The tournament will pit 64 alliance teams against each other in a single stage that involves double-elimination brackets and random initial seeding.
Even though I wouldn't rate it as one of the most exciting scores I've covered for this column, I don't want to dismiss its atmospheric nature as a negative. Creating a soundscape that communicates the wonder, mystery, and largely empty gulf of the cosmos has proven to be a great asset to gamer immersion for EVE, and at least most of these tracks are soothing and low-key enough to warrant a high rating on the replayability scale.
Icelandic composer Jón Hallur Haraldsson was in charge of this project. Responding to an interview question about the score's musical category, Haraldsson said, "Back in the days I used to concern myself a lot with defining my music, but I don't do that as much anymore. I like to amalgamate, to take whatever I like from whatever style and try to put that into my music."
You can listen to a bulk of the game's music on Sound Cloud, but here are my picks for the six best tracks out of the bunch!
We sat down with CCP to get a look at Odyssey and some of its more major components, including a huge exploration overhaul, more user-friendly controls, and a dramatic change to the way in which resources are distributed across its vast, starry expanses.
Here's what we've learned.
In addition to new navy issue battlecruisers and immersive new jump and death sequences, players from all corners of EVE will find new exploration content in their back yards. A big part of the new exploration system is a complete redesign of the Hacking and Archaeology mini-professions, which have been in EVE for as long as I can remember and have remained relatively unchanged. Odyssey will add new sites for both professions and replace the boring old chance-based system with a new minigame that emphasises co-operation with other players.
In this week's EVE Evolved, I look at the history of Hacking and Archaeology in EVE and what the new system brings to the table.
The updated radial menu will be connected to the underutilized left mouse button and is confined to eight segments that will change depending on what the user is clicking. The studio wrote up a blog post on the subject, promising that the redesign is intuitive and will result in faster access to relevant commands.
Initially, the radial menu upgrade will be for ship flight only, although CCP is willing to expand its domain if players find it useful. This feature is currently available on the test server.
Rather than simply being a series of spreadsheets for your smartphone, Lander has made it clear that the mobile team wants for the various EVE mobile apps to be functional games in their own right. It's a field that CCP has explored before, stopping either due to technical hurdles or business concerns. But Lander's confident that players will be using the mobile applications by the time next year's Fanfest rolls around.
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This year's Fanfest sold out so quickly that many people who wanted to go didn't get a chance to, and only a select few talks were shown on the public livestream. With such a packed event schedule, even players in attendance couldn't be there for every interesting talk. Thankfully, CCP recorded over 30 of the most anticipated events and has now uploaded the videos to YouTube. Highlights include the Make EVE Real videos, the EVE keynote, the CCP Presents Keynote, and the talks on how DUST 514 integrates with the EVE economy.
In this week's EVE Evolved, I round up all of the EVE Fanfest videos in a handy list.
Reader Sharvis sent in this Guild Wars picture with a modicum of pity: "Here is Gwen moments before the Searing. Poor girl."
Don't feel too sorry for her, Sharvis! She gets an entire expansion, after all!
If you'd prefer to participate in the battles themselves, note that there will be a few changes to the tourney from years past. To start, Alliance Tournament XI will run over only three weekends, not four. Second, qualifying rounds and group stages have been replaced by double elimination from the get go. Next, from the second weekend onward, two ship types will be banned from the match by team captains. And finally, to fly with an alliance you had to have been a member since downtime this morning. Dev blogs covering all the rules, the broadcast schedule, and sign-up details will be coming soon.
[Update: CCP has been busy today! The official site has now also been updated with a dev blog announcing that dual character training will ship with the Odyssey expansion next month.]
I've played EVE in some strange places prior to this. In an airport terminal, for example. On my toilet, even (yes, nature occasionally calls in the middle of a fleet fight and thank God for laptops). But DUST marks the first -- OK, technically the second -- time I've ever played in New Eden with a controller.
In the case of today's dev blog, the interesting thing to do is hacking, and CCP says that it drew inspiration from roguelikes for the new minigame's "procedurally generated levels, turn-based combat, and permadeath." You can read all about it on the official EVE Online website.
The lack of direct twitch-based controls in EVE is often cited by gamers as a big part of the reason they can't get into the game. There's no active dodging of missiles, manual ship targeting, or really complex tactical maneuvers in EVE, but that's kind of the point. Most ships in EVE are colossal lumbering hulks more akin to today's seafaring battleships than fighter planes, and combat with them is more a game of strategy and teamwork than a battle of reaction speeds. But that isn't exactly true of all ships; interceptors and fast microwarpdrive frigates move at several kilometres per second and are so agile that pilots can already pull off some interesting tactical maneuvers. So isn't it about time we made the combat for those ships a bit more visceral and immersive?
In this week's EVE Evolved, I look at the fast-paced world of interceptors and explore how twitch controls and weapon aiming could possibly be implemented without killing the server.
For example, a Pocket Galaxy player who wants to craft more ammo for one of her guns needs to create the items by waiting a certain amount of real time that can be shortened by using cash. Many players might see this as some sort of money-grab. I see it as a casual game with the option to speed up build times, but then again... I'm patient.
Gallery: Pocket Galaxy screenshots
EVE smashed its previous Peak Concurrent User total during the festivities by a clear margin, replacing 2011's record of 63,170 with a new figure of 65,303 players logged in simultaneously. Part of the reason for the record was the huge number of player-run events taking place that evening, such as the ever-popular Flight of a Thousand Rifters. The event saw almost 2,500 players join together to take down player Marlona Sky's expensive supercarrier. Most of the participants were in small frigates like Rifters and ended up being easy prey when a nullsec sniper Loki fleet turned up. The event was nevertheless a massive success and huge fun for those involved. Continue reading for a gallery of screenshots from the event and video footage from player Scott Manley.
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