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Friday, August 31, 2012

Here's more Dust in your Eyes (Part 2)

Yesterday I started a post based on an article a few days ago on PC Games N. It quickly grew into a monster sized post so I cleaved it in two with my +5 Sword of Editing. Wait, that's Fantasy Role Playing. You're the Science Fiction Role Playing crowd. My bad. Does this help?
Monster Sized Post
So, back to my thoughts on what was said by CCP Soundwave in the article. I really don't care how great Dust 514 is going to be. I don't own a PlayStation, I don't plan on owning a PlayStation and therefore CCP can go fish - which in Iceland is easy so no harm, no foul.

The next quote from the article that made me go (O.O) is this one,
“In an ideal world,” says Kristoffer, “both games will be very closely related and relying on each other. Who builds what with which blueprint though, we can’t really say yet.”
As an industrialist, this makes my heart go pitter patter. I think to myself, these guys play on consoles. They play a FTP game which is widely understood to really mean PTW. They EXPECT to have to pay real money to avoid spending hours upon hours earning the ISK through missions. They may be like Eve Online plexers on steroids.

Eve plexers are those (possibly) rare Eve Players who shun all forms of ISK earning and pay for their exploded ships with plex. They'd rather dish out what's in their RL wallet than "waste" their valuable playing time mining, etc. I'm starting to understand this desire to just play the shooting-other-people-in-the-face game and to hell with the boring stuff. I've been victim of it enough (shot in the face and bored to tears, though not at the same time) I'm starting to believe I have Stockholm Syndrome. I refuse to plex though!

Anyway, with all these prospective new customers coming into the game, I was very happy to see we'd have the opportunity to make and sell things to them. In my better flights of fancy, I picture myself as Captain Malcom Reynolds of the transport Firefly earning my living in the sky. Then reality reasserts itself. In actuality, I won't ever land on a planet (see PlayStation comments above.) However, there will be a handy-dandy space elevator I can use to get my wares to and from the service. Other's have already posted that so I'll skip the graphic. It sure is pretty though.

Now don't forget, this is going to work both ways. Since it seems it will, how do you think Dust players will be able to manufacture Eve stuff? Well, that's probably not a difficult question to answer.
“DUST players will own districts on planets,” says Kristoffer. “If you own the solar system, you will obviously have an interest in making sure the planets there swear fealty to you.”
If they own districts on the planets, do they not also own all of that planet's PI? We've all thought that Dust players will just be our loyal minions allowing us to reap all the PI profit after they take the planet. We all thought we were getting this,
That's probably somewhat naive don't you think? What we are more likely to get is this,
I doubt seriously that these Dust players will for one moment stand around and be anyone's minion. And it seems CCP realizes this. They are willing to deal them a very powerful hand in this game. All that remains to be seen is how they play that hand. If they are anything like Eve Online players, we know how that's going work out now don't we? I'm laughing with you, not at you.

Now that that's settled, what are the cards in the hand CCP is dealing Dust players? If occupation equals ownership, they will own all the structure manufacturing resources needed for capsuleers to build a POS or POCO. Right now, anyone can setup Wetware Mainframe production on any planet that supports it. When Dust 514 kicks off for real, faction low-sec and all of null-sec will get dealt to the console gamers. Start getting your plans in order folks, unless you're a high-sec industrialist or in a WH, you'll have to deal with an entire new set of carebears to play your internet spaceship game.
And you won't really have any leverage over them. They have no ships for you to blow up. You could just bomb them from orbit. I doubt that'd change the equation. You can fight them on their own terms and take the planet from them. But then when would you have any time to play internet spaceships? You could hire your own group of mercenaries to deal with them. But then what if the new group does what the old group did to you. Treachery's a bitch!

So you think, we'll just camp their space elevator or take the POS it feeds and then they'll have to capitulate to our demands. Think again. Didn't we already establish that these folks expect to pay real money to win their game? Take a look at this review from the Chicago Tribune from yesterday. Skip to the second to the last paragraph. The reviewer spent $10 while playing the beta for gods sake! These Dusters don't actually have to produce anything. They can just buy what they want. You really, really won't have any leverage on them unless CCP designs it into the game. So far, I've not read anything about that.

Fortunately for you someone will have to transport the troops your your planets if you're in null-sec. You can interdict that. the only thing you're likely to face is treachery. Those in faction low-sec have a serious problem. The "militia" will take troops out to faction planets (see part 1.) I don't think they'll be interdict enabled. Does that mean rogue Dusters can infiltrate Faction War zone planets? Gods, I hope so!! That would be a huge pot stirring stick. It's just what Eve Online needs if the order of the day is all war, all the time. I'm starting to have visions of Arrakeen freedom fighters bringing the Space Guild to it's shriveled knees. "He who can destroy a thing, controls a thing."

There is only one thing that leads me to believe that perhaps there will be some leverage built into the Eve-Dust interaction. Towards the end of the article came this statement,
But what you really want to know is “how can I exploit these people”? “In terms of screwing people over,” says Kristoffer, “I’d prefer if the game offered equal opportunity of over-screwing. In practical terms, there needs to be an opportunity for both sides to shoot each other of course and in meta terms, there needs to be the ability to create and break deals. What happens if your guys on the ground throw the match for example? We’ll probably find out fairly quickly.
"Equal opportunity of over-screwing" is a wonderful mangling of a perfectly good idiom. In more words, what they can do to us, we also must be able to do to them. This might give me hope except that in this new Dunesque landscape, I cannot forget the counsel of the Reverend Mother, "Hope clouds observation." I will definitely take a wait and see attitude on this over-screwing concept.

And as for finding things out quickly, we'll also find out quickly if all my thoughts on this matter are full of crap. Regardless, I think there is one thing on which we can agree. Once Dust 514 is integrated into Tranquility, the Eve Online personal dynamic as we know it will end. There will be a whole new bunch of people who will make their wants and desires felt on all of us. I don't think Dust 514 will fail. My gut tells me it will initially be very successful. With that success, evolution will be forced upon Eve Online. Power blocs will change. Eve will become more real. And I will keep logging in, if for no other reason than to see how it all plays out.

Fly Careful


  1. The main problem of DUST that any kind of action that "the troops" can do requires politics. The things you are telling assumes them to form groups and act together. The average FPS player is a loner with the attention span of 5-10 minutes.

    Most of them will just log in, shoot random things and log off.

    1. I'd agree except titles like Call of Duty and SOCOM (aka Navy Seals) were big successes (and still are looking at the number of add-ons and sequels.) Sorry Gevlon, I think you've fallen for a stereotype when it comes to FPS gamers.


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