Hello from E3! We know you’re excited and following all of the great stories coming out of the show this year, we just want to briefly touch on some of the DUST 514 news that we’ve announced this week and we’ll be focusing on at the show.
First and foremost, we have details on our first Beta event of the summer. We know many of you are eagerly anticipating your chance to try out DUST 514, and we’re happy to announce that we’ll be doing a big wave of invites for our first summer Beta event on June 29, 2012, and will run throughout that weekend. This will coincide with an update to the Closed Beta containing what we’ve got on show at E3 and more, you can see it in action in our latest trailer (link below). If you haven’t already, you can register at www.DUST514.com/beta, and players will be chosen at random to participate. But don’t worry if you don’t make it into this first round; this is just the first of several Beta events scheduled for this summer, and we’re going to announce lots of info and chances to join the action in the coming weeks. If you are already in the DUST 514 Closed Beta as of today, you will have “All Access” to the Beta events over the summer.
In traditional or mainstream FPS games, the mission area, i.e. the layout of objectives, structures, and spawn locations, are fairly static, thus making missions predictable after playing them a few times. This is not the case in DUST 514. Because of its sandbox nature, we want to give players the freedom to change the battlefield through choices and this is where the “dynamic” part of the battlefields will come from. This means that battlefields in DUST 514 could change based on the actions that players make – from innocuous actions such as changing one’s character fitting before a deployment, all the way up to decisions made light years away in a player owned corporate board room.
However, giving players a big sandbox to play in does not simply mean throwing a bunch of random choices at them and say, “go.” For players to experience the uniquely emergent gameplay offered by the EVE Online universe, the freedom that these choices offer must be handled in a meaningful manner. To illustrate this, we will be looking at how battlefields in DUST 514 are made dynamic in two major ways: at the macro and the micro scale.
Since DUST 514 traces its lineage to EVE Online, we wanted to give it the same rich combat environment that EVE Online has when it comes to vehicle classes and roles. For example, in EVE Online there are ships that share the same hull (and thus the same look) but have very different performance envelopes. This will be true in DUST 514 as well with vehicles that will share the same chassis or hull class but depending on their roles and level of technology, offer very different battlefield characteristics.
Another key aspect that is similar between ships and vehicles is the capacitor. A good way to grasp this concept is to think of capacitors as the energy source that powers everything in a vehicle. From weapon turrets to repair modules, almost everything that you fit on to your vehicle in DUST 514 will need to draw capacitor points in order to function. Because of the fusion technology that the capacitor is based on, you will never “run out” of capacitors in the long run, since it will always replenish itself over time. However, as you activate weapons, scanners, ECM and other modules over the course of a battle it is very likely that your vehicle will deplete its stock of capacitors in short order.
In the last PlayStation.Blog post I introduced you to the three weapon classes in DUST 514: Heavy, Light and Sidearm. In this post, I wanted to pick a few weapons that changed the way that the development team played when we added them to the game.
Gamers don’t always realize how long it can take for a weapon to make the leap from the drawing board to being fully functional and kicking ass in the game. It needs to be concepted, built, textured, animated, weapon logic needs to be engineered, sounds created, various values set up, tested, debugged, and tweaked. As you can imagine, all this takes quite a while, which means you spend a lot of time playing your game with a limited set of gear. Over time, we add new weapons to the game and they can radically alter the balance of play because they open up new possibilities in combat. Below are some examples.