An in-depth analysis of the plethora of revealed information from the Keynote address at EVE Fanfest 2012 has been posted over at dust514.org, let's see some of what they have to say about it, quoted from the source:
The Merc quarters will be similar to the captains quarters in EVE. It is a safe personal space where you can either relax and chat with your corp mates, purchase items on the market or prepare your dropsuit and vehicle fittings.
We were given a bit more of an insight as to what the character sheet will look like and how skills work in Dust 514. For the most part, if you play with EVE online it should look very familiar.
As well as the passive system of EVE, there is also active skilling. This will mean that the more you use a skill the better you become at it. What is not quite clear at this stage is whether the active skilling speeds up the passive skilling directly or if you have a second skill bar to fill up actively.
Just as in EVE, the skill tree is huge, and should a player wish to train every single skill it could take as many as 7 years to complete!
Finding a fight
Dust 514 aims to cater to both casual and hardcore gamers alike. One of the ways it will do this by offering a variety of different ways to get into battle. For instance casual gamers can do the equivalent of a quickmatch and join a battle already in progress, whereas more dedicated players can be invited to a match by their corporation or friends or can even find battles in specific star systems using various game filters.
Before the fight
Before each battle starts, players will find themselves in the lobby. Here you can talk with your team mates, purchase and prepare your equipment for battle, or talk strategy before the fighting begins.