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Vehicular Dynamics and Mayhem!

Reported by CCP Shadow

Vehicle classes in DUST 514™ resemble some modern day battlefield armored vehicles but are more menacing, and multitudes more lethal, coupled with the ability to further customize the vehicles with weapons and modules ensures a highly dynamic as well as constantly evolving game-play, where no single vehicle can impose absolute supremacy. The ultimate goal is to create an experience where players make meaningful choices when deploying vehicles based on their surroundings and situations. 

Customization

Vehicles are highly customizable; these units can be fitted with a broad arsenal of armaments, bolstered by modules that can be installed to apply bonuses and abilities to further enhance a vehicle’s combat effectiveness. 

Players will be able to choose arms from all the familiar EVE weapon classes, from energy-based laser weapons, blaster and rail cannon hybrid technology, to traditional projectile and missile weaponry. Each of these weapon types are divided over racial factions, having an affinity towards vehicle hulls from similar origins. Vehicles like the Caldari heavy attack Vehicle (HAV) for example, are well suited towards using technologies embraced by the Caldari, such as their powerful armor-rupturing railgun cannons. This is not to say that this is the de facto weapon choice for the Caldari HAV. Players will have to weigh out their combat strategy, determining what style of weapon will appeal to their play style and the demands to be met for battle at hand.  If there is a perceived aerial threat, players may choose to swap out their main turret mount for a large bank of guided heavy missiles to pluck their enemy’s dropships from the sky.

Add to this the power of vehicle modules onboard, a carefully tailored vehicle can truly be a force to be reckoned with. Modules tend to fall under many umbrellas: electronic warfare, weapons modules, and engineering, just to name a few. Engineering modules enable players to enhance essential functionality of their vehicle by increasing armor strength, increasing shield resilience, or improving overall speed and handling. Weapons modules and electronic warfare modules take on another dimension of utility. Weapons modules can outwardly boost the power of a vehicle’s turrets by increasing the rate of fire or damage factor per shot.  Electronic warfare class modules enable players to immobilize unsuspecting targets with stasis webifiers, cripple enemy turrets with tracking disruptors, or enhance guided missile lethality on target-painted hostiles.

The modularity of these types of equipment allows players to create custom functionality across all vehicle classes simply by installing modules into a vehicle’s allotted number of slots on a vehicle fitting screen. The combined CPU and powergrid cost of all modules weighed against each vehicle’s unique CPU and powergrid resource pool determines the diversity and potency of its fit. This versatile system gives a player the ability to fit for specific tactics or purposes, putting as much creativity into the hands of the player as possible.

Importance of the Rapid Deployment Vehicle (RDV) 

Vehicles can be delivered to any location on the battlefield accessible to the Rapid Deployment Vehicle (RDV). This allows players to analyze their current situation, evaluate their resources as well as their chance of success, and deploy vehicles and/or aerial units accordingly at any given time. Whether to deploy a heavy attack vehicle (HAV) to break through a tough defense point or a dropship to deliver infantry behind enemy lines to and wreak havoc is all up to the players, their strategy and current goals. 

Role of vehicles on the battlefield

Vehicles play a large role on the battlefield and are a significant threat to the opposition. The heavily armored units use long range, heavy, concussive attacks while lighter units utilize their speed and flexibility. Aerial vehicles on the other hand are great for laying down fire from above; their vantage point over the battlefield also puts them in a good position to provide vital support functions for armored units. Each vehicle will have its own set of unique bonuses or abilities allowing them to turn the tide in battle. Many of these abilities are of a supportive nature, allowing different types of vehicles to team up to create even more unique roles between classes.

Vehicles and Infantry have a symbiotic relationship on the battlefield, and will rely on each other in many situations. 

Fully utilizing the offensive capabilities of most vehicles requires the turrets to be manned. Players can spawn directly into vehicles equipped with clone reactivation units, allowing them to get into the midst of battle within seconds after dying. Infantry can be dropped off by aerial units to vantage points not reachable by foot, or they can hitch a ride with light vehicles to cross the vast terrains in a speedy manner. Vehicles also provide support in taking objectives, laying down suppressive fire, holding back the enemy, while infantry move in to take control of objectives.

In a similar way Infantry supports vehicles by scouting and setting up traps. Infantry can utilize stasis webification bubbles, target painters and other tools that disable or temporarily make enemy vehicles and installations open to attack.

Vehicle sneak peak

Name: Saga
Hull: N/A
Race: Caldari
Class: Light Vehicle
Role: Light Attack Vehicle (LAV)
Slots: 3H / 2L
Crew: 3
PG: 180kW
CPU: 190tf

LAVs are highly versatile light armor attack vehicles with a crew capacity of up to three squad members. They are capable of stacking a wide array of lightweight modules in a single configuration, which allows them to assume a very dynamic support role on the battlefield. As an offensive unit they find strength in numbers, often found amongst a group of other LAVs at the front line of battle. Their high degree of mobility and relatively low cost make them a very common, favored anti-infantry unit amongst many mercenary contingents. However, the driver of an LAV needs to persistently be aware of how exposed his crew is to enemy fire and react appropriately so as to avoid having himself and his fellow crew mates picked off before they can land the first punch.

Name: Limbus
Hull: N/A
Race: Gallente
Class: Light Vehicle
Role: Logistics
Slots: 3H / 3L
Crew: 3
PG: 310kW
CPU: 124tf

The Gallente light logistics vehicle (LLV) is designed specifically as an infantry armor augmenter, providing  infantry on the front lines with emergency repairs in the heat of battle. Due to its lightweight advanced armor coating, the LLV is quite tough compared to its light vehicle siblings. It feels nimble and is able to traverse multiple terrain types with ease. Although the LLV is mostly focused on support, it is mounted with a weapon hardpoint allowing it to fend off enemy infantry.

Name: Gunnlogi
Hull: N/A
Race: Caldari
Class: Heavy Vehicle
Role: Heavy Assault Vehicle (HAV)
Slots: 5H / 2L
Crew: 3
PG: 1780kW
CPU: 330tf

The heavy attack vehicle (HAV) class has a great combination of weapon hard-points, thick armor, and all-terrain mobility. Their role on the battlefield is to provide heavily armed support at a mid- to long- range distance, assisting lightly armored units as well as infantry. Depending on the type of main turret equipped, an HAV can relinquish its ground-pounding power for an anti-air focus.

Their thick armor enables HAVs to sustain a heavy degree of damage, giving them great staying power to endure extended combat engagement. Their competency on rough terrain allows the driver to place the HAV in tactically advantageous positions to close the trap on the enemy, or to alternatively scale challenging geographical obstacles that would otherwise inhibit less off-road capable units.

Name: Prometheus
Hull: Grimsnes
Race: Gallente
Class: Dropship
Role: Support
Slots: 2H / 4L
Crew: 7
PG: 380kW
CPU: 140tf

The dropship’s function is to support ground units by laying down fire from its two small turret hardpoints, and dropping off infantry reinforcements. It is one of the most maneuverable vehicles capable of hover flight. This allows it to quickly insert fresh infantry into a combat area with great efficiency, as well as afford it the maneuverability to effectively fall back and lay direct fire from an aerial support position. The Gunnlogi has a built in mobile clone reactivation unit, allowing infantry to awaken strapped in and ready to be dropped into combat by the pilot, anywhere on the battlefield. 

CCP Abracadabra, Game Designer

CCP Blam!, Game Designer