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DUST 514

EVE Evolved: What DUST 514 should have been

Sci-Fi, Video, EVE Online, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, PvP, Endgame, Opinion, Free-to-Play, MMOFPS, EVE Evolved, DUST 514, Dev Diaries, PlanetSide 2, Sandbox, Subscription

EVE Evolved: What DUST 514 should have been
‚ÄčIt's now been almost six months since DUST 514's official release, and I think it's safe to say it hasn't quite lived up to expectations. The game was lauded for its revolutionary realtime link with the EVE Online universe, but so far there's very little back-and-forth between the two titles. Originally intended as an MMO in its own right but also as an integral part of EVE's territorial endgame, DUST now exists largely as a lobby-based first-person shooter with the twist that equipment is lost on death.

Even the planetary conquest portion of DUST that could be considered its most MMO-esque element has been abstracted into a series of instanced and scheduled 24v24 battles. DUST's main rival during development was the PC-based PlanetSide 2, and had the two games released on the same platform, I'm sure that rivalry would still be in the media spotlight. I've been playing PlanetSide 2 for just a few days, and I can already see elements that would make it a far better fit for the EVE universe than the current version of DUST. So what could DUST learn from its non-console-only counterpart?

In this week's EVE Evolved, I look at how PlanetSide 2 handles issues of persistence, planetary conquest, and vehicle spawning, and why I think DUST 514 should be borrowing a few tricks from its game design.

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EVE: The Second Decade Collector's Edition has landed

Sci-Fi, Trailers, Video, EVE Online, MMO Industry, News Items, MMOFPS, DUST 514, Sandbox, Anniversaries

EVE The Second Decade Collectors Edition has landed
You've known that EVE Online's giant tribute to the game's first 10 years was coming in the form of a special collector's edition of the game, and now you can finally get your hands on it. The Second Decade CE is chock full of in-game items, from clothing to ship skins to a CCP Mystery Code for a special item, as well as real-world collectibles like a commemorative hardcover book, a board game, and an EVE Online Symphony CD. There are also in-game rewards available for DUST 514.

The Second Decade CE can still be purchased at EVE's new store for $149.99. If you're currently waiting for yours to arrive, you can help pass the time by watching the official unboxing trailer below.

[Source: CCP press release]

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Return to DUST 514, get free dropsuits

Sci-Fi, Interviews, MMO Industry, PvP, News Items, Free-to-Play, DUST 514, Promotions

Return to DUST 514, get free dropsuits
CCP wants you to know that it's made a bunch of changes to its EVE-universe DUST 514 shooter. The company has a new "welcome back" page on its official DUST website that features a promotion for players with that have been inactive for more than 60 days.

Gifts include 100 copies of the Black Eagles Scout dropsuit and 100 copies of the Quafe Scout dropsuit. The blurb also mentions various in-game improvements since last May's Uprising 1.0 patch.

In other DUST news, Polygon interviewed new executive producer Jean-Charles Gaudechon, who says his first order of business is to amp up the new player experience. "If I would want to push the game somewhere right now," he explained, "it would be to really focus on that kind of visceral gameplay -- that intense first few hours, first few days of playing the game -- and making sure that we can engage more people into that world, into that fiction, and show you how deep and rich that universe is."

Plan your EVE Vegas weekend with this final schedule

Sci-Fi, EVE Online, Events (Real-World), MMO Industry, News Items, MMOFPS, DUST 514, Sandbox, Subscription

Plan your EVE Vegas weekend with this final schedule
Wondering what's in the cards for EVE Vegas this weekend? Speculate no more: The final schedule of events has been released for EVE Online's convention being held at the Rio Las Vegas from October 18th through the 20th. The weekend kicks off with poker and a pub crawl on Friday, then dives into seminars, round tables, and PvP tournaments for both EVE and DUST 514 on Saturday and Sunday. Attendees will also have the chance for some hands-on with the VR dogfighter Valkyrie.

If you aren't one of the virtual pilots able to attend the event live, you can still watch the various seminars and talks from both the developers and members of the community via CCP's official Twitch channel. For the times of each event, see the schedule below or visit the official site.

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CCP hires new Executive Producer for DUST 514, Jean-Charles Gaudechon

Sci-Fi, MMO Industry, News Items, MMOFPS, DUST 514

The hidden message is that there is no hidden message.
It makes sense to hire people based on what they've already proven capable of doing. That's obvious. If someone has built seven houses that have all stood up to hurricanes, you're probably going to hire that guy to build your hurricane shelter. And if someone's familiar with making multiplayer first-person shooters work in the free-to-play market, well, you'll hire him to manage DUST 514. That's what CCP Games did with their newest Executive Producer for the game.

Jean-Charles Gaudechon previously worked for Electronic Arts in Stockholm, Sweden, where he worked on both Battlefield: Play4free and Battlefield Heroes. He also worked on Need for Speed World, which is less of a shooter but still an online title with similar needs to DUST 514. Gaudechon will be responsible for overseeing further development of the title at CCP's Shanghai studio and will report directly to senior VP of product development Sean Decker.

[Source: CCP Games press release]

CCP still sees 'massive opportunity' on PS3 for DUST 514

Sci-Fi, MMO Industry, PvP, News Items, Free-to-Play, DUST 514

CCP still sees 'massive opportunity' on PS3 for DUST 514
CCP is apparently content to keep DUST 514 on the PlayStation 3 for the time being, even though there's no exclusivity deal preventing it from appearing on other platforms. CEO Hilmar Petursson recently told Eurogamer that "there isn't anything preventing us from doing anything like that other than focus and prioritization."

"It's easy to go and look at all the new shiny things that are coming but we don't want to be doing that. We want to stick to our guns," Petursson said. "There are 80 million PlayStation 3s and we have a free-to-play game; I think there is a massive opportunity in continuing to work on that throughout next year." If that sounds like CCP isn't quite sure whether or not it will bring DUST to the upcoming PlayStation 4, well, yes. "We just haven't decided," Petursson said. "It's just as simple as that. It can, technically, be [on the PS4]. There's nothing preventing it, it's just not what we're focusing on."

DUST 514 1.4 update to bring usability changes, taxes

Sci-Fi, EVE Online, Patches, PvP, News Items, Free-to-Play, MMOFPS, DUST 514, Sandbox, MMORPG

DUST 514
On September 3rd, CCP will deliver its biggest update yet to EVE Online-linked, PS3-exclusive shooter DUST 514. Among the changes are performance tweaks, bug fixes, and controller/mouse control improvements, along with the introduction of a hub for collecting player data.

And because this is CCP we're talking about, DUST 514 players can also look forward to the addition of corporation taxes. Simply put, player corporations can set their tax rates to whatever they please, and members of those corporations will see the proper amount of ISK deducted from end-of-battle rewards. As in EVE, corporations are free to spend tax revenue in whatever manner they see fit; corps that exist in both DUST and EVE will have one tax rate for both games.

It's worth noting that tax rates will be publicly available to players searching for a corp, only rewards greater than 100,000 ISK will be subject to taxation, and NPC corps will have 0% tax rates.

Coming soon to a console near you: MMOs

Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Launches, MMO Industry, New Titles, Previews, PvP, PvE, Free-to-Play, Consoles, Casual, MMOFPS, Free Realms, DC Universe Online, Final Fantasy XIV, DUST 514, World of Tanks, Family, Post-Apocalyptic, EverQuest Next, Miscellaneous, PlanetSide 2, Sandbox, Diablo III, Defiance, The Elder Scrolls Online, Destiny, MMORPG, Buy-to-Play

Console MMOs
Remember E3 2013? That huge video games conference thing from earlier in the summer? Weeks have passed since Microsoft and Sony squared off in the Los Angeles convention center (while Nintendo posted up at Best Buy and Ouya sulked in the parking lot), but the news made there continues to reverberate through the games industry.

One curious trend seems to have been missed amid the clashing of proverbial titans: There sure are a lot of MMOs and online-focused games due on consoles this generation. And since MMOs are the business of Massively, we thought it might be fun to compile a quick list of all the ones we can find that are either already available on our current consoles or set for launch on the next batch.

The list, as it turns out, is pretty extensive.

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EVE Evolved: Is DUST 514 a pay-to-win game?

Sci-Fi, EVE Online, Business Models, Economy, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, PvP, Opinion, Free-to-Play, Hands-On, First Impressions, EVE Evolved, DUST 514, Sandbox

Game title image
I've been following DUST 514's development with a cautious optimism for the past few years and have been trying to convince my console gamer friends to give it a try since it launched back in May. Last week I finally sat down to play the game myself and was thoroughly disappointed with both its 2005-era graphics and fundamentally broken gameplay. DUST 514 will likely stay in development for the forseeable future and may end up becoming a polished and integral part of the EVE Online universe, but right now it's a buggy and mediocre FPS that has very little impact on New Eden.

DUST 514 launched to mixed impressions from the gaming media, catching a lot of flack from reviewers for its microtransactions options. Some have argued that selling skill point boosters and destructible Aurum tanks and equipment directly for cash makes it a pay-to-win game, while others maintain that it doesn't give you an advantage that free players can't buy for ISK. The definition of pay-to-win isn't always clear, and the console FPS audience may not be as tolerant of microtransactions PC users have long since accepted.

In this week's EVE Evolved, I look at the arguments for and against it being a pay-to-win game and ask what went wrong with the game's launch.

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EVE Online shows off Second Decade Collector's Edition

Sci-Fi, EVE Online, DUST 514, Promotions, Sandbox, Anniversaries, Subscription

EVE Online shows off Second Decade Collector's Edition
EVE Online's 10th anniversary is a big deal to CCP, which is why the studio is coming out with a special collector's edition of the game. In a new video the team reminisces about the origins and growth of EVE Online (spoiler: beer has something to do with it), after which the devs reveal the contents of the new edition.

The CE is full of physical items, including a model of one of EVE's ships, a copy of the board game that helped to fund EVE, a book of the history of EVE, and a music recording of a symphony orchestra playing EVE's score. There are also plenty of digital items packed in for both EVE Online and DUST 514, which you can see in the picture above.

Check out the anniversary video after the jump!

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EVE Evolved: First impressions of DUST 514

Sci-Fi, EVE Online, Culture, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, New Titles, Patches, Previews, PvP, Opinion, Free-to-Play, Hands-On, Consoles, First Impressions, EVE Evolved, DUST 514, Sandbox

Game title image
Every time I'm in a conversation about DUST 514, I find myself excusing its gameplay problems on the basis that it's treading new ground and has years of development ahead of it. But even though CCP has revealed an aggressive new schedule of big monthly updates, console gamers aren't willing to give it a free pass today based on future potential. I finally convinced my console gamer friends to pick the game up this week and gave it a fair go myself.

I absolutely love the idea of DUST 514 and want to see the game succeed, but console gamers just don't seem impressed. When the game officially launched on May 14th, it was largely regarded as just another mediocre and buggy first-person shooter with a perishable gear system. The MMO components such as territorial control aren't very visible or accessible to new players, the gameplay balance and graphics need serious work, and the link with EVE Online feels practically non-existent. It pains me to say it, but DUST is neither a great FPS nor a great MMO.

In this week's EVE Evolved, I delve into DUST 514 and give my first impressions of it as an EVE player.

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DUST 514 issues a challenge to all players

Sci-Fi, Events (In-Game), News Items, MMOFPS, DUST 514, Promotions

You are bold.  But are you also... daring?
There are a lot of players who have been enjoying themselves in DUST 514. Veterans and potential new players alike will have more reasons to enjoy themselves, as the Mordu's Challenge event starts today and runs until Thursday, July 18th. Mordu's Legion is one of the most respected mercenary companies in the universe of EVE Online, and as cloned mercenaries take to the battlefield in greater numbers, the company is issuing challenges to these clones to see if they can stand up to the pressure.

So what can you get out of participation? A whole lot of weapons and armor, that's what. Kill 100 enemies, hack 100 objectives, assist in 100 kills, or destroy 100 installations, and you get an appropriate set of gear for your preferred playstyle. Hit all four objectives and you get an even bigger prize. There's no registration required, so take the time over the next week to log in and start showing how great you can be.

CCP's Sean Decker and Hilmar Petursson on the future of EVE, DUST 514, EVE-VR, and mobile gaming

Sci-Fi, EVE Online, Business Models, Interviews, MMO Industry, New Titles, News Items, Free-to-Play, Mobile, MMOFPS, DUST 514, Sandbox

CCP's Sean Decker and Hilmar Petursson on the future of EVE, DUST 514, EVR, and mobile gaming
Earlier today, CCP Games announced that industry veteran Sean Decker is coming on board as Senior Vice President of Product Development. Sean's laundry-list of industry experience includes a recent 12-year stint at EA, where he headed up the Play4Free division. This has naturally led to some trepidation within the EVE Online community, which has been extremely wary of free-to-play and microtransaction-based business practices since the Monoclegate scandal in 2011.

I caught up with Sean Decker and CCP CEO Hilmar Petursson last night to get the low-down on Sean's role, how he will influence EVE and CCP's other products, and what the future has in store for DUST 514 and EVE-VR. Sean is to be the head of product development across all of CCP's games, not just the free-to-play titles, but I wouldn't worry about EVE going free to play any time soon. "I don't think [free-to-play] is the be all and end all business model," Sean told me, adding that he understands that the subscription model better fits some games.

Read on for more information on the future of EVE Online, DUST 514, EVE-VR, and CCP's first foray into mobile gaming.

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CCP taps EA's Sean Decker as new VP of product development

Sci-Fi, EVE Online, MMO Industry, News Items, Free-to-Play, MMOFPS, World of Darkness, DUST 514, MMORPG

DUST 514
Big changes from Iceland today, as CCP announced that it has brought on Sean Decker as senior vice president of product development. Decker is a 12-year EA veteran and recently headed the publisher's free-to-play focused games group, along with previously overseeing DICE and EA Los Angeles. EVE Online, as crazy as it sounds, is entering its second decade of being a game about internet spaceships, and CCP is looking toward the future.

The company referenced Decker's extensive industry experience as a valuable asset in helping guide EVE Online through its next 10 years and in ensuring growth through the eventually-maybe launch of World of Darkness and the expansion of DUST 514. Decker will be based out of CCP's Atlanta studio.

Massively's Brendan Drain spoke with Decker and EVE's Hilmar Petursson at a press event yesterday. We'll have more information on how the new hire will impact EVE this afternoon!

[Source: CCP press release]

DUST 514 prepares to deploy Uprising 1.2

Patches, Previews, Free-to-Play, Consoles, MMOFPS, DUST 514, Dev Diaries

DUST 514 prepares to deorbit Update 12
CCP is promising to roll out new DUST 514 updates on a "near-monthly basis" and is preparing to roll out Uprising 1.2 for the game on July 2nd.

"We have decided to move into a faster, more iterative update cycle," said CCP Praetorian. "This is unique in the console space, only possible because our friends at Sony work with us to evolve the submission processes to suit free-to-play massively multiplayer titles like DUST."

Uprising 1.2's star feature is the addition of the Commando dropsuit. This role allows players to equip dual light weapons to go all John Woo on the competition. Don't be jealous if you don't go Commando, as CCP's also prepping "Neo" dropsuits for every role. Other changes coming with 1.2 include shield energizer modules, unlocked conquered districts, ISK transfers, better visuals and game performance, optimal range limits on weapons, and improved sound.

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