Yesterday Dust 514 was finally introduced into Eve Online's live server Tranquility. This marked a big step towards the full integration of Dust into New Eden. This has been years in the making, with CCP being very vague about when it was going to happen. Slowly but surely Dust mercs start to settle down the the big universe CCP has made and run for 10 years.
This also is a sign that the open beta is just around the corner, i dont know the date but im pretty sure its close.
Here is a copy of the dev blog put out before the merge happend.
Citizens of New Eden
My name is CCP Nullarbor from Team True Grit and I am here to introduce to you some new space friends: the mercenaries of DUST 514.
DUST 514 is the second major game in development in the EVE Universe, where the players are mercenaries fighting ground wars on the same planets that you have been flying past in EVE Online for almost 10 glorious years. You can read more about it at www.dust514.com.
On Thursday the 10th of January, following a slightly longer than usual scheduled downtime, we will be migrating over players currently participating in the DUST 514 closed beta from Singularity to Tranquility. This is a particularly special day here at CCP as this brings to life an ambitious and incredibly exciting vision of a single cross platform universe, the likes of which have never been undertaken before.
So as a capsuleer, what does this mean in practical terms?
Well, for starters, you will begin to see unfamiliar faces in local. They may look a little funny and talk about bizarre concepts such as tanks, grenades and “running around” but I promise they are as friendly as New Eden citizens can be and want to learn everything they can about this world you now both share.
DUST mercenaries can belong to existing EVE corporations if you’re willing to accept their applications. Similarly you will see corporations started by DUST mercenaries recruiting EVE pilots to join up with them. You can share corporation chat including voice chat and invite them into custom channels or private conversations.
Mail works in both directions and you can add each other into your contact lists so you don’t forget your new acquaintances.
You may remember CCP karkur talking last year about some changes to the UI in anticipation of this event. I will leave that link here incase you missed it:
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The best weapon against an enemy is another enemy
Besides just chatting about the weather or sharing battle stories, we are also introducing the first component of higher level gameplay as part of Faction Warfare. DUST mercenaries can accept contracts offered by the NPC Faction Warfare miltias and fight to attack or defend them in the form of corporation battles. These come with the risk of losing a collateral payment of ISK, but a victory will secure a district on one of the many temperate planets in Faction Warfare space. The more districts a militia has control over the fewer victory points will be required for EVE Faction Warfare pilots to take ownership of the system.
That is, provided you can convince the mercenaries to fight for your side.
CCP Fozzie has some more details about the specifics of this here:
The tools of war
We are also enabling the ultimate in cross game escapades, Orbital Bombardment, with the first flavor being the Tactical Strike. You may have also noticed some new ammo blueprints on the market (Tactical EMP S, Tactical Laser S, Tactical Hybrid S). Well, now you can load up these special long range, high precision munitions into suitable small turret weapons and rain fire from the skies. This will be available to Faction Warfare battles in low security space and we’ll leave it up to you to arrange the details of this with your new fleet-footed buddies. As one might assume, more guns are just better, so I recommend the destroyer hull as the best compromise between damage, mobility and cost for this particular task.
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We are working on a FAQ to answer all your questions about orbital bombardment complete with pictures. We will post details of that later this week.
This migration comes with a reset of character skills and corporations for the DUST players. If you are already in the beta, and especially if you are a CEO or Director of a DUST corporation, I strongly recommend you head over to the DUST forums to read this thread on some of the specifics of the migration:
For now we are remaining in closed beta from the DUST side of things but short of anything catastrophic occurring as we head towards open beta (knock on wood) this will be the last reset for DUST characters. So enjoy those skill points mercenaries, you earned them.
Just the beginning
This is a massive technical and game design endeavour and so the overlap in gameplay is intentionally contained for now. It is of course very important that we do not upset the serious business of internet spaceships.
In particular the economic balance between a 10-year-old space simulation and a brand new free to play MMOFPS is an obvious concern. So, for this first release, any ISK transfer between EVE and DUST characters will be blocked. This will then be replaced by a taxable transfer mechanism with the intention of easing the currency control to 0% and removing it entirely once we are happy the economies have reached an equilibrium.
We are already hard at work on the next expansion where you will see things like player owned districts, tighter economic integration and more incentives for EVE characters and corporations to take part in the politics, logistics and outcomes of DUST 514 battles. The design teams will be working with the CSM this year to make sure these plans sit well with capsuleers and mercenaries alike.
We absolutely cannot wait to get this journey started with you and it all kicks off this Thursday.
For now fly safe and good hunting. o7