By Rogelio Castillo Jr. 

March 5, 2024

“Did I hear a Rock and Stone?”

Deep Rock Galactic. A game with lots of rocks and stones. To put it simply, DRG is a 4-player PVE FPS with dwarves who kill bugs and mine minerals for the corporation “Deep Rock Galactic”. This is not DRG as a whole, however. Ghost Ship Games, the developers, that passionate studios can and will create a game that is actually fun to play without extracting the maximum amount of money from their player base. This is a statement to the industry while almost all AAA studios are creating games nobody plays while Ubisoft’s newly released “Skull And Bones” confirms that the more “A”’s in a triple or quadruple-A title directly correlates to the amount of money wasted. 

“FOR KARL!” (A General Overview)

There is more than saluting “Rock and Stone” to DRG. As a dwarf of Deep Rock Galactic corp., you get to go from a space station and get into a ship to drill deep into the planet to mine precious minerals and resources. There are a plethora of mission types and caves to choose from. A few examples of this are ice, magma, radioactive, and salt caves, to name a few. You could be mining Morkite, an oil-like mineral, hunting dreadnought-sized bugs, collecting alien eggs, or escorting drill-dozers! There is even more to the game than just that too! Each mission is procedurally generated, so each cave will be unique for each mission along with different objectives and difficulty levels.

You can play as one of four dwarves: the Scout, Driller, Engineer, and Gunner. Each character has a speciality, for example, the Scout has a grappling hook so that he is able to traverse the caves with ease. The Driller has, well, drills to create tunnels and also traverse the caves. Similar to Team Fortress 2, the Engineer has a deployable turret to help defend a zone from bugs. Lastly, the Gunner has huge weapons to mow down waves of bugs such as a minigun, dual-cannon, and a rocket launcher! No character is necessarily better than the other, but this also means that all players can pick and choose their favorite classes without worrying about doing less than their fellow dwarves. 

“For those about to Rock and Stone, we salute you!” (The Friendliest Community)

There is always something that one class can do better than the other, and always something worse. No class is comparable with the other, and no team can be the most efficient without all four. This naturally makes all players cooperate with each other and be extremely helpful and friendly, which differs from the more competitive nature of other games which often breed toxicity (ex. COD, CSGO / CS2, Overwatch) due to their competitive nature. In DRG, toxicity is met with poor team performance and an inability to complete the mission. Instead, being a team that helps each other guarantees completed missions no matter the difficulty of the mission or the competence of the player.

The new players who have just a few hours are referred to as “Greenbeards.” As they become better at the game they eventually become a “Greybeard” from their knowledge of all game mechanics. Whenever somebody sees that there is somebody with a low rank, they are openly welcomed and taught no matter who they are playing with. A random player from Scotland can be assisted in their first “Deep Dive” mission by an Aussie veteran player who has played the game for hundreds of hours. Although it is inevitable that bad dwarves will be met, there is probably one bad egg in a basket of a thousand. It is still incredible how a community can be so supportive, especially with the phrase “Rock and Stone”.

“WE ARE UNBREAKABLE” (Passion > Profit)

Along with the best community, the developers are also very different than most in the industry. in a good way; the worst thing is that there aren't more of them! Time and time again, Ghost Ship Games have proven themselves to be generous  with their already incredible game. To begin with, there are “seasons” as per the industry norm. They began seasons in 2021, 3 years after release date. The immediate assumption that this will kill the game and send it into the graveyard is wrong, however. Any and all updates made in a season are free to everybody who has already bought a copy of the game. This includes new events within missions, weapons, or skins. There is also no “premium” version of the season; everybody gets the same rewards per rank. 

Speaking of monetization, they have also made all previous seasonal cosmetics obtainable for free as with every other base-game cosmetic. There was no need to do this. Any other game studio would have instantly paywalled everything related to seasons to make a quick buck while sacrificing the long term. Not GSG. Same goes for DLCs. There are 10 cosmetic-related DLCs. Each has a skin pack for all current and future weapons or gear. There is no obligation to purchase any of the DLCs and no advertisement from within the game to do so. Nothing influences buying content that does not fundamentally change the game except the choice of the buyer. This practice also does not happen with other studios. A reason why GSG may be so relaxed with monetization is so that they can have good PR (Public Relations) with their player base. Today, it is unfortunately the industry norm to make a game or DLC more expensive to purchase while releasing it as unplayable. Having a reputation for being unselfish makes it so buying a DLC from GSG feels like supporting the developers instead of paying a corporation with no soul. You feel good about it. No other game can do that.

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