This entry has been written from an ‘out of character’ perspective to speculate upon the mysterious countdown to…something….
Right now, and for the past week in fact, there has been a countdown banner on EVE’s community homepage. Naturally, the question has to be; what is it counting down to?
Cue dramatic drum roll!
In 17 hours or so we will find out, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t make wild guesses and consider the likelihood that any of them might actually be correct. Hey, it could happen.
1) CCP are going to announce the EVE Summer expansion and perhaps that it is arriving a little earlier than usual.
Fanfest is starting on May 1st this year which is later in the year than usual and is typically dominated with reveals of the imminent expansion. Last year however CCP chose to unveil Odyssey ahead of Fanfest in order to give players time to digest and consider their feedback before attending the event and I imagine they will do the same this year. Having said that, would we really need two months notice?
CCP Seagull herself commented that Rubicon was delivered a little earlier than usual back in November and it seems that CCP have gotten increasingly good at delivering timely updates to EVE in the past couple of years. This makes me wonder if they may have gotten a ‘head start’ on the Summer expansion (they certainly had ideas about its content well in advance this time around) and that might in turn bring the summer release a little forward. And as CSM8 chairman Ripard Teg says in his Week 39 CSM report:
I’m continuing the process of starting to beg Trebor to run a second Reasonable Things effort for the summer expansion. We have really good reason to believe that there will be a little bit of slack time in the schedule to clear away some of the more popular player ideas off this list.
Sounds like CCP may have a few devs with a bit of free time coming up…
2) Dust514 Expansion.
Dust514 has not a new named expansion since it officially launched last May with Uprising. After that there was a load of mixed reviews and a more muted public response than CCP had hoped for. Since then the focus has been on frequent updates aimed at honing Dust’s core mechanics and polishing the rougher edges. At some point though CCP need to do something a little more headline grabbing than “we made the vehicles steer better” or “we rebalanced the guns and added a map”.
Maybe the time is now coming for something less iterative and more expansive to get the press talking about the game again and draw back some lapsed players. Seems pretty likely to happen within the next six months, even if it ends up being a large list of iterative updates with a new expansion title applied for advertising benefit. I’m hoping for a major new feature of some sort.
3) EVE Valkyrie Reveal.
I actually think that CCP are saving EVE Valkyrie for Fanfest. If they are at all serious about hitting that 2014 launch window then Valkyrie is going to dominate the stage at Fanfest this year as it is CCP’s principle media event of the year. I was present at last year’s Fanfest and the media presence was heavy indeed. CCP are getting good at leveraging Fanfest as a major platform for advertising their products not just to the existing player base but the world beyond it. If the countdown does turn out to be about Valkyrie then I’d be surprised if it was much more than a new trailer and a website re-launch with very little hard info behind it.
I suppose they could reveal the platform they are launching on, in which case my guess is both Windows & SteamOS. I think they want another product on another platform but the PS4 and XboxOne by all reports I’ve heard might not be well suited to support the Occulus Rift without further optimisation. SteamOS on the other hand puts Valkyrie in people’s living rooms on a console-like platform while being similiar enough code-wise to also be on the main PC OS most of us are currently on anyway.
4) World of Darkness reveal.
I would be both excited and surprised if CCP unveiled WoD tomorrow. I was at Fanfest 2006 when CCP first announced they would be making it and I was there again for the presentation and sneak-peak video last year. Where it was made painfully clear that WoD would not be released until 2015 at the earliest. The producer giving the presentation even stated that he hadn’t wanted to make that presentation as they were trying to keep the game out of the spot light until it was ready! As much as I’d like to see this game finally become a reality, I don’t think this is going to be the day.
5) An in-game event.
Maybe the countdown isn’t actually a product announcement per-se, maybe this a new approach CCP are trying out for changing the status-quo for something within EVE-Online. If CONCORD suddenly goes offline tomorrow and hands over law enforcement to the players, I will be one sad panda cursing my lack of proper home internet as I miss yet another historic day in EVE. That would suck. If it is a game changing event, I expect you all to regale me with fantastic tales later on. Or just describe how the Soul Crushing Lag choked high sec to death, whatever happens really. 😉
So those are my musings, hopefully whatever it is will turn out to be something interesting!