targets, its protection doesnt allow it the raw front line protection of the Heavy or Assault but it makes up for this by providing ammo, healing and other indirect methods to assist the mercs under its watch. Would we allow the Heavy to dart around the battlefield like a recon? Can a scout lay down suppressing fire with an HMG? Could an assault player soak up damage like a Heavy? No, CCP has taken the steps to allow customization, but within certain limits that stay true to the function of each class. The question presents itself then, if the Logi can use its PG/CPU to be the ultimate DPS or tank with movement, what exactly are the Heavy and Assault suit for? Recently, Chankk Saotome of SYN offered up a post that shocked many and started some necessary balance discussion.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Uprising Hits & Misses

'How could you nerf my dropsuit-weapon-vehicle??' We wonder if the devs ignore post like these as most intelligent people do. Posts where people cry about how theyve been wronged because their favorite weapon was nerfed and how it must be CCPs intent to screw them over [specifically of course] always fall on deaf ears to us. The devs have to consider the whole library and big picture rather than a single weapon when they make changes. Take the Minmatar HMG for a moment: Consider for a moment that if all holds true to EVE canon, the Minmatar HMG will probably be third in pure damage to the Gallente and Amarr variants. This could have been an impetus for lowering the HMG damage. Because it has to be slotted correctly when compared to the others and they dont want to be forced to give us a Gallente proto HMG that does 26 damage per round.

We're just extrapolating here but we think you get the point. The devs have also mentioned that they use metrics, and not a vocal minority, or some silly knee jerk reaction when tuning the game. This is great to know, as data is more trustworthy than players with a clear bias for or against a certain weapon or piece of equipment. Imagine how difficult it is to tune the Heavy suit, tune it too harshly and it can't fulfill its role, too easily and its unstoppable. Its always been our assertion that you cannot tune weaponry with the unskilled user in mind, because then the skilled user breaks the game. You must also tune with the exploiter in mind. Most have noticed the influx of Tactical ARs with this update. We're happy to see it become a viable weapon again, but CCP has to keep an eye on the Modded Controller Contingent who have always sought to abuse this weapon. It may be a good idea to hard code its fire rate into the game to prevent it from becoming a long range, high damage, high ROF weapon that has no peer. But enough about that, in this piece we look at Uprising, what things stand out, need tweaking and what is absent. Keep reading for the details.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Cerebral Wolf Executed!

No one knows if the Goonswarm has acquired the tech to permakill previously immortal clone soldiers, or whether there is a surviving clone of the infamous former Immobile Infantry CEO skulking around in the shadows somewhere. What we do know is that GSF CEO The Mittani ordered the execution of the man known as Cerebral Wolf two days ago as a result of him botching his planetbound duties.

Talking Community Issues with the CPM

On the heels of their PC Victory [getting PC set back to launch day] forum poster Prius Vecht recently posed a variety of hot topic questions to members of the CPM. We recognize the value of seeing what their point of view is as these are the individuals tasked with helping chart the path of the game in its first year. They must not only represent the community to the devs but must assist in the decisions that will improve the game.

Some may even run for the CPM next year, if so its pretty important for the community to know their views on things like the AFK Phenomenon, The Mass Driver, Friendly Fire and even Breach Weapons. These could be the very platforms they run on in the future. We've collected answers so far from Iron Wolf Saber and Cazaderon. Hopefully Hanz Jagerblitzen, Kane Spero, Nova Knife and Jenza will chime in at some point. Read below for their answers.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Fanfest Breakdown

Dust 514 fans are excited for good reason after Fanfest. We received the most information to date and even got to see much of the future road map and things to come. CEO Pyrex did a great job here of breaking down much of what was seen in a short version. CCP already has all of the Dust keynotes on twitch as well and we will link them below, keep in mind its a much longer version.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Fanfest is almost here!

If youre like us you are ridiculously excited about Fanfest 2013. CCP is expected to give fans tons of info about New Edens second decade and celebrate the first ten years. Here's the Twitch TV link so that you can watch for free, but of course there is also an HD stream you can purchase as well.


Follow us on Twitter for our live updates, and be sure to read after Fanfest for our post event breakdowns and opinions on all the great info!

Friday, April 19, 2013

What about the Fighter Aircraft?

The moment occurred way back at EVE Fanfest 2009, but it was something that made players take notice. The recently announced MMOFPS that would be tied together with EVE, Dust 514, had just revealed Fighter Aircraft. And although the dev who piloted it crashed twenty seconds after takeoff, the implications were obvious. The speed of the fighter, VTOL capability, the altitude it flew at [which was much higher than the tallest structures on the map] and the fact that it would probably have an assortment of weaponry options meant that it would be a force to be reckoned with. Here's a link to the footage if you havent seen it.

The only problem is that four years later, FA still have yet to make their appearance to the dismay of a large percentage of players. With its speed and the potential array of weapons, the FA is the dream of many Dust 514 mercs who are also skilled pilots. We wonder however, if air combat and ground combat will be separated like the are in Battlefield. While FA can attack tanks and other aircraft in BF3 its difficult for them to attack infantry. If FA retain VTOL like we've seen in past footage, however, they could be a nightmare for those of us with boots on the ground.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Balancing Tanks

Its obvious to anyone who plays Dust 514 that its a shooter cut from a different mold than any you often see in the genre. Take snipers for instance, historically a one shot kill weapon in most games, in Dust, snipers are more of a 'wounding' weapon until leveled up considerably. Even then, the mechanics like scope sway and small clip size punish poor marksmen who seek out the sniper role as a means of getting easy kills with little risk. Racking up cheap kills just isnt going to happen.

For this reason, the tank is puzzling. The Dust 514 HAV is easily the most dominant vehicle we have seen in the FPS landscape, it crushes new players and non-AV savvy veterans alike. AV fits almost have to be dedicated to their destruction or they can control an entire battlefield. Some of the fault lies on past shooters where players were trained that a specific amount of RPGs or mines would destroy or cripple a tank. This is anything but true in Dust where every tank experience is unique and each must first be identified, sized up and then focused on. We are curious why the decision was made to require team coordination to destroy a tank, but not to operate one.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Should Orbitals be limited by Warpoints?

With Planetary Conquest on the horizon, we got to thinking about the role that EVE players will play. Simple question: If the Goons park twenty ships in the orbit of the planet I own in null sec, should their ability to fire on the surface be dependent on good ground forces? Think about it. Can the effectiveness of those ships be hampered by average or poor mercenaries? What if they have no ground forces and are just there to raze the planet? I realize the implications are scary for Dust mercenaries but we say NO. They should be limited by the presence of ship killing weapons, firing rate, ammunition costs and proper intel from the surface [so they aren't firing on allies, areas with no targets or their own assets] but not by War Points. Yeah we said it. We believe EVE players need a proper amount of respect and privilege for being the progenitors of New Eden and we believe it starts here. Where is 'here' exactly? Here is giving them an inherent advantage based on experience, currency and the best elevated position money can buy: Being In Space.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

AWOL! Deserter!

Its amazing what exploits players come up with when they learn the mechanics in a title. One of the interesting player work-arounds that we have seen in Dust 514 is the AFK MCC Behavior, while fleeing from games that are going badly is a time-honored tradition in most shooters, we see it at an especially high rate in Dust because of the persistence of finite gear.

The thing to remember in these situations is that mercs are accepting contracts for hire in these instances but are essentially going AWOL and Deserting after agreeing to fight for the contract holder. From a lore point of view this has to be resolved. Gameplay has to provide a deterrent for people who try to exploit gameplay mechanics by leaving battles to avoid the loss of assets. It must also address those mercs who accept employment, then refuse to deploy for battle but attempt to reap the rewards afterwards.

Monday, April 8, 2013

CCP: Don't be seduced by CoD

"As much as I find CoD laughably horrible. I think its needed. Not every shooter can be original or different or even good. Like most forms of entertainment there is a spectrum of stuff. CoD just happens to land on the below average, shitty side of that spectrum. Its equivalent to Hannah Montana, Vanilla Ice, Milli Vanilli or Justin Beiber. Plus, what do you expect from a game that spends more money on marketing than actually making it? The real problem started when everyone in the industry started trying to copy CoD and make easy, instant gratification games. That's when innovation died and CoD helped set the genre back ten years."

-poster from PC Gamer Article

This article by PC Gamer is flat out one of the best, most honest and accurate pieces we've ever read. It touches on the key reasons why the industry's obsession with creating easy, casual games has done more to hurt the FPS genre than anything else. We agree completely, and it inspired us to write a piece that begs CCP not to cater to casual in a way that waters down the core Dust 514 game.

Friday, April 5, 2013

GNN: Serpentis augments forces with Drones?

As CONCORD closed in on a Serpentis Safehouse last night, an apparently secured crimescene turned into a warzone as the criminals inside activated roughly twenty TK-70 drones that attacked authorities and covered their escape. While all of the drones were eventually destroyed, there were numerous injuries and one casualty among the CONCORD agents.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

The Return of the Single Death Game Mode

Cometus dashed into the room as plasma rounds perforated the wall behind him. He instantly rolled into a crouch and softly lobbed a 'cooked' locus grenade into the doorway behind him as he turned. The STB operative following him was stopped in his tracks and torn to bits by the explosion. Burnt flesh, bits of armor and other organic matter splattered the doorway. Scratch Three. There were only five members of Senator Bennacus' merc protection detail remaining. Cometus waited anxiously for a moment with his rifle pointed at the site of the explosion, but the doorway stayed empty. "Fuck." he thought to himself. He had been sloppy and tripped an alarm when he tried to quietly eliminate the first merc. Now he was in a brawl with a team of heavily armed professionals he had clearly underestimated. Worse, he only had about ten minutes before their reinforcements got here. The senator and five mercs in ten minutes? Six dead people was no problem, but he had lost stealth and the element of surprise. This was a back-alley fight now, and it wasn't going to be a cakewalk.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

GNN: Duvolle Labs manufacturing EMP Grenades

Duvolle Labs is apparently beginning testing for their newest creation: EMP Grenades. These devices use a low level EMP discharge that disrupts the visual centers of dropsuits without the proper shielding. Corporation Spokeman Yatis Glenn had this to say "We believe the EMP Disruptor Grenade provides the infantry clone with a necessary asset that can be used to disorient and better neutralize their enemy." While the megacorp seems confident the devices have a niche, its yet to be seen if they have a use in modern warfare.

Monday, April 1, 2013

The Ides of May

At last, we officially have a date for Dust 514's new content. At last, now we know when the most significant improvement in the game's history will be here. The anticipation is there, but also a bit of pressure. If large portions of the game arent 'playable' or the core game isnt firmly established, many players could be drawn to more 'complete' games. This is dangerous because there is no guarantee players that leave will ever return. The arrival of titles like Defiance, GTA and many others loom large, so this update must provide the most solid foundation in Dust 514's short history.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

PFBHz Intercepts PRO ISK Shipment

Sources are reporting that last night a Planetary Response Organization cruiser shipment carrying between 300-600M ISK to a holding corporation facility, was intercepted by a striketeam of highly trained PFBHz operatives. No one is sure how PFBHz obtained the intel or intended route of the cruiser, but within minutes they boarded the vessel, killed the entire crew including the protection detail and made off with a considerable amount of currency. Normally this amount of ISK is escorted by a flotilla of ships but for some untold reason PRO chose to go with a skeleton crew and small protection detail of mercs.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Glimpse: Into the Breach

'I venture into the unknown, alone. I brave the dark depths, unafraid. I will complete my goals and objectives unencumbered by those who would seek to stop me, and will emerge victorious. None can do my job but me. I procure the information that is not easily attained. I am a Scout. '

--Scout's Creed, Unknown

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

GNN: Reflex Enhancer Coming?

- Lai Dai corporations Reflex Enhancer available next year?

The revolutionary drug reported to significantly enhance quick twitch reflexes and reaction time in clones is said to have completed its testing phase. According to Lai Dai spokesmen the highly anticipated muscle enhancer will be available on the market next year. Several mercenary corporations swore by the 'beefed up' early versions of the drug which were available to clones during the first phase of Mordu's Private Trials. Side effects were said to be minimal.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Is the Heavy becoming Obsolete?

While 'Heavy Suits are OP' was a popular theme in the first two builds, no one says that anymore. That would be just fine, but now there are complaints of the suit being ineffective in higher tiers. Recently discussion has focused on their excessive cost and low efficiency as they improve. So is the Heavy Obsolete? The very thread that sparked  the discussion here acknowledges that a proper fix to stacking penalties may resolve many of the Heavy's so called 'issues'. As always, player skill will always have the biggest impact, and for that reason developers must tune with the skilled player in mind. Because if the skilled player is given too many advantages he breaks the game. Its quite possible that proper stacking penalties may fix the current damage disparity between heavies and other suits as they improve, but we decided to look at a few other options to keep it relevant but balanced.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Keep Gaming & Reality Separate

Disclaimer: This piece is unlike anything you will normally see on our blog. But in response to a particularly disgusting email we recently received under the guise of news, we felt the need to address the seeking out and publishing of intensely private and personal info by some in the playerbase. This is a form of cyber-stalking and will never be welcome on our blog.

Our blog has often been accused of being a gossip rag and of trying to foster conflict between certain groups. Our response is always the same. 'We report the news of New Eden.' Point of fact, New Eden does not include the personal lives of the people behind the many online avatars. In gaming, there's a line that should not be crossed and it starts with anything that ventures into the real lives of players. Recently we have seen a rash of Dust & EVE conflicts that have spilled over into the real world and we find this both disgusting and unbelievable. Some of you have most certainly lost your way.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Interview: Cerebral Wolf

Our first introduction to the man known as Cerebral Wolf was confrontational to say the least. But after he learned our brand of media couldn't be intimidated, bribed or threatened we decided to settle on less adversarial relationship. Well known for his love of all things GSF, In this piece he sits down with us to explain his position with The Goons, his view on KDR, Stats and his promise that the infamous mercenary known as Protoman will get 'schooled in due time'.