Monday, 21 January 2013

I sit here a hopeful Merc....

I was present during one of Eve University's regular Q&A last night.

I was pleased and gratified at the number of questions we had about Dust and Dust University itself. I tried to answer as best as I could while dancing on the edges of the NDA. What was being asked genuinely encouraged me that Dust has the interest of many players of Eve and the increasing member numbers of Dust University delights me no end. I feel that I'm a part of the beginning of something special.


There is a group of folks that no amount of numbers or happy talk is going to convince them of the merits of Dust and what it can bring to New Eden. They are entrenched in a dogma that will not let them see beyond their gaming mouse and keyboard.

That dogma is PC gamer elitism.

The refusal to believe that gaming on any format other than PC has any form of merit and is to sneered at. In a word, snobs.

I'd like to believe that it's just sour grapes that CCP decided to go down the populist route and make Dust 514 for consoles and not for their precious PC's. But it's deeper than that. The fact that it makes perfect financial sense for CCP to go for an untapped source of income and introduce a new audience to the wonders of New Eden makes no dent in the mindset of such players.

The increasing of the population of the world they like to play in and the opportunities that will bring them in the long term doesn't seem to interest them. They think Dust is something that isn't going to effect them. It's new form of PI.

And for the moment they may be correct. But not for long.

It was very telling that in the first section of the freshly released minutes of the recent CSM winter summit that CCP Unifix, Jon Lander, pointed at an iPad and wondered out loud why PI wasn't being done on that rather than being tied to using an Eve client.

Increasingly in the mind of CCP, New Eden is a destination for players to make a trip to do things they couldn't do anywhere else. And CCP want to enable them to get there as quickly as possible and more importantly however they want to get there. The mode of transport is increasingly irrelevant to CCP. It's what Crest and the new generation of api is all about, enabling access to New Eden via browsers, smartphones, tablets and other mobile platforms.

Oh, the quintessential way to play Eve is always going to be on a desktop, don't get me wrong on that. But the influence of those players that stubbornly refuse to embrace the new ways is going to diminish over time. What's the point of cornering the market in a secluded section of the galaxy, sticking to the model thats served you well in the first 10 years of Eve when someone can hire PS3 Merc's to destabilise the sovereignty of your trade routes or play the stock market to your disadvantage from the comfort of an app on their iPhone. That's what's the second ten years of Eve is going to be about.

Ditch your snobbish prejudices now. They're going to get you creamed in New Eden soon.

Friday, 18 January 2013

Corp and squad UI needs a TOTAL overhaul CCP!!

Well, this getting silly now..

The current UI in Dust has always been inadequate for these two tasks but as Dust University starts to approach 100 members, it's now becoming a major problem.

I've needed to start dual boxing. Not to do OB but just to run the corporation. This is not good news for Dust in general.


Well this is a fundamental point that goes to the heart of the whole Dust/Eve link and the way the two games interact. And it's something that I think, CCP have yet to realise themselves as yet.

Dust 514 is a console game.
Eve is a desktop PC game.

Read that again and you'll see the enormity of what the problem is.

With the way the UI currently is within Dust it's clear that CCP seem to think that anyone running a corp in Dust is going to fire up Eve and use the corp UI in Eve.

However...... once the game launches and takes off the way I expect it to, console players are going to demand a fully working corp UI in Dust 514. You should able to run a corp in Dust without going anywhere near a PC.

And this again raises an issue that has irked me a little about Dust from the day I first played it at Harpa in Reykjavik back in March.

CCP can't seem to cut the umbilical cord between the PC origin of Dust's genesis and the game as it stands at the moment on the console.

It's a console game. Lets say it out loud again..

It's a CONSOLE game.

You see the point I'm making here I hope. There are elements of Dust that so clearly aimed at he PC FPS market that have NO place in a console game. I understand why they have made it like that. It's only natural to want to placate those fans that may have been upset when CCP decided to go the console exclusive route but keyboard and mouse control have no place on a console game. It should be a level playing field for all Dust Players because its a CONSOLE game!

KB&M is a superior control system. It immediately gives a huge advantage to those using it over the base control system of the PS3 controller. CCP should ditch it right away. Oh you'll get a hardcore of the Dust beta crowd complaining but once this goes open beta and then launches the number of people using the KB&M will be so, so small as a percentile that it would make no sense to spend resources on its development. Better ditch it now and spend the time saved on making the default PS3 controller feel better to use in the game. After all, it comes in the box with every PS3.

This reminds me a rather lively and interesting conversation I had with CCP Flying Scotsman in a bar, in the Iceland capital. The beta that I had played that day, I told him, felt like a PC game being operated by a poorly configured cheap third party PC game pad. That there was reason why the control system for Halo was still considered the gold standard for console FPS was because Bungie build it from the ground up for the controller the Xbox would be using. The one that came in the box with the console. Not one you could by later at PC World.

And in many ways, Dust STILL feels like a PC game controlled by a poorly configured cheap PC game pad....

It's time to cut the apron strings CCP. You made a choice, now go all the way with it..

Saturday, 12 January 2013

Stuck in Geneva Airport and away from the PS3

All things considered I'd rather have been snowboarding but I've been away while CCP flicked the switch.

Dust 514 and Eve are one.

Dust University is taking applications in game. Thank you Kelduum for doing that by the way.

I'll be soon joining you and shooting peeps a lot.

See you soon and shoot true.