It’s finally here! We finally have all the racial dropsuits, rifles are hopefully no longer overpowered, and best of all, the laser rifle has been buffed, so foxkitten may make a mighty return to the battlefield.
CCP gave Faction Warfare a bit of a hotfix, so we’ll see if it’s no longer a busted scale. However, it’s still broken in that it’s hard to make money from it. Because FW contracts are a bit of a “big deal”, many of us feel like we should use more expensive gear, and of course the payout for FW is zilch, and there’s not player market to cash in the LP. FW has been demoted to be used only when we want to synch multiple squads together, which is difficult to do in public matches. Besides, TEST Alliance capsuleers have mostly moved to Catch to fight alongside our new bros, BRAVE. We’re now part of the HERO Coalition. So Faction Warfare’s on the back burner for now.
Probably the biggest news of this week is our brand spanking new Wiki Site. It’s mostly to help out newbros, be it’s also a place to keep our non-secret information together and organized. I also created an infographic to help newbros out with planning skills and gear.
It’s time for an update, and this is a big one! There have been lots of great changes to Dust 514, and Subdreddit awesomeness has been more fun than ever. We’re currently engaged in Caldari Faction Warfare alongside TEST Alliance and CalMil bros, and new, exciting things are happening in every direction.
In Dust 514 terms, the Revolution of Molden Heath seemed like an eternity ago. It was great fun while it lasted, but it fizzled out and players started getting tired of the grind and burning out. And as a corporation, we have more interest in helping out newbros learn the game and finding new ways to have fun; we don’t like the idea of poaching players from other corps or recruiting flaky players without any common background. Planetary Conquest is blurf unless we make changes to our corporation that feel slimy, and it’s especially awful since there is no worthwhile Eve integration with PC. So screw that noise.
Protecting our district became a chore, and pub matches got stale. The burnout was not just Subdreddit—it was all over Dust 514. Many of us went to focus on Faction Warfare happening on the Eve-side of TEST Alliance, and others formed a crew in Grand Theft Auto Online causing chaos and crime for a couple months.
Then CCP dropped Uprising 1.7 on us. This made Dust 514 feel like a whole new game. Vehicle rebalancing brought HAV’s to where they are now more populous than LAVs (we’ve speculated that CCP is trying to get data by forcing lots of tank fights). The Caldari Rail Rifle and the Minmatar Combat Rifle brought fresh and interesting changes to gun tactics. But perhaps the biggest change was what was done to Faction Warfare.
If you know anything about Subdreddit, you know we’re a group of active users of the social news site Reddit and that we’re an offshoot of Dreddit, the largest corporation of TEST Alliance Please Ignore in Eve Online. A lot has happened to TEST over the past year, most of which was shedding itself of terribleness, cultural impurities, and reinventing itself as a Caldari Faction Warfare alliance. And in the most recent news, much of TEST has mobilized a couple regions away to Vale of the Silent to once again fight the conniving and imperialistic CFC. TEST reinvented itself to make Eve fun again. And right now, that is exactly what Subdreddit is doing for Dust 514.
In Faction Warfare 1.7, there is no more warbarge strike. If you want to blap mercs with an orbital strike, it can now only be done by a pilot in Eve. Making Eve friends is important, and it’s not something that comes easily to Dust corps that don’t know dicks from Dominix about Eve Online. As a result, Subdreddit has lots of orbital opportunities. We are even restructuring our protocols to streamline this and make orbital support increasingly efficient. We’ve seen more members online than ever before, and we have numerous cue-synced teams crushing GalMercs match after match, with TEST and CalMil pilots watching over us from orbit. Luckily, other corps have been answering the call and giving us some challenge, some even busting out proto and officer gear when they see the playerboard plastered with the our name (thanks for the salvage!). Our pilots are having fun too, getting loads of LP for providing orbital support and generating fights as the GalMil space monkeys try to stop us.
Check out Mc_Ribwich’s latest video masterpiece!
Subdreddit mercs are currently enjoying a tax-free holiday, experimenting with new and unconventional tactics, and getting ready for a fun and prosperous new year. If you’re a dedicated and active redditor who is interested in Subdreddit, head over to our official subreddit and check the sidebar for info on how to join. Thanks for reading, and we will have more updates soon. Even greater changes are on the horizon for Subdreddit and TEST. We are revolutionizing the way Eve and Dust 514 are played.
Unless you’ve been living under an asteroid, you’ve probably heard that Planetary Conquest (PC) is starting to heat up again in Dust 514. It all started when Subdreddit director and HAV specialist NINJAPIRATEROBOTZOMBIE called together all the other alliances and corporations throughout Molden Heath to form a coalition and cease-fire agreement and focus their efforts on a war against EoN Alliance—the group of highly-skilled allied corporations that has slowly been taking over Molden Heath, to the point where it has become frustrating to the majority of the Dust community.
Just like in Eve Online, it’s up to the players to create content, and hence, making the game fun and engaging; that is exactly what NPRZ has done. With help, of other parties, of course. He simply lit the spark (and continues to fan the flames).
In order to get a better understanding of what’s going on in Molden Heath right now, I decided to interview NPRZ as well as EoN Alliance mastermind and CEO, Mavado V Noriega, aka NuMbz. I interviewed both separately.
What state was Molden Heath in before the war began?
NINJAPIRATEROBOTZOMBIE: Before the war, EoN held about 160 of the 245 districts. Additionally, they managed 20 districts on Planet Fight Club. PC at this point had nearly no participation from other corporations, most finding it hard to even muster up enough troops to form a squad. We also saw non-EoN corps sporting their best militia and BPO fits to save money due to not having any income from lack of ISK-generating districts.
EoN’s arguably the most influential player in Dust 514 right now. How do you see EoN’s role in the game?
Mavado V Noriega: This pretty much sums us up:
We don’t necessarily look into it too much. We lived long enough to go from heroes to villains. In the community’s eyes, that’s to be expected—whoever the community sees at the top will always be painted the new “villain”. We just play the game to have fun. Nothing overly serious, to be honest.
What are your main reasons for calling this coalition together?
NPRZ: It’s all about getting the community together to play Dust 514. It’s not about getting ISK or districts for Subdreddit or any other corporations. Many of us complain and QQ in the forums about PC, but we all share part of the blame. The second corporations started losing districts or matches in PC, they began bailing out, allowing EoN to continue their pursuit.
We know EoN’s the big player here. But what makes it so satiable for them to be attacked by so many corps at once?
NPRZ: They are the leaders and rulers of Molden Heath until someone can change it. Many don’t agree with EoN rules—some feel as though they were backstabbed by them at one point or another. Others just want to get involved and support the underdogs.
MVN: Well going back to my first answer, it’s content really. Most people don’t “hate” us. We just hold the most land, and we know people will attack us because of that, and that’s what we want. It’s good for the game in the short run.
So how is the war going?
NPRZ: So far, EoN has managed to win most fights and defend their districts. The coalition’s corporations are seeing the number of online players double and triple, however. Many are getting valued experience playing at a level higher than they are used to by joining in on these PC fights. Lots of friendships are being made between players and corporations that would otherwise not have been possible. Eve-side support has also been present throughout the war—the war is keeping the two communities connected. There have been a lot of positive gains for both the coalition, and the Dust 514 community as a whole.
MVN: Fun. Targets were going away, so we kept poking and finally people are coming at us instead of QQing. We don’t expect to hold a lot of land—the more land we lose, the more targets open back up for us to shoot at again. It’s win-win for everyone.
What outcome do you expect from the war?
NPRZ: It depends on a lot of different factors. The leaders of the coalition will meet again soon to discuss this. I expect that we will see the player counts continue to increase and more corporations will be willing to stay engaged in PC. I would also like to see some of the EoN Alliance corporations join other alliances and integrate their experience to keep things fun and competitive throughout the community.
MVN: The outcome really doesn’t matter. Obviously, I’d want to win, but the fights are what’s most important. Also, one key thing people may be overlooking is that some of these corporations are getting into PC for the first time and are gaining valuable experience, which in my opinion is more important than a simple win today, because it helps build their corporations up (those that don’t break, at least), to start getting out of the pub mentality and start getting into a more organized teamplay environment. The way I see it, these corps are going to be holding it down come holidays when older vet corps take a break from Dust or move on to other games, so it’s important that these indie/newer corporations gain the experience needed to play in an organized fashion and learn what Dust war is about.
Dust 514 has never had PC tested at this capacity. What aspects of it are working and helping draw in new players?
NRPZ: Servers seem to be working under the large demands, with minimal lag reports from players. It seems that the thought of war and purpose has drawn many out of retirement and back into action.
MVN: I think it’s the “coalition/alliance” part that is what’s working. Most of the corporations in this war used to be independent, but you really can’t stay indie and expect to do much in PC. Some of these guys are seeing how being part of an alliance, however loose it may be, can help. A lot of these teams also get discouraged after a series of losses, and some don’t have the training. This is where a proper faction warfare environment can help get corporations to gradually go from pub matches, to faction warfare, and ultimately to planetary conquest.
What aspects of PC aren’t working and make the game seem “broken”?
NPRZ: The biggest thing is that current PC mechanics make it so hard to fight if you don’t already own districts. This difficulty is compounded by the fact that EoN owns most of the region. I don’t see this game lasting long if CCP doesn’t open more regions to Dust 514 soon. They also need to implement some new mechanics to make PC more desirable for not just the Dust merc, but for Eve pilots as well.
MVN: FOTM (fit or flavor of the month) shit as usual. Dust encourages FOTM and spam tactics—less about actual team strategy and more about who can use the most gimmicks to win. It’s been like that for months now, and as someone who has done a lot of clan battles in other games, from a balance perspective, Dust is one of the worst for competitive gaming. Weapons, maps and bugs all need to be sorted out if CCP really wants Dust 514 to be an eSport game in the future.
Looking at what you intended from this war and coalition, do you think is has been successful thus far?
NPRZ: Absolutely. As far as Subdreddit is concerned, we have gone from having maybe 10 players online during prime time, to having 30 or more. It’s so nice to see old faces return, and just in time for the new patch update that will allow us to take full advantage of the new implementations.
If CCP could grant you one wish, what would it be?
NPRZ: Fix PC and open new regions, or expand the current region once new mechanics are implemented to prevent one group from being able to control everything.
MVN: A better game? haha! Seriously though, more delivery on what was promised. The concept of Dust 514 is excellent, but execution has been poor. It’s funny how the ’09 videos on the old engine seem to have more content gameplay-wise than what we currently have now. It had huge maps and fighters already working in that version. Aiming and stuff was stiff, but the potential of the ’09 build seemed a lot higher than what we have now.
Extra thanks to Mavado and Ninja for answering these questions. Interesting times are ahead. Hope to see you all in Planetary Conquest! -V.Heathen
Earlier this summer, we asked our mercs to create some propaganda in a friendly competition. The winners were chosen by a panel of directors, based on content, creativity, and effectiveness. After much deliberation (seriously, it went on for three days), we’re finally ready to announce the winners:
Other notable entrees:
We also had some excellent journalistic propaganda by LT Royal:
“In their collective state, GoonSwarm are utterly without mercy; driven by one will alone: the will to fail.
They are beyond redemption, beyond reason.”
A parody on the Borg quote by
– Jean-Luc Picard, also quoted by Kathryn Janeway
And last, but not least (and one of my personal favorites!), also by LT Royal:
Competition is for fun! Its a game we play, its called Dust 514.
We throw our armaments at you, you stand between us with your dropsuits, and in turn you try to hit us back. The rules aren’t important. What’s important is it’s linear. Every time we throw our armaments, a hundred different things can happen in a game, you might shoot and miss, you might hit us, but the point is; none of us ever know.
We try to anticipate; set a strategy for all the possibilities the best we can, but in the end it comes down to throwing one bullet after another and seeing what happens. With each new consequence, the game begins to take shape. And we have no idea what that shape is until it’s completed. In fact, the game wouldn’t be worth playing if we knew what was going to happen. We value our ignorance of what is to come. This is the most important thing to understand about Subdreddit.
It is the unknown that defines our existence. We are constantly searching, not just for answers to our questions but for new questions. We are explorers, we explore our game day by day and we explore the galaxy trying to explore the boundaries of our knowledge. And that is why we are here, not to conquer you with weapons, but with ideas.
Extra thanks to all the contestants for your inspiring hard work! Roughneck Raptor is shedding a tear…
I don’t need to write a back story for this—it’s a story as old as time, since the invention of the n00b t00b. There’s a constant struggle between overpowered weapons and underpowered weapons. In Dust 514 it’s a little different than most FPS games, because CCP keeps trying to “balance” things that can’t be balanced. As a result, it just turns into the flavor of the month, and when that flavor changes, hundreds cry about wanting refunds.
Right now, it seems that all you see in Planetary Conquest are mass drivers, flaylock pistols, caldary logi suits and the occasional forge gun. Any team that wants to get creative and actually have fun won’t fare so well in a fight against these fits.
I had a thought today: Why not embrace these periodic hot fixes? In Eve, we have a market that is ever-changing. Why not treat weapons the same way? Leave the prices alone (because let’s face it, who really cares about the price—especially in PC); rather constantly change the quality of the ammunition—i.e. how well the weapons perform.
This could be chalked up to the ammo or energy cell’s “quality”. If I was going to bullshit, I could say due to “economic laws”, ammunition prices have to be locked at a certain rate for some convoluted reason that relates to lobbyists, licensing, and the mechanics of this new “clone” industry; so as the price of raw materials change with the economy, the companies that produce the ammo, or even the energy components that power a dropsuit’s shields and armor reppers, will have to lower the quality of their goods to be able to turn a profit. But B3rt almighty, don’t alter the CPU and PG requirements.
What sort of effect would this have in the game? Perhaps it would make the battlefield a lot more colorful. It may encourage some people to spread their SP out more. We could also see other players stick to their 10 million SP, one weapon type, one suit type, and either deal with their weapon’s lackluster performance, or try their luck with a standard or advanced version of the “gun of the week”.
Personally, I don’t care that my favorite weapons are way underpowered. I’d just really like to see some more diversity on the field.
Whenever I see a merc with a laser, I simultaneously smile and feel sorry for the guy.