The EVE Online Fanfest held last weekend in Las Vegas contained surprises for longtime players and fans alike when it was announced that EVE will be moving in new directions to support more sandbox like play. Starting with the next two updates, Phoebe and Rhea (November and December respectively), the game will be showing off new changes and herald 'drastic' changes coming to EVE in 2015.
Specifically she emphasized two key design intentions: that changes to EVE should have a degree of unpredictable outcomes and that gameplay within EVE should mean “leaving room for players to be innovative and come up with ways to outplay each other.” Proof of these intentions come as early as Phoebe on November 4th, with an alteration to an unlimited character skill queue and a significant change as to how the universe’s most powerful ships deploy throughout the stars. The contentious travel changes have already caused significant upheaval in the player-controlled areas of space ahead of their live date, as massive alliances and coalitions anticipate that more meaningful military and logistic choices will have to be made in Phoebe and that territory will either have to be taken, fortified or abandoned in advance of early November.
EVE Game Designer Joshua “CCP Fozzie” Bayer also revealed unannounced features for Phoebe in new exploration content which will bring a line of “glass cannon” weapons and in the first of many steps for a planned corporation and alliance overhaul. Looking a bit ahead to Rhea in December, he revealed a new line of Tech 3 tactical destroyers, a massive “tug” industrial ship that can haul several battleships at once, and an updated look for the Blackbird hull. These all come amidst dozens of other features and improvements for both Phoebe and Rhea, some of which are aimed at directly improving the new player experience and easing the learning curve.
Find out more by watching the keynote address below or by visiting the EVE Online site.