Wednesday, May 18, 2016

BB75 - DUST to Dust. All Hail Nova!

Welcome to the continuing monthly EVE Blog Banters and our 75th edition! For more details about what the blog banters are please visit the Blog Banter page.

What Does Project Nova Need to Be Successful?
At Fanfest CCP showcased their current iteration of the FPS set in the Eve Universe. Following on from DUST514 and Project Legion, Project Nova is shaping up to be a solid FPS with CCP taking the decision to get the game mechanics right first. However with so many FPS out there what will Nova need in order to stand out from a very large crowd and be successful? What are the opportunities and perhaps more importantly, the dangers for CCP? How can Nova compete against CoD, Battlefront and Titanfall to name a few?


Before I give, imho, what Nova needs I want to recap on the past. I have said before on here that I bought a PS3 just for DUST514. That's all it was ever used for. I like FPS games, I love Eve. So I must have loved DUST right?

I played it in the beta. I tried to get into it. In the end I just gave up. I kept on retrying for months and months. I played it after each major release hoping it would be better. That the issues I disliked would be sorted. There were some improvements but in the end my opinion of the game was that it was poor. Obviously there are thousands out there that loved it. There is no denying that there is a fan-base out there who completely disagreed with me. However a few thousand isn't enough for a AAA FPS game. Everytime I ended back on CoD or similar for my FPS hit.

So what were the problems as I saw it?

Maps too Open/Sniper Dominance
OK LETS DO THIS! Splat! Dead! OK I've respawned but now I have to "run" over there and... splat! OK dead again. Right I'll "run" this way this time and.... splat! So if I try..... splat. OK then.... splat. RIGHT.... splat. /shutdown_console.

Playing Chest Deep in Treacle
I know games like CoD and Battlefield are not an accurate representation of life. We don't want our FPS to be! We want a fun game not a realistic one. For smeg's sake, Eve players should know this! We are playing "submarines in space". The early versions were bad. It improved over time but overall the controls felt sluggish, unresponsive and slow. Hence the use of "run" in the previous point.

Tanky McTankFace
Am I talking heavy dropsuits or the actual tank? Who cares, there were problems with both being too OP!

Match Making/AUR Gear
Was it that some of the best FPS players in the world played DUST514 or the match making was terribad or the AUR gear was OP. So many games I played were utterly dominated by a single player or two.

So what does Nova need?

None of the above problems!

For those who have never worked in sales or wrote tenders for contracts that stands for 'unique selling point'. When I have wrote tender documents our aim was to put something in there the opposition weren't offering. As an example in the gaming world, when Titanfall landed it had two. The parkoura and the FRACKING 50 FOOT TALL ROBOTS OF DEATH! Nova needs a USP to make it stand out from the crowd in a very crowded genre. Whilst DUST514 had USP in the Eve Online link and orbital bombardment, it really didn't appeal to the masses and required too much planning. FPS on a console and Eve Online have massively different playstyles. "Oh I might have a blast on DUST later if I feel like it. Want to provide some orbital bombardment?"

A Link to Eve
The FW link in DUST was used by the players. I know from my time in Gal Mil that both sides used DUST to make specific systems easier or harder to capture. Something like this needs replicating in Nova. May be it effects node spawning when entosising sov in null? May be it could be used to spawn an extra vulnerability window in a citadel or extend the existing one? When DUST514 was announced they said they'd be able to bring the Eve Universe to the "millions of PS users". Well it didn't. Don't think millions, think 100's of thousands of Eve players/fans. That'll get you started and then bring others in. Orbital bombardment was a good idea. Lets get that working right! There could be other ways to overlap the games. Something like that could be cool. Nova mercs disabling a high-slot on a citadel? A raid on a Nyx hangar bay to destroy fighter bombers?

A Monetisation that's Balanced.
I will happily pay appropriately for a good game. However, I'm not paying more than an equivelent of an Eve subscription per month for whatever Nova becomes. If some numbnut who doesn't have anything better to do than spend 200 a month on uber gear keeps killing me I'm going to stop playing. This is the issue. To make micro transactions worthwhile they have to give you a decent boost otherwise why buy them? If its too much of a boost it will discourage a lot of people from playing (the majority who don't want to spend 50 a week in a FPS!). This is going to be CCP's biggest headache. Making money whilst not giving those who want to throw cash at CCP so much of an advantage it spoils the game for the majority. If CCP do go F2P like DUST, this is one of the big issues.

Good luck CCP, I'm hoping for great things from Nova.

1 comment:

  1. All valid points, yet i lost faith that the Dust FPS team can provide a basic "satisfying" FPS experience. I played mostly logi and the lock-on mechanic, scan and overall balance, gameplay was poor and did not improve much over several patches.

    Most weapons and vehicles felt unresponsive and sluggish, compared to other FPS offerings.
    The biggest problem i had was the "strange" aim assist, since i never played a console FPS where i felt so incompetent. Even at short range i always had problems killing players with the most basic assault rifles or pistols.

    So i fear history simply repeat's itself, by trying to create a USP and integrate with eve, without delivering a satisfying core FPS experience and maps/gamemodes. Any USP you attach to a poorly executed FPS, will result in a low player base. The exception seems to-be large sandbox games, with rubbish FPS gameplay.