Monday, October 3, 2016

CCP's Runup To EVE Vegas 2016

Sometimes playing EVE is not that exciting. Interesting, yes. Exciting? Not so much. Over the weekend, I spent a good amount of time theorycrafting a fit for a Nestor once I finally finish building the battleship. Yesterday, I reworked the skill plans for two characters and spent about 250 million ISK on skill books. I hit the 50 skill limit in the client and will need to continue loading skills later this week. On my third account, between the time this post is published and the time I wake up on Sunday, the character will learn 40 skills. All of that while watching EVE NT's coverage of the first weekend of the Alliance Tournament, which usually guarantees I do not do much in the game for three weeks.

I don't mind too much because we now have the runup to EVE Vegas. Last week we saw not only the release of the CSM Summit minutes but a new video by EVE Online's Executive Producer, Andie "CCP Seagull" Nordgren.

I'm excited about the prospect of getting a schedule of events three weeks in advance so I can plan out which events to attend as well as identify blocks of time I can head over to Holsteins and pick up a milkshake or two. The usual standard at the last few Fanfests was to receive a schedule when I was already in Reykjavik, if not when I arrived at the Harpa.

Between the CSM minutes and CCP Seagull's video, we know a few details about some of the subjects CCP will unveil at EVE Vegas. The New Player Experience (NPE) is receiving a major rework, including the addition of voice acting. Procedurally generated PvE content is no longer just a pipedream but will see its first introduction on Tranquility in the November expansion. Also in November, players will see the introduction of a new type of structure, engineering complexes. The introduction of the engineering complexes should come as a pleasant surprise to those players disappointed with the thought that CCP did not intend to release any additional structures until drilling platforms sometime during the winter. Of course, no buildup to an event is complete without the mandatory tease of the introduction of a new online store to buy real world EVE items.

Based on CCP Seagull's statements in the video as well as the sessions redacted from the CSM minutes, I expect at least three dev blogs to come out between the launch of the 118.9 release on 11 October and the start of EVE Vegas on the 28th. The summit contained two sessions, "Team Genesis" and "Beyond NPE", that CCP could combine into one dev blog. Team Genesis is the development team in charge of working on the New Player Experience. I definitely look forward to CCP Ghost's presentation in Las Vegas on the topic.

The second is the session on "Mining and Industry". I assume that the upcoming dev blog will cover the new structures, but I wonder what other surprises CCP has has up their sleeves.

The final one involves Team Size Matters, the dev team involved in monetization-related features. With CCP inviting so many people to play EVE without paying a subscription fee, the game company will look to lure the new Alpha clone players to part with some of their money somehow. The upcoming dev blog and presentation in Vegas should prove quite interesting.

Normally attendees consider EVE Vegas the more social of CCP's two big yearly player gatherings. But this year, with a major expansion and the introduction of the clone states, players may want to catch CCP's Twitch stream for coverage of the event. They may learn something of value besides which devs can function perfectly with killer hangovers.

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