At some point during the development of Project Nova, the idea was floated by developers that in addition to the military-grade dropsuits employed by warclones there would be a seperate line of “civilian” dropsuits that would act as civilian / militia tier basic equipment provided by Upwell to new mercenaries. After hearing roleplay discussion of the Bosena Accords working with groups like the Villore Accords to relocate warclones off the battlefield and into high-risk civilian industries, I and a few of the other lore submods of the DUST 514 veterans discord (including @KnightGuard_Fury and others) were asked by the developers for possible ideas for descriptions / design inspiration. CCP Rattati was particularly interested in hearing ideas about in-universe civilian applications for warclone technology in a post-warlords era world.
Now that Project Nova has been cancelled in favor of a new unnamed project, I have no way of knowing to what extent these old ideas will be carried over or if these ideas will fit in any way with the creative vision intended for DUST 514’s next successor. A lot of what we wrote out before could well have been dropped by now, or not have ever been implemented at all. Having said that, with news of Arkombine soldiers working alongside AEGIS troops under the direction of Upwell, I felt it only fitting to go rooting through my old Discord groups to dig these descriptions up to share with everyone here what a line of potential Upwell civilian-tier. If nothing else, think of this as a little window into what the use of warclone technology might be applied to off the battlefield in New Eden. Feel free to enjoy this bit of forgotten warclone lore and let me know your thoughts!
Immediately following the Kyonoke outbreak of YC119, several major factions within New Eden began a joint crash-research project to develop a new environmental suit based on previous closed-system dropsuits used by immortal mercenaries across the cluster. The result, much of which was borrowed from the previous technology employed by the Sisters of EVE, was a new form of advanced HAZMAT suit created to provide medical care to the afflicted while limiting the users’ exposure to the pathogen. While the suit saw initial field testing in the Myrskaa Quarantine zone, the project was ultimately dropped following the discovery of a cure for the plague by independent capsuleers.
Recently the suit has been integrated with warclone technology and has seen widespread adoption by advanced medical teams operating in high-risk environments, providing protection and equipment to aid anything from disaster relief to biochemical containment.
Facing widespread criticism following a popular tabloid article demonstrating the “unacceptable” rate of civilian causalities aboard Upwell structures, the general public began to adopt the sentiment that citadels were “death traps” and incapable of protecting the citizens onboard should the station fall to an enemy siege. As a result, the Upwell Consortium sought to improve their image by employing highly skilled warclones in mass to act as everything from security forces to emergency responders should any of their structures fall to enemy action.
The result of this project led to the development of the “Samson” class environment suit. By employing a powered exoskeleton to an already sturdy frame the Upwell Consortium was able to create the perfect suit for fire brigades to carry injured residents to safety while protecting the user from a myriad of other potential hazards, including enemy boarding parties.
Produced by Outer Ring Excavations, the “Arx” environment suit has been the mainstay of countless mining operations across New Eden for decades. Originally developed during a time before the wide-spread adoption of drones by excavation crews, the design was intended to protect workers while operating a variety of heavy equipment ranging from forge cannons to arc welders. Though somewhat dated, it has survived in one form or another by a series of increasingly complex upgrade suites developed by third-party manufacturers to improve survivability and carrying capacity.
The most recent version, originally licensed for production by Ducia Foundry and later purchased in bulk for modernization by Deep Core Mining, was created to accommodate the introduction of warclone technology for skilled workers in high-risk occupations.
During the wars of planetary conquest in Molden Heath, several mercenary warlords formed close social, cultural, and economic ties with the Thukker clans that wandered the region. In time, it was not uncommon for mercenary enclaves and tribal settlers to live side by side. Following the draw-down of conflict many of these mercenaries abandoned their old alliances and began to join these tribal nomads as they traveled back and forth from the Minmatar frontier to the Great Wildlands.
These alliances gave way to a marriage between warclone technology and Thukker innovation as former soldiers began to act as planetary scouts and surveyors for Thukker clans. Excess armor previously added for military operations was stripped down to save weight for survival equipment and civilian scanning systems. Much of the armament, however, remains should the operator need to deal with the hostile wildlife frequently found on uncharted worlds.
Following their unprecedented success as a member of the Upwell Consortium, the Demiurge suit was a pet project created by Ytiri to capitalize on the recent migration of warclones into civilian career fields. By utilizing a combination of EVA thrusters, light-weight-but-durable materials, and ergonomic design they have succeeded in creating the premiere environment suit for salvage teams across New Eden.
Though it has seen limited success due to an unwillingness among pilots to swap from tried-and-tested salvage drones, the Demiurge’s thrusters previously reserved for zero-gravity environments have seen widespread modification by prospective mercenaries hoping to use its unpredictable nature to make a name for themselves without breaking the bank on a truly mil-spec dropsuit.
Following the success of their “Impro-XS” series of exploration suits among corporate troubleshooters and capsuleers, Impro began to develop a new line of stealth suits that married the astounding technology inherited from their Jovian forerunners with newly expanded warclone technology.
Far less conspicuous than a fully up-armored dropsuit, the Impro “Specter” aims to market itself to a new class of immortal police units. Ironically, Impro’s astounding attention to detail has ultimately sullied the reputation of this suit in the public eye as a large number of defective, deformed, or otherwise discarded models rejected by their rigorous quality assurance checks have found their way to the black market. These unauthorized copies are quickly bought, repaired, and employed by criminal cells and frugal mercenaries across New Eden. To this day when a warclone is seen operating an Impro Specter, it is safe to assume it is an “unauthorized-authentic” model.