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View Full Version : [Dust514][Devblog] How dynamic battlefields take shape in dust 514



Xennith
April 26 2012, 03:41:46 PM
http://blog.us.playstation.com/2012/04/26/how-dynamic-battlefields-take-shape-in-dust-514/

TL;DR - The topography of each district remains constant, but different buildings are placed by EVE players so this can change. Also dust commanders can place some smaller structures like turrets and command centers. Dust bunnies can get vehicals, etc.



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In traditional or mainstream FPS games, the mission area, i.e. the layout of objectives, structures, and spawn locations, are fairly static, thus making missions predictable after playing them a few times. This is not the case in DUST 514. Because of its sandbox nature, we want to give players the freedom to change the battlefield through choices and this is where the “dynamic” part of the battlefields will come from. This means that battlefields in DUST 514 could change based on the actions that players make – from innocuous actions such as changing one’s character fitting before a deployment, all the way up to decisions made light years away in a player owned corporate board room.

However, giving players a big sandbox to play in does not simply mean throwing a bunch of random choices at them and say, “go.” For players to experience the uniquely emergent gameplay offered by the EVE Online universe, the freedom that these choices offer must be handled in a meaningful manner. To illustrate this, we will be looking at how battlefields in DUST 514 are made dynamic in two major ways: at the macro and the micro scale.

At the Macro Scale

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You might have read about EVE Online’s big player alliances fighting for control over regions of space containing dozens of solar systems spread across a hundred parsecs. You may have also heard about DUST 514’s distinctive gameplay which will allow players acting as immortal mercenaries to conquer planets within the EVE Online universe in a bid to wrestle territorial control from EVE capsuleers. All this, of course, is set to occur in a cross platform new genre between PC and PlayStation 3. And then you’ve probably wondered how it will all work.

Let’s begin by examining planetary conquest in DUST 514. As the leader of a DUST 514 corporation filled with immortal mercenaries, it would be natural for you to cast your hungry gaze at the planets floating within the wine dark space of the EVE universe. And these planets will be divided into separate districts – large territories that contain resources and infrastructures where players can extract materials or to defend it from enemies. When players deploy to fight for control of these districts they will notice that only one thing is static… the landscape. The hills, valleys, rivers and coasts of a district are unchanging from one deployment to the next. However, the placement of and the types of surface structures available will vary based on decisions made about what is needed for that district on a corporate level. And this will be covered in more detail in a later blog focused on Surface Infrastructure. For more context on that you can check out the CCP video on “Seeding the Universe” here.

Other factors can also affect the district from one battle to the next. For example, previous or existing battles may cause the destruction or creation of new infrastructures by orbital fleet bombardments or new deployments by the theater commander that may alter the shape and look of the battlefield.

Players who take part in the successful capture of a district could easily find that the layout of structures and positions of key strongholds are totally different when they return to that district to defend it. From one corporate owner to the next, the surface control center (SCC) or hub of the district could be changed or upgraded if it is present. The SCC’s outposts and the support centers around the SCC may be rearranged, upgraded, or even removed based on the decisions of the owning corporation, and this is only one of many key infrastructures that will be available to players.

At the Micro Scale

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So now that you’ve seen how the capsuleer gods and immortal mercenary generals can shape the battlefield from a strategic, macro level, you might be thinking: how does all this play out for the grunts on the ground?

At the more personal level of the soldier on the ground, a key gameplay feature requires that the battlefield be reconnoitered during each new deployment. This is because the initial deployment positions for each mission will vary for each team based on the decisions by their commanders. Therefore, knowing exactly where the enemy is located and coming from will become top priority. Each team’s commander will also be responsible for the deployment of their team’s support systems. These commander deployed installations can consist of any number of component types that are deployed to suit the needs of the team in positions to maximize their effects. Each installation is centered on a Command Node component that provides power and processing (PG and CPU) needed to operate all deployed components throughout a battle. Once the Command Node is deployed a commander has a wide choice of installation components that he can position on the battlefield. The commander can choose from a large selection of Signals Warfare, Electronic Warfare, Installation Support, Player Support and Combat installation components.

All this translates into the very real possibility that if a player thinks he knows the battlefield simply because he fought there before, he might find that nice open short cut from the last battle now filled with enemy weapons, EW platforms and communication disruptors centered on an enemy Command Node. A deadly trap just waiting for him and others who think they know the map. In fact, it might not even be from the last battle… an enemy commander can deploy an installation into position within minutes during a battle. So unless your team has eyes on a position, what you find the next time you’re there could surprise you.

In addition, squad leaders can also have varying roles during each mission on the battlefield. For example, squad leaders have the ability to deploy small fixed gun emplacements to support the offensive or defensive actions of their squads. They will also have the ability to utilize the off-map support available to their squads and will be responsible for directing their squads’ movements on the battlefield.

Of course, this does not preclude individual players from making an impact on the battle. Individual players, squad members and leaders can also change the battlefield situation by the equipment they choose to carry into the fray. For example, let’s say that there is a squad of DUST mercs who got cutoff from friendly forces on the map. As the enemy closes in from all directions with HAVs and dropships, the squad is slowly reduced to its last man. His commander tells him that he must hold the ground at all cost and in desperation, the last squad member calls in a Black Ops HAV equipped with a mobile CRU. Now his entire team can respawn into that location fitted with anti-vehicle dropsuits and begin to beat back the enemy forces and eventually win the battle.

A Bigger Sandbox

As you can imagine, all the choices mentioned above are available to players in DUST 514. From high level strategic decisions of alliance formation (or termination), to mid-level theater command and control, and all the way down to fighting soldiers slugging it out in the muck and trenches of a forlorn battlefield. Each player will face different challenges and be offered a different set of choices whose effects are all interconnected, so that no one plays and make these decisions in a vacuum. Will you favor one alliance over another during a territorial dispute spanning multiple solar systems only to betray them when the time is ripe? Should you send in your mercenary forces to attack a particular district in a concerted effort with another mercenary army in lieu of relieving a besieged outpost in a gamble to alter the frontlines of an entire planet? Do you drop that Nanohive to resupply your squad mates now, or snipe that enemy scout to take out the enemy’s eyes and ears first? Each and every one of the players within the EVE universe will affect each other regardless of the size of their impact, thus bringing a truly emergent kind of gameplay shared by hundreds of thousands that is meaningful to the actors themselves.

Jack bubu
April 26 2012, 03:47:53 PM
Oh yeah btw Redeeming for the fanfest codes is open, but because CCP is :CCP: you still cant play yet after you redeemed it

Lallante
April 26 2012, 05:24:15 PM
This actually sounds quite cool.

Am we to assume that no two "districts" are alike and are all procedurally generated (but persistant?)?

I hope built installations are persistant so if you massively dig in over several defensive ops you get cumulative benefits.

I wonder how looting/salvage/pillage works?

Tyrus Tenebros
April 26 2012, 05:49:13 PM
From an eve player perspective this sounds really cool. From an FPS perspective all I hear is "fucking sentry guns are imba" :-P

Also lol black ops HAV to create a new spawn point. That'll cause tears

Xennith
April 26 2012, 05:57:57 PM
Also lol black ops HAV to create a new spawn point. That'll cause tears

Those things are going to be expensive, unless of course you have a menagerie of 6 year old spaceship dudes with more money than sense. In which case its going to cost less than a throwaway lulzship.

Nu11u5
April 26 2012, 06:27:49 PM
Am we to assume that no two "districts" are alike and are all procedurally generated (but persistant?)?

There are only so many terrain meshes per planet type (with preset location 'slots' for buildings), but the game will use shaders and environmental effects add variation. The screenshots from Fanfest showed pretty drastic differences.

The maps also vary in size. Some are several kilometer wide regions involving an assault on a large base. The next map could take place inside that base.

kyrieee
April 26 2012, 06:28:13 PM
Why is this thread yellow and not orange?

Also, tl;dr please

Cortess
April 26 2012, 06:55:38 PM
Also, tl;dr please

:awesome:

Alain Colcer
April 26 2012, 07:36:38 PM
i wonder if weather and daycycles will be present in Dust514...

one thing would be to attack at night, another will be to do it under heavy rain...

Mike deVoid
April 26 2012, 07:51:22 PM
They are interested in doing both of those, especially the day/night one. But not yet, as I understand.

Nicholai Pestot
April 26 2012, 08:42:21 PM
i wonder if weather and daycycles will be present in Dust514...




Don't be silly.

Planets in Eve don't move.

rojomojo915
April 26 2012, 08:45:06 PM
i wonder if weather and daycycles will be present in Dust514...




Don't be silly.

Planets in Eve don't move.

Not yet, but now wouldn't that be cool.

Nu11u5
April 26 2012, 09:11:42 PM
As to weather or other interesting effects - imagine fighting on Storm planets with 100mph winds (also no air vehicles) or Lava planets (ground movement limited). At fanfest they also showed concepts for a map that appeared to be a base built into deep canyon walls (its f*cking vertical).

Nu11u5
April 26 2012, 09:14:30 PM
i wonder if weather and daycycles will be present in Dust514...




Don't be silly.

Planets in Eve don't move.

Not yet, but now wouldn't that be cool.

They used to before the planet update. I think they still do albiet at a much slower rate.

Mike deVoid
April 26 2012, 09:26:01 PM
i wonder if weather and daycycles will be present in Dust514...




Don't be silly.

Planets in Eve don't move.

They don't orbit the sun, but they do spin on their axis. Day/night is go

Mike deVoid
April 26 2012, 09:27:11 PM
As to weather or other interesting effects - imagine fighting on Storm planets with 100mph winds (also no air vehicles) or Lava planets (ground movement limited). At fanfest they also showed concepts for a map that appeared to be a base built into deep canyon walls (its f*cking vertical).

That was a lava planet artist mockup

Varcaus
April 26 2012, 09:44:29 PM
Also, tl;dr please

:awesome:
But really cool if it works.

Glyken Touchon
April 26 2012, 10:00:14 PM
I wonder how much of that is "vision" and how much of it will be available at launch (or soon after).

Alain Colcer
April 26 2012, 10:22:19 PM
i wonder if weather and daycycles will be present in Dust514...




Don't be silly.

Planets in Eve don't move.

i guess you are a troll and not familiar with planetary interaction, so i'll forgive you

Nicholai Pestot
April 26 2012, 11:02:01 PM
i wonder if weather and daycycles will be present in Dust514...




Don't be silly.

Planets in Eve don't move.

i guess you are a troll and not familiar with planetary interaction, so i'll forgive you

Jesus christ.

It's called a joke, you soulless spergelords.

Jack bubu
April 27 2012, 05:52:22 AM
i wonder if weather and daycycles will be present in Dust514...




Don't be silly.

Planets in Eve don't move.

i guess you are a troll and not familiar with planetary interaction, so i'll forgive you

Jesus christ.

It's called a joke, you soulless spergelords.

:backpaddle:

AmaNutin
April 27 2012, 07:09:31 AM
:breaststroke:

I leave this to others to post the NSFW gif

Sponk
April 27 2012, 07:16:34 AM
:beaststroke:

Rakshasa The Cat
April 27 2012, 07:39:23 AM
:stroke:

Nicholai Pestot
April 27 2012, 11:26:07 AM
i wonder if weather and daycycles will be present in Dust514...




Don't be silly.

Planets in Eve don't move.

i guess you are a troll and not familiar with planetary interaction, so i'll forgive you

Jesus christ.

It's called a joke, you soulless spergelords.

:backpaddle:

:psyduck:

Tyrus Tenebros
May 1 2012, 11:14:24 PM
i wonder if weather and daycycles will be present in Dust514...




Don't be silly.

Planets in Eve don't move.

i guess you are a troll and not familiar with planetary interaction, so i'll forgive you

Jesus christ.

It's called a joke, you soulless spergelords.

:backpaddle:

:psyduck:
Who trolls the trollers?

Tellenta
May 2 2012, 01:08:00 AM
i wonder if weather and daycycles will be present in Dust514...




Don't be silly.

Planets in Eve don't move.

i guess you are a troll and not familiar with planetary interaction, so i'll forgive you

Jesus christ.

It's called a joke, you soulless spergelords.

:backpaddle:

:psyduck:
Who trolls the trollers?

netters?

ValorousBob
May 4 2012, 08:47:00 AM
This actually sounds quite cool.

Am we to assume that no two "districts" are alike and are all procedurally generated (but persistant?)?

I hope built installations are persistant so if you massively dig in over several defensive ops you get cumulative benefits.

I wonder how looting/salvage/pillage works?

Yes, yes I believe they're persistent, I have no idea about loot/salvage and they haven't mentioned it AFAIK.


They are interested in doing both of those, especially the day/night one. But not yet, as I understand.

Exactly, at least as per my understanding of the Fanfest presentation on Dust maps.