The mercenary life is grand, but how do you put the “profit” into intergalactic warfare for fun and profit? I mean, we all love to see new places (and blow them up) and meet new people (and blow them up), but you’re not just doing this for your health. So let’s talk about how DUST 514 rewards your effort.
There are three things you can come away with from a battle: money, skill points, and salvage, and here’s how you get them:
ISK is the primary currency in the EVE Universe and a necessity for fighting wars. You will earn ISK from each battle you fight. The size of the reward depends on your contribution and the cost of the battle. Those who contribute more are rewarded handsomely, but all mercs are guaranteed a solid income.
A portion of the reward pool for each battle depends on the value of items destroyed in the battle. If the battle saw countless vehicles and expensive prototype gear destroyed, everyone is in for bigger rewards. ISK rewards are calculated as follows for each participant:
Base rewards: Every mercenary receives basic compensation for each battle they fight. The size of the reward depends on the time you spent fighting, so joining a battle late will net you lower earnings. Value of objects destroyed in battle has no bearing on this part of the reward.
Team rewards: The total rewards calculated from the value destroyed are split between the participating teams, with the winning team earning a larger share. Then, each participant earns a cut of the total rewards that their team received based on the time they spent in the battle. If you’re late to the party, you’ll earn a smaller cut.
Individual rewards: Finally, every participant receives a reward based on their individual contribution on the battlefield. Mercs earn war points based on their actions in the course of each battle, and the more war points you score, the higher your cut of the total payout.
Having a solid income is necessary, as you will be using the ISK you earn to buy upgrades, and to resupply any gear you lose during combat. Everything you take into battle in DUST 514 can get destroyed. Luckily, most items are in ready supply should you have the cash.
Joining a player-run corporation might make your life more comfortable and earn you reliable funding, but you will have to rely on your personal earnings until you find a corporation to take you in.
Aside from fattening up your wallet, every battle helps improve your clone through Skill Points. At the end of each battle, the war points you earned will be totaled and converted to SP. The better you perform, the higher the number of skill points you will receive.
Currently, skill points gained in battle have diminishing returns, meaning that if you play a lot in the course of a week, you will earn fewer points towards the end. These diminishing returns currently reset every at downtime on Tuesdays. This is temporary, and we are working on a more flexible iteration of the skill system that will not hinder dedicated players or be exploitable by players looking for easy SP.
Salvage is your final reward for battles fought. How you currently receive salvage is straightforward: Everyone who participates in a battle receives an equal opportunity to receive items from a single master loot table, regardless of their performance. This system is temporary, and serves as a stepping stone towards final implementation, which should prove far more robust and enjoyable.
Once complete, the full system will allow players to influence the quality and quantity of the salvage they receive. Play in a battle with more players and more destruction, and there will more to salvage, and victory earns you the lion’s share of the spoils. Equip modules that assist you in finding better salvage, and you will become much more likely to receive higher quality items, such as the rare Officer-tier weapons. Quality and type of salvage will also potentially differ based upon the planet you fight on, with rare gear most likely found on nullsec planets.
As a mercenary, your battle history defines you, so knowing how you performed and in what areas you can improve is vital. Going forward, the end of battle screen will provide a comprehensive breakdown of your battle stats, allowing you to compare your performance with friends and rivals.
We know interplanetary violence is its own reward, but we’re always striving to reward your destructive tendencies in other ways. ISK, SP, and Salvage are just three of the ways your time pays off. Every victory, every kill, every clone, brings you one step closer toward being the scourge of the stars.