CCP Games announced Project Legion this morning at EVE Fanfest.
“Project Legion”. What is it?
Let’s call it a spiritual successor. Part experiment, part project, “Project Legion” is an idea grown from the seeds of DUST 514. Dubbed an MMOFPS with RPG elements, Legion could become everything people originally wanted from DUST – a free PC release with a more open, pliable world.
The ambition is huge and details are scarce.
ZAM's Deputy Editor, Colt "ShdwFlm" Casey, sat down with Julien Dulioust, “CCP Z”, Monetization Director in CCP Shanghai, at EVE Fanfest 2014 to learn a bit more.
Let’s start easy: this isn’t just DUST 514 on PC, right?
laughs No! In terms of our experience and vision, we’re really far from what DUST 514 has been. DUST 514 is a good lobby shooter; that’s not what we’re trying to bring to PC. It’s the MMOness of EVE applied to a universe like DUST.
So what would the experience of Project Legion be like?
We’re working on a completely different experience. It’s really different from DUST; not the same game, not a port. We’re building a new experience. DUST 514 is a good game, people love it, we have millions of people who have played the game, and more people are playing every day, but…we didn’t completely fulfill the vision we had at the beginning.
The basis of Project Legion is basically DUST 514, but the experience will be completely different. Introducing PVE, introducing scavenging, introducing more of an MMO element. The core idea is sandbox gameplay; it’s a sandbox MMOFPS. Emerging gameplay, emerging behavior.
Able to share specifics with us?
So the FPS side, we have that right now with DUST. Good game modes, good skill system, different classes...with Legion making it a broader experience. Bringing in PVE for example: people can go on a planet, loot stuff, fight drones, and do cool stuff like that. This feeds the overall loop of the game which is: everything’s player generated. You get your item from a planet, you trade it on the market, other people purchase it, you consume it while dying on the battlefield.
Any major elements of DUST that will carry over?
In DUST, we have this really cool concept where you can mix and match weapons and modules to create your own class, to be exactly who you want to be on the battlefield. That’s the kind of thing we want to keep, because that’s really cool…and again, that’s really EVE. You can be anything you want.
Is Project Legion going to tie-in mechanically in terms of economy?
Mmm, not right now. We thought about it quite a lot, it’s still in discussion obviously, but right now we need to push a prototype further first. EVE is such an amazing system, a huge machine that has been growing for 10 years – we would not want to mess it up, obviously!
Since your role is focused on monetization, are there already some thoughts for Project Legion?
We have some thoughts. I’ve had a chance to work on free to play games for the past five or six years – I think I know what I want to offer to players. I can’t tell you much about it though, because we’re trying to be really innovative.
I can say: we won’t be a moneygrab. We’re gonna go away from any abuse of all the obvious stuff… the pay-to-win type of game where “I give you $100 and I have everything in the game.” We want to be fair. We want to use a system like the PLEX system. There will be no distinction between a paying player and a non-paying player. That’s really important to us. Everyone will have equal chances to get what they want.
Have an example?
Sure! Let’s say you have a lot of time on your hands, you can farm in-game currency. You would use that in-game currency to purchase items, so everyone can get it; items can be new skills and stuff. Now, let’s say I don’t have the time that you have, but I have some money – we trade. I give you the Aurum, you give me your ISK (basically). And with your Aurum, you’ll be able to buy the weapon customization stuff, convenience stuff like your corporation logo on your gear, all things like that.
How far along is the development more or less?
Not so far, we’ve spent a couple of months on it.
On the backend, has a good chunk of DUST come over to this project?
Yeah, most of it! Assets, weapons, upgrades, we’re gonna use what we have.
Is there anything playable at the moment?
Yeah, we have something playable, we’re working on some of the core... the scavenging, the market, thinking “what ‘tools’ do we want to develop to make that sandbox gameplay super fun and super interesting to play?”
Great! Any last thoughts?
We feel we’re onto something that can be really cool, innovative, and would fit the CCP spirit.
With Bungie’s frustrating denial of a Destiny PC release, it seems Project Legion would fill that niche and more. Given the time it may take to see Project Legion fully form, it would end up more of a competitor for Destiny’s potential sequel. After the impressive demo shown during Fanfest today (TREES!), we’re genuinely looking forward to wherever CCP takes Project Legion next.
Colt "ShdwFlm" Casey, Deputy Editor