CCP has finally given us an idea of what EVE Online’s console cousin DUST 514 actually is – and thrown a bit of boasting in there, too.
“It is the deepest shooter with the richest universe ever conceived,” executive producer Brandon Laurino told the US PS Blog when asked about DUST 514 – but the braggin’ didn’t stop there.
“There have been attempts to bring MMO games to consoles in the past but we believe we’re now in a position to do it properly, using existing features on PS3 and the PlayStation Network, and collaboratively developing new features to support our vision.
“We’re breaking so much ground with DUST 514: we’re not only building a full console MMO; we’re building one that feeds into another MMO on a completely different platform [PC]. We’re breaking more ground by bringing the microtransaction business model to a console shooter for the first time. All of this was inconceivable not too long ago.”
Having established his dominance, Laurino gave a better description of how the game interacts with its space-faring relative, EVE Online. Both games share a single shard server, literally interacting inside the same universe.
“With a huge variety of dynamics and interdependencies within the ecosystem of the sandbox we’ve created – people playing DUST 514 and people playing EVE Online are essentially providing user generated content for each other, just by their sheer presence and their actions in the game world,” he explained.
“To give an example, for a player fighting on a planet surfaces in DUST 514, the actions of the EVE Online players can trigger epic moments and provide support that is completely user-driven. Similarly, a DUST 514 player could trigger an event from the ground and do something spectacular in EVE Online.”
The game plays out in two way, as “a vehicular combat game on an extremely large scale” and a typical squad shooter.
“Typically, you would use vehicles to traverse the landscape and engage in closer combat when you deploy into outposts, but there is a huge amount of tactical freedom, way outside of those broad examples,” Laurino said,
While players will have access to some typical shooter tropes like clases, the EVE ONline paradigm means characters can be customised with anyu and all equipment, allowing for unique play styles.
No release date for the PlayStation 3 exclusive or beta has been set, but CCP alreayd have plans in place. To avoid the problem of hundreds of DUST 514 players suddenly unbalancing EVE Online, the beta will introduce small numbers of players at once, to live test the system’s integration.
“We’re not calling it a Beta, but Private Trials,” Laurino said, “In both the real world and the EVE fiction – we’re not taking the usual ‘on off’ method of rolling out a build and then taking it back and tweaking it, then rolling it out again.
“When we roll out with those first few users we are introducing mercenary technology to EVE, our “’ame as a service begins’, and the story will continue from there as that technology develops, further empowering the DUST 514 mercenaries from test subjects in war games to ultimately allowing them to take hold of their own future. It’s what we call a thematic rollout.”