Friday, September 20, 2019

The Dream: Triglavians As A Playable Race

I have publicly stated that CCP needs a very good, if not amazing, winter expansion in order to recover from Hurricane Hilmar. We know that CCP is capable of such a feat. One only needs to look at the success of the Crucible expansion in the winter of 2011 after the disastrous Incarna expansion in June 2011 and the following Summer of Rage. The question is: can CCP come through in the clutch once again?

What could CCP pull out of the nearest volcano in order to not only entice old players to return, but new players to try out a 16-year-old game? Since walking in stations is a pipe dream at this point, the answer is fairly obvious. Make the Triglavians a playable race.

"Wait a minute," I can hear people say, "CCP is devoting 70% of its development resources towards developing content for new players. They don't have the resources to create a fifth playable faction." I'm not convinced. CCP has already developed an extended Triglavian ship line consisting of:
  • Damavik (Frigate)
  • Kikimora (Destroyer)
  • Vedmak (Cruiser, Combat)
  • Rodiva (Cruiser, Logistics, tech 1)
  • Zarmazd (Cruiser, Logistics, tech 2)
  • Drekavac (Battlecruiser)
  • Leshak (Battleship)

We also know that the Triglavians are developing at least one capital- or supercapital-sized ship class. As the Triglavians emerge from Abyssal space, they are bound to develop more ship types in order to compete with the empires and their capsuleer allies.

Triglavian society seems set up around the template of the existing playable races. Just as players can choose between one of three bloodlines when creating a character, the Triglavians are divided into three "clades" that seem very similar to bloodlines. Combined with the advanced ship line for a pirate faction, seems like CCP left the door open to eventually allowing players to play the Triglavians. Now is a good time to unleash the surprise.

Another factor in picking the Triglavians as a playable race is their origins in Abyssal space. CCP's art team has already created a lot of art assets that the developers could use to construct a new home. Just think, a home in Abyssal space that veteran players couldn't reach.

Assuming a home in Abyssal space also solves a problem: where would the starter areas for the Triglavians fit in New Eden? At this point in the game's life, the last thing needed is a new region. Adding a new home in Abyssal space would also answer the question, "Where do Triglavians come from?"

From a new player perspective, Abyssal space gives CCP some leeway in helping train new capsuleers. Want a space to show off a ship's capabilities? Create a pocket. Want to provide an area to practice? Create a pocket. No worries about making the activity area fit into the wider universe. Admittedly, others have had the idea, usually around the concept of computer simulations to train new players. The Triglavian pocket as training ground idea has the benefit of giving CCP the ability to have players lose actual ships in a fairly secure environment.

The big downside is character creation. Or is it? Yes, the Triglavians are always portrayed covered up from head to toe. I imagine players would want the ability to customize the physical appearance of their avatars. That requires art assets, and I don't think many people at CCP know how to manipulate the Carbon engine anymore. Perhaps CCP could use the opportunity to switch characters from the Carbon engine to Unreal Engine 4. Since CCP announced last year it was moving to UE4 for all future work, why not retrofit any character creation work on an FPS set in the EVE universe to EVE Online?

These are just some quick thoughts fleshing out the idea of CCP making available a fifth playable race. The idea of a fifth races has floated around as long as I have played. Ten years ago, players asked about the Jove. Perhaps the Triglavians are the answer to a lot of dreams.

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