Less than two weeks ago, CCP announced that planetary conquest and other changes to DUST 514 would be coming “soon.” “Soon,” it appears, is much closer to its dictionary definition in DUST than with EVE. Set for release on May 6th, 2013, this major patch for DUST lands directly on the 10th anniversary of the launch of EVE Online.
This release has been named Uprising and the size makes it more akin to an expansion than a simple patch. The press release contains our first solid details on the upcoming patch.
Planetary conquest will be opened. The press blip makes it sound as if these planetary districts will have direct effects on sovereignty in EVE when Uprising hits Tranquility, with the promise that “the fates of hundreds of thousands of gamers … are at stake.” It also mentions “wealth” effects for large corporations. While DUST has a decent amount of players, I don’t believe anyone would hazard a guess at more than a couple dozen thousands of players. Does this mean that null-sec coalitions will find themselves taking on DUST corps and alliances to improve their control and affect finances in their sov?
General “graphic enhancement” is also coming. No specific enhancements are mentioned, but the focus seems to be more on improving the experience (“optimization”) and perhaps some additional anti-aliasing rather than on retexturing. The promise of “sharpness” sounds great for distinguishing between targets and environment, something which is not always straightforward in the brown-grey mess of a modern FPS.
The player experience and interface are also receiving improvements, with the focus on getting players “into the action quickly.” This is sorely needed; while the interface makes some sense for EVE players, it’s pretty impenetrable for anyone else and doesn’t make much sense for a console FPS. This change will benefit all DUST players, but it will particularly improve the accessibility for new players.
Plain old in-game content is receiving significant iteration as well. “New battlegrounds and gameplay modes” team up with “brand new weapons, gear, and equipment” to mix up the gameplay. Some of the new equipment was on display in the official Caldari Prime video released by CCP, and it has been the source of significant speculation since.
These changes and additions, taken together, make for DUST’s largest content patch in many months, and certainly by far the largest since the open beta began this year. Alongside constant minor patches, CCP is steadily churning out improvements to this young game and they appear to be hitting all the right notes in the process.