Human beings are hunters at heart. We were hunter-gatherers well before we invented computers, after all. And what better place to practice our ancestral instinct than in a MMO shooter where we can stalk, pounce upon and kill our prey so that we can safely and legally experience the thrills and complexities of the hunt. This sublime experience even has a name : the ancient Greeks called this “arete” and used it to describe the excellence and beauty that can arise between combatants of equal stature.
Of course, part of this excellence comes with the assumption of a fight between two equally matched combatants; it would seem that our ancestors, too, preferred a fair fight. But in the real world, we are too often reminded that all is fair in love and war, and as many of you already know, Dust 514 is about war (okay, there is love too).
However, this does not mean that “arete” has no place in Dust 514. Like the Olympics, we want to offer players a chance to compete on a fair and equal footing where it is less about the gear and more about the skill and mental resilience to win the fight.
To this end, we are introducing the first part of the Instant Battle Matchmaking system that will be included in our next patch, the Precursor update. The goal of this system is to put players who are at the same “skill rank” into the same battle, for those looking for a fair battle.
To do this, Dust 514 will use an algorithm that takes into account certain criteria when considering whom to populate into a quick match. Some criteria are hardware-based, such as internet speed/latency, while others are based on player statistics, measuring players’ overall strengths and then pulling them into balanced teams using that information.
In addition, the Instant Battle Matchmaking system is the first part we are releasing of a new feature where battles are actually fought for planet district ownerships within the EVE Online universe on behalf of NPC corporations. Finally, as part of the Instant Battle Matchmaking system you will be able to form four-man squads (we will raise this number over time) with friends and join a match on the same side.
We expect to test this new system during the beta phase and improve its design and implementation over the course of the beta, ultimately delivering more “arete” moments to our players.