On 10th January 2013, the developers of EVE Online successfully integrated their massively multiplayer space-sim with the closed beta of their upcoming FPS shooter DUST 514.
With EVE Online‘s playerbase being solely a PC (and Mac) title and DUST 514 a Sony Playstation 3 exclusive, the achievement of combining two games not only from separate genres but also on entirely different platforms is a remarkable industry first.
Crossing the Streams
EVE Online is already a technical marvel amongst MMOs by being one of the few truly massive online game environments. Unlike many MMOs, the 7000+ star systems of New Eden all exist on a single shard running on a London-based super-cluster, meaning that every EVE player from across the world* co-exists in the same persistent universe. On any given day there can be upwards of 50,000 players all fighting, scheming, manufacturing and trading with each other.
So delivering a whole new way of interacting with that same universe is something that would surely be beset with problems, however the initial union seemingly went without a hitch and EVE players were barely affected, with only a slight extension to the usual daily server downtime.
Community Developer Sveinn ‘CCP Guard’ Kjarval conveyed the jubilation at CCP’s headquarters in Reykjavik.
Whilst the official EVE Online Twitter feed playfully announced the successful merge in a faux-Facebook relationship status update.
Undoubtedly a notable achievement, but what does the connection of these two games mean for the end user? In truth, the details are sketchy, but it is safe to say that CCP are progressing cautiously and as such there is little additional gameplay value to be found presently. DUST 514 players are now able to communicate directly with EVE players via in-game voice-comms and text chat channels. Potentially more impressive is the opportunity for EVE Online pilots to respond to DUST mercenary requests for tactical strikes from orbit.
Vladislav ‘CCP Frame’ Perge tweeted:
I’d heard about a player event being organised to test this new functionality out, so I hopped into a stealthy vessel and headed to the advertised low-sec system to see things first hand…
Part Two: The Only Way to Be Sure
*excluding Chinese players, who have their own ‘Serenity’ EVE cluster..