DUST 514, the free-to-play first-person shooter from the developer of EVE Online, releases to the public this week. This title has been in development for a while, and it represents an interesting step in the evolution of the EVE universe. For many, EVE is an intimidating MMO that uses more spreadsheets than a tax accountant and has a steep, steep learning curve. For others, it’s a world that exists unto itself, for full blown wars can happen with an accidental click of a button, or where an online treachery can lead to a real-world profit.

DUST 514 is developer CCP’s attempt to break into a much more accessible genre and capture some of the magic found in the MMO. Players assume the role of mercenary foot soldiers in a ground war on a planet contested by EVE players. EVE players recruit DUST 514 players to help them win turf, and EVE players can even lend real-time assistance in the form of orbital bombardments, helping the DUST 514 players complete their objective. It’s another cool cross-over in games, and may lead to a massive game getting massiver.

Friday, 8:24 am – Ricky

Let’s call a spade a spade: The Online Pass program was also known as “Project Ten Dollar”, and it was designed to capture revenue from customers purchasing used EA titles. What scares me about this move from EA is that I don’t know what they’re going to do instead.

To answer your question though Albert, yes, I have avoided used games since the introduction of additional purchases/passes. Still, I think it’s worth it for companies to find a way to capture lost revenue from used game sales.

Speaking of revenue, I’ve been playing Sid Meir’s Ace Patrol on my iPhone. It’s a turn-based WWI fighter plane strategy game, and it is freaking awesome. It’s also free! At least, you can play most of the British campaign for free. After the first set of missions, players should have a pretty good idea of whether or not they want to continue playing, and if they want to play something other than the first mission over and over and over again, they can go ahead and purchase the rest of the British campaign for a dollar. There are also French, American and German campaigns up for a dollar each.

This, in my opinion, is the way to do free-to-play: Play the game as much as you like, but if you want more, pay a reasonable amount more for a mission, or for new skins for your fighter planes. Don’t make me pay to make the game go faster, or to give me more “resources”. I want to pay for CONTENT. If you have access to an iOS device, I definitely recommend you check it out!

Thursday, 8:23 pm – Albert

EA has announced that it is doing away with its Online Pass program which many people detested. The story from Venturebeat has quoted EA as saying ““Initially launched as an effort to package a full menu of online content and services, many players didn’t respond to the format,” Reseburg said. “We’ve listened to the feedback and decided to do away with it moving forward.”

Did the Online Pass ever stop you guys from buying a game? I know in my recent NHL game I got a Madden code which didn’t allow me to have access to some features but the technical support gave me a NHL code via e-mail in a quick and easy way. It was actually quite simple.

Wednesday, 3:36 pm – Albert

Wow, Diablo 3 came out a year ago? That’s crazy. The hurt is still there.

Man that game peaked so early and ended up being disappointing. I recently read about the problems the auction house was having and I just laughed and thought about all the times that I stared at the auction house screen and bid on items…

The Paragon thing seemed interesting but it was a little bit too late. The game was made to be played over and over and just got boring. Plus I think that some characters, i.e. my Wizard couldn’t handle the big bad bosses after a while solo so it always depended on other people helping me. With busy schedules and new games being released, Diablo 3 will be missed. Well sort of. Ok not really. But it was a good effort. Also the servers messing up in the beginning was classic too.

ANYWAYS

I haven’t been able to get a lot of gaming time in but I have been looking on Greenlight on Steam. I frequently go into the community to see what people have been pushing and there is a lot of talent. My top three (which I suggest you all favorite) are: Project Zomboid, Darkwood, and Folktale. Obviously, Project Zomboid is my number one and since I bought it WAAAYYY back, I have access to the Alpha build and it might even get early access on Steam. The game is completely different now and progress is phenomenal. Now if I can only convince 1-3 friends to play it alongside me then we might have a Walking Dead kinda thing going. Dibs on being Glen… the Asian.  Y’know?

Wednesday, 3:00 pm – Ricky

Happy Birthday, Diablo 3! 1 year ago you were born unto the world.

Sorry I haven’t played you in so long. I’d like to come back to you – I really liked the Paragon level thing you did about 6 months ago, and I’m hearing really good things about changes to the gameplay and items. Still, I just don’t see it happening. I actually don’t blame myself or you: I blame my friends. You see, they didn’t love you as much as I did, and I don’t think they have an interest in coming back to you. But you’re a game best played with friends, and since I don’t play with internet randos, I think we’ll just have to part ways for now.

Enjoy your cake.

Tuesday, 2:29 pm – Albert

Oh man – Gavin spun a 3 and landed on “Flood your basement” in the Game of Life. Bummer.

I, too, have not been playing much. What a bunch of guys eh? But what I lack in personal gaming I make up with this video of The Bureau (revamped FPS X-com to 3rd person)… which actually looks decent.

Tuesday, 10:31 am – Ricky

At least Gavin is off playing the Game of Life in his basement – I’m not playing anything. Except Candy Box. Does that count?

I’m on the hunt for new music this morning. It’s a bit of a thing that happens to me every so often. I get bored with the stuff I have and go on the hunt for something new. Right now, I’m listening to Anamanaguchi’s new album, Endless Fantasy. You might know these folks from their work on the Scott Pilgrim movie, or you might not – I didn’t know it was them until I read about it. They use 8 bit sounds from old NES and Gameboy systems, as well as some live instruments to create their songs. Check it out on Rdio if you have a subscription, or preview the tracks on iTunes.

Monady, 10:22 am – Gavin

Not much gaming news for me today.  We’re dealing with a flood in our basement, and part of the flooded room is my office.  Gaming equipment OK, but it reeks like hell downstairs.  Drag.  Don’t expect many updates this week.  In exchange, PLAY MORE CANDY BOX.

Also, anyone have another Shop Vac I can borrow?  It’s like a goddamn Mario water level in here.

Monday, 7:00 am – Ricky

Here, you missed this last night:

Big Words! (where we have a new guest that knows big words and sciencey stuff) 

This is probably some of our best work. We have laughter, we have tears, we have a new quest appear.

  • Spec Ops: The Line (BIG NOTE: We talk spoilers from the first half of the game – 39:00 to 44:30)
  • To the Moon
  • BioShock Infinite
  • Some other stuff that Ricky forgot to write down.

Gamentary Podcast – Round 22 (right click and “Save As” to download the mp3, or use the player below)

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