MMORPG.com: In what ways will Eve Players be able to interact with Dust players?
Brandon Laurino: EVE Online and DUST 514 are completely connected, as all users from both products are logged into the same single-shard server at once. Interactions between EVE Online and DUST 514 we have made available include real time voice and text Chat, in-game Mail, Corporations (the EVE Universe version of "clans"), Factional Warfare, and of course, Orbital Strikes, where DUST 514 players can call for support from EVE Online players, with a real-time strike from a starship in space (on PC/Mac) to the planet surface (on PS3). With the recent move of DUST 514 from our test server (named Singularity aka Sisi) to the live EVE Universe server (named Tranquility aka TQ) we have now fully merged DUST 514 and EVE Online - which also includes complete connection of services like the Economy, which currently does not allow for free flow of currency between the two, but we have all the levers at our disposal to do so, as well as persistence and location, and much more - to make an analogy, we have laid all the plumbing between EVE Online and DUST 514, and now we are slowly turning on all the faucets. As we approach the 10 year anniversary EVE Online this year, which falls around our annual FanFest event at end of April, we will be escalating this connection, culminationg in massive events between the two, and of course, new functionality, features and other updates.
MMORPG.com: Will Dust players be able to join corporations from the get-go?
Brandon Laurino: This is currently live. Corporations between EVE Online and DUST 514 are completely the same, down to running off literally the same backend system. DUST 514 players can join EVE Online corporations that have been around 10 years, or can make their own Corporations and recruit EVE Online players into it, or keep it a Corp of exclusively DUST 514 mercenaries. The choice is yours.
MMORPG.com: Will Dust 514 beta players keep their characters for the transition?
Brandon Laurino: Yes, DUST 514 characters are transitioned from Closed Beta to Open Beta and we have also carried over all AUR purchased (Aurum aka AUR is our paid virtual currency, ISK our free earned currency), all other PSN and retail DUST 514 purchases, and special items given away during the course of Closed Beta.
MMORPG.com: The long touted Orbital Bombardment has been a particular highlight of Eve Online/Dust integration, can players jump with this mechanic and help their planet side allies?
Brandon Laurino: Yes, currently live, as described above.
MMORPG.com: How will Dust 514 players affect the economy of New Eden at this point?
Brandon Laurino: The Economy backend between DUST 514 and EVE Online are one and the same. We currently do not allow for free flow currency transfer between EVE Online and DUST 514 players, but we will be experimenting with this and slowly turning this on in the course of the coming months, during the Open Beta.
MMORPG.com: How far away is Dust 514 from completion once it merges with Singularity?
Brandon Laurino: CCP runs a true "game as a service", as such, there is no "completion" per se. Just as EVE Online has constantly updated and iterated in the course of its first decade - with all of its free major expansions and things like complete graphics overhaul - so too will DUST 514 continuously update and iterate, with constant updates including content and features, and of course, continuing to expand on the real time connection between EVE Online and DUST 514 with exciting new possibilities. For example, in the next big update to DUST 514 from what is currently live, there will be a major graphics update, as well as bringing online new features for player controlled planetary conquest between DUST 514 and EVE Online. That said, we have a very specific plan for the Open Beta period, and what our goals are for moving DUST 514 from Open Beta to essentially "1.0" this year. It is not CCPs way to just keep a product in an infinite, indefinite "beta", just as EVE Online has been out of beta and running as a "complete" product and live game as a service for almost 10 years, despite major updates and iterations the whole time.