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‘How could you nerf my dropsuit-weapon-vehicle??’ We wonder if the devs ignore post like these as most intelligent people do. Posts where people cry about how theyve been wronged because their favorite weapon was nerfed and how it must be CCPs intent to screw them over [specifically of course] always fall on deaf ears to us. The devs have to consider the whole library and big picture rather than a single weapon when they make changes. Take the Minmatar HMG for a moment: Consider for a moment that if all holds true to EVE canon, the Minmatar HMG will probably be third in pure damage to the Gallente and Amarr variants. This could have been an impetus for lowering the HMG damage. Because it has to be slotted correctly when compared to the others and they dont want to be forced to give us a Gallente proto HMG that does 26 damage per round.

We’re just extrapolating here but we think you get the point. The devs have also mentioned that they use metrics, and not a vocal minority, or some silly knee jerk reaction when tuning the game. This is great to know, as data is more trustworthy than players with a clear bias for or against a certain weapon or piece of equipment. Imagine how difficult it is to tune the Heavy suit, tune it too harshly and it can’t fulfill its role, too easily and its unstoppable. Its always been our assertion that you cannot tune weaponry with the unskilled user in mind, because then the skilled user breaks the game. You must also tune with the exploiter in mind. Most have noticed the influx of Tactical ARs with this update. We’re happy to see it become a viable weapon again, but CCP has to keep an eye on the Modded Controller Contingent who have always sought to abuse this weapon. It may be a good idea to hard code its fire rate into the game to prevent it from becoming a long range, high damage, high ROF weapon that has no peer. But enough about that, in this piece we look at Uprising, what things stand out, need tweaking and what is absent. Keep reading for the details.

Misses



Matchmaking – We can’t stress enough how much this has to improve in this regard. When the new players come they wont stay long if veterans in proto level gear are able to prey on them. Dust 514 must have the best matchmaking system ever seen if its to maintain a solid playerbase. Not only must game modes be numerous, but even when higher level players venture into instant matches they must be matched up against players with comparable SP.
AFKing – That this is still an issue is inexcusable. Why are players that simply camp in the MCC during battles being rewarded for doing so? These mercs need to be kicked from the battles and receive AWOL occurrences on their permanent files at the very least. Imagine the implications when half of the players in a battle are behaving this way, ruining the experience for those actually playing. Most importantly, due to the copycat nature of online play, how can we not expect this kind of behavior to spread if its being rewarded? And who could blame them? This has been an exploit long enough for some people to wonder if CCP supports it.

Keyboard and Mouse – It seems as if there is an issue with this control option at the moment. This needs to be addressed ASAP, as it ruins the game for an entire group of players.

Turrets – Apparently turrets are having an issue with aiming high and low and not registering hits in some instances, another issue that has to be addressed ASAP.

HMG Bullet Spread – Giving Heavies more HP does nothing if they cant do consistent damage at their optimal damage range. Shouldn’t it be a bad idea to close the distance on a HMG? Like we mentioned above, many complain without being able to see the big picture but a system that has the HMG missing half of its rounds inside 30m or unable to hip fire isnt good. in a recent thread on the Dust 514 Forums, CCP Blam all but confirmed changes are coming. Reducing the HMG damage makes us scratch our heads a bit, but we’ll continue to trust that theres a method to the madness.

The New Death Screen – If theres someone who actually likes this new feature, we have yet to hear from them. Its more than a bit clunky and where is the quick bleedout option? We can understand urging players to ‘call for help’ but not allowing a fast respawn option allows wounded players to be revived in the middle of firefights where their chances of surviving more than few seconds are slim.

Faction Warfare – Let’s get this option working ASAP, as its a necessary break from the Ambush-Skirmish-OMS cycle. The devs must also make this grouping easy, if groups of 16 are allowed, this process must also be simple and quick. Organized teams should not be forced into playing with non-motivated random players who may have their own agenda in mind.

Nanite Injector – This items fail rate has been an issue for too long. The auto option is good but there are too many times we spam the injector over a down teammate to zero effect. Its getting to the point where many are hesitant to equip it because the instances where it actually works is so low.
Lag/Framerate – Still a small issue here at times. We know the devs will continue to strive into making this a non-issue.

Logis – Someone may want to keep a close eye on the metrics for logi players going forward. Many are abusing the CPU, PG, Slots and natural repair rate of this class to turn it into a super-assault. We know this isnt how it was intended. Lowering the base shields and armor and making this class more squishy might be necessary at some stage.

Hits



Missiles – Great tuning here as the missiles finally have bite again. There’s nothing worse than useless assets in a shooter. The weapon effects are also a nice touch.

HAVs – Tankers seem ready to riot if you believe what you see on the forums. Sounds like the ranting of a an entitled minority if you ask us. CCP looked at metrics [again, ignoring the small vocal minority] and determined these would be tuned down. Who could really argue with this? We actually argued for a system where drivers couldnt control weapons and vehicle ammo was not unlimited, this is pale by comparison and more than fair.

Scopes – The sights are very well done in this update, and although the Gallente model shows a scope when there is none we got over it. The next step is adding further customization so that players can equip their choice of visual enhancements.

Melee Damage – Here consistency shines as damage finally differs between the classes. Heavy, Assault, Logi, Recon. Well done, CCP.

Expanded Squads – This is a welcome addition, but we have to stress that this can only be the first step. CCP would do well to make squad size customizable. Like mentioned above, organized groups have prepared for Dust for some time, they cant be reduced to guessing whether theyll get into the same match or not.

Great Visuals – The graphic upgrade is considerable. CCP deserves a lot of credit here.

User-Friendly – The new node based skill tree is still complex but a bit easier to grasp.

Invite to Squad – At last! One of the best features in this build.

EVE Clock – A very welcome addition to menu, this was long overdue.

Repair Indicator – This is a very good mechanic that lets you know when you are being repaired. We would like to see more visual indicators like these.

Mass Driver – Instead of lowering the fire rate or direct damage, instead CCP took down the splash radius. Not bad at all. Rewarding player skill is always the best way to go.

Necessary Additions


Tutorial – We’ve ranted about the importance of this for some time to no avail. Now the NPE is even shorter with even less relevant details. Who is going to tell new players how to spend SP or how important an armor repairer is? Or that shield rechargers are useless at this stage? Or how to give squad orders or call an orbital strike? Do you realize no one tells you how to call in a vehicle? The list goes on and on, this is too complex a game to throw new players to the wolves and tell them to ‘figure it out’. Depending on the playerbase to train new players has always been folly.

Dust University provides a great service by taking willing new players under their wing, but how are new players even supposed to find out about them? There’s not so much as a link provided during the NPE. Jenza’s Dust 514 101 series has taken the unheard of step of doing the developers job for them and providing a tutorial for the new player in New Eden, but how many players go on internet searches to learn how to play shooters? Not many. They decide they cant figure it out and stop playing. Here again, not so much as a link. At this point we are tired of bringing it up. The NPE has gaping holes that will prevent even the interested player from enjoying the game. Either CCP will address it or suffer the consequences.

AV Grenade/RE Damage – This is still a mystery, and its baffling in a game like this where the details are so important. This is a necessary addition.

Weapon Range – Another critical value still curiously absent. Now that weapon ranges are fixed, its very important to display maximum and effective range on the weapon screen. At this stage its just as important as damage.

Join Game – Another feature still curiously absent. The ability to follow our allies into games [even ones in progress] is paramount.

Friendly Fire – This is New Eden, only instant battles should be of the casual variety. Its been mentioned that we first need deterrents for griefing and team killing. Fine, lets get them added ASAP so Dust is a more tactical and consistent place as a whole. Orbitals that kill the enemy but leave allies unscathed? No way.

Marking Targets – Gameplay still lacks a mechanic where non-squad leaders can highlight targets, Dust needs this functionality to improve the level of teamwork and communication.

Incapacitated Rangefinder – A mechanic that shows how far away down targets are so that we can prioritize our down teammates is critical.

Command Structure – We’re still completely cut-off from our teammates in Dust and communicating with them in team chat is optional for some reason. Even moreso its inefficient, have you ever been in team chat where 16 people are talking at once? Where are our MCC Commanders and a Platoon Commanders to oversee the Squad leaders? The result is reducing Dust to a game with little to no teamwork where each squad is on its own with no connection to the overall goal. Dust needs the compartmentalized command channels and platoon broadcast that MAG had, and it needs them now. Even the reviewer from Warp Drive Active seemed shocked by any kind of organizing principle ‘The 256-player shooter monstrosity that was MAG pulled this concept off much better than DUST does, resulting in gameplay that is far less like chaotic gang brawls and more like an organized ground war.’

Proximity Chat – We understand that talking to the enemy through a dropsuit isnt something the Dust lore supports, but what about friendlies that are close by? Features like this make the game alive and promote teamwork and communication. All of a sudden, instead of simply being a random blueberry the person asking for ammo is real.

Frames for each Class – The game has less variety without specific designs for the Minmatar Assault and Gallente, Amarr and Caldari Logis. CCPs Art and Design team are excellent and we feel almost cheated without seeing the unique looks of each of these classes. We’re almost certain the Logi and Assault frames were merged because the game had to make the 5.14 launch date, but we sincerely hope the next update shows us the specific designs for each.
Enemy Equipment – Let players destroy or hack enemy assets for a small bonus [+5 perhaps]

Orbital Strike Indicator – This notification can often go unseen due to the fact that its in the same blue text as everything else and there’s no verbal alert. Perhaps red or yellow text and a ‘orbital assets are available’ prompt would be more effective.

Incentives to Win – Dust still has the core issue of rewarding winners and losers similarly. There’s simply little difference between willing or losing a battle. This kills teamwork as players often decide to camp back into low-risk sniper positions rather than try to help achieve victory. This has to change, give the victors significantly more ISK. We’d also recommend no salvage for the defeated. Afraid of people leaving battles that arent going well? Penalize them by tracking Desertions and Deserter % on the mercs permanent file and make this information public and expose the fact that they are unreliable, lastly give us the option to disqualify mercs by Deserter % when player contracts are implemented. Higher level NPC contracts should have Deserter % thresholds as well.

Chat Timestamps – Another user friendly feature that would add to the overall game.

In Match Icon – This would be useful in showing users what players are available to group.

Cancelling Hacks – Its odd that we still dont get the WP for preventing the enemy from taking our objectives. This needs to change.

More MMOs need to use the soft launch strategy that CCP used with Dust 514 on the 6th. Invariably there will be game elements that are broken and need tweaking. Giving themselves a week with this new content to iron out the ‘kinks’ is one of the best decisions CCP has made with this title. Now they just have to address these issues as quickly as humanly possible so the game is a good experience upon release.

As always, we’ll continue to attempt to help promote and publish ideas that help establish, enhance and grow the Dust 514 community as much as we can. Have any ideas that need sharing? Would you like to join our staff as a writer? Be sure to contact us at [email protected]

- Magww

DUST Mercs is a Dust 514 dedicated blog which has been lining up and reporting on DUST 514 from day one. We invite you to visit their blog at dustmercs.blogspot.com.

15 Comments

  1. Get Hazed

    Welcome to EVE DUST faggots! Deal with it

    May 9, 2013 at 5:40 pm Reply
  2. jakus

    good read.

    May 9, 2013 at 6:08 pm Reply
  3. DarthNefarius

    Is there still huge disparity between shield & armour tanking?

    May 9, 2013 at 9:00 pm Reply
  4. Dust player

    I agree with most of what was said here. Good job!

    May 9, 2013 at 9:06 pm Reply
  5. Very awesome article. There are a couple things I believe the game needs in addition to your suggestions:

    A squad ping and squad finder. Since matches take up your entire screen and corp/alliance chats are relegated to a background role, there should be a visible PING that goes out to corp mates if a Director forms a squad and is looking for members. Squad finder should be exactly like fleet finder in EVE.

    OB's from EVE need to be time-based, not WP based.

    Is it just me or is there no voice option for Alliance?

    Bonuses need another look at (Gallente Assault gets pg/cpu fitting buffs and shield recharge? Really? So much for viable armor tanking.)

    May 9, 2013 at 9:22 pm Reply
    1. jakus

      agree that strikes from EVE should have cooldown, not be based on WP.

      May 13, 2013 at 1:44 pm Reply
    2. Buzz

      i agree. one more thing, when weapons are firing let the location automatically be shown on the radar. that will prevent a lot of campimg as well.

      May 20, 2013 at 12:49 am Reply
  6. TBH. mouse and keyboard work perfectly fine for me i don't understand what this issues are? i dont have issues with turret control thou.
    Alot of options to do on the keyboard get get in aircrafts they need to make it simpler.

    May 9, 2013 at 10:49 pm Reply
    1. kudu

      haven't tried the new build myself, can you set custom keys?

      May 10, 2013 at 6:05 am Reply
  7. NNN

    im brand new player but cant hit a fucking barn door in dust, im a decent fps player usually but cant work out if its dust not allowing me to aim properly due to skills or controller for ps3 is useless for fps(which it is, but never this bad)

    May 10, 2013 at 5:43 am Reply
    1. space rapist

      don’t feel bad. aiming is crap now and movement feels like you are hip deep in crap. they need to open some maps up.

      May 10, 2013 at 7:36 am Reply
  8. Indignant Tanker

    Your characterization of HAV players as an entitled minority seems largely just a reflection of your own self-centered thinking. If you actually look at the crap they’ve done to tanks in Uprising, a little anger is called for. Turrets that can’t elevate higher then 20 degrees, mis-named skills like the one that we thought boosted PG/CPU but in reality only reduced the CPU requirement of powergrid diagnostics, and just today the addition of an additional skill requirement for shield extenders (so unless you had some leftover, your Gunnlogi was immediately docked 1k HP).

    Add to this issues like the Hacked EV-O1 AV Grenade or whatever it’s called that costs a total of 2K isk for an advanced grenade that shreds most tanks, and you’re damn right I’m upset. A nerf is one thing, this is a cockslap.

    May 10, 2013 at 9:23 am Reply
  9. 1nce

    Proximity chat is a double edged sword. For every person asking for something legitimately related to gameplay another person is streaming music.

    May 10, 2013 at 4:16 pm Reply
  10. Unimpressed

    Ah I see now why everyone was bashing your blog besides refering to yourself as us like your some kinda organization and not a neckbeard playing journalist you have a very clear bias, will not read again.

    May 12, 2013 at 3:10 pm Reply
  11. Cosgar

    Nerfing a game mechanic is one thing, but doing so without being mentioned in the patch notes and continuously making changes without indication is a detrimental practice in a game like Dust 514. The way character progression is set up, you invest a lot of time, SP, isk and even AUR into specific game mechanics and expect them to be balanced, especially since the game is already released. I’ve witnessed several changes without prior indication, turning the ideals of risk vs reward on its head. This isn’t fair for players that play the game correctly by investing into a specific play style when their only reward is for it to be diminished to the point of novelty, sometimes without prior notice.

    June 2, 2013 at 12:10 pm Reply

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