Dust 514 Catch-All

Ah, I thought I had read that it officially launched this week, so I was hoping to download it and give it a whirl.

Farscry wrote:
Ah, I thought I had read that it officially launched this week,
I hope not. This is the last build before Open Beta (why they make that distinction if you can buy the Mercenary Pack and get in anyways is beyond me).

Any news on whether this will show up on pcs? Or is it just limited to the console?

It's exclusive to the PS3. CCP hasn't shown any indication as of yet that they ever intend to port it to other consoles or PC.

Bump.

I'm almost as overwhelmed in this as I am in the actual EVE. Lots of skills, not a ton of explanation. I LOVE the concept, and the idea of cross play and one aspect of the game affecting the other, I just kind of want more hand holding.

I am hoping that I can find a few hours this week to jump in and see what its like. Will be nice to try and compare it to the early EVE experience (ie beta).

Open beta has arrived.
No I don't know why paying for the mercenary pack, meaning anybody could get in, is substantially different than now (other than it's totally free), but there it is.

Is anyone enjoying the game? I don't know if I am.

I like it! But I only like the objective-based mode. I don't like the straight-up deathmatch.

Ditto. The more time I spend with it, and understand what's going on, the more I like it. Fittings baffled me for a while and ability purchasing\upgrades.

I created a Corp, Clones for Order. If you want to apply. I'll change it to GWJ if that's all that joins.

I created a Corp, Clones for Order. If you want to apply. I'll change it to GWJ if that's all that joins.

Wow, even your post was cloned.

That made me giggle.

Wow! So this game's out already as a free-to-play? I was keeping an eye on this through the magazines and completely missed both the beta and what appears to be today's launch.

Has a definitive GWJer judgement on the game been reached yet?

I'm really interested in another ambitious, team-based FPS, but I'm a little leery after my very missed experience with MAG.

The main questions for me are:

(1) Is it clear what individual players are meant to be doing during the game?

MAG made a virtue of explaining almost nothing to the newbie and suffered for it. Very few PS3 players appeared to use mics and even fewer seemed willing to invest the time to explain the objectives to new players.

(2) How many maps/planets are there?

Again, MAG had nine effectively and - with their flaws - the maps for the largest games got old very quickly.

(3) How strong do the links to EVEOnline feel?

Do players feel like guns-for-hire, moving from planet to planet at the behest of Eve players? Or is it limited to ground strikes from the odd Eve player to be found in the Dust universe?

detroit20 wrote:
Wow! So this game's out already as a free-to-play? I was keeping an eye on this through the magazines and completely missed both the beta and what appears to be today's launch.

Has a definitive GWJer judgement on the game been reached yet?

I'm really interested in another ambitious, team-based FPS, but I'm a little leery after my very missed experience with MAG.

The main questions for me are:

(1) Is it clear what individual players are meant to be doing during the game?

MAG made a virtue of explaining almost nothing to the newbie and suffered for it. Very few PS3 players appeared to use mics and even fewer seemed willing to invest the time to explain the objectives to new players.

(2) How many maps/planets are there?

Again, MAG had nine effectively and - with their flaws - the maps for the largest games got old very quickly.

(3) How strong do the links to EVEOnline feel?

Do players feel like guns-for-hire, moving from planet to planet at the behest of Eve players? Or is it limited to ground strikes from the odd Eve player to be found in the Dust universe?

1) Yes, on a general level. Right now, there are only two real games times: Deathmatch (aka kill the other teams clones before yours die) and Skirmish (capture nodes to destroy an enemy C&C vessel before yours is destroyed). Deathmatch has the OMS variant which is where turrets and such are dropped in during battle. Neither requires a ton of brainpower to figure out.

2) Excellent question - I've been playing occasionally for a couple months, and I swear, I always see the same two or three maps. I don't know if they rotate out maps, or if it has something to do with planet selection, but if they've changed beyond minor variations, I've never noticed.

3) Hell if I know. I actually searched for this thread specifically to find an answer to this question. It's not a bad shooter, but it seems like I'm just fighting the same battles over and over. That'd be great if it was a meta game about warfare in general, but I'm not going to give it that much credit. I've let to experience anything that really said "this was at the behest of another player" or felt like we accomplished/lost anything beyond that specific match. Maybe it's because I'm not in a corp?

TheFatBaron wrote:
I've let to experience anything that really said "this was at the behest of another player" or felt like we accomplished/lost anything beyond that specific match. Maybe it's because I'm not in a corp?

Probably. I don't have any consoles, so I haven't played Dust, but Eve is really enhanced by being in a corp. More so than any of the other many MMOs I've played.

Given how CCP has done things over the last several years, I suspect any real impact of the integration of the two games won't be felt for a while. CCP tends to slowly iterative.

@TheFatBaron

Thanks for the response.

This doesn't sound hugely promising to me at the moment. I only dabbled with a free trial of EVEOnline a couple of years ago, but I was struck by the game's sheer size. From your description of the maps, Dust 514 doesn't reflect this yet (or at least, hides its light under a bushel).

It's also disappointing that you haven't detected a clear link to the 'parent' game. I'm really in the market for a FPS that consists of more than an endless series of Team Deathmatch or Domination matches in a small number of arenas. I want to feel that I'm contributing - even in a small way - to something larger, to something more significant.

I was hoping that Dust 514 would turn out to be the game that MAG failed to be. It doesn't sound like it's got there yet, and it doesn't sound like it's going to get there.

From the comments on the IGN Review In Progress:

"ushmir3 • 11 hours ago −
Its definitely the Thinking Man's shooter...and a game so deep its like MAG on steroids. speaking of, MAG fans will love this game. Valor Coalition is a corp within the ROFL alliance that is recruiting elite players. We've been together over three years and have a tight-knit diverse roster from all over the globe (so we dont tolerate any bigotry) Message me in game (Kushmir Nadian) or search for us and apply for consideration.
11 1 •Share ›

Cinnamon267 Kushmir3 • 10 hours ago
MAG fans are all over the forums. You're right that MAG folks will like it."

This is what Winterblink over at Warp Drive Active has to say about the current state of the game. I've found his Eve Online info pretty much spot on in the past, but I haven't been following it the last few years, so caveat emptor.

That sounds promising, but I'd still hold off a day or two. Its a free download, right? I'd say wait until the weekend, and give it a few hours, then come back and tell us about it.

I was a huge fan of MAG but I don't get off on the hyper-complex numbers dive the IGN review describes. MAG did have skill trees but it was actually quite simplistic in its loadout options. You had a certain weight you couldn't exceed between your armor, grenades, gadgets and weapon attachments, and that was it. If the Dust 514 loadout system is arbitrarily complex it will probably turn me away. I feel like I don't have the time or energy to learn this game - especially when so many really good games are coming every week on PS+. I will have to pull myself away from Sleeping Dogs to give this a try, but I suspect BF3 will continue to be my go-to shooter.

I agree with detroit20 that the metagame was a huge disappointment in MAG. You were essentially fighting for very small perks in holding the contracts. There was no larger worldmap to fight over. It was just the same assault on one of the three locations with the only variation being the different slices of the map you'd be spawned into. But the actual gameplay and teamwork aspects of MAG were awesome, and with 5 or 6 friends playing you could really have fun. It was made all the better by having leadership on comms giving orders, which happened much more frequently as the game went on.

Edit - Speaking of which, does anyone know if MAG is still active? All this talk is making me want to jump back in. Unfortunately, I vetted to Raven before I quit playing and I'm still quite low level.

@Evo

As I understand it, the problem with MAG's overarching game was the fact that the developers did not implement the Shadow War fully. The Shadow War was originally going to be winnable (I think victory was declared to whichever faction won and held the majority of contracts in each game-type, but I could be wrong). However, when I was playing this hadn't been implemented, so contracts bounced between factions with no side every being declared the winner of a given Shadow War.

This may be the way MAG plays now, but I've been out of the loop for year (since before the implementation of the additional game-types).

I suppose the key question for me is "can 'Dust 514' players ever actually win the battle for a given planet?" and thereby change things in the EVEOnline universe. This has never been entirely clear in the articles that I have read.

@Detroit20 -

Personally, I was hoping for something like WW2Online, except in space, with depth and not terrible.

@LtWarhound - I really want to feel the same excitement Winterblink feels. I think he's excited by the future promise. No doubt, having spent more time in-game lately, it's vastly improved, but it still feels isolated.

@Evo -

I don't find the loadout system complicated at all... it's kind of hard to predict how much CPU/Power Grid you'll have/need since there's no "fitting preview" I could discern, but - it's not too hard of an issue to fix. Especially with the revised skill system, it's pretty clear how to get what you need. Also, I don't find the weapon fitting too tedious. I'm not spending a ton of money on weapons, but even the basic upgrades over the starting gear are good, and generally offer pretty clear differentiation (at least on the sniper rifles. I'm a total camper).

TheFatBaron wrote:

@Evo -

I don't find the loadout system complicated at all... it's kind of hard to predict how much CPU/Power Grid you'll have/need since there's no "fitting preview" I could discern, but - it's not too hard of an issue to fix. Especially with the revised skill system, it's pretty clear how to get what you need. Also, I don't find the weapon fitting too tedious. I'm not spending a ton of money on weapons, but even the basic upgrades over the starting gear are good, and generally offer pretty clear differentiation (at least on the sniper rifles. I'm a total camper).

You're right, as far as I can tell. I downloaded and played around in the dropsuit fitting with the default gear and it seems very similar to loading out in MAG, just with a different interface.

In terms of earning Isk, does it come pretty quick? I noticed that I started with around $150,000, I think. I take it you lose EVERYTHING when you die, including your vehicle, guns, upgrades, and have to purchase it all again. I assume that means there's a "real money" store to buy more fake money. I'll give the game a try but it's looking a little grind-y to me.

Edit - Good first impressions article from Joystiq's Massively.

Some initial impressions of gameplay -

The controls are VERY loose. When you move your aimpoint, it seems to want to continue to sway in the direction you were moving instead of stopping where you let go. So, if you're used to playing shooters with very tight controls like CoD or Battlefield, you will be in for a major learning curve. The aimpoint simply does not frequently want to go where I'm trying to put it. I really hope that gets ironed out because it's otherwise sort of fun.

I'm only seeing one mode - Instant Action Academy - available to me, and it's a skirmish mode very similar to Battlefield's Conquest mode. I believe it's 12 or 16 per side but the maps feel rather empty. The control points are usually in some built-up facility where all the action takes place with sort of rocky desert between points. Generally the action is focused on these structures, with very little else going on. It's fairly easy to drop yourself a light vehicle and just speed around the map to enemy points, hack them, and move on without being seen while a major battle rages around the center of the map.

The game doesn't really compare at all to MAG. It doesn't have anywhere near the same feeling of chaos and intensity in battle, although the gunplay feels similar (besides the lazy aiming). It feels much more sterile and unstructured. I haven't heard anyone on comms and it doesn't seem there's any sort of leadership structure or commander.

I've gone through a few of the skill upgrades to unlock new assault rifles. I haven't had a chance to try them, and since I only purchased 10 of them I doubt they'll last longer than a couple rounds. I haven't explored much else of the skills, but the way the skill trees are developed is much like MAG, where you're forced to specialize with your skill point investments.

I'll play a little more, but it seems rather pointless right now with only one mode available. Does anyone know if other modes unlock or is there just not enough people playing?

Evo wrote:
Some initial impressions of gameplay -

The controls are VERY loose. When you move your aimpoint, it seems to want to continue to sway in the direction you were moving instead of stopping where you let go. So, if you're used to playing shooters with very tight controls like CoD or Battlefield, you will be in for a major learning curve. The aimpoint simply does not frequently want to go where I'm trying to put it. I really hope that gets ironed out because it's otherwise sort of fun.

I'm only seeing one mode - Instant Action Academy - available to me, and it's a skirmish mode very similar to Battlefield's Conquest mode. I believe it's 12 or 16 per side but the maps feel rather empty. The control points are usually in some built-up facility where all the action takes place with sort of rocky desert between points. Generally the action is focused on these structures, with very little else going on. It's fairly easy to drop yourself a light vehicle and just speed around the map to enemy points, hack them, and move on without being seen while a major battle rages around the center of the map.

The game doesn't really compare at all to MAG. It doesn't have anywhere near the same feeling of chaos and intensity in battle, although the gunplay feels similar (besides the lazy aiming). It feels much more sterile and unstructured. I haven't heard anyone on comms and it doesn't seem there's any sort of leadership structure or commander.

I've gone through a few of the skill upgrades to unlock new assault rifles. I haven't had a chance to try them, and since I only purchased 10 of them I doubt they'll last longer than a couple rounds. I haven't explored much else of the skills, but the way the skill trees are developed is much like MAG, where you're forced to specialize with your skill point investments.

I'll play a little more, but it seems rather pointless right now with only one mode available. Does anyone know if other modes unlock or is there just not enough people playing?

I only played for 60 minutes or so but I agree with your general impressions. Mostly, it was just boring and I was killed several times without really knowing what was going on.

I've come to the conclusion that I suck at FPS games on the playstation.

Trashie wrote:
I only played for 60 minutes or so but I agree with your general impressions. Mostly, it was just boring and I was killed several times without really knowing what was going on.

Are there folks out there actually playing with a mouse + keyboard? I generally could see where I was getting killed from but I couldn't fathom how they were so accurate hitting me. I noticed M+KB options in the settings menu but I wasn't sure if you can actually play in-game with them.

By the way, for comparison I fired up MAG. Controls felt much tighter and the action was very much more focused. Lots of people on comms. Unfortunately there were only enough people in the queue to play Sabotage, no big games. But I can confirm that the gameplay in Dust is nothing like MAG.

Evo wrote:
Are there folks out there actually playing with a mouse + keyboard? I generally could see where I was getting killed from but I couldn't fathom how they were so accurate hitting me.
This is all, Last I Knew.
KB&M: Probably, and interestingly, it is balanced, in that they can't turn more quickly than gamepad players.
Accuracy: R2 or maybe L2 is Aim Down Sight and standing still is more accurate than walking. It also depends greatly on the weapon and possibly random sh*t I can't describe. Watch this video (although this is still from Beta), he uses the shotgun the entire time, yet there is a great variety in amount of damage he does in similar situations (at least to me).
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SJhiO...
Assault Rifles were good, until they switched to Iron Sights, then they became much less accurate (previously the scope would also zoom).

So I've been playing quite a bit of Dust lately and enjoying it. They just had a pretty big patch the other week and it made some serious improvements to the game. Graphics and lighting are better, text is easier to read and the controls feel much more tight. They also added new gear and fixed up the existing gear so it all works. Battles feel much more dynamic now, especially with the remote spawn points people can place.

I'd still put Dust in the category of "more fun than good" but for a free FPS I think it does a lot right and has a lot of really interesting ideas. I was a huge fan of MAG and I think that was the better game, but there have been around 30k people playing Dust so there's enough people online to quickly hop in a match and have some fun.

It did take me awhile to grasp how the skills, marketplace and loadouts all worked together but now that I get it I've really been having fun.

Evo wrote:
I'll play a little more, but it seems rather pointless right now with only one mode available. Does anyone know if other modes unlock or is there just not enough people playing?

You start off with only the "Instant Action Academy" available to you for awhile. I'm not sure exactly what the trigger is for you to make the full list of real game modes available (either time or skill points earned I would guess?) but eventually they'll take the training wheels off and you'll be in the game proper. Battles get much more interesting then for sure.