EVE Fanfest 2018: EVE Online FPS Project Nova is coming ‘in months, not years’

    
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When CCP Games first made the leap into the first person shooter market with DUST 514, things didn’t exactly go to plan. The game was released as a PlayStation 3 exclusive toward the end of the console’s lifetime and fell severely short of expectations. While DUST 514 was eventually discontinued, the dream of a first person shooter in the EVE Online universe has been kept alive at CCP. Two years ago, the company announced that a total remake of DUST 514 was underway under the name Project Nova, and this time it would be released on PC.

Today at EVE Fanfest 2018, CCP Games’ CEO Hilmar Veigar Petursson revealed that Nova will be coming “in months, not years.” The game should hopefully be playable in some form this year, and the initial release will focus on core FPS gameplay in an EVE setting rather than being directly connected to the EVE server. CCP hopes for the game to stand on its own feet before slowly integrating it into EVE — first via social integration, and later through economy links and other gameplay links. No new content was shown off for Nova this year, but CCP has started a newsletter for those who want to get in on the ground floor.

Massively Overpowered is on the ground in Reykjavik, Iceland, for EVE Fanfest 2018, bringing you expert coverage from EVE Online and anything else CCP has up its sleeve!
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 has neither requested nor been granted any control or influence over our coverage of the event. Technically, up to 23 months would still not be “years.”
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Rolan Storm

I liked DUST 514, too bad it never got any love from CCP. Will try this one out.

PurpleCopper
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PurpleCopper

I’m kind of skeptical of Nova becoming successful. Because I don’t think CCP can make a good enough shooter game to compete with other shooters on the market.

And the only way that CCP can put an interesting twist on the shooter for their game to stand out on the market and stay true to the EVE setting is to basically have a FPS version of EVE that is less complex and hardcore.

Will CCP do that? I doubt it.

Instead….we’ll prolly get a run of the mill lobby shooter.

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Aiun Tanks

And the only way that CCP can put an interesting twist on the shooter for their game to stand out on the market and stay true to the EVE setting is to basically have a FPS version of EVE that is less complex and hardcore.

Did you ever try Dust? You just described Dust. It was basically EVE, in FPS form. Most of the depth of complexity around damage/mitigation types, fitting restrictions based on skills, improving skill allowing you to fit better gear, acquisition of various tiers of gear plus variants, different kits to suit different roles, etc. Tonnes of miniscule (but collectively impactful) buffs to every possible facet of play, with lengthy skill-training of expensive, purchased skills, shortened by the prototype of injection… branching out from suits to vehicles, over a tree of options as varies as there are ships. It really was like the EVE template, laid out over Planetside 2.

Thing is… the audience was different. EVE is only available on PC – the home of the spreadsheet -and is an open-world gankbox, where a ‘fair fight’ only occurs from an error in judgement. There was little to no overlap between PS3-based console FPSers. FPSers on the PS3 weren’t interested in what Dust was offering – EVE in FPS form. It was too complex, too unfair, and staggering advantage could be bought and paid for. Additionally, things got even worse when the gimp-ass gamepad control system could be replaced by the PS3’s support for keyboard and mouse control. They tried adding deliberate, intentional, and crippling control-lag to KB+M, which just made the game less fun to play and control. Combined with gaming’s worst pop-in, least-inspired alpha/beta maps, it was ugly as fuck to boot.

Here’s what happened: PS3 players would download the free Dust client. A newbie playing with Civilian level gear could literally pump two or three mags of assault rifle ammo directly on-target with every round into a laughing, cashed-up veteran, without even scratching their shields… who would then leisurely destroy said newbie with a casual, three-round burst of their own weapon. Cue: the world’s most understandable rage-quit.

The only players left were invested EVE veterans who coincidentally had a PS3 and liked FPSes or wanted the EVE rewards that came from planetary control. That was it. Occasionally some vets were rewarded with the shits and giggles of nuking ‘dusties’ from orbit for no real reason beyond novelty, boredom or griefing. And there were so few of those players left, that the game became utterly pointless.

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Alex Willis

I want so badly to be excited about this. EVE’s setting and lore is my favourite amongst all MMOs. And I think it’s totally good sense to develop it without links to EVE proper at first. But…there’s quite a negative track record to overcome here.

Best idea would be for them to take the Warframe approach: start small with a dynamic framework, and iterate with frequent updates. Keep the community excited and guessing.

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Sally Bowls

I get that CCP needs to do something besides EVE. I just don’t see how CCP grows EVE significantly, anything that would broaden its appeal would get significant “NGE” pushback from the cadre of players (& devs!) who like the way it is.

Without the EVE integration, my initial thoughts are that it will be tough for a company with CCP’s limited (relative to the big players in FPS) means to compete in the FPS as a standalone FPS. Nor do I see a lot of appeal to CCP as “the FPS shooter for people who play EVE.” There are not enough players of EVE, else they would not keep wandering off into genres where they have no experience to look for player growth.

FPS is the largest game subsegment. IMO, it takes Icelandic levels of optimism to think that a company with limited means and no experience can profitably break into the market. (At least in the short term; and long-term CCP is not known for excessive patience for underperformers that are not EVE.) I can’t help but think that http://massivelyop.com/2018/04/11/perfect-ten-why-trend-chasing-doesnt-work-at-all-for-online-games/ applies here.

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Erik Heinze-Milne

Eh, the only reason I didn’t play Dust much was because I am incredibly shit at shooters on consoles. Them totally abandoning their fan base to chase the console market is what killed Dust, the game itself was actually pretty fun, IMO. If it had been on PC I would have played the everloving shit out of it.

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Sally Bowls

Re DUST: Except how would that help CCP much? Why go to all the expense of a new game to just appeal to the existing EVE players ? They have a couple of hundred EVE customers (not accounts) Those numbers are steady/slight decline but certainly not growing. Spending millions or tens of millions on a new game to get half the players, say 100K people, to give CCP an extra $60 does not seem worth the trouble. A new PLEX training promotion would probably generate the same revenue for far less effort.

It seems to me *anything* they do to diversify *must* effectively “abandon their fan base” Not literally, they still want EVE customer to spend and evangelize today’s new product diversification attempt. But for diversification to succeed, I don’t see how it can primarily be focused on the existing player base. I understand why the existing player base would want that, but it does not meet CCP’s financial needs.

IMO, there is a reason that CCP spent tens of millions of dollars on WOD, WiS, DUST, Legion, several VR games instead of spending those EVE profits on EVE, is because they wanted to diversify to non-EVE customers. I bet the way CCP could most please the EVE players would be to spend the money on EVE. But they are spending the tens of millions to produce games to attract non-EVE players.

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Erik Heinze-Milne

How, exactly, was an EvE shooter supposed to accomplish this? Also, people play more than one game. Currently if an EvE player wants to play a shooter, they give their money to some other developer. With Dust, they could have had that money too, but went to console instead, freezing out most possibility of that happening.

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Sally Bowls

“How, exactly, was an EvE shooter supposed to accomplish this? ”
the theory (which, due to Implementation issues, failed) was to get a small % of the tens of millions of non-EVE shooter players to play DUST.

Not every EVE player is interested in shooters. So even if you got half of them to play an EVE shooter, that is around 100,000 people. While Sea of Thieves did 2,000,000 in the first week. A business just can’t justify that much expense to learn and launch in new genre with new developers and tools to sell 100,000 copies. If you want to make a few million dollars selling to the existing install base, spend the development on EVE itself.

There was some initial, now-embarrassing, marketing from CCP that talks about how EVE could become the largest MMO in the world. (A modest % of the hundred million console players playing DUST would have done that. BTW, I am not defending what was a pretty naive business plan.)

You are correct that DUST-on-PC was a better plan than what CCP delivered for DUST 514. But if a significant % of a new game’s customers are going to be EVE players, then I doubt CCP should bother.

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Erik Heinze-Milne

Except that, for something so niche, you need buy in from your existing players. Instead they pissed them all off and got absolutely shit on during launch, driving players away from the game before they even tried it. It was NEVER going to work as a console only game, and everyone, except apparently CCP who had their heads in the sand, knew it. And told CCP. Repeatedly.

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Chris Walker

CCP developed it for consoles to expand their fan base, and more importantly, Sony offered them a sweet, sweet deal.

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kgptzac

Eve Valkyrie is in “Eve’s settings” without explicit link to the servers, and it’s rather bare bone and unpolished. Hopefully this game will fare better.

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Armsman

So CCP doesn’t have enough faith in what they’re doing here, so they DON’T want to work on actual integration with EVE until this game is successful in their eyes.

It’ll end up like Valkirye; or WIS where over the next few years (assuming said game doesn’t tank like DUST 514) CCP will claim EVE integration of this FPS coming “soon” over the next decade or so after it’s release.

CCP: The more things change, the more they stay the same.

kite91
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kite91

CCP keeps trying all this random Stuff that in the end wont work. All we want as current eve players and former eve players to come back….Is walking in stations.

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Denice J. Cook

Uhhh, I sure hope CCP has finally come to the realization that the simplistic twitch FPS crowd isn’t going to play a “you lose everything and have to completely start all over every time you die” hardcore, spreadsheet-brainiac game…but somehow I doubt it.

Or else maybe they’re just counting on drawing from their existing player base only?

*Suddenly hears “Flight of the Bumblebee” playing in the background*

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Schmidt.Capela

CCP seems to grossly overestimate the number of players that enjoy this kind of all-or-nothing high-risk progression.

Meanwhile, two FPS games that came out of nowhere and buckled the genre’s current direction by not having persistent progression (apart from cosmetic items) are dominating the genre.

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Aiun Tanks

CCP seems to grossly overestimate the number of players that enjoy this kind of all-or-nothing high-risk progression.

In an MMO audience that numbers in the hundreds of millions, CCP has successfully carved out the best niche there is for the maybe ten to twenty thousand people who like what they’re selling.

But because those players SPEND, yes… yes, they do overestimate how much demand there is for what they’re selling.

cmdr_cotic
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cmdr_cotic

“Months, not years” being a none too subtle dig at CIG saying their FPS was coming in “weeks, not months” and then not delivering for a year or more. Good on ya Hilmar.

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Armsman

Or, it could be a dig at FDEVs ‘Space Legs’ feature that FDEV first thiought would be in Elite Dangerous soon (Hey, remember the first Promo Trailer that had the pilots walking across a Hanger into their ships:

Which spaned responses like this:

$ years later and ED pilots till can’t get out of or really walk around in their ships.

Yep, good on you Hilmar. ;)

cmdr_cotic
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cmdr_cotic

Ahhahaha what a desperately feeble load of whataboutism… 1/10

Let’s look at this with a logic cap on, here you can borrow my hamster’s because it’s clearly got more logic than you.

Lesnick says “Our FPS will be with you in weeks, not months.” (took 1.5 years to release past the original date)
Hilmar says “Our FPS will be with you in months, not years.”

Far more likely a poke at SC’s Star Marine being over a year late than something totally unrelated in another game.

Shouldn’t be surprised that you’d scrabble around in the bottom of the barrel for anything to protect SC though, you Star Citizen Defense Force are not exactly known for your handle on reality.

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Mateusz Pachnik

Been waiting for this one!