ccp

See: CCP Games

EVE Online prepares players for summer cruiser rebalance

Ahoy space captains! EVE Online is working to get the word out about a “significant” rebalance patch for the game’s strategic cruiser line that’s coming on July 11th. As part of the preparation, the team posted a dev diary outlining some of the changes and announcing the formation of a focus group to gather feedback for them.

“Since these changes to strategic cruisers will be very significant in scope, existing ships and subsystems will go through a dramatic transformation on patch day. We want to start warning people now about the impacts of this transformation and will continue communicating it over the next two months to ensure that players are not caught by surprise.”

If you’re in the mood for a good space yarn, you might want to read this fascinating true story about how tenacious EVE players managed to overwhelm and outsmart an AI space station that was designed to counter players’ threats. As usual for this game, the answer involved “tons of small, disposable ships.”

Finally, you can listen to a new EVE track, Birth of the Capsuleer, after the break!

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EVE Online scam highlights the value of friendships over ISK

If you’ve ever studied the psychology of con men and abusers, you know that one of the ways they get people to trust them is to offer some sort of trust first to generate an obligation of reciprocity in the victim. That’s exactly what happened in a massive recent EVE Online scam.

PC Gamer chronicles how over the course of a few months, EVE player Samantha Myth wormed his way into the officer tier of Amamake Police, a close-knit corp known for flying elite ships. Using ill-gotten gains from a previous scam, Samantha purchased an elite ship of his own and lent it to Amamake Police member Tikktokk Tokkzikk. Exploiting the trust he’d just generated, he then talked Tikktokk and two other pilots in the to corp to lend him three outrageously expensive ships, including Tikktokk’s well-decorated Chremoas.

And then he took off. The three ships were gone, sold on auction by the scammer, obviously no longer a trusted member of Amamake Police.

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EVE Online is adding smaller skill injectors for newer players

The changes to PLEX for EVE Online make it easier to buy small chunks, sell small chunks, and not have all of it get blown up when you stuff a cargo hold full of your money. Of course, part of what has made PLEX so vital is the need for newer players to be able to catch up with veterans, which ties into use of skill injectors… which are currently very expensive. So the game is introducing a cheaper way to get those, as well.

Existing skill injectors will be marked as large injectors, while the new smaller skill injectors will hold a maximum of 100,000 points and offer smaller and smaller rewards to players with more skill points. The hope is that newer players can buy the bite-sized injector and start to catch up before moving on to larger purchases, thus ensuring that everyone can more quickly take part in the sprawling wars of backstabbing that make the game tick along.

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EVE Online introduces colorblindness accessibility options

A couple of years ago, my husband was taking one of those online tests to determine color blindness and pulled me over to read the bubbles on his screen. I rattled them off, and he stared at me, asking me whether I was pranking him — because he couldn’t read them at all. Many shades of red and green pretty much look the same to him. He’s colorblind, we’d realized, and suddenly a lot of the problems he’d had with colormatching and video game interfaces all these years made sense to us.

He’s also an active EVE Online player, so I’ll be excited to show him this news piece when it’s done: EVE Online is adding color blindness accessibility options at last, bringing relief to what we can reasonably estimate is around 8% of the game’s playerbase.

“Some games that offer color blind modes simply replace all color on the screen using the selected color blind hue mapping, but as it seems people don’t really care too much for that approach since it makes the game world look weird for no good reason as it’s only color used for indication of state that causes problems,” CCP writes. “Instead, we only apply the color-blind hue mapping to UI highlight colors, meaning that it’s mostly icons and text that get affected and not background color, the 3d scene, or graphical images like items. There are a couple UI areas where color blind mode does not work for the time being (most noticeably the scanning 3d scene), but it is our hope we’ll get all those areas covered in the future.”

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The MOP Up: Neverwinter’s green beetle fiasco (May 21, 2017)

The MMO industry moves along at the speed of information, and sometimes we’re deluged with so much news here at Massively Overpowered that some of it gets backlogged. That’s why there’s The MOP Up: a weekly compilation of smaller MMO stories and videos that you won’t want to miss. Seen any good MMO news? Hit us up through our tips line!

This week we have stories and videos from TERARendTree of SaviorDragon NestNeverwinterArmored WarfareEVE OnlineOverwatchARKWakfuDestiny, and Pokemon Go, all waiting for you after the break!

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Massively Overthinking: Being Uncle Owen in MMORPGs

Ever since the tone-deaf SOE proclamation that nobody wanted to play Uncle Owen in an MMORPG, contrary me has consciously fought that very stupid idea. A whole lot of people wanted to play Uncle Owen, then and now, there and elsewhere. Star Wars Galaxies was a game half full of Uncle Owens. I spent a lot of time literally becoming a moisture farmer as my own form of rebellion. And yet, as I realized while debating with my husband a few weeks ago, the person I really wanted to be was freakin’ Lando. And most MMORPGs don’t allow that either — it’s Luke or GTFO.

Such is the argument made by a recent PC Gamer article, which in its own precious mainstream way argues that “MMOs need to let you be an average Joe” to get out of the clear “creative slump” they’re in.

“With their scale and permanence, MMOs give us the chance to be citizens in a make-believe world we create with the help of our fellow players. When it’s left up to us what kind of role we want to fill in that world, everybody’s immersion benefits from being surrounded by all types of characters with vastly different stories.”

For this week’s Overthinking, I asked the staff to chime in on the concept of Uncle Owen in MMORPGs. Do you play this way? Do you wish you could? And is it the way forward?

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Osiris: New Dawn adds flares, talks weather patterns

So what about that weather we’re having in Osiris: New Dawn? OK, it’s unlikely that anyone will actually utter that as a conversation starter, but even so, did you know that Osiris has a robust weather system? The team posted a pie chart (the tastiest of all charts) to show the frequency of the five weather types: clear, hazy, dust, storm, and fog.

Last week the sci-fi survival sandbox updated to its 1.116 build, adding in new features such as flares and primitive crafting workstations. It may be the future and all, but who says that stone ovens can’t be useful? For all of the additions, there was one subtraction: The team removed the OMPA robot for some more work.

If this game is your bag, you might be interested to know that there’s an official Discord channel to facilitate conversations and socializing!

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EVE Online players blow up a $6,000 spaceship

Ever have the dark desire to see $6,000 get obliterated right before your very eyes?

A coordinated team of EVE Online players baited a Vanquisher Titan into a battle and proceeded to decimate the gigantic starship as smaller vessels swarmed all over it. When destroyed, the victory not only marked the first time a Vanquisher was destroyed in the game but also wiped out a ship worth over 413.5 billion ISK — or roughly $6,000 in conversion rates.

It’s hard not to imagine what the pilot and owner must have felt at this moment, but as the EVE saying goes, don’t fly what you can’t afford to lose. Perhaps they were jelly with losing six Gs in a bad night?

The pain of loss and the triumph of victory is so very real after the break.

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EVE Evolved: Is EVE Online becoming too safe?

EVE Online is often painted as a harsh universe without rules where you could have your entire net worth destroyed or swiped right from under your nose, a reputation that has been well-earned over the past 14 years. Emerging in an early MMO industry that was rapidly becoming obsessed with keeping players safe and happy, EVE stood out with its harsh death penalty and anything-goes ruleset. Stories of high-profile heists and massive battles are still the main types of news that come out of EVE, a narrative that underpins much of the official marketing of EVE even today. It’s been something of a double-edged sword for the game’s popularity, attracting some players on the promise of emergent PvP-oriented gameplay and dissuading others with the threat of extraordinary loss.

Despite this outward appearance, the past few years have seen an odd shift in EVE‘s development direction with the apparent goal of making the game a lot safer. Small improvements such as the Weapon Safety system and warning popups help prevent players from making fatal mistakes, but it’s the citadel asset safety and reinforcement timer mechanics that have been most striking. Player-built citadels are completely invulnerable for all but a few hours per week, and even attacking them in that short period is a painful experience as you have to defeat it three separate times over the span of a week and none of the station’s contents even drop as loot. Highsec is now littered with hundreds of structures that simply aren’t worth attacking, and I’m forced to ask whether the citadel reinforcement mechanics are overkill.

In this edition of EVE Evolved, I discuss gameplay being designed with loss-aversion in mind and lay out some of the problems with the citadel asset safety and reinforcement mechanics.

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Massively Overthinking: Is the MMO genre facing an identity crisis?

MMORPG blogger and MOP commenter Isarii (@ethanmacfie) recently published an excellent video positing that the MMO industry is facing a “massive identity crisis.”

“The MMO genre has sort of walked away from the things that made it unique and has faced an identity crisis since then as MMOs have reinvented themselves as these big giant titles trying to appeal to as many people as possible,” he argues. “As a result, you end up with MMOs that try to do things that smaller scale games tend to do better while not doing any of the things that make MMOs themselves unique.”

The whole video is worth a look-and-listen as he pins down what exactly does make MMOs unique and which MMOs have excelled as actual MMOs (protip: It’s everything from EVE to SWG to WoW, so don’t think this is about subgenre elitism at all). What do you think? Is Isarii right? Is the genre facing an identity crisis? And how do we solve it? That’s what our writers will be debating in this week’s Massively Overthinking.

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EVE Online’s patch today changes PLEX and adds new Blood Raider ships and shipyards

The bad news for EVE Online fans is that the game is going to require extended downtime today. There’s nothing to be done about it; it’s just a thing that has to happen. Why? Because the big 119.5 patch is going live. That means the game is rolling out PLEX changes to make PLEX into a currency while also no longer making PLEX a valuable physical item to blow up on a regular basis.

Of course, this patch contains more besides, as there’s the first iteration of new AI systems with Blood Raider shipyards and visual improvements to suns throughout the game. Players will also be able to display fleet emblems on station, enjoy new models for the Pacifier and Enforcer, and obtain new Blood Raider capital ships. You can check out the full patch notes to find out what you’ll be doing once the servers come back up; you’ll have plenty of time to think about it.

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The Daily Grind: Which MMOs would you include among the greatest RPGs of all time?

Massively OP reader Francois recently pointed us to IGN’s Top 100 RPGs of All Time, which we thought was worth a nod since unlike many such lists, it includes several early MMORPGs: including EverQuest (100), EVE Online (81), Phantasy Star Online (63), and of course, World of Warcraft (5), plus other multiplayer games we’ve covered in the past, like Diablo II, Titan Quest, Torchlight II, Stardew Valley, Neverwinter Nights, and more Ultima, Elder Scrolls, and Final Fantasy franchise games than you can shake an ancient console cartridge at.

But I can’t help but feel as if the MMOs that were included were added more for their saturation and fame and ubiquitousness during a certain time period than for their actual quality as RPGs, especially once you apply IGN’s rubic, which mentions requirements like story, combat, and presentation. I bet gamers with more experience in the breadth of MMOs could come up with a few more examples — maybe even a few made sometime after 2004 too, yeah?

Which MMOs would you include among the greatest RPGs of all time?

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Log into EVE Online for 14th birthday presents and prep for tomorrow’s spring release

2003 was a fantastic year for MMORPGs, as anyone around for it can probably attest. In the span of two months that year, we got PlanetSide, Second Life, Star Wars Galaxies, and EVE Online. It’s EVE Online we’re celebrating this week, however, as the venerable sci-fi sandbox MMORPG turns 14 years old. CCP is dishing out a slew of anniversary rewards through May 23rd, so you have a bit of time (and the game is free-to-play now, you’ll recall, so it should be a snap for you to grab them) — they amount to 600 fireworks, a launcher, and the Capsule YC119 Capsuleer Day SKIN.

Meanwhile, tomorrow’s spring patch is due to release the Blood Raider Shipyards, “the first step in the introduction of a new AI system in EVE Online.” The NPCs will basically behave like real people, rolling in fleets and calling targets. (You’re the target.)

“Don’t go by yourself,” CCP Antiquarian suggests helpfully regarding the new content, but really, that’s good advice for most of the game.

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