God damn do I miss this game. For all its faults, flaws, shortcomings, and some broken mechanics, it was absolutely one of my favorite games of the time. From May 2013 to May 2016, Dust 514 carved out a place in my memories that - so far - no game has been able to fill. Battlefield 3 was arguably the biggest FPS game of the time, and I would choose DUST 514 over it, consistenly. Naturally, I credit DUST 514’s demise with the sharp decline in my interest to play FPS games.
DUST 514 was just something so unique. Taking not only the Universe of Eve Online, but many of the mechanics, and putting them into a FPS game was something that surprised me with how much I loved it. Choosing your playstyle and “fitting” your Dropsuit to those strengths was one of the most enjoyable aspects of the game, for me. Just like I’ll spend endless amounts of time researching, experimenting, tweaking, and adjusting fits for my ships in Eve Online, I’d spend endless amounts of time tweaking the fits for my Dropsuits. (I’d love to see the fitting ability applied to your main weapon, as well. Buying whatever type of Rifle and then setting it up with a variety of Optics, Firing Mechanisms that adjust RoF, accuracy, and stability, under-barrel weapon attachments and/or fore-grips, Stocks that affect mobility, stability, and recoil, Ammunition types that change damage and weapon characteristics…SKINs lol… The possibilities are endless, man…) And, just like Eve, what you lost in battle, you lost forever. The only way to get back what you lost was to spend ISK to buy them, again, which you earned by fighting.
You could jack up your stats by accumulating Skill Points in battle and spending them on skills in various skill trees, depending upon your style. Whether you liked using the Caldari Rail Rifle, the Gallente Assault Rifle, the Minmatar Combat Rifle, the Amarr Scrambler Rifle, the Forge Gun, Heavy Machine Gun, Mass Drivers, Sniper Rifles, Shotguns, SMGs, or freaking Knives, you could skill your character to specialize in those weapons and terrorize whoever ended up in your sights. Or, instead, you could be a Pacifist and go full Logi to rep your teammates. Just like Eve, there was a Skill for practically every aspect of the game.
DUST 514 was not a perfect game. Some of the mechanics were a bit half-baked while some were flat-out broken (hello, shotguns and cloaks). Character control and movement was a bit rough, and the game never quite lived up to the scale and vision that it presented. For one, that scale and vision was audacious, to say the least. But I also don’t believe the game really got the chance to grow into that scale and vision. The three years that the game was active saw much of that time spent dealing with the game’s growing pains from launch and trying to get it to a baseline where it could finally start to grow and evolve into its own.
Whether the game’s great downfall was it’s radical concept of “One Universe, One War” in conjunction with Eve Online, the decision to launch it exclusively on the PS3, or perhaps the limited resources that could be allocated to it, it still became a game that I and many others enjoyed playing more than any other game of the time, thanks in no small part to the great people that played it. To this day, there is still a sizeable community of people who love and miss this game.
The options are there for DUST 514’s successor to be what DUST 514 could not. To realize the dream that CCP had for DUST 514, to grow that dream and evolve it. Just like Eve, we hope for PvP battles that range in scale from small, single squad “gang” operations to massive all-out battles. And why limit battles to planets? We never got “Walking in Stations,” but maybe we could get “Fighting in Stations” (Imagine assaulting a station with massive battleships, carriers, or dreadnoughts at their docking platforms in the background…) And I’d love to see PvE content in the new game, whether it be a full-scale assault on a Guristas outpost for the Caldari State, or a small, 4-man cov-ops mission to steal military assets from the Gallente Federation for the Serpentis Corporation. And who says it has to be PC or Console, only? Cross-Platform play is becoming a much more feasible option for games, nowdays.
Whatever happens, CCP, I just hope y’all come through and give us old DUST Bunnies the chance to relive some of our fondest gaming memories and see the game we loved finally come to fruition in the way we all hoped it would. I know you have the UK branch working hard on it and I absolutely cannot wait to see the day that it is finally announced and released. Until then, I’ll keep feeling nostalgic and heartbroken over a fantastic game.
Sincerely, An Old DUST Bunny