This entry has been written from an ‘out of character’ perspective to wildly speculate on little information about EVE’s future path stretching out beyond Rubicon.
I was reading EVE Hermit today and came across this interview with CCP marketing man David Reid. Its mostly what we’ve already heard with a little bit of detail we hadn’t. Yesterday I commented that I wasn’t sure if Ghost Sites would have much impact in the long term, now it already seems like I was underestimating them! Apparently they are going to become really important and the source of pretty much all things related to the special new star gates we will be drooling over in a couple of expansions time! For me this is the money quote:
It’s not just about Star Gate pieces either, as you’ll also need to liberate and use sufficient implants to adapt your Capsuleer to the gate’s new warp speed, vital ship upgrades and more. Collecting the necessary item set to reach Eve’s new section of space will demand great teamwork, but as always, Reid isn’t fooling himself by thinking everyone will simply play nice and work together. In fact, he reckons many corporations will only discus their efforts in locked forums and through other means to ensure they, and they alone are first through the gate.
I am intrigued by the notion of ‘adapting your Capsuleer’ and ‘vital ship upgrades’. I get a pretty cool mental image of my ship and character having to survive some arduous and potentially fatal passage through the new gates to reach the other side. Hopefully it will amount to more than merely right clicking a gate and just seeing a normal jump animation or a pop-up box saying that you don’t meet the requirements and can’t pass through.
New implant sets seem a given at this point, but what those vital ship upgrades will amount to I’ not sure. Perhaps a new special type of rig or subsystem to go in a new slot? A whole new range of ship types? More T3 hulls and new modules? T4…? CCP clearly intend for us to dig deep for the answers and those who can plan ahead will earn themselves strong advantage when the time comes. I’ve got to agree with EVE Hermit that this all feels aimed at delivering new ‘high end’ game play pointed at giving veterans new things to do and strive for, which is fine as EVE already has plenty of existing challenges for new players to get to grips with, CCP just needs to continue chipping away at making them more accessible to the average newb.
“People will have a couple of expansions to think about this and to run their own little ‘water cooler’ bets as to what’s on the other side of the door, or down the rabbit hole if you will, pick your analogy. But yeah, part of what makes a game like Eve work so well is that sense of mystery and wonder and risk. We’re certainly not going to spoil it, because there are genuinely few things in video games now where people can be surprised. There’s a big internet, millions of people playing and posting walkthroughs on YouTube and what-now, but we have an opportunity to deliver some real surprise in this game and that’s something we want to stick to.”
This quote reminds me strongly of Apocrypha. The promise, only ever partly fulfilled, behind Apocrypha was that there was mysteries out there in Anoikis (wormhole space) for players to discover and piece together to reveal the story. This makes it sound like CCP are looking to take another stab at it and are weaving their storyline into the next great unknown. Guess we’ll see how much stuff is left out there to be found. Eventually.
Another piece of all this I’ve been mulling over today is a bit fanciful and probably completely wrong, but I was thinking about Rubicon’s tag line; “There’s no turning back”. I got to thinking, what if this was meant quite literally? What if stepping beyond those new star gates was a one-way trip? Perhaps the new gates we will be building are less like a star gate and more like an acceleration gate, flinging us far into the unknown with no way of coming back other than a Capsule breach or the construction of a return gate on the far side. Will they be permanent structures, or expire with use requiring replacement?
Something that struck me about the interview was that the focus as repeatedly on ‘corporations’ rather than ‘alliances’, although that could easily be down to the journalist’s personal familiarity with EVE. But it does lead to wonder what size of group CCP will be aiming this stuff at. Does EVE need another stomping ground for large alliances to brawl over, or will they be tuning things for smaller groups? The concept art we have seen so far showed sub-capital industrial ships at work, not larger vessels. It is far too early to know yet, but there is certainly much coming to speculate upon.