The biggest player gathering of the year for EVE Online fans is EVE Fanfest, held annually in the CCP Games hometown of Reykjavik. Some interesting announcements of what's to come have been made over the past few days, as well as more details or clarification on previously announced aspects of both EVE Online and DUST 514.
Read on for a few highlights of the info revealed at EVE Fanfest 2009 for the game and the IP beyond the Dominion expansion (slated for a December 1st launch):
- The COSMOS social network has been renamed "New Eden".
- Frigate class Tech III ships are in the works, providing the modular functionality of strategic cruisers but at substantially lower costs. No release date for Small Tech III was announced.
- Tech III loot will be introduced, bringing "a new generation of modules and components."
- The mention of "formations" suggests this previously mentioned feature has not been back-burnered, but few details were announced about how the feature will work and what benefits flying in formations will impart to players.
- Treaties won't make it into the initial Dominion release, but once implemented will allow for different rights given to non-alliance pilots. Essentially treaties will allow the existing verbal agreements between alliances and outside parties (non-alliance corps or individual players) to become concrete agreements.
- Comet mining is on the way, a new resource found via exploration that may be used to offset the manufacturing dependence upon lunar mining operations.
- Planetary interaction. Details on this are light but this feature doesn't involve ownership of a planet. Rather, you may control and develop districts and interact with others who also hold planet territory. CCP states this will not be a clone of Civilization or SimCity, "but has that same good feel." Planetary interaction will have a low barrier of entry.
- Possibilities in planetary interaction: Do you care for your planet? Will you become a polluter to maximize profits? If so, this might bring you into conflict with your (player) neighbors as what you're doing with the planet's resources may impact others negatively. What do you choose to build up -- industry, academia, or infrastructure? CCP stresses that the feel of this aspect of EVE will be dark, with no right or wrong. There's only profit.
- Planetary interaction is less about the types of installations or other things you deploy or build, and more about the ties that bind you into politics and economics with other players. (Policies, trade agreements, and diplomacy).
Beyond these highlights, Ethec from Ten Ton Hammer was on the ground in Reykjavik and you can check out the transcript from his liveblog of the final CCP Games keynote which had talks from some of the main people behind the game -- CEO Hilmar Pétursson, Executive Producer Nathan "Oveur" Richardsson, Senior Producer Torfi Frans Ólafsson, and Lead Designer Noah Ward, to name just a few.