The recent announcement of arcade shooter EVE: Gunjack for the Samsung Gear VR has prompted some pretty interesting negative responses from gamers this week. There’s obviously still a lot of ill will in the air over the cancellation of the World of Darkness MMO, and people have been a bit skeptical of CCP‘s plans since Monoclegate and the underwhelming reception of DUST 514. Many of the comments on Massively Overpowered and other sites suggested that CCP should release Valkyrie before starting work on yet another title, or that the studio should stick to EVE Online and stop wasting money from EVE subscriptions on side projects. People are honestly suggesting that CCP should keep putting all of its eggs in one big (and slowly shrinking) basket, but that just doesn’t make business sense.
Nobody should be surprised that CCP wants to develop several new games or that it’s failed to replicate the success of EVE Online. EVE activity seems to be on a slow decline, and the truth is that very few independent game studios strike it big with even one game. Previous success is not necessarily an indicator of future success, and it’d be naive to think one game can support a large studio indefinitely, so CCP naturally has to keep working on new titles just like everyone else if it wants to survive. If we want EVE Online to still be around a decade from now, it may depend on experimentation with new games and emerging trends such as VR today. There may even come a time when CCP won’t revolve around EVE Online but around whole collection of titles spanning the EVE universe and beyond, and it won’t get there without taking some measured risks.
In this edition of EVE Evolved, I look at why CCP can’t just focus on EVE any more and why developing lots of small experimental games could benefit EVE Online in the long term.
In this edition of Massively Overthinking, Kickstarter backer Yinta wants to talk about virtual reality.
“When will we see the first VR MMO?”
So let’s tackle those upcoming VR MMOs (and borderline MMOs), whether VR MMOs are something you want to see, and whether VR is going to flop in MMO vs. the broader market. I posed Yinta’s topic to our writers; read on to see what they said.
Move over, EVE Valkyrie. Gunjack is CCP’s newest virtual reality pet project. Gunjack is in development for the Samsung Gear VR platform, and yes, that makes it a mobile game.
Players take on the role of a gun turret operator on a mining vessel in the Outer Ring region of EVE Online’s New Eden sci-fi universe. “As part of the ship’s defense team, it is up to the player to protect the rig from pirates, opportunists and anyone else looking to take what rightfully belongs to the company,” CCP says via press release.
Gunjack is a first-person arcade shooter built on the Unreal Engine 4.
The MMO industry, much like any other entertainment industry, is full of wonderful people as much as it’s full of really odd people. And our host Larry Everett has pulled in some long-time gaming journalists to talk about some of the fun and odd things that have happened in the industry.
Larry asked Jason Winter of MMOBomb and our own Brendan Drain to debate industry shocks and the things — and games– that should never have happened in the MMO genre.
The rules are simple for this debate: Our panelists were given four questions to consider before the show. The host will award one point per question for the best argument, and the panelist with the most points at the end wins… the internet!
The past few months have seen a flood of frequent updates hitting EVE Online, and among them we got a whole new class of ship with the Tech 3 Tactical Destroyer. Unlike their cruiser-sized bigger brothers, tech 3 destroyers can transform mid-battle to choose between three separate roles: Defense, Propulsion, and Sharpshooter. These versatile little ships have carved out a niche for themselves in small scale PvP such as Faction Warfare, each functioning as an effective tackler and brawler rolled into one. Tech 3 destroyers can also fit a combat probe launcher to get a warp-in on enemy fleets and have become a popular anti-tackle tool that can snipe from over 50km and track interdictors and interceptors.
I’ve previously written a guide on fitting the Amarr Confessor, the first of the new tech 3 destroyers to be released, but since then a balance patch has made those setups obsolete. Now that all four races have got their own tactical destroyers and the prices have come down to an affordable 35-60 million ISK, I’d like to take a look at how we can fit each of them for PvP. EVE has become a testing ground for dozens of experimental ship setups for each of the tech 3 destroyers as players compete to find out what fitting works best for a variety of situations. The dust has far from settled, but some pretty decent brawling and kiting fits have been gracing the killboards lately and I’ve put together four of my favourite brawling fits. All of the fittings in this article use only tech 2 and named items, but they require good fitting skills and sometimes a 2-3% CPU or powergrid from implants. They’ve been put together with the aid of the fantastic EVE Fitting Tool.
In this edition of EVE Evolved, I look at PvP brawler fittings and strategies for the Amarr Confessor, Caldari Jackdaw, Minmatar Svipul, and Gallente Hecate.
This week’s Massively Overthinking comes to us from Kickstarter donor Dahui, who asks,
“What do you think MMO developers can do to try to minimize the toxic behaviors that are so prevalent in some of the bigger name MMOs?”
I posed Dahui’s question to the writers, and now I pose it to you.
Server issues happen. They are inevitable. The development teams behind games do everything within their power to make sure that they don’t happen, but sometimes it’s just the reality of the situation. EVE Online had an unexpectedly lengthy server downtime back on July 15th, and in light of that delay in play, CCP promised players some skill points to make up for the lost time to play.
Those skill points are going out today to all players who had an active training queue at the time the game could not be accessed. You can use it to catch up to what you would have lost and perhaps even a bit more besides, which is pretty nice as compensation goes.
The big focus in EVE Online recently has been Sovereignty, the process of taking control of the valuable resources in nullsec space. But how does it work? What are the basic mechanics behind it? If only there were a brand-new video from CCP Games explaining all of that in broad terms that you could watch just below!
You get the idea.
There’s also an extended series of tutorial videos that go into more depths about the systems, but the video below will give you an idea of how stations shift ownership and when your claim to a portion of space becomes the most vulnerable. If you’ve never played EVE Online but want to understand how control of space can shift, you owe it to yourself to check it out.
I don’t know about you lot, but I really enjoy ArenaNet‘s Points of Interest livestream that airs on its official Twitch channel. It contains a massive amount of juicy information that often rewards its eager audience with crisply presented details, outstripping that found in the quick news posts on any given topic. Needless to say, it’s almost always worth my while tuning in. Last Friday’s livestream was particularly interesting, however, in that Game Director Colin Johanson hinted that in Heart of Thorns challenging group combat requires the uptake of more traditional tank, DPS, and healer roles.
The traditional MMO holy trinity isn’t something that springs to mind when I think about my beloved Guild Wars 2, so I felt the need to rewatch this section of the stream repeatedly to really get to the heart of Johanson’s message. In this edition of Flameseeker Chronicles, I’ll attempt to disassemble what was said, discuss Johanson’s later written clarification, and attempt to figure out what this might mean for the upcoming expansion. This is going to be a bumpy ride for sure, so buckle up and stick with me!
Just because Pathfinder Online is still in the early access phase doesn’t mean that it can’t throw an event or two into the mix.
In fact, this past weekend’s v10 patch triggered the start of a server-wide saga called Wrath of Nhur Athemon, where players will fight a series of escalations to finally face off against a 10,000-year-old lich. An Azlanti Stone is awaiting any player who manages to win that penultimate encounter.
The patch changed a lot more than just adding a wrinkly corpse magician into the game. Pathfinder Online has converted its war of towers system to a new settlement upkeep, which now allows for unlimited feat support. Players can also obtain mules for moving goods across the world and will soon have the ability to overrun outposts.
Any time an in-depth discussion pops up about EVE Online, it’s never long before someone pipes up with the complaint that new players just can’t compete with veterans. EVE has been out for over 12 years now, and thanks to its realtime skill training mechanic, there are players who seem to have up to a 250 million skillpoint head start. Existing players have also had years to build up wealth, join together in huge alliances, learn how all the game mechanics work, figure out the best ship fittings, and get a lot of PvP practice. Actually catching up to the veterans in every way is next to impossible, but the truth is that you don’t need to. You can be very effective in PvE and PvP with just a few months of skill training and practice, and you can still contribute heavily to fleets with cheap tech 1 ships.
As EVE has been in constant development for 12 years, its history is full of moments when the rules of the game changed and the gulf between newbies and veterans suddenly shortened. When a new major feature comes out and changes the game in a significant way, new players and veterans alike must adapt and effectively have the same challenges and opportunities. We could be approaching one of those moments with Tuesday’s patch, which will turn sovereignty on its head by allowing small groups to potentially steal star systems from larger alliances. There’s a lot of theorycrafting left to be done on strategies and fleet compositions in the new system, and anyone who implements a good strategy before anyone else will get a significant advantage.
In this edition of EVE Evolved, I look at several moments in EVE‘s history when players found themselves suddenly competing on a more even playing field and ask what lesson older games can learn from them.
There’s a sense of satisfaction when you wrap up a big set of goals. You’re downed the last boss of the last raid tier in World of Warcraft, and he dropped the last item you need to have best-in-slot across all of your equipment spaces. You’ve finally finished a major new ship upgrade in EVE Online, and while you’d have to start over if you lost the ship, for the moment you are finished. Heck, maybe you just finally got your house decorated the way you want in Final Fantasy XIV.
The question is… what do you do now?
Sure, MMOs go on forever, but no matter what the game there’s a certain point when you’ve finished your most immediate goals. So what do you do when you reach that point? Step up to another tier of goals? Take a break from the game for a while? Play a different game altogether? Or even just settle into a maintenance routine?
The world of EVE Online‘s nullsec is changing. It’s not getting any safer, no, but the nature of the dangers you face therein are evolving. The latest development blog outlines what’s changing on July 14th, starting with a major revision to nullsec PvE with changes to the Pirate Detection Array. These arrays now spawn more anomalies and allow for more total players to take part in battles against NPCs without significantly changing the overall quality of rewards.
Survey networks and incursions will also be undergoing changes, alongside sovereignty capture changes that had been previewed extensively. The dispatch also outlines future changes for Encounter Surveillance systems and dedicated group PvE. It’s going to make the big untamed world a bit more dangerous; you can read up on all the details in the official development blog.