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World of Darkness

What to expect from EVE Fanfest today: World of Darkness, EVE Keynote, and an interview with Jon Lander

Fantasy, Sci-Fi, EVE Online, Culture, Events (Real-World), Game Mechanics, Interviews, MMO Industry, New Titles, News Items, Free-to-Play, Events (Massively's Coverage), World of Darkness, DUST 514, Dev Diaries, Sandbox

What to expect from EVE Fanfest 2013 World of Darkness, EVE Keynote, and an interview with Jon lander
The second day of EVE Fanfest 2013 is now underway, and the schedule is packed! Today kicks off with a highly anticipated talk on World of Darkness at 7:00 a.m. EDT, and continues with the CSM Panel at 8:00 a.m. EDT, Alliance Panel at 9:00 a.m. EDT and Art Panel at 10:00 a.m. EDT. The CSM and Alliance panels are usually filled with hilarious banter, but this year the CSM Panel happens at the same time as the Faction Warfare roundtable and a talk on DUST 514 planet conquering in lowsec. The big event today is of course the EVE Online Keynote at 1:00 p.m. EDT, where we'll find out details of the upcoming Odyssey expansion.

World of Darkness is still pretty early in development, so the presentation will be talking mostly about the tools being used to build it. We're unlikely to get a release schedule or any solid gameplay demos, but with developers raving about their internal play-tests I expect to see some serious progress compared to last year. Since the CSM panel is likely being streamed, I'll try to hit up the Faction Warfare roundtable and see what CCP's current thoughts are on how to improve this aging game system.

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Make your EVE Fanfest plans with the official program

Sci-Fi, EVE Online, Events (Real-World), MMOFPS, World of Darkness, DUST 514, Sandbox

Make your EVE Fanfest plans with the official program
EVE Fanfest is next week and the faithful are preparing to descend upon Reykjavik, Iceland, for the three-day convention. If you're one of the travelers who are heading there or are just looking to follow along on livestream, CCP has released the full program with the event's schedule.

Fanfest will have three keynotes about the past, present, and future of CCP's titles, respectively. There will also be several panels, including one discussing EVE Online's inclusion in the New York Museum of Modern Art.

EVE Online also released a new dev blog talking about the team's war on unauthorized client modification and violations of the EULA. Apparently CCP has taken additional steps to beef up detection and prevention, and the team wanted to be clear with players as to what is and is not allowed.

EVE Evolved: Massively's plans for EVE Fanfest 2013

Betas, Sci-Fi, Video, EVE Online, Culture, Events (Real-World), Expansions, MMO Industry, New Titles, News Items, Opinion, Free-to-Play, MMOFPS, Events (Massively's Coverage), World of Darkness, EVE Evolved, DUST 514, Sandbox

EVE Evolved title image
There's just over a week to go until EVE Online's massive tenth anniversary Fanfest, and you'll be pleased to hear that Massively will be there this year to cover the action! CCP is aiming to make this the biggest Fanfest yet, promising huge reveals and announcements about EVE's summer Odyssey expansion and beyond. We can also expect to hear some big news about upcoming console MMOFPS DUST 514, and fans of Vampire: The Masquerade will undoubtedly get to see some of the year's progress toward making the World of Darkness MMO a reality.

Tickets to this year's Fanfest sold out in record time, so many players who really wanted to be there for EVE's tenth anniversary celebration weren't able to secure a spot. CCP is running its usual livestream of the main talks for those not in attendance, but only certain parts of the event are being streamed. Here at Massively, we plan to give you an inside look at Fanfest with ongoing news coverage from April 25th to April 27th and in-depth opinion pieces on what each announcement means for players.

In this week's short and sweet EVE Evolved, I lay out Massively's plans for in-depth coverage of EVE Fanfest 2013 and ask what you'd like to see reported on.

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CCP employees 'losing themselves' in World of Darkness playtests

Horror, Events (Real-World), MMO Industry, New Titles, News Items, World of Darkness, Sandbox

CCP employees 'losing themselves' in World of Darkness playtests
CCP's MMOification of the beloved World of Darkness IP is still a thing, apparently. CEO Hilmar Petursson tells Eurogamer that a "tiny" glimpse of the horror-themed sandbox will show its pasty white face at this April's EVE Online Fanfest.

"We're playing it internally at CCP. It's actually a problem that some of our employees are losing themselves already in the World of Darkness as we go through the playtests," Petursson said. "And we'll be showing a tiny piece of that also at Fanfest. So that is all I have to say about that at this time."

EVE Evolved: Looking back at previous Fanfests

Sci-Fi, Video, EVE Online, Culture, Events (Real-World), MMO Industry, New Titles, News Items, Opinion, World of Darkness, EVE Evolved, DUST 514, Sandbox

EVE Evolved title image
The annual EVE Online Fanfest is a massive event that brings together players from across the world to discuss the serious business of internet spaceships. It's three days of in-depth developer talks, sneak previews of what's to come, and roundtable events that let players discuss their ideas and feedback directly with developers. The EVE communty may not be as large as the community of games like World of Warcraft, but thousands of players pay a considerable sum of money each year to fly to the Icelandic capital of Reykjavik for the event.

Fanfest started out as a very small and personal affair with just a few dozen people in attendance, but it's grown to absolutely massive proportions in recent years. This year's event promises to be bigger than ever as it will be celebrating EVE Online's 10th anniversary and the impending release of CCP Games' MMOFPS DUST 514. It's a special milestone for CCP and EVE fans alike, and tickets for the event have already sold out! If you didn't manage to snag a ticket, you should still be able to enjoy parts of Fanfest as key talks and events will likely be streamed live as in previous years and videos will be uploaded after the convention.

In this week's EVE Evolved, I look back at the highlights of the past two EVE Fanfests and the social aspect that makes it one of the best experiences and EVE player can have.

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EVE Evolved: Has EVE Online boxed itself in?

Sci-Fi, EVE Online, Culture, Expansions, Game Mechanics, Lore, Patches, Opinion, World of Darkness, EVE Evolved, DUST 514, Sandbox

EVE Evolved title image
When I was first introduced to EVE Online in 2004, it was an empty shell of a game. There were only three classes of ship, no alliances or starbases, and neither exploration complexes nor level 4 missions existed yet. EVE consisted of 5,000 systems of almost completely empty space populated by less than 50,000 players. The user interface was an order of magnitude worse than it is today (if you can imagine that), and the tutorial just dropped you in the middle of space with the ship equivalent of a pea shooter and a less-than-enthusiastic "good luck!"

Though much of the game was empty, it sat before players like a blank galactic canvas. Not only could players paint their own stories into the game world, but EVE's highly active development team was updating the game at lightning speed. Players instinctively filled the voids in the game with their hopes and dreams, projecting all the things that EVE could be into the gaps. People shared ideas on the forum directly with the developers, and practically anything was possible. Things aren't quite the same today, as new ideas have to be compatible with over nine years' worth of updates, and developer CCP Games really can't afford to rock the boat and potentially lose subscriptions.

In this week's EVE Evolved, I consider whether the past nine years of development has boxed EVE in, forcing the gameplay down an ever-narrowing branch of choices.

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CCP wins Best Indie Studio award at Develop

Fantasy, Horror, Sci-Fi, EVE Online, Events (Real-World), MMO Industry, News Items, Free-to-Play, World of Darkness, DUST 514, Sandbox

CCP wins Best Indie Studio award at Develop
CCP took home some hardware at last night's Develop 2012 awards ceremony. The indie outfit responsible for EVE Online and DUST 514 was recognized as the best independent studio in the biz.

CCP CEO Hilmar Petursson accepted the award on behalf of the company and thanked Develop and his industry peers in the process. He also hinted at CCP's full plate, which includes the launch of DUST on the PlayStation 3, the 10th anniversary of EVE, and a World of Darkness event scheduled for September in Atlanta.

[Source: CCP press release]

World of Darkness information revealed in open letter to fans

Horror, Real-Life, MMO Industry, News Items, World of Darkness, Miscellaneous, Sandbox

Frankly, if they tied this into EVE, it might be more fun.  Vampire ships, right?
Outside of confirmation that CCP Games is still working on World of Darkness, news on the game has been hard to come by. Some of the reasons behind that were revealed by senior producer Chris McDonough in a recent letter to members of the Mind's Eye Society, a fan group devoted to the tabletop and LARP games in the same IP. While the focus in the letter was not on the MMO, McDonough did still discuss the state of CCP as a company and what it means for the game.

In short, after a difficult financial year, CCP is devoting the lion's share of its resources to ensuring that DUST 514 is a successful game on launch. That doesn't mean that World of Darkness is being shelved -- McDonough stresses that development is still ongoing -- but it does mean that the company's first priority is elsewhere. How long that will be the case remains to be seen, but if you're hoping for more substantial news on the game this year, the odds are low.

Wargaming.net to unify all its titles in a 'single MMO battle realm'

Historical, MMO Industry, News Items, War, Free-to-Play, World of Darkness, World of Tanks, World of Warships

Wargaming.net to unify all its titles in a 'single MMO battle realm'
Wargaming.net has not one, not two, but three action MMOs in its portfolio. You've probably played World of Tanks, and World of Warplanes just recently transitioned from alpha to closed beta. The company is also working on World of Battleships as well as a portal to connect all three World War II titles and allow gamers to access them instantly.

The service is called, er, Wargaming.net Service. Once it is deployed, players will receive unified Wargaming.net IDs "that will provide instant access to all games and services, as well as any partner or fan websites."

The company's latest press release also mentions something called a "single MMO battle realm," where tank, warplane, and battleship clans will assist one another in their quest for world domination.

[Source: Wargaming.net press release]

World of Darkness creative director talks design and the MMO mainstream

Fantasy, Horror, Game Mechanics, Interviews, MMO Industry, New Titles, News Items, World of Darkness, Sandbox

World of Darkness - Masquerade rose
A new interview at Gamasutra posits that CCP is gunning for mainstream success with its upcoming World of Darkness MMO. The EVE Online developer has cornered what's left of the hardcore sandbox market, so now it's looking to marry EVE's emergent gameplay with more familiar MMO staples. "The way to drag people in will be traditional themepark-style PvE play. Once players get into the setting, they'll see the appeal of the sandbox play," says WoD creative director Reynir Hardarson.

Despite the concessions to mainstream accessibility, EVE's influence on World of Darkness will be more than superficial. "The live-action roleplayers of the Vampire the Masquerade tabletop game play this way," Hardarson explains. "It's really about politics and power plays."

Why don't more MMO developers try their hand at sandbox mechanics? Hardarson says designing for emergent play is difficult because you can't test it. It's worth it, though, because MMOs that hand-hold and limit players to a linear path miss the point. "I'm not a five-year-old. If I want to go in the cave and I want to die, that's my problem," Hardarson says.

Massively Speaking Episode 194: Bookah bookah!

Podcasts, Star Trek Online, Vanguard, Guild Wars 2, Massively Meta, Humor, World of Darkness, Massively Speaking, Runes of Magic, Miscellaneous

Massively Speaking Episode 194 welcomes aboard resident Star Trek Online expert Terilynn Shull to talk about Tribbles and bits and why Star Trek doesn't have more "The Fly" incidents involving the transporter and local flora or fauna. Captain Archer would have been vastly improved by beaming him into a badger.

Have a comment for the podcasters? Shoot an email to podcast@massively.com. We may just read your email on the air!

Get the podcast:
[iTunes] Subscribe to Massively Speaking directly in iTunes.
[RSS] Add Massively Speaking to your RSS aggregator.
[MP3] Download the MP3 directly.
Listen here on the page:

Read below the cut for the full show notes.

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World of Darkness presented at EVE Fanfest 2012

EVE Online, Events (Real-World), Game Mechanics, Lore, MMO Industry, New Titles, PvP, News Items, World of Darkness, Sandbox

World of Darkness title image
Ever since CCP Games merged with White Wolf, it has been developing the World of Darkness MMO. The game is nowhere near complete, and fans worried that last year's heavy layoffs at the Atlanta office had slowed the game's production. We haven't heard much about World of Darkness since then, but today at the EVE Online Fanfest, a few new details were revealed. Attendees were shown some early in-game footage of a city and given a mix of information we already knew and snippets of new information.

CCP wants to draw in the largely female World of Darkness fanbase. The game will have a focus on fashion, and CCP will control the theme of that fashion rather than letting players design their own clothes. The game will be based in the Vampire: The Masquerade universe, with an initial focus on vampires before the introduction of the other factions. Vampires will use human blood as a currency; it will be the resource they'll compete over, making human cities the central locations they will inhabit. When mages and other character types are released, they will compete for different resources.

The game will have a single-shard world, with sandbox territorial warfare for control of cities mirroring EVE Online's nullsec warfare. Developers investigated using real cities for the game but found that "real cities were generally boring." Presenters told fans that the team will "be using stylised versions, but they will be named after real cities." Each city will be lorded over by a player prince, who will under rare circumstances be potentially subjected to permadeath. The world's original vampire clans will be available on release, and CCP confirmed that it won't be using vampire generations as a form of leveling system but instead will be doing something different with it.

EVE Fanfest talks Inferno, World of Darkness panel later today

Sci-Fi, EVE Online, Events (Real-World), Game Mechanics, New Titles, News Items, World of Darkness, Sandbox

EVE Online - Fanfest 2012 entrance
Day two of EVE Online Fanfest 2012 had a lot to offer fans of CCP's sci-fi sandbox. First and foremost was the announcement of Inferno's official launch date and the fact that EVE's latest expansion will roll out to Tranquility on May 22nd. As we told you yesterday, the patch is heavy on PvP tweaks, and everything from faction warfare to a new specialized mercenary marketplace is on the way.

The official EVE website also received a ton of updates yesterday, the better to catalogue all of the breaking news direct from Fanfest.

Today's docket is equally fascinating, and CCP devs are scheduled to speak about EVE-related game design topics that include war decs, concept art, and growing the game's infrastructure. Also on the menu is a presentation on World of Darkness that we'll be following with great interest. You can follow it too via our EVETV Livestream channel. Be sure to look for our expert analysis of all the Fanfest happenings in this Sunday's EVE Evolved column!

GDC 2012: CCP talks DUST 514 PC possibilities and World of Darkness development

Sci-Fi, EVE Online, Interviews, News Items, World of Darkness, DUST 514, Sandbox

GDC 2012 is now in full swing, and today we had the chance to sit down with CCP's Hilmar Petursson, Halldor Fannar, and David Reid to chat about the studio's upcoming FPS title, DUST 514. When asked about the studio's primary goal with DUST 514, the team had a simple reply: Make the best AAA free-to-play shooter possible. But is it coming to the PC?

While many EVE Online players aren't thrilled with DUST 514's PlayStation 3 exclusivity, there may be hope for a PC release yet. And while the devs weren't ready to make any official statements on the spot, a bit of wink-nudging indicates that a PC release may still be in the cards. As the devs note, mouse and keyboard controls are already supported in the PS3 version of the title. "I wonder why we did that," Hilmar joked during the interview.

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CCP's North American president steps down

Horror, Sci-Fi, EVE Online, MMO Industry, World of Darkness, DUST 514

Mike Tinney
It's been a long run heading up work on spaceships and vampires, but after 19 years at the helm, North American CCP President Mike Tinney is saying goodbye. Tinney announced that he is departing the studio on February 29th to work at an unnamed company that will combine health and fitness with games.

Tinney has no regrets with his prior role but is excited about the future: "CCP has gone through a fast-paced growth cycle. It's been a fun run and a lot of good experiences and memories. But I would like to move to a younger, earlier stage company, and plan to start one myself."

CCP's management expressed gratitude toward Tinney's service: "We are grateful for Mike's energetic and effective leadership and for all his valuable contributions to CCP. We will miss him. We wish him well with his next endeavors. And we're eager to see what he comes up with next."

Tinney's 19 years of service includes being CEO of White Wolf, which was snatched up by CCP in 2006. He will continue to assist CCP in an "advisory capacity" for several months to help the transition.

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