This week we got the lowdown from Kristoffer Tourborg on EVE Online’s nineteenth expansion Odyssey. Kris went into a lot of detail on EVE’s ten year anniversary and the fact that Odyssey marks the first step into the second decade of the game. We will go through not just what the expansion has for players, but why it has been added in. With a lot of features surrounding new exploration capabilities and some great upcoming announcements, CCP continues to dominate the space sandbox MMO world with EVE. Plus we got some scoops on what CCP will have at E3…an Occulus Rift powered EVE space-flight arena battle game… yes, you read that right.
Given the name, Odyssey is all about exploration. There are a lot of upgrades coming with the new expansion but the biggest area of revamp is getting out into the galaxy and finding new areas. Kris explained that a lot of players had been logging into EVE excited about this element of the game only to soon logoff unhappy about the level of content surrounding exploration. Therefore Odyssey addresses this area first hand. It gives players some amazing tools: such as new spacecraft designed for discovery, a sensory overlay to enhance your search of different areas, and an upgrade to basic probe technology which gives new players a much easier boost to search for resources.
The scanner is built right into your ship now and helps pilots to uncover new resources in a system. The scanner can be switched off at any time or left on to just do major scanning runs. The probes in the old system took some work to master. You could launch up to four probes to triangulate a location and then run a search. The update to probes allows players to launch seven of them in different formations. These basic tools give a great boost at low levels. The probe system still has a lot of advanced aspects to it, none of those have changed.
Kris did not leave out anything for the veterans. Players concerned with the universal war and metagame have their fill coming with Odyssey as well. One of the biggest changes is the shift in Ore value. The team wanted to give players a way to be more self sufficient so after some careful research adjustments have been made. Ice belts are another resource that is getting a change. Belts will now disappear after they have been mined and respawn somewhere else in the system. These tough changes on resources are all expected but could change given the impacts they have. Another major added feature is the addition of another character for dual training. You can now host two characters on the same account which will allow for players to expand their presence in the game without having to switch all the time.
Odyssey offers an overhaul in graphics as well with upgrades to ships, jump gates, and space stations. Kris also is at war with the Loading… bar as he puts it. He wants to make transitions more interesting for players so they will be adding in elements to make the shifts easier. Kris also said that the team has been working hard to balance as much as possible in EVE. It is a huge mantra for the game as they have been working hard to rebalance a lot of ships. Along the line of balance, the team has cut the cost of medical clones by 30%. This should open the door for much more PvP. Kris said they want PvPers shooting each other more and hopes this change will encourage the carnage to continue.
WHAT IS CCP’S “EVE-VR”?
The biggest surprise he told us about was the minigame around the studio that the team calls EVE-VR. A group of devs were allowed to commit 20% of their time to a side project (a standard at CCP for all employees) and came up with something pretty incredible. An Occulus Rift powered mini-game where players fly in first person dog fight battles. The game takes place in the EVE universe and has become so popular around the office the team is actually bringing it to E3! The battles are 7v7, and the game has become the talk of the CCP offices. Let’s hope CCP expands this into something more. You can expect a full report on the game at E3.
Kris said that EVE begins its journey into the next decade on solid ground. CCP has comics with Dark Horse planned for the future. They also have a television series planned. The two great parts about these side projects is that everything is driven by player stories. So yes you can submit your EVE tales and possibly have a show in the future. Kris wanted to remind players that feedback is critical to them and all of the decisions they make on EVE’s direction are driven by the players. With Odyssey coming on 6/4/13, its’ time to go out and explore the galaxy again. Just try not to get shot by pirates.