DUST514 Going Pay-Very-Little-To-Win ….

With CCP Games’ little-shooter-that-can, DUST514, getting updates again, along has come a situation where players find themselves earning a week’s worth of Skill Points in just 1 game. The question being, will CCP be able to plug it’s back door when 1.10 hits.

DUST514, as with its older sibling EVE:Online, use a progression-system where players earn a limited amount of Skill Points, or SP, through either gameplay or over time. Players then turn that SP into skill-based bonuses or unlocking new gear, to gain a minor advantage over other players on the battlefield.


Screenshot from video by Saxonmish

A recent change to the game, known as Uprising 1.9, suddenly allowed players to go from a few thousand SP per match, to a couple hundreds-of-thousands of SP, simply by using 2 mechanisms in the game. Mechanics when abused allow players to rocket past other players with little or no work.


Players have found that by getting a group of 4-6 players to synchronize entering battle (“Q-sync”), so they are split between the  2 competing sides, they can boost their rewards in a battle to an easy 20.000 SP, and the recent addition of a post-battle booster, allows a player to turn this into well-past 200.000 SP, or the equivalent of a regular week.


Throughout the lifetimes of DUST514 and EVE:Online, the slow metering of SP has been crucial, as it encourages players making intelligent decisions about the skills they invest in. More recently, CCP Games have increased the SP rewards in DUST514, to accommodate the shooter-genre’s faster playstyle and more immediate gratification, and the latest one includes an increase to SP reward-limits and -mechanisms along with the option to pay 2100 Aurum (in-game currency bought for real-world money) for boosting the rewarded SP.

It is particularly these recent changes that allowed players to take a known issue of coordinating across teams in a battle to earn extra points, to the level where the payout equates a normal player’s weekly Skill Points.


Though nothing official has come from CCP Games, or their player-based advocacy group for DUST514, the Council of Planetary Management (CPM), a 1.10 patch has been announced for release December 9th. This has been come up with very short notice, which would seem to indicate that CCP Games are aware of the situation and looking to remedy it.

The in-game currency Aurum trades for 225.000 AUR per $100/£79.99, meaning this increased payout would cost 93 US Cent/75 pence per battle.


This piece was made with the assistance from external DUST514 players, who tested the setup. They have chosen to be anonymous, due to still playing the game.

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