Earthrise update was definitely the latter. Masthead Studios has dropped approximately one gigabyte worth of changes on the world of Enterra thanks to the 18143 patch, and if the preliminary discussion thread is any indication, players seem to be happy with the tweaks.
Many of the changes are found in the game's combat engine, with adjustments to core and special weapon damage as well as weapon ranges and substantial updates for assault rifles, precision rifles, flamers, melee weapons, and shotguns. AI line-of-sight issues have also been fixed, and several UI and party-related bugs have been squashed.
There's also an interesting blurb in the patch notes regarding territorial warfare. Specifically, the notes say that "all bases and the environment around them are complete and standing by." While Masthead hasn't publicly confirmed that Earthrise's warfare system is complete and ready for prime time, it's encouraging to see some official progress.