CCP will migrate Dust 514 players into the wider Eve Online world for the first time tomorrow, though gameplay and financial interactions will be initially limited.
“This is a massive technical and game design endeavour and so the overlap in gameplay is intentionally contained for now,” explains a post on the Eve Online dev blog. “It is of course very important that we do not upset the serious business of internet spaceships.”
That’s not to say it won’t be a sizeable event, however. Dust mercenaries will be able to join Eve corporations and recruit pilots into ones they’ve founded, too. And all chat and mail channels will be open between players, whether they occupy a vacuum or an atmosphere.
Faction Warfare militias will also be able to offer contracts to mercenaries on the ground – owning more districts will give militias an advantage as fewer victory points will be needed to take control of the system. Of course, this is the world of Eve, and ground forces needn’t stick to the terms of the contract.
Either way, pilots will be able to support planetside efforts (or take revenge) with tactical strikes, the first of a number of orbital bombardment tactics. Such strikes will use high-precision, long-range munitions and will only be available in low-security space.
Money transfers between the two games will be blocked at first, but a “taxable transfer mechanism” will be introduced at some point further down the line, with financial controls gradually relaxed until the two economies are balanced.
“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 post continues. “The design teams will be working with the [Council Of Stellar Management] this year to make sure these plans sit well with capsuleers and mercenaries alike.”
We spoke to CCP’s chief marketing officer David Reid in September last year about the challenge of integrating the two universes, and balancing Dust 514’s free-to-play economy with Eve’s ten-year-running subscription model.