Saturday, 12 January 2013

Dust - swept under the carpet

Dust has been such a disappointment.

This is a typical CCP clusterfuck on launch - a premature ejaculation of Incarna proportions into the EVE Universe. They have proven that it is possible from a technical perspective to make PS3 users chat in chat channels with guys playing an MMO. And that's about it.

Sudden Buggery has tried to start a Dust arm. We have 4 guys in corp who also have PS3's, and have installed the Dust beta. But the ability of Dust to interact with the EVE universe, and vice-versa, is zero.

The problem is the segregation of the two plaforms in all but the tactical strike mechanism and the chat. Chat is fine, to a point. Yes you can chat on EVE Voice, or by an On-Screen Keyboard on the PS3. But about what?

Try to organise support from an EVE player - no point. The Dust guys cannot find where they are going ahead of time, and EVE players cannot either. Nor can we write contracts for the Dust mercs to attack certain systems. It is totally pointless.

Second, if a beacon pops up you need special ammo and skills just to bombard stuff. The ammo is hard to find and not available in lowsec. Then, if you do try bombarding stuff, you are present at a beacon which is available for warp-to by anyone in EVE - which means your destroyer is going to get ganked by a Dramiel instantly. That's if you have the ammo. Which no one does.

Not that it's a problem - you'll never see a beacon spawned for bombardment, because the Dust guys can't communicate with you, and your corp mates will often be 20 jumps away in Gallente space, and unable to really tell you where they are, not that you'd want to fly there, or have ammo to assist them if you were stupid enough to want to go there.

This is a real problem, and an immediate critical concern for CCP.

The problem is like how Incursions turned out - or, better exaample, perhaps - the micro jump drive or target spectrum breaker. What i mean is, like anything on the Internet or in cyberspace, a culture grows very quickly, and forms a momentum, which the masses subscribe to and when it reaches critical mass, it becomes the overwhelming de rigeur inculturated way that it works, for ever and ever.

Dust and EVE risk falling immediately into an obsolescence and dissociated state of no one giving a shit about using the feature. Much like Incarna. It also risks a culture of apathy growing up immediately, which will take a lot of game-breaking budging to shift the EVE players and Dust players to actually communicate, coordinate and integrate with one another. This is similar to how incursions turned into a giant ISk-printing elitist fuckfest of farming and turned a cool feature into a blathering gay pile of shit.

Dust - within 24 hours - is teetering on the edge. Warfare and Tactics chat is almost devoid of Dust topics. No one in EVE cares, because they don't need to care - we cannot see if any Dust is going on in our lowsec systems. If you do care, you are wasting your time because trying to push your militia's agenda forward is impossible. Trying to grow a Dust arm for your corp is worthless.

Dust players are flocking to Dust-only corps. Which are not visible in their base systems, meaning you cannot talk to them, and why would you bother? There's no point in interacting, ISK wise or fun wise, because if you tried to organise to give tactical bombardment support, you can't tell where the Dust guys will go for their next match.

CCP moves far too slowly in their implementations to be able to address this. They will fuck about for a month - by then, no one will give a fuck, and if you suddenly can do contracts or direct the war, no one will bother because it's too hard and Dust guys can't give a fuck.Everyone is already moving on from the feature, because it's not a feature.

So, it seems like a great idea, launched far too early just to show Sony or shareholders the technical achievements, but because of the human component of the game, and how the internet structures and moderates its behaviours, the games will forever run in tandem but never meaningfully interact.

I could be wrong. But I can't give a fuck about Dust anymore.

Tonight, though, is T1 hauler Thunderdome. Hopefully a video of that coming up.


  1. You might want to wait until the game launches to make this comment - it's still in early beta; only difference is the beta is connected to TQ in an initial implementation.

    1. The whole point of launching a feature is that it is supposed to be a feature. Which game is launched? EVE is launched, and Dust is not, yet I should wait for what is as much an EVE feature to be properly implemented before criticising it? I don't agree.

      This is a massive cock-up. Dust might be in beta, but I had thought that CCP would have implemented something vaguely functional, in order to actually test the feature. You know, how beta testing is supposed to happen?

      No one can test anything. So what is the value? Nothing.

      CCP might be making technical successes, but like I said, no one is bothering. if no one bothers, Dust is dead - regardless of how pretty it is - because the selling point of the whole game is literally "play with EVE players". if no EVE players play with you, then...may as well play CoD.


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