After an extended downtime and sitting through an agonizing download, the Uprising build is live for Dust 514. The list of changes is long, longer than can be summarized in a sensible length of time. To that end, here are some highlights of Dust's newly added features.
Graphic and UI Improvements
Probably the single biggest change with Uprising is the graphical overhaul. While it in reality is only a retexturing, visually Dust feels like a new game. It is a breath of fresh air to see visuals that are on par with current-gen technology. As describing the visuals can only go so far, here's a before and after screenshot.
Another far-reaching change is the revamp of the UI. Every menu is much cleaner looking and has that polish one comes to expect from a finished game.
Lastly, the time it takes from launching Dust to entering a battle has been greatly decreased. According to CCP, it would take about four minutes to go from launch to battle before Uprising. Now it takes about 90 seconds. Frankly, this is a godsend. I love the cinematic trailer but it starts to wear on you after watching it for the thousandth time.
The first thing you are going to notice after entering the battle is the new spawn screen. On the left is all the information you would want: battle progress, selected fitting, and squadmates' war point scores. On the right is the good old battle map, now loaded with additional options as compared to the previous version.
While most features of the battle are awesome, it’s not all sunshine and rainbows. One of the major tweaks was to aiming sensitivity. Before Uprising I was head-shotting noobs left and right. Now the aiming system just feels clunky. Granted, messing with the sensitivity settings alleviated some of the problem, but it still feels off. Hopefully this problem is addressed quickly, as it’s a deal breaker for many people.
Dropsuits and Weapons
Uprising has also brought us new racial dropsuits, the Minmatar Light frame and the Amarr and Gallente Medium frames. The Minmatar Light is comparable to the Gallente Light, though it favors shield tanking over armor. The Amarr and Gallente Mediums both favor armor, though the Gallente more so than the Amarr.
In addition to the new racial dropsuits, specialized dropsuits have been introduced. While they are identical in most respects, the specialized dropsuits have a skill based bonus. For example, the Caldari Assault Dropsuit skill grants a bonus to shield recharge rate and hybrid weapon reload speed while using a Caldari Assault Dropsuit.
Lastly, many of the weapons have been rebalanced. This has completely changed strategies on the battlefield. While once heavy machine guns were the bane of any infantryman, their range and damage is now greatly reduced, leaving them with more bark than bite. Additionally, changes to the Tactical Assault Rifle have taken it from a state of being rarely used to the most common weapon on the battlefield. It remains to be seen if any of these tweaks will stick, but they have certainly shaken things up.
EVE/Dust Link and Social Stuff
The link between Dust and EVE has strengthened significantly with the arrival of the Uprising build. Alliance mail and chat have been added, allowing Dust and EVE players to interact more easily than before. Lastly, the UVT (Universal Voice Transmitter) has been removed. This has opened up voice support for every chat channel in Dust.
Uprising has taken Dust 514 from a state of obviously being in beta to actually having the polish one expects from a “triple A” game. All I can say is: about damn time.