This entry is written from an ‘out of character’ perspective to discuss a monumental moment in EVE history…
In my last post, which was longer ago than it should have been, I took a look ahead at EVE’s future for 2013 and made some predictions. One of which was this:
Prediction 2: During the New Eden Open coverage CCP Soundwave said that there is going to be a ‘smaller release’ around late January that will include a new mechanic where a new type of NPC dog tag can be collected from killing low sec NPC’s and handed in for a sec status boost. There will also be some other things in this release.
The way it was talked about made the whole thing sound more like the Inferno ‘Escalation’ pre-expansion release rather than merely Retribution 1.1. So, I think that this Jan/Feb release will have a title and that it will mark the beginning of Dust514′s ‘open beta’ where the Dust players will have their final character wipe and the game goes live on TQ. There will be some more tiericide ship rebalancing (probably Battlecruisers).
Turns out, I was fairly close. 🙂
If you haven’t read it already, go do so. It is very good news indeed. As predicted, Dust514 is indeed coming to Tranquility and being merged with EVE-Online before the end of the month. In fact, it is less than two days away! The game is going ‘live’ in most respects, orbital bombardment is in and working, and also as predicted all Dust514 characters are receiving their final skill wipes.
That final skill wipe is a big deal. Come January 10th, all skills gained on a character become permanent and the games player histories start for real. The clock starts to tick and CCP are committed to honouring their players efforts. Its not just about testing any more, what is earned is kept. Now things get interesting. 🙂
A couple of details differ from my prediction though. The update on the 10th doesn’t sound like it has any spaceship content/iteration aside from Dust514 itself. No argument from me there, this release is going to be complex enough without any other complications! As yet, CCP have not announced a name, unless EVE adopts the ‘Chromosome’ subtitle of the current(?) Dust514 build. The big thing however, is that Dust514 is not yet entering open beta.
This is a very wise decision on CCP’s part I think. First impressions are hugely important, particularly in the Free to Play marketplace. If someone can try your game out before making any financial commitment to ‘getting their money worth’, then it is vital to make a good first impression to encourage them to stick around long enough to get hooked. CCP need to be confident that everything is working smoothly before they throw open the doors to the wider gaming masses.
I think, assuming that the transition goes smoothly, we could be looking at Dust going into open beta by the end of February. That would be about six weeks of ‘live stress testing’ and fixes to sort out any server issues, then if CCP are confident that their initial offering is up to scratch then I can see them pressing forward to capitalise on the (hopefully) positive media attention they are about to receive.
This is all very good news for EVE. The players have been looking for something genuinely new and ambitious, now here it is. Dust514 is about to become reality and, we can but hope, become a fresh success for EVE and CCP that attracts fresh blood and new game play dynamics. Who doesn’t want to try out a god damn orbital bombardment at least once?
I expect that we will see a point release at the end of the month containing some more EVE spaceships features/iteration and a whole bunch of minor patching as CCP fix up smaller issues as and when they crop up. It’s all good. 😉
Rush to buy the Tactical ammo BPO’s and perform the first ever orbital strike starts in 3…2…1….