Dust 514 Interview: This Year’s Most Innovative MMO?
NowGamer speaks to Atli Már Sveinsson, creative director at CCP Games, about how Dust 514 is an important game for the MMO genre, and how that might affect EVE Online.
How do you think the EVE community feels about other people playing ‘their’ game? is there any snobbery at all involved?
Not really. We’ve interacted with the community and we meet them at the CSM [Council Of Stellar Management] regularly, and the reception has been cautious on their behalf, especially in the beginning when we started talking about this.
But since the last Fanfest when we opened up all of our plans and started working actively with the CSM community on messaging this properly things have been extremely positive.
I mean, there’s always someone – a naysayer or a negative guy – but I think the majority of them are happy about this. They’ve already started recruiting Dust players, Dust players have started recruiting EVE players – it’s started.
How do you see the community merging, or blending together?
Violently… no [laughs].
Sometimes. No, but what we’re seeing from the reactions from the beta, the current pillars of the community in EVE, the large corporations and alliances and stuff like that, it is fairly smooth.
They’ve kind of accepted the fact that these guys are coming in, they know that they will have to use them for certain parts of the game and vice-versa, so there’s a ‘need’ relationship there to a certain extent.
But I think that it’s going to be overall smooth – I think that people are probably going to focus on enjoying the games in the EVE universe – Dust and EVE – enjoying the relationship taking over planets and all of that stuff instead of complaining about ‘why are the other guys there?’ and stuff like that.
This is your base of operations, where you tool up, buy gear and head out.
Dust is quite complex as far as modern FPS games go – do you think this might alienate some gamers?
We’re actively acting on things to make them more accessible – new player experiences, tutorials, stuff like that – we’ve already made lots of changes from the beta, making it more accessible, cleaning up some of the UI, those kind of things.
I think that it is important to note that we have matchmaking, we have fair and balanced matches, we have an experience for people that are used to more traditional console FPSs, or maybe only want that experience but like the EVE world and the style of the game, the weapons and so on – we will have that for them, absolutely.
You will be able to press a couple of buttons, go straight into a match, have fun, see yourself rise through the ranks and on the leaderboards.
But it’s our hope – our belief – that because of the peripheral concerns, the more meta-gaming players, the corporations, the EVE link and all that sort of stuff, that they will be drawn in.
Maybe they don’t know yet that they’re MMO players – but they’ll figure out really soon ‘I’m an MMO player because I saw this stuff happen in the periphery and I want to be a part of it’, or they will simply confirm they are not MMO players and they just want to play the game.
We like to say that the rabbit hole goes as deep as you want it to – this applies to the relationships in the game, from EVE link, corporations between Dust players and so on – but it’s also about our customisation systems, the market, trading and that sort of stuff.
You don’t have to use it if you don’t want, but we encourage you to – it’s really fun. We like it, and so far so do the beta players.
This could well be an epic multiplayer FPS game.
Do you have an expectation of how many players will pick up EVE through Dust, or how many EVE players will move in the opposite direction?
We expect some overlap between communities and we already see some – we have EVE players on Dust and Dust players on EVE – but that’s not really the important bit.
It’s awesome that people are playing both games and powerplaying on that level, but that’s not our goal. Our goal is to create a solid MMO first-person shooter experience and, of course, further EVE.
EVE is a very different game, it’s not suitable for everyone, same as Dust, it’s not suitable for everyone. Overlap is awesome and we expect some overlap, but we’re not actively trying to build for overlap.
Is there anything from EVE Online that has made it difficult for you with Dust 514 from a development standpoint?
No. We’re all long-term EVE players ourselves, we’ve worked on EVE and come up with most of those features. I can’t think of any mechanic… what we’ve needed to fix, we’ve already fixed – that’s the prerogative of an MMO – but, no.
EVE is not perfect, we’re constantly fixing and expanding it with the help of the community, but I can’t think of any particular mechanic. I guess, on a low level, there’s things that have slowed us down a little bit that we’ve had to fix, and the same on the Dust side we’ve had to take a couple of different versions because EVE decided to go in a different way, but that’s technical stuff – it doesn’t really matter.
What matters is the experience, and from an experience standpoint we’re really happy with EVE and how the games are melding. We’re of course adopting a lot of stuff from EVE, like you saw in there – the skill system, the communication, all of that stuff.
We made EVE and we wanted to bring that experience onto the console, of course it’s going to be simpler, and these are cool systems. If you’re an EVE player this is one of the first things you’re going to fall in love with.