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Planetary Conquest: Building an Empire from the Ground Up

Reported by CCP Nullarbor

The paint has finished drying on the open beta release of DUST 514® and we are hard at work on the next build. Such is the norm of operating a “game as a service” here at CCP. We have been making free EVE Online® expansions for ten years and will continue that commitment to the EVE Universe by evolving DUST 514 with regular, massive updates.

Building upon DUST 514’s solid foundation of FPS and social game mechanics, our attention now turns to greater involvements of the planets of New Eden--specifically how cool it would be to have one of your own. In an update arriving later this year, we will allow the planets—or rather the many districts on each planet—to be conquered by DUST 514 player corporations. Controlling these districts will amass wealth for you and your allies and provoke conflict with your enemies.

Districts

The EVE Universe is immense, containing thousands of solar systems and tens of thousands of planets, all shared between EVE Online® and DUST 514. To help mercenaries interact with this expanse, we have completely redesigned the starmap and optimized it for the PlayStation®3 controller. The new map provides a high-level overview of planetary trade and conflict, and an interface for viewing and managing corporate assets.

Each temperate planet has between 5 and 24 districts. These serve as both the industrial backbone for your corporation, and the battlefields where you destroy anyone who interferes with your business.

The Genolution Corporation is responsible for clone sales in select low-security regions beyond faction warfare space, and will supply initial access to the planets. They will also provide your initial starting planetary deployment, and assist with expansion onto neighboring worlds.

Clones

The primary wartime commodity in DUST 514 is the military-grade clone. In order to gain a strong foothold and assert dominance in a region, you will need a steady supply of replacement bodies. Controlling a single district will generate clones over time. If you end up producing more than you need, the excess clones can be sold for profit.

Corporations can expand into nearby unoccupied territory to claim it. If you find the territory already occupied, simply resolve your disagreement the best way you know how: with big guns and armored vehicles.

Each district replenishes its clone supply at a pre-configured time chosen by the owner. However, this also makes the district vulnerable to attack for an hour each day. Battles are always scheduled during this window, meaning you won’t need mercs to be geared up and ready to deploy 24/7, and both sides get a day or so to prepare for the onslaught to come.

Infrastructure

You can upgrade each of your districts with one of three types of surface infrastructure. These massive installations will provide one of the following bonuses:

  • Cargo Hub: Provides a 50% bonus to clone storage
  • Production Facility: Provides a 50% bonus to clone production
  • Research Lab: Provides a 50% bonus to clone travel efficiency

Balancing these bonuses between districts will be an important strategic decision for corporation directors. Note that battles in a district are located around whatever upgrade you choose to build, so learning the strategies of defending and attacking each structure is crucial to victory.

 

Orbital Bombardment

EVE Online pilots in your corporation or alliance will be able to provide orbital support from above your districts, raining down fire on your targets in real time. Savvy player organizations may want to field a defense fleet to provide covering fire for troops on the ground and defend the space above from any enemy vessels. Note that friendly fire will be enabled for infantry weapons, vehicles, and orbital strikes, so precise target calling is important.

Prosperity awaits those who dare reach for it, but New Eden can be an unforgiving place. Alliances will form, wars will rage, and ultimately, you must rally an army and navy to defend your empire and decide your fate. With the right strategies and skills, your next shot can topple an empire or save your own.

Good hunting.

 

To discuss this dev blog, see this discussion thread on our official forums.