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.