Monday, January 14, 2013

DUST and FW - Should the Losers be Helped?

So we have the DUST Bunnies fighting over our temperate planets now on the live Eve Online servers. I need to get some orbital bombardment ammo and lob down some Thrasher pain on their puny bodies. Looking at how it actually works, it is a bit disappointing  It's the same hit text as if you fire on a ship with a slight visual of an explosion on the planet far below. I don't want to hit someone for 345 damage. I want to blow their arms and legs off, vaporise their nuts and charcoal their dingly-danglies! I'd just love to see a UI with picture-in-picture from the surface as the pain arrives. Something like this:-

I assume some DUST Bunny is pointing a laser targetter at the spot he wants nuking from orbit (as its the only way to be sure) so why not add a video camera on it. Obviously this might be a massive task to code. But how cool would that be to see DUST Bunnies flying through the air with their arms and legs flailing in the air calling for their mummy?

From the Dev Blog it appears that the Mercs can take NPC contracts to capture districts on planets in faction war systems. I wonder how these will pay? Will they be same value for each side or will they change value depending on how the war is going?

Take the Caldari/Gallente warzone. Currently the Caldari are getting stomped. At the weekend we captured the last of the systems. The Gallente controlled the entire warzone. Would the Gallente Federation be paying DUST Bunnies a lot to help? No. Currently we don't need help. We're doing great thank you very much.

But the Caldari State? They'd pay handsomely for any help they can get.

Currently in space the better you do, the more money you make (control tiers increase LP payout). We Gallente get a nice multiplier to LP rewards thanks to being at warzone control tier IV. But on the fight for the planets, should the underdogs be given more money? You couldn't have this dynamic in space because of Eve Players. We know Eve Players will exploit every mechanic possible to make the maximum money. If rewards got higher if you were losing, then the militia would purposely try and lose in order to farm LP's as we saw in post-Inferno FW where losing a system and farming plexes was much more rewarding than capturing and holding a system.

Higher rewards for helping the losing faction could prove an interesting dynamic in overall warzone control. Whilst for cock-waving-rights, holding 100% or so of the space is great. But if you look at the Caldari Miltia numbers you can see them dropping. With the complete fall of Northern Black Rise in the last couple of weeks there was a notable drop in Caldari Militia Pilots about. Demotivated pilots getting little or no LP reward will look for greener pastures. That means I personally have a smaller pool of people to MURDER IN THE FACE!

I wanted to see the Gallente Militia take control of the entire warzone on one hand, but I'm afraid of what effect that might have on the Caldari on the other. Thankfully they are fighting back which is great news.

If the DUST Bunnies are rewarded more for helping the underdogs, this will also help the losing side in space. Ideally we want a balanced warzone with a lot of good fighting on the front-lines  Total dominance by one side does not make for good PvP.

With Ev0ke joining the war and the masses of Gallente militia burnt-out from a concentrated month of plexing, the Caldari are starting to win back systems. If there was "reverse tiers" for DUST system capture then the merc corps would generally help those that are "losing". Hence the side with less controlled systems would find the systems easier to capture. But should they go into the lead, then you can assume the mercs will start taking contracts from the other side. Could the DUST bunnies provide the balance we need in FW system control?

In the past I've said I'm a bit meh about DUST. I like my console shooters, I'm just wondering how DUST will actually do in the real world. Plenty of guys on Twitter say its great and doing well.

I suppose I should sample it, it is my birthday on Friday and the wife is wanting to know what I want for my birthday. And as my first choice of birthday present received a very clear "NO!" from her, may be a PS3 is in order to sit next to the XBox in the computer room.


  1. CCP has summarily rejected awarding those that lose at FW, time and time again throughout the reform process. Why would they suddenly reverse this design philosophy and apply it to Dust 514?

    We have yet to see the dreaded "death of FW" due to one side winning and holding space indefinitely, and until it does, CCP has little reason to change their stance on the issue.

    1. Because we're not talking crafty space pilots who bend every rule to their advantage. We're talking mercs who do not care whose side they are fighting for, they just go with the money.

      I've not played DUST but I'm imagining that the Mercs will go for the money.

      If the NPC contracts for the "losing" side in FW pays 10-20% more than the winning side surely the Mercs will go for that one. When the losing side starts winning, they'll swap.

      Whilst reward for losing will certainly not work in space, I can see a situation where it might work in DUST?