Saturday, November 10, 2012

Gevlon + FW + DUST = theory

     Perhaps it might be time to don either a tin foil hat, or some kind of protection from people who are wearing said tinfoil hat.  Your choice.

     Gevlon posted a few thoughts over at his blog, back at the end of last month, that postulated another viewpoint on the whole Factional Warfare fiasco.

     In a nutshell, here are the salient points . . .

- DUST 514 is basically a black hole for ISK.  When a DUST bunny dies, if they're paying for better-than-default gear, the gear is lost and they need to buy more.
- the DUST players will be initially fighting on, and for, temperate planets in and around the FW systems
- FW players will be issuing contracts for the bunnies to take planets for them
- CCP possibly "planned" for the FW isk faucet patch in an ill conceived plan to flood the FW players with tons of ISK so that highly lucrative contracts could be issued to the bunnies, who would then in turn be able to spend their ISK windfalls on highly upgraded DUST gear for their toons, which would cause the console players to be massively enthused about DUST and continue playing it
- with so many FW farmers soaking up too much of the ISK faucet, CCP realized that much of the bunny-intended-ISK was ending up in the hands of players who wouldn't be interested in FW PI, and therefore pre-emptively patched, and "fixed" the FW isk fountain

     Some of that might be slightly more paraphrased than the original, but that's the gist of it, as far as I can make out.  Interesting hypothesis, but I'd feel better about his post if it appeared nearer the beginning of Apr.  Having some experience with DUST, and Eve/CCP, I have some . . . "observations".

1.  While it would not surprise me that CCP would come up with a financial plan as entirely fucked up as this, and with one of the devs publicly explaining that if you don't use a "legal" exploit when it's presented to you, you're an idiot, well, I have a hard time buying the idea that this was intentional on CCPs part.  More likely, they relied on their frequently clueless economist instead of talking to the players, specifically, the goons who raped their stupid patch.

2.  For anyone that has played DUST, it's a long fucking way from being ready to come out of the oven.  The maps (only two right now) look like they were designed by a flunked out class from the Vermtek Community College FPS Level Design course of 1991.  It takes 5 to 7 minutes for the game to even load, and one of the two levels is a pure sniper fest (they had more maps).  The graphics quality needs to come up to par, keyboard and mouse functionality needs work, and the chat and group mechanics are about 1985 level.  If CCP was planning to leave the FW isk tidal wave flowing until DUST was released, Eve's economy would have been pretty much permanently trashed.

3.  While lots of DUST fans, including marketing types and many people who have never even played it, will get dreamy expressions and misty eyes while they talk about the millions of DUST players, you'd be lucky right now to find 30 people in local.  Only closed beta, I know, but from only about 25 years of console and computer gaming, for a beta, it's a ghost town.  Keep in mind that's over 400,000 beta keys that CCP gave out, not to mention you can get into the beta by buying the mercenary pack for 20 bucks.  If that extrapolates to going live, it would take a long, long, long, long time for a likely small console community to burn through trillions of PI contract iskies.  Those, would be some fucking rich dust bunnies!  They could buy a ton of trick shit! (even though it would be a long time before they could actually USE it)

4.  Having tons of isk in DUST is nice, but not necessary to get "good" gear.  Like Eve, skill training allows marked improvement in performance and survivability, so better performance is not necessarily money dependent.  Additionally, to get the "best" gear, that requires you buy the items with AUR.  AUR = pay to win.  Again, even with great gear, it requires prerequisite skill trees be fleshed out to use the gear.  The skill training requires skill points, not isk.

5.  It's not hard to make isk, and to fight without losing ANY isk or to build up isk, you just use default or "special offer" gear, both of which have unlimited quantities.  Additionally, the bunny market is going to scale and fluctuate based on console isk flow, players that die a lot will get a bonus to the isk they get rewarded, and players that don't get killed a lot get slightly reduced isk rewards.  As mentioned, you can buy all kinds of cool guns and tanks and suits, but if you don't have the skills to use them, the gear sits there until you amass the millions of SP it takes to use them.  Also, if Eve players end up being the ones that get the BPs for making the bunny gear, there goes the isk sink.

     Maybe the goblin was trolling, and I took the bait hook line and sinker.  Maybe he's serious.  I can't tell.  It's an interesting theory, but I think it's fundamentally flawed because the supposed end point, the focus, of CCP's master plan, is a FPS that has a long way to go.  Mind you, it's not like it would be the first time that CCP sends something off to fly before it can fly.  I don't know what Sony would say about a still birth from CCP.

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