Written by: Amanda Dunn, Ava Starfire
EVE Online players!
Last year we heard your cries to put EVE in every end of the year category you could vote for. Thanks to your hard work and dedication EVE won 4 of the 7 awards handed out at the end of the year Best of 2014 awards. This year we thought we would honor that dedication by giving EVE Online a category all of it’s own. Yes, it is now time to vote for the Best EVE Online of 2015.
It is no secret that I am a foaming, rabid Minmatar loyalist; however, I have to give credit where credit is due, and acknowledge that the Amarr miltia did a fantastic job of preventing the Minmatar militia from ever obtaining control of the full Amarr/Minmatar warzone, and thus, preventing the players in the Minmatar militia from receiving a medal for doing so. The fact that the other three militias DID all manage to earn their service medals rubbed a bit of salt in the wound, as did cries of “#nomedal” in local chat throughout the warzone.
Cosmetic changes have never been a hugely popular subject for EVE; does anyone else remember the whole uproar surrounding the release of Incarna and the new character creator? However, CCP has introduced a cosmetic item that the community has accepted whole heartedly, and that is skins for your ship. With new ones being introduced frequently, and loads of them already in the game, players have lots of options now for pimping your ride. Let’s face it, the EoM skins are as gorgeous as they come, no?
Brave Collective Coup
EVE has always been rife with backstabbery and subterfuge, and honestly, we wouldn’t have it any other way. Big takeovers have happened before, but the sudden coup within Brave was remarkable both for the panache with which it was performed, the fact that the alliance had grown and flourished due to its focus on new players, and the sheer size of Brave itself; by any measure, Brave Collective is a simply immense alliance. From an alliance of some 15,000 pilots, to one with fewer than 1000; such are the whims of fate in EVE.
Broadcast 4 Reps
EVE has a reputation for attracting sociopaths, and to be fair, the reason the game has this reputation isn’t terribly hard to understand. EVE is a game full of people who want to kill you and take your stuff. However, the overwhelming majority of EVE players are people who restrain that behavior to in game actions, and who wish their fellow players nothing but the best outside the game. This can be seen, repeatedly, in the community’s response to tragedy. The players and developers of EVE Online created the “Broadcast 4 Reps” program to provide an avenue for players who might be considering suicide to get some help; an in game channel (Broadcast4Reps) exists so that players can speak to someone if they need to. The message is clear; EVE is a community game, and everyone is a part of that community. If you need help, please, Broadcast 4 Reps; definitely a deserving candidate for the title of Best EVE Online of 2015.
One of the hottest topics in gaming, EVE Valkyrie is the first virtual reality game from CCP Games designed to work with the new Oculus Rift VR headset, and it immerses players into a fast-paced, 3d, virtual spaceflight sim like you’ve never seen before. The game has been gathering attention and inertia throughout the year, and fans eagerly await the release of the game which actually puts you IN the EVE Online universe of New Eden. If you want to really learn how big the other vessels in the EVE universe are, or how fast a space fighter really is, you need look no further than EVE: Valkyrie!
It’s all about the spaceships, and let’s face it, not all spaceships are created equal. The new Tech 3 destroyers have caused quite a shakeup in the small-ship community in EVE, and particularly in faction warfare, where small complexes have been dominated by these ships since their introduction. The best of the bunch (no pro-Minmatar bias here!) has to be the Svipul; workable in both artillery and autocannon configurations, the ship is a force to be reckoned with whether solo or in a gang. Yes, it’s gotten a bit of a tap from the nerfbat, but it is still a top tier ship; it is also extremely good looking and fun to fly. Fear the Tribes. Yep.
Able to open wormholes anywhere within New Eden at will, and equipped with ships and technology that is much more advanced than that available to the Big 4 or to capsuleers, the enigmatic Drifters are the newest, biggest threat in the EVE universe. Drifters provide an extremely challenging new flavor of PvE content – following in the footsteps of the Sleepers and the Sansha Incursions – as well as providing a new avenue for changes in the larger EVE universe. No one is safe from the mysterious Drifters. Will this be the best EVE Online of 2015?
Dust 514 allows players to experience the fast-paced, lethal environment of ground-based combat in New Eden. As with the characters in MMO EVE Online, characters are immortal as a result of advanced cloning technology, meaning that you can die repeatedly (in game, of course) with no long term effects; you lose your gear, sure enough, but hey, combat is risky business. Dust 514 represents the first cross platform, cross genre melding of two games, as players within EVE Online can support players on the planets below in DUST matches with orbital strikes on enemy positions! Dust provides a sci-fi shoot em up in the universe of EVE; what more need be said?
Death of the Empress
The prime fiction of the EVE universe is not static. During the past couple of years, we have seen the fall from power (and likely death) of would-be Caldari dic… err, leader, Tibus Heth, and the murder of the Sebiestor Tribe’s longtime chief, Karin Midular. While both of these events (and the player events that followed) were big news, nothing can match the cluster-wide shakeup that resulted from the death of Empress Jamyl Sarum I, at the hands of the enigmatic Drifters, a new threat to the cluster so grave that not even the leader of the largest nation-state in New Eden, while aboard one of the most powerful vessels in that nation-state’s navy, was safe.
PLEX For Good
The PLEX for Good program was first created in 2005, as a way for EVE Online players to easily make financial donations to the people impacted by the Indian Ocean Tsunami. Since then, the program has been put into action in response to disasters around the world, and since its creation, has collected nearly half a million US dollars in donations. The most recent round of collections were held in response to the devastating earthquakes in Nepal in April of this year, and this time around the Plex For Good program managed to collect over 100 thousand US dollars alone.
The rather static nature of nullsec has received attention a few times, but never before had such a big change been made to try and cause some shakeups. The changes that came in the Aegis expansion, however, were far from universally popular. Termed “Fozziesov”, as the changes were seen as the brainchild of CCP games developer CCP Fozzie, now small groups of small ships – like interceptors, for instance – could roam around nullsec and contest systems, and force a rapid response. The change was less than popular; indeed, it was seen by many people as a form of harassment. Some of the issues with Fozziesov have been remedied with the release of Parallax in early November, but not all of them. Alas, not all changes in EVE are popular ones!
In keeping with their long history of letting the community have an active role in the story of the EVE Universe, The Amarr Championships were a series of structured fights staged between players to determine the individuals who would represent the six noble houses of the Amarr Empire in the next Succession Trials. Each house will be represented by a champion – chosen in the Amarr Championships – and those six players will fight to determine who will become the next Amarrian sovereign. This is the first time CCP has placed such a large aspect of the EVE Universe in the hands of the players, and it hints at more of the same to come. Which player will win the prize, and who will be the next Amarrian emperor or empress?
CCP Games continues to embrace VR technology and investigate new possibilities with EVE: Gunjack, a VR shooter designed for the Samsung Gear VR. In Gunjack, players are turret operators on a mining platform in deep space, and it is up to them to keep the station safe from hostiles! Gunjack introduces players to yet another part of life in New Eden, and it does so with this fun arcade style shooter. CCP has never been one to shy away from new methods and developments in hardware, and Gunjack proves they’re willing to embrace not only new hardware, but new hardware designed to work with unconventional platforms.
Alliance Tournament XIII
The fact that this year marked the thirteenth alliance tournament for EVE is no small thing; for a start, it means that EVE has been around long enough to have held thirteen of these tournaments. Never before, however, have winning teams been stripped of their winnings and titles, but this year’s AT saw exactly that happen. Warlords of the Deep and The Camel Empire were determined to have been in collusion to fix the match, and thus, their prizes were stripped, their leaders banned from further tourneys – one for life, and one for a year – and once again, Pandemic Legion manages to win an Alliance tournament. Whew!
Blow Up A Titan For Leukemia
As if EVE players have not done enough to convince the wider gaming world that they are not, in fact, a collection of psychopaths, a player named Dovinian decided to take it one extra step and sacrifice his Erebus-class Titan to be destroyed at the hands of ravenous killmail hungry EVE players, if he could collect 20,000 US dollars in donations for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. The goal was met, and the titan – named the Dovibus – was exploderificated gloriously, as promised. Only EVE Online can destroy thousands of dollars and raise thousands of dollars at the same time!
Every year, CCP Games hosts Fanfest in Reykjavik, Iceland, which is a three day long celebration of EVE, EVE players, EVE ships… you get the idea. This year, as in years before, demonstrations on upcoming products and game changes were held, players and devs met and talked about ship and module balances, and much fun was had. However, the “Worlds Collide Battle” saw an official PvP tournament between teams from the primary EVE Online server Tranquility and the Chinese server Serenity, with the Tranquility team taking home the win… and with every current EVE subscriber on Tranquility receiving a free luxury yacht (in game, of course) as a prize!
Star Trek Online
Perfect World Entertainment’s free to play sci-fi MMORPG Star Trek Online (often called STO) allows players to boldly go where no one has gone before! Players can serve the United Federation of Planets or the Klingon Empire, select from a number of different character races, customize their ship and their character, fight in space or explore planetside, and in general, live the Star Trek experience, for free! The fact that developer Perfect World continues to support the game and release new content – for free – adds to the icing on this delicious Borg-flavored cake. Is the best EVE Online of 2015 in fact not EVE Online at all??
New Ships, Winter 2015
The number of ships in EVE Online has been steadily increasing since launch, a trend that shows no signs of changing. Indeed, several (thirteen, to be precise) new ships have been promised for the winter of 2015, but, as they’ve not been released yet, we can only speculate what their actual in-game impacts will be. We do know, now, is that there will be new navy versions of the electronic warfare frigates; the Crucifier Navy Issue, Griffin Navy Issue, Vigil Fleet Issue, and Maulus Navy Issue are all coming to a novice faction warfare complex near you this winter! In addition, there will be four new Tech 2 destroyers, four Tech 2 logistics frigates, and a new ice mining frigate.
EVE Vegas 2015
CCPs largest show of the year – Fanfest aside, of course – was without a doubt EVE Vegas. At EVE Vegas, a number of very big changes were presented, amidst overwhelmingly positive feedback. Citadels, new player owned structures which function more like a station than a standard POS, were introduced, as were impending capital changes – particularly changing the types of fighters and drones useable by carriers and supercarriers, but also regarding electronic warfare strength and immunity. Lastly, and perhaps most significantly, skill point trading – meaning a method for one character to sell their skill points, and thus, training time, to another character – appears to be on its way to EVE. These are all pretty big changes, and they’ve caused no small amount of uproar!