So it seems like DUST 514 is still...dusting itself off (I'm sorry).
In a recent interview, CCP CEO Hilmar Petursson said that they hoped to attract "different" players to the EVE Online universe with DUST 514. With those hopes have come a myriad of recent complaints from the existing EVE Online playerbase about the effort and reward these two games can share. It seems that CCP has reached a crossroads in their development as a company as their attempts unite FPS MMO gamers and their Space Simulation counter-parts quickly become an issue.
In the past few days, fan reaction to DUST 514's latest patch has generated some seriously disappointed responses. Titles to reaction articles like, "Why should we care?" "The Tragedy of DUST 514," and "Done and DUSTed?" indicate a mostly frustrated or underwhelmed reaction to this troubled game.
These players, who represent some of the massive corporations in EVE Online cite the bland gameplay. Bland, because each mission is a skirmish on a pre-determined map so after playing a few times, it simply becomes the same game over and over again. Next, they cite the ISK (EVE's in-game currency) required to defend an outpost is more than the currency 3 outposts can produce in a day. Finally, these fans cite a lack of ability to truly impact the EVE Online metagame in any meaningful way. In short, these fans feel that the game offers a bland experience that doesn't matter to anyone. This is a very different reaction than Himlar Petursson, the current CCP CEO, hopes players will take away.
According to Petursson, DUST 514 started as a way to get players into EVE's metagame. He said, "We thought maybe if we made another product which is a different game connected into the universe, that might be a way to capture all that interest... We quickly came to a shooter" Here, FPS players who weren't interested in the infinite spreadsheets of EVE Online could still engage with the economy of the universe in a meaningful and "deep" way. He finishes by saying that, "Petursson said that EVE Online and Dust 514 are stronger together: each game reaches a different playerbase, but together they can do amazing things."
While CCP is committed to making DUST 514 work, it may take more time than players may give them. Petursson's statement that DUST 514 players are behaving differently than they expected is an indication of a very fundamental problem with how these two disparate playerbases understand themselves and each other.
With new FPS MMOs out like Guild Wars 2, Planetside 2, and MechWarrior Online, it seems like Dust 514 is being swept under the rug. As they go on to point out, an aggregate score of 60 on metacritic is not very good at all and may be more indicative of the work CCP will need to put into this game to bring it to a more popular place.
It remains to be seen what will happen but stay tuned to Warcry for more developments!