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DUST 514 Preview

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     When I first heard about DUST-514 I really was excited. The concept sounded excellent and from what they showed us at E3 it really did look promising. However, after playing the beta for several hours I came to a few conclusion about the future of CCP Games' latest title.

     You are greeted with an awesome opening trailer showing all sorts of flashy space battles, ground warfare, cool futuristic vehicles, players running around with rocket launchers and some overall concept of an even greater war going on in the universe around you. Which is great. It really is. But when you actually start playing the game, err beta I should say. It’s a different story entirely. First of all get ready to wait because the loading times in this title are killer. You start in-station which in DUST is referred to as MERC-Quarters.

This is essentially one medium sized room with your suite customization, skills, leader-board, and quick-battle launcher. You can move your character around your quarters (slowly) and select whichever display strikes your fancy. Now here’s the thing anybody familiar with the EVE Online universe is aware of; there is a learning cliff as opposed to a learning curve and although CCP attempted to make this quasi-eve more accessible to players it really isn’t. You still have skills which are necessary for equipping different weapons, suits, and modules but those skills usually have prerequisites of other skills and it all works in very much the same way that it’s PC counterpart does, just with many more limitations.

Some small errors include a lack of a search bar in the skill que and an option which is supposed to open your prerequisites window instead opens the descriptions tab under the info window. Now, the game is “free-to-play” and the reason I have this in quotes is because of the micro-transaction model this game is based on essentially makes this a not-so-free game. There is an in-game marketplace where you can buy new vehicles, weapons, modules etc. and you do this with AUR and ISK which are both in-game currencies in EVE Online and in DUST-514.

You gain AUR buy buying it from the playstation network and you gain ISK from you matches in battle. I should mention that skills are not trained like EVE Online, there is no time required to train a skill it happens instantly, but it does require already acquired skill points also gained in the field. If you want to have a shot at surviving any war in DUST you will be required to upgrade your drop-suit with modules which will cost more isk than you will likely make in-game and some things flat out require AUR which must be bought from the playstation network. So if you ever want to get anywhere get ready to shell out some real world mullah.

     The overall structure of the beta isn’t all that bad, the market works, the suite modules work somewhat and the general setup of skill training is complicated but understandable. Even if it is a blatant dumbed down clone of it’s big brothers in-game structure. This is all the good stuff; when it get’s disappointing is when we actually load into our first battle. You can choose from Ambush (Team Death Match) Skirmish (Domination) & Ambush OMS ( slightly more tactical TDM) from your quick-match section. This is just a beta so I don’t expect the environment to look spectacular and trust me it doesn't. You are given a few options of drop suits which are your classic setups: assault, sniper, medic etc. and you spawn directly into battle.

And when I say directly into battle I really mean into a 70% chance of spawn-camp situation because that is an issue which runs rampant in this game. It is a wide spread problem across all of the modes so get ready to die upon spawning. Rest assured without some major changes it is almost guaranteed at some point or another. You could try to shoot back with an underpowered inaccurate assault rifle which sounds like a tinny pew pew wannabe space gun but you would need to be able to aim down your sights. Now this might be a problem for a few reasons. One reason might be that the controls are either entirely too slow and loose for the actual movement of your character and crazy oversensitive when it comes to zooming in.

The other could be an odd skipping effect even when holding down L1 quite emphatically and yet for some reason having the sights come up and down a few time before actually staying in-focus. Or... you could just be stuck halfway inside of the ground unable to move and yes that did happen to me. Twice. Grenade? Sure throw it the whole five feet away and watch a mediocre explosion with little to no actual damage. The amount of health you have is laughable. You have shields armor and health just like a ship in the eve online universe but is far more minimal. You will either be mowed down by somebody with a mini-gun in a 8000 AUR suit and hundreds of thousands worth of isk in upgrade modules, a vastly overpowered vehicle mounted machine gun, or a tank.

The balancing in this regard is awful. The vehicles by the way are horrendous. Just getting them pointed in the right direction can be a challenge and the controls are tuned with a gigantic sledge hammer and by that I mean broken. And really, really broken. They are also extremely overpowered and if you choose the only class in the game which has the weapons to take down these vehicles be prepared to defend yourself with nothing but a tiny pistol as the rocket launcher does not seem to be able to lock on anything other than a vehicle. The vehicles which look suspiciously similar to warthogs are air dropped in and I have no expiation of where they actually come from or why the developers decided it was a good idea to include them in the game when they were clearly not ready. Not even ready for a beta.

And I did go through the trouble of upgrading my skills buying a new drop-suite and equipping it with armor plating, tech II shields and all sorts of other goodies. Which accomplished little to nothing in increasing the amount of time I stayed alive. I do have quite a bit of shooter experience by the way. I even brushed up on my shooter skills before downgrading to this beta. When you do die all the fittings die with you which means you will have to “replenish” your suite multiple times which costs more ISK and AUR (which you cannot receive in-game) and will invariably land you in a much lesser suite.

So. That’s DUST-514. But I do have to admit that this is still in the beta stages and with lots and lots of fixing it may be somewhat worthwhile. Oh and the whole integrated war thing. That is only possible with planet interaction skills with a certain type of ammo in one planet in one solar system in EVE Online. Which by the way houses 5000+ solar systems. Which essentially equates to an extremely limited interactive experience.

Overall this is a beta which I really can’t recommend to anybody, even the hardcore EVE Online fans. It may be that we just need to wait and see what happens in future builds and hope that there is a complete overall of the current combat situation. The good news is that the difficult part, the actual structure of your suite, skills, modules, and upgrades runs quite well. Maybe one day, possibly one well in the future this will be an excellent interactive experience accessible to all and a blast and a half to enjoy with friends. And by the way I have nothing bad to say about EVE Online as it is a far better experience in every way.


DUST-514, dust, 514, beta, preview

4/6/2013 Charles Dutka

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More Previews Of This Game
08/30/11 DUST 514 Ben Dutka

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Legacy Comment System (11 posts)

Saturday, April 06, 2013 @ 11:03:40 PM

Sorry you had to spend any time with this Charles, it really wasn't any fun back when I tried it either and the E3 thing had me excited too. It was all just so mediocre. I can't help but think Destiny will come out very similar if less difficult to grasp.

I think with PS4 coming this game will just be lost in the dust so to speak. Sad.

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Saturday, April 06, 2013 @ 11:05:53 PM

yup that game blows lol Defiance is much better... still not 10/10 worthy but WAY better than Dust

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Killa Tequilla
Saturday, April 06, 2013 @ 11:28:36 PM

who is Charles Dutka?

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Saturday, April 06, 2013 @ 11:42:27 PM

Ben's bro

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Sunday, April 07, 2013 @ 7:44:56 AM

Yeah looks like Defiance is what Dust514 should have been. A buddy of mine got Defiance and is utterly excited about it.

Last edited by Beamboom on 4/7/2013 8:12:03 AM

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Sunday, April 07, 2013 @ 8:31:46 PM

Yeah Defiance is really fun. I got into closed Beta on PC and had a blast playing it.

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Sunday, April 07, 2013 @ 1:47:53 PM

This game is still in beta right? I tried it back when it was ps plus only and it wasn't too fun, but hopefully it will be much better before release.

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Sunday, April 07, 2013 @ 3:52:25 PM

Aside from being shocked at the existence of another Dutka (Twice the awesomeness=hell yeah). I agree about the game not living up to the amount of hype that it began with. I'm always more hesitant to try MMOs and Dust did not change that. I don't know, it just doesn't feel like enough has been done with it. Now maybe they'll add changes and fixes/upgrades in the future, but I doubt I'll still feel like looking into it at that point.

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Sunday, April 07, 2013 @ 10:40:31 PM

Wow! I disagree with so much of this I don't know where to start. First off I have been in the beta since last April and the game has grown significantly from then, second you really should have considered waiting till next month when the new build comes out introducing planetary conquest.

Ok so first of all when you start to play this game JOIN A CORP! The learning cliff is drastically reduced when you play with people that can both offer you advice and also watch your back on the battlefield. If you plan on having fun with the game then a Corp is a absolute necessity.

As far as the skills not helping you to survive longer, well you probably didn't choose the right skills as they most certainly will help you survive longer. Field Mechanics should be one of the first ones you try to get to level 5 as it increases your armors HP by 5% with each level. Also to see the prerequisites all you had to do was hit triangle then R2 twice and there they are.

As far as the vehicles controls go I think you were spot on they are pretty awful. However you said

"and if you choose the only class in the game which has the weapons to take down these vehicles be prepared to defend yourself with nothing but a tiny pistol as the rocket launcher does not seem to be able to lock on anything other than a vehicle"

Again this shows you didn't spend anywhere near enough time with the game as you don't know what you are talking about. As far as anti-vehicle goes you have the Forge Gun, Swarm Launcher, Remote Explosives, AV grenades, Flux Grenades, and even the Heavy Machine Gun can all do damage to vehicles let alone the obvious vehicle on vehicle combat. You also didn't need to rely on just the pistol as you can equip the pistol, SMG, or Nova knifes as a sidearm.

The spawn camping issue isn't anywhere near as bad as it was last build. Also if you didn't notice you can create your own spawn points by using drop uplinks drastically reducing spawn camping(unless the uplink is found).

As far as having to spend real money for Aurum you couldn't be more wrong. It is not necessary at all to spend money on that, in fact most players will laugh at you if you do as the Aurum is much better spent on either Active or Passive boosters. The only scenario in which real world money might become necessary is when you join a corp many will ask/require you to get UVT(Universal Voice Transmitter) which is 1,000Aur per 30 days which is equal to I believe .50 cents a month. Having UVT is paramount in Corp matches as you will need to communicate with your EVE players for Orbital Strikes, which by the way are fantastic in Corp battles.

As far as your fittings go(suits not suites) you have to find a balance between cheap/free and your expensive suits. If you go into every match using your best gear then yes you will be broke, however if you learn when to use said suits you can rake in the ISK.

Problem is that you can spend several weeks with this game and not have enough info to write a proper article so several hours is just a joke as far as I am concerned. The thing is most people are not going to like this game as it requires a high degree of teamwork, which unfortunately is the opposite of what most shooters ask for from its player base.

The Corp I am apart of takes new to Vet status players under its wing. And if you want a better experience I suggest you look us or a couple of other corps up that are willing to work with newer players. Our corp is "OSG Planetary Operations" another corp that is good for teaching is "DUST University".

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Sunday, April 07, 2013 @ 10:52:17 PM

By the way if any of you want to join our corp we ask that you have a mic(and are willing to use it), UVT is only required for Factional Warfare(Corp Battles). The only thing we ask is that you sign up to our website before applying in game as we use the site to disseminate all info pertaing to the game. Our sites address is in the description of our Corp in game, so you can get it from there as I would rather not use this site to advertise it(don't know if it would be frowned upon).

We are always recruiting and one thing is we would love to get more European players in the Corp so that we can have a 24 hour a day presence within the game.

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Saturday, April 27, 2013 @ 1:47:55 AM

This HAS to be said. You cannot judge this game by "playing for a couple of hours. You need to understand that most of these "limitations" are there to A. Make it a little more fair so people don't get so jakked up so fast that they ruin the game. and B. There is no pve at the moment. Dust 514 does have micro transactions which you all know I ONLY support in a free game. Dust 514 is by no means pay to win. You have to spend time on it. I love the deep complexity that comes with building up my skills. I takes time and strategy to choose which skills to lv up next or to buy. I am so sad that they are stupifying the skills by removing some prerequisites because some little waa waas want to lv their toon up so fast and are too effing lazy to use their head for more than a hat rack. I think the skills are great the way they are and am soooo looking forward to the new build on May 6.

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