Operation Mauler is underway in DUST 514, the free-to-play first-person multiplayer shooter on PlayStation 3. Operation Mauler puts emphasis on the battlefield heavies, with bonus points for killing stuff while wearing a heavy suit, and bonus points for killing stuff wearing a heavy suit. Operation Mauler runs across all non-Planetary Conquest match types from February 19 (a week ago) to March 5.
DUST 514's one-year anniversary is due in less than two months. It seems, however, content to play quietly in the background while its MMORPG big brother, EVE Online, continues to steal hearts and minds. I wonder what it would take to break DUST 514 out of its shell. It possesses some freewheeling player politics, but nowhere near the degree of EVE. DUST 514 slowly builds its legacy, but EVE has made enough of an impact to erect a monument. And DUST 514 is all about fighting, but doesn't rack up the headline-grabbing damages EVE does on any given Sunday. Jean-Charles Gaudechon, veteran developer of free-to-play MMOs like Battlefield Heroes and Need for Speed World, has been on payroll for nearly six months, but his contributions seem tucked behind the curtain.
So, what would it take to break DUST 514 out of its shell? It would take more than a sponsored event touting a couples weeks' worth of XP bonuses, but we'll keep an eye on things.
Here's a video of the Mauler Sentinel A-1 suit in action. It's a well-armored suit, obviously, and its slower run speed becomes apparent on DUST 514's spacious maps.