EVE #Vegas 2014 #Keynote reveals new features and outlines #EVE Online’s future strategy via @cosmocover
EVE Vegas 2014 Keynote reveals new features and outlines EVE Online’s future strategy
This past weekend, a sold out EVE Vegas 2014 player gathering saw over 500 EVE players from as far away as Australia descend upon Las Vegas’ Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino for 2+ days of presentations, round tables, parties, and a developer lead pub crawl on the Vegas strip. The livestreamed event included expert player presentations and hands on skirmishes of both EVE Online and EVE: Valkyrie, a virtual reality dogfighting game set to launch with Oculus Rift on PC and Sony’s Morpheus headset on PlayStation 4. The massive celebration is second only to EVE Fanfest in size and follows a trend where EVE player gatherings have continued to grow year upon year in popularity all around the world, leading to more direct developer support and unforgettable experiences for those who love to fly spaceships.
To get an idea as to the spirit of the event itself, you knew there would be an unofficial Elvis-filled montage video right?
Now back to serious matters. In the EVE Vegas Keynote, Executive Producer Andie “CCP Seagull” Nordgren reaffirmed the bold new direction and development style for EVE Online that emphasizes unwavering support of sandbox gameplay and the intention to grow the already massive, award-winning sci-fi universe in new, meaningful ways that may challenge all longstanding assumptions about it.
This direction will be realized in the “Phoebe” release (Nov 4th) and the “Rhea” release (Dec 9th), which will include “some of the biggest changes to EVE in years” and set the stage for 2015. According to Nordgren, next year will bring “drastic changes to EVE Online, all of them with the ambition to strengthen everything that is unique and amazing about EVE” and will “evolve sandbox gameplay.”
Specifically she emphasized two key design intentions: that changes to EVE should have a degree of unpredictable outcomes and that gameplay within EVE should mean “leaving room for players to be innovative and come up with ways to outplay each other.” Proof of these intentions come as early as Phoebe on November 4th, with an alteration to an unlimited character skill queue and a significant change as to how the universe’s most powerful ships deploy throughout the stars. The contentious travel changes have already caused significant upheaval in the player-controlled areas of space ahead of their live date, as massive alliances and coalitions anticipate that more meaningful military and logistic choices will have to be made in Phoebe and that territory will either have to be taken, fortified or abandoned in advance of early November.
EVE Game Designer Joshua “CCP Fozzie” Bayer also revealed unannounced features for Phoebe in new exploration content which will bring a line of “glass cannon” weapons and in the first of many steps for a planned corporation and alliance overhaul. Looking a bit ahead to Rhea in December, he revealed a new line of Tech 3 tactical destroyers, a massive “tug” industrial ship that can haul several battleships at once, and an updated look for the Blackbird hull. These all come amidst dozens of other features and improvements for both Phoebe and Rhea, some of which are aimed at directly improving the new player experience and easing the learning curve.
Amarr tactical destroyer unpainted concept art.
Nordgren went on to say several universe-shaping features would remain unannounced for Phoebe, Rhea and beyond until they were live, but that some hints might be found by those who pay close attention to the EVE universe.
The entire recordings of the event can be seen in the archived videos at www.twitch.tv/ccp.
The next major “real life” event for EVE players is EVE Down Under in Sydney, Australia from Nov 21-23 (http://evedownunder.com/). Ticket sales for the March 19-21, 2015 EVE Fanfest in Reykjavik, Iceland are already off to a tremendous start (http://fanfest.eveonline.com). A total solar eclipse will occur at the same time as the event, and according to many experts Iceland is the best place to view it from, making Fanfest 2015 even more epic for spaceship enthusiasts.
As always, a free 14-day trial and more information about EVE can be found at www.eveonline.com.