Success on the battlegrounds of DUST 514 is about far more than who has the biggest gun. Equipment plays a vital part in defining the role you play on the battlefield. Fit a nanite injector to your assault type II dropsuit and you’re a front line medic, resurrecting your fallen team mates. Fit a repair tool and you become a combat engineer, repairing damaged dropsuits and vehicles as well as giving your squad active armour repair during a firefight.
The fondly nicknamed ‘logibro’ logistics dropsuits are of course the kings of battlefield equipment usage. With more equipment slots than any other dropsuit class they can carry multiple equipment types making them incredible useful squad mates. A Logistics A-Series can for example, resupply his squad with nanohives, provide tactical spawn locations with drop uplinks and keep them fighting fit with a repair tool.
It’s been really interesting to see what types of equipment have been the most popular during the Beta so far. In first place we have the ever-popular Nano Hive with an epic 106,537,393 units purchased for ISK! Following this we then have repair tools, remote explosives and lastly drop uplinks, but even together they couldn’t topple the mighty Nano Hive having collectively sold 104,913,684 units. If you check out the graph below you can see the relative popularity as well as the massive spike when we opened up the Beta floodgates.
So you know that there are a bunch of new weapons rolling off the New Eden production lines in the next update, but what about equipment? Well, we’re planning on reintroducing the Active Scanner. Some of the veteran Beta players may remember it’s rather buggy first appearance (followed by rapid disappearance) last year during the closed testing. We’ve taken some time to retool its functionality, add new HUD elements and feedback mechanisms so soon it will be back, new and improved! The scanner is a powerful squad support tool, your enemies will have nowhere to hide as you scan and transmit their positions to your squad mates. I expect to see a rise in the popularity of profile dampener modules once the new scanners roll out as people try to mask their signals.
A-45 Linear Active Scanner
Sending out a triggered pulse of high-frequency magnetometric waves and interpreting the results with an uplinked onboard computer, the Active Scanner gives ground units a snapshot of enemy positions. Projection nodes set at specific angles on the handheld device, generate a vectored impulse capable of extracting objects from high-noise environments. Feedback from the pulse is filtered to reduce ambient clutter and pinpoint targets lacking IFF signals.
Though the amount of energy required to produce the blast is much greater than its on-board power source can readily generate, the Active Scanner makes use of redundant J-24 micro-capacitors to circulate and build the charge up to the required output. The resulting delay between activations is a small price to pay for the enormous tactical advantage the device provides its user, even considering that the amount of sensor backscatter generated reveals the user to all nearby enemies at the same time it is detecting their positions.
- Layered hybrid steel casing prevents atmospheric matter and hostile electronic effects from hampering functionality
- Recursive capacitors rapidly transition a small amount of initial charge into the much larger pulse required for scanning
- Wireless uplink sends feedback data directly to the TACNET, instantly updating the heads-up-display with enemy positions
So that’s what you can expect in the next update, but what about beyond that? There are two equipment items on the top of our list that we want to get into the game as soon as we can. The first is a Shield Generator. Ever wished for some cover where there isn’t any? Wish no more: With the Shield Generator you’ll be able to deploy your own personal static shield bubble. Handy when a ship is dropping bombs on your head from orbit or you’ve been caught in the open by an enemy trying to melt you with a laser rifle.
The second item is a Cloaking Field. This sneaky bit of kit will not only make you (almost) invisible to other combatants, it will also blind turret AI targeting systems. It isn’t perfect invisibility, mind you — scanners will still pick you up if you haven’t masked your signal well enough, motion will disrupt the field to some extent, and weapon fire will cause the field to shut down. This means it will take some skill to use to its maximum potential. This item is going to be a real game changer, particularly for Scout dropsuits which have been screaming for stealth gear.
There are quite a few more items on our list as always (one begins with a ‘w’) but I think that’s all we’ll be revealing for now.