EVE Fanfest 2016: Andie Nordgren on EVE Online’s Citadel expansion launch and beyond

EVE Online‘s highly anticipated Citadel expansion has now launched, adding a whole new class of player-built structures to the game for corporations to build and smash to bits. The new citadels can be built anywhere in space, allowing players to plant their virtual flag and base of operations near stargates, NPC stations, asteroid belts, and other points of interest. Industrialists are currently scrambling to manufacture those first few citadels to sell on the open market for a massive profit, but when the dust settles the prices are expected to low enough that even small corporations will be able to afford their own citadels.

To put EVE’s largest alliances to the test, CCP has also added the Palatine Keepstar, a beefy x-large citadel with the interesting twist that only one can be built in EVE at a time. The Palatine Keepstar costs around 200 trillion ISK (15% of EVE’s total economic wealth) to build, which is around $3,000,000 to $4,000,000 worth of PLEX. We still have no idea whether the Palatine Keepstar will ever be built or what players will ultimately end up doing with standard citadels. This expansion is the first huge step toward Executive Producer Andie Nordgren’s future vision of deep space colonisation accessible to all players. The next step comes in the fall when players will get access to industrial structures and in winter when we get automated drilling platforms.

Read on for our interview from EVE Fanfest 2016 with EVE‘s Executive Producer Andie Nordgren on what comes next after the Citadel expansion.

Massively OP: So after Citadel we’re looking toward fall for the industrial citadel structures. What exactly will we be able to do in those, is it manufacturing and research?

Andie Nordgren: Research and manufacturing, yep.

And then in the winter update we get the Drilling Platforms. Is this going to replace a lot of the resource gathering layer in EVE with passive ways to generate resources?

“We want living and owning space to be less and less defined by CCP and more and more defined by what you’ve actually built there.”
Some of them might be a bit more active, so there are steps that the drilling platform will do but other steps that you have to actually be online to do. We’re moving in a direction where we want living and owning space to be less and less defined by CCP and more and more defined by what you’ve actually built there. You should be defending real assets rather than a very artificial idea of what it means to own a system. It should be valuable to you because you put stuff there that is valuable to you, not because we put some stuff there.

Right now you have the infrastructure hub that you can upgrade and it’s very detached from your space — You’re not building new stuff in your space. Are we going to see a transition away from stuff being given by the infrastructure hub?

Eventually. I mean there’s no concrete plans for that but we want to get to that place where you’re upgrading your space by actually building something.

Are we looking at something where you could set up a drilling platform in an asteroid belt and then come back later to empty it, or someone could steal from it?

Ideas like those, yeah. We have no fine details to share at this point, but we’re looking for the right mix between passive gameplay and things that are more active. There’s room in EVE for sources of all kinds of different passive incomes, and they could be slow cycles or fast cycles and they all need to have something that you have to actively do but it doesn’t have to be that you’re always sitting there at that rock if you invest in your space. Nothing is confirmed yet.

You said before that you wanted CCP to get back to big expansions, and Citadel is the first of those since that announcement. Is the winter update a follow-on from Citadel or another expansion?

I think the way we’re seeing it now is that the Citadel expansion brings this whole structure system and now that’s kind of like ships where we can add new citadel structures easily. So we’re going to have new structures in these follow-up releases, and those releases will be really big and interesting and powerful but they are follow-ups to Citadel.

The way we do expansions now is that when we say expansion it really needs to be an expansion; it needs to bring some better gameplay into the game and lots of new content and it really has to be big. The way we did it in 2015 was we made a lot of big changes but we did it in a kind of piecemeal fashion and it put the game in a weird halting state because everyone knew that other changes were coming.

There are no other expansions in 2016, and we’re starting to sort of press next what do we want to do in 2017. An expansion is not always the thing that takes us the most time to make, it’ll be the thing that has the most impact. There’s a difference between balancing the stuff that’s there, which can still have a lot of repercussions, and adding new systems to the game.

I think most players are behind the idea of expansions being this big impactful thing that changes the game significantly, but they do get excited for a big expansion.

It’s a little bit of expectations management. I hope people realise that going to this level of expansion also means that we can’t have one every six months. It just doesn’t work like that.

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We found out that the Palatine Keepstar will cost 15% of all of EVE‘s wealth to build. Is this just giving people an impossible goal because you know someone will manage to do it?

I can’t remember exactly how much it costs but it’s something ridiculous — I think that’s about it. Some part of it is us sometimes being wrongly calibrated in terms of what people are able to achieve and we want to test all of our assumptions. There’s this pull between “they’ll never be able to do it; this is ridiculous” and then knowing that this is how we felt about titans.

We are just now embracing the fact that capitals and supercapitals are now just part of the game and it’s not just one titan on the field because they’re so rare, it’s not like that any more. Capsuleers have taken over half of New Eden and built these huge ships, so let’s just embrace it and work with it and now let’s make awesome stuff within that context.

It’ll also be a pretty big story if one gets built, and another pretty big story when one is blown up.

Yup! That’s the pressure as well, because you can invest in building one but if you want to actually anchor it then you have to go and destroy the other one.

The other announcements with the Rorqual bonuses and the pirate supercapitals and everything are all very nullsec focused. What would you say to people who think you’re focusing too heavily on nullsec?

I’ve read some of this commentary, and I’m thinking, “Oh it’s not like that!” because we actually have quite a lot of stuff in the works for everyone. We’re starting a new content team, for example, who will work with the new AI capabilities and putting new types of content in the game and so on. We actually have quite a lot of people working on those types of stuff; it’s just the timing for Fanfest and Citadel.

“We’re really trying to get away from thinking about the game as three separate games, like there’s a nullsec game, a lowsec game, and a highsec game.”
These are things we’re not ready to talk about at Fanfest and so there is that. I just want to respond, “Oh, I know it looks like that but it’s not like that!” and I want to somehow share some of the stuff that we’re not ready to share yet. We are absolutely not just thinking about nullsec stuff, and we’re really trying to get away from thinking about the game as three separate games, like there’s a nullsec game, a lowsec game, and a highsec game.

I think of the entire game as one sandbox with different properties in different areas of the game but all of the citadel structures for example are for all areas of space and so on. Even though there’s obviously a push now since we’re working on capitals now as part of the citadel expansion and embracing capitals as a ship class, this is really not all that we’re working on. I hope that people can just sit tight a little bit.

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Disclosure: In accordance with Massively OP’s ethics policy, we must disclose that CCP paid for our writer’s travel to and accommodation at this event. CCP neither requested nor was granted any control or influence over our coverage of the event.
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33 Comments on "EVE Fanfest 2016: Andie Nordgren on EVE Online’s Citadel expansion launch and beyond"

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Nyphur
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Nyphur

alexjwillis scratches16 Belegorm Pashgan Back before PLEX, we used to be able to sell game time codes for ISK and a 90 day code sold for 360m That’s like 120m per PLEX, now I wish I’d stocked up on years of game time.

LordSolarMacharius
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LordSolarMacharius

korsobar theeknighthood Boardwalker LordSolarMacharius A Machariel “bumping” a ship with the mass of a Jump Freighter would smash itself to pieces and cause little to no change to the inertia of the object due to the sheer differences in mass. However, that’s science and logic. CCP doesn’t care about either, really.

theeknighthood
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theeknighthood

korsobar theeknighthood Boardwalker LordSolarMacharius I was pleased when CCP announced a 3 minute maximum timer for warp, it has been needed for quite sometime, I will confess I find bumping one of the most lame tactics in EVE

korsobar
Guest
korsobar

theeknighthood Boardwalker LordSolarMacharius korsobar  I don’t think I was being incredibly dumb when my JF got ganked.  Yes there are ways to avoid those kind of ganks but those methods tend to be quite involved. They used 4-5 bumping machariels on the gate I came in from.  22 ships, talos and catalyst were on the killmail although they brought quite a few more.  I wasn’t carrying super expensive cargo (they lost isk killing me for sure and would have even if everything had dropped), just some courier contracts.  I had 2 of max 3 reinforced bulkheads fit.  I never use autopilot ever.  My real mistake was flying a jump freighter through the ganker systems at all with any fit or cargo.  Still, that wasn’t gross stupidity.  The gankers are quite good at what they do to the point that CCP is going to change it so you can’t be indefinitely bumped without warping off anymore.

theeknighthood
Guest
theeknighthood

Boardwalker LordSolarMacharius korsobar I have in my 10+ years I have been can flipped while mining once and fell for trying to take on the ship with my drones, and had an attempted gank once while mining.

Can flip I story is quite fun actually, he was in a Merlin and took out my drones before they could get him, he had me warp scrambled and was trying to get a ransom to let me go, I stalled him by haggling on the price long enough for a corp mate to warp in and back me up, he had to run in the end and I kept my ship, of course can flipping isn’t a thing anymore :)
The gank attempt was also funny, mining away and I was tired, and a little Venture warps in and starts flying between me in my Mackinaw and some Skiffs in the belt, little did I know it was the gankers alt, they were using the Venture as a warp in point.
Then out of no where two Catalysts on my ass, but I fit a pretty decent tank on my Mack, so Concord got them both and I lived with 12% hull, it was fun watching them warp off in pods :)
But both those cases of near gank were because I was being dumb, you only get ganked in high sec if you are being dumb.

SallyBowls1
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SallyBowls1

Did I miss something, but there seems to be a lot of good will towards Citadels?  A number of good things, not a lot of complaints, and this is obviously the first step down a significant path. Seems good, KCACO?

LordSolarMacharius
Guest
LordSolarMacharius

Denice J Cook LordSolarMacharius Also, the security status of many systems needs to be changed. Major trade routes should never have choke point systems with 0.5 security status. If they insist on keeping this in the game then the more suicide ganking or pirate activity that occurs in these systems, the more CONCORD and national security forces warp in to take control of the situation, and the security rating of the system should temporarily rise. But that’s too logical for CCP.

LordSolarMacharius
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LordSolarMacharius

Denice J Cook LordSolarMacharius My point is that they could seriously grow their player base if they offered even a few more protections to casual players in low and high sec and punished griefing and piracy more severely. Hardcore pirates should NEVER be allowed to enter secured space for any reason pod or not. They worked to get themselves to -10.0 security status so one of the rewards should be that warp gates to secure systems refuse to work for them and if they get into a secured system by some other means that stations and NPC security forced open fire on them and chase them down whether in a pod or not. Adopt the lifestyle, reap the rewards. That would be a start in the right direction for EVE.

alexjwillis
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alexjwillis

scratches16 Belegorm Pashgan Oh…for the days when they were “only” 450 million.

paul2724
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paul2724

scratches16 alexjwillis Belegorm Pashgan If that’s a ‘tanked’ price, what on earth did they get up to ??  Last time I looked they were well under 1bill (and that wasn’t *that* long ago – I pop in every 9-12 months for a while)

LordSolarMacharius
Guest
LordSolarMacharius

HDHarris LordSolarMacharius It’s a dwindling MMO with an insignificant share of the MMO pie and their only cash cow at this point. I suppose I’ll concede the point that they have to continue to be outrageous and jump up and down in a corner saying “LOOK AT ME!” to keep things rolling.

Sleepery
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Sleepery

Boardwalker then you sat spinning in a station for 10 years. My whole clan started Eve at the same time, by the end of 3 months there were only two of us left. We were the slow learners :D

korsobar
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korsobar

Boardwalker LordSolarMacharius korsobar The best way to not get suicide ganked in high sec is not to be in high sec.  That said, I reactivated my accts recently after a near 2 year hiatus and promptly got my JF suicide ganked in high sec.  Suicide ganking seems to be more popular than ever now actually.

HDHarris
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HDHarris

LordSolarMacharius well let’s be honest, that sorta thing sells subs, so why wouldn’t they?

HDHarris
Guest
HDHarris

Boardwalker LordSolarMacharius korsobar ha, it only took me a few months to experience suicide ganking and being scammed, lol

scratches16
Guest
scratches16

alexjwillis Belegorm Pashgan As of a few days ago, prices in Jita were about 1 billion ISK, give or take a couple million

TimothyTierless
Guest
TimothyTierless

I suddenly have the urge for a cell shaded version of EVE.

alexjwillis
Guest
alexjwillis

Belegorm Pashgan What is the current standard PLEX price btw?

Boardwalker
Guest
Boardwalker

LordSolarMacharius korsobar I’ve played EVE for 10 years, and have never been suicide ganked in high sec, exploited, or scammed. Sounds like you might be a victim of media and non-player sensationalism.

Denice J Cook
Guest
Denice J Cook

LordSolarMacharius 
I can definitely see your point, having played Eve for the better part of five years.  However, EVERY open PvP game fits that same bill, lol.  
Deathtoll, Everquest 2’s brand-new time-locked progression open PvP server, was only open a few months when it got shuttered again, an empty and lifeless shell of its launch-day glory.  Sure, there were balance issues that the tiny, 15-person dev team just couldn’t handle fixing properly, but the real culprits were the 2340983724 exploiters.  Exploiting auto-engage, or Exiles “using” guard aggro to kill city players…anything they could do for a cheap win, they did.  Player harassment also included the obligatory 6-person teams endlessly griefing all the players that were 8 levels below them (max range for the zones), plus spawn camping and repeatedly griefing other players until they left the server.

Even when game devs are *trying* to stop them, they build a better mouse trap, and then cheaters build a better mouse.  There are always weak points in millions of lines of code; it’s inevitable that n’er-do-wells will go out of their way to find and exploit them.

It’s the same everywhere you go; and when allowed, the level-capped creeps are always there in the newbie zones, swatting down newly-created characters left and right and pulling every trick in the book they can on them, too.

Believe me, my disgust for CCP knows few bounds these days; they have been their own worst enemies for all the years I played Eve, and they remain so to this day.  However, the PvP aspect is always the same in every open PvP game, and I would know; I’ve just about played them all at one point or another.

Elven_Seraph
Guest
Elven_Seraph

Exciting times in space, just reactivated accounts 3 and 4.  Its not that I need to play so many..its that I can!  :D

MChrome
Guest
MChrome

Belegorm Pashgan That’s assuming that the goons have the fortitude to continually take space back. Their fleet numbers have gone down immensely and they’re struggling even against a newbie alliance at the moment, despite calls from above to do a ‘hellwar’.

I’m fairly convinced that most of the current goons only just want to rat and make isk, and are ill-suited for a months, or even years long sov war.

LordSolarMacharius
Guest
LordSolarMacharius

korsobar The way the game is designed, they have to treat the game as 3 separate games, although they really only seem to really give a crap about the nullsec part of the game. Low sec is all ganking/piracy and high sec is all about suicide ganking using cheap toss-away ships, scams and exploits which CCP is too cowardly to fix because they might anger the griefers.

korsobar
Guest
korsobar

“We’re really trying to get away from thinking about the game as three separate games, like there’s a nullsec game, a lowsec game, and a highsec game.”
Seriously, do wormholes even exist in the minds of ccp devs?

LordSolarMacharius
Guest
LordSolarMacharius

200 trillion ISK. LOL. CCP is off their rocker and is obviously just being outrageous to get media attention. IF one does somehow ever manage to get built, every griefer that ever played the game will form an alliance just to destroy the thing.

Belegorm
Guest
Belegorm

Pashgan PLEX’s price has tanked due to tons of people suddenly needing a ton of isk to afford citadels and new cap mods; or more precisely, the blueprints for both.
I would say that’s unrelated to the CFC’s dissolution.  And while that is definitely what is happening, chances are Goonswarm (of the mittani persuasion, not darius johnson’s new startup), will be able to control 1-3 regions at least because probably no one will have the fortitude to continually destroy them.

RaidEn_EVE
Guest
RaidEn_EVE

MorpayneRADIO RaidEn_EVE that’s better.

MorpayneRADIO
Guest
MorpayneRADIO

RaidEn_EVE MorpayneRADIO

RaidEn_EVE
Guest
RaidEn_EVE

MorpayneRADIO She’s a girl, notna dude.

alexjwillis
Guest
alexjwillis

Now taking odds that Chribba already has the mats and cash ready to go to build the Palatine.

MorpayneRADIO
Guest
MorpayneRADIO

Just wanted to say what a cool last name that dude has. Nordgren makes me think of a giant axe wielding viking warrior lol

Pashgan
Guest
Pashgan

So much work on the update and in the end hipster glasses on auctions is the only change in my gameplay I’ve noticed. Back to Star Conflict and Elite.
p.s. It is interesting coincidence how price of PLEX has tanked along with CFC alliance dissolution.

theeknighthood
Guest
theeknighthood

I have no doubt that the Palatine Keepstar will be build, the real question is how long will it remain in tact after it is build, that would be a pretty amazing battle to witness!

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