Greedy Goblin

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

EVE AUR to save DUST

DUST isn't doing well. The reason is widely accepted: it has 2-3 years outdated graphics and offers little difference from other FPS games. I mean you spawn, shoot the randoms who happen to be the opposing team, die, respawn.

EVE Online isn't just a WoW-clone with spaceship avatars. There is politics, meta-game and huge losses. EVE has carved its own unique playerbase. I'm sure that there is a similar playerbase among FPS players, but DUST fails to reach them. Why? Because DUST doesn't offer the same empire-building metagame as EVE.

CCP made the move of merging the EVE and DUST universe and make the games affecting each other. Some of the cross-effects are meaningful. More could be introduced, like moving all IHUBs and stations to Temperate planets if available and make planetary dominance meaningful in IHUB/station timers. Hell, they could even introduce IHUB flip, where the hull-damaged IHUB can be invaded by marines and the system instantly changes hands keeping its sov level instead of just blow up.

However none of the cross-effects are used, simply because EVE empires can't motivate the DUST players. The economies are largely separated with EVE-ISK being different from DUST-ISK. I can't just give 10B to DUST marines to invade enemy planets. The reason for that is the different business model of the games. EVE is a subscription game, where every account is payed by real money (even if not by you). DUST is a free-to-play game where you gain items both from ISK farmed and real money paid. If EVE players could send ISK to DUST players, DUST would not generate revenues. EVE-ISK does not affect the income of CCP, DUST-ISK does. Therefore the two currencies can never be interchangeable.

However AUR is real money in both games. In EVE you can only buy cosmetic items, while in DUST you can buy power items. The solution is that DUST marines can be hired for AUR. EVE players can turn ISK into AUR using PLEX, assuming that someone else paid for that PLEX and put it to the market. Then they can use the AUR to hire DUST marines. The DUSTie completing his contracts receives AUR, practically real money, paid via real money by some EVE player. The inverse way is possible too: DUST player requesting planetary bombardment for AUR, that the EVE player can convert back to PLEX to fund his account.

This way DUST marines would be a meaningful way to change EVE wars and DUST would gain its unique selling point: you can truly play for free if you perform contracts, affecting the EVE universe.

PS: what is the worst thing about several alliances fighting together? Different comms. Yesterday finally there was a fleet in my timezone. Of course I couldn't figure out how to get to NC. TS3 before they undocked.


Anonymous said...

But why use AUR? Why not just use PLEX directly? Right now EVE players can buy PLEX with real money or isk, so just let DUST players be able to buy PLEX with real money or AUR, then let both sides use contract to trade PLEX.

Lucas Kell said...

I don't think fixing the economy and allowing trade would help DUST very much. The problem is the FPS playerbase ISN'T like EVE. They don't care about metagame. They just want to log on and shoot stuff. CCP took a step in the right direction by simplifying down the skill tree, but they still need to do more work to make it more appealing to the COD junkies out there. Better leaderboards and rankings would be a good addition.

Going forward I think they do plan to have isk (or equivalent) transferred between EVE and DUST in payment for services rendered, they just have to work out the economy balance. As far as I know, DUST players will be able to buy directly from the EVE market and EVE players will be able to produce their goods for them.

Alternatively they could just let DUST die and say "yeah, that was a bad idea" and focus more on getting EVE's WiS implemented.

Comarme said...

If you let EVE players send AUR to DUST players, this is exactly the same as letting them send ISK, as traders will arbitrage.

Anyway, if there is a large flow of ISK from EVE to DUST, then this has as much chance of encouraging PLEX purchases in EVE as it does at inhibiting AUR purchases in DUST.

Anonymous said...

Uhm, main reason not to play dust is not the graphics, its that it is only working on a console, while we capsuleers are actually pc gamers.
CCP wanted to get a new audience, their choice.

At the moment sponsoring a merc corp in what matter ever is pointless, since the only influence they have is on factional warfare,
give me the option that was promised originally, which is the dust bunnies killing of my hostiles PI Colonies, and hell yeah i'll start throwing stuff at 'em.

Until then the only interaction with dust that will i do is to ignore it.

Unknown said...

One of the problems with what you are suggesting is the business impact for Sony. Sony makes their income off of DUST by getting a percentage of every AUR purchase made in DUST.

To get Sony buy-in, perhaps, make the only source for AUR being through the Sony store. AUR syncs could include one-way conversion of AUR->PLEX, and permit the purchase of more resources useful in the Eve/DUST universe through AUR (more clones, AUR weapons/armor/equipment).

But I do agree, I think that being able to invade an IHUB using DUST marines would be pretty cool.