EVE Online's Reign Quadrant thrust the galaxy into unknown territory. Following years of hyper-destructive record-breaking PvP warfare, the factions of New Eden must struggle to rebuild order from the ashes of chaos. But as guerrilla skirmishes threaten to unleash more conflict, just how long can peace last?

In order to get the behind-the-scenes snapshot of the goings on of New Eden, MMOGames’ Head of Content Alex Sinclair Lack re-joined EVE Online’s Creative Director Bergur Finnbogason, their Brand Director Sæmundur Hermannsson, and their Marketing Specialist Páll Grétar Bjarnason. Once again, their answers did not disappoint.

Alex: Following months of epic battles, EVE’s latest Quadrant, Reign, was intended to be more focused on peaceful reformation and re-armament. Is that going to plan?

Bergur: Our great big war appears to be winding down. It’s definitely heading towards a point, though calling that a conclusion may be premature.

Páll: I’ve been monitoring it and while you see conflicts sparking up sporadically, the main driver behind military tensions right now seems to be the propaganda machines. The fanbase love memes and it’s been a way to take the conflict from the frontline and into new territories. It will be interesting to see if it leads anywhere.

“[We’re] making the universe feel more alive and breathing fresh life into this epicness that is EVE Online.”

Alex: The world’s first meme war?

Sæmi: Maybe not the first. But you certainly see these propaganda battles fuelling the flames. It’s so difficult to say what will happen right now.

Alex: Do you think that galaxy-wide peace could be on the agenda?

Bergur: I don’t think we’ll see galaxy-wide peace, but we’re certainly seeing certain factions pulling back and taking stock. Still, wherever they leave space, there will be opportunistic factions seeking fortunes, glory, and power. It won’t be a binary switch, but there will be plenty of smaller skirmishes as players test the robustness of the seats of power.

“It’s a fascinating change of dynamic, we’re entering completely unchartered territories.”

Alex: What are the remaining sources of conflict in New Eden, and what is the dynamic of the combat?

Páll: Following the marathon three-month Hellcamp, the gigantic battles have died down. But the tensions between PAPI and Goons remains strong. They are taking a guerrilla warfare approach to chip away at infrastructure – diving in, doing some damage, then getting the hell out of dodge. It’s a fascinating change of dynamic, we’re entering completely unchartered territories. How it will unravel is anyone’s guess.

Alex: This would be the Icelandic word for guerrilla warfare you taught me last time that my auto-correct always wants to change to Skyrim.

Bergur: Skæruliði.

Alex: That’s the one. Integrating fleet formations must have been quite a challenge after all these years, has it been a success?

Sæmi: After coming back from a peaceful Christmas, it was fantastic getting things geared up. Fleet formations have been our greatest recent achievement. It’s something that’s been in discussion for quite some time internally – really, we found 20-year-old EVE documents exploring the concept. So, when the opportunity presented itself, it was a no-brainer. The team has done a phenomenal job, and it’s been especially rewarding to see how our players and the biggest brains in EVE are exploring its consequences for warfare. There has been such high-quality dialogue; if you really want to feel stupid then check out some of the top-tier Pando’s FC Chat. Still, fleet formation is deep, layered, and complex and it will take time to see how it develops.

Alex: What else has been happening at CCP and in New Eden? What have you got on the horizon?

“EVE is live and kicking and things are looking good.”

Sæmi: Quadrant One is well into its second half now. We’ve received lots of positive feedback. On a personal level, I’d like to work on doing a better job at explaining our quadrants for new players. There’s so much going on that we don’t want players to miss out on. Our EVE Anywhere beta is another tech success that allows players to enjoy the full online experience directly from a browser, so that’s super cool. And of course, the thoroughly enjoyed Federation Grand Prix event. EVE is live and kicking and things are looking good.

Páll: With the Grand Prix we’ve been adding new landmarks which really add new flavour. One notable landmark has been put up in honour of longstanding and legendary EVE player, Chribba. He’s one of the most beloved players in the community. For many years he acted as a third-party broker to sell very expensive ships. Though he’s perhaps most famous for being one of the few players with a capital ship in high-sec. When capital ships first launched, we allowed them to be made there. That was a decision we quickly rectified, but we allowed players who had already built them to keep them. So, he’s now based in a trade hub in the Amarr region. When he takes his dreadnaught out mining there, a small crowd gathers and launches fireworks. It was really nice to be able to celebrate someone who has done so much for the game; we’re all just huge fans of his so it was great to be able to honour his contribution.

Bergur: Absolutely. We’re putting a lot of resources into fleshing out the game in this way; adding in monuments to player achievements, giving the empires more human faces, making the universe feel more alive, and breathing more life into this epicness that is EVE Online.

Sæmi: EVE is what our players have made of it. It is the sum of the total actions, achievements, and fascinating decisions that EVE’s players have made in our two-decade history. That monument is one of many ways we hope to celebrate the contributions of some of the legendary players who have left an indelible stamp on the history and future of New Eden.

We always stay up to date with CCP and we’ve amassed an impressive catalogue of interviews. To read our previous EVE Online directors’ interview on tribalism and futurism, click here. Alternatively, to browse all our incredible EVE interviews from the past year, click here.

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