I hope all those who were able to come to Reykjavik had an awesome time at Fanfest 2015 and have fully recovered from the party at the top of the world!
The creativity and imagination you all put into your Fanfest costumes has always impressed us, so this year we decided to try out a cosplay contest and it was amazing to see how many of you put so much effort in to your incredible outfits.
Each day we awarded three prizes, including a mix of in-game outfits, PLEX, Razer swag and EVE Collector’s Editions.
We would like to thank everyone who entered our cosplay competition and announce that we will bring it back for Fanfest 2016 – so get planning!
The Winners of Day 1:
The Winners Of Day Two:
The Winners Of Day Three:
We also had a grand prize winner, for someone who went above and beyond and impressed us on all 3 days with something new and amazing.
Huge congratulations to our grand prize winner, the Harbinger of The Faith, Max Singularity!
Some more of my favorite photos from the contest…
It was so great to see all of you and I look forward to seeing more of your cosplay creations next Fanfest!
CCP Leeloo here to remind you that during Fanfest 2015, CCP Seagull announced the election results for the 10th Council of Stellar Management (CSM10). For more information about what the Council of Stellar Management is, check here.
During this year’s election we used the Single Transferrable Vote (STV) system as per our tradition since 2013. This means that all CSM members below have received the necessary amount of votes and all are equal members of the council.
The 14 delegates of the Tenth Council of Stellar Management are:
(click to enlarge)
Your permanent attendees this year are Manfred Sideous and Sugar Kyle. You can find more information regarding your elected delegates for CSM10 on the EVE Community Portal.
For those of you, who are interested in contacting your new delegates, check out this forum post.
We had a record 100 applications this year, from which (also a record) 75 candidates were approved for the final ballot. Almost all rejected candidates did not submit their identification documents.
Eligible voters cast 36,984 votes, meaning that we have 15% increase since the last year’s election. We have also noticed a 3% turnout increase since last year and it’s a nice trend that we hope to keep for the next election as well.
The average age of users who have voted was 34 years, and the average age of an account was 3.8 years, a 0.2 year increase from the last election. 96.31% of voters are male and 3.69% are female.
Age in days
Comparing to the last year’s election we saw two spikes on the first and last two days of the election.
(click to enlarge)
Despite a higher turnout, we noticed a drop in the amount of votes from our localized communities, which we consider a result of a lack of CSM delegates from said communities for the past few years and thus a drop in interest.
We are hoping to make the information about CSM more accessible to our localized communities.
(click to enlarge)
As usual, raw data is available for downloading.
On behalf of CCP I would like to thank the delegates of CSM9 for their hard work over the last term and congratulate the newly elected delegates of CSM10 on their new roles.
We would also like to thank everyone who participated in voting this year. Please feel free to contact us if you have any suggestions or feedback about the Council.
No doubt some of you are still recovering from the festivities of Fanfest 2015, I know for sure that I am!
With this year’s Party At The Top Of The World upon us and Fanfest drawing to a close, we must now look to the future and the many more years of glorious internet spaceships shenanigans ahead of us. With this in mind, CCP Curtis has once again retired to his secret volcano lair beneath the frozen wastes of Iceland to begin plotting an even bigger, better and badder Fanfest for 2016 from April 21st to 23rd.
As has just been announced at the Fanfest 2015 closing ceremony, tickets for Fanfest 2016 are now on sale!
You can pick them up by visiting our Eventbrite site here!
“Eventbrite???!?” I hear you say?
We’ve been trying out Eventbrite for some of our gatherings and events in the past (including EVE Vegas and EVE Paris) and we’d like to switch to using this service as our ticketing portal for all events going forward, given how well it’s been working so far.
The in-house ticketing system that we’ve used for Fanfest in previous years is not as robust as we’d like it to be, and by using Eventbrite going forward we free up the manpower of having to maintain an old system so that our web developers can spend their time more productively to bring more functional tools and webpages to you all.
The use of Eventbrite also gives us a more fluid toolset to work with, including real time tracking of ticket sales and the ability to be more responsive with the community when dealing with ticket sales, including being able to directly message all ticket buyers based on a whole host of filters, as well as offering solid mobile support for ticket sales.
What about buying tickets for PLEX?
Maintaining a dual ticketing system like we did for EVE Vegas and previous Fanfests is costly and complex, especially when we consider that only 3.5% of the ticket sales for Fanfest 2015 and 5.9% of the ticket sales for EVE Vegas 2014 were purchased with PLEX.
As such, we won’t be supporting dual ticketing going forward via Eventbrite.
We will however be announcing a special PLEX ticket sale for EVE Fanfest 2016 that will allow those who want to use PLEX as payment method a chance purchase ticket for PLEX for a limited time. There’ll be more details to come on the Fanfest 2016 ticket sales for PLEX in a future Devblog, and we’ll be sure to message as widely as possible so that players don’t miss out on the opportunity to purchase for PLEX.
Keep your eyes peeled and riveted to the Devblogs feed for more information.
Onward, to EVE Vegas 2015!
The dates have been announced at the Fanfest 2015 Closing Ceremony and tickets are now on sale! You can click the banner above to go directly to the EVE Vegas website, learn more, and pick up your tickets.
Staged at the Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino and packed with player and developer presentations, this is an EVE themed party like no other that you don’t want to miss out on!
Last year EVE Vegas was sold out for the first time. We are preparing for an even bigger event this year, with this celebration right on the Las Vegas Strip set to be the largest event that CCP has hosted in North America. Ticket sales are now open via Eventbrite, and you can pick them up from the EVE Vegas website.
Grab your tickets for Fanfest 2016 today, and make sure that you’re here to celebrate all things New Eden with us at next year’s event.
o7, pilots… see you on the flip side! (hopefully!)
Before we go into the new system, we would like to spend a little bit of our time explaining how current structures work for the non-initiated.
There are currently five different types of structures available in the game, each with a unique purpose, which we shall quickly review now.
Our exploratory work highlighted many pain points in the existing structures design. Since they have been progressively added one after another over a long period of time (the first Starbase structures were added during the Exodus expansion in 2004), they show disparate behaviors in their functions, use, attack and management options.
Our first deliverable was as such to come up with a list of high-end goals that any new structure system should aspire towards. Those became:
With all the goals above in mind, we set out on our prototyping search and came up with different ideas. We quickly looked for comparison points regarding existing gameplay and what players like the most in our game: ship control and fitting.
Before we move forward, we would like to make it clear the changes listed below are ideas and highly theoretical. Those are not set in stone or fixed, we are telling our plans to you, our players, months in advance to initiate feedback and spark interest. Also please remember that concept art is just that, concept.
We are also not going to remove existing structures instantly without a transition plan. There is a detailed example of this particular point further down this blog.
With that in mind, we would like to introduce the following.
Instead of forcing players to anchor multiple individual structures to provide basic functions, we are taking a different approach by making structures fittable, just like ships, with all the repercussions this implies. This means we can get rid of the Control Towers and greatly reduce anchoring complexity. Please note such modules will be in a different category from the ones used on ships to avoid design issues that would overcomplicate balancing as a whole.
We are striving towards making our largest new structures as imposing and as visually rewarding as possible to reflect on the massive effort required to deploy them. Below you can see an approximation between our current structures and the new size system, which will again be very logical with what we used for ships (structure hulls may be small, medium, large or extra-large).
Current structure sizes:
While most modules can be fitted in any of the new structures, if they fit powergrid, CPU, calibration or size restrictions, we want to incentivize further specialization in roles, like we currently do with ships. To that end, we are going to release various structure lines, each focusing in a specific area and provide various bonuses to that purpose.
For instance, the new equivalent to Research Laboratories could manufacture or reprocess items if fitted accordingly, but may not be able to do so as effectively as the new version of our Manufacturing or Reprocessing Arrays. The new roles currently being discussed are:
Mainly dedicated to production and item assembly.
Related to any kind of science profession or functionality.
Heavily focused toward trade and serve as the primary home for social groups. More on that further below.
Focused on resource harvesting as a whole.
Dedicated to intelligence gathering.
Structures specialized toward movement in general.
Structures affecting solar system control and ownership as a whole.
Structures mainly aimed toward propaganda spreading.
We want to significantly unify and improve structure acquisition as a whole. As such they will involve:
Proper housing of player items and ships is a critical must-have if we wish those structures to be used over NPC stations. As such, we have different ideas up our sleeves to make that happen.
First, docking will still be available for the largest structures, as long as you have rights and your ship isn’t too big for this kind of purpose (we are looking at you, Supercarriers and Titans).
For the smallest structures, or if your e-peen is too large for docking, mooring will be preferred option. Replacing forcefield mechanics, this will make your ship invulnerable and not being able to be bumped as long as you are within a specific radius of the structure. Of course, when that is the case you will not be able to interact with the outside world either. The idea for the mooring capabilitis are that they are configurable and have a finite limit, so multiple structures will be required to house particularly large fleets.
This is again a hot topic that needs to be addressed. We are currently discussing the following options:
Proper management is a priority as well, and we have given some thought on improving corporation assets and how to interact with them.
It is obvious such changes will not come in one release, nor that we are going to alter or remove existing structures without prior and sufficient warning.
As such our plan is to:
We hope reading about those plans made you as excited as we were coming up with them. Please remember everything mentioned is highly subject to change based on feedback, time, and implementation methods.
Our goal is to release the first set of new structures sometime within 2015 and we look forward to opening up gameplay possibilities and inspiring new emergent behaviors from our player base.]]>
Greetings new capsuleers!
So, we’ve got some big news when it comes to inviting new players into the game: as of 18 March 2015 users with an EVE Online trial account can now use use our Buddy Invite system.
In short, this allows you to send an invitation to your friends to join you in trying out EVE Online, and if any of them decide to become EVE Online subscribers, CCP will reward you with 30 days of game time! This means that your account will be upgraded to full status and all trial restrictions removed – and thus you’ll be able to experience all that EVE Online has to offer.
Using our Buddy Invites couldn’t be simpler: we’ll give you a link you can post to social media or send to friends however you want, and you have the option to use our email system so that buddies are mailed the link directly to their inbox (with a personal message from you – no spam, promise!).
This has come out of an effort to enable EVE newcomers to share their early experiences with friends, thus allowing you to learn the game together at your own pace. We hope that with a 30 day trial and the ability to easily invite friends, you will be afforded plenty of time to feel out New Eden with your buddies, find the kind of activities you enjoy doing together, and even join a corporation that suits you.
Try out the Buddy Invites now!
Some specifics about the Buddy Invites for trial users:
The Fanfest 2015 HD Stream is FREE this year! Three packed days of presentations, unveiled mysteries, interviews and nail-biting PVP action.
But that probably raises the question; what about the Fanfest goodies? For the last few years we’ve sold the HD stream separately and bundled it with the Fanfest digital items. This has been a popular tradition for many who can’t attend in person, who like to collect nice things or perhaps want to show their support for Fanfest. This year the Fanfest digital items include not one but THREE ship skins and we want to make all three of them available in alternative ways for those unable to cross the Atlantic Ocean to attend the greatest party ever held on a glacial rock.
To get your hands on these beautiful commemorative ship skins you can head on over to Account Management at right now, and choose from one of the game time bundles at the standard multi-month discounts.
Some practical information:
See you at Fanfest or on the stream!]]>
Last year, CCP and Dark Horse Comics released a book called EVE Source. With illustrations and detailed descriptions of the lore of the EVE Universe, its success exceeded everyone’s expectations. EVE fans were happy. Dark Horse was happy. Logistics companies were happy. Paper mills were happy. Trees and octopi were not happy.
Yet while happy, the EVE fans were not content. Au contraire! They wanted more. “Moar hawt picz” as someone put it. Luckily, an even bigger endeavor was in the works:
CCP and Dark Horse Comics are proud to announce the release of EVE Universe: The Art of New Eden. A massive compendium of concept art, covering the origins of EVE Online to the sprawling universe, now manifested between in EVE, DUST 514 and (Soon™) EVE: Valkyrie. At 192 pages and roughly a thousand images, this book tells, by definition, close to a million words ( if each picture tells a thousand words, that is to say ).
Wealth of Unseen Art
This book contains a plethora of unseen material, along with some classics. We discovered that much of the original concept art from EVE was sitting in dark, musky drawers, deep in the bowels of the art department. Those were rescued, scanned and filed. For digital art, servers and backups were scoured. Every nook and cranny of the internal CCP network was crawled in a relentless art preservation and data gathering effort that would have made national museums and intelligence agencies proud. The art must be unearthed.
Dead End Thrills Screenshots
We have long been fans of Duncan Harris’ website Dead End Thrills. Duncan takes screenshots from popular games, often providing a novel perspective on worlds that we think we knew already. He has done so for EVE, with great success. We reached out to him and commissioned several new EVE screenshots especially for this book, and he graciously allowed us to reprint several others he had already made and shared with the public
Ground warfare illustrated
As well as containing hundreds of EVE Online concept images, this book contains a lot of previously unseen images from the surface of New Eden’s war-torn planets, illustrating the different terrestrial landscapes and installations, some of which are theatres of war for DUST battles.
What is behind The Door? Well, even though you can’t open it in EVE Online, you can still see what station interiors look like in the minds of our artists.
Rides of the Valkyries
We were able to secure work in progress concept art from CCP’s upcoming VR dogfighting shooter EVE: Valkyrie, fresh from our development team in sunny Newcastle. Valkyrie adds yet another dimension to New Eden, the world's largest living work of science fiction, and we are excited to share glimpses of it with you.
The Standard Hardcover and Kindle Edition – Open for Pre-orders
This book will be released in three different editions. First, there’s the hardcover. This is the book that you would find on Amazon.com or at Barnes & Noble or Forbidden Planet. It’s beautifully printed, solid and affordable, at $39.99 (and even lower at some places). There’s also an e-book edition, available at various online retailers.
The Uber-Limited edition
Now this Limited Edition is quite something. It comes in 2001 units, which is not a lot. EVE: Source’s Limited Edition came out in 1400 units and sold out in less than 7 hours and it didn’t have as many pretty pictures as this one. Come to think of it, we should have done more than 2001 units. But then it wouldn’t have been limited. Ah, the dilemmas of our age!
Check it out:
Bound in white, non-animal-suffering-faux-leather, it comes in a custom sleeve and is loaded with beautiful lithographs. The lithos are signed if you are one of the lucky first 1000 who makes an order. It also contains an anodized aluminum commemorative plaque featuring our home away from home, Jita 4-4. The plaque has a code that redeems for special in-game items to wear, in the same theme as the book itself. And it’s nice. It comes in a solid white protective case . It also is exactly the same size as the EVE: Source limited edition, so if you have that one, this one fits right in next to it!
We added a redeemable code to the limited edtion, that will give you these shiny clothes, to slip into as you flip through the pages.
On sale March 20th at 15:00 GMT
The Limited Edition will go on sale Friday 20 March at 15:00 GMT/11am ET/8am PT. You cannot pre-order it. You have to make the order once it goes live. But take heed. It will sell out. This is not us just saying that. We realize it will sell out and after that, there will be no way to get one online.
Out of the 2001 copies, CCP staff actually got primae rights, so 110 have been purchased already by spaceship-loving CCPers. Another 150 went to Dark Horse Comics and will be sold at their booth at conventions and events such as San Diego Comic-Con in July. A final 150 units went to IKON publishing in Australia, who will be making them available there. That leaves 1591 books available to order.
To keep shipping costs down, we split the stack in two and are shipping half out of the US and half out of Europe. Rest of world countries will received theirs from the US. So we have 795 units in the USA and 795 in Europe.
We have created a custom page for ordering this edition.
You can check it out, but no orders can be made before March 20th at 15:00 GMT.
Thank you for reading!
We are very excited to hear what you think about this book, and having the opportunity to share it with you.
Torfi Frans Olafsson
Creative Director, EVE IP develoment
Fanfest 2015 is taking place in Reykjavik, Iceland next week (19-21 March) and I am here to give you a comprehensive overview of everything that’s going down in the land of ice, fire and spaceships!
For the 11th year in a row, EVE enthusiasts from all over the world make their way to take part in this celebration of the EVE Universe and everyone involved in it. Fanfest will again take place in the space’esque Harpa Conference Center and it will be three days packed full of presentations, roundtables and various other activities to enjoy and partake in. This year is looking to be the second biggest Fanfest yet (damn you Second Decade Fanfest!) when it comes to attendee numbers, with over 1,100 friends and rivals attending.
This year Fanfest coincides with a solar eclipse which is taking place on Friday morning. Unless you live in the Faroe Islands, Iceland is one of the best places in the world to witness this rare event of the moon obstructing the sun. The next solar eclipse visible in Europe will only be in the year 2026! We encourage all attendees to come outside Harpa Friday morning to see the eclipse starting at 8:30, being the strongest around 9:30 and finishing at 10:30. We will provide you glasses in your goodie bags to protect your optical implants and we hope to see you there.
You can find the session schedule for this year’s Fanfest here. This year we also have a comprehensive app which you can use to see the schedule, read session descriptions, view maps and places of interest, as well as the option to rate sessions and more. You can get it by downloading the Guidebook app and entering the redemption code “evefanfest2015”. Guidebook is available for iOS and Android devices. All in all we have nearly 100 sessions taking place this year, so if you are attending you have plenty to choose from and the app will help you decide and plan your days.
This year we are taking a slightly different approach with the Keynotes. We kick things off immediately at noon on Thursday with the opening keynote ‘Welcome to Fanfest and the Future of VR at CCP’. This Keynote will give an overview of what has happened since last year, how this year’s Fanfest looks and what kind of a future Virtual Reality has at CCP, including the latest on EVE: Valkyrie.
The EVE Online Keynote will follow at 5pm on Thursday and it will cover all EVE Online related topics including a bit of a recap, upcoming features, future vision and the CSM election results. Having the keynote earlier than previous years will hopefully reduce the amount of times a dev tells you that you have to wait till the Keynote to be able to talk about something.
To wrap things up we have a Closing Ceremony at 5pm on Saturday where recap this year’s Fanfest and look forward to what EVE fans can expect next year.
There is a good variety of EVE Online presentations happening this year and there is something for everyone. The effort of Making EVE Real continues this year with a presentation by super smart scientist David Grinspoon where he talks about Creating Planetary Civilizations. A session you should not miss! This is followed by a panel of four scientists who are ready to answer your questions of how close we are to making EVE real.
There are design-related sessions like ‘Game Design Panel’, ‘Ship and Module Balance’, ‘Future Vision of Structures’ and ‘Using Science to Help Newbros’. For those interested in the beautiful arts of EVE there is the traditional ‘Concept Art Session’ with a slightly different focus this year, a panel to drill the creative brains of our artist team, as well as an in depth look at the rendering in EVE in ‘The Future of Spaceship Rendering’. If you are more interest in the code behind the magic of New Eden you should check out ‘Survival Guide to Legacy Code’, ‘Behaving Like a Boss with AI’ and ‘Rewriting Old Dogma’. These are just some of the many sessions over the three days, make sure to check the schedule to see what sounds the best to you.
Nearly all these sessions have a roundtable to go with them, giving you the chance to have a dialogue with the developers on the various topics. The roundtable schedule is packed with nearly 50 sessions over the three days and we are looking forward to your thoughts on all subjects.
This year we are putting more emphasis on player hosted presentations. Last year we had a few player made presentations and their quality was great. This year we have a dozen presentations hosted by players on various topics. Many of these sessions are 20minutes in length, giving everyone a chance to hear about even more topics over Fanfest. Be sure to check out what your fellow players have been up to and what they have learned over the years when it comes to all aspect of EVE Online.
At Fanfest we will be giving you all the latest updates on what is going on with EVE: Valkyrie. The keynote will give an overview of where things are at and it is followed by a panel where you have a chance to talk many of the developers of Valkyrie.
Over the three days there are roundtables on various aspects of EVE: Valkyrie, like Art, Engineering and VR. In these sessions you can drill the brains of the developers to get their insights on how it is to work on a pioneering project like this.
Not only will you be able to go hands on with the latest version of EVE: Valkyrie throughout Fanfest, we will also be hosting a tournament to determine who are the deadliest Valkyries on the planet. This tournament is taking place on Saturday and the whole show will be streamed on a separate channel from rest of the Fanfest, giving those at home a chance to feast your eyes on some dog fighting VR carnage! Commentators will be running everyone through what is happening in the finals and naturally there are prizes for the winners. Although wouldn’t you say being the winner of the first ever EVE: Valkyrie tournament is something to brag to your friends already? Tune in at 14:00 on Saturday to see the whole tournament!
At the venue
Throughout Fanfest there will be numerous things happening at the venue.
What’s happening besides all the presentations and roundtables?
Prior to Fanfest
This year you will be able to pre-register to get your passes ahead of time. Monday and Tuesday, 1pm-6pm, you can go to the Center Hotel Plaza and on Wednesday, 9am-5pm, you can go to the Harpa for your passes. Registration on Thursday begins at 9am, but to avoid queues we recommned pre-registering if possible.
If you want to catch some of the great sights of Iceland, the Golden Circle with a Dev is the thing for you. This 7 hour tour on Wednesday goes through some impressive nature and you will be able to enjoy it with fellow capsuleers and developers.
To bring a bit of balance to Fanfest, there are also a few sporty events taking place, which are not part of the official Fanfest program. On Tuesday 8pm there is a football match taking place between the devs and our players. Who has the most stamina and the best team play? You can find out more in this blog and if you want to come spectate there will be a bus from the CCP office at 7pm on Tuesday. Seats are limited and you can sign up here. If Skiing is more your style, a group of devs and players are heading off to Bláfjöll for an afternoon of skiing on Wednesday. You can find out more on this forum thread.
This year the Charity Dinner with CEO and Devs will have a slightly different format to give it a more personal touch. We are taking it a bit closer to home and attendees will be able to join a host of developers at the CCP Headquarters’ for a memorable evening. Things kick off with pre-drinks at the HQ and the dinner will be downstairs at the Maritime Museum. There are still a few tickets left so be sure to check it out for a special evening.
If you are coming to Fanfest and you are not quite as keen to spend hours discussing the finer details of ship fitting as your friend or spouse is, the Sisters of EVE tour is what you need. This full day tour of the beautiful sights of Iceland puts you into wicked super jeeps, giving you the best possible experience of sightseeing.
On Friday afternoon there will be an EVE Online Tournament of epic proportions. In the Worlds Collide event the best teams from Tranquility and Serenity will go head to head to determine which server deserves the crown of 'the best internet spaceship captains'. Not only is there pride and glory at stake, if your server wins and you are subscribed at the time, you will receive an exclusive ship that will never be given to the other server. For more details of the event head over to here and you can find more information on the teams here . Be sure to support your server on the EVE TV Stream or on site in the main hall at the venue.
Now there’s a name every Fanfest attendee is very familiar with. If however you haven’t heard of it before, it is an epic night where capsuleers and developers take over downtown Reykjavik. Divided into strike groups, the massive fleet descends into the many pubs of Reykjavik to have a blast, enjoy beverages and share war stories of all sorts. After swarming through several mission locations, all groups will end up at Idno for the final stage of the siege of Reykjavik. This event is not something you want to miss!
Pub Crawl Fleet Form-up
Pub Crawl FC distributing "special" ammo
Fleet Formation Holding!
After a final day of activities it is time for the Party at the Top of World! All Fanfest attendees have access to this party to celebrate all things EVE. This year the party will be exclusively for Fanfest attendees, unlike previous years when the public was able to purchase tickets to it as well. This means that everyone there will be a VIP and you don’t have to worry about someone not catching that cool EVE reference you just came up with during the party. This year’s acts include Melrakkar, an Icelandic super group who cover Metallica songs, DJ Apfelblut vs DJ Ívar Pétur and Permaband is rumored to make an appearance as well!
It wouldn’t be a complete event if you didn’t take the time on Sunday morning to go to the Blue Lagoon Hangover Party There is nothing like soaking in the blue warm waters of the Blue Lagoon in order to repair all that structure damage from the battles in the days prior. Perfect way to end your Fanfest experience and relax those muscles for the flight home.
Is there more?
There’s plenty more cool stuff and here’s some of the highlights!
Have you ever thought about what it is like to be a capsuleer and relax at the local joint after a day full of podding your enemies? If so you are in luck as this year we partnered up with our friends at the Gæðingur brewery and they have brewed us four awesome EVE Online beers! I present to you the Brew Eden Collection:
These four awesome brews will be available in limited quantities at Micro Bar, Skúli Craft Bar, the end party of the pub crawl and at the Charity Dinner. I personally can’t wait to share a Rust Rinse with you guys while debating the bigger questions of life (or just chilling and talking nonsense)!
Every year at Fanfest some attendees put in the extra effort and dress up properly and that is awesome. There has been some great EVE Cosplay over the years and this time we really want to encourage you to show up in your EVE outfits. There is an EVE Cosplay competition and we will have daily prizes for the best cosplayers and you can find more information in this blog.
As always, EVE TV will be streaming every day at Fanfest. As we announced in the o7 show, the HD stream will be free this year for everyone to enjoy Fanfest in glorious high definition. They will cover all key presentations, interview both players and devs and in general catch the Fanfest vibes. A blog detailing the EVE TV Broadcast will be out soon. You can see the schedule for the Fanfest stream on our twitch channel here!
Previous years those at home were able to get the Fanfest specific ships by buying the HD Stream, but as that is now free, we are offering the Quafe ships as part of various game time purchase options.. We will be sharing more information on this very soon!
See you next week!
Fanfest kicks off in just a few days and everyone at CCP is excited to welcome you to Reykjavik once again for an epic week of comradery. As with many of you, Fanfest is the highlight of the year for us, giving us the chance to show us all the stuff we have been working on, discuss everything, get your feedback and just hang with amazing players! Don’t ever hesitate to come up to a dev at any point during Fanfest just to say hi if nothing else. We are there for you as much as you are here for us and each other.
The weather in Iceland has been very snowy and windy, so make sure you pack some warmer clothes and check for any potential delays with your flights before you leave.
See you soon!
Worlds Collide at Fanfest 2015. Champions from both Tranquility and Serenity arrive on the scene and take up honorable, albeit rule-bound, spaceship combat that can only end with one victorious team. That victorious team will win reputation, bragging rights, physical prizes from Razer, and a special ship for their whole server: the Victorieux Luxury Yacht will be given to every player with an active subscribtion to the game at the time of the event. With the event imminent, we decided to have a bit of a chat with the two teams that will be fighting it out live on stage at Fanfest for the glory of their server.
The City of Angels team representing Serenity at Worlds Collide is comprised of Stepnick (the team captain), Bitter, Tanis, Jed and ASK.
CCP: So what has been one of the biggest successes for City of Angels in EVE so far?
COA: We consider our biggest success so far to have been our transformation from our origin as a roaming pirate alliance to that of a sovereignity holding empire in Null sec, holding Providence and Catch. We’ve also been able to maintain the growth of our alliance. It’s not easy to break into a territory holding group, and we’re really proud of that achievement.
CCP: What has been the greatest upset for City of Angels?
COA: Our greatest upset would have to be the battle in 49-U6U in March 2014. Our coalition (ROCOA/FDK) lost a large number of super capital ships including titans. We lost a lot, but we’re not out yet.
CCP: So focusing on the team, who would you call your wild card?
COA: We’re all pretty consistent. If we had to name a “wild card”, it would be Jed. He’s one of COA’s combat squad commanders. His perspective on the game is a little different from most people, and he can pull out amazing maneuvers with his ships at times. It really makes a difference at crucial moments for us.
CCP: How much time do you estimate will go into practicing for Worlds Collide?
COA: We’ve been preparing for this event for the past 2 months. There’s a lot of effort that goes into theory crafting ship fittings and then practicing with those ships. It really is a lot of effort.
CCP: So when you’re in the zone and you’re ready to go, what are your fighting words?
COA: Here we come and none shall stand.
CCP: So tell us a bit more about yourselves
Stepnick: I’m 26 years old and I work as a HR manager in Beijing. I’ve been playing EVE for nearly 9 years.
Bitter: I’m 28 years old and I work as a data analyst. I first started playing EVE around Red Moon Rising about 7 years ago.
Tanis: I’m 31 years old and I’m a director in the informationization department for an electric company. I’ve been playing EVE since Serenity was in closed beta.
Jed: I’m 29 years old, and I’ve been playing EVE for 9 years, all the way from university life and beyond.
ASK: I’m a 23 year old university student, interning at a bank. I haven’t been playing EVE for quite as long as the others on the team, only since I started studying at university a few years ago.
CCP: How has your EVE career been so far?
Bitter: Previously I was part of D3 until their defeat in 1V-LI2, at which point I branched out solo and roamed the constellations. Some friends introduced me to MLGB, which was one of the forerunners to GOW and COA.
Tanis: I’ve been in either one of the predecessor groups of COA or in COA my entire EVE career. Always found my calling in PvP.
Jed: I was previously a part of Jupiter Alliance, but after it collapsed I followed some of my old corporation members to COA. I specialize more in covert ops and I’ve got a group of 20-30 pilots that I lead.
ASK: I originally started playing EVE after seeing some cool screenshots from the game. The person that posted them was in COA, so I followed them to it. I’ve been here ever since.
Stepnick: I’ve previously been a chief scout for MLGB, Squad commander for Gear of War and Axis Alliance, Battle Commander for COA and South United and a Fleet Commander for The Coalition of South and North. I was also the commander for GOD of War when they helped found COA.
CCP: What’s your favorite ship?
Tanis: Vindicator is my favorite because it bring so much raw power to a fight. That power brings Sovereignty.
Jed: My favorite ship is the Cynabal. It’s fast, powerful, has lots of utility, all at a reasonable price.
ASK: Machariel and Augoror Navy Issue are my favorites. The Machariel brings unmatched speed with its firepower, while the ANI is a moving fortress, with an amazing tank for it’s size.
Bitter: I really like the Nyx. It’s model and symmetrical design is great.
CCP: Do you have any pets?
Bitter: Not at the moment, but I like the idea of getting a Samoyed
Tanis: I don’t have a pet right now, but if I got one I think I would get a dog
ASK: Nothing right now, but I’m considering getting a poodle.
The Camel Empire is representing Tranquility at Worlds Collide and is comprised of Niart Gunn (team captain), WaTeR Ubersnol, Sturm Gewehr, F4bske, and Eshnala.
CCP: So what has been one of the biggest successes for The Camel Empire
Camel: Definitely winning Alliance Tournament XII and becoming one of the best small-scale PvP alliances in EVE
CCP: What is one of the biggest challenges you’ve had?
Camel: Not being relevant enough to hold any sovereignty anywhere.
CCP: Who is the team’s wild card?
Camel: There are no wild cards on The Camel Empire. We’re a Full-House.
CCP: How much time do you estimate will go into practicing for this event?
Camel: If you took all the time and energy we put into practice, you could probably buy and maintain a rather large yacht. Maybe even one that has a helicopter.
CCP: So when you’re in the zone and you’re ready to go, what are your fighting words?
Camel: There’s only one right answer to that question: AAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHH!
CCP: So tell us a bit more about yourselves
WaTeR Ubersnol: I’m a 30 year old Team Leader in The Netherlands.
F4bske: I’m 23 years old, and I work as an IT apprentice in Germany.
Eshnala: I’m 28 years old and I’m from Germany. I’m currently living in France where I’m working on my Diploma-thesis in Automotive Engineering
Niart Gunn: I’m 25 years old, and I’m doing my Masters in Film Studies in Switzerland.
Sturm Gewehr: I’m 25 years old, and I’m from California, USA.
CCP: How has your EVE career been so far?
F4bske: I started playing in 2009, where I was in Nullsec after just a week. I stayed with that first group of friends for a long time, moving from 0.0 to highsec, wormholes, all over. I got into PvP after watching “Burning EVE 4” by DHB Wildcat, with the end result for me being the loss of a badly fit Bhaalgorn. I moved onto “No Mercy.”, followed by Matari Exodus, who are an awesome bunch of people who taught me a lot. I moved on from them to join Hydra Reloaded, as I wanted a chance to play in the Alliance Tournament. We came 2nd that year. As Hydra went a bit inactive I joined a friend’s corporation, Mining Industry Exile Foundation which later in turn joined with TURN LEFT to form The Camel Empire.
Eshnala: I started playing in 2009. After some highsec dwelling and brief stint in Providence during the –A-/CVA war in 2010, I decided to focus on small scale PvP. I’ve been in Cry Havoc, Rote Kapelle and Ninja Unicorns, doing just about everything there is to do in PvP. I decided to form TURN LEFT with some friends in 2011 to focus more on small gang PvP.
Sturm Gewehr: I started out in EVE University, where I first got a taste for PvP. I remember one of my first PvP experiences where I used a remote sensor booster (thinking it was a local) when I had a hostile smartbombing battleship targeted. My Thrasher very quickly got Concordokkened for that. After that I flew and held sov with KIA before taking a bit of a break. On my return, I joined Rote Kapelle with my brother. He flew in Alliance Tournament VIII against Hydra Reloaded, and me sitting next to him during that match was how I discovered my passion for PvP. I eventually got to fly in Alliance Tournament X with Rote Kapelle where we beat Pandemic Legion while 7 points down before losing to Verge of Collapse. After taking another break, I came back after hearing about some former teammates from Rote and “Exodus.” were forming a new Alliance Tournament team. So I joined The Camel Empire, and we won Alliance Tournament XII!
Niart Gunn: My brother originally got me into the game back in 2006, but I’ve only seriously played since 2011. I joined Ninja Unicorns with Huge Horns, grinding Level 5 missions and roaming around for PvP. Eventually I left with a bunch of my corporation members to form TURN LEFT, where we later moved into a more nomadic lifestyle and using wormholes to get around easily.
WaTeR Ubersnol: I’ve been playing for about 5 years, and was part of the group that originally founded TURN LEFT and The Camel Empire. My work in game mostly consists of being a small gang Fleet Commander and organizing roams for everyone. I just wish there were more people willing to put up a good fight so we could roam more!
CCP: So what’s your favorite ship?
Niart Gunn: The Moracha, the Cruiser reward from Alliance Tournament XI. It’s the wonderful bastard child of a Rapier and a Cynabal. And yes, I own one! As far as non-unique ships go, it would have to be the Keres, the golden little ship that doesn’t let you lock or warp. It’s amazing in small skirmishing gangs.
Sturm Gewehr: I find it hard to pick a single favorite ship in EVE. Generally I enjoy hulls with mobility and good damage projection, but in the end I just enjoy variety. In a tournament, I enjoy flying Battleship and Command Ship hulls the most. The micromanagement of all the modules is really challenging and I enjoy that.
Eshnala: Tough Question. I think the Machariel is up there; it looks amazing, and it’s a huge ship. It’s great in some skirmish fights and is excellent at bumping and killing capital ships. A ship I do miss from the past is the old nano-Drake. It’s got a great engagement envelope and was perfect for fooling the enemy into thinking “It’s just a Drake, what could go wrong?” Such nostalgia reminds me of the early days of TURN LEFT.
F4bske: My favorite ship is an Orthrus with a 100MN Afterburner fitted. That combination offers a lot of outplay potential as its faster than everything that is stronger than it is.
WaTeR Ubersnol: I don’t really have a ship I favor over others, as there are a lot of ships that are very usable these days. If I had to pick one, it would be the Confessor. I’ve been having a real blast with it since it was released recently.
CCP: Do you have any pets?
F4bske: I have a cat named Figo, but my favorite is a flounder since it looks like a Barghest.
Eshnala: I have a cat named Charlie, and she’s awesome.
Sturm Gewehr: My “pet” is my roommate’s demon spawn flame tip Siamese that likes to destroy all my stuff. It’s lucky that it’s just too adorable to be made into a rug.
WaTeR Ubersnol: My pet is awesome. He even plays EVE! Besides the German accent, it’s the most sweet, tender and loveable pet you could wish for. I recommend that everyone gets one.
Niart Gunn: I don’t have any pets anymore, but I grew up with a cat that made it to my 21st birthday. She had been with me as long as I could remember. The day she died was one of the saddest days of my life. I’d love to have another cat or two in the future though.
Thanks go to the players on both teams for taking time out of their busy training schedules and answering our questions. The setups for each team have been published so go check them out here. Remember that the team that wins secures an Victorieux Luxury Yacht for all players on that server that are subscribed at the time of the event, so pick a team to favor and cheer them on to victory! When Worlds Collide this Fanfest we will all come away from it changed!
On behalf of the Tournament Team
- CCP Gargant]]>
AN UNSTOPPABLE FORCE MEETS AN IMMOVABLE OBJECT
Greetings football loving Fanfest Attendees! (That’s soccer to you all across the pond.)
For those of you arriving in Iceland a few days before Fanfest 2015 kicks into full swing, the CCP team (lead by CCP Puck) have arranged a Devs vs Players football match. Come watch for free and possibly win a great prize!
On Tuesday March 17th at 20:00 mighty Devs and intrepid Capsuleers will battle it out on the AstroTurf at Kórinn for the ultimate in bragging rights! And we want all of you to come along and join in the fun by cheering on your favorite players (or devs). There will also be a prize giveaway thanks to our partner for this event, Tölvulistinn who have generously donated a 28” Asus 4k UHD Monitor that will be up for grabs for all attendees at the match - both players and spectators.
The Dev Team:
The Player Team:
There is more than ample spectator seating and parking at the venue if you have your own transport, but for those who do not, we have some limited space on buses leaving from the CCP Headquarters at 19:00 and then dropping people downtown afterwards to continue their St Paddy’s Day celebrations. To secure one of the limited 30 seats available, please sign up in the comments thread for this dev blog (you can find a link to at at the top of this blog). It will also be possible to get a taxi to the venue, by calling +354 588 5522 and showing the taxi driver this address (unless you are confident in your pronunciation):
Kórinn, Vallakór 12, Kópavogur
We look forward to seeing you there!
- CCP Mimic & CCP Puck
It’s about that time of the year again where CCP Headquarters goes crazy with activity in preparation for the annual gathering of internet spaceships captains at the top of the world.
Hundreds of mice click together in unison as Devs prepare presentation after presentation with images, graphs, and, in some cases, amusing pictures of cats.
Outside of EVE Development, the Communications Team and Sales Team are working hard to get the events lineup for Fanfest 2015 nailed down, and the Fanfest schedule finalized and published.
CCP Legion, our Fanfest Program Director, will have further details regarding events at Fanfest and a Fanfest schedule for you all to peruse on Thursday, however in the mean time I’d like to talk to you all about another popular feature of Fanfest – the EVE Store.
Let’s jump right in a see some of the stuff that will be on sale at Fanfest this year!
The eagle eyed capsuleers among us may have seen the release of these four labels to the EVE Online and Fanfest 2015 Facebook pages. These four delicious beverages have been exclusively made for Fanfest 2015, and form what has come to be known around the office here in Iceland as the “Brew Eden Collection”. They’ll be available at selected locations during Fanfest, so make sure you try them out.
Along with every great drink, there must be a great vessel from which to sup. In keeping with this mindset, we’ve produced a set of custom glasses that will be available at Fanfest this year in order that every pilot can enjoy their beverage of choice.
Specific to each of the Brew Eden Collection, these glasses have been produced so that every pilot can either enjoy a cold one and rejoice after victory in battle or drown their sorrows after they wake up in the vat after an engagement doesn’t go their way and look at the dent in their account with the Bank of Luminare.
If you’re as serious about beer as we are here at CCP, then you’ll definitely want to pick up these pieces of EVE history. They’ll be available as a set at a discount price, or individually if you consider it an insult that you’d be forced to buy the Amarrian one (damned slavers…). These glasses will be on sale at Kr. 2,000 each, with the full set on offer for Kr. 7,000.
In addition we will have a selection of T-shirts inspired by the recent “This Is EVE” trailer that will be available in both men’s and women’s sizes, along with the ever popular EVE: Valkyrie signature t-shirt and a new addition that will let you show your support for CCP Guard and friends on the o7 Show! These shirts will all retail at Kr. 3,000 in the EVE Store.
A few of the regular favorites will be making a return to the store this Fanfest too, with pens, USB smartphone chargers, insulated mugs, notepads and watches on the list of items up for sale.
Many more keychains, notepads and smaller items will be available at the store during Fanfest, so be sure to check out what’s in stock at the usual location on the second floor of Harpa! Prices on these will vary between Kr. 500 - Kr. 4,000, with the EVE Watch available for Kr. 39,900.
For those of you who crave more immersion in New Eden, we will also be offering copies of “EVE: Source”, the 200 page hardcover backstory and lore guide to New Eden produced by Dark Horse, as well as a limited runs of both the new “EVE: The Art of New Eden” hardcover (also by Dark Horse), and the first “Art of EVE” hardcover that explores the origins of EVE’s aesthetic design.
CCP t0rfifrans will have more details regarding both the hardcover of “The Art of New Eden” and the limited edition version which will go on sale during Fanfest 2015 in a Dev Blog this Friday.
Keeping with an art theme, we will also be offering large poster prints of the Fanfest 2015 key art after requests during previous years to offer Fanfest related memorabilia. This year’s key art is Mordu’s Legion Command themed:
This amazing keyart will also be immortalized on an awesome Corsair Carbide 330R case design that will be for sale at the Fanfest 2015 store, courtesy of Tölvulistinn.
As you can see, CCP Ruffige is extremely excited at the sight of such spaceship splendor…
For the first time since the release of “The Iron Tide” many moons ago in 2006, the Fanfest Store will also be offering a community created item for sale, with this awesome set of glossy, high quality battlecruiser posters created by Rixx Javix:
And finally, the image above was photographed today as I type this blog, and it’s pretty much been snowing since late November, so we couldn’t miss out on offering some EVE branded 66 Degrees North goodies to all our Fanfest attendees!
There’ll be a selection of jackets, hats, mittens and sweaters for all of you that want to make sure you stay warm and cosy in the cold, dark void of space, so come on by and check out the Fanfest 2015 store between the presentations and panels. We will also have a large selection of items from the Musterbrand store on sale at Fanfest 2015 too.
Be sure to wrap up warm and pack lots of toasty warm clothes, as winter is still very much in full swing here in Iceland!
Looking forward to seeing you all at Fanfest 2015!
Would you like to be the first player in the long and storied history of EVE to have your artwork formally displayed in CCP’s Reykjavik office?
CCP Customer Support formally requests your talents! Our neighbouring Virtual World and I.T. Wizards have recently expanded their office here in CCP Reykjavik, and in the process this has left the CS department with a pretty uninspiring view, or what the art world would call “A blank canvas”.
Inspired by works of art that have been sent to our Game Masters via the support system, we wanted to ask the community to submit some truly great works of art based on the EVE universe.
The two best entries will be printed on a massive scale (135x270 cm) and displayed in our Reykjavik office for all to see and enjoy.
Our Call To Art submissions will be reviewed by our CS Customer Art Representing EVE judges comprised by volunteers from our GM team along with expert assistance from our geniuses in the Art department.
The rules are quite simple:
Please send us your EVE art submission before midnight UTC on April 30th, while adhering to the image requirements and reviewing our terms & conditions for this event. You’ll then be in with a chance of having your work displayed on the walls of CCP, with winners also receiving some very exclusive signed swag along with well-deserved bragging rights.
Full Image specifications:
Terms & Conditions:
That’s it for now space friends. Happy… arting?
Lead GM Grave
CCP Customer Support
I know that a lot of you have been eagerly awaiting details on these plans and I’m very excited to show you all what we have been working on and start receiving feedback from the wider community. This is going to be a very long dev blog, but we here at CCP believe that Sov is a big deal that deserves to be discussed thoroughly.
There are actually two connected dev blogs being released this afternoon, both of which are worth reading:
We know that when changing a system as complex and competitive as Nullsec Sovereignty, it is very important to provide adequate time to incorporate feedback and get the changes right. We have been discussing these designs in detail with the Council of Stellar Management for a little over a month now and we are releasing these dev blogs early so that we can get the crucial public feedback process started as soon as possible. Our current plan is to release Phase Two of the Nullsec and Sovereignty revamp in June 2015. We’ll be listening and working closely with the community from now until then to incorporate feedback and ensure that the changes we release represent the best possible update to Sovereignty gameplay.
Of course like everything in game development, these dates are open to change and we’ll be taking full advantage of our rapid release schedule to ensure that these changes are released as soon as they are ready.
I’m sure many of you are already skipping down to look at the new mechanics, but before we talk about implementation I think it’s important to review the clearly defined goals our game design team had for the new system.
This goal forms the core of what we want to accomplish with Phase Two. We have released many changes over the past few years that have focused on Nullsec income, industry and resources, and those changes have been very successful. However the gameplay surrounding conquering and defending space has not changed significantly since 2009 and this is the area where we see the most opportunity for improvement.
It’s absolutely key that Sovereignty warfare provide exciting gameplay and opportunities for significant contributions by all the players involved. Players from coalition leaders to line members and everyone in between should be able to look forward to the gameplay surrounding defending their home or invading their neighbors.
We hope to achieve this goal by rebuilding EVE’s Sov warfare mechanics to emphasize the best aspects such as strategic planning, empire building and dynamic PVP engagements, while minimizing the less exciting parts of the gameplay. We are well aware that Nullsec empires have mastered the strategy of weaponizing their opponent’s boredom, so our new system must be built around a core of engaging competitive gameplay.
It is vital that the core mechanics involved in taking space be easily understood and flow logically. The best multiplayer game systems involve simple mechanics that combine with competing player interests to generate complex and unpredictable results. Sovereignty must be one of these systems.
We hope to achieve this goal by focusing on an easily understood core game system that encourages player interaction and conflict. Unlike the Dominion Sovereignty system with its intertwined structures and states, the different structures in our new Sovereignty system operate independently to keep each structure simple and to give players freedom to choose their own priorities.
One major flaw of the current Dominion Sovereignty system is that the use of structure hitpoint grinding forces players to use huge numbers of players or colossal capital ships to fight over space, even when they would otherwise prefer to work in smaller units. This also creates an artificial floor on the size of alliances or coalitions that can be successful in Sovereignty.
A new Sovereignty system should not attempt to artificially determine the size of groups that can operate within it, either by forcing larger fleets or by forcing smaller ones. Instead, players should be able to work with numbers of friends that they consider appropriate for the situation.
Rather than trying to enforce some arbitrary limit on how many friends or allies you have, this system is simply designed to give organizations and players more freedom to choose the size of coalition that they prefer.
Bringing more players will always have some value, as it will provide advantages in direct fleet combat with your opponents. But a system that allows small numbers of players to conquer space as quickly as larger numbers ensures that if your fleet has the capability to win the fight, you automatically have enough people to take the Sovereignty objectives.
Directly following from the goal above, it’s extremely important that we minimize the total player-hours required to take undefended and/or unoccupied space. The large time investment required to grind structure hitpoints under the current system allows alliances to effectively use fallow space as buffer zones and to wear down the will of an opponent through sheer boredom.
With our new system we intend to reach this goal by tying the defense of Sovereignty directly to the actions of players, through both combat fleets during attacks and active residency gameplay in peacetime. Our realistic goal for the new Sovereignty system is that a very small group of players in virtually any ship types should be able to completely conquer an undefended system with a few ~10-30 minute sessions spread across a few days. On the other hand, evicting an alliance that actively uses and defends their space should be a very difficult task indeed, which leads us to the next goal.
It’s very important that active and prepared alliances be provided with the tools they need to defend their homes. Providing benefits for robust in-space activity has been one of the key drivers of many of the economic changes to Nullsec over the past few years, and those changes have been quite successful in shifting the focus of Nullsec economic activity from static assets to bottom-up gameplay. It’s now time to begin linking this same bottom-up economic activity more strongly with the world of strategic Sovereignty warfare.
In the new Sovereignty, systems full of active occupants will be vastly easier to defend and control than abandoned ones, bustling empires with a variety of activities will be stronger than AFK ones, and disrupting your enemies everyday activities in their space will help you gain advantages both strategic and economic. More details on how we intend to begin achieving this goal will be discussed later in this blog.
By spreading objectives across multiple star systems we can provide unique tactical choices tied to the layout of individual constellations. This should help ensure variety and enable more dynamic engagements.
Huge clashes between empires have become one of the most iconic symbols of EVE’s uniqueness and a source of well-deserved renown both for the game itself and for the fleet commanders who lead these battles. However anyone who has experienced these events firsthand will tell you that user experience suffers under the technical realities of battles containing such massive numbers of players. For the last 12 years, CCP has combined top-shelf hardware with innovative software techniques to fit more players on one star system than anyone ever imagined would be possible, and more advancements in both Tranquility’s server hardware and EVE’s codebase are in the works to push the envelope even further. However we must face the reality that player numbers will always outstrip our ability to increase server capacity. When we made 500 player battles smooth, alliances started bringing 1000. When we made 1000 player battles smooth (on reinforced nodes), 4000 of you folks decided to show up at once. This means that we need to do everything we can through design to spread battles out into multiple smaller simultaneous engagements which should each perform more smoothly.
We are not under the illusion that some theoretical perfect Sovereignty system would ever be able to stand the test of time without changing. Sovereignty gameplay is the most ruthlessly optimized part of EVE and will always need to be adjusted and updated regularly to remain fresh.
It’s also important that our new Sovereignty system be flexible enough to incorporate new improvements to EVE as they are released, especially improvements to structure gameplay that are being developed as we speak. The possibilities for engaging gameplay provided by the combination of complete revamps to Sovereignty and structures are nearly endless.
To reach this goal, new Sovereignty is being designed to be as modular and flexible as possible. We have intentionally built many aspects of the new system that can be easily adjusted and tweaked. This will allow us to incorporate the feedback from the community before release, respond to problems or stagnation after release, and replace specific parts of the design with new types of gameplay as they are released in the future.
You’ll see a great many numbers, durations and percentages in the rest of the blog, and it’s important to remember that they’re all open for adjustment.
All right, let’s start discussing what we’ve been working on.
We’ll cover five key design features of the new system, then introduce some of the new work-in-progress UI elements and end with a walkthrough of a hypothetical battle over a star system to demonstrate how the elements all come together.
We’ll begin by introducing a new module that sits at the core of the new system, and that will become more and more important to many parts of EVE over the upcoming months and years.
Recently mysterious new ships have been spotted all across New Eden, sporting advanced technology unlike anything seen before. Exploring the recovered wreckage of these Drifter battleships, researchers are already starting to make startling breakthroughs in the field of mind-machine interfacing.
One of the first results of these breakthroughs is a new module that enables capsuleers to directly interface with the computer systems governing certain structures, bypassing the need for abstracted hacking interfaces.
The Entosis Link module represents the central interaction mechanic of the new Sovereignty system (among its other uses) and the interaction between competing groups of players wishing to use their Entosis Links will provide much of the gameplay and conflict.
The Entosis Link is a targeted highslot module that can be activated on certain structures. For the purpose of this Sovereignty redesign, the important targets are Territorial Claim Units, Infrastructure Hubs, Stations and Station Services.
The Entosis Link is used for all kinds of manipulation of these structures. In general, activating an Entosis Link on a structure you own will activate and protect it, while activating an Entosis Link on a structure you do not own will disable, reinforce or capture it.
Crucially, the process of exerting control over a structure using an Entosis Link cannot be sped up by using more links or more players.
If two or more Entosis Links belonging to different “sides” are operational on the same structure at the same time, neither will have any effect and all capture will be paused. This remains true even if one side has more Links operational on the structure than the other side.
For the purposes of Sovereignty structures, there are two ways that the system can determine “sides”:
The basic flow of Entosis Link gameplay is shown in the following flow chart:
This power doesn’t come without risks however.
Entosis Links have a significant cycle time (5 minutes for the Tech One variant, 2 minutes for Tech Two) and do not start affecting the battle for control of the target structure until the end of their first cycle.
Activating an Entosis Link also causes ships to become extremely vulnerable for the duration of the module’s cycle: the equipped ship cannot warp, dock, jump or receive remote assistance until the cycle completes.
Other key attributes of the Entosis Link module are:
The cycle time of Entosis links does not affect the speed at which structures are captured once the first cycle is complete. This means that using a T1 Link will cause a longer initial delay before capturing begins (during the first cycle) and will leave the player vulnerable and unable to warp for longer periods of time, but will still capture the structure in the same amount of time as a T2 link once it’s up and running.
Both the cycle time of the Entosis Link module and the actual capture process will be affected by time dilation.
When a target structure does not have a current owner, every alliance represents their own “side” and all characters are capable of making progress towards capturing it at the same rate. When a target Sovereignty structure has a current owner, the system recognizes two sides (the current owning alliance on one side and everyone else on the other) and the rate at which attacking characters make capture progress is reduced according to the occupancy defensive bonuses of the solar system. More details about how these bonuses work will be explained later in the blog.
The result of all these design features is that the best method to exert control over a structure with the Entosis Link is to establish effective military control over the grid around the target structure.
In this Sovereignty update, the Entosis Link will be used for the following tasks (details later in this blog):
This means that Entosis Linking will replace shooting of structures in every part of the Sovereignty system. After the June release, shooting of structures will not play any part in Sovereignty.
Before occupancy defensive bonuses are applied, exerting uncontested control over Territorial Claim Units, Infrastructure Hubs and Outposts will take 10 minutes (plus the duration of the first cycle) and enabling/disabling station services will take 5 minutes (plus the duration of the first cycle). Like everything in this plan, these numbers are subject to change based on playtesting and discussion.
The Entosis Link will be added to the game about a month before the launch of this Sovereignty system to allow players adequate time to manufacture stockpiles.
This basic Entosis Link gameplay is used repeatedly throughout the Sovereignty capture and defense gameplay, so it’s worth making sure you’ve fully read the previous section before moving forward.
Under the new Sovereignty system, each of the three key Sovereignty structures (Territorial Claim Unit, Infrastructure Hub, and Station) will all exist and operate independently from each other. They will have their own separate functions and there will no longer be any requirement for the same alliance to own all three (in practice however, they will often end up owned by the same alliance).
Under this new system, only one of each Sovereignty structure can exist in the same system at the same time.
The functions of the three Sovereignty structures will be:
This structure will be distilled down to its core function: a declaration to the whole of New Eden that you lay claim to a particular system and that you intend to defend that claim. The TCU will no longer have an upkeep cost (this cost will be split between the IHub and Station) and will not be required in order to operate the other Sovereignty structures. The benefits of this structure will be registration into the Sovereignty filters on the map, your alliance logo visible to every pilot in the system and the existing 25% bonus to starbase fuel use.
By removing the upkeep cost from TCUs and keeping their affordable cost, we will ensure an affordable entry level option for alliances interested in dipping their toes into Sovereignty.
Since we are no longer forcing alliances to use a TCU in order to anchor and protect IHubs and Stations, the value of TCUs will now be able to be set entirely by the goals and aspirations of each alliance. You will also no longer need a TCU in order to gain the benefits of Infrastructure Hub upgrades. How much value your alliance places on defending its TCUs can depend entirely on your own priorities.
The Infrastructure Hub will continue to enable system indices and provide a location for the installation of system upgrades so that alliances can improve their space. The Infrastructure Hub will now have a base upkeep cost and the Strategic Sovereignty Index will now be obtained by keeping an IHub alive in a system rather than being obtained from the TCU. Future iterations on this system will add more structures that alliances can use to obtain new kinds of bonuses and effects in their space.
Stations will continue to provide all the services you know and love, including docking, fitting, refining, industry and markets. Station services will now be enabled and disabled through the Entosis Link mechanic rather than shooting through hitpoints.
To disable a station service, anyone other than the alliance that owns the station must apply an Entosis link directly to the targetable station service. The capture mechanic for station services is exactly the same as for any other structure, except that station services activate and deactivate in half the time that Sov structures reinforce or capture.
To enable a station service again, any member of the alliance that owns the station must apply their own Entosis link directly to the targetable station service. Multiple station services may be disabled at the same time by multiple ships with their own active Entosis links. Neither DPS nor remote reps will be used for controlling station services in the new system.
Stations will now have part of the Sovereignty upkeep cost that was previously attached to the TCU.
Sovereignty Blockade Units are not needed as part of this new system and will be phased out, leaving us with three key structures instead of four. The existing stock of SBUs and their blueprints will be removed, with compensation to their owners.
In the new Sovereignty system, each alliance will designate a four hour window through a new option available in the Corporation Management window to certain members of the alliance executor corp. This period will represent the alliance’s declared prime time, and will be visible in the show info window for the alliance and in the show info window for each Sovereignty structure belonging to that alliance.
When an alliance changes their prime time window, their new choice will not take effect until after 96 hours have passed. At the end of this 96 hour waiting period all the structures belonging to that alliance will be vulnerable twice in the same 24 hour period (one in the old window and once in the new one). The new setting will then take effect and become the new daily vulnerability window.
This will determine the time period within which all Sovereignty structures belonging to that alliance are vulnerable to be reinforced, and the time period within which the exit time of all reinforcement periods for that alliance’s Sovereignty structures will be randomly selected. All Sovereignty structures belonging to the alliance will become vulnerable to be reinforced during that same four hour period every day, except for days when those structures are in the middle of a reinforcement period.
This allows alliances to ensure that they can defend their structures both from initial attacks and in subsequent Capture Events through active combat in their most important time zone. The fact that all structures belonging to the same alliance will be vulnerable during the same period of time allows more localized attackers to receive an advantage over a more widely spread defender since the defender will need to respond to attacks anywhere in their territory.
During the vulnerability period any character can activate an Entosis Link on the Sovereignty structures to begin the process of reinforcing it. Once the first cycle of the Entosis Link completes and the capture progress begins the Alliance who owns the structure will be notified of the attack and will need to respond in order to prevent the attackers from reinforcing the structure.
Reinforcing a Sovereignty structure with the Entosis Link will take anywhere between 10 minutes and 40 minutes of uncontested capture, depending on the level of occupancy defense bonuses in the system. If the attackers are successful in completing the capture progress, the structure will pick a random time within the same prime time window two days later, and enter reinforced mode until then.
If a structure is partially captured at the end of the vulnerability window, it will remain vulnerable until it is either captured and enters reinforced mode or is returned to full owner control by the owning alliance using their own Entosis links.
Although reinforcing of Sovereignty structures may only occur during the owning alliance’s prime time window, station services can be disabled at any time through use of the Entosis Link for between 5 and 20 minutes (depending on occupancy levels).
When Sovereignty structures exit their reinforcement period approximately 48 hours after the initial attack, they spark the beginning of a new capture event in which players fight over Command Node anomalies that spawn at random points throughout the constellation.
These Nodes have an equal chance to appear in any system in the constellation, regardless of who owns the Sovereignty in the other systems.
These Command Nodes will be visible through the anomaly scanner, sensor overlay and overview, and will be clearly named after the structure that they apply to. Capturing a Command Node follows exactly the same process as reinforcing a structure, with players competing to make progress towards capture by applying Entosis Links to the Command Node structure.
When an Alliance captures any individual Command Node, they will gain progress in the constellation-wide tug of war for that structure. Multiple capture events can occur simultaneously in the same constellation if more than one Sovereignty structure within that constellation exits their reinforcement periods in close succession. In that case each event operates independently of the others and the tug of war for one structure has no effect on the tug of war for any other structures.
If the Sovereignty structure exiting its reinforcement period has an owner, then occupancy defense bonuses apply to all of the Command Nodes for that structure’s event. The level of the occupancy defense bonuses are determined by the occupancy indices in the system containing the reinforced structure (at the time of initial reinforcement), not the system containing the individual Command Nodes. More details about the occupancy defense bonuses can be found later in the blog.
Immediately as the structure exits its reinforcement period, five Command Nodes will spawn at random points throughout the constellation. More than one Command Nodes can potentially spawn in the same system. As soon as each Command Node is captured, a new Command Node will spawn somewhere else in the constellation.
In addition, as time passes extra Command Nodes beyond the initial five have a chance to spawn and capturing those Nodes will also spawn new Nodes instantly. This ensures that if a capture event starts running long it becomes easier and easier for it to reach a resolution and for any stalemates to break.
If one side is allowed to capture the Command Nodes uncontested, then capturing 10 nodes will be enough to win the event. This means that it will be possible for a defender with no opposition and at least five active pilots to complete the event and secure their structure in less than 30 minutes of capturing. This minimum time would also be possible for a small group of aggressors who are attacking an undefended solar system with no occupancy indices.
If nobody shows up to defend or attack a capture event, or if the involved parties are perfectly matched, the event can go on indefinitely. The addition of new Command Nodes to the event over time makes stalemates extremely unstable over time however. If downtime occurs while a capture event is active, it will save its state and continue as normal after downtime.
The expected flow of a battle over a capture event will vary greatly depending on the landscape of the constellation, the size and strength of the involved parties and the skill of opposing fleet commanders and pilots. Both attackers and defenders will need to split their forces and stay mobile to be effective, which should encourage a fluid battle as well as providing more opportunities for newer fleet commanders and leaders to step up without needing to run a whole fleet.
Defenders with high levels of activity will be able to use their occupancy defense bonuses to great effect in these battles, as they will be capturing Command Nodes up to 4x as fast as their opponents. Defenders will also often enjoy the benefits of jump bridges, starbases, stations and other infrastructure spread throughout the constellation.
The nature of the Entosis Link gameplay combined with these events should create strong opportunities for enjoyable and fluid fleet combat, rather than the largely static nature of current set piece Sovereignty battles.
We see a huge potential for varied and enjoyable gameplay in this new capture event system, and it’s very exciting to once again have constellation geography matter in a significant way to combat in EVE. The variety of constellation layouts throughout Nullsec is something that is often overlooked since the current Sovereignty system largely ignores it. Each constellation has its own chokepoints, key systems and unique movement patterns. As a hint of what’s possible, take a look at the following images of different constellation geography as viewed from Dotlan. All of these constellations are from one Nullsec region (Providence) and each one of them would provide a completely different tactical environment.
In a capture event for a structure with an owner, the system considers every member of the owning alliance to be defenders and every other player to be attackers. This means that if you wish to support your allies in another alliance in defending their structures you may do so by engaging their enemies in combat but if you apply your own Entosis Link to the Command Nodes you will contribute to the attacker side instead of the defender. In this way, we ensure that although allies in other alliances can be a huge help when defending space, a successful defense does require at least some active presence from members of the structure owning alliance.
When one side wins the capture event, all remaining Command Nodes for that event will go inert and despawn.
If the defender wins a capture event for one of their owned structures, the structure becomes invulnerable until it becomes vulnerable during their alliance prime time the next day. It does not need to be repaired in any way.
If the attackers win a capture event for a Territorial Claim Unit or Infrastructure Hub, then the structure explodes and any alliance will be free to attempt deploying of their own replacement structures.
However if the attackers win a capture event for an owned Station, it will enter a new Freeport Mode for another 48 hours and when it exits from that timer it will be available for capture by any alliance through a free for all capture event.
Stations will enter a mandatory 48 hour Freeport Mode and second reinforcement period if their owners lose a capture event for them. While in this mode, the Station is not owned by any alliance and all players are able to dock and use the services of the station. No players will be able to change any settings for the Station during this time period, and no fees or taxes will be awarded to any corporations. No docking fees may be charged.
Freeport Mode stations will be clearly visible on the map and the timer for when they will exit the second reinforcement period will be visible in their show info window.
When a station exits this second reinforcement timer, another capture event begins with a twist. Since the station has no owning alliance, no occupancy defense bonuses will apply to anyone capturing the Command Nodes. As well, unlike the standard capture events where the two sides are the defender and attackers, the capture event for a Freeport Mode station pits each individual alliance against each other in a free for all multi-side tug of war. Only one alliance can capture each Command Node, and each of those successful captures gives that specific alliance points towards the larger tug of war.
The station remains in Freeport Mode for the duration of this second capture event, so any pilot may dock and make use of the station during the fighting.
Whichever alliance wins this tug of war for the second capture event (it could be the old Station owners, the alliance that attacked in the first place, or a third party) takes ownership of the Station at that point. The Station would then become invulnerable until the next occurrence of this winning alliance’s prime time period.
The term occupancy Sov has taken a peculiar place in the EVE community’s consciousness over the last year or so. It has become incredibly popular, partially because it makes an excellent box within which the speaker can place all their hopes and preferences for the future of Nullsec. We could easily find hundreds of players who would advocate for occupancy Sov, but when we dig deeper we discover that many of those players are imagining completely different mechanics.
It’s for this reason that I hesitate to assign the label of “occupancy Sov” to this plan, as there is no single plan that could reflect each player’s personal vision of “occupancy Sov”. However there are some important qualities at the center of the occupancy groundswell that are extremely valuable and belong in our next Sovereignty system.
For the first release of this new Sovereignty system, we will be working towards these goals by tying the existing system indices to a new occupancy defensive bonus that slows the structure capture rate of all attackers.
Just like in the current Sovereignty system, the Military Index is obtained by killing NPCs in the system and the Industrial Index is obtained by mining in the system. The Strategic Index, which is currently tied to the lifetime of the TCU structure, will be tied to the lifetime of the IHub instead.
The bonus provided by the Military and Industrial indices are 150% stronger than those provided by equivalent levels of the Strategic Index. This is intentionally designed to provide a larger incentive for active occupancy than for simple duration of system control.
This defensive bonus will apply to all Sovereignty structures that have a current owner and are in a star system with any indices above 0, as well as Command Nodes for those structures (no matter what system the Command Nodes are physically located).
The basic mechanics of the Entosis Link remain the same (no benefit beyond the first module, two opposing modules pause all capture) but when anyone other than the owner of the base structure is making capture progress that progress will be slower.
The currently planned bonus levels are:
To determine the full bonus applied to each owned structure, find the appropriate value of your current level in each of the three indices and add them together, then add 1. The speed at which attackers reinforce or capture structures or command nodes is then divided by that result.
For a fully maxed out system, this occupancy bonus would divide enemy capture speed by 4 (causing them to require 4x as much time to capture or reinforce a structure or service).
Some other example values:
This system of occupancy defensive bonuses is intentionally built to be modular and adjustable. In future iterations of the Sovereignty system we plan to refine the process for measuring activity, including expanding what kinds of activities are counted towards the bonuses.
This new Sovereignty system will bring with it a new set of UI elements. We are currently working on a complete revamp of the Sovereignty dashboard to clearly show both individual systems and the status of all your Alliance’s Sovereignty structures.
The following images are early mockups and will likely change significantly before the final release based on continued iteration and community feedback.
This is an example of how the new system information panel on the top left hand side of the UI might look. It demonstrates a system in which each of the Sovereignty structures is owned by a different Alliance. The status and owner of each structure would be visible at all times here, and each element would be interactable to allow quick warping or aligning to each structure.
This is an example of the new Sovereignty dashboard window displaying information on a specific star system. This page would show the position of the system within its constellation, the system indices, the status and owners of each Sovereignty structure as well as their occupancy defensive bonuses.
This is an example of the new Sovereignty dashboard displaying information on an alliance level. This panel would only be available to members of the alliance, and could be potentially restricted by roles. Each Sovereignty structure belonging to the alliance would be visible here, with the ability to filter and sort by distance, type and status. With this panel, alliances will be able to keep track of the real-time status of their active Sovereignty capture events to direct their forces where they will be most needed.
Hypothetical Example Battle
To illustrate how all of these elements come together, let’s walk through a hypothetical battle over the Sovereignty structures in a single Nullsec system.
Let's use the example of a fight in the RHG-4O constellation in Feythabolis. Blackhawk Alliance owns all 5 stations, as well as TCUs and IHubs in every system.
A director in Blackhawk Alliance's executor corp has set an alliance-wide primetime period to the 4 hour period of 18:00 - 22:00 EVE Time. This means that all of Blackhawk Alliance's Sovereignty structures are only vulnerable to reinforcement between 18:00 and 22:00 each day. At other times attackers are free to disable station services but cannot reinforce the Sovereignty structures to capture or destroy them.
A small gang from the Flameburst Coalition comes by one day at 19:30 and wants to reinforce the Sovereignty structures in the RIT-A7 system. They have one of their members equip an Entosis Link module from a Mobile Depot, and activate it on the station. When the first cycle of the Entosis Link completes, this triggers an alert for everyone in the system (including docked players) and the fact that the station is under attack is visible in a new Sov Structure system info panel on the right hand side of the screen. Blackhawk Alliance members with the correct roles also receive a notification letting them know about the attack. If members of Blackhawk Alliance (or their allies) are nearby they can undock and drive off the Flameburst Coalition attackers. The Flameburst member who is using the Entosis Link is especially vulnerable since he cannot warp or be remote repped while the Link is active. If the attackers are kiting 200km away and the Blackhawk members don't want to chase them down, a Blackhawk Alliance member also would have the option of activating his own Entosis Link on the station to pause the progress of Flameburst's attack and force them in. However for this example Blackhawk Alliance mostly lives far away and nobody is close enough to properly respond until it's too late.
Since RIT has mediocre system indexes, it receives a 2x defensive multiplier from occupancy. It therefore takes 20 minutes for the Flameburst gang to reinforce the station. Since Entosis Linking doesn't scale with numbers, they wouldn't have reinforced it any faster even if they had activated 100 links on the station.
When the station enters reinforced, it picks a random time within the same 4 hour vulnerability window ~48 hours later (similar to the current station reinforcement mechanic) and displays that timer to everyone watching the station. In this case it picks 20:45. The Flameburst gang would then be free to keep roaming Blackhawk space and reinforce more structures (which would create their own separate random timers within the same 4 hour window). They decide to reinforce the TCU and IHub in RIT-A7, which create exit timers at 19:10 and 21:05 respectively.
The occupancy defense bonuses for all of these structures lock while they are reinforced and will not be affected by changes in indices over the two days of reinforcement. This ensures that Blackhawk Alliance cannot grind themselves into better defense bonuses for the capture events. The occupancy bonus of 2x that existed when the Sovereignty structures began their reinforcement period will apply to the capture events as well.
When the Sovereignty structures each exit their reinforcement timer, the capture events begins. For the purpose of the event, Blackhawk Alliance (the guys who own the structures) are Team A and literally anyone else in EVE are Team B. This means that although Blackhawk can feel free to call their friends to help them kill their opposing fleets, the actual capturing of the control points using the Entosis Link module only benefits the defenders if Blackhawk Alliance members are doing it.
At 19:10 the capture event for the TCU begins, and five Command Node anomalies immediately spawn at random points in the constellation. For this example scenario we’ll say that the defenders from Blackhawk Alliance win that event quickly and easily, capturing 10 Command Nodes before a late Flameburst fleet arrives. This returns the TCU to an invulnerable state, but has no effect on the other two Sovereignty structures. Since each structure operates independently, each must be fought over independently.
At 20:45 the Station capture event begins, spawning its own set of five Command Nodes at random points in the constellation. For our example scenario, the attackers from Flameburst Coalition have arrived in force at this point and outnumber the Blackhawk Alliance defenders.
The Flameburst Coalition has a larger fleet, but Blackhawk Alliance does have the advantage of the 2x occupancy defense bonus. This means that the Blackhawk Alliance members capture Command Nodes in 10 minutes while Flamebust Coalition members (and anyone else showing up) require 20 minutes. The Blackhawk Alliance members can take advantage of this by staying mobile and hitting the weakest of the Flameburst Coalition squads.
Since the Station capture event is not finished by 21:05, when the IHub event begins it becomes the second active capture event in the same constellation. This is perfectly fine, as any number of capture events can operate at the same time in the same constellation. The Command Nodes are clearly marked on the overview and scanner window to show which structure in which system they influence, and both sides are free to choose which events they wish to prioritize.
The status of the tug of war for each Sovereignty structure is clearly visible on the actual Command Nodes, as well as in the system info panel in RIT. Members of Blackhawk Alliance may also use their Alliance Sovereignty overview page in the Sovereignty dashboard to keep up to date on the real-time status of the capture events for each of their structures. The only way to determine which systems contain Command Nodes is to use active scouting.
In our example case, let's say Flameburst Coalition manages to catch the majority of the Blackhawk fleet in some bubbles and decimates their force, allowing them to win the first capture event for the RIT station and the capture event for the RIT IHub. The IHub explodes, allowing anyone to place a new replacement hub.
On the other hand, the station goes into its 48 hour Freeport Mode.
Everyone can freely dock in the station during this period, allowing Flameburst to more easily stage in the area. Members of Blackhawk Alliance start evacuating their most important assets to secure stations nearby just in case they lose the second timer.
At the end of the Freeport Reinforcement Period the second sov capture event begins. This time every individual alliance is considered their own team for the tug of war, and any number of coalitions can compete for ownership of the station. Since the station has no owner, no occupancy defensive bonuses apply for this second event. Since everyone can also dock in the station before and during this event, it becomes much harder to control the area. If members of any two alliances at all have Entosis Links active on the same Command Node during this second event, the capture progress will be paused. Whenever any alliance captures a Command Node anomaly, they gain points while also removing points from every other alliance with a current score.
The second event ends when any one alliance (which could include Blackhawk Alliance taking back their station, Flameburst Coalition winning the system or Dragon Fleet swooping in to surprise them both) manages to win the multi-side tug of war. If an alliance wants to support an ally instead of capturing the station for themselves, they can do so by shooting enemy ships and leaving the actual Linking to the ally they are trying to support. If there are only two sides attempting the actual Linking, then this event will work just like the first capture event with a simple two sided tug of war. If more than two sides are all competing for the station, it would be expected that temp-alliances may form between losing groups against the group that is currently winning (they can easily work together for short times by simply agreeing to hit different Command Nodes until their targeted opponent has fallen behind).
In this example the surprise attack from Dragon Fleet is effective, as they are able to break the will of both the Blackhawk and Flameburst fleets and take the station.
We hope that this blog has made the designs behind the new Sovereignty system clear, and given you a good glimpse into how these updates would change life for all players living in Sovereignty Nullsec space.
Sovereignty is a huge priority for CCP in our plans for 2015 and we are not going to hold back when it comes to making bold changes to the Nullsec landscape.
As I mentioned at the beginning of the blog, we are now entering a significant period of public feedback on these designs and we absolutely encourage our whole community to share with us your feedback in as much detail as possible. The comments thread for this blog will be an excellent place to share your opinions with us, and we will be reading it carefully. We will also be discussing all of these changes with you at Fanfest, which will include presentations and roundtables on the ongoing plans to revamp Nullsec. This new Sovereignty system is currently scheduled for release in June of 2015, which we believe gives us enough time to refine these designs and incorporate the best community feedback. If we decide that another release date is preferable however we won’t hesitate to make use of our rapid release cadence to move these changes to the date that fits them best.
I’ll leave you now with a flow chart that summarizes the new system of Sovereignty structure reinforcement, capture and destruction. It’s the counterpart to the now-famous image released with the Dominion announcement blog more than five years ago and kicked off the Dominion Sov that’s being replaced this Summer.
Thanks for taking the time to read this massive blog, and good hunting!
-CCP Fozzie, on behalf of Team Five 0 and the whole EVE Game Design team.
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Hello calculating capsuleers! This is CCP Fozzie bringing you a dev blog looking back on the power projection and Sovereignty changes from the Phoebe release and Phase One of our ongoing project to revitalize the Nullsec sandbox.
There are actually two connected dev blogs being released this afternoon, both of which are worth reading:
On October 1st 2014, we released a dev blog covering our plans to begin a major set of changes to improve Nullsec space. In that blog we laid out a high-level medium term plan in three phases. Phase One was implemented with the Phoebe release on November 4th 2014. Phase One consisted largely of significant changes to the speed of long distance travel and power projection, as well as smaller changes to the hitpoints and resistances of Sovereignty structures and balance changes for Interdictors and Heavy Interdictors.
In the October dev blog, we listed four reasons for the changes, and made two (fairly high-level) predictions:
Why this?/Why now?
- Nullsec is stagnant and needs a change. This is the first of many steps in our plan.
- Big fights are cool, but they’re crowding out more accessible and more frequent smaller ones.
- These changes have positive implications for people not involved in sovereignty warfare, for example making use of capitals in lowsec less risky.
- We expect the impact of these changes to be emergent, and as a consequence are unpredictable and will take a while to develop on TQ. This plays into our longer-term plans, as you’ll see in a second!
What are the anticipated consequences?
In the short term, we would anticipate a reduction in the degree to which the average non-trivial capital fight escalates, and the number of parties involved. This seems likely to increase the frequency of capitals being deployed in small-scale engagements, in both lowsec and nullsec.
Over the medium term, we see the potential for more substantial changes in the nullsec status quo as the various competing parties work to adjust their internal objectives to the new situation; it seems plausible that the general reduction in travel capabilities will lead to more localism, but we don't want to make any firm predictions in this area. We're confident that these changes improve the overall system of lowsec and nullsec gameplay and take them in better directions, but any set of changes that would allow us to accurately predict their consequences would by their nature be too simple to be interesting for very long.
Today we are unveiling the plans for Phase Two, but as we look to the future of Nullsec it is also important to look back. This blog will show some of the metrics surrounding the Phase One changes and the current state of Nullsec space as we prepare to launch into Phase Two.
Our development team takes multiple approaches to evaluate the effects of any changes to EVE Online.
First, we actively play the game and evaluate how our own experiences change as the design changes. Yes, there are several members of our team playing actively in Sovereignty space. No, I won’t tell you what their character names are. :)
We also have access to many sources of direct player feedback. We read the forums, listen to your stories and requests at player gatherings, chat with members of the Council of Stellar Management (who you should go vote for if you haven’t already) and more.
Finally, we have access to metrics that display the bigger picture of trends in player activity. Using metrics and statistics to reach conclusions must always be done with care (correlation does NOT equal causation), but in a game as huge and diverse as EVE they can be a crucial tool. This last category is one that you as players often lack access to, as when sharing data we must always be wary of the danger that some players might use our information to gain an unfair advantage over others. This blog will focus largely on giving you a glimpse into some of the metrics that we watch to help us judge the effects of Phase One of our Nullsec efforts.
We will split the metrics shown in this blog into four categories, each representing one aspect of our goals for Phoebe and Phase One. These categories are:
Nullsec Population and General Activity
Nullsec PVP Activity
Capital Ship Activity
Generally the graphs displayed below are labelled with the date of the Jump Fatigue announcement blog (October 1st 2014) and the date of the Phoebe release (November 4th 2014). The lack of labels on the Y axis is intentional, as we want to minimize the ability of clever players to use this data to gain advantages over others. What I can tell you is that for the unlabelled graphs, the Y axis begin at 0 and increase linearly (no cheating). None of the data in the graphs below is normalized by any other factor.
The distinct time periods that are worth watching are:
Without further ado, let’s jump into the discussion!
We’ll start with this category as it’s the most generally applicable. It also happens to be the clearest cut in its results.
The following graph displays a two week rolling average of the number of characters on active (subscribed) accounts that are in Nullsec space (either in space or docked in a station within Nullsec) each day. For this metric, we’re generally happier with higher numbers. Increases represent a combination of players moving to Nullsec, existing Nullsec players bringing a higher percentage of their characters into Nullsec space, and older Nullsec players resubscribing.
For a metric as stable as this one, the changes seen at the Phoebe release are quite extraordinary. At the beginning of November we saw a rapid increase in the total Nullsec population, which has been followed by robust and steady growth over the following four months. Subscriber demographic data over the same period of time suggests that a major factor contributing to the immediate Phoebe increase was an influx of Russian speaking players taking advantage of the power vacuum in the South and East of Nullsec space created by Phoebe’s power projection changes. At the same time, other organizations such as the Phoebe Freeport Republic were also able to gain footholds in the newly available Nullsec space and contributed by bringing in players that would have struggled to carve out their own territory pre-Phoebe.
The release of the celebrated This is EVE trailer came after the initial period of rapid growth, but likely contributed to the subsequent steady rise in population.
As we prepare to launch into Phase Two, we would ideally like to see more growth in this metric. Our hope is that by designing mechanics that allow a wider variety of organizations to claim their own space without requiring the support of massive powerblocks, more and more of our players will see opportunities to have fun in Nullsec space.
The next graph is not particularly important for evaluating the success or failure of Phase One, as the Phoebe changes directly affected the baseline. Jumps per day is normally a valuable metric for determining overall player activity but since the Phase One changes directly encouraged more travel by gates and less use of teleportation we would expect a dramatic increase no matter what. If this graph hadn’t increased we would have been very worried. J
The real use of this metric will be later as we evaluate Phase Two. As the next set of changes do not involve direct changes to power projection we would hope that an increase in Nullsec jumps over the summer would reflect an overall increase in player engagement.
We also watch a wide variety of other metrics related to general life in Nullsec space. The results of these range from very positive (+23.6% increase in manufacturing jobs per day in Nullsec since Phoebe) to somewhat positive (+5% increase in NPC kills per day in Nullsec since Phoebe) to fairly neutral (+0.7% increase in mining volume per day in Nullsec since Phoebe).
This is one of the most important areas of evaluation, and will likely be one of the most controversial. PVP is a huge part of EVE, including Nullsec gameplay. Our hope with Phase One was that with a reasonable expectation that people from halfway across the galaxy won’t suddenly appear on top of you, players would be more willing to engage in PVP. We also hoped that the increased localism that would come with slower travel for the great powers, new conflicts would spark between groups that might not get a chance to fight otherwise.
The following graph displays a two week rolling average of total PVP kills in Nullsec space:
These numbers are going in the direction we like to see, but in order to get the real picture of what’s going on we need to dig a little deeper. Firstly, is this increase simply coming from more people dying in cheap frigates? The following graph displays the same two week rolling average of the ISK value of PVP kills in Nullsec space:
By this metric, the gains are more modest, but are still dramatic and clearly visible.
However this data may still seem at odds with the personal experiences of some players. The feedback we are hearing directly from players is very mixed on this issue, with many claiming that they are experiencing much more PVP activity since Phoebe and many others claiming that their PVP experience is stagnating over the same period. Both experiences are completely true and valid, but each only reflects one part of the overall picture.
What if we look at the change in total PVP activity since the Phase One dev blog for each Nullsec region individually?
This clearly demonstrates that certain areas are showing major increases in conflict since Phase One was announced. In general, these areas are in the space that was occupied by the N3 coalition before Phoebe. With the release of Phase One, that coalition moved to take new space in Delve and Querious, and reduced their presence in several of their previously held regions. This power vacuum was quickly filled by competing factions looking to stake their own claim in Nullsec, and became host to a great deal of PVP activity.
Another way to look at this regional distribution of conflict since the beginning of Phase One is to split Nullsec into six sections based on the type of NPC found in their regional asteroid belts. We can then look at each of those superregions and observe the changes in PVP activity over time.
The following graph displays the percentage change in PVP activity in each of these super-regions since the release of the Phase One Dev Blog on October 1st.
You can see that over these months significant increases in conflict occurred within the Drone Regions (which eventually settled down) and within Nullsec regions occupied by Angel Cartel and Sansha’s Nation NPCs.
This explains why we tend to hear such dramatically different feedback on the amount of PVP activity since the beginning of Phase One. If you live in the swath of Nullsec space between Stain and Perrigen Falls, you have probably experienced significantly increased PVP in your home regions. If you live in the rest of Nullsec, you have probably experienced similar rates of PVP activity to what came before.
So the truth of this metric is that overall Nullsec PVP activity has significantly increased during Phase One so far, but that activity is distributed unevenly across Nullsec space. Communicating larger trends that may not be reflected by individual experiences is always a challenge, but that doesn’t change the facts of the EVE-wide pattern. We hope that the changes we have coming in Phase Two will make some major progress towards bringing these PVP opportunities to ALL areas of Sovereignty space, including those areas that have not seen the benefits of Phase One yet.
Before we wrap this section up, I want to quickly address one of the other questions that we have seen raised surrounding this trend. Some people have suggested that the overall increase in PVP activity may be largely caused by the conflict between the HERO Coalition and Pandemic Legion. Now it is true that the HERO Coalition represents a huge chunk of all Nullsec PVP activity. Since forming a year ago their largest alliance, the Brave Collective, has placed second out of every alliance in EVE for total ISK-value destroyed in Nullsec PVP, and third place in ISK lost. Over the past two weeks, a total of 38.1% of all PVP kills in Nullsec have had a member of the HERO Coalition as either the final blow or the victim. It makes perfect sense to assume that any wars the HERO Coalition engages in will have a big impact on these metrics.
However the truth is that the HERO Coalition was already involved in 31.6% of all Nullsec PVP kills in the two weeks before the Phase One Dev Blog was released. The number of kills involving the HERO Coalition has increased at a faster rate than the rest of Nullsec, but even if you completely remove all killmails with a HERO member as the final blow or victim the rate of other PVP kills in Nullsec has still increased by 22.1% since the Dev Blog was released.
Since capital ship travel mechanics played such a big part in Phase One and Phoebe, this is an area with a lot of potential for change. As we mentioned in the original Phase One Dev Blog, we hoped that the reduced chance of being hotdropped would provide more opportunities for people to feel comfortable using small numbers of capital ships in PVP. The general reduction in capital power projection would also have the potential to reduce many other types of capital ship use, but our hope had been that capital ship usage in PVP would increase overall.
The feedback we have been hearing directly from players has been a mixed bag on this topic. In general we are hearing a lot of happiness from lowsec capital users, and a combination of some neutral and some negative feedback about the opportunities to use capital ships in Nullsec space.
The following graph displays a two week rolling average of PVP damage dealt by capital and supercapital ships (in all areas of space). It does not include delegated fighters, and does include structure shooting. The battles of HED-GP and B-R5RB from earlier in the year are clearly visible.
Overall the PVP damage dealt by capital ships has remained fairly steady. We would have ideally liked to see this number rise with Phase One, but stability is better than decreases. With Phase Two we would expect this number to fall quite significantly as the amount of structure shooting drops dramatically. We’ll be keeping an eye on it as we go forward.
The next graph shows a two week rolling average of the total number of capital ships killed per day. The big capital battles at the beginning of the year once again stand out very clearly.
In this metric we can clearly see a modest increase. This is considered a good sign as more explosions suggest that some pilots are feeling more comfortable putting their capital ships into harm’s way.
The rate of systems changing hands in Sovereignty provides a solid indicator of strategic conflict in Nullsec space. Increases in this metric tend to go along with major wars, and extended periods containing few system flips tends to indicate stagnation.
We were hoping for a significant increase in system flips per day during Phase One, with the theory that increased localism from the power projection changes would allow a number of smaller Sov conflicts as non-superpower organizations claim their own chunks of territory.
The results of Phase One on this metric have been noticeable and positive, however we would have been happier with a higher status quo over the past three months.
An initial spike is obvious as alliances made diplomatic deals to transfer space and moved around the map to prepare for the post-Phoebe Nullsec. Although this spike momentarily surpassed the peaks during the Fountain and Halloween Wars visible earlier on the graph, it is not by itself a real indicator of lasting Nullsec health. After the spike, the continued fighting (mainly focused in regions containing Angel NPCs) has generated Sov activity that is acceptable but not particularly exceptional. The new status quo appears to be about four times larger than the status quo in the months immediately preceding the Phase One Dev Blog, and approximately match the periods between wars in 2013.
If Phase Two is a success, we would ideally like to see a significantly higher status quo, less reliant on bursts of activity from major wars.
Thanks for joining me for this look back on the metrics surrounding Phase One of our Nullsec changes. Huge thanks to every player who has discussed their own Nullsec experience with us, and helped provide feedback for all our changes so far. I encourage all of you to check out our new Dev Blog covering the plans for Phase Two, and to provide us your feedback on those designs. We will be looking to talk with you all on the forums as well as in person at Fanfest later this month!
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This is CCP Affinity on behalf of Team Space Glitter and we would like to show you some week one stats on The Drifters that we released with Tiamat.
One of our goals with The Drifters was to further iterate on the new NPC AI we released with the Circadian Seekers. It has been awesome to see how you all adapt to new challenges and we hope to continue reprogramming the NPCs of New Eden.
Since the release of Tiamat, 247 Drifters have died at the hands of capsuleers. It was very impressive to see how quickly you all adapted and on day one you managed to take down 43 drifters. Huge congratulations to Vo3blka who was the first capsuleer to defeat a Drifter with his Chimera!
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This is quite the difference when compared to the Circadian Seekers deaths.
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Of course, The Drifters do not react well to player interference and they have killed 1,093 capsuleers in total. The first capsuleer to hunt down a Drifter and face the mighty superweapon was Dontshoot Him, who lost a Stiletto in their efforts closely followed by uhnboy ghost in a Cerberus and PschoStarSkanner in a Buzzard. So far a rather impressive 129,593,602,454 ISK has been lost to The Drifters!
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If we compare the ISK destroyed by all NPCs in EVE, Capsuleers and Drifters, it looks a bit like this:
The most expensive ships lost so far to The Drifters are a Machariel at 3,792,142,502ISK and a Tengu at 3,618,369,204ISK (not including insurance).
Here is a breakdown of Drifter kills by Ship Class:
It also appears The Drifters are not a jubilant bunch! My favorite kill mail to date is one from capsuleer, Jelly Fat, who tried to welcome the new residents of New Eden with a firework celebration.
It seems The Drifters don’t care much for fireworks….
We are really enjoying watching all the creative ways you have come up with to interact with the new NPC AI and we look forward to seeing how you tackle the next phase!
Although us balance-oriented folks have been very busy working on things like the NPE and Sov (!?), we took some time aside to put together a high-impact pass for Scylla (March 24) and I want to tell you about it!
As always, we are reading your feedback, monitoring spaceship trends in New Eden and doing retrospectives on our past changes. Based on those channels, I want to go through some of issues that we feel warrant change and also discuss one that we feel doesn’t.
Let’s start with some changes:
The problem: Ishtars are too good. They are squashing out diversity in several environments because of their excellent damage projection and solid survivability
Our thoughts: - First, we wanted to establish whether the problem was more about the Ishtar or more about Sentry Drones. The data makes a pretty convincing case that it really is mostly the Ishtar. While several other ships (Dominix, Navy Vexor, Archon, etc.) are making use of sentries, none of them are anywhere near as sentry reliant as the Ishtar and none of them are coming close to the overall damage that Ishtars represent on TQ. After deciding to just make a change to Ishtars, we considered what approach would be the most elegant. Options included changes to the bonuses, changes to base attributes (moving a mid slot was one example here), or possibly screwing around with sentry drone bandwidth use and adjusting other ships as needed. Eventually we settled on the bonuses, even though it means having the only drone damage bonus below 10% per level in the game.
THOSE GOSH DARN TENGUS
The problem: We’ve been saying for a long time that T3 cruisers are in need of a rebalance. Subsystem variation isn’t nearly as high as we would want, certain configurations are too strong and overall the class doesn’t represent the kind of flexibility we want from Tech 3. We still don’t have time to do the full pass quite yet, but we don’t feel okay letting the strongest configurations continue to run rampant without change.
Approach: The extreme resilience provided by the defensive subsystems is where we want to focus our efforts for now. This group of subs is allowing effective hp numbers that far exceed that of competing classes (like more than double), even though Tech 3 cruisers offer plenty of extra utility and compare fine in areas like signature and damage. By lowering the % hp bonuses from 10% to 7.5% for the Proteus/Legion and from 10% to 5% for the Tengu we expose a little more tradeoff for that added flexibility. We still have a more complete balance pass scheduled for Tech 3 cruisers, but for now this will help bring the class in line.
Legion Defensive - Adaptive Augmenter
Legion Defensive - Augmented Plating
Legion Defensive - Nanobot Injector
Legion Defensive - Warfare Processor
Loki Defensive - Adaptive Augmenter
Loki Defensive - Adaptive Shielding
Loki Defensive - Warfare Processor
Proteus Defensive - Adaptive Augmenter
Proteus Defensive - Augmented Plating
Proteus Defensive - Nanobot Injector
Proteus Defensive - Warfare Processor
• Tengu Defensive - Adaptive Shielding
Tengu Defensive - Supplemental Screening
Problem: Carriers and Super Carriers assisting fighters to small, fast ships from the virtually 100% safe edge of starbase shields is becoming more and more common. Victims and perpetrators alike are expressing frustration and it’s time to take action.
Approach: Rather than a data based decision, this one is really about design philosophy. In general, we want there to be risk associated with power. We also want to promote active gameplay as much as possible. We're failing on both with Skynet by having very little risk associated with something rather powerful, and we're also not providing any gameplay to the carrier pilot.
However, this problem quickly leads us down a path of needing to redesign capitals in general (which would be nice but it isn’t happening just yet). We also have some hesitation about the lost tactical gameplay that comes from larger scale applications of fighter assist. That said, this problem needs to get addressed. We discussed choosing to expose Skynet carriers to more risk rather than taking away the ability to assist fighters, but in the end this solution felt more convoluted and in reality would probably end skynetting but would still leave a strange and unneeded mechanic in the game.
Therefore our proposal is to simply remove fighter assist.
Additional notes: Removing fighter assist raises the question of whether or not fighters should still warp. We would lean towards not, as usually it is undesirable to have your fighters go chasing off grid when you want the damage to stay put. But, once again this chips away at fighter uniqueness. We would really appreicate feedback on this issue so please tell us what you think.
Problem: We over-buffed a bit here. The result is that fleet meta is heavily favoring rail doctrines in most cases that drones aren’t the main damage source.
Approach: - Quick looks at usage metrics show that even though we are in the best place for medium weapon balance in TQ history, rails show a pretty significant advantage in damage done over beams, arties and heavy missiles, as you can see below:
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Note: look at those “Drake era” heavy missiles, goodness gracious!
Proposed change: We want to reduce rate of fire for all medium rail guns by 7.5%. This brings their actual dps down by about 7%, which puts them in a more even place relative to other medium long range weapons, opening up some more flexibility in fleet comps for other cruisers.
Note: Shout-out here to CSM member mynnna for a great internal discussion on this topic. He raised the point that if you look at these weapon systems on their own, rather than comparing the ships using them, they look very balanced. It would follow then that the problem is more about Tengu, Eagle and Vulture than about rails. However, we can never look at weapon systems or ships without taking the other into consideration. The relationship between cap use of energy weapons and ships with cap use bonuses for energy weapons is another good example where trying to look at one without the other causes problems. We are therefore happy to consider balancing via the weapons or the ships depending on which fits the situation best. In this case, we are happy to use rails as the avenue because it is much simpler for us to design and you to adjust to.
BATTLECRUISER AND BATTLESHIP VIABILITY
Problem: Strong community sentiment that battleships and battlecruisers are not viable currently and that the biggest reason is warp speed changes.
We took a fresh look at this issue to make sure we were on the same page as a game design department and this is how we approached it: we started by going over usage metrics and once again saw that clearly that both classes are getting heavy use and are being effective by any measure we have available. Have a look at this awesome graph of PVP damage by class:
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It is also clear that with the HAC rebalance, along with bomber popularity, combat BCs are not getting as much action as they did when they were the end-all class in EVE a couple years ago. As the meta shifted away from combat BCs down to more frigs and cruisers, battleships aren't the right answer as often as they used to be. One good result here is that we see much higher damage per attacker the larger the classes get, generally, i.e. fewer battleships in space, but, when they are used they are potent. Finally, we talked about warp speed changes and once again considered whether the tactical depth added is worth the inconvenience of roaming in battleships and agreed that it is. An interesting point of comparison is agility and align time. We would all want our ship to align as fast as a Stiletto, or at least a Stabber, but if everything at the same align time we would lose a lot of strategic depth.
Proposed change: None. We are pretty happy with the state of class variation right now and see no reason to make changes.
THE END PART
That’s what I have for you for now. Even though there is so much more to do (hello bombers, supers, ECM and missiles!), we believe ship and module balance in EVE is in one of the best positions we’ve seen in a long time. We hope to keep improving based on these great guiding principles that my colleague and dance partner, CCP Fozzie, outlined some time ago:
Thanks for reading, see you in space o/
EVE developers have been quite busy in the past few weeks working on gameplay features, which is good because that‘s what they are supposed to do! But concurrently, various members of these teams have also been working on a cross-disciplinary project called EVE UI Modernization.
Our latest efforts in this project is to deliver on a promise we identified as one of the principles of the EVE UI: a holistic icon strategy where we make all things in EVE that have a uniquely defined role, function or purpose have their own distinctive icon. This plan needs to be taken in steps because it covers pretty much everything in our client, from item icons to UI icons and will take time to fulfill. The long term goal is that in the foreseeable future we will no longer see the same item icon for two different modules or other things. For now however, we are starting with UI icons only and the first thing we want to tackle is icons displayed in the Overview and in-space environment.
What are the goals?
We want to ensure that all items which exists in the game and have a uniquely defined role, function or purpose should have their own distinctive icon.
Where should we start?
When we released the Ship Identification System we created new Ship Groups to identify different ship classes and sizes with unique icons. The plan was to introduce them to other areas of the game once they had proven themselves within the Ship Identification System. It was a low risk to introduce it there first since it didn’t have direct impact on high-stakes gameplay. When we first designed them we wanted them to be distinguishable from each other at a glance. At the time of validating that, we would always have all the icons visible together so it was easy to distinguish them by having them all visible to compare against each other. We needed to cater to the use case of them popping up one by one without the luxury of seeing the other ones to compare. We therefore did some slight iteration to them to ensure they would be recognizable on their own as well. However, we did not want to drastically change them because the underlying style had proven itself and players have learned to identify them individually.
Ship Group Icons – Design Sheet:
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The new Ship Group Icons are almost identical to the old ones but with slight important iterations to help identify them more easily on their own.
So we decided to take on the icons in the Overview and make sure to never have the situation where an icon was used for multiple things that had different role, function or purpose.
What are we changing?
We decided to look at all things that can be displayed in the Overview and put them into 4 primary categories:
Once we had iterated on the Ship Groups we wanted to also tackle NPC ships and make them consistent so that all ship groups would have the same base look. We re-authored all icons tied to NPCs, making them visually consistent with player ships with an added ‘+’ icon in the upper-right corner to identify NPC ships specifically. This was to address the fact that some NPCs can be neutral and are therefore displayed in the same white color as player ships but also to ensure that we are not using color as the primary method of identification but rather as a secondary emphasis. This is part of our ongoing mission to use shapes as the primary way of identifying UI objects, which should cater specifically well to those with color blindness, but is also simply a proven preferred way for all humans to store information.
In-game sizes for Ship Group Icons:
Since we had our drawing pens in hand anyway and we had created a new authoring system for defining ship groups. We decided to go ahead and create new group icons for drones as well. Using the same reasoning as used for the initial design of Ship Groups we came up with a way to categorize drones in a way that would make sense and be of use in combat situations and other engagements with drones (not all interactions with drones are bad).
We created base shapes in a similar way we did for ships and different bulkiness feel to each size within a class to identify the sizes of the drones. Using the base shapes we then added attribute icons in the upper-right corner to identify the primary role, function or purpose of each drone. This will give a huge advantage for players that need to take strategic decisions regarding drone targeting as well as knowing at a glance what drones you, your allies or your foes have on grid.
Drone Group Icons – Design Sheet:
In-game sizes for Drone Group Icons:
We are currently doing extensive discovery (research) work on Structures in EVE so it made sense to make a longterm strategy for how we would display icons for them in the client. The rollout of this will of course rely on the progress of the much larger plan for structures so no promises for when this will go out, but we still wanted to show it to you to give you all the details of our complete icon strategy.
Structure Group Icons – Design Sheet:
In-game sizes for Structure Group Icons:
The final names and even amount of structure groups are very much work in progress and might very well change in the coming weeks. But the underlying strategy for how they are visually represented is very much in alignment with our approach for the Ship Groups and Drone Groups. We use a base shape to identify that this is a structure (the downward facing bracket at the top). Then we use a specific shape to identify the purpose and finally show that base shape in different sizes to represent the different structure size. In this current design example, the Small, Medium and Large represent structures for Personal, Corporate and Alliance use. But again, such details on the functions and mechanics of structures might change.
The Celestials group had the most interesting cases. We couldn’t simply just say that all things that were different should have different icons. We need to make sure we are not introducing too many things for players to learn so we had to also be selective to what things were worth having a distinction between. We definitely felt ships, drones and structures with different roles, function and purpose fully deserved unique icons, but what about different celestials. Even if they are different in some ways, do they deserve a unique icon? Is there actual gameplay difference that supports that decision? The things we looked at where things like suns, planets, belts and sites.
We decided not to make different icons for different types of suns because at least currently we don’t have specific gameplay around suns. If we would however then we would be sure to revisit the icons so this icon strategy is a living breathing effort that will react to any interesting changes to gameplay.
Another thing we consciously did not want to differentiate was different wormhole classes. The classes are not supposed to be easily spotted at a glance but rather something you investigate and explore so we did not want to tinker with the interesting mysterious gameplay that provides.
With so many new icons introduced into the Overview we had to make sure the old ones still made sense on their own. We therefore looked at all the existing icons to see if there was a way to improve them based on the strategy we used when creating the new group icons for ships, drones and structures.
Many of the icons have existed in the game since the initial launch and if we had the chance to rethink them visually we probably would have done things slightly different knowing what we know now. So we did an iteration pass on all the existing icons, making changes based on our strategy and goals where it made sense by having all things with unique purpose have unique icons. We still wanted to make sure we weren’t just change things for the sake of changing them, because we completely understand that many of these icons have become stored both in our player’s long term memory and in their muscle memory, but as things have evolved throughout the years some icons have become too out of style with the overall visual strategy. We hope to have a good discussion with the community regarding these proposed changes to reach a consensus that brings added value to the community in the long run.
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How will this look in client?
We could try to explain it to you and say that we think it looks great and that we believe it will make interactions, encounters and engagements much more interesting once they are on TQ. But instead of all that, let us just show you. We are deploying this to SiSi now so that you can try it out for yourself so go and check it out and give us your thoughts and feedback on it. We want this to have a positive and meaningful impact on gameplay and ask that you try it out with an open mind. All drastic changes to iconography takes time to get used to, but we hope with time you will be able to recognize at a glance a much broader range of things in your surrounds than before.
If you can’t for some reason check it out on SiSi right away, here is a screenshot from our development client that shows how the client looks with the new icons.
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If you feel like you need more details, check out the video recording of the o7 show from February 26th 2015. There we presented in more details how it will look in client.
Once we have polished these icons and validated that they are bringing you the value we intended for them, we want to find ways to include them wherever it makes sense to have them. We also want to make sure 3rd party developers can get their hands on these new icons once they have been finalized and validated. We will send out a news announcement when that time comes and we have updated the IEC zip files.
That’s it for now folks. From the various feature team developers working tirelessly on both features and the UI Modernization project we hope you like these changes and are willing to try them out and give us your feedback. Give us your thoughts in the blog comments and if you happen to be coming to Fanfest this year there will be plenty of panels and roundtables to discuss in great details all things related to the UI Modernization project.
Fly safer and more informed with more descriptive icons.
Welcome to another Fanfest 2015 blog, exploring more of the fun that’s coming up in roughly a month here in Reykjavik, Iceland. Tickets are selling fast, Devs are beginning to form allegiances for pub crawl groups (with inter-office smacktalk), and Fanfest is in general shaping up to be another epic celebration of all things New Eden.
We’ve already had dev blogs relating to EVE TV, the Silent Auction, Player Speakers and the Quafe Ship Lineup for Fanfest, and we’ll have more details soon regarding the final schedule and further events from CCP Legion.
Today, I’d like to talk about cosplay at Fanfest!
We’ve noticed over the years that more than a few of our players like to take a shot at putting together outfits to celebrate EVE, or show their allegiance to a particular faction when they come to Fanfest. This is always great to see, and the creativity is often pretty cool, so we’d like to start promoting this further with a little competition this year.
If it proves popular, we’ll then look at expanding on the idea at future Fanfest events.
So, firstly, lets talk about format and a few rules to get things started!
Rules, you say?
Winners will be contacted via email and announced over the Fanfest PA system each day at 16:00 and are expected to return to the community area when notified for details of how to claim their prizes.
A demonstration of how not to cosplay at Fanfest, by GM Spider
There have however been examples of cool cosplay and makeup at Fanfest:
...and even some CCPers have gotten involved in the past:
CCP Guard also likes to cosplay… as… uhh… himself:
As previously explained, each day there will be three winners and a total of three prize packages. These will be awarded as first, second and third prize, and each day’s prizes are themed (although your cosplay does not need to fit the theme of the prizes for that day.)
Prize breakdown is below, with each outfit modelled by CCP Affinity and CCP Falcon, who will also be your cosplay contest judges!
Day One – Guristas Theme
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Day Two – Sansha’s Nation Theme
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Day Three – Blood Raider Theme
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Grand Prize (Awarded on Day 3):
*Given that some people who may want to enter the contest may be leaving on the Sunday or Monday after Fanfest, we will also offer the option for the office tour and lunch to be postponed until Fanfest 2016, alongside the all access pass. These prizes are also transferrable at the discretion of the winner, so they can give them to a friend, should they not be able to make it to Fanfest 2016.
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So, how to enter?
You can submit your entry to the cosplay contest each day from 10:00 – 12:00 UTC in the Capsuleer Lounge, where myself and CCP Affinity will be waiting to take your photograph and your details for your entry.
Each day’s winners will be read out over the Fanfest PA system at 16:00 UTC, and attendees will need to come down to the lounge to pick up their prizes and receive information on how to claim their ingame items.
So, start preparing those outfits, and make sure to stop by the community lounge to submit your entry when you arrive at Fanfest!
Also, if you’re in cosplay at the Party on Top of the World, catch up with myself and CCP Affinity, and maybe we’ll have a surprise for you!
If you haven’t already picked up your Fanfest 2015 tickets, there’s still time, and you can do so on the official Fanfest 2015 website!
Looking forward to seeing you all in Iceland soon!
@CCP_Falcon & @CCP_Affinity
The Download-on-Demand (DoD) client is now coming to the Singularity test-server. What does this mean? If you have not read the Dev blog about Download on Demand Client for EVE Online by CCP Snorlax, I strongly recommend you have a look!
This changes how we deploy the EVE Online client. No longer will you have to download an install package that is 7GB in size. The installer size will now be around 350-400MB and will install the game code, but all resources (textures, models, etc.) will be downloaded on-demand by the EVE Client.
The default location for the resource-files on Windows is “C:\ProgramData\CCP\EVE\SharedCache”, but you will be able to choose your custom location. On Mac, the path is /Library/Application Support/EVE Online/p_drive/Local Settings/Application Data/CCP/EVE/SharedCache. This location is not configurable. The main driver for this change is to get players into the game quicker, both players that are coming to EVE Online for the first time and battle-hardened vets players patching after updates. The EVE Client will then download the resources as it needs them and cache them to disk, so any given resource is only downloaded once.
Since everyone playing EVE Online already has an EVE folder, you might ask if you need to download the full client in this manner again. You will not. We have included a way to unpack your stuff file (resources) to the cache location of your choice.
When you first log onto SISI after DoD deployment you will be asked if you want to convert your existing resources to the new shared folder. I recommend doing so. When you have done so, you will have a shared resources location that all of your EVE Clients will eventually use.. Tranquility (TQ), yes! SISI, yes! Multiple clients, yes! The upshot here is that apart from helping us testing this client, when we deploy the DoD client to TQ, you will already have the majority of resources and therefore the patching will be minimal.
This brings us to a very important thing:
You should have a separate Singularity- install for the initial DoD deployment. This is already stated in the instruction-link on How to setup a Singularity Test-server, and I'd imagine that anyone that's ever tried to run both Tranquility and Singularity off the same install will tell you it is not the best idea. This is even more important now, as failing to do so will force you to re-install your Tranquility client. I repeat – do not simply point your Tranquility launcher to Singularity.
We are very much interested in hearing how the unpacking process goes, as this is something we do expect most, (if not all) players currently on Tranquility to go through. If you do go through this unpacking step, you should not experience any difference in your gameplay. We will most likely ask the good citizens of SISI at some point to participate in a mass-test where we will ask you to not use the shared resources. This would mean moving the resource folder to a different location while we run the mass-test. The purpose would be to see how the DoD-client performs in heavy scenes when every player is downloading assets on demand. We will message this when the time comes.
Apart from this one-time step of converting the existing resource files into new files in a shared location, you should really not notice any difference in playing EVE Online with this version of the client.
On behalf of Team RnB,
Like every year since the dawn of human history (or the part if it that matters at least), EVE TV will bring Fanfest to homes around the globe through a high quality live stream!
Minutes before going live at Fanfest 2014
On the hour we stream keynotes, panels and presentations and in between sessions we bring interesting people on set to discuss interesting things and give those of you at home a glimpse behind the scenes at Fanfest.
This year we want to try something new. We want to see if there are players coming to Fanfest who would like to host some of these segments and run interviews. We’re not looking to dump a job on you that will take up a lot of your time during Fanfest, but rather giving a select few the chance to host a short segment or two for space friends far and wide.
To apply you must be:
Big bonus points for:
Please submit your application to firstname.lastname@example.org before midnight on Sunday March 1st with the subject line “EVE TV Host” and we will get back to you with a yay or a nay.
Please include the following information:
Our floor correspondent CCP Phantom ready to brave the masses. Do you have what it takes?
Coming to Fanfest but not interested in playing host but have something important or fun to talk about or showcase? Contact us anyway with the subject line “Fanfest interview idea” and we might slot you in for an interview on New Eden’s number one TV station!
Are you watching Fanfest from home? Please jump on the comment thread and tell us what you would like to see us do and talk about on the stream. We want to make the viewing experience as great as we can for you.
We look forward to hearing from you all!
- The EVE TV Crew]]>