Wouldn’t you like to be a fly on the walls of EVE Online’s
offices, buzzing to and fro and learning all about what the team is preparing for the future? You might want to hold off on that traumatic species transformation for right now, since the devs are more than willing to share their plans with players about the various projects that are in the works for this winter’s release.
Some of the projects revealed in this month’s “in development” video include the pirate shipyards, the new Vanguard carrier, Venom support fighters, the “V5” shader upgrade, the CONCORD battleship, additional ship skins, better-looking lasers, and a targeted content delivery system. Moon mining, quality of live improvements, and new refinery structures are also planned for the winter expansion.
Get chummy with the various EVE devs and learn more about the game’s future after the break!
A new event named The Agency kicked off this week
in EVE Online
, and it looks a bit like the daily quest systems you can find in many other MMOs. When you log in, you’ll be presented with a list of challenges that will each earn you points on a reward track, with prizes available when you reach various point thresholds. The challenges are all casual PvE activities that you might be doing anyway, such as killing 25 pirate NPCs or collecting a million ISK in NPC bounties, and they refresh every 24 hours so you can grind up the points you need throughout the two-week long event period.
It’s no coincidence that the reward track sounds suspiciously like last year’s botched Shadow of the Serpent event, as this event is built on the same event system and even uses the same user interface. The 24 hour refresh on challenges also makes it similar to a daily login reward system, something that CCP trialled last year with Recurring Opportunities but discontinued as it didn’t increase login numbers. Developers do seem to have learned lessons from both of these examples when putting together The Agency, and now I can’t help but wonder if this could be modified into a fantastic daily reward system.
In this edition of EVE Evolved, I look at some of the positive and negative aspects of The Agency and suggest how it could make a great permanent daily reward system with a few tweaks.
Ah, there’s nothing like the smell of a fresh new patch. It’s full of new things to do, new stuff to explore, and new mechanics to enjoy. Cloud Pirates
is still a rather young game, but you can still enjoy the freshness of update 1.5
with its new map, new treasure maps, a new moving control point capture gameplay mode, and the new First Mate feature to help newer players get into the game. That’s all good stuff.
The update also brings along changes to the way the game’s ranking system works. Players will now gain or lose ranking based on how their performances compare with what the system expects, with failure to meet expectations resulting in no change, drastically failing resulting in a rating loss, and meeting or exceeding expectations improving ratings. Players can also check their contributions to the team, so it’s easy to tell at a glance where they’ll need to improve. It’s another sort of freshness, albeit the sort that will take a little getting used to.
Of all the terminology associated with EVE Online
, the one thing that’s always made me a bit uncomfortable is to hear players describe PvP as “generating content.” It’s an oddly sterile euphemism that seemed to surface years ago during the era of the blue donut when large alliances organised faux wars for the entertainment of their restless troops, and it doesn’t sit right with me. PvP in EVE
is supposed to be about real conflict for solid reasons, not generating content for its own sake. It’s about smashing a gang of battleships into a pirate blockade to get revenge, suicide ganking an idiot for transporting PLEX in a frigate, or forcibly dismantling another alliance’s station because you just hate them so much
EVE PvP can be visceral and highly personal, not just something fun to do or a game of strategy but a way to settle old grudges and punish people for whatever the hell you want. World War Bee was a brutal mix of Machiavellian politics and massive fleets of highly motivated players coming together, not just for some fun gameplay but to try and completely annihilate the goons. So what the hell happened? Why are so many people sitting in nullsec fortresses and farming ISK, building huge capital fleets and complaining about the “lack of content” in PvP today? Does EVE‘s conflict engine need a tune-up?
In this edition of EVE Evolved, I look at some of the factors limiting real conflict in EVE today and suggest three possibly controversial changes that would drive further conflict in New Eden.
Here’s something interesting we learned this week by perusing the Wizard101 newsletter: The game apparently has a stronger following than you’d think among YouTubers, bloggers, and other social media mavens.
We also discovered that Wizard101 is currently testing its next big update, which will contain PvP daily rewards, main quest designation, and actual chat channels. That last one comes as a surprise because Wizard101 was notable for keeping communication safe and barebones as to protect the young ‘uns. We’ll have to see how the chat channels deal with potty mouths and predators.
Over in Pirate101’s part of the KingsIsle empire, there’s a new American flag-themed soaring eagle mount to buy. Everyone also seems to be having fun collecting Rooster Cogburn, a new sheriff companion who’s cleaning up the wild west of the pirate realm. Check him out below!
It can’t all be pristine blue waters and smooth sailing for Sea of Thieves; this is the open ocean, after all! This week the developers finally had the opportunity to show off the mighty storms that players will occasionally battle in their pirate adventures.
In terms for our aspirations for storms, we always wanted them to be something that a crew can look at as a big physical thing in the world,” said Senior Designer Shelley Preston. “You can have a look as a crew and decide do we go through it or around it?”
Storms are designed to make players feel vulnerable and challenge their piloting skills. They even include a fluid simulation in which waves will crash over decks, get them wet, and even seep through planks to drip below deck.
Give the three-and-a-half minute video a quick watch after the break!
Fourteen years into its quirky voyages, Puzzle Pirates still hasn’t exhausted unknown ports of call. The MMO announced this week that it is starting to test its Dark Seas content update, with a new set of islands and two additional factions to explore. The update is decidedly focused on PvP, pitting pirate crews against each other in the search for gold ‘n’ glory.
“All new pirates begin in Port Venture of the Greywaters archipelago,” the team explained, “a relatively safe place to begin getting your sea legs before venturing further out into the Obsidian ocean […] Each crew must choose a faction at the time it is created. Crews can not currently switch factions, but pirates are free to change crews at any time.”
There may or may not be a wipe after the beta test, so take that into consideration. It looks like Puzzle Pirates is being primarily supported through Steam these days, so if you’re looking to play it, that’s where “X” marks the installer.
How long does it take for KingsIsle developers to go from concept to execution when it comes to Wizard101 and Pirate101 content? According to a new YouTube video in which the devs answer some player questions, the answer is roughly “six months” on average. There’s your fun fact for the day.
The video also shows off some new Wizard101 Pigswick spells that are coming to the game soon and then pops over to Pirate101 for a tour through upcoming quests. Give it a watch after the break! The Wizard101 info starts around the 42-minute mark, while the Pirate101 adventures take off around 51 minutes into the show.
Of all the headlines to come out of EVE Online
over the years, the biggest and most far-reaching have been the stories of massive thefts and underhanded scams. The MMO community has grown up hearing these tales, from the embezzlement of EVE‘s first public bank
in 2009 and the estimated $45,000 US Titans4U scam
in 2011 to the trillion ISK Phaser Inc scandal
and beyond. EVE
has been embedded with this narrative of mistrust and betrayal for most of its life, the most famous example still being the Guiding Hand Social Club heist
from all the way back in 2005.
Yet when a player recently stole three extremely rare ships using social engineering, the victims expressed only disappointment that they had lost a friendship they valued. The question for players and the wider MMO community today is simple: How much trust is too much to give someone in an MMO? To what degree should the game mechanics automatically protect your assets and privacy, and how much of that protection should you be able or expected to give up in order to make progress or join a group?
It’s hard to deny that one of Final Fantasy XIV’s newest classes marries style and substance, particularly if you’re into a certain swashbuckling aesthetic.
Skoryy took time out of playing Stormblood to share his new Red Mage with us: “More character screenshots this week as Eorzea’s version of Skoryy, Skory’a, reveals himself as a defender of the weak, the innocent, and candy drops! En garde!”
Now, be careful with that sword there! It’s not just a prop to make you look good at historical reenactments; it can stab your way into a felony charge if you’re not careful.
Kid-friendly MMORPG Wizard101
is on the cusp of a big update
— in fact, it’s already landed on the official test server
as of this week. At its heart is PvP: new PvP daily rewards, a new PvP age, adjustments to PvP rank, and a whole new turn-based PvP tourney mode. There’s stuff for everyone, though, including lots of new chat goodies, tweaks to the quest and tutorial logs, and expansions to the fishing and monstrology systems.
You can check out the illustrated patch notes on the official site, and then feast your eyes down below, where we’ve got an exclusive (not sponsored) dev diary from the KingsIsle team, helmed by Senior Producer of MMO Content Leah “Professor Falmea” Ruben, in which the devs the thought process and planning behind the update!
Pirates are, like, so so hot right now. At least if you look at the multiplayer gaming space, which now has two promising titles from major studios racing toward release. One of these is Skull and Bones, a recently announced Ubisoft title that we got to check out at E3.
For all of the talk of open world sailing and clashes between players, some have wondered if there is any room for the solo pirate who wants to sail the seven seas without others crowding around. Turns out that, yes, this will be a definite option, as Skull and Bones is going to feature a single-player narrative campaign in addition to its multiplayer component.
An Ubisoft representative confirmed this aspect of the game in a statement: “[Skull and Bones] will offer a narrative campaign which will be integrated into the game and will not be something aside of the multiplayer experience. In this campaign, players will encounter iconic characters and memorable rival pirates. More details will be shared at a later date.”
What’s a pirate’s favorite letter? You might think “Arrr,” but he really loves the C!
Dad jokes aside, swashbucklers have boarded Lineage II’s classic server over in Europe, but we doubt that anyone is too concerned about the company. The pirate horde is headed by Captain Zaken, a fearsome foe that can only be taken down by a minimum of seven (!) coordinated parties. He’s only the first of five additional raid bosses that have bolstered the game’s villain roster.
Pirate treasures can now be found on the hunting zone of Devil’s Isle, or if a chance of scenery is needed, there’s also the new Giant’s Cave to explore. To help with the patch’s raid bosses and hunting grounds, players can take advantage of weapon augmentation to give their gear a bit of a boost.