Hey guys, itís been a while. I hope youíre all enjoying the Open Beta for DUST 514 now that itís finally out. However, alongside the Open Beta, we got a new trailer: Gathering Forces. This new trailer hints at some cool new stuff.
First off, we have the galaxy map. Itís pretty cool, but we more or less have that already (itís just a little broken; donít worry, CCPís on it already). Then all of a sudden, we get this:
The character style should be instantly recognisable to any EVE players out there. For anyone else that didnít catch on with the last sentence, thatís a character created with CCPís nifty character creator in EVE Online. Now youíre thinking, ďWhy is this cool?Ē This (which comes in about 4 seconds later) is why:
Thatís the fitting screen, with the very same face on it. What does this suggest to me? The EVE Online character creator (which if you havenít seen the results of, you should go look) may very well be coming to DUST 514, allowing us to finally take off our helmets (while out of combat at least). While thatís nice, weíre not done yet. Skip to 0:34 and we see some old friends:
Yes, itís the rogue drones, and theyíre back! These guys were announced at Fanfest 2012, and were also shown briefly in the ďWay of the MercenaryĒ trailer back in October last year (at 2:25 for the curious). I also touched on them in an article about PvE in DUST 514. However, this is the first time we get to see them in actual combat with players. Watching the trailer, it seems that the little guys get blown up easily by an assault rifle. I would guess that these guys are going to be infantry equivalents. You can see in the screenshot below from the video that one drone appears to be armed with a shotgun (note the plasma cycle on the side) and another appears to be armed with a mass driver (note the rotary chambers on its weapon). This suggests that drones will use the same set of weapons that players get (sniper drones anyone?)
The bigger guys appear to be armed with dual heavy machine guns (you can see the rotary barrels). However, they seem to take a lot more firepower than a heavy would before going down. You can also see one mercenary throwing an anti-vehicle grenade at them. This suggests to me that they will be treated as vehicle equivalents for the Rogue Drones. However, due to the fact that theyíre equipped with infantry class weapons I think theyíll be closer to LAVs or Dropships, rather than tanks, in toughness. I for one still hope that CCP pulls an even bigger drone (maybe a ďHive MotherĒ) out to really challenge intrepid mercenaries.
One thing you will notice about the mercenaries fighting the drones is that one has a forge gun. However, youíll also notice that they are not using a heavy suit. Whether this is CCP pulling some trailer magic, or hinting at some future modules allowing you to fit bigger weapons, I donít know; Iím honestly leaning towards the later of the two. (Iíll also give props to the person that managed to sync the VO saying ďYouíll forge alliancesĒ just before the forge gun fires. Nice touch that.)
If you skip forward to 0:54, youíll see some LAVs rolling past a tank, with one of them getting blown up in the process. Now the interesting thing here is that the tank blows it up in one shot, and then continues to fire at a slow pace. This is not even close to how the large blaster turrets that the tank is using work in the game at the moment (or even later in the trailer; you can see another at 1:29). Again, this might be trailer magic; it could be a new blaster variation. However, I think itís a third option: the appearance of weapons on vehicles now matches the hull, not the weapon (as it does currently). This would make the weapon a railgun which has similar firing characteristics to what you see in the trailer. You can also see this occurring several other times: a dropship swoops in at 1:00 and fires what looks to be a blaster, but acts and sounds like a railgun; another dropship (this time Caldari) is shown with a railgun, but this instead it appears to fire and sound like a blaster (though at an admittedly slower rate). There are another few Ė see if you can spot them all.
Observant views will also notice that there is a dropship repairing a pair of vehicles at 1:19. At what may come at a surprise to many, this is not actually new functionality and has been around for a while. It is however, very impractical in combat due to the mechanical nature of maintaining a lock (or so Iím told Ė I havenít had a chance to try it out myself yet) and as such, you donít see it being used that much.
UPDATE: An eagle eyed reader from IRC (Ironwolf, also known as Nova Fox) has pointed out that the repair beams appear to be coming from the turrets. If this is the case, we could be finally getting a long requested change to vehicle logistics that could make their use feasible (moving the remote repairers to turret slots). Let's hope so.
Unfortunately, thatís about all the video has to offer. I will however point out that for some reason CCP has decided to exclusively use Caldari Assault suits. In addition, they seem to be primarily using Caldari vehicles (with the occasional Gallente vehicle thrown in, usually as the bad guy). And in the end scene, theyíve also opted for only Caldari ships being visible. While Caldari only fleets have been common in the trailers as of late, the move to Caldari only suits is a little surprising. I donít think thereís anything sinister about it, but who knows? All I know is that CCP Jian (the Executive Producer for DUST 514) is probably sitting in his chair, stroking his white fluffy cat while laughing menacingly while I (and possibly you, dear reader) ponder the meaning of this.