Category Archives: ccp-games

EVE Evolved: Have the Drifters conquered the Jove Empire?

EVE Online‘s Carnyx release is right around the corner on June 2nd, and it’s going to be a big update! The Caldari will finally get their tech 3 tactical destroyer with the release of the Jackdaw, a tough little ship that specialises in light missiles and rockets. We’re also getting some graphical tweaks, more cruiser-sized burner missions, and the long-awaited rebalance of afterburners, microwarpdrives, shield extenders, and armour plates. This release will also add the Entosis mechanic I’ve discussed in previous articles, though players will be able to use it only in a limited capacity to disable station services. While it’ll be good to see all of the above implemented, the thing that I’m most looking forward to is the opening of five more mysterious new wormhole systems as part of the advancing Drifter storyline. The new star systems can be reached via unidentified wormholes that appear in systems with Jove Observatories and appear to lead directly to Drifter space, where new group PvE challenges lie. This next step in EVE‘s storyline also seems set to tie everything new in the game together, from the upcoming structures and new capture mechanics to new PvE types and maybe even plans to eventually give players control over empire space. In this lore-filled edition of EVE Evolved, I delve into the story surrounding the Drifter menace, speculate on where the Jove fit into the picture, and look at how an in-character YouTube series is really bringing EVE‘s patches to life.

drifterpewpewDrifter wormholes

When unstable wormholes first began appearing across EVE in 2009, players stepped cautiously through into a completely alien star cluster that played by a very different set of rules. It took months for players to fully figure out the workings of wormhole space and the mechanics behind the new Sleeper NPCs and exploration sites. Players faced the challenge of setting up permanent homes in the void, learned all there was to be learned about the Sleepers, and spent years concocting strategies for fighting in this new environment. CCP has been trying to recapture this sense of exploration with additions like the shattered wormhole systems and Thera wormhole hub, and it looks as if the new Drifter wormholes will really help rekindle that same explorer’s curiosity. While the original wormhole systems were full of decaying ruins and the destroyed remains of the ancient Sleeper empire, the five new Drifter wormholes contain shiny new structures of such massive scales that they put titans and existing space stations completely to shame. The Drifter systems are named Sentinel, Barbican, Vidette, Redoubt, and Conflux, and each one contains five unique unidentified anomalies to tackle. Each system also contains one main PvE complex that requires a group of players to complete as there are multiple objectives that must be tackled simulataneously to progress. Your fleet will have to split up and go down two separate paths to complete these objectives, then join back together for the final room. It’s not yet known what kind of loot we can expect from these systems or how difficult the Drifters will be to take down.

drifterheadsWhat do we know about the Drifters?

Drifter battleships showed up just a few months ago, shortly after the Circadian Seekers appeared in empire space and began scanning everything in sight. The steady flow of news pieces and videos on the Drifters has since revealed some startling information on their origins, and the forum and EVEblogs have been alive with speculation for months. It now seems that the Drifters were originally confined to within the Sleeper virtual environment and used the Circadian Seekers to reach out and explore the galaxy. The Seekers are definitely of Sleeper origin, and their arrival was followed by cloaked Jove observatories appearing throughout known space. We later discovered that the Circadian Seekers were harvesting our corpses to rebuild their bodies and leave Sleeper constructs as Drifters. Powerful Drifter battleships then appeared on the scene with technology far in excess of what the Sleepers should be capable of. They began forcibly dismantling the Jove observatories and transporting an unusual material called Antikythera back through unidentified wormholes that players currently can’t enter. We’ll be able to go through those wormholes into the five core Drifter systems once the patch lands on Tuesday, but players on the test server have already visited a few of them and begun filling in some of the gaps in our knowledge. The biggest and most recent plot twist was the discovery of both Sleeper wreckage and Jove corpses near the massive Drifter structures, leading to wild speculation on how the powerful but elusive Jove Empire ties in with the Drifter storyline.

jovestationDigging into the Jove mystery

When the other races technologically regressed with the collapse of the EVE Gate, the Jove used cloning and genetic engineering to adapt to their environments and survive. As an unintended side-effect of meddling with their own genome, all Jove eventually die of an incurable genetic condition calledThe Jovian Disease that makes them go insane and kill themselves. The Sleepers broke away from the Jove Empire millennia ago and went into suspended animation to avoid the disease, while the remaining Jove continued advancing in technology in the hopes of finding a cure. To survive as a species, the Jove eventually placed most of their population into cryogenic stasis aboard three motherships and sent them off to find a more suitable home. Though they eventually left the motherships and settled Jove Prime, the ships themselves and the stasis technology were retained. When Sansha’s Nation managed to conquer a Jove station a few years back, players speculated that the Jove race must have died out or gone back into stasis. It’s possible then that the Circadian Seekers may have got a hold of a mothership filled with sleeping Jove and probed its inhabitants’ minds for information. That would explain how they knew where to find the Jove Observatories, where they got the corpses to create all of their soldiers, and where they got their impressive new technology. Drifter ships fire a green beam weapon that bears a striking similarity to the Jove beam weapons from the The Battle of Vak’Atioth, and the recent Drifter autopsy showed that they are similar to the Jove. It looks as if the Drifters have essentially inherited the Jove’s technology, built colossal structures inside five shattered wormhole systems, and are now churning out ships in possible preparation for war with New Eden.

shieldgenBringing patches to life through lore

If you’ve been paying attention to the EVE Onlinechannel on YouTube, you’ve probably caught a glimpse of the recent video series from in-game news channel The Scope. The channel has released a few videos on the capsuleer fighting in New Eden, but its primary purpose is to introduce new content and technology in a fully immersive in-game way. When we got the SKIN technology that lets us change ship skins while in space, The Scope ran a story on a notorious narcotics smuggler using a new prototype camoflage system to paint his ship and pretend it was a different ship. With the impending release of the Caldari Jackdaw, the channel similarly put together a story onthe Caldari Navy pressing the ship into service and the Gallente joining the arms race with its own tactical destroyer due later this year. The latest video is an announcement from Empress Jamyl Sarum of the Amarr empire, and it paves the way for all the tasty new structures we’ll be getting in the coming months. Jamyl has somehow obtained and publicly released the specifications for the classified DED shield technology that makes NPC stations and stargates invulnerable to attack. While the technology isn’t compatible with ships, it can reportedly be installed on a range of structure sizes. The lore reason for the reveal is that capsuleers will need the technology to fight the Drifters, but it’s basically an excuse for why we will no longer shoot at structures and why the Entosis link will be neccessary to capture or destroy them. Another interesting possibility is that this opens up a way for CCP to let players take over stations and structures in empire space in the future. drifterfinalEVE Online has always been known as a game in which the players create the story, but the past few months have really flipped that on its head. The Drifter storyline is advancing at a rapid pace and is being used to cleverly explain many major gameplay changes in an in-character form. It gives me the impression that everything we’ve seen to date in wormholes has been just the tip of a very scary iceberg, as the Sleepers we’ve been hapilly farming for years are now finally free from their virtual environments and have technology lightyears ahead of our own. There are still plenty of unanswered questions, such as why the Drifters are massing ships for war and what their collossal new structures are for. Some also believe that the Drifters are actually the Talocan race, ancient Jovians, rogue drones taking over human bodies, or a terrible AI consciousness born within the Sleeper virtual environment. The action kicks off in just a few days when the Carnyx release goes live and explorers scramble to be the first to kick down the Drifter’s front door and unearth their secrets.
EVE Online expert Brendan ‘Nyphur’ Drain has been playing EVE for over a decade and writing the regular EVE Evolved column since 2008. The column covers everything from in-depth EVE guides and news breakdowns to game design discussions and opinion pieces. If there’s a topic you’d love to see covered, drop him a comment or send mail to brendan@massivelyop.com!

EVE’s Mosaic update is now live

CCP has successfully upgraded EVE Online with today’s Mosaic patch. The new Opportunities tutorial system is now available for all newbs, and the patch also introduces cruiser-sized burner missions, new structure assembly effects, a Tech 3 destroyer rebalance, a balance pass on low- and nullsec ores, and more. You can read the full patch notes here, or peruse the new Updates site for the highlights! [Source: Announcement post]

CCP would like you to buy some EVE ship SKINS in its cash shop

CCP is ramping up the focus on its cash shop thanks to a new dev blog examining EVE Online’s ship SKIN system. Ship skins are purchased in CCP’s item mall and may be bought or sold for ISK on the in-game market prior to activation. SKINs are used by activating them on a character, which then grants that character permanent access [...] http://massivelyop.net/2015/04/21/ccp-would-like-you-to-buy-some-eve-ship-skins-in-its-cash-shop/

EVE Evolved: How many subscriptions does EVE have?

Two weeks ago, a mathemagician over at The Nosy Gamer published some interesting calculations showing that EVE Online‘s subscriptions may have dropped by around 18% in the past two years. CCP has always prided itself on the fact that EVE has grown year-on-year since release, but the last official number we heard was when it reached 500,000 subscriptions back in [...] http://massivelyop.net/2015/04/19/eve-evolved-how-many-subscriptions-does-eve-have/

CCP recaps EVE Fanfest security presentation

CCP has published a quick post calling attention to its security and anti-cheat policies in EVE Online. The update is basically a recap of the 52-minute Team Security presentation at this month’s fanfest. Highlights include CCP’s strict stance on botting and ISK buying, both of which carry temporary bans for first-time offenders and permanent bans for second offenses. The firm [...] http://massivelyop.net/2015/04/13/ccp-recaps-eve-fanfest-security-presentation/

EVE Online fan calculates at least an 18% drop in subscriptions in the past two years

There used to be a time when CCP would eagerly release every new subscriber milestone that EVE Online hit, but that era has passed. For a while now, the studio has not publicly mentioned sub numbers, leaving the fanbase to wonder if the game’s population is declining. EVE player and blogger The Nosy Gamer engaged in a whirlwind of math [...] http://massivelyop.net/2015/04/07/eve-online-fan-calculates-at-least-an-18-drop-in-subscriptions-in-the-past-two-years/

EVE Evolved: Four lessons sandbox MMOs can learn from EVE

lessonsThe past few years have seen a resurgence of support for sandbox MMOs, both of the trying-to-be-minecraft creative kind and the hardcore nuke-it-from orbit PvP variety. We’ve partly got games like DayZ to thank for the latter, and with recently released survival MMO H1Z1 netting over a million sales while still in Early Access, that’s a trend that is sure [...] http://massivelyop.net/2015/04/05/eve-evolved-four-lessons-sandbox-mmos-can-learn-from-eve/

EVE Evolved: Rebuilding EVE’s corporation tools

EVE Evolved title image The MMO genre is defined by the online interactions of thousands of players, and nowhere is that more apparent than in the single-shard sandbox of EVE Online. While it's possible to play EVE solo, it's the players who make most of the game's meaningful content, and it's only in your emergent interactions with other players that I think the game truly comes to life. Some time ago, I wrote about the importance of CCP supporting EVE's power players, the corporation owners, fleet commanders, and event organisers who give the rest of us something fun to do. Now it looks like CCP is starting to deliver that support, with developers currently looking at updating EVE's archaic corp management tools.

CCP Punkturis recently asked corporation owners for a list of the most annoying "little things" they'd like to see fixed with the corporation management interface and was instead flooded with requests for big features and complete overhauls. Developers later confirmed on The o7 Show that at least one highly requested big feature is definitely on its way: CEOs will soon be able to switch off friendly-fire between corp members. The threat of corporate infiltrators attacking corp members has been a massive barrier preventing corps from recruiting new players, so its removal is good news for everyone (except spies). So now that corporation management is finally back on the drawing board, what other features do corp owners need?

In this edition of EVE Evolved, I look at a few ideas for corporation tools and features that would make EVE a better place for everyone.

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MassivelyEVE Evolved: Rebuilding EVE's corporation tools originally appeared on Massively on Sun, 18 Jan 2015 18:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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EVE Online patches in Proteus

 
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Deep space never looked as good in EVE Online as it does today, now that the Proteus release has gone live. This monthly update has made visual improvements to the Gallente Exequror and the asteroid fields that players will encounter on a regular basis. Other Proteus features include a balance pass on recon ships, additional high-end exploration sites, improvements to the beta star map, new player mining locations, and a streamlining of some module groups. You can check out the Proteus features page or read up on the patch notes for more info. EVE's next update, Tiamat, is scheduled for February 12th.

MassivelyEVE Online patches in Proteus originally appeared on Massively on Tue, 13 Jan 2015 15:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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EVE Online video gives brief ‘recon’ of Proteus

eve Sometimes all it takes is a good preview video to ratchet up one's personal excitement and anticipation over an upcoming release. If you're an EVE Online fan, then you might get that rush from the following brief video in which the devs outline Proteus' main features.

One of the biggest features of Proteus is a full rebalance for recon ships, including making them more sturdy and completely immune to directional scanners. The update will also contain the module tier side project, beta starmap tweaks, permanent places for newbies to mine, and visual improvements to one of the ships and asteroid belts.

Check out the video after the break!

Continue reading EVE Online video gives brief 'recon' of Proteus

MassivelyEVE Online video gives brief 'recon' of Proteus originally appeared on Massively on Fri, 09 Jan 2015 13:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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EVE Evolved: Fitting the Confessor for PvE and PvP

EVE Evolved title image December was a great month for EVE Online players, with the Rhea update opening new wormhole systems for the first time since 2009, updating the star map and all ships with amazing new visuals, and advancing the Sleeper storyline with mysterious cloaked structures appearing all over EVE and Sleeper NPCs making incursions into normal space. The update also brought us a ship-carrying freighter called the Bowhead and the first of a new line of tech 3 tactical destroyers called the Confessor. While every race will eventually get its own tech 3 destroyer, the Amarr Confessor was the first to be released due to the Amarr winning a research race player event.

Tactical Destroyers are a completely new class of ship in EVE with the ability to transform between three different combat modes in the middle of a fight to adapt to changing circumstances. Defense Mode boosts armour resistances and reduces the ship's signature radius, Propulsion Mode increases the ship's speed and agility, and Sharpshooter Mode increases turret optimal range and boosts the ship's sensors. With Confessor prices having now dropped below the 100 million ISK mark and more pilots finishing the skill training required, people have started figuring out some interesting ship setups for it.

In this edition of EVE Evolved, I check out a few of the Confessor setups players have devised so far and look at what makes this transforming terror tick.

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MassivelyEVE Evolved: Fitting the Confessor for PvE and PvP originally appeared on Massively on Sun, 04 Jan 2015 18:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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EVE Online plans security crackdown on RMT rule violators

eve Players who have been skirting EVE Online's TOS might find themselves on the bad side of a ban come 2015, as the studio is rolling out tougher rules on violators in the new year. CCP posted a security blog in which it outlined how real-money traders will be punished, as well as those engaging in other activities such as input broadcasting and multiplexing.

While CCP didn't post the number of bans it performed in 2014, it did show a few graphs illustrating where the problem areas lay. Banned accounts this year, permanent and temporary, were divided up by macro use (56%), ISK selling (18%), ISK buying (5%), modified clients (4%), ISK spamming (1%), and other (16%).

On the brighter side of news, the team is hard at work on January's Proteus patch with sneakier combat recon ships, improved asteroid belt visuals, and the retirement of industry teams.

[Thanks to Chrysillis for the tip!]

MassivelyEVE Online plans security crackdown on RMT rule violators originally appeared on Massively on Sun, 21 Dec 2014 16:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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EVE Online nixes industry teams

eve Not every new idea is going to take off and be a smash hit, as CCP definitely understands this as much as anyone. The EVE Online developer said that the implementation of industry teams earlier this year has been vastly underused, and as a result, teams will be removed from the game entirely in 2015.

"We have been closely tracking all related industry metrics and dials and it is apparent to us that usage of teams has been very low relative to the goals we set for it -- with single figure percentage use in manufacturing jobs and near nonexistent use in research," CCP wrote.

Industry teams had allowed players to hire NPCs to help out with industry jobs. The feature will be "methodically removed" over the next few months, although players will be able to use teams until they are forceably retired.

On another note, EVE tweeted that it has freed up over six million names from former trial players and has made them available for general use.

MassivelyEVE Online nixes industry teams originally appeared on Massively on Wed, 17 Dec 2014 17:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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EVE Online speeds up game installation and access

eve To "get people into the game quicker," CCP is smoothing out the download and installation process for EVE Online. This new method of deployment is scheduled to go into service at the start of 2015.

This means that the installation package will go from a 7GB download to a zippy 200MB one instead. Once that game client is up and running, it will then download the rest of the game's resources as needed.

"On a fast connection you probably won't notice much of a difference -- load times may be slightly longer at times. As you play more, more resources will be cached and fewer and fewer need to be downloaded. The client will be smart about pre-fetching resources it expects will be needed soon," the team said.

MassivelyEVE Online speeds up game installation and access originally appeared on Massively on Tue, 16 Dec 2014 17:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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EVE Evolved: The Sleepers are coming!

EVE Evolved title image Ever since the announcement of 100 new wormhole systems and the unique Thera wormhole hub system, some interesting things have been going on in EVE Online. A new star appeared in the night sky and began rapidly growing in brightness like a supernova, and curiously, the light from that star was able to be seen from every star system in New Eden simultaneously in clear violation of the laws of physics. Two days prior to the event, Sansha's Nation were seen scattering from an Incursion site and leaving the area without using wormholes, hinting that something big was happening in their home system. Combined with the intruiging story of Thera, this has had even non-roleplayers scrambling through the EVE lore to come up with theories about what's to come.

Players slowly set apart picking the mystery to pieces, conducting a galaxy-wide search to find the origin of the bright star and sending people into the test server to get clues. The mystery intensified when players discovered that the star was likely near or within restricted Jove space, and soon after they began finding strange cloaked structures throughout known space. While observing these structures, players even found that an all-new form of Sleeper NPC called the Circadian Sleeper was periodically warping into the site and using some kind of scanning beam on the cloaked structure. All of this comes in anticipation of the public release of the Rhea patch on Tuesday 9th, which will introduce hidden Sleeper sites in known space and kick off the arms race to discover tech 3 destroyers.

In this lore-heavy edition of EVE Evolved, I look at everything we know of EVE's new Sleeper storyline event and try to figure out how it all fits together.

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MassivelyEVE Evolved: The Sleepers are coming! originally appeared on Massively on Sun, 07 Dec 2014 18:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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