Boasts "Thousands" Of Micro-Transactions
Dust 514 is an ambitious endeavor; an attempt to bridge platforms, even genres, with CCP Games merging their expansive MMO universe, Eve Online, with Dust 514's conflict, with the former staged on PC, the latter on PS3. The idea is that a Dust 514 player on the PS3 can call on their PC friend enjoying Eve to fire an orbital strike from their ship floating in space above the PS3 player's planet. Ballsy, to say the least. And according to CCP, Dust 514 is "easily the biggest multiplayer FPS" around.
"Part of the thinking behind DUST 514 is to address those preconceptions," reveals CCP's executive producer, Brandon Laurino, in regards to many gamer's reluctance to dive into MMOs such as Dust 514 sibling, Eve Online. "We accept that there is a barrier to entry with something as deep as EVE Online and we wanted to make it more accessible, providing another portal and dimension into the EVE universe. What’s more accessible to a gamer in this day and age than a shooter?"
According to Laurino, Dust 514 is "breaking more ground" by bringing micro-transactions to console shooters for the first time. "Right off the bat, we have literally thousands of in-game items built into the system," he explains. "likewise, in terms of scale, you're looking at a conflict taking place across thousands of planets, so we're not just talking a dozen maps - we're talking an entire universe of planets and areas of engagement within them."
In simpler terms, what this means is that Dust 514 represents "easily the biggest multiplayer FPS, in terms of scale, depth and volume of content". Furthermore, Dust 514 exists completely within the Eve Online universe, housed on the Eve server, so each action and event in Dust and Eve is reflected in real-time to all players across both platforms, not as "split-instances", according to Laurino.
An ambitious concept, made even more bold by CCP's decision to build the game exclusively on Sony's notoriously difficult to develop for Playstation 3. Laurino cites the "power and feature-set" of Sony's console as key reasons the studio opted for the PS3, not the Xbox 360. I imagine the open network platform was a plus, too, free from Microsoft's choking LIVE restrictions and demands.
Laurino cites Sony's "willingness" to work with CCP as major confirmation of their platform decision, with the studio and publisher working together to ensure Dust 514 can work on Playstation Network's existing code, as well as allowing CCP to build new tools and features to ensure their ambitious cross-platform ideas come to fruition.
CCP will be rolling out a beta of sorts for Dust 514 very soon, with Private Trials ensuring a smooth transition will occur, ferrying Dust 514 players into the Eve universe, allowing them to get to grips with the ambitious ideas in play, but also ensuring Eve players aren't overwhelmed by the sudden new population clogging up their servers. [Playstation Blog]