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.

When the latest patch update notes one segment related to vehicles gave us pause: 

Militia LAVs - 60% more hp
Std & Scout LAVs - 50% more hp
Charybdis Logistics LAV - 70% more hp
Limbus Logistics LAV - 40% more hp

Why? Because we saw cheap gameplay mechanics incoming. Anytime Logistics LAVs rival militia HAVs in total health it won't end well. Early on in beta most reasonable players addressed the issue of an LAV impact being a one hit kill [especially since HAV impacts are not lethal]. In a game where the clone soldiers have shields, armor and can survive a headshot from a sniper rifle that utilizes RAIL tech this is odd. But the arguments of how 'fun' and 'lulzy' it was prevailed. Our problem has always been the same. There are no one shot kills in Dust. Your target is only dead after you exceed their total health. Sadly even slow LAV impacts zero out both shields and armor instantly. Then there is the issue of free LAVs. We addressed this months ago right after closed beta. The prospect of 'free' goes against everything that is New Eden. While giving mercs instant access to vehicles is fine. But each should have a cost associated just like everything else, subtract the cost after the battle if necessary. The real problem now, is that LAVs are now one of the biggest threats to infantry in gameplay. They drive around the battlefield instantly killing mercs they impact with [regardless of speed] and reduce gameplay to comical levels. Is this what we want Dust to become? Mocked and laughed at as a sick version of Clown Cars in Space? The forums is flooded with threads about how resistant LAVs are to leveled up AV weaponry. What gives here? Now it takes three advanced level grenades to destroy a free LAV? Please tell me you see the problem here.

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We hope something is done and soon. This type of cheap gameplay can't continue if Dust is to be taken seriously. New Eden is known for its organization, economics, politics, intrigue and betrayal. This window into the EVE Universe can't be laughworthy if its to be associated with one of the most highly regarded IPs in gaming. LAV impacts should have a fixed damage that is directly tied to their speed. And if any vehicle should have lethal impacts it is the HAV. Autokills are a no-no. Also, the total health of LAVs should also return to the previous levels.

As always, we'll continue to attempt to help push 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,


  1. good point about HAVs

  2. free lavs finally came back to bite you CCP.

  3. Agree with this 1000%.

  4. yep +1 here , tired of seeing guys just go round and round in circles running over all , simple temp solution get laying those prox mines !

  5. bumpers cars 514!!!

  6. where's my tactical shooter CCP? this isnt GTA. Embarrassing.

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  8. I personally suspect that free LAVs will be removed when the "speeders" (one man transportation vehicles) are implemented.

    I also suspect that speeders will probably have more issues when it comes to running people over, and may be mutually destroyed when they hit a dropsuit.

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