Sunday, 30 December 2012

Dust 514: Lone Wolves need not apply

So I'm back after a Christmas break..

Not really, just been playing Dust a lot. Chromosome really is the point where the game has hit it's stride. Not just in the game play but in the back office too, where communication between Eve and Dust players has become easier to do. Still not up to the full Eve corp experience but its now possible to control and govern your team.

On the test server Singularity I've now left the comforts of Eve University to join Kevall's Uni Dust Bunnies. I'm in the process of fitting out the appropriate ships for OB and then joining the Mercs in their home system. So it's all beginning to move up a gear.

But with chromosome there is one thing that is now becoming clear. Dust 514 is going to be a hard game.

A very hard game.

And it's is going to present a problem that needs to be addressed. Lone Wolves.

You know the sort of player I'm talking about. They likely represent the majority of console FPS players out there today. Despite what Activision and EA may claim about the social interaction of their respective franchises we know from our own experiences that most players rarely form up in groups and play as a team. There are the exceptions that prove the rule of course and if you've ever gone up against those guys you know that humiliation is sure to follow.

But Dust is different. By its design and the way the game is now balanced, it presents players with real options of working as a team. Players really become the greater of the sum of their parts. So much so that even a competent team of 8 could easily take on twice that number and own the battlefield. This is of course a well known scenario in Eve. Not so much in Call of Duty.

The average Lone Wolf COD player is going to rage quit pretty quickly after getting their ass kicked repeatedly and these are the players that CCP are after.

It's also the players that Dust University will be after. In Eve, the majority that join Eve University have usually graduated and gone onto bigger things within six weeks. And they usually stay on in the game. It's why CCP LOVE the player training corps in Eve and try to point new players to them. Players that join a training corp have a much higher subscription retention than other players. They get past the learning cliff quickly and stick around.

There is a similar cliff in Dust 514 but its not educational in nature, it's in terms of play style.

Dust University is not going to be the best Kill/Death ratio corp in Dust and New Eden. It's not going to have the largest amount of WP and its not going to be hardest to play against. I also expect the turn around of those that join to be less than a couple of weeks before they move on and join other corps.

What it will be is where these Lone Wolves will come and find out about the myriad ways of playing this game and how they all have one thing in common. Teams hunt wolves and kill them.

Best be in a team then.

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