The AI can take over the role of a commander in a Dust battle if no player is willing to play the commander or no player has earned the right to the role (the AI will fly the MCC in that case)
Commanders choose vehicle and installation loadouts prior to a match, placing preliminary spawn points and structures on a wireframe map in full view of both teams as they set the stage for conflict
There are ten vehicle classes, but the commander can only commit five for each battle. We have 15 installation types, and he can only choose five. It’s simple, really, like Magic: The Gathering: you prepare your deck and then fight
as commander you can affect the battlefield by creating incentives for your players to perform certain tasks: you’re working towards objectives and moving the focus of the fighting about
Essentially, the Eve players need to control planets. Planets give them resources and affect sovereignty. So they can issue contracts to win over territory on their behalf: either open-ended contracts for all to accept, or more direct contracts to specific mercenary corporations.
We have aspirations to add on to Dust twice a year – we have plans for expansions like we have with Eve, and we’ve already drafted out a wishlist of things
Player progression, then, depends upon a system CCP refers to as the achievement matrix. Levelling is bad, but the achievement matrix does to a certain extent replace it,” suggests Sveinsson. “We don’t want to have a linear kind of levelling: we want to promote usage of all kinds of weapons, playing for all races and accepting all kinds of contracts, so we need a very freeform approach. At the start, the matrix is basically ten tiers with multiple columns for the different NPC corporations that manufacture weapons and equipment. To advance a tier you need to accrue a certain percentage of the achievements within that tier. This unlocks the ability to buy better stuff, but you can also collect combo unlocks through skilful playing that gives you persistent attribute enhancements for vehicles and weapons.
When it comes to the battlefields themselves, the landscape of Dust is just as persistent, with dynamic arenas that change over time. “The planets where you’re fighting already exist in the Eve universe,” stresses Sveinsson. “That means they react to that universe. The first time you go there, the battlefield looks green and friendly perhaps, but then someone nukes it from orbit, and the next time you go there it’s totally different. You think to yourself: ‘Oh, I know this place, but it doesn’t look as I remember it’, and that’s because there’s a player in a different game who is affecting it. Variety’s not just about the minute-to-minute gameplay, where commanders can deploy different installations: it’s also about the composition of these battlefields. Not all planets are created equal: some are lush, some are arid, some are deserts. We can only create so many battlefields in terms of the models, but if you have a terraforming index, you can actually state where in its evolution a planet is: this alters which textures are being used, which affects gameplay in terms of atmosphere, sight-lines, water levels. In a more developed planet, maybe a route you used to take is now filled with water. That changes your tactics.Linkage