DUST 514 Diary #5: Logistics and Ladders

Grabbing the opportunities when I can, my first forays into the battlefields of New Eden to provide medical support probably left most DUST 514 players wishing they'd taken out a better health plan.
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[Alternative subtitle: No, I’m not pleased to see you, that’s a Nanite Injector in my pocket and I have no idea how to get it out.]

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23rd September 2013, Monday Afternoon:

Another opportunity to play DUST 514 occurred today as my wife had arranged to meet up with some other new mothers to exchange stories about drool, nappy contents and so forth.

So, safe in the knowledge she doesn’t follow me on Twitter, one quick, gleeful tweet later…

(… at least I hope she doesn’t follow me on Twitter…) 


… and I fired up the PlayStation 3.

Two Ears and One Mouth

As I logged in, I reflected on my DUST 514-focused console experiences so far. My previous diary entry lamenting the lack of a PC version had brought forth some interesting and enlightened responses from the community. They’re well worth a read and are food for thought.

My various enquiries about issues with getting my Logitech G35 USB headset to produce game sound rather than just voice chat had produced a variety of responses but no solutions, so I was still restricted to using the cinematic surround sound on and the living room TV. It’s a terrible hardship I know – I’ve got the sound turned up so loud, the bass makes something buzz on the bookshelf.

Audio rebellion aside, it would be good to get the problem resolved, just so I can play without commandeering the entire living room. If you have any pointers I’d be very grateful.

Suited and Booted

Previously, I’d gratefully received some assistance from Blind Nojoy in getting some dropsuit fits prepared. I was now the proud owner of a wardrobe of custom-built Gallente Logistics G/1-Series dropsuits, each complete with a BDR-2 Repair Tool, K-2 Nanohives, a Drop Uplink and various fancy modules I had very little idea about. Well, aside from the fact they were all relatively expensive in ISK in-game currency terms.

This meant I wasn’t prepared to go swanning around in them whilst I didn’t know what I was doing. Given that I still don’t know what all the buttons do, there seemed little point in sacrificing my shiny purchases to enemy gunfire.

Instead, I decided on the strategy of experimenting with the basic medic dropsuit fitting, which was free and fairly idiot proof – it only has the Nanite Injector tool which is used to revive fallen allies. I could figure out the other stuff later.

So, to battle!

I entered the first match as a lone wolf – I wanted to hone my abilities a little before offering my services to a squad.

My first battle was an Ambush map, meaning there’d be lots of objectives to attack and defend. The advantage of being logistics is I no longer had to decide which location to charge or protect, I just had to followed the dudes who did to provide support.

This was fun – rarely being the first guy to round a corner and walk into a hail of bullets meant less frustrating insta-death. Of course, trying to resurrect the guy who did meet that fate isn’t always a cakewalk.

Especially if you’re as inept as me.

To be honest, the biggest enemy was the radial equipment menu. I don’t want to run around the battlefield constantly brandishing a hypodermic needle like a mad scientist, but my ham-fisted attempts to produce the appropriate equipment at the key moment often left me standing in the open whilst I waved around random items like a Wile E. Coyote opening a parachute.

Discovery of the CAPS LOCK key being an alternative radial menu trigger to the middle mouse button didn’t help much. As often as not, I ended up joining my fallen comrade to bleed out in the dirt, apologetically still clutching my rifle with medical impotence.

Despite this total lack of skill, I started to get a rewarding sense of participation as the ebb and flow to subsequent battles became apparent and I started to learn to read the troop movements and provide support appropriately.

It was almost going well, with my contributions including dying slightly less, hitting targets slightly more and occasionally doing something helpful like hacking a useful looking building or reviving a team-mate in a location where he didn’t get instantly gunned down again.

Then I discovered ladders.

Stairway to Heaven

I had assumed the ladders extending up the side of some of the larger structures were simply decorative until I dived for cover next to one and was invited to press circle to climb. Well, thank you very much. Don’t mind if I do.

Ooh. Suddenly my battlefield perception brain started to work in three dimensions.

What followed was me wandering around high above the action as I stopped to eat sandwiches and take the occasional pot shot. I didn’t feel that bad as my fellow mercenaries fought and died beneath me, the view was lovely and they were doing perfectly well without me.

I’m thinking of starting a blog about my favourite ladder hangouts now, I could call it A Rung of Truth.

I like ladders now. Ladders are cool.

NEXT: #6 – Bad Medicine [coming soon]

PREVIOUS: #4 – Why DUST 514 Would Thrive on the PC

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Image of Mat Westhorpe
Mat Westhorpe
Broken paramedic and coffee-drinking Englishman whose favourite dumb animal is an oxymoron. After over a decade of humping and dumping the fat and the dead, my lower spine did things normally reserved for Rubik's cubes, bringing my career as a medical clinician to an unexpectedly early end. Fortunately, my real passion is in writing and given that I'm now highly qualified in the art of sitting down, I have the time to pursue it. Having blogged about video games (well, mostly EVE Online) for years, I hope to channel my enjoyment of wordcraft and my hobby of gaming into one handy new career that doesn't involve other people's vomit.