Seeing through the DUST.
Whilst EVE Online’s players chew on every morsel of information about the Winter Expansion little drops of detail are also falling from the DUST514 table. Most recently regarding the Mobile Command Centres – essentially floating command and control platforms for the aspiring DUST General.
What this blog really got me thinking about is how EVE capsuleers will perceive DUST514s battles. At first glance this might seem a trivial question but if we remember that EVE and DUST are supposed to intertwine really rather closely then this question becomes quite fundamental. For example we already know that it will be possible, encouraged even, that DUST and EVE players will share the same corporations and presumably the same goals.
With this in mind it seems quite likely that EVE players will be ‘spectators’ to an extent to what is happening planet side. But will this actually be realised? To date all we know in general terms is that EVE players will be able to issue contracts to DUST Mercs to conduct certain operations. This naturally suggests that the contracts system (or one very much like it) will be used to enable these contracts, open them for auction or exchange much like current items or courier tasks. Is this it though?
If that all it is then I would suggest that EVEs players are going to find it quite hard to relate to their DUST colleagues or really get all that excited about DUST at all. Its one thing to review the results of a sports match: its quite another to be a spectator and see it happen.
Should EVE players be able to view an on going DUST battle and to what level of granulation? Live or semi live feed from DUST Mercs themselves ‘helmet cam’ style? Or a super high level satellite view – little green and red dots moving across a map? Or – as the MCC suggests – will their be an intermediate view point like that of the MCC commanders?
My preference would be for something akin to a satellite perspective (top down with limited detail) – to do otherwise might make a MCC commander rather irrelevant. Anything less than such a view will make the entire experience of DUST – at least for the EVE player – an extremely dull affair. CCP need to give this some decent thought if they hope to see the actual interaction between the two platforms communities as they hope – recognising that the majority of EVE players will never have experienced DUST and vice versa. With no shared experiences, and no shared understanding the meshing of two radically different genres could ultimately fail.