It is said that a journey of a thousand miles begins with but a single step. Our destination is the undiscovered country where two separate gaming worlds not only share a vast sci-fi universe, but also connect in real time across two different platforms.
Unlike most traditional console games, DUST 514® will stay current for years after it launches. It will have constant development, content, and feature updates for years to come. To pull this off we have had to achieve the impossible: Build a system that allows both DUST 514 on the PS3® and EVE Online® on the PC to share core features and systems running on the same technology. All while crafting a top-notch, online multiplayer first-person shooter.
Additional game mode variations and environments
Creating something this ambitious requires technology we needed to build from scratch. We had to solve the technical challenges that allow efficient interaction between two games on two different platforms. If that wasn't enough, we also had to let them interact where the majority of the persistent systems are fully shared. This framework allows our development team to expand upon and enhance every feature and ounce of content in the game. What's more, our tech allows us to stream in content on the fly, reducing the need for patching and downtime.
We have done this not by seeking a shortcut to the ultimate destination on our journey, but rather by taking a series of carefully chosen steps along a path never before traveled.
And our latest build, Chromosome, is one of our most important steps to date.
The Building Blocks of Chromosome
Throughout the DUST 514 closed beta, we have made a series of important feature improvements and additions in our major updates. Chromosome is no exception. We've made significant changes to the progression system, the squad system, the fitting system, game modes and much, much more. We have also fused the markets from DUST 514 and EVE Online, and merged the in-game corporation mechanic, so that both trade and corporate alliances are now shared between the two.
The focus of the Chromosome release is about improving on our foundations. It is about getting the core engine and server infrastructure technologies stable and to improve drastically on the user experience. Below is a brief list (but not all) of the major technical achievements the development team has made during Chromosome:
We have crushed hundreds of bugs over the last few months. The inventory system is now location aware, which paves the way for the introduction of the secondary marketplace. Overall startup time of the client and server has been improved, and our item and attribute system has been altered to allow us to update EVE and DUST more independently than before. Performance has been greatly improved, eliminating engine stalls. Items have received a complete tuning pass, and vehicle physics has been much improved.
Coming soon: Flaylock Pistol
One of the most unique features you will see in Chromosome, however, is the ability to request off-map support from players on our test servers in EVE Online. With this feature, DUST mercenaries will be able to coordinate devastating bombardments with EVE pilots in space ships in planetary orbit. These Orbital Bombardments have the capability to dramatically change the tide of battle, and we'll be testing them thoroughly in the weeks to come.
The above covers just a small portion of what we have improved during Chromosome. There is obviously a lot more to discover, so I invite you to download the update, dive back into the game, and give us your feedback.
The Journey Ahead
Chromosome is our last build before DUST 514 goes into open beta, and it lays a strong foundation for some truly amazing changes and gameplay possibilities to come.
The development team is already underway on the next DUST 514 release. We will continue improving on existing systems, but this time around in a more noticeable way. The path you will take from login to battle will see a near complete re-write, where the goal is to get you into the game as quickly and efficiently as possible. The spawn screen and deployment sequence will be made more informative and easier to use. You will also be seeing a number of new environments to play in, new dropsuits, new weapons and modules, and new vehicle roles. There is a lot to look forward in the next few months, and we will be amping up the frequency of our developer blogs to keep you informed of our progress, so stay tuned.
To those who are participating in the DUST 514 closed beta, we want to give you our sincere thanks for your fantastic support and constructive feedback (and patience) as we continue to improve all aspects of the game. We are on this journey together and we would not have been able to progress this far without you. None of this has ever been done before, and we are honored to be charting the farthest reaches of space together.
Atli Már Sveinsson (CCP Praetorian)
Creative Director, DUST 514