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EVE Online

EVE's Oceanus release is now live

Sci-Fi, EVE Online, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, Patches, PvP, News Items, Sandbox

EVE players fight like the French
EVE Online's latest update has been successfully pushed to the sci-fi sandbox's live Tranquility server, according to a CCP announcement post.

Oceanus includes new cloak effects, notification tweaks, new burner missions, easier fitting import/exports, French localization, and some other stuff that you can read about via the full patch notes.

EVE dev blog explains Oceanus' new import/export functionality

Sci-Fi, EVE Online, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, News Items, Sandbox

EVE's always had a robust third-party tool-building community. With its new Oceanus release, CCP is embracing that community like never before by allowing for easier fitting imports and exports to and from everything from Pyfa to EFT to various killboards and websites.

The latest EVE blog post goes into great detail on the EFT format and explains that it was selected as the base because "it's established and very widely used" in the game's community.

EVE Evolved: Features coming in Oceanus and beyond

Sci-Fi, Video, EVE Online, Culture, Economy, Expansions, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, Patches, Previews, PvP, Endgame, News Items, PvE, EVE Evolved, Dev Diaries, Sandbox, Crafting, Subscription, MMORPG

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It's been almost four months since EVE Online switched from publishing two major expansions per year to releasing ten smaller updates, and so far it looks like the new schedule has been a huge success. Rather than forcing the industry overhaul out the door in Kronos before it was ready, CCP was able to push it forward to the Crius release window seven weeks later and the extra development time meant the feature launched in a very polished state. It may be too early to tell if the new schedule's success can be seen in the concurrent player graph for Tranquility, but the numbers have remained steady for the past few months in what is typically the annual low-point for player activity.

The Oceanus update is scheduled to go live in just two day's time, adding several graphical upgrades, more difficult burner missions, an experimental new notification feature, and other small improvements. The scale of the update seems to be on par with the recent Hyperion release, consisting of mostly small features and minor iterations on gameplay. While we're told that CCP is still working on large projects behind the scenes, the new release schedule means they won't be rushed out the door and so we may not see them for some time.

In this edition of EVE Evolved, I summarise everything we know about Tuesday's Oceanus update, and take a look at what's to come in further releases.

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EVE Online nukes named modules

Sci-Fi, EVE Online, Patches, Previews, Dev Diaries, Sandbox

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One thing that we're becoming increasingly convinced about the purpose of EVE Online's dev diaries is that they are secret recruiting and training grounds for future CCP employees a la The Last Starfighter. If you're willing to chew through thousands of words and a dozen or so charts on something called "Module Tiericide," then you should be awarded with a salary plus benefits.

That theory aside, today's new Oceanus dev diary explains (at great length) how the team is retuning its approach to module balance in order to give all ships significant strengths and weaknesses and purposes. One such change is that named modules are on their way out: "Our solution to this problem is to replace the meta-based named module system with a new role-based system."

CCP promises that this is but part of the overall and continuing effort to balance ships and prepare for new additions to the game.

EVE shows off Oceanus' features

Sci-Fi, Video, EVE Online, Patches, Previews, Dev Diaries, Sandbox

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Oceanus is coming next Tuesday to EVE Online, and if you haven't been reading the novelization of the patch notes in the form of dev diaries as of late, CCP has a more succinct video overview of the changes coming with the update.

In fact, there's a new dev post that's a gripping tale of how CCP saves spaceship data. It's a wild ride through numbers, software modules, and save files. Of course, such technical rejiggering must mean a vast improvement for you, the gamer, right? "What does this new system change for players?" CCP asks. "Visually? Nothing right now actually."

OK, maybe it's a dull dev diary, but there's a much more fascinating video after the break. Promise!

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This EVE LEGO ship will rock you like a hurricane

Sci-Fi, EVE Online, Culture, MMO Industry, News Items, Sandbox

Imgur user Dinklebob has uploaded pics of his latest LEGO creation, an homage to EVE Online's Hurricane battlecruiser. The project is currently in-progress, according to Kotaku, and it even features a drone bay filled with cute widdle LEGO drones.

EVE wormholes getting visual makeover with Oceanus

Sci-Fi, EVE Online, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, Patches, PvP, News Items, Sandbox

Ready for another Oceanus-focused EVE Online dev diary? We hope so, because that's the subject of this here post. Wormhole space is getting a visual update in the sci-fi sandbox's next content drop, and CCP details the discussions that led up to the decision as well as the particulars of the decision itself in the blog.

As you might expect, there are also a number of pretty screenshots.

Watch the fourth EVE Online video in the Clarion Call series

Sci-Fi, Video, EVE Online, Culture, Events (In-Game), Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, PvP, News Items, Opinion, Sandbox, Player-Generated Content, Subscription

EVE
Back in 2009, player corporation Rooks and Kings produced an EVE Online video called Clarion Call: Triage Special, which went viral among space MMO enthusiasts and had a profound influence on PvP tactics in the game. Clarion Call 2 and 3 were released to similar acclaim, and now a fourth installment has arrived. The lushly illustrated, hour-long Clarion Call 4 narrates one perspective of modern EVE tactical history with footage and sound from individual pivotal battles. Don't worry if you're not an EVE aficionado; it's accessible even for a newbie. Just be warned that some of the language and terminology is graphic. Enjoy the video below.

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New burner missions scrap nearly 20,000 EVE Online ships, CCP happy with results

Sci-Fi, EVE Online, Patches, Previews, Dev Diaries, Sandbox

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CCP is "extremely happy" with the positive player reception of EVE Online's new burner missions that came in Hyperion. The studio said that the high level of difficulty in these missions was intentional in order to challenge the playerbase, and cited a bloodbath of 19,962 destroyed player ships as of September 14th as proof. The cost of the lost ships has topped 870 billion ISK so far.

Due to the embrace of these missions, CCP is prepping a new batch of burner missions for September 30th. These new burners, believe it or not, will be even tougher than the current ones, working in teams of three against players. CCP will be putting these missions on the test servers later this week.

Latest EVE dev blog outlines notifications in Oceanus

Sci-Fi, EVE Online, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, Patches, PvP, News Items, Sandbox

CCP's latest dev blog details another feature coming in EVE Online's September 30th's Oceanus update. That feature is notifications, which "will give you feedback and information about all the deadly, creative, regretful, and/or awesome things your characters are doing in New Eden."

Notifications are sort of a pre-cursor to EVE's eventual new player experience revamp, with the end goal being a more user-friendly sandbox and a removal of the current tutorial in favor of "a more open-ended experience."

EVE Evolved: Has the industry revamp worked?

Sci-Fi, EVE Online, Economy, Expansions, Game Mechanics, Patches, PvE, Opinion, Hands-On, First Impressions, EVE Evolved, Sandbox, Crafting, Player-Generated Content, Subscription, MMORPG

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When I was first introduced to EVE Online back in 2004, a big part of the attraction for me was the promise of a huge player-run economy in which the only real laws were those of supply and demand. With only a handful of tech 1 ships and modules available to build and everything made out of the same basic minerals, science and industry were pretty easy for new players to figure out. Over the years, more complexity has slowly been added to industry via features like Starbases, Salvaging, Capital Ships, Tech 2 Invention, Planetary Interaction and Tech 3 Reverse Engineering. Today's industrialists have to contend with hundreds of different items that are often arranged in sprawling component manufacturing chains, which can make it hard to figure out exactly how to make a profit.

The recent industry revamp attempted to solve this problem with a full user interface overhaul and a revamp of material costs and manufacturing prices. All of the relevant information for using a blueprint was packed into a slick new combined Industry UI, allowing new players to find the info they're looking for in-game rather than through websites or opening dozens of item info windows. It's now been almost two months since the industry revamp went live, and while the market for many items is still going to take several months to fully stabilise, the dust has finally begun to settle. So what's the verdict? Has the industry revamp worked?

In this edition of EVE Evolved, I consider whether the industry revamp has been successful, how easy it is to make a profit in the new system, and whether it's worth setting up your own industrial starbase.

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EVE's Oceanus laying the groundwork for visual ship customization

Sci-Fi, EVE Online, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, Patches, PvP, News Items, Sandbox

EVE Online's next release is called Oceanus, and it's coming to a PC near you on September 30th. CCP has published a feature overview dev blog in case you're not up to speed. Major tweaks include French language support, new cloak effects, and a "big visual update" for wormhole space.

There's a substantial under-the-hood update, too, and it has to do with how CCP stores and manages ship visual data. The dev blog says that this particular tweak is necessary "for being able to deliver visual customization of ships in the future." You can read about the rest of Oceanus via the links below.

EVE Evolved: Wormholes should be more dangerous

Sci-Fi, Video, EVE Online, Economy, Expansions, Game Mechanics, Patches, PvP, Endgame, PvE, Opinion, EVE Evolved, Dev Diaries, Sandbox, Player-Generated Content, Subscription, MMORPG

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When unstable wormholes began forming all over the EVE Online universe in 2009's Apocrypha expansion, players approached them with extreme caution. The promise of riches in the form of new loot and Tech 3 cruiser components was balanced by the incalculable risk of facing a powerful new enemy in untested circumstances. Between the Sleeper AI that had been reported to melt players' ships in seconds and the player pirates taking advantage of the hidden local chat channel to sneak up on unsuspecting victims, we had no idea whether any ship we sent into a wormhole would ever make it back out again.

The risk of venturing into something truly unknown made wormhole exploration the single most exciting thing I've ever been a part of in an MMO, but the past five years have completely eroded that danger. Farmers now know exactly what to expect in every wormhole site and can efficiently farm Sleepers with the minimum of effort or risk, and PvP alliances can rapidly cycle through systems to find weak targets to attack. We've mapped and tamed all of the wormhole frontier, systematically reducing the risk to the lowest possible levels under the current game mechanics. Tuesday's Hyperion update aimed to shake things up with a few disruptive changes designed to keep wormholes dangerous, and I think it's a definite step in the right direction.

In this week's EVE Evolved, I look at some of the changes in Hyperion designed to keep wormholes dangerous and ask what more could be done to keep things interesting.

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CCP lays off two execs, closes San Francisco offices [Updated]

Sci-Fi, EVE Online, MMO Industry, News Items, Sandbox, Subscription

Gamasutra reports that EVE Online developer CCP has closed its San Francisco studio and fired laid off CFO Joe Gallo and CMO David Reid. The firm's revenue and earnings were both down year-over-year, the website says.

CCP laid off 49 staffers from its Reykjavik headquarters in June after announcing the cancellation of its long-gestating World of Darkness MMO in April.

[Update: CCP's public relations firm contacted Massively to clarify our source's original claim that Joe and David were fired; in fact, CCP says, they are both "both leaving of their own volition and it's an amicable split."]

EVE Online's Hyperion update adds PvE missions, tweaks wormholes

Sci-Fi, EVE Online, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, Patches, News Items, PvE, Sandbox

CCP pushed EVE Online's latest update to the game's live server this morning. Hyperion features "the biggest wormhole changes since they were first discovered" as well as new PvE missions. CCP Guard also notes the patch's "ton of quality-of-life features" during the latest In-Development video dev diary, which you can view by clicking past the cut.

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