Wednesday, January 23, 2013

My First Day of DUST514

At the weekend I bought a PS3 and downloaded DUST514. Yesterday, the NDA was lifted so I can actually talk about my experience! So here is my first impressions of.....

The PS3
Piece of crap! Arrrgghhhhhhhh! My XBox simply talks to my wi-fi and my computers. This piece of junk wouldn't without a lot of hassle! Took me an age to get the sodding thing working! Thankfully the interwebz was very helpful - Android wireless access point, don't even try and Windows 7 "Unknown Network" issue, here is what you need to do to get it to work.

The PS3 Controller.
I'm used to the XBox controller. This PS3 controller is totally alien and really causing me issues. I think I need the keyboard and mouse ASAP! I've obviously got a bit better but it is still causing me issues. If you're one of the sad geeks like me who have bought a PS3 just for Eve, then expect some death by controller!

DUST514 Itself
So I finally get in. It says it's a 2.7gb download but I note my usage meter says I spunked 6gb that day. No idea what's going on there.
Anyway, into DUST. It's like being catapulted back in time. I'm back to 2008 and I have just installed this game called Eve Online. I confronted with a massive array of skills, equipment and options. I have no clue what to do there is no tutorial like in other FPS games that show you how to play. I'm scratching my head even with the helpful tool-tips and the "Would you like to know more?" options. Thankfully five years of playing Eve has equipped me for the "Here's the deep end, just jump in! Oh and can you hold this anvil at the same time?". I am worried about new players who aren't "Eve-ised".

I look around and can immediately see this is Eve. The selection of skills is mind-boggling Thankfully Eve players will be able to give a half decent guess to what they do just by looking at them. Skills to increase PG and CPU of your suit are there. Levelling the skills higher lets you use better stuff or do more damage/take more hurt. There are skills to lower your signature radius or increase your scan res (OK the terms are different but the effect is the bloody same Mr Picky!)

The choice of gear is huge.... but not for me as I look at all the cool toys that might as well have a huge red label stuck across them saying "With your skill points? Don't make me laugh!"

Fitting is the same as Eve but much more difficult due to me not being used to the controller. But with not many skill points and not much ISK I stick with the free unlimited "Starter fits". Usual ones are there, assault, medic, anti-armour, sniper.

So no more messing and jump into a battle. After 5 minutes I feel like I'm back in 2009, when I first started to go down the PvP route in Eve.

The maps are sufficiently large with plenty of structures and an appropriate sci-fi feel to them. I feel some of the terrain has issues in that it looks like you should be able to fit through a gap but you soon find you cannot. The spawn map is rather neat and you can see the fighting, including bullets and rockets, zipping far below as you pick where you want to spawn. Useful if there is an enemy tank causing issues and you've just selected an anti-armour fit.

Then there is the combat. I doubt I can give a good review of this as my first days have been very much....

"Look there is an..... oh I'm dead."

"Right I'll run over.... oh I'm dead."

"OK I've respawned now.... oh I'm dead."

Things are not being helped by the way the buttons on the control work. The "big button" on the trigger control lets you swap weapons. The small one fires your gun. So I'm spending a lot of time changing from my rifle to my pistol when I actually wanted to FIRE! Oh yes, and spending a lot of time dying!

I suppose I understand why. For a start I'm in the dropsuit equivalent of an Ibis firing the equivalent of a civilian Gatling No wonder I'm getting kerb-stomped by everyone else when they are running about in the equivalent of T2 fit Thrashers. Best so far has been finishing 5th on my team of 16. But that's taken a fair bit of practice.

I'm a COD player, so I'm used to the kill cam showing you how you died. In DUST there is no kill cam. So when you die you need to quickly look up in the scrolling text and spot who killed you and with what. It can be really frustrating when you keep getting one-shotted all the damn time from an unseen assailant.

I tried the assualt fit. That is a standard Jack-of-all-Trades fit with assault rifle. I tried the sniper fit and found I couldn't hit a barn-door as I wasn't use to the controls. I tried the heavy fit. Fantastic launching a salvo of rockets at an enemy vehicle and watching it assplode. Not so fantastic when you're up against a ground soldier and this big rocket launch will only fire when locked on.

I died to other fits! The heavy machine guns that look like Gatling guns tear through us noobs with ease. I don't know what a mass driver is, but it kersplats. The laser rifle sliced me up, the sniper rifles blew me away, the remote explosives scatter by entails around a large area and the turrets vaporised me and my dangly bits.

I did have a few YES! moments. A triple kill by sneaking up behind the enemy lines. Blowing up a Warthog (or whatever they are called in DUST, looks like a Halo Warthog to me!) with a rocket launcher and blowing another up after I hacked a large turret and climbed inside.

As you can probably guess I spent a lot more time dying than killing. However I do suspect this is due to the controller issues as I'm OK on COD on the XBox. After 5 days of casual playing I've started to get a positive kill/death ratio. I think this is a combination of skill points (I now can use a MKII Caldari Dropsuit), money (I now have the ISK to pay for non-militia gear) and getting used to the controller.

Initial Conclusions
If this hadn't been an Eve game I may have given up already. But this IS an Eve game and I'm expecting it to work in the same way. With low skill points and little ISK I am going to get kerbstomped......... a lot. I am going to die, respawn, die before I have even moved and respawn again. The 5 kills to 15 deaths will improve and has somewhat! But once I have that critical mass of skill points and ISK, then I can deal the pain. But for now, I'm a noob who's primary role is cannon fodder.

P.S. YES! I know I should use a keyboard and mouse but I like playing console games in my big armchair, laying back looking at the big-screen TV!


  1. Once you're used to the controls, you'll notice that you begin to stomp on other people even with militia gear.

    Last match i played, i used a full militia gear (save for a standard AR, never use a militia AR, it has less ammo) and was first of my team on WP, and with a 25/5 ratio.

    And i only have Shield Boost System to 4 (3% more regen per lvl), Shield Control lvl 2 (5% more shield per lvl), Weaponry 2 (2% more damage per lvl), AR Operation lvl 3(5% less recoil i think, or someting like that) and field repair 3 (5% more armor per lvl).

    (Didn't quote skills non relevant on the field).

    Really, once you're good enough at this game, others games are scary. I mean, i played halo again after that, and you can't help but notice that they are literally NO COVER in this game. (Oh, and that the warthog is AMAZING)

  2. I sympathize with ya about the sitting in an armchair. I tried to do that with a kb/mouse, didn't work lol. I ended up moving my PS3 to my computer desk and use that monitor with a HDMI cable, then I could sit comfortably and still play.

    But yeah, your "YES! moment" is exactly how you kill people in Dust as a newb. Sneak up behind them and put a couple of bullets in their head. Situational awareness is what you use to kill people. Look for patterns of movement and come in behind groups so that you come at them from an unexpected direction. Sneak up on snipers. Get in close to Laser Rifles and Mass Drivers or flank them. Stay far away from Shotguns and Submachine guns. I could go on lol.

    -Lason Rift

  3. I don't know how you managed to break the PS3 wifi system, it is meant to be the simplest of the two consoles. All i had to do was turn on the ps3 and hit connect to PSN and it automatically connected.

    1. My home doesn't have any telecoms cables to it! I either use a 4G dongle (which is very fast and low lag) or use my phone as a wireless access point. Whilst the XBox is a wi-fi slut and will pair up with anything, the PS3 is more picky. Looking on the internet it appears PS3's don't like Android wireless AP's for some technical reason. As soon as rooting the phone was mentioned I gave up :)

  4. Try playing with a squad. I found that the game is infinatly more fun when you have people to coordinate with rather then running around with a bunch of most of the time clueless blueberries. Its especially good for my K/D ratio as you have people you can eal time talk to covering your back so you hardly ever get snipped without warning. Assists will roll in, kills will roll in, and you'll find a decent squad will hold the top 3 or 4 spots every warzone.


    Dust 514 Mercenary