Thursday, 23 August 2012

DUST 514™ From a Capsuleer Perspective

Further to my review of the E3 2012 video, I have some questions about how Capsuleers will interact with Dust Bunnies. My main question is about maintenance of defences when the Capsuleer is offline.

What we know about DUST 514 so far:

  • There will be orbital and planetary assets (FanFest 2012)
  • There will be attackers and defenders
  • There will be some means of hiring Dust Bunnies (FanFest 2012)
  • Capsuleers are not online 24 x 7
  • Capsuleers will often time their attacks to put reinforceable structures into reinforced mode at the right time to ensure that the structures come out of reinforced mode at the most favourable hour for the attacker
  • The reinforcement system is often gamed by providing only a certain amount of strontium to a POS
  • The reinforcement system is further gamed by having spies who can report the amount of strontium or infiltrators who can adjust the amount of strontium (or change reinforcement time on POCOs)
  • DUST 514 will have instant matchmaking
My questions for now relate to defending planetary assets. I have no answers, this is just a bunch of questions.

How will I as a Capsuleer be able to hire Dust Bunnies to defend my assets that are attacked while I am not playing the game? Will I simply post a set amount of ISK/day to pay defenders? How does an attacker “win” a war of attrition? Will they simply end up clicking “INVADE” until there is no ISK left to pay defenders, at which point my stuff simply evaporates? Will my defenders be drawn from increasingly poorly equipped Dust Bunnies who will end up having absolutely no fun at all? Will there be some kind of reinforcement timer? Will attackers need to send me an invite to their assault party before they're allowed to attack? Do I need to RSVP and book mercenaries to attend with me, or will I simply be expected to turn up at the start of the party with any friends I want to bring to the fight? Do I as a Capsuleer advertise opening hours during which attackers are allowed to come and party on my planet?

How will poorly equipped Dust Bunnies have any hope of getting better equipment if they are continually being trampled upon and sent home without even the shirts on their backs? In EVE, if you try taking space in null sec you're going to be trounced by fleets of bored super capital pilots who think that bringing 20 Titans to a gate camp is just business as usual. How will this translate to DUST 514? If better equipment costs more ISK, I'd expect that the Dust Bunnies who get the better contracts will have better gear, at which point the ground combat will more or less be decided before anyone sets foot on the battlefield.

Will I as a Capsuleer be limited in how much ISK I can throw at attacking or defending in a particular combat zone? Assuming I have a standing defence contract with Roger's Ramjets, and I am more interested in holding that territory than making a profit from it, will I be able to simply throw a billion ISK into the defence fund? I'm sure a billion ISK will buy plentiful reserves of clones and some pretty awesome gear. How will attackers be able to compensate for this? Will the attacking Dust Bunnies be told how rich the defenders are? Will the game impose limits on who can bid for attacking contracts? Will defenders be restricted based on the value of assets being defended (e.g.: you can't throw a billion ISK at your mercs to defend three million ISK of structures)? Will attackers simply not be able to attack my planet unless they can field an attack force that equivalently funded? Will I be able to shut out attackers completely by stuffing my defence fund with a few trillion ISK?

As a Dust Bunny, how do I go about picking fights that are going to be fun and profitable? I don't want to bring a knife to a gun fight. How do I know what to expect from the enemy?

What if I start a fight and end up withdrawing simply because the other team is using such good gear that I cannot compete? What happens to the Capsuleer assets if the defender withdraws? Are different mercenaries hired? Does the attacker win by default?

So many questions. I had a nightmare last night of an EVE that was no longer any fun to play because a bunch of people with lots of ISK and massive super capital fleets decided to wage war on everyone, bringing thermonuclear weapons to kickboxing matches.

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