Tag Archives: Dev Diaries

EVE Evolved: What does Thera mean for EVE?

EVE Evolved title image If you've been keeping up with the recent news updates on EVE Online, you've probably heard about the upcoming Rhea update scheduled for December 9th. This mega patch will introduce the new tech 3 Tactical Destroyer ship class, Sleeper incursions into normal space, hands-on WASD flight controls, and 101 new wormhole systems (including 25 that are limited to small ships). The new wormhole systems have had all of their planets shattered by an as-yet unknown stellar phenomenon, and clues as to what transpired there will be hidden in the rubble. This infusion of new content and story will mark the first time the wormhole storyline and gameplay have been significantly expanded in over four years.

Each of the new shattered star systems is guaranteed to have at least one outgoing wormhole leading to normal space at all times, increasing the likelihood that pirates will catch you exploring or farming them. And since these systems won't have any in-tact moons, you won't be able to put up a permanent starbase to retreat to if hostiles appear. I'm pretty excited for exploring this new lawless frontier, but it's a unique shattered star system called Thera that I'm most looking forward to finding. Thera will be the first and only wormhole system to have fully kitted NPC stations and will serve as neutral ground for anyone who wants to live there. It's been described as the Mos Eisley of EVE, a permanent home to pirates, PvP corps, and smugglers looking to make some quick ISK.

In this edition of EVE Evolved, I look at how the Thera system could revolutionise EVE for a lot of players and where the EVE storyline could go as a result.

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MassivelyEVE Evolved: What does Thera mean for EVE? originally appeared on Massively on Sun, 23 Nov 2014 18:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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EVE gives more market data tools to the mod community

eve EVE Online is such a mod-happy game that there's an official site for it, and it's on this site today that CCP said that it will be giving another valuable information-gathering tool to players with the advent of a new searchable resource.

"We also are making available the MarketType resource. MarketTypes is a collection of all possible MarketType resources," the devs posted. Being able to search market history and orders will help modders pull in data from multiple regions and should be in the game with the Rhea content patch.

MassivelyEVE gives more market data tools to the mod community originally appeared on Massively on Thu, 20 Nov 2014 18:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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CIG kicks off Star Citizen Meet the Devs video series

Cloud Imperium has kicked off a new video series called Meet the CIG Devs. Episode one focuses on production coordinator Darian Vorlick, who is profiled via a question-and-answer vignette that's long on personal info but relatively short on game-specific stuff.

Still, it might be worth watching if you're curious about the personalities behind the curtain on the largest crowdfunded project of all time. Click past the cut to view Episode 1.

Continue reading CIG kicks off Star Citizen Meet the Devs video series

MassivelyCIG kicks off Star Citizen Meet the Devs video series originally appeared on Massively on Tue, 18 Nov 2014 20:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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EVE Online turns manual control of ships over to players

eve For the first time ever in its history, EVE Online is experimenting with giving players manual control of their starships. The change was prompted by observing new players who were frustrated that the game didn't include standard WASD controls. These "simple" controls will be introduced as an optional beta feature in next month's Rhea update.

CCP also posted a list of other features that we'll be seeing with the upcoming content patch. Players will enjoy an improved star map, try out new ships such as the Confessor tactical destroyer, experience more atmospheric asteroid belts, and no longer lose skill points or clone grades when podded.

MassivelyEVE Online turns manual control of ships over to players originally appeared on Massively on Fri, 14 Nov 2014 14:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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EVE Evolved: Clone upgrades and skill loss are gone!

EVE Evolved title image While the player activity stats might suggest otherwise, the past few years have been a real rennaisance for EVE Online. Developers have gone back and iterated on dozens of old game features that were starting to show their age, and some of them have been pretty huge. The war declaration and criminality overhauls in 2012 were fundamental changes to core gameplay that had been stagnant for almost a decade, and the recent industry and warp acceleration changes were equally fundamental shifts. These were all features we had previously been told were essentially off-limits for iteration because they relied on undocumented legacy code from 2003, and none of the programmers wanted to poke that sleeping beast.

Now it seems that no idea is off-limits, and developers aren't afraid to challenge fundamental parts of EVE's original design that may not make sense today. This week's Phoebe update revisited capital ship force projection for the first time since the ships were added in 2004, for example, and it removed the 24-hour skill queue limit that CCP insisted on adding in Apocrypha. In Thursday's episode of The EVE Online Show, developers announced the next big legacy feature to be put on the chopping block in the game of progress: As part of December's Rhea release, clone upgrades and skill point loss on death will be completely removed from the game.

In this edition of EVE Evolved, I look at the problems caused by the cloning system, why it needs to be removed, and what could possibly replace it.

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MassivelyEVE Evolved: Clone upgrades and skill loss are gone! originally appeared on Massively on Sun, 09 Nov 2014 18:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The Repopulation lowers its alpha access pledge prices

Repopulation Crowdfunded sci-fi sandbox The Repopulation has today announced a change to its pledge packages that should increase the number of backers -- and testers. The new packages cost $50 and $25; the $50 version grants immediate test access, while the $25 edition will sweep buyers into the alpha starting on November 21st. Above and Beyond says it will be altering its packages at that time to remove perks like housing plots and NPC naming, but the $25 buy-in will still "be the cheapest for awhile."

During the ongoing testing, the studio has vowed to keep the servers up around the clock outside of patch downtime, and it will avoid region locking, though the servers are located in North America. As the test is an alpha, a strict NDA is in place and pre-release wipes are still expected.

[Thanks, dirtyklingon!]

MassivelyThe Repopulation lowers its alpha access pledge prices originally appeared on Massively on Tue, 04 Nov 2014 13:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The Repopulation tweaked housing, vehicles, and shops in October

Repopulation The Repopulation's end-of-October report has arrived, and in it, Above and Beyond outlines the significant improvements made to the sandbox over the last month. Of note, player shops and vendors were added, along with a slew of enhancements to the player housing and city systems, like remote shopping and Star Wars Galaxies-style house relocation. Vehicles and mounts, genetic engineering, rogue nations, the interface, and cosmetic styling also received hefty upgrades.

Capping off the update are 15,845 words' worth of build notes. Yes, we counted.

The devs note that backers not yet invited to the alpha should all be gaining access in November.

MassivelyThe Repopulation tweaked housing, vehicles, and shops in October originally appeared on Massively on Mon, 03 Nov 2014 10:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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EVE’s Phoebe adding better search functionality and more

Another day, another Phoebe-focused dev blog from the folks at CCP. EVE Online is getting a bit of a search overhaul in its November patch, as items inside station containers will be included in search results.

CCP is also calling attention to the "pretty powerful advanced search functionality" in EVE via a new question mark icon in the game's Asset Search tab that leads to a keyword tooltip. There are several other UI changes scheduled to debut with Phoebe, but you'll need to click through the links below to view them in the full dev blog.

If you're a third-party EVE app developer, don't forget to visit CCP's newly published blog.

MassivelyEVE's Phoebe adding better search functionality and more originally appeared on Massively on Fri, 31 Oct 2014 19:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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H1Z1’s audio is a key part of its immersion

h1z1 When done right, you hardly ever consciously acknowledge a game's sound, but when it's missing or done poorly, it can jar a player out of desired immersion. In a dev diary posted today, H1Z1 Technical Architect Greg Spence talks about the sound of the game and demonstrates a few tests.

"So much goes into making these sounds seem realistic beyond just choosing an audio file to play," Spence explains. "Taking into account your surroundings, whether you are inside or outside, what type of ground you are on, time of day, and even weather can play a big part in the final thing you hear."

Spence discusses sound effects, environment sounds, and, of course, music. You can check out the audio test videos after the break!

Continue reading H1Z1's audio is a key part of its immersion

MassivelyH1Z1's audio is a key part of its immersion originally appeared on Massively on Fri, 31 Oct 2014 17:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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EVE Online uses jump fatigue to discourage long-distance travel

eve Hold your horses, space buckaroo. Where do you think you're going so fast?

EVE Online is preparing to deliberately slow down pilots with the introduction of jump fatigue in the upcoming Phoebe patch. Jump fatigue adds a timer following a jump that must be endured until the next jump is allowed. According to a dev blog (that includes an appendix!) on the subject, "This allows us to discourage people travelling longer distances using jump travel, while keeping penalties relatively light for tactical/occasional movement."

Another dev blog tackles the changes to invention and manufacturing that are planned with the patch. One big change is the merge of invention with reverse engineering, which comes with an algabraic forumla because spaceships and laser battles are not exciting enough on their own.

MassivelyEVE Online uses jump fatigue to discourage long-distance travel originally appeared on Massively on Thu, 30 Oct 2014 18:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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CCP explains EVE’s upcoming mission guidance system, CSM changes

CCP released another Phoebe-focused dev diary earlier today, this one detailing the new mission objective system coming to EVE Online next month. The firm is walking a fine line between general guidance and "brain-dead instructions to follow," and as such it is asking for feedback relative to how the new feature is presented in today's diary. It's a lengthy read, but you can also see the new system in action if you log onto EVE's Singularity test shard.

CCP has also delivered minutes from the Council of Stellar Management's summer summit earlier than expected. CCP Leeloo explains that the studio will make further changes to the CMS next year, starting with lengthening the winter summit and shortening the current CMS's term to better align with next year's Fanfest. Applications for CSM10 open on January 30th.

MassivelyCCP explains EVE's upcoming mission guidance system, CSM changes originally appeared on Massively on Wed, 29 Oct 2014 17:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Albion Online’s six-month road map

Sandbox Interactive has been busy compiling and utilizing all the information that was gleaned from Albion Online's summer alpha event last month, and now the studio has developed a new six-month road map for the game. Going off of the team's internal list that prioritizes more than 170 features of changes to the game as well as features that will be added, Founder and CEO Stefan Wiezorek presented the road map to backers and fans to give them an overall perspective of the upcoming work. Everything from crime-flagging to territory upkeep to dungeons to building to mounts is covered; even farming and salvaging have sections. It's a pretty meaty post, so for all the juicy details, head to the official forums.

Wiezorek also noted that in order to reach the goal of having 50% of this list completed by the Winter Alpha event, the devs will postpone the event until mind or late January instead of December. The start date for this winter event will be available come December.

MassivelyAlbion Online's six-month road map originally appeared on Massively on Tue, 28 Oct 2014 13:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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EVE Vegas 2014: Getting players involved in EVE’s development

 
Back in 2011, EVE Online developer CCP Games was rocked by controversy when players outraged over the Incarna expansion's microtransactions and CCP's indifference to player feedback spoke with their wallets and quit the game. In what became known as the monoclegate scandal, an estimated 8% of players quit, and CCP eventually laid off 20% of its staff worldwide. Some tough lessons were learned about keeping players looped into the development process, and CCP began involving players more closely in the development process. At EVE Vegas 2014 today, developer CCP Fozzie looked at the ways that CCP gathers ideas and feedback from the community. As a sandbox MMO with a very dedicated community, EVE is in the interesting position that many of the players know more about the game than the developers themselves and can identify problems with ideas very early in the development process. Plans are now announced earlier in development to gather feedback, some new features are now made optional on release to gauge usage, and failed ideas will even be rolled back if necessary. During the talk, Fozzie confirmed that each SCRUM team within CCP focuses on one particular area of gameplay and that player ideas are often brought into internal meetings for discussion. A new rig named the Higgs Anchor is even being introduced based on player suggestions; it will decrease movement speed by 75% but increase agility to make it easier to align to warp out if hostiles approach the player's location. If this level of player participation keeps up, hopefully disasters like monoclegate will never happen again. Continue reading EVE Vegas 2014: Getting players involved in EVE's development

MassivelyEVE Vegas 2014: Getting players involved in EVE's development originally appeared on Massively on Sun, 19 Oct 2014 19:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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EVE Online tightens things up for Phoebe

eve A new blog post at EVE Online reveals that the team is working on streamlining a few of its existing features for the upcoming Phoebe patch.

The first tweak is to exploration, as the team will be making data sites more valuable and frequent. Career agents will also stop blabbing so much in the mission boxes, with shorter text messages to emphasize the objectives.

Finally, the team is bringing its semi-hidden expedition content into the light with easier-to-follow breadcrumbs and bug fixes: "We've added in some messaging to guide you towards these specific structures. We have also increased the percentage chance of the rarer types of expedition occurring as we simply found these figures to be too low. These combined changes should help somewhat in bringing this 'hidden' content to the surface for you to enjoy."

MassivelyEVE Online tightens things up for Phoebe originally appeared on Massively on Wed, 15 Oct 2014 18:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Darkfall makes plans for a localized economy

darkfall The Darkfall team is deep in preparations for the creation of a "localized economy package" to boost this critical part of this fantasy title. "For us, as well as the community from what we see, a functional economy is the stepping stone for a proper sandbox, so our attention is focused on it," the team stated.

In a forum post today, the goals of these plans were outlined. This package will include new raw materials, additional recipes, a better inventory system, tiered clan vaults, nerfed instant travel, quicker land travel, beasts of burden, and a focus on localized markets instead of a worldwide trading system.

This economy update is tentatively planned for either December 2014 or January 2015.

[Thanks to Dengar for the tip!]

MassivelyDarkfall makes plans for a localized economy originally appeared on Massively on Sun, 12 Oct 2014 12:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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