Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Eve Valkyrie Development with Lessons From DUST

So yesterday CCP announced they are turning EV-R into a game.

Who'd have thought that! Well I bloody well called it...... twice! (warning, that second link is a piece of fiction I wrote for the games introduction/first mission. Eve Geek Level = EXTREME!)
Anyway, could this be a great game? Absolutely! Could it also be a monumental disappointment. Absolutely! I really want CCP to succeed with EV-R the game. It could be a return to the great days of Wing Commander! But lets set out some ground rules as we want Eve-like player numbers in Valkyrie, not DUST like. So......

1. Don't Make it Complicated.
You can have customisation without the levels of Eve or DUST. No skill tree needed and a simple method of swapping a limited choice of armaments and ships. Let the most taxing thing on the fitting screen be "should I go for friend-or-foe fire-and-forget missiles or high damage missiles that need a proper lock? If we want complicated fitting choices we'll boot up Eve Online and EFT. Not everything has to have Eve-like levels of complicatedness. Think Call of Duty over Eve Online. Beware of Eve Devs who think Eve-like!

2. It Doesn't Have to Be Meaningful
When I suggest EV-R the game I looked into ways of making PvP have an impact in Eve Online. In the end I said "forget it, bad idea". DUST is sold on that link but in reality it has little or no actual impact on the Eve Online universe. The impact perceived by the Eve-O players is it is even less than that. Lets not try and shoe-horn some connection between the two/three games that shifts focus off the important stuff like game-play, graphics and storyline!

3. PvP Should be In and Out.
Accessible is the name of the game here! "I've got 30 minutes before wife agro kicks in, what shall I do? Eve? Not enough time really. DUST? Well it all depends if the guys are on and there is a squad up as we all know what happens if you join a random battle solo. Ah! A quick blast on EV-R!". Eve Online is game you need to invest serious time in really. DUST, well to be effective you need to make arrangements. EVR should be a quick in and out. Set it apart from the current CCP time-sinks. If I want complex PvP, I'll log into Eve. EVR should be arcade sytle fun! You should be able to get your mates around to show off the headset and game. Get them suckered into the Eve-O universe gently!

4. No Pay2Win/Micro-Transactions
Sell the game, as a game. You know that old fashioned method where I give you cash and you give me a copy of the game to download. And before anyone says anything about cost. You need a VR headset to play the damn game! If you can afford a VR headset you can afford a bloody game! To be honest I'd be massively surprised if Oculus Rift were not backing the development of this game financially. The feedback at E3 has probably showed them that this is their 'Halo' or 'Sonic the Hedgehog'. This is the game that will sell their headsets. People might not want a headset as a matter of course, but they will want this awesome game.... which needs a headset. Therefore I'm guessing after CCP backed their Kickstarter, the tables have now turned and they are investing money into CCP! After all it is likely to get them hardware sales. Just look at this year, some really dumb people* spent their hard earnt cash to buy a brand-new PS3 just for DUST514!

5. Ensure a Gripping Single Player Campaign
This is a must if the game is going to get anywhere. Go read the reviews of DUST514, it is painful but many of the reviews point out that the lack of any sort of single player mode is an issue. PvP should be the bolt-on to the single player campaign. Take a long hard look at Wing Commander. Thats how to do it! You have the opportunity to make me feel like I'm in an epic sci-fi movie. I shudder to think what could be done with cut-scenes with that technology!

So come one CCP, put your game-face on and make a winner. No endless beta, no half-finished game that is release with a list of future promises, no over-the-top complicated systems that need an out-of-game spreadsheet to use properly. Lets not have another DUST514 please! My PS3 is sat gathering dust (pun intended) having been bought in January specifically for DUST514 and now sits unused after I gave up on DUST over the summer (see * above). I don't want the same to happen to an Oculus Rift headset on my desk!

Make it so!

1 comment:

  1. AMEN Brotha!!! I agree with everything you've said here and I hope CCP takes it to heart.

    I've been waiting for a spiritual remake of Freespace2 and I hope Valkyrie goes in that direction, especially with the single player campaign. They certainly have the lore to support the game.

    I just hope they don't make OR an absolute requirement to play. I'm willing to make a $50 investment for the game itself, but I'm not going to invest $300 plus again for a single game like I did with Dust.

    Baljos Arnjak