CCP Swift, CCP Zelus, and CCP Spider met us to talk about the latest in EVE Online.
Glory | Nebulas | Proxy Wars - EVE Online Interviews
CCP Swift, CCP Zelus and CCP Spider are back with more insights from New Eden. Following last month's EVE Online interview wherein they covered Fanfest, Faction Warfare, and e-scooting LARPers, this time we're diving into current struggles in New Eden, plus the upgrades and updates taking place in EVE Online.
We must feed them something special in the art department. They always knock it out of the park.
What's in the pipeline? When can fans expect more details about the updates we discussed last time?
CCP Swift (Peter): We have the recently released Path to Glory. It was a pretty big patch and facilitates the AIR Career Program - a very nifty way for new players to learn more about the game. It takes players through their initial hours of gameplay, guiding their exploration and learning. It provides early goals and incentives for completing them then points them in the right direction to dive deeper. It's designed to make players think, "Oh here's something I can do, and I enjoy doing, I'll learn more about it." Gamers know that EVE is famous for allowing players to do anything. But there's so much to do that it creates decision paralysis. Being able to guide players through early on is a big positive.
CCP Zelus (Aiden): And, of course, we have the audio and visual overhauls, the background nebula changes, and the 2k resolution upgrade. We've doubled down and made it look way better.
Those nebula changes got a big round of applause during the Fanfest keynote. You're giving the James Webb telescope a run for its money.
CCP Swift (Peter): That they did. Then the DirectX 12 level of detail will compliment that, allowing people's cameras to perform better and enhancing the experience of all types of player. It means we can have bigger battles, take better screenshots, and just look prettier. I don't know how they do it, we must feed them something special in the art department. They always knock it out of the park.
CCP Spider (Palli): And we're branding this all under EVE Evolved, which covers pretty much anything tech related for EVE. Including the LoD, audio changes, high-res nebulas, texture compression algorithms and more. We're taking traditionally layered texture bundles and unpacking them. That will result in crisper textures as well as less artifacting and other bits of weirdness that turn up on ships. Some of these changes are subtle; players might feel them but not be able to put their fingers on exactly what's different until they look back and it's clear as day. Now that DX12 is something we can play with, we can safely say there's a lot more to come.
CCP Zelus (Aiden): And the other thing is the update to Photon UI - the new user interface we're developing. We've been paying close attention to feedback on things like information density and have introduced a new compact mode to make more information visible on screen. There's also a bunch of new combat mechanics, and to help players visualise how things happen in-game, we've been putting together videos to show players what's really going on.
Talking of these graphical enhancements, is there a big EVE Online in-game photography community? I see lots of nodding heads already.
CCP Zelus (Aiden): Absolutely. As a player, and even now as a CCPer, I absolutely love taking screenshots. I'm constantly blowing up the game's resolution to the maximum my monitor can handle... then scaling it even further. All so that I can take beautiful EVE screenshots -- which can truly look phenomenal. Whether it's fleets, individual ships, planets, fireworks, events, nebulas, or combinations of them all, EVE screenshots nearly always look fantastic. We have our own Discord channel for sharing our favourites.
CCP Spider (Palli): You've really got to check out the work of Razorien -- now fittingly known as CCP Aperture... we pinched him as well. He has a great Flickr drive of the pictures he's captured over the years. One we had pretty recently was for an in-game event known as Federation Day. It's essentially Independence Day for the Gallante Federation. That's a bit of a butchered synopsis, but they have this massive annual parade that they've been organising since 2007 with fireworks competitions and more. We streamed a lot of it and shared loads of screenshots of the last iteration on our Twitch channel. It was hard to take a bad shot of it.
What about the internal conflicts and dramas of New Eden at the moment, what's happening?
CCP Swift (Peter): EVE players do not sit on their laurels for very long. There's a nice little proxy war breaking out in the southern areas. It's kind of a spill over from World War Bee; you still have the same major groups fighting but instead of battling one system away from each other, they've each propped up an ally in the south. Imperium came in and started attacking their space. And then of course, the defenders came in to save their ally. None of these groups are engaging in full scale massive war with everything on the line, but they're certainly ensuring their members are kept busy.
CCP Swift (Peter): There was one massive fight where Imperium literally fought until they ran out of ships. And then their leaders were like, "Hey, we're not giving up. We just we just need more and more ships." They went through about 1600 Eagles in one fight. Those ships aren't super cheap. But everyone was bringing six at a time, determined not to be the one left out.
CCP Swift (Peter): So that's really fun to see how that's going play out, watching these guys with their diplomatic skills, trying to fight, control narratives and keep members engaged. It's a masterclass in what they do. These guys have been doing it forever, and just watching them operate is so much fun. Watching how they do spin and propaganda. And then of course the explosions are always a nice thing to watch.
Are tensions building on a greater scale or is everyone just enjoying peace and proxy wars for now?
CCP Swift (Peter): I can speak from experience that after great wars of EVE, you need a bit of time to recover. Right now, the great alliances really have nothing to lose. The smaller ones do, like Fire Coalition and their allies, but there's always space to take refuge in if needs be. You can see them all getting back in the saddle though, understanding the metas and tinkering with the new systems. We've made fairly significant changes to things like battleship construction materials, so faction ships and capital ships are cheaper to produce and more readily available. Then again, who knows what will happen. I always like to think I know exactly what will unfold, then players inevitably do the exact opposite. So now I refuse to speculate.
Out loud, at least.
CCP Swift (Peter): Exactly. But really, who knows? Maybe the Imperium will think "Hey, we just rolled over these guys, let's keep going. This will be fun." Or maybe their opponents will think, "Hey, you know what? I think we've got enough gas in the tank, we're more structured now, let's take the fight to them. I've learned to try to be a passive observer as opposed to a savant.
All images used in this article belong to CCP Aperture, aka Razorien.