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I have noticed since logging in after the Retribution 1.1 patch that in certain zones there are a large number of players with their names on a blue background appearing in chat, as below;

enter image description here

What does the styling applied to these names represent?

Is this a new feature that was added in the Retribution 1.1 patch?

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up vote 5 down vote accepted

They are DUST bunnies. Dust 514 players are in the same universe as EVE players, and are shown in local chat with the blue background you observed.

Take a look at this dev blog for more details about this.

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"dust bunnies"? Is that an official name or a colloquialism? – kalina Feb 19 '13 at 14:44
CCP Karkur called them that in the dev blog. It's not the official name, but it seems CCP uses it sometimes. – Mad Scientist Feb 19 '13 at 14:46
Are these players able to see anything we say in chat in EVE? – kalina Feb 19 '13 at 14:58
They see the same local chat as EVE players do, as far as I understand it. – Mad Scientist Feb 19 '13 at 15:03

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