Talking to Eurogamer, CCP’s Vice President of Art Morgan Godat, and Producer John Lander have been outlining exactly how micotransactions in DUST 514 are going to work. “Every time you die, you lose your items, so we’re talking about relatively small amounts of money.” Godat explained. “If somebody had to buy the best gear for a serious throwdown, it’s like a 24 cent thing.”
Or four for a dollar. Bargain.
However, because every time you die all of the items that were on that particular clone of yourself are lost to the battlefield, you’re going to have to pony up that same 24 cents to re-outfit yourself in the very best gear. Which, if you’re as bad at console shooters as I am, is going to start getting expensive very quickly. That’s if you’re using real world money.
But, as with EVE Online, they’re quick to reiterate that using your hard earned cash is only one option. “We absolutely want EVE players funding the wars for the DUST players. We want an EVE player go to their friend, who is a first-person shooter fan, and say ‘Here’s 50 Billion ISK, I’m going to fund your army - you go find people.’” Although knowing EVE players, dropping down that kind of cash is probably going to be not all that common. Instead you’ll be putting down a contract price, and maybe, if you’re feeling particularly generous, offer to cover expenses too.
It raises the question of whether exactly this is going to make any actual money for CCP. If you’ve got EVE players funding wars between DUST players, then where does all the microtransaction cash start coming in? While there’s a very real possibility people will start buying PLEX to fund ground wars, CCP are also going to be watching how much EVE players are looking to finance DUST.
“Could you just throw all that money at a dust player and buy everything? Do we need a dial that says that there’s some sort of exchange rate so that you can’t throw billions of billions of ISK at people to enable them to buy everything in the game? Because that would ruin it. So we need to look at that.”
And when you’re in a giant spaceship hovering in orbit with an equally giant death laser, it’s going to be important to retain a sense of perspective. DUST players are people too. Although admittedly, people that die a hell of a lot more than you, and their toys are a little less expensive. So maybe being charitable is the way to go, if it’ll secure you some tasty minerals and resources.
As of right now the DUST 514 beta is active, but separate from the EVE servers, keeping each in their own contained bubble. But all that is set to change on the 29th of June, when DUST should go live on the EVE production servers, letting DUST players shoot EVE spaceships, and EVE spaceships blow apart DUST players. It’ll be fun.
“We will be watching very, very carefully when EVE players are suddenly flying around and playing with DUST players.” John Lander reinforced. “No one’s ever done this before, never, ever, ever. This is so out of leftfield that we honestly don’t know what’s going to happen. So we need to take that feedback, we need to be flexible at that point, because anything can happen.
“Because we don’t want to screw up EVE, and we don’t want to screw up DUST. If we get it right, when we get it right, the combination of those two games is going to make an amazing universe.” Or, to be more accurate, an already amazing universe just that little bit more special.