Monday, September 2, 2013

DUST Off to DUST On and 1.1

In January I bought a PS3 just for DUST. I played some closed beta, I played some open beta, I played some of the full game. I wanted to like it, I'm a Eve-O fan boi. But, no, I just couldn't get into it.

I enjoy FPS on my XBox. I have a stack of them from Halo to Call of Duty. But I just couldn't get into DUST514 no matter how I tried. I pushed ahead regardless, I played even though I didn't want to. This is Eve! I will get into it. I didn't. So for about the last two months the PS3 has been sat gathering dust and hasn't even been switched on. At some point over the summer the wife even tidied most of the cables and bits away.

As regular readers know I'm on restricted bandwidth out here in the desert. As I start drafting this it was the 31st and there were 8 hours left of August. I'd use just over 15gb of my 20gb allowance so I thought I'd update DUST and see if any of the patches has made it any better in my eyes.

First of all was a big update for the PS3 operating system. Damn! Then 2.6gb to update DUST. I got a text message that I've used 80% of my bandwidth. However, it all gets updated and done with a couple of gig to spare.

I log in and I find I have 3.5 million skill points unallocated. That should give you an idea of how long I've been away from DUST. I decide not to mess with anything and see how the game has improved. I jump right into a quick battle.

First up spawn screen feels better and soon I'm on the ground running for an objective. I'm having to try and remember the controls and throw a grenade into open space by accident. Whoops. I hack an objective and turn a corner to be met by a shotgun wielding opposition member who one-shots me. New clone, new attempt. Fire is peppering me all around but I'm glad to see the maps no longer look like midnight at a Tiesto rave with laser beams everywhere. Something 'boomy' obliterates that clone in a case of "where the **** did that come from?" Forge gun? Turret? Tank? Bloody big grenade?

So far I've died twice and not really shot at anything. Someone behind me catches my 3rd clone and kills me before I can really turn around to return fire. So far the game feels better but is still too easy to die. The movement defiantly feels more fluid and manoeuvring is smoother, although not smooth enough for clone number four who dies to a headshot from a sniper.

I spot an enemy a fair distance away. The aiming still doesn't feel 'right' especially when aiming down the sights. I'm a CoD XBox'er and the aiming in DUST still is an issue to me. It certainly feels a lot better than it did, but it is still a problem for me. I take him down though! Woot a kill! I see a team mate go down to my right and am able to take down the guy who killed him. I'm getting more into the game, but still keep thinking back to "CoD is better".

A gang of enemies at an objective get a pair of grenades and a spray of AR fire from me which helps rack up some kills. I die a bunch more, I kill a few more. 

The game ends with my team victorious and I have a K/D ration of 0.9 with 9 kills and 4 assists. Now that is not bad for someone who has not played the game in a couple of months I feel.

I try another game today and got roflstompted constantly. Vehicles still squish you, an organised couple of players will murder a team of randoms, you spawn and die three seconds later not even knowing what was attacking you.

There were some good points. I only saw one heavy compared to before summer where every man and his dog was in a walking tank with a BFG. The noob-cannons aren't as deadly as they were so it is extra satisfying when you empty a clip into his face as his grenade launcher is "thrunking" away. But it wasn't a great game for me.

I'm back in the merc quarters and look at the skill tree. Its like I was five years ago in Eve. I haven't much of a clue what would be best to invest in. The fitting screen is too complex and I really cannot be bothered to alter any of my dropsuits. I leave the 3.5m skill points untouched and do not replace my now exhausted primary dropsuits. Its too much work for a console game.

I think that sums up DUST for me personally. Too much work. I really want DUST to be a great game, and I know there are plenty out there who think it is. But not me, not yet and not by a long chalk. Its getting there, but still a way off. A new point release is out this week, I'm in two minds what to do here. The improvements made whilst I've been AFJ (away from joypad) for two months have really improved the game, but for me there needs to be a lot more work. I love CoD as a game I can plonk myself down in front of the big TV, have a few good games shooting people in the face and then go do something else. If I want a complex game that needs other people to work with and a lot to think about.... well I'll go play Eve obviously!

I'll ask what the patch size is after deployment of 1.4. But for now now, I see Eve as being my game of choice with the occasional blast of violence sticking to CoD on the XBox. DUST still hasn't won me over.

Talking of Eve, Odyssey 1.1 deploys tomorrow. Things that have caught my eye.

New Skill Tree.
The new skill tree has broken some of the categories down which makes much more sense. Armour and shields have their own category having been separated from the larger Mechanics and Engineering categories. It is now a lot easier to find the skills you want.

New Skills
The problem with using jump clones regularly is the 24 hour timer. Say you want to do some solo work and have a clone for that, but you have a fleet tomorrow and need your armour clone for that. You cannot use both. With the new time reducing skill you can hop into your solo clone and play safe in the knowledge when you log on at the start of your peak time the next day, you can clone jump! Oh and you can now have up to 10 jump clones with the new skills. Great for us that have the armour clone, the shield clone, the null-sec clone, the learning clone......

Industrial Ship Balancing
For me this is nothing and something. Firstly I don't generally use industrials so the balancing is not of interest. However as an ebil piwat I shoot them. This is where the renaming is going to be an issue. Point on Kryos.... oh wait, that's a Kronos! Oh fuuuuuu..........

Commandships and Links
From 1.1 warfare links (other than mining links) won't work inside POS shields. So the AFK booster has a decision to make. Orbit the pos just outside the shields or safe up. Either way there are now risks involved. Should make for some interesting ganks. Personally I think many who use POS'd up boosters will just dickstar the POS and do the orbit thing.

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