There’s a new update coming out for Dust 514, and it looks rather big!  It includes the ability to sell items to an NPC vendor, which can be boosted up to 50% of the value of the item.  You will even be able to sell BPO’s, though it does not detail what the value will be.  It recommends holding onto BPO’s for now though, because they may introduce more in relation to them. Anyway, read the full announcement for more details:

On 4 November, DUST 514® will be updated with the release of Uprising 1.9, which adds a number of features and changes specifically requested by the community. These include:

  • A new map, map sockets, Battlegrounds and multiple tweaks to existing Battlegrounds
  • Loyalty ranks
  • Skills and Skill Point improvements
  • Sell to Vendor and Market Agent
  • Improved veteran experience – gameplay improvements, bug fixes, and more

Here you will find a brief explanation on the biggest upcoming changes, with the full Uprising 1.9 Patch notes found at the end of this post.

NEW MAPS AND COMPONENTS


Highlands

Highlands is a new map set around an underground structure at the end of a railroad track, complete with abandoned carts, containers and other structures.


Caldari Production Facility

The Production Facility (Large Socket) is a complex structure with multiple levels, creating loads of opportunities for vertical gameplay, with ramps, stairs and plenty of cover.

The Power Core (Medium Socket) is a ground platform of three tall towers surrounding an underground tunnel to a server facility, accessible from the ground elevation by dropping down a vent, or via a road underpass. This setup makes for intense corridor assault and entrenchment.


Caldari Production Facility

The Barracks (Medium Socket) is a structure of two buildings overseeing a crossroads with a platform and a bridge between the buildings. This socket features frantic interior gameplay and vertical outdoor combat.

Boulder Rim and Spine Reactor are new Battlegrounds that are using the Production Facility Large Socket and random Medium and Small Sockets. Isolation is a new type of map we are experimenting with. In short, it is the Production Facility in a much smaller new map with one Medium Socket on either side. This Battleground should be frantic and fun, for both Ambush and Domination game modes.

LOYALTY RANKS

We are happy to announce the Loyalty Ranks feature, accessible from the Character Info option in the NEOCOM. With Uprising 1.9, your Character will gain a Loyalty Rank based on your Lifetime Battles, Wins, War Points and Aurum spen t. For veteran players, the ranks are effective immediately, based on each player’s lifetime statistics. Each rank will grant an Honorary Title and specific bonuses to in-game rewards such as End-of-Match Skill Points, ISK rewards, and more. Higher ranks will have higher bonuses and unlock new ones.

NEW MAP MOODS – TOXIC & STORMY

With this update, we also introduced two brand new unique moods to our maps – Toxic and Stormy, which will change feel of both existing and new maps.


Stormy Mood


Toxic Mood

SELL TO VENDOR AND MARKET AGENT

We are pleased to announce the inclusion of this new feature that so many players have asked for. Many need the ISK while quite a few just want to clear out assets that they have progressed beyond. The base vendor price will be 20% of the market price. Loyalty Ranks will, however, give bonuses to the vendor price up to another 15%, to a total of 35%. The Market Agent, which is a new feature under Services in the Marketplace, will grant another 15% if bought for AUR, allowing a maximum Vendor Price of 50% of market price. We have also added an Asset Terminal in the Mercenary Quarters that gets replaced by a hologram of the Market Agent if bought.

A note of warning since you will be able to sell AUR items (except for Boosters) for ISK, including BPOs. BPOs will, however, be priced relative to the market ISK price of the BPO item. We believe that this will not unsettle the ISK economy because burning through ISK is quite easy: just go fight a few battles in your favorite prototype gear, even in Factional Warfare, and see that you probably need all the ISK you can lay your hands on.

Customer Services

We want to take the opportunity and mention, before you sell all your BPOs, that we may start offering a number of direct Customer Services, one of them being the trading of BPOs between characters on the same account. At first this will be done manually by CCP employees, based on a special ticket queue. These new services will be announced formally in the near future, but please keep that information in mind before you sell all your assets. Given what may happen, it might be prudent to store that Officer Gear for now.

Mercenary Quarters

We have added two quick buttons: Square for Instant Battles, that places you directly into a Public Contracts Battle, and Triangle that takes you directly to the Marketplace.

SKILLS AND SKILL POINTS

We will be changing the formula that calculates Skill Points earned in Battle, effectivelydoubling the Skill Points earned per War Point, further rewarding players who put in their best efforts. To accommodate these changes, and also responding to player requests, we will also be raising the Weekly Skill Cap to 750,000 Skill Points.

Booster Changes

All Boosters (including Passive, Active and Faction Boosters) can now be stacked up to three for cumulative effect. This will be a great option for new players who want to catch up with the veteran players, as well as veteran players going hard to achieve Level 5 skills, or getting more of those Loyalty Points you need. Additionally, we will be adding Instant Boosters to the End of Match screen. If you forgot to activate your Active Booster and had a great battle, you can still boost your earned Skill Points.

SKILL RESET AND REFUND

An option to reset your Skills and refund your Skill Points will now be sold as a player convenience service for AUR under the Services Market category. We believe that this is the best way forward for DUST 514. If you need to fix a few bad decisions, then this is the option for you. Players who want to continuously reset their Skills will be able to do so, which pushes on the Development team and Community to keep the game as balanced as possible. A note of warning, though: Skillbooks will be refunded at 80% of the ISK Market Price with the Skillpoints, so will need to be purchased again for ISK, every time you Reset and Refund your Skills.

VETERAN EXPERIENCE

We have implemented some Rendering Optimizations to increase overall frame-rate and will be monitoring the effects thoroughly over the following weeks.

Bug Fixes

The sprint bug, where players would experience a slow down immediately after using equipment, has been fixed.

We have optimized a few of the Particle Effects in an attempt to eliminate the bug where Swarm Missiles are not rendered to the Dropship Pilot, i.e. the invisible missiles bug.

Gameplay

We have increased Infantry awareness of Vehicles by adding a new sensory Vehicle-only radius, much like Passive Scans. Our hope is that this will allow fewer HAV’s to sneak up on unsuspecting Infantry and help with countering LAV drive-bys. Increased awareness of other Dropship pilots should make Dropship ramming easier to counter as well.

The use of Passive Scans together with Cloak Fields is a potent combination, and we will be addressing this by adding a feature to the Cloak Field. While it is active, the Signature Profile is reduced as before, but also with a much reduced Signature Radius. This means that a player with a Cloak will have to choose between providing scans to their squad or being more difficult to scan and locate. Another potent combination is the Cloak Field and Alpha damage weapons. We will be adding a put-down-delay to the Cloak Field (all equipment will be able to be given a delay, but the Cloak will be the only one for now), meaning it will be impossible to fire a weapon immediately from the cloaked state.

Also, pilots will be able to accumulate War Points for each friendly spawn on the Mobile CRU module. This will be a great addition to the Pilot toolbox and reward the use of the Vehicles as fortified mobile strongholds for teammates to spawn at.

Nanite Injectors can now only be used on Teammates that have requested assistance by pressing the “Call for Help” button. This may seem like a double edged sword to Logistics players, but the recent buff to Nanite Injectors should make it very likely that players will request help. This change is also implemented for players that absolutely do not want to be revived for various reasons. Another buff to Logistics players is that Active Scanners can now share scan results with either Team or Squad. This is set on a per-item basis so we will see more Active Scanner variations in the very near future.

PATCH NOTES

The full Uprising 1.9 patch notes are available here:

DUST 514 Uprising 1.9 Patch Notes

Path to Game and Overall UI

* Updated content information background image.
* Character Selection portraits are now in higher resolution.

Maps/Environments

* Added two new Battlegrounds:
- Boulder Rim.
- Spine Reactor.
* New Caldari Production Facility components: new large, medium and small sockets.
* Added two new environments:
- Toxic.
- Dusky Storm.
* Added a new type of smaller Battleground:
- Isolation

* Multiple tweaks to the following Battlegrounds based on the community feedback:
- Manus Peak: Repositioned Objective B to provide cover from fire.
- Manus Peak: Added cover from all directions to Objective A.
- Manus Peak: Added Spawn Points for both teams.
- Ashland: Supply Depot moved from J10 to I10.
- Border Gulch: Cover and additional Spawn Points added to provide counter attack opportunities and reduce travel distance to the map center.
- Line Harvest: Medium socket enabled as a new default Spawn Point in C4.
- Line Harvest: Supply Depot added to E9.
- Line Harvest: Added surrounding cover to Objective.
- Spine Crescent: New variation using the Consolidation Matrix and Communication Outpost.
- Fracture Road: Moved Objective.
- Fracture Road: Changed both MCC locations to allow both teams to jump on to the pipes from the MCC.
- Fracture Road: Added a Spawn Point to each team to reduce travel distance and equalize the team distances from Objective.
- Impact Ridge: MCC moved closer to the middle of the map and added new Spawn Points to reduce travel distance.

New Player Experience

* Added shortcuts to Public Matches and Market options from Mercenary Quarters.
* Added a few Booster notifications for New Players.

End of Match

* Added an Instant Skill Point Boost option to the End of Match screen.

Weapons

* Increased persistency on Sniper Rifle bullet trails.

Visuals

* Implemented some Rendering Optimizations to increase overall framerate.
* Decreased Mercenary Quarters dropsuit front view distance.

Bug fixes and polish

* Optimized Particle Effect for swarm missiles in order to address “invisible missile” bug.
* Fixed star flickering bug on the login screen.
* Polished the Ion Pistol reload animation.
* Fixed and issue where sprinting after firing would cause the player to run slower.
* An Active Cloak now also reduces the player’s Passive Scan Radius by 85% in addition to Signature Profile.
* Vehicle Icons will be visible to players on the Mini Map and Overhead Map at a longer range (up to 80 meters) than their dropsuits Passive Scan Radius.
* Switching between Cloak and Weapon will now have a longer delay (0.33 seconds).
* Nanite Injectors can now only be used on Teammates that have requested assistance by pressing the “Call for Help” button.
* Spawns on a Mobile CRU will now grant War Points to the Pilot.
* Active Scanners can now share Scan Results with either Team or Squad. This is set on a per item basis but all Active Scanners now have Share Results with Team as default.

DUST Marketplace

* Added two new categories to DUST Marketplace:
- Visual Customization.
- Services.
* All Vehicle Turrets are now under the Vehicles category.
* Moved the Packaged Fits Category into the Bundles Category.
* Sell to Vendor option added to Assets and Mercenary Quarters. All items, including AUR and items (except Boosters), can now be sold for ISK.
* A New Agent is available for purchase for Aurum. The Agent is displayed in the Mercenary Quarters, providing better selling offers from Vendors.

Skills

* Added Booster stacking: Up to 3 Boosters can now be stacked.
* Passive Boosters can now be applied to the Second and Third Character.
* Weekly Skill Point Cap increased to 750,000.

Other

* Added Skill Reset and Refund option to marketplace for player convenience, purchasable for Aurum. Skillbooks are refunded at 80% of ISK Market Price.
* Introducing a new Loyalty Ranks program, where Players will gain a Loyalty Rank based on Lifetime Battles, Wins, War Points and Aurum purchased and used, and more. For veteran Players, the Ranks are effective immediately, based on each Players lifetime statistics. Each Rank grants an Honorary Title and specific bonuses to in-game rewards such as End-of-Match Skill Points, ISK Rewards, Loyalty Points, Sell-to-Vendor Prices, and more. Higher Ranks have higher bonuses and unlock new ones.

It’s been a long time since I’ve posted.  Dust has undergone a few smaller updates (links to those in the quote below), but no major changes.  Then, there’s been a silence for a good while on Legion, and now some more news.  Legion is not yet approved. That is unfortunate — I think Legion could be excellent, so I hope it is approved.  Anyway, here’s the full update, which is almost all about Dust 514:

Dear DUST community,

CCP Rouge and CCP Rattati here. We‘re bringing you some news of the next release, but first we‘d like to review the latest changes to DUST 514.

RAPID ITERATION

Only five months ago we shifted from releasing fewer, less frequent updates to a faster, more responsive approach as outlined here, based on our three pillars; Community, CPM and CCP.

DUST 514 has seen a lot of improvements with our HotfixesAlphaBravoCharlie and the recently deployed Delta. This iterative balancing and updating effort, in the spirit of Game-as-a-Service, wouldn‘t have been possible without your valuable, merc-killing feedback and we thank you!

Hotfixes Headline Changes

  • A complete Heavy Weapon, Light Weapon, and Sidearm Rebalancing and multiple improvements to various weapons
  • Assault Dropsuit buff and Scout EWAR Capability Normalization, Shield Tanking Buffs and multiple improvements to various Modules
  • New Player Experience – Free Skillbooks, Special Issue Starter Fits, Longer Academy and fully Racial Militia Starter Fits
  • Multiple Infantry vs Vehicle vs Anti-Vehicle iterations
  • New Team Balance Algorithm

We believe it‘s not only about delivering content and improvements in these patches that‘s important, it‘s the way they are being designed and implemented. After months of effort, DUST‘s development efforts now stand on a solid foundation built with data and analytics transparency and  direct, constant communication and collaboration with our players and CPM.

Since the series of Hotfixes began, over 50 feedback threads on various issues have been posted and replied to, with over 500 pages of discussions, over 10.000 Player replies and thousands of Dev replies. Our analytical and transparency efforts include sharing spreadsheets on Google Docs with calculations, chartsmodelsmethods and ratios, for the players to truly grasp development reasoning and provide more information to help with their feedback. We also want to use this opportunity to announce we will be sharing our plans and dat even more openly in the near future.

We‘re very happy to see that our player base remains both stable and active. In fact, we are currently seeing the highest engagement numbers in over a year, averaging around 300.000 Monthly Active (unique) Users over the last few months. Expert Events have been very popular–unique events in FPS gaming where the best of the best compete with individual weapons and get to name them for all to see. You even overcame DDOS attacks to compete in another Million Clone Challenge, blowing through both the primary and the stretch goal.

We want to offer more events in the future that cater to both hardcore competitors and casual players alike. Speaking of hardcore, we want to make Factional Warfare the go-to game mode for the elite veterans when they are not fighting Planetary Conquest battles, so the Loyalty Store will get some deserved attention.

We also want to add more variety and flavor with new modules and weapon variants. That‘s why this is the right moment to bring out more content in the form of Blueprints and Personalization options to allow players to express themselves. That‘s something you‘ve asked for repeatedly in the past and present, and we are more than happy to deliver in the form of a new content update.

WHAT‘S NEXT: DUST 514‘S UPRISING 1.9

A separate Dev Blog will further outline the contents of Uprising 1.9 before the end of this month (October 2014). The team has been working on some features that we hope you will appreciate, such as:

  • Brand new maps and an outpost (Caldari Production Facility) plus multiple modifications to existing maps
  • Rendering optimizations and overall higher frame rates
  • An option to sell assets to an NPC vendor
  • Bug fixes: The infamous sprint bug, the addition of weapon fire delay to the cloak and pilot War Points for friendly spawns on the mobile CRU module to name a few

Stay tuned for more and make sure to leave feedback in the comments!

We‘d like to take a quick moment to reiterate the message from EVE Fanfest 2014. If Project Legion becomes a reality, the absolute intent is to offer a migration plan as fairly and quickly as humanly possible. However, Project Legion is not an official game yet.

We remain fiercely proud of what DUST 514 is and how it has evolved into a massively rewarding FPS of unparalleled customization and strategy in the EVE Universe.

And we will see you in battle, mercs!

Sincerely,

CCP Rouge and CCP Rattati

Hotfix Alpha is out now.  Lots of details have been posted by CCP Rattati.  Here’s the main changes as listed:

In Hotfix Alpha, we wanted to address brick tanking, so we increased speed penalties of standard and advanced plates and increased their fitting costs. We also provide alternative options with drastically reduced fitting costs for reactive and ferroscale plates, and a substantial increase of repair rates on repair modules.

We are also providing more infantry anti-vehicle options by massively boosting the Plasma Cannon damage, as well as AV grenade damage. The Plasma Cannon takes skill to use, so it should be rewarding to those to specialize in it. We also reduced Locus grenade damage a little bit to make other types of grenades, such as the Flux and AV, more interesting to players.

The infantry-versus-vehicles balance should also be improved a little by our modifications of Large Blaster accuracy. It shouldn‘t affect tank-versus-tank battles, but will make the Blaster sniping of infantry at long ranges more difficult. The Large Blaster should still remain a strong close combat weapon against vehicles and infantry but be used more for infantry suppression at longer ranges.

Gallente scouts have been quite powerful since 1.8 and needed a look, specifically when it comes to their dampening bonus and scan range bonus. The Caldari scout passive scan range bonus was also reduced, as it is one of the most powerful scanners available.

We have made sure that the cloak, albeit still powerful, now rewards players for investing in the higher tiers by reducing the dampening bonus and duration. The 25% dampening bonus of the cloak allowed quite a bit of leeway in fittings, particularly for Gallente scouts with their native dampening, and 3HP/s regeneration rate. Some thirty odd pages on the topic of Gallente scouts can be found here.

Additionally, as a heads up for you and your corporation, we will be making some changes to Planetary Conquest, as we want to change ISK generation from passive to active. This change is scheduled to go live later this week. More on that here.

We tweaked the Assault Rifles a little bit, reducing the Combat Rifle damage a little bit and boosted the Gallente Assault Rifle (Plasma). Overall the rifles are in a good place, but this small change is warranted.

Now for some unexpected changes that I hope you all like.

We have reduced the slow-down effect from bullets down to zero, eliminating „stun-locking“. This will potentially have a slight adverse affect on the efficiency of high ROF weapons, HMG‘s and Combat Rifles in particular, both of which are doing quite well on the battlefield right now. We will keep a close eye on this over the next few weeks.

Second, we found and fixed the range issues on the Bolt Pistol and the Ion Pistol – I happened to stumble upon 1Shayz1‘s video where he filmed his findings and scoured the SDE.  We received that information through the right channels, verified and fixed the issue.

–Winsaucerer

CCP Rattati has posted on the forums details of what they’re thinking of including in the next update/hotfix, named hotfix alpha:

Dear players,

The contents of Hotfix Alpha are responses to issues that have been identified by the use of behavioral data, and/or raised and verified by the forums and CPM. These proposals have taken into account the feedback from the community in the Feedback threads and are primarily based on tweaks to existing balance rather than radical reworks.

We will therefore be locking the current feedback stickies and storing them. Thank you all for contributing in a positive manner, and we‘re hoping you‘ll be back for round two soon.

There are multiple changes that did not make it into this pass because we want to spend a little more time on them. We will open up new feedback stickies on these as soon as we have finished with preparing Hotfix Alpha.

The proposal for Hotfix Alpha will now be open for final review while we finalize the numbers. Once Hotfix Alpha is released, we‘ll be holding off further tweaks to anything in it for a little while to see the impact in gameplay. Based on the trend analysis from 1.8 it takes a few weeks to stabilize, and taking into account that 1.8 had a limited respec, changes in some cases were instantaneous. With some of these tweaks, players will have to collect SP first, and then spec into different playstyles, so it may take a little longer to stabilize.

Finally, to be as transparent and forthcoming with information as possible, we are pushing this high level vision out as early as we can. That also means we have less confidence that these changes will all go in as planned, so please remember that some items may be pushed back to a later date if they‘re not ready.

Tanking Modules
Armor
• We want to reduce the stacking of plates by normalizing pg and cpu a little bit, and also increasing the speed penalty a bit.
• We also want to make repair modules a little more useful so we‘re increasing repair rates by a small amount.
• We also want to make reactive and ferroscale plates more attractive by reducing the PG /CPU requirements so people will use them instead of basic armor plates when they want to maintain some speed.

Shields
• The CPM and community has been vocal on not changing multiple ehp modules at a time. As such we will not be making any changes to shield tanking until the next hotfix. This also gives us a chance to examine new data from rebalanced armor modules.

Weapons
• We will be increasing the damage of the Plasma Assault Rifle and reducing the Combat Rifle‘s damage a little, nothing dramatic. Rail Rifles and Scrambler Rifles will not be changed in this hotfix, but we‘ll keep an eye on them. We‘re not making massive changes here as we expect the armor changes will have an impact on rifle usage due to the damage profiles.
• We are increasing the damage of the PLC against vehicles, to help provide more options for anti-vehicle work using light weapons but we are also looking at adding Plasma Cannon variants at a later stage. The Forge Gun will remain as the strongest infantry AV weapon in each tier.
• We are reducing locus damage and normalizing damage progression to make grenade specialization more worthwhile.

Vehicles
• We believe, based on data, that Tank v Tank is in a good place. However, with the grenade number being reduced, we believe that AV grenades need to do more damage overall to become a viable threat to vehicles again.
• However, we propose that they replenish less at hives so we want to increase nanite cost of grenades. We‘re also examining the option of removing their ability to restock at nanohives, but we want to see how increased nanite cost plays out first.
• We‘re slightly increasing HMG damage against vehicles to make them a little more threatening to LAVs. They should still get laughed off by tanks.

Dropsuits
• We will do a normalizing pass on PG/CPU on a few dropsuits; Sentinels in general have a lot of PG/CPU and Basic Heavies are a little out of sync. However, this likely won‘t make it into Hotfix Alpha because it warrants a deeper dive.

Commandos
• Commandos play a big role by being flexible; you can throw on your rifle of choice and favorite secondary weapon, a suppression weapon, some long range support or AV.
• Tweaking the CR will bring the Minmatar Commando closer to his brethren but he will still be the favored by mass driver/swarm players, but his speed is somewhat overlapping Assault so we‘re reducing speed a little bit. He will still be the fastest Commando though.
• Introducing the PLC as a viable AV will encourage Gallente Commandos to come out and play, as well as some tweaking of the plasma rifle. Because of this, we‘re not making any changes to it this pass but we‘ll keep an eye on it.
• If players migrate from armor to shield tanking, the Amarr Commando will become more useful as well as shielded targets become more plentiful. We‘ll likely hold off major changes to it until we‘ve gotten shield tanking in a spot we‘re happy with, but we are aware it‘s lacking in bonused AV power.

Sentinels
• We‘re hoping changes to plates will help encourage other playstyles than Gallente Sentinels, as well as the eventual CPU/PG changes to make Sentinels actually have to pick what they want to fit, rather than throwing it all on without worrying.
Scouts
• We know that Amarr scouts are underused, but want to wait and see what the module changes bring. We are still looking at smart bonus changes, mainly a biotic efficacy
• We want to reward specalizing so we are lowering the base duration of the cloak. This should hopefully make the higher tier cloaks more useful.
• We are removing the dampening effect of the cloak. If you want to to be truly invisible, both to the eye and scanners, you must specialize and sacrifice slots to do so.
• We‘re also looking to increase the delay between decloaking and being able to shoot. This is pending some playtest results.

Assault
• At this stage we want to see what impact the rifle tweaks and the armor module changes bring before making any changes to the Assault suits. It is however definitely on our list for later hotfixes.

Turrets
• We want to boost efficiency for Small Rails against vehicles so there is a stronger purpose for them. A tank with a small railgun co-pilot should have an advantage in tank vs tank combat. This shouldn‘t mess with their effectiveness against infantry, but we‘ll certainly be keeping an eye on it.
• We want to increase Small Blaster ROF, keep damage, reduce overheat, and improve hit detection so as to make it a viable anti-infantry weapon. We‘re also considering a range increase, but we would like to see the impact the other three changes make first.
• The Large Blaster dispersion will be increased a little bit to make it less reliable against infantry, without majorly impacting it‘s power against vehicles at closer ranges. Reducing its range a little is on the table, but we‘re looking to see if the dispersion impact brings it back far enough on its own due to reduced accuracy.

Planetary Conquest
Overall, these are our objectives to reduce district locking and risk free ISK accumulation
• Decrease/remove passive ISK generation
• Increase ISK payouts from battles
• Increase Clone Pack Prices and number of clones in a Clone Pack

The idea here should be that if you want to make ISK, you should fight and consume clones. We also want clone packs to be a viable method of breaking into Planetary Conquest, but not useful for launching every attack you make; using clones you own should be the better option.

Please post your feedback in this thread, and keep it civil and constructive. Please also refrain from discussing things that are not planned for Hotfix Alpha; there will another time and thread to discuss those ideas soon after Hotfix Alpha is deployed.

Yours,
CCP Rattati

–Winsaucerer

From the forums:

Hey guys!

Earn extra Skill Points from May 28 to June 4! The event will start at 11:30am GMT on May 28 and end at 11:00am GMT on June 4. Players will receive 5 times the normal SP from War Points earned during a match. The weekly Skill Point cap will be boosted to 3 times the normal amount during the week as well, meaning that you will be able to earn as much as 970,000 SP during these dates.

Have fun, and happy hunting.

–Winsaucerer

CCP Rattati has been introduced on the forums as the primary contact point regarding Dust 514.  I’ll include the whole primary post below, but I want to draw attention to one section from it:

Next Steps

• A clarification on “server side changes“ versus “client updates“. Most of the attributes of items can be changed in our backend system, called CATMA.
• Adding new weapons and dropsuits with existing functionality, changing weapon damage, dropsuit hp and slots, pg and cpu values, and most of the values needed for balancing items and roles can be changed during server downtime.
• Things like terrain, texture, models, animations, functionality, UI and more, cannot be changed server side and need a client update. These changes are unlikely, but theoretically possible.

If I am reading this right, then it means, as expected, that we shouldn’t see any major changes to Dust 514.  Now that transfers have been promised, I hope for a Legion greenlight so we can see development focused a great deal on Legion.  Anyway, full post from Rattati about these matters:

Dear players,

My name is Snorri Árnason, a.k.a. CCP Rattati.

From today, I will be working closely with CCP Rouge to ensure the continued development and support of DUST 514, and will try to serve as your main point of contact for all matters DUST.

In case you‘re interested, my Dev Spotlight can be found here.

I want to begin by establishing the two main themes that will guide our development and improvement of the DUST 514 experience.

Transparency

• DUST 514 is my favorite shooter on the PS3 and we can and will make it even better.
• Persistance is the key factor, more so in DUST 514 than any other fps. There is plenty of fun to be had by squadding up with friends, skilling into various roles or specializing in a single role, and ultimately killing, winning and reaping the rewards in ISK and SP, even if Project Legion is developed on PC.
• Please do not biomass your characters, it breaks my heart.
• As CCP Rouge said at Fanfest, we will do everything we can to take care of our players. If Project Legion is green lit, we intend to migrate your character over if you wish and our goal is to preserve as much of your emotional, financial and time investment as possible.
• I want you to understand that right now you have a choice of maximizing your SP by using boosters, or saving your AUR/boosters, whatever makes the most sense to you as a player.
– keep playing using boosters and increase your SP
– keep playing and don‘t spend your AUR on boosters
• Our new processes will ensure that we are fixing and improving the right things in DUST 514 at the right time
• I want to work with the community. I admit that I don‘t know everything and I expect you to understand that we are doing our best. The individuals on the dev team, including me, will not have experienced every single thing you have. On the flipside, we have the design vision and plenty of data. There must be a mutual respect, and criticism is welcomed, if it is based on facts and put forth in a constructive way.

Collaboration and Data

• CCP Rouge and I are strong believers in crowdsourcing. I have said many times in the past that gamers are the ultimate optimization engine, a huge neural network of smart people from all over the world and from virtually all professions. The time it takes the playerbase to find the debatably “best fit“ is measured in hours and days, not weeks. Ultimately, we, the dev team will make the final decision but I consider the community at large, through forums and CRM reps, to be the first pillar, the CPM the second and developers the third.
• I also believe in learning from the example of others, most notably our EVE devs, including CCP Rise and CCP Fozzie. You can see them here presenting their EVE balancing philosophy (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EbS8HRHJ4nY).
• We will establish a few precedures and processes that will encourage a functioning feedback loop and verification with data.

Next Steps

• A clarification on “server side changes“ versus “client updates“. Most of the attributes of items can be changed in our backend system, called CATMA.
• Adding new weapons and dropsuits with existing functionality, changing weapon damage, dropsuit hp and slots, pg and cpu values, and most of the values needed for balancing items and roles can be changed during server downtime.
• Things like terrain, texture, models, animations, functionality, UI and more, cannot be changed server side and need a client update. These changes are unlikely, but theoretically possible.
• In the short to mid term we will exclusively be focusing on server side changes
• We will sort all feedback and ideas into the two categories based on technical evaluation, because it is not always obvious which one it is, and let you know
• We will aim for the first iteration pass as soon as possible. The DUST 514 team already has a sizable list of things we want to improve on.
• We will also be launching an “All the Small Things“ thread in General Discussions to crowdsource ideas in the next few days and gather for the next pass, again, with focus on small and quick server side updates we can get out the door as soon as possible.
• As part of the process, we will sticky specific topics under Features and Ideas and harvest feedback from those threads.

Finally, to those who want to continue our DUST 514 journey together I welcome and invite you to have your say. To the others, I truly wish all the best, and hope to see you again in the future.

Sincerely,
CCP Rattati

–Winsaucerer

Well, Dust 514 has reached one year since official release, and didn’t even make it a year before the covert announcement that it’s going to be replaced!  But the game goes on for now, and I continue to play until we transfer to Legion, at which point I’ll swap over to that.  In the meantime, to celebrate the first birthday, CCP is giving everyone a free 3-day Active Omega-BoosterYou can redeem it here.

–Winsaucerer

I thought it would be worth writing up a summary of where things are at now, a few days after the announcement of Legion.

A quick recap: CCP announced at Fanfest this year that they are making an FPS for PC (presumably they mean ‘Windows’).  The talk was labelled ‘Dust 514 Keynote’, but the announcement was for something called ‘Project Legion’.  There was much initial confusion.  Given that it was a Dust 514 keynote, and I couldn’t hear the audio properly, I assumed that ‘Project Legion’ was just a name for their Windows client of Dust 514.  But as it turns out, Legion is a separate FPS and not Dust 514.  As a result, there was much confusion and many upset.  The upset has boiled down to two main issues, for two groups:

  1. I am a PC player, but all my efforts in Dust 514 are going to be wasted in a move to PC
  2. I am a console player only, and have spent money on this game, and cannot or will not get a PC

I fall into the first category.  I am a PC gamer at heart (with Linux as my primary desktop, and Windows for those games without Linux clients that also won’t run on Wine), so a PC FPS is fantastic news.  But I have invested a great deal of time and some money into Dust 514, and did not want that all thrown out the window.  Many others fall into the second category, and for them it seemed as though all their time invested into CCP’s big vision for a 10+ year sandbox mmo fps was for naught.  People signed up for the FPS game with the 10+ year plan, with meaningful interaction with EVE, and deep sandbox play.  We were told that that FPS was called ‘Dust 514′, but it turns out it’s going to be called ‘Legion’.  That’s where we were after the announcement.

A few days later, many things have become clearer. Shortly after the announcement, CCP dev’s were saying that transfers would be good, but may not be technically possible.  Later, CCP Rouge announced character transfers officially.  Rouge used the word ‘applicable’ in relation to transfer, which caused concern.  He has clarified on this point:

There has been some concern about what I meant by “applicable”. We are looking to migrate everything we can about characters from DUST 514, including names, corporation membership, skill points, assets and ISK. We have not yet decided how this would translate to the new items and progression system in Legion, but we want to make sure that the time and effort you committed in DUST 514 is carried over to Project Legion.

So Legion is a Windows game (I hope for Linux, too), running on their modified Unreal 3 engine.  And in this way the announcement of Legion became fantastic news for PC gamers who can play on Windows.  But questions remain: Why not PS3 and Windows simultaneously?  And, why not Windows and PS4 simultaneously?  The answer to the first question turns out to be that PS3 is simply too limited in its hardware capacity to fulfill the vision that CCP had for their sandbox mmo FPS.  The answer to why Windows over PS3/PS4 is a combination of a number of factors which include: Developer familiarity with PC’s, the slower patch-release cycle working through Sony than distributing on PC, and them running their core product (EVE Online) on Windows.  So it’s not a ‘no’ to PS4, but it sounds like it is exceedingly unlikely that it will be on PS4 any time near the point of official release of Legion.

The dev’s still refer to Legion as an unapproved prototype that still awaits final approval.  It sounds to me then that the choice for CCP is as follows: Legion, or nothing.  The FPS vision cannot be met on the PS3.

So Dust 514 begins its slow death.  It will receive updates still, but none of those updates will bring it anywhere close towards the vision CCP had.  Many will continue to play, myself included, because transfers have been promised.  When Legion releases and people transfer, the population on Dust 514 will, I expect, significantly decline and the game die.  Why play a game which will no longer receive new significant content?

More people seem happy with the announcement than unhappy, but it has significantly split the community.  Those who fall into the first category (including myself) have a bright future in New Eden.  Those who fall into the second category are, as of the writing of this post, have a dark future in New Eden.

–Winsaucerer