(pronounced five-fourteen) is the newly announced MMO first-person
shooter currently in development at CCP Asia. It’s a shooter,
and as a shooter it’s all about “killing people and
blowing sh** up,” according to Atli Már Sveinsson,
Creative Director for CCP Asia, where the game has been in development
for at least the past one and a half years.
What makes DUST 514
an MMO is that the game shares the same single-sharded, persistent
universe as EVE. But what makes DUST
514 unique among MMOs and shooters is its heavy ties to style="font-style: italic;">EVE Online’s
universe. In short, DUST
514’s “mercs” will work with
alliances to gain control of sovereignty districts on planets through
contracts. There are no classes; gear will define the role of the player.
The theatres of war, as the DUST
514 battles are called, are really districts of planets
within alliance sovereignties. As such, the benefits to EVE Alliances
are separate and in addition to the benefits currently enjoyed with
system sovereignty. That’s not to say that these battles are
purely optional; if a rival alliance or NPC faction has boots on the
ground, you’ll need to contract mercs and win the ground game
in order to achieve sovereignty. But the additional benefit is clearly
there for alliances wanting to truly cash in on their claims.
For the demo, we saw a battle waged over a Caldari pharmaceuticals
factory. As you’d expect with CCP, the graphics are top notch
and highly realistic. DUST
514 gameplay is fairly similar to style="font-style: italic;">Battlefield 2142’s
titan maps, but without the boarding elements. Basically,
theatres of war revolve around MCCs, mobile command centers, which
house Commanders. Infantry gathers war points by killing other players
and capturing objectives (war points are match-based, not persistent).
As war points allow, Commanders create spawn points and drop
installations and vehicles (including an APC and a VTOL fighter, which
were demoed for us) and move the MCC around the map, and infantry work
to cut off the fueling of the enemy’s MCC so that it loses
shields and becomes vulnerable to attack. Destroy the enemy’s
MCC - primarily through ground
“installations” (hence the RTS elements
CCP’s been hinting at) but also through aerial combat
- and you win the match.
The personal weaponry we saw was fairly traditional, including an
assault rifle with grenade launcher and rocket launcher, though
Sveinsson hinted at other more sci-fi’ish gear like plasma
phasers. Max match size is 64 players. In-game voice will be available,
and mercs will have the opportunity to join their own corporations and
alliances separate from EVE
Online’s. Mercs will even have their own social
space, the war barge, will will operate from planetary orbit and will
not be attackable by NPC players.
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Merc development comes via achievements, which in turn unlock new tiers
of gear. This gear is available for purchase via a microtransaction
system, and as DUST 514
doesn’t require a subscription, real money exchanged for
virtual goods will be the business model. At launch, style="font-style: italic;">EVE Online and style="font-style: italic;">DUST 514 will have
separate economies, but CCP didn’t discard the possibility of
merging their respective economies at some point.
DUST 514 is
currently in pre-alpha. No release date has been set for the game, but
CCP has a “phased implementation strategy.”
Sveinsson noted that they fully recognize that no EVE Alliance dealer
wants to contract with hordes of new console players at first.
Therefore, NPC and “matchmaking” PvP missions will
always be available for DUST players, and the game will roughly mirror
the safe-ish Empire space to nullsec rampup found in style="font-style: italic;">EVE Online. Box
pricing and what console or console(s) the game is being developed for
is unclear at this point, but CCP seems fairly adamant that DUST 514
will be console-only. More when we know more from EVE FanFest 2009.
To read the latest guides, news, and features you can visit our DUST 514 Game Page.