There are a lot of features that can be added to make Dust 514 more immersive. This blog will outline changes and additions that could achieve this. Gameplay takes priority but keep in mind immersion is the whole point of a first person perspective. When games are ‘experienced’ instead of being played, they have the opportunity to become much more than just entertainment. EVE’s ‘I Was There’ campaign is almost entirely based on remembering interactions that felt real. And at its core, that’s what immersion is.
[Out Of Battle]
- Mercenary Biography: It would add to the roleplay element to be able to write our own short biographies for others to see since it could be our way of sharing our character’s story or act like a mercenary resume.
- Message from Employer: In the war barge, a message from your employer would really reinforce the feeling that we are mercenaries hired by someone. It can just be standardized messages that depends on the contract accepted. There is also the possibility of voice messages from EVE players when they’re the ones who hire us.
As another tool to give us the ability to let us choose our experiences while still allowing us to feel like mercenary corporations, we’ve gone on at length about how game modes could be used to separate different types of contracts. Early Dust lore is full of individuals like Muryia Mordu scrolling through available contracts to find work. This Open Beta screenshot seems to shows the female protagonist navigating selections. Having our CEOs and directors select through lists of available types of jobs would be a great tool to make us feel more a part of New Eden.
- Wobbling HUD: When we run, our helmets move a bit from the inertia and this should cause the HUD to wiggle a bit as a result of the movement. This actually was in Dust but for some reason it was removed. Bring it back, please.
- Vaulting, Sliding, etc: More real world movement options besides walk, run, and jump for mercenaries would really help make us feel more in the game. Battlefield 3 is a good example of this. Players can vault over certain obstacles as they can in real life. The movement in Dust needs improvement and adding some aspects of a game with great movement is a good start.
- Prone: Prone gets a bum rap for being the tool of snipers and campers when it has many tactical aspects. Like better use of cover, lowering your target profile, and stability that results in more accuracy. Its negative aspects can easily be eliminated by slowing down the animation. This will make getting into prone and rising from prone useless in a firefight.
- Weapons Fire and Explosion Lighting Effects: On some maps there are parts permanently on fire and those parts have a lighting effect that brighten and shine on nearby objects. The forge gun charge also has that effect as it brightens the the objects around it. ALL gunfire, explosions, and turret fire should have this effect. We’re shooting burning hot plasma, lasers, etc. Even the conventional Minmatar SMG and HMG have a muzzle flash. Our weapons fire should emit more light than a simple fire. Not only would this be a realistic and immersive but it would add a level of tactics to darker maps since firing without thinking could alert your location to others. It could look like this:
- Nova Knife Burning Edge: Nova Knives have burning plasma edges but they don’t look like that at all. When slashing, the Nova Knives should have a burning glow effect similar to the concept art to make them really feel like dangerous plasma edged blades.
- Explosion Shake: Explosions, including grenades, should make the ground shake. It could look like this:
[Kills, Deaths, Rebirth]
- Killed by a Headshot: Sensors and cameras are located in helmet so when one is killed by a headshot, the sensors and cameras should be damaged. This should result in distorted vision and noticeable cracks on the HUD while laying on the ground. This is good for immersion but also would be a good way to find out that you died from a headshot. The distortion could look like this, plus some cracks:
- Get a Kill With Headshot: There should be a distinct sound specific to headshots. That sound would be the noise of the helmet equipment being destroyed. The game needs a headshot notification noise.
- Camera Should Stay With Corpse: When I get killed (mortally wounded) from a high location and my body falls down, my point of view remains where I died. This makes it really jarring when I get revived and my point of view suddenly changes to where my body fell to. It feels like I just teleported which can be confusing. Please don’t freeze the POV of the player during death. Let the POV travel with my body.
- Sky Spawn: Drop uplinks are wormhole tech and CRUs store clones so it makes sense how mercenariess can just show up there. For ground base spawns and spawns on objectives, there is no explanation for how we appear. Instead of magically appearing on bases and objectives, we should be dropped down into battle from the sky. Could be explained with cloaked NPC drone dropships. This would me make more sense and be much more immersive than just magically appearing on the battlefield. This would provide more variety to spawning and alleviate problems with being spawn killed.
- Default Melee Animation: With most guns, it looks like you’re elbowing instead of hitting someone with the gun. I find that it looks kind of silly. It’s a minor detail but it could use some work. The melee animation needs to look like you’re actually smacking someone with the gun model.
- Gun Animation While Firing: Light weapons, other than the laser rifle, should rattle back and forward when you fire them. The force of the shots ejecting from the gun should push the gun back against the user. It does so already with the AR (and maybe some other guns) but is barely noticeable. It needs to be increased.
- Vehicle Entering, Seat Switching, and Exiting Animations: Not only would this be more immersive but it would make use of vehicles more balanced since those in vehicles won’t be able to instantly switch seats to dodge shots and exploit the enter and exit mechanics in combat. FPSes has been hampered by these ‘instant’ vehicle mechanics for too long. Players can enter and exit tanks via wormholes apparently as they instantly materialize inside and outside of the behemoths at will. The same goes for dropships and LAVs. If players want to be able to exit vehicles with speed, make them pay for it the New Eden way (with ISK and SP). Introduce an ejection seat skill and module. Otherwise, give drivers and pilots a much longer animation to enter and exit vehicles which will improve gameplay and force players to exit early or ‘go down with the ship’.
- Reloading: This one is really important for gameplay. For the assault rifle, and maybe other weapons, the reloading animation is not synchronized properly with the reloading completion. This makes the reloading animation very misleading and cause new players to constantly cancel their reloading accidentally. This should obviously be fixed. The game should track and resume your reload progress to resume from where you left off if it gets cancelled. If you remove the magazine and cancel reloading, then you shouldn’t have to remove the magazine again when you start reloading again. Similarly, when you put in the new magazine but get interrupted, you should resume from where you left off in the reloading progress.
- Legs: It really breaks immersion to look down and not be able to see your own legs.
- Logistic’s Arm Computer: It is not well fitted on the arm of the logistics suit.
- Arm Computer: The image is static while performing hacks. It looks like random spots on the screen. The image needs to change while hacking and there should be a touch keyboard for the mercenaries to tap.
- MCC Destruction: When the MCC is destroyed, don’t end the game yet. Let us see the MCC fall, skid through the ground lifting up dirt, and explode during gameplay as part of the scenery. The MCC crashing down should kill players, installations, and vehicles caught in its way. This spectacle would really make players feel like we are a part of the scene. It could look something like this:
As always, we’ll continue to attempt to help promote and publish ideas that help establish, enhance and grow the Dust 514 community as much as we can. Have any ideas that need sharing? Would you like to join our staff as a writer? Be sure to contact us at [email protected].