Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Space Elevator Music and "DUST514? Meh!"

Hilmar Tweeted yesterday about a space elevator. You can also find the picture on the Facebook pages of Eve-O and DUST514 now.... or here.....

My initial, and fairly random, thought was - what sort of elevator music do you get in a space elevator? Then I got thinking about the Family Guy parody of A New Hope where they have an elevator version of the Imperial March playing in the lift in the Death Star as Han, Luke and Chewie are heading to the detention level.

No? You're right, probably isn't appropriate for Eve. So I suggested on Twitter that the space elevator should be playing Beneath the Asteroids covered in an elevator music style. @Heimdall_EVEO picked up on this tweet in A BIG WAY. So ladies and gentlemen, follow this link for the elevator version of the classic Eve background music!

Obviously this all links into DUST514 which is getting more and more attention. But not from me....

I'm not really gripped by DUST514. I've not played the beta, and I'm not really bothered about playing the beta. I gave my Fanfest code away. It was even available to play at Fanfest, but I didn't bother. It's a FPS and whilst I do play FPS's, I do it very casually. Boot up the XBox, play a couple of games of domination on Call of Duty, switch off the XBox.

Now don't get me wrong, I want DUST to succeed. Success for DUST is success for CCP which in turn is success for Eve. I just really struggle to see where the player base is going to come from. How will DUST compete with Battle Field, Call of Duty and the many others that litter this over-populated genre? Yes it's going to be free to download, but is that a good thing, or a bad thing? The phrase "Triple A" was mentioned so many times at Fanfest in reference to DUST I think The Mittani was playing the "Triple A" drinking game where he took a shot every time someone mentioned that phrase. It would explain the alliance panel session! But let me ask you, what in life is AAA grade AND free? We all know what CCP are doing, but will the "It is free therefore it cannot be that good" mentality affect player numbers?

Is DUST just going to be full of Eve players bringing a whole new meaning to the phrase "dual boxing"? Will your average FPS player on the Playstation network be put off by the depth and customisation in DUST when they are used to equipping a big gun, a small gun or launcher, an explodey thing, a flash or smoke grenade and an equipment thingy and that is it. The anticipated new players that Eve will get crossing over from DUST on the PS3, will they stick around or will the majority of them be "insta-gratification" types who will be put off by the long-haul of Eve character development. That is a lot of questions with very few answers until the game is released.

Personally, I'm awaiting the full game's release and feedback from the player-base before I try it. If the feedback is positive then may be I'll get a PS3 ("Honey, I've bought you a Blu-Ray player so you can watch your chick-flicks in high definition.") based on the reviews. We will see.

But how could CCP get me more interested?

Orbital Bombardment
Yes this feature is still being developed. Current thinking is that you'll park a BS or destroyer in orbit with a "orbital bombardment computer thingy" module, activate that and fire. But will that be it? Bit boring TBH for us in space isn't it? I want to see the fruits of my labours! I want to see mahoosive fire-balls with DUST-Bunnies flying through the air, flailing their arms and screaming for their mummy! I want EXPLOSIONS! Can this be done? Could be have some form of graphical representation of the carnage we are causing below? Or are we just going to be left with a view of our projectiles streaking towards the planet and the thought that even mining allows you to see your shot actually hit something? Ooooooo killmails please?

Atmospheric Fighters
Now this is probably far too much of a technical challenge, but what if Eve Online pilots could enter the battlefield? A carrier would need to be parked at the planet where the fight is kicking off. It could enter a sort of "siege" type cycle allowing the following to happen and making that carrier vulnerable at the same time. A capsuleer approaches the carrier, stores his current ship and swaps it for a Atmospheric Fighter. Swapping ships in this way leads to like an undocking session change, one minute you are in space, next you are flying just above the battleground. Obviously you can shoot at the DUST-Bunnies down below, but the issue is that the Dust-Bunnies can shoot back at you. Think surface-to-air launchers in COD. The big problem for capsuleers being that pods cannot fly in the atmosphere so if they hit you, you are going to plummet to earth and end up like Humpty Dumpty! Insta-podding! I'm also thinking proper piloted ships, not the "click and go" we have in Eve. Think the Wing Commander series, especially WCIII - The Heart of the Tiger which had atmospheric flying missions. Like I said, the technical challenge to have a PC player flying a fighter above a battle zone on the PS3 is probably insurmountable. But if it was possible, how cool would that be?

A lot of Eve players are here for the Sci-Fi. The lore, the background the technobabble. Spaceships, warp drivers, lasers! We love that shit! We used to get regular chronicles expanding the Eve universe and delving into the lore, background and history. Now they are only occasional and only when there is something to promote like a fresh expansion. If CCP were firing out more chronicles, pulling me deeper in, it might get me more interested. These days CCP appear to rely on the players to do this, but it's not the same. Anyone can write some crappy fan-fiction. What we want is excellent CCP canon. We want reference material, interesting tales involving the Eve universe, stories which are not just which null-sec alliance has kicked another null-sec alliance in the balls. We want geeky stuffz! Yes I read Templar One thanks to the lovely Sindel Pellion, but I want more! MOAR I SAY! MOAR! CCP give me DUST514 material that expands on the Eve-O universe and I will get sucked into DUST514 more, I promise!

Now in the above I use terms such as "I" and "me". Obviously I'm using this term loosely to describe a much wider base of Eve obsessed Sci-Fi geeks who are "meh" about DUST. Surely I cannot be the only one!

I wish I was more interested in DUST519, but as it stands at the minute, I'm just meh. May be nearly the launch date they'll be something to prick my interest.


  1. I couldn't disagree with you more on this one, mate! And this comes directly from playing the beta first-hand, and talking with those player you're referring to that you think won't be sold on Dust.

    The challenge CCP faces right now isn't getting the shooter fans sold on Dust - its delivering the goods to all the players that are ALREADY sold on Dust. You're absolutely right that many EVE players are jaded about Dust, but I know now that won't affect its success in the least. It's already developed its own reputation outside the EVE player base.

    This was my first fascination as I first stepped planetside as "Heinrich Jagerblitzen" - my poor sap of a brother who failed his pilots licensing and was doomed to a life of repeated dismemberment. I knew there would be a core group of EVE players interested in Dust, but what I was unprepared for was the scores of players infesting the beta that WEREN'T EVE transplants. They've come from many difference places - Call of Duty, MAG, BF3 - what they all have in common is that they're having a lot of fun with Dust 514, they're already forming corporations, and they can't wait for the full release.

    Revenue is ALREADY pouring in from Dust - I obviously have no handle on the numbers, but AURUM goods are flying off the shelf, and CCP's done a great job of balancing this so that these goods are attractive without being overpowered. Beta players get all that AURUM returned upon launch, and so players are free to pay and try everything out without losing their investment. The fact that these are already so popular bodes very well for CCP's ability to make money off the game - and its ability to compete with others on the market.

    I write all this not to support CCP's marketing machine, they don't need my help, I say this because I was extremely cynical during those first few days of driving tanks and sniping fools, but after playing for months now its clear that they've delivered a game that is genuinely FUN at its core, even before we scratch the surface of the link to EVE.

    TL,DR: The shooter fans are having a blast, and can't wait for the release. Neither can I. :)

    Also - carrier air support with fly-bay strafing runs would be SICK. +1 !!

    1. Interesting to hear. Time will tell I suppose :)

    2. I've played the beta, and I wasn't impressed. At. All. I play EVE regularly, and BF3 consistently. Dust was/is not up to the level. It mainly has to do with the visuals and the actual game play mechanics. Hopefully, this will change at launch date. Otherwise, it will be hard for Dust to even make an impression on the wider gaming community, as it will not be seen as worth the time.

  2. Borrow a PS3 and get playing. The game is great and btw you can use USB mouse + keyboard in it now.

    XboX? Really? Yuck :)