Its past time CCP added the weapons lab and virtual trainers into New Eden for Dust mercenaries. Recently thousands of players purchased the skills necessary to utilize the weapons added by update 1.7 without ever testing out either the rail or combat rifle. Because Dust 514 requires such a large commitment to specialize into a skillset, the weapons lab that was mentioned long ago is essential. This isnt your normal fps experience where you can create loadouts on a whim and be an engineer, assault or sniper. In Dust you have to spend large amounts of time grinding for sp to obtain the points necessary to purchase the new skills that allow you to specialize. We dont have the option to try out the prototype combat rifle in a test setting and see if it fits our playstyle, and lets be honest, we should. Imagine adding all the necessary skills for the Caldari rail rifle only to discover it doesn’t fit your Close Quarters Combat play-style.
Dust 514 should kill two birds with one stone and not only add the weapons lab as quickly as possible but also the virtual trainers that were hinted at over a year ago. Not only would this give serious corps the opportunity to work on tactics and maneuvers, but would also allow players to test weapons and dropsuits in a true combat setting. While no assets or ISK would be lost in a virtual setting, no SP would be gained either. The value of the ‘trainer’ would be in the experience itself and skill gained in a practice setting. BF4 has a great test range setup with shooting ranges and the ability to test vehicles but the single player experience lowers its worth tremendously. CCP should use the same format but allow corps to single or team deploy into the trainer and even compete in configurable wargames or open world practice with options like friendly fire, view game and small, medium and large sized maps. A bevy of options is key here, as the more there are the easier it will be for corps to customize it to their liking.
In addition, give players the ability to choose any item in the marketplace in the weapons lab & trainer so that mercs can become familiar with the items that may or may not fit their playstyle before wasting millions of SP on things they will never use. Dust’s persistent & consequential nature is appealing to the players who enjoy its hardcore roots but wasting precious SP can be frustrating for even the most die hard player.
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]