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EVE Online

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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EVE Online previews overview and incursion changes in Hyperion

Sci-Fi, Video, EVE Online, Expansions, Game Mechanics, Patches, News Items, Sandbox, Subscription

Just a forever-falling pit in space.
The next major update for EVE Online, Hyperion, is going live in less than a week. Two new development blogs are available to enlighten players about what's going on with the changes to the game, starting with new shareable overviews. This new feature will allow players to share these settings with others while still allowing the recipient to make changes as needed; it's functionality that players have wanted for a while, allowing both new players and veterans to see through someone else's eyes, as it were.

Incursion changes are also on the way, reducing the respawn timers so incursion runners have more to do while also upping rewards. The NCN Wall is also being taken down, and there are new incursions to be concerned with in nullsec space. If you're unclear on what's being added in the update, you can jump past the cut for a video explaining Hyperion's major system changes before it goes live on August 26th.

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EVE Online lottery site SOMER Blink shutting down [Updated]

Sci-Fi, EVE Online, Culture, News Items, Sandbox, Subscription

Spin the wheel, but you will no longer win.
Fans of popular EVE Online lottery site SOMER Blink received some bad news yesterday. After four years of operation, the site is going inactive, with a shutdown that its front page calls a temporary and perhaps permanent hiatus. All players with prizes waiting will be able to claim those prizes, and all ISK in the system will be returned to players over the next several months, starting with those players who had over 5 million ISK in their accounts.

What led to this shutdown? The site administrators claim that CCP created a toxic environment and reversed previous statements without warning, resulting in a situation which made the site no longer enjoyable to work with. CCP has issued its own statement, expressing regret at the loss of a community site while stating that the promotion that caused the controversy "was not representative of the original proposal that was brought to CCP." The community team will provide further information soon, although there will be no interference in the refund process.

[Thank to Dab for the tip!]

[Update: CCP has today commented in detail on the situation. We've included CCP Falcon's full statement below.]

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EVE Evolved: How to fix nullsec territorial warfare

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

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If you've been playing EVE Online lately or just following the major events in the game, it can't have escaped your notice that nullsec has become a bit stagnant. The lawless nullsec regions are supposed to be politically unstable territories claimed by hundreds of warring player-run alliances, but today they're dominated primarily by just two or three mega-coalitions. Individual alliances can no longer hold out against the combined forces of the coalitions and must either pick a side or be annihilated. The coalitions have even signed agreements not to take space from each other by force, and players are being bored to death as a result.

Two weeks ago, I examined the history of force projection in EVE Online and made the argument that capital ships and jump drives ultimately created today's nullsec problems. Increases in mobility have led to alliances teaming up over vast distances, making mega-coalitions an inevitable outcome. It's obviously too late to remove capital ships or jump logistics, but there are plenty of other ways to potentially fix the nullsec problem. We had some great discussions in the comments of the previous article about how this complex problem could be solved without making warfare the painful slog it was back in 2004, and I believe it's possible.

In this edition of EVE Evolved, I lay out some ideas for new game mechanics that could solve the current nullsec crisis and may meet CCP's goals for the eventual sovereignty revamp that's on the way.

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EVE Evolved: Capital ships ruined nullsec

Sci-Fi, EVE Online, Culture, Events (In-Game), Game Mechanics, Guilds, Lore, PvP, Endgame, Opinion, EVE Evolved, Sandbox, Player-Generated Content, Subscription

EVE Evolved title image
All throughout EVE Online's lifetime, compelling stories of incredible events, daring heists, and colossal battles with thousands of players have periodically surfaced and spread across the gaming media like wildfire. Most of the recent stories have been about record-breaking battles between huge alliances of players in the lawless depths of null-security space, and each one has been met with an influx of new players who want to participate. The surprising truth behind nullsec warfare, however, is that many of those on the front lines are simply fed up with the political state of the game.

In EVE's early years, the map was split between hundreds of small alliances, each of which slowly expanded its influence by conquering the star systems bordering its space. Skirmishes and pirate incursions were brief and commonplace, while border wars over territory were long and protracted affairs. Today's nullsec is a different animal entirely, with nearly the entire map carved up between two colossal mega-coalitions of alliances (N3/PL and CFC), each one internally held in a state of perpetually monotonous peace. No alliance in a coalition can break away and stand on its own for fear of being demolished by the others, and so all of nullsec is at peace with its neighbours and bored to tears by it.

In this edition of EVE Evolved, I examine how nullsec got to the state it's in now and why it's badly in need of an overhaul.

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Massively interviews EVE executive producer Andie Nordgren

Sci-Fi, Video, EVE Online, Culture, Expansions, Interviews, MMO Industry, Patches, News Items, Dev Diaries, Sandbox, Subscription, MMORPG

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If you've been following the development of EVE Online lately, chances are you've heard of Andie 'CCP Seagull' Nordgren and her mission to make deep space colonisation and player-built stargates a reality. Andie has spearheaded the direction of EVE's development over the past few expansions and has gathered a considerable following in the EVE community. At EVE Fanfest 2014, we heard her plans to overhaul EVE's outdated sovereignty and corporation management systems, and to eventually introduce new deep space colonisation gameplay.

Today CCP announced that Andie Nordgren has been promoted to the position of Executive Producer on EVE Online. I caught up with her for a chat about development on EVE and to find out what this promotion means for the future the game. I've pulled together the important details from the interview in this article, and if you still have burning questions for Andie Nordgren, she's doing an AMA thread on Reddit right now!

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EVE Online: Crius launches today

Sci-Fi, EVE Online, Expansions, Patches, Sandbox, Crafting, Subscription

crius
EVE Online is just churning out expansions (or plus-sized content updates, if you will) lately, with today's Crius release being the latest of the bunch.

Crius' main focus is on revising and expanding the industrial and crafting portions of the game. Players can join industrial teams to get important jobs done, enjoy an overhauled research interface, partake in dynamic pricing of tasks, and add industry-related upgrades to starbases.

Other fun features of this update include interior atmospheric audio, a new reprocessing system, the ability to opt out of fleet warps, and API support for the industry features of this patch.

EVE Evolved: Stepping through the EVE Gate

Sci-Fi, Trailers, Video, EVE Online, Culture, Expansions, Lore, Endgame, PvE, Opinion, EVE Evolved, Sandbox, Player-Generated Content, Subscription, MMORPG

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Though EVE Online is often lauded for its rich decade-long player history full of wars and complex political dealings, the NPC storyline and New Eden's ancient backstory have always held my fascination. I started playing in early 2004 after reading dozens of fiction chronicles and mock scientific articles on the EVE website that painted the picture of a real living universe where incredible things could happen. Sure enough, my first years of play were punctuated with compelling live events and storyline arcs like the Crielere research project that led to the development of cloaking devices, the theft of a Federation Navy titan by Serpentis pirates, and the Blood Raiders taking over Delve.

CCP has frequently stated that its goal with EVE is to create the ultimate sci-fi simulator, and the core of a compelling sci-fi setting is a living universe that grows and changes. The best sci-fi TV shows are those with a constant cycle of revealing compelling mysteries and then solving them and of encountering escalating challenges to be overcome. EVE has done this extremely well a few times in its life, such as with the release of wormholes or when the Sansha incursions events were kicking off, and each time the concurrent player numbers have spiked. Guild Wars 2 has shown the power of an evolving living storyline to get people into the game and keep them actively playing in the long term, something that should be the norm for MMOs and that EVE Online could take much greater advantage of.

In this edition of EVE Evolved, I look at some of the big NPC mysteries revealed in EVE Online's decade-long history and ask why they were abandoned and where they could go now.

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Perfect Ten: Why the second half of 2014 will be awesome for MMOs

World of Warcraft, EVE Online, MMO Industry, Opinion, Star Wars: The Old Republic, Perfect Ten, Miscellaneous, ArcheAge, The Elder Scrolls Online, Destiny, Star Citizen, Elite: Dangerous, Landmark

In the midst of mid-summer doldrums, it's easy to fall into a mild depression thinking that everything cool that was going to happen this year already has -- especially in gaming. The spring launch blitz is now officially over, with two highly anticipated MMOs launched, and now some people might be wondering if the rest of 2014 will be all downhill.

Spoiler: It will not be.

We started talking the other day in the Massively office about just how much there's coming for the latter half of this year and why we're excited to see what the fall and winter months bring. There's so much to look forward to, in fact, that it was incredibly difficult to narrow it down to a mere 10 entries. But that's my job, and that's what I did. Here's why the second half of 2014 will be awesome.

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Prepare for EVE Online's Crius with new dev video

Sci-Fi, Video, EVE Online, Expansions, MMO Industry, Sandbox

EVE Online
If you're looking forward to the changes coming in EVE Online's Crius expansion next week, a new video featuring CCP Mimic touches on what to expect in New Eden's industrial revolution.

CCP Nullarbor and CCP Tuxford describe the changes that will open up manufacturing to be performed wherever and whenever you like. "What we're leaving behind is what is really the core of industry," CCP Nullarbor says in the video. "Which [are] very interesting problems to solve, such as 'What should I be building?' and 'Where should I build it?'"

Be sure to read our previous articles and guides on Crius for more info, and check out the dev video included after the cut.

[Source: CCP press release]

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EVE documentary A Tale of Internet Spaceships now playing

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

Crowdfunded EVE Online documentary A Tale of Internet Spaceships is now viewable on YouTube. The 56-minute film was shot during Fanfest 2013 and it seeks to both introduce EVE to the uninitiated and to illuminate the period around the game's Incarna expansion (as well as the player revolts that followed).

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EVE Evolved: Making ISK from the Crius release

Sci-Fi, EVE Online, Culture, Economy, Expansions, Game Mechanics, Patches, Previews, PvP, PvE, EVE Evolved, Dev Diaries, Sandbox, Crafting, Player-Generated Content, Subscription

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‚ÄčEVE Online's economy has been studied over the years for its resemblance to the real world, and it is often cited as an example of a hyper-capitalist society with no laws or regulation. But underneath the emergent interplay of supply and demand that has fueled everything from freighter businesses to virtual investment banks, EVE is ultimately a game. The biggest influence on the markets by far has always been CCP Games and the changes it deploys in expansions, which shake the universe up and force players to adapt to new circumstances.

There's always money to be made from major gameplay changes, and accurately predicting how an expansion will impact on the market can put you on the head of a short-lived but very lucrative gold rush. Though EVE's updates now come in the form of ten smaller releases per year, the upcoming Crius release scheduled for July 22nd has practically a whole expansion's worth of changes to industry and research. That gives you just over two weeks to prepare for the change, train any skills you might need, and figure out how to cash in on EVE's industrial revolution.

In this edition of EVE Evolved, I run down some tips for how to prepare for the upcoming industry revamp in Crius and make some ISK.

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EVE Online's in-game industry to be more challenging come Crius

Sci-Fi, EVE Online, Economy, Dev Diaries, Sandbox

EVE
The EVE Online team is trying out a new type of blog post today, this one taking time to look at the "bigger picture" of how in-game industry will function with the upcoming Crius release.

According to the post, the team wants industry to be understandable by players and both interesting and skillful to use. "You should feel that you are 'good at industry,' rather than just that your character is. You're good at industry because you make good decisions, you outsmart your competitors, you've invested in the right places and you're ahead of the market," the post states.

CCP says that it sees the purpose of EVE's industry as a different breed than what goes on in other MMOs, because the player is challenged to do more than just make certain items: "This is the world we're trying to create, the industry that New Eden deserves: one where you're in charge, where you're facing a new challenge every day, and where you have all the freedom in the world to decide how to solve it."

EVE Probe helps CCP diagnose graphical glitches

Sci-Fi, EVE Online, MMO Industry, Dev Diaries, Sandbox

EVE Online
To help better test EVE Online's graphical capabilities, the team at CCP Games is looking at EVE Probe to save the day. With a reported 855 different GPU configurations in use by EVE players, EVE Probe was created to deal with issues that may not necessarily be able to be replicated by the dev team.

EVE Probe gathers performance data from your machine after you've experienced a graphical problem and sends it back to the team for a more detailed analysis than was previously available. All data is sent anonymously and nothing is collected that can identify a player.

If you're curious about EVE Probe, you can check out the complete dev diary on the topic at the official site.

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