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DUST 514: Guide to the new dropsuits and roles of Uprising 1.8

on 27 March 2014

When CCP launched DUST 514 last year, the company knew that the game wasn’t quite ready but decided the best way to build it was with the gamers so on May 14th (5/14, get it?) the ribbon was cut. 

Official release came just short of a week after the first iteration of the Uprising build deployed. 

Uprising 1.0 succeeded Chromosome with a massive graphical overhaul, new environments, skyboxes, three new dropsuits and more, but there was a lot of content still missing: namely the four planned racial variations of weapons, dropsuits, vehicles, and turrets. 

The four races of New Eden include the Minmatar master race, their friends the Gallente, the corporate Caldari, and the Amarr. Eventually all four races will have their own variations of gear that reflect their aesthetical, philosophical, technological and militaristic ideals. 

At the official release however, DUST 514 launched with all of the medium frames but only two racial variations of the light frame dropsuits and one of the heavy frames constituting about 50% of the intended dropsuit content. 

Uprising 1.8, which launched on March 25, has put an end to this delayed chapter of DUST’s development with the Amarr and Caldari light frame and the Caldari, Gallente and Minmatar heavy frames. The introduction of these last five dropsuits also brought with it a complete overhaul of the game’s dropsuit class and race bonuses as well as weapon rebalancing, new side arm weapons, and stealth cloaks. 

The following is a brief guide to the new suits and revamped bonuses:

Dropsuits & roles 
Armor in DUST 514 is called a Dropsuit. Dropsuits come in three sizes; light frame, medium frame, and heavy frame. They are essentially different sized hulls which are customised to accommodate different roles on the battlefield. There are four main factors that come into customising your dropsuit, but this mini-guide focuses just on the 4th; 

1) its available slots for weapons, equipment, and modules
2) the equipping of gear and modules that augment the suit's strengths and weaknesses 
3) training various skills that broaden your available upgrades 
4) specialising into roles

Roles - The dropsuit skill tree has three tiers to it. The first is Dropsuit Command which simply opens up access to the second tier. Here, you have access to all four racial variants of the small, medium, and heavy frame dropsuits. These second tier dropsuits come in basic form which means they don’t have any inherent bonuses that are associated with specialising deeper into the third tier; more on that later. They are essentially the foundation frame that you build your speciality from. 

Each comes in three grades: standard, advanced, and prototype. As the grade increases, so do the module slots and suit resources, meaning you can equip more modules with higher bonuses to your stats. Once you reach level 3 on a dropsuit, you will open up the third tier which allows you to adopt a special role that grants you at least two unique passive bonuses. One is a role bonus and this is the same across all four racial variants of a role. Then, there is the racial bonus which is unique to each of the four races. The scout role, for example, gets a class bonus of -15% PG/CPU resource requirements for stealth cloaks per level, which is shared by all four scout suits; but the Minmatar scout gets a unique bonus of +5% hacking speed and +5% Nova Knife damage per level. Alternatively, Gallente get -5% to profile dampening and +5% to scan radius, making them harder to scan. The Caldari and Amarr have their own bonuses, too. 

Light frame
The light frame is the smallest and most agile of all the suits. It’s quick and can run for longer and jump higher than the rest. The mobility comes at the cost of mass however and so the frame has much lower HP than the other suits. A common mantra for this little suit is ‘stealth > health’ which is especially true for the Scout role. For the time being the light frame only has one role to train into. The other one is the pilot suit which will be the role of choice for the vehicle drivers of New Eden but this hasn’t yet been implemented despite being in some of the game’s menus. 

Scout specialisation - As is typical with scout archetype, indirect combat is the scout’s forte as their defences are lacking. They are to be a covert and disruptive force on the battlefield, causing mass chaos before slipping away to flank the next squad or hunt the next straggler. Scouts have slots for light and sidearm weapons, a grenade slot, two equipment slots and varying module configurations. 

Role bonus for Scout is a 15% reduction to CPU and PG requirements on cloaking which are by design extremely resource hungry. This bonus makes the Scout role the only one to be able to equip cloaking without compromising the rest of the fitting. 

Minmatar: +5% bonus to hacking speed and + 5% Nova Knife damage. The Minmatar scout suit has the fastest inherent sprint speed and also gets an inherent 10% hack speed from the light frame itself, whereas the other racial variants only get 5%. With the right skills and one complex module, you can achieve 85% faster hacking, making hacks mere seconds. The bonus to Nova Knives make it a deadly espionage/assassin class, great for speedily turning turrets and installations to your favor and defending NULL cannons. This rings especially true when fitted with cloaking. The Minmatar scout is the only suit in the game to get a utility bonus with the hacking buff. 

Gallente: +5% dropsuit scan radius and +5% to profile dampening. The Gallente scout suit is the stealthiest of them all. More low slots and the possible 50% inherent scan profile reduction (with dampening skill trained) makes this suit the only one capable of escaping prototype scanners without gimping the fitting. With cloaking equipped it’s electronically and visually a ghost. The dropsuit scan radius it shares with the Caldari suit gives you a wider zone of passive scanning, which will allow you to see mercs who haven’t taken measures to mask their own profile. Staying undetected to get in close range then inflicting massive damage is part of the Gallente battle philosohphy. 

Caldari: +5% to dropsuit scan radius and +5% to precision enhancement. The Caldari variant is all about full-on situational awareness on the battlefield. The precision enhancement allows it to see just about all medium and heavy frame suits without the need of modules or an active scanner and with a 25% longer range. This suit is a good choice for those who will be using the new ‘snapshot’ active scanners as they’ll be able to more efficiently see approaching enemies or for people wanting to hunt and ambush scattered squads. 

Amarr: +5% to stamina regen and +5% to max stamina. With the ability to run longer and more often, Amarr scouts are perfect for conducting coffee and snack rounds at the Minmatar barracks. With the increased stamina regen, they are able to get from A to B more easily.