The Future of War: Building DUST 514’s Arsenal

44 0
The Future of War: Building DUST 514’s Arsenal


In the last PlayStation.Blog post I introduced you to the three weapon classes in DUST 514: Heavy, Light and Sidearm. In this post, I wanted to pick a few weapons that changed the way that the development team played when we added them to the game.

Gamers don’t always realize how long it can take for a weapon to make the leap from the drawing board to being fully functional and kicking ass in the game. It needs to be concepted, built, textured, animated, weapon logic needs to be engineered, sounds created, various values set up, tested, debugged, and tweaked. As you can imagine, all this takes quite a while, which means you spend a lot of time playing your game with a limited set of gear. Over time, we add new weapons to the game and they can radically alter the balance of play because they open up new possibilities in combat. Below are some examples.

Heavy Weapons for Heavy Armor…

Let’s start with the Minmatar MH82-BCR Personal Autocannon. This is a heavy weapon and, as such, restricted to the heavy dropsuit. As well as being simply devastating in its own right, this weapon really opened up the heavy dropsuit class once we added it to the game. For some time, the heavy dropsuit wasn’t very popular with our internal dev team. It may have had a ton of hitpoints and access to the deadly Forge gun, but it was slow and easy to outmaneuver. This saw it primarily being used in specialist anti-vehicle roles (where it excelled) but not much else.

This came abruptly to an end when the autocannon made it in to the game. Suddenly you didn’t have to fight the other dropsuit classes on their own terms with weapons ill-suited to the heavy’s slower movement. Now you could outlast any other class in a head-on firefight (though smart players can still outmaneuver the slower heavies), you had more armor and a lot more firepower; enough to destroy light vehicles as well as infantry. The introduction of this weapon unlocked the full potential of the dropsuit and gave us one of the game’s most satisfying weapons to fire. The camera shake, visual effects and rate of fire make this weapon incredibly visceral. You feel unstoppable, like you could take on just about anything, and sometimes — for just a few bright moments — you can.

Minmitar MH82-BCR Personal Autocannon


A multi-barrel, rotary drive machine gun, the autocannon is a singularly devastating anti-infantry weapon. Eschewing the advantages of a lighter frame in favor of stopping power, the exponentially increased heat and vibration produced by this Boundless Creation-developed weapon makes it almost unbearable to fire. Yet despite this fact, its above average hit ratio and extreme rate of fire has earned it the nickname “Death’s Engine.”

Unlike earlier models, the weapon requires no spool up time; rounds are expelled the instant the trigger is pressed. This comes at the cost of initially reduced accuracy as the counter-rotating drives slowly align. Once fully aligned, however, the autocannon produces a pinpoint stream of gunfire with unmatched killing potential.


Designation: MH82-BCR
Variant: Standard
Length: 70.2cm
Barrel length: 48.9cm
Weight (loaded): 60kg
Weight (unloaded): 47.4kg
Max. effective range: 1,000m
Muzzle velocity: 3,450 ft/sec (1,050 m/s)
Ammunition: Titanium Sabot

Filling the Short-Range Gap…

Next up is the Gallente CRG-3 Plasma Shotgun. When we added it to the game, the shotgun filled a gaping hole in our weapons line up. At the time most of the weapons we had in were semi- to full-automatic with mid to long ranges, but the shotgun gave us a very powerful, very short-range weapon. It was actually one of our most eagerly awaited weapons on the team, to quote one of the designers, “shotguns are born fun.”

What happened when we put it in the game, though? As a light weapon, it can be fitted to any dropsuit which makes it very versatile. However, it was those players using Scout dropsuits that really gravitated towards it. Having such a powerful weapon helped them offset their relatively weak armor and shields. They began to use their high speed and maneuverability to get as close as possible as fast as possible with the shotgun and blow their enemy away! Of course, any potential victim in a more heavily armored dropsuit class could potentially fit themselves to soak a portion of the damage done and retaliate with a fistful of death of their own so Scouts still had to stay on their toes!

Gallente CRG-3 Plasma Shotgun


Designed for close-range combat, the shotgun is a spread weapon with tremendous stopping power. Unlike traditional cyclotron designs, a walled centrifugal well is used to simultaneously shunt dozens of plasma charges, generating a wide-pattern ‘kill spread’ that is lethal over short distances. The excessive recoil produced by each discharge is absorbed by the pneumatic armature, allowing the weapon to be fired repeatedly without significant injury to the user. The operator controlled crank-action flushes coolant through the interior well before cycling additional rounds into the chamber.


Designation: CRG-3
Variant: Standard
Length: 94.5cm
Weight (loaded): 4.35kg
Weight (unloaded): 3.6kg
Max. effective range: 30m
Muzzle velocity: 1,325 ft/sec (403 m/s)
Ammunition: Lead charge

Up Close and Personal…

Last on the list for this blog post is the humble knife. Imagine you’re in a desperate gun fight, you’re closing in on your opponent, he’s almost dead, you run out of ammo, but you’re close enough to use melee to finish him off… but melee hasn’t been implemented yet and he shoots you in the face! This was a situation many of us experienced before the Nova Knife went in to the game and it was incredibly frustrating. As you can imagine it was a very welcome addition and now it’s hard to imagine how we could have played without it.

Every dropsuit comes equipped with a blade so it doesn’t need to be fitted. For most players the Nova Knife is a weapon of last resort, but for a crazed few it is used as a primary. They train skills in knife handling and fit their dropsuits with Myofibril Stimulant modules to make the knife as deadly as possible. There is of course no more embarrassing way to be killed than with the knife. And no more frightening sight than a module-enhanced fast-moving Scout dropsuit that is bearing down on you as you try to pick them off before they get too close.

Caldari ZN-28 Nova Knife


A close-quarters melee weapon, the Nova Knife is as deadly a weapon as anything on the battlefield. Its name derives from the heated plasma edge of the blade – formed by a thermic igniter and linear gravity condenser – that, in skilled hands, can be used to carve through even the thickest dropsuit armor.


Designation: ZN-28
Variant: Standard
Blade Length: 20cm
Weight: 0.5kg
Max. effective range: 0.5m
Ammunition: Fuel cell

One of the most exciting things about game development is watching and experiencing the game as various pieces of gameplay fall into place. Every new weapon we add to the game opens up the gameplay in ways we predicted and ways we didn’t. One of the things that excites me the most about DUST 514 is that the continuous development post-launch means that developers and players alike will get to see the gameplay evolve over time as new content is introduced into the game.

Comments are closed.


  • It would be cool if you post some videos of how the weapons perform in “real” combat :D

  • umm something seems to be missing….. something like… LONG range weapons…. Tell me there WILL be Sniper Rifles right?

    Also is there a release window for this game (Ive had the cash sitting in my PSN wallet for months yet.. so long infact I got an email from Sony informing me about unused cash in my wallet lol)… Im not looking for an exact date but Ive heard some places say Spring while other say Summer… can you at least confirm which of those is correct (spring or Summer).. Im really hoping its Spring and not Summer.

  • Loving the balance and variety but not straying too far from what makes modern FPSs successful. Thanks for all the hard work and balancing guys! Hearing about the camera shake and small details makes me enthusiastic to see the outcome.

  • I can’t wait for Dust 514 to come out. This is my most-anticipated game of the year. Each of these weapons looks amazing – great art design!

    I think I would have preferred a blade attached to every weapon rather than the standard knife equipped. It could have been automatic or something the player had to research. A swiping motion would have had to be designed for each weapon though.

  • I for one welcome our new shotgun wielding recon dropsuit overlords. I must say, I do like the idea of how the autocannon starts firing the moment you press the trigger but doesn’t get accurate till you’re spun it up. However, I do wonder if there will be a way for you to be able to spin it up before you start firing (akin to the Heavy from Team Fortress 2)

    Still looking good. Wonder how many people will take up the Nove Knife challenge and use nothing but it?

  • “One of the things that excites me the most about DUST 514 is that the continuous development post-launch means that developers and players alike will get to see the gameplay evolve over time as new content is introduced into the game.”

    You know what that means everyone; don’t buy the game right away cause you wont have the full game and youll have to buy more of it after it comes out.

    It’s time to put an end to blindly giving your money away to sony, microsoft, nintendo.

    No more online passes.
    No more special & exclusive content
    No more pay for dlc
    No more PS+ (i’m not gonna pay an annual fee just so i can back up my saves.)

  • I was wondering.. Are you still planning on releasing the game for the Vita? If so, will it be at the same time as the PS3? ( please say yes.. please say yes.. please say yes..)

  • Will you have to equip the knife to use it? Or is it a quick-knife?

  • meh … videos of actual gameplay would be better than this guy
    i like art as much as the next guy … but lets see this bad boy in action already ;)

  • No no, that’s not what I meant. :) Will you first have to click a button to equip the melee weapon (Counter strike/Team fortress style) and then swipe? Or will it be like COD where you press a button and you swipe instantly?

  • I need beta access for thsi one.

    Whadda ya say?

    I’m very vocal in the Starhawk beta, and was in 4-5 of the MAG betas and was very vocal then as well.

    I had direct contact with some of the developers of MAG(Via Private messages) and helped to balance the RPG against troops.

    Would love to get into some sweet beta action for this one for certain.



  • I for one can not wait for BETA, cant wait to test, debug, send info back to the Devs….If you want to send me a BETA code, I’d be greatful

  • Will this game release for the Vita also? Can you at least confirm that it’s in the works for the Vita?

  • When can we get our hands on it? It all sounds great but it really seems that I need to get my hands on it and see how all the systems, unlocks, faction, etc… systems all work to really grasp its potential.

  • Video or it didn’t happen.

  • I’m really looking forward to playing this, but I feel I speak for everyone when I say, WE THE PEOPLE DEMAND A VIDEO!!!!!

  • This is only game where the storyboards have truly captivated my interest.

  • i am looking forward to this game but i just hope it dosnt have the crappy melee kills like you get in the call of duty games,, ( a slice to the leg, arm or back and your dead crap, when did anybody die instantly to a slice to the ankles) i hope its got proper melee kills like in killzone 3 and battlefield 3, (slice there necks wide open, gouge out there eyeballs proper instant kills)

  • What 7 is asking is if it will take 1 button press (R3 for example) to knife attack, or will you have to equip the knife and then attack. Could you please clarify?

  • Really looking forward to Dust 514 after Sony and Zipper spectacularly squandered MAG’s merits and abandoned it wholesale without a word.

    Weapon designs are really nice. They’re futuristic without looking like they’re space insects.

    (But, lol, “Death’s Engine”? Really? Come on, you’re better than that, right?)

  • I love how the game is turning out. need to get some pistol wiping in there lol(;

  • When will this be released?

    Can I have it now?

  • The Gallente CRG-3 Plasma Shotgun looks like a sadistic leaf blower. I <3 this. Oh and personal Autocannons, I'll forgive the valentine's day gift for being 3 days late.

  • @ zekececil14 summer 2012!!!! and it will have some sort of beta/ Free play before then. And it has MOVE support too(:


  • some more info on how the game works like corps defending and taking territory, sniper rifle and smg info wud be nice, industry details on what we can do in dust, ps vita details as well. start gettin into the hard questions ppl want answers for. PS: ps move support needs to have lots of options for the user to make it competitive with kb/m and ds3

  • Please, please, please say that the knife will be a weapon that you need to switch to rather than the “I’ve-got-my-hands-full-of-gun-but-that-doesn’t-stop-me-from-stabbing-you” knife that CoD and MAG have.

    Overall gameplay will be much, much, much better (not to mention more balanced) if it is a “switch-to-my-knife-and-stab-you” style knife.

  • Nice write up. Love getting a little taste of things to come.

    I would encourage you or someone from CCP to make an effort to sit down with folks from the PlayStation Blogcast and lets get some first-hand info on the game, it’s development and how the beta is progressing. I consider this a very “special” game for PlayStation fans and it would be great to have Sony’s media team give fans the info we have been all craving for many months :)

  • The weapons are AWESOME!! I want to check out the game but I havent had time!!!!!

  • You expect me to believe that Autocannon is a Minmatar design? I think not. They obviously stole the design from someone else. How do I know this? Simple! It isn’t held together with duct tape! :D

  • The more I hear about Dust 514, the more excited I get for it. Love what you guys are trying to accomplish with this game.

    I have a unrelated question, will CCP have some kind of “Buddy Program” that could link new players to existing Eve Online players?

  • Swap Knife doesn’t work. If you make the Knife so you have to Swap to it to use it, you only ensure that the guy running around taking a Knife to a Gun Fight will get another precious moment or two to use it.

    That’s a problem since the melee attack in most FPS games is totally overpowered. I think the ideal design for a melee attack factors in the assailant’s health as a measure of vitality that sets his maximum possible damage. This is probably the only way to keep guys from charging through a hail of gunfire to gamble on a successful R3 press. That’s a very weak way to get killed.

  • Hooli,

    You and I both know that swap knife does work. It PREVENTS guys from running around from gunfight to gunfight like a knife wielding maniac running headlong into a hail of gunfire to get that OHK stab.

    Swap knife gives the knife a more appropriate place on the battlefield, in the hands of scouts and other ninjas that have made their way behind enemy lines slitting reddot throats FROM BEHIND.

    Maybe it is just that MAG’s fail hit detection and latancy have killed the knife for me, though I feel that if the knife were a swap to item as well as having an animated attack that was only available from behind (think “PRESS O TO PLANT CHARGE” only it would be “PRESS O TO STEALTH KILL”) it would be vastly superior to what is currently out there.

    IDK, hopefully CCP will succeed where Zipper failed and not give us noclip enemies (a whole other reason I hate R3 knives).

  • me and my friends will die waiting for this game :)
    combing FPS & MMO is the best thing ever happened to a console

  • PLEASE no sniper rifles, and if so then be the bigger men and leave out the quickscope/noscope crap.

  • weapons looks nice just hope the game don’t turn out like COD running and stabbing and i’ll play it

  • Maybe the knife should be dropped. If it is indeed “quick-swipe” style like in CoD, its best not to have it. I hate that mechanic so much and has ruined quite a bit of my favorite shooters.
    Getting knife kills should be an art form, like in Counter-Strike. Not just quick swipe instant death when you get close to the other person. Such a horrible mechanic.

  • This game looks awesome. I hope it will be a playstation mega-hit :)

  • Hi, I just want to quickly address the question regarding the combat knife. While it is possible to kill an opponent with one swipe, the chances of doing that will largely depend on how you’ve equipped your dropsuit (i.e. with melee modules) and also how well armored, or damaged, your opponent is. So, it is not meant to be a one shot one kill type of knife. Hope that clears things up.

  • Awesome. :D My problem with many modern FPS games is that melee attacks can be buffed without significant compromise to other aspects of the players’ abilities. It seems to me, however, that since module slots are so limited, CCP might just be able to strike a balance, where other game developers have failed. That said, I still hope that there is no range-increase module, since that buff really makes people think that players are lagging, and ruined the gameplay to a large extent in both MW and MAG. My personal hopes is that any difference in melee range between players, will come purely from their choice of knife.

Please enter your date of birth.