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Fanfest 2014 photo
Fanfest 2014

Tickets for EVE Fanfest 2014 are up for sale


Get them before they are gone!
Nov 26
// Joshua Derocher
Tickets for CCP's mega party for EVE Online are now available. If you want to travel to Iceland and hang out with nerds who like spreadsheets, then head on over to the official Fanfest page and buy your ticket. Early bird tic...
EVE Rubicon patch notes photo
EVE Rubicon patch notes

EVE Online: Rubicon out today with 1.29GB patch


Reading patch notes is a good way to start your day
Nov 19
// Joshua Derocher
EVE Online: Rubicon, the 20th free expansion for EVE Online, is here at last with a hefty patch. The 1.21GB download has a crap ton of new features and bug fixes. I'm downloading it right now, and I should have impressions on it for you guys soon. Also, here's the Rubicon soundtrack on Soundcloud. You can read all of the patch notes right here, but I listed the most notable changes below.
Player colonies in EVE photo
Player colonies in EVE

EVE expansions will work towards player colonization


To boldly go...
Nov 18
// Joshua Derocher
In an interview with VG24/7, CCP went into some details on the future direction of EVE Online. CCP want to begin bringing in elements into EVE that will allow players to construct their own stargates, leading to new systems for pilots to colonize.
EVE Online: Rubicon photo
EVE Online: Rubicon

Watch ships explode in EVE Online's trailer for Rubicon


Of course things explode, it's EVE.
Nov 15
// Joshua Derocher
CCP released a new cinematic trailer for Rubicon, the upcoming expansion for EVE: Online. This new free expansion will add mobile structures, ghost sites, and a new ships from the Sisters of EVE faction. There will also be c...
White space ships photo
White space ships

Learn about deployable structures in new EVE dev diary


And it has some people acting like they are in space
Nov 08
// Joshua Derocher
CCP posted a new developer diary for Rubicon, the upcoming expansion for EVE Online. The company dives into some details about the new deployable structures, the new progression system, and one of the new Sisters o...
EVE Valkyrie photo
EVE Valkyrie

EVE Valkyrie might be coming to consoles and not PC


It might not be an Oculus Rift exclusive
Oct 24
// Joshua Derocher
Remember that Oculus Rift game that CCP put together called Valkyrie? Rock, Paper, Shotgun just spent some more time with the game, and while it still looks awesome, CCP made it clear that it hasn't confirmed the game for PC....
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Over-the-top unbox: EVE: The Second Decade Collector’s Ed


Crazy
Oct 24
// Dale North
EVE: The Second Decade Collector’s Edition is available today worldwide. CCP doesn't mess around, and they certainly didn't when they created this unboxing video for the collector's edition. We won't spoil it for you, but spacecraft, caves, and exploration are involved. Cinematic angles, costumes, actors -- all turning unboxing video tradition on its head.
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CCP nabs vet Jean-Charles Gaudechon as Dust 514 producer


Former EA Stockholm producer joins CCP
Oct 09
// Dale North
CCP Games has nabbed Jean-Charles Gaudechon as executive producer for Dust 514, their free-to-play PS3 FPS. Gaudechon was an executive producer at Electronic Arts Stockholm where he headed up Battlefield Heroes and Battl...
EVE at NYCC photo
EVE at NYCC

EVE Online will be at New York Comic Con this month


All the lore that's fit to print
Oct 02
// Joshua Derocher
CCP has announced it will be at the New York Comic Con, which runs from October 10-13. At the con, the studio will be talking about its upcoming comic book, True Stories, as well as a new lore and art book, called EVE Univers...
EVE Online: Rubicon photo
EVE Online: Rubicon

EVE Online releasing 20th expansion in November


Power to the people
Sep 29
// Joshua Derocher
CCP has announced that EVE Online will be getting a new expansion on November 19, 2013 called Rubicon. This expansion will be aimed at adding some chaos into the game to rattle the cages of anyone who has been getting overly ...
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EVE Vegas 2013 full details


Oct. 18-20 in Las Vegas
Sep 26
// Dale North
CCP has just dropped full details on their EVE Vegas event, set to kick off this October 18 at the Rio Hotel in Sin City. They'll have eight CCP speakers featured there, as well as EVE Online and Dust 514 tournaments. Oh, and...

EVE Valkyrie was the best thing I saw at gamescom

Aug 22 // Dale North
CCP says that EVE Valkyrie was built to put the experience first. This means that intense space dogfighting is the focus. They've simplified the controls to get out of the way of the experience. The left analog stick controls your ship's pitch -- nose direction -- as well as roll. They didn't want players to have to switch between multiple controls. Yaw is set to shoulder buttons, lasers are on the right trigger, and a boost thruster is set to the A button. Best of all your ship's functions, the missile control really shows off the Oculus Rift. Holding down the left trigger brings up a reticle; turning your head moves this reticle around to find a target. Simply look and hold, and then let go when the target is locked to send your missiles flying. It's as cool as it sounds. Our demo was a three-on-three match against other international games media. We all started out by launching out of tubes into space, fired directly at each other. CCP recommended coming out with lasers blasting, and I did just that, but my left index finger was already on the trigger, looking for targets to pop up in space.  Look, lock, fire. Look, lock, fire, kill. The feeling of being able to aim and fire two different weapon types independently is challenging at first, but when you get the hang of it it feels fantastic.  You're but a little dot in space, open to fire from any direction, but you're also a powerhouse that can dish it out as well as any other.  If you're like me, you'll work your thrusters empty trying to run away from missiles. Better players stood their ground. All had fun. When someone locks a missile on your ship, a red warning light goes off in your cockpit. This is to prompt you to look down at a gauge on your ship's dash that shows you a graphical representation of your ship and the incoming missiles. Turn, boost, and do anything you can to out-steer and outrun them. It's not easy, but it feels great to get away and set up to return fire. It feels even better to take the attacker down.  For as fun as the dogfighting is, the immersive feeling the Oculus Rift gives really won me over. Looking around in your cockpit -- down to see your controls, left and right to see your ship's innards -- feels cozy at first, but looking off into space out of your ship's front window makes you feel small. Letting off the thrusters and kind of coasting gives you a real sense of weightlessness -- something you won't feel with even the most powerful game console on the best television. What also won me over was how great EVE Valkyrie looked on one of the rare Oculus Rift HD prototype headsets. There's only about 50 of these in the world, and all were handmade, but CCP wanted to have the best to show off their work and improvements. The resolution is up to 1080p, from the 800p shown at E3. This gives the new build about double the pixel density of its predecessor.  The end result is greatly improved visuals. Seeing the space between pixels is no longer an issue. Space looks lovely, as does your ship's interior. Text now is easily readable. The E3 prototype was already great. This HD build is just that much more impressive. Imagine how great Valkyrie will look in about a year. All of the the things happening in gaming right now are exciting -- indie games flourishing, new consoles launching, technology speeding ahead. But the Oculus Rift and the games being built for it really feel like the next generation of gaming. Again, imagine where we'll be in a year for now. I can't wait.
Eve Valkyrie photo
Oculus Rift HD tested
I saw a prototype of what was to be EVE Valkyrie at E3 this year. Along with Respawn's Titanfall, it was the talk of the show. CCP knew they had something special, so they created a full game from this demo. Here at gamescom,...

EVE Valkyrie photo
EVE Valkyrie

EVE Valkyrie is an Oculus Rift space combat game


Well, this is cool
Aug 20
// Brett Makedonski
EVE Valkyrie has been officially announced at gamescom, as what started as an impressive tech demo has transformed into a full-fledged game. Originally code-named "EVE-VR", the Oculus Rift-powered title puts players in ...
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Dust 514 2x Skill Point week-long event is on now


Unn, double up, Unn UNNN!
Aug 08
// Dale North
Playing Dust 514 on PS3? You'll want to log on this weekend to double up on skill points and level up. The 2X Skill Point event started yesterday and runs for a solid week (ending August 14), so you have plenty of time to get...

CCP 'confident' about Dust 514's five-year future

Jun 06 // Joseph Leray
"We already see that Dust 514, during open beta, had been driving hardware sales for Sony. We actually track that together," he tells me. "We so know that our fan base, Dust-curious players, are buying the PlayStation 3 to get into our game." More generally, though, Gunnarsson seems confident in Sony's ability to support the PlayStation 3 well into the next few years. "What we hear, anecdotally, is that PS3 sales are increasing," he says. "Sony have done a phenomenal job of managing console transitions, like they did with the PlayStation 2's cost and size reductions," he effuses. "We can make the logical assumption that something similar will happen as the PlayStation 4 comes to market," Gunnarsson continues, noting that the PS3's large European and Asian install base and incremental success since 2006 will give it "long legs" moving forward. His ultimate declaration on the subject is this: "If you look at the large third-party publishers, you'll see that Sony is not falling away from the PlayStation 3. What about Grand Theft Auto V? It took Square Enix years to come to the PlayStation 3." Gunnarsson's enthusiasm is partly diplomatic, I'm sure, but fans’ enduring interest in the PS3 is the crux of Dust 514's development strategy, which is to keep players coming back with a periodic trickle of high-quality -- and, most importantly, free -- updates. The foundation for these types of updates was laid when Dust 514 was still in open beta. Several months in, CCP rolled out a free, updated build of the game, called "Uprising," which overhauled the game's graphics, added content, and re-structured much of the game's user interface and menus. More updates -- most notably, a King of the Hill mode called "Domination" -- were made when the game officially launched on May 14 (get it?), only a week later. "Here we are in the late stage of the open beta, and we've completely overhauled the whole thing," explains executive producer Brandon Laurino during a brief chat. "Even for a PC MMO, that's pretty outrageous, but you've never had that for a console game. You've never had something like a demo or a version 1.0 of something in your hands and then had a huge graphics update on it." Dust 514 has been officially released for less than a month now, but the Shanghai-based team responsible for it is already in active development on new gameplay modes that should be available "very soon." (I should note that "very soon" int his case means up to three years from now.) In its current iteration, Dust 514 is a competitive, player-vs.-player, deathmatch-based affair. However, CCP Shanghai are working on cooperative, player-vs.-environment modes that they hope will encourage corporation-level play: "Survival" is a wave-based Horde mode, and "Infestation" will involve scouring any enemies trying to establish a toehold in corporation-controlled districts. In both modes, groups of players will fight against drones, the so-called "rats" or "mobs" of Dust 514, to gather money and other resources. The idea is that these PvE modes will give players and corps new entry points into the robust in-game economy that ties Dust 514 and EVE Online together. Eventually, CCP plans to implement space elevators to carry those resources from the planetary surfaces of Dust to the orbiting fleets of EVE, linking the two games physically as well as thematically, economically, and structurally. Other upcoming modes include “Penetration,” which will allow Dust mercenaries to raid and board EVE’s Titan-class warships, and “Gladiator,” a set of organized tournaments that will include in-game betting and streaming. The EVE universe spans hundreds of star systems and thousands of planets, each of which will need to be dynamically populated with weather patterns, terrain, vegetation, and architecture. Racially variegated weapons, vehicles, and space stations are also in the works. If that sounds like a lot, that’s mostly the point. “This is the way that CCP does a game,” says Laurino. “We’ll never make a Dust 514-2, right? We’ll never update the graphics, package up a bunch of content, and say, ‘Okay, now this is a $60 expansion.'” “It’s just all part of the game as a service that we provide to our users. That’s part of the value proposition that we offer,” he continues. “‘Uprising’ is not the end of the major, free updates. We’ve got quite a few more planned for the rest of 2013 and then out for two years, out for five years, out for ten years, just like EVE.” Still, CCP will eventually need to develop a PlayStation 4 version of Dust 514, link it to the PS3 version, and then tie both of them to Tranquility, the London-based server that governs everything that happens in the EVE universe. And they’ll do it, ideally, with as little downtime as possible. A tall order, but one that CCP are already familiar with. “When we launched EVE in 2003, it was running on Windows XP at the time, on DirectX 7,” Gunnarsson tells me. “We migrated to DirectX 9 with a live game in operation and ran a dual rendering across DX7 and DX9 for many years. We launched the Mac version the same way.” Not surprisingly, Laurino agrees, though he’s less concerned with the nitty-gritty details at this point. “Really, any game could be set up to this. So it’s more a philosophy than it is a real technical roadblock,” he explains. “Of course there are a lot of technical challenges, sure, but it’s about holding yourself to a different software development standard and a different standard for service that makes a difference.” “It’s also just common sense,” Laurino goes on. “If you want to sustain a ten-year product in the videogame industry, you have to upgrade at some point.” I ask Gunnarsson, somewhat dubiously, about the economics and logistics of running two different games on three platforms connected by one central server; he remains nonchalant throughout. “We’re very confident. We’ve already done this in the PC space," he explains. "If you think about it from that perspective, we’ve been doing this for years.”
Dust 514 photo
Free updates, more modes, and a new platform
Late last year, erstwhile EVE Online executive producer Jon Lander proclaimed -- perhaps emboldened by his own game's impending ten-year anniversary -- that CCP had "a five-year roadmap" for the recently-released free-to-play...

Night moves: No day cycle in World of Darkness, says CCP

Jun 05 // Joseph Leray
"We went through a lot of iterations on that," he explains when asked if World of Darkness would feature a day-and-night cycle. "At this point, we're pretty settled on it being permanent night." Vampire: the Masquerade and its first videogame adaptation -- Nihilistic Software's Redemption -- both included sunlight mechanics, but Troika's more recent game, Bloodlines, did not. Whether or not fans expected daytime portions of World of Darkness may depend on when and how they became familiar with the franchise.   While McDonough and his team experimented with sunlight, though, the idea quickly broke down. "The gameplay that surrounded making the transition [from night to day] was very convoluted," he says. "What could players do during the day? And how long did it last?" The implementation for one play was problematic enough, but the idea quickly ballooned to reveal more issues, like time zones. "So when is it day and night, and for who? If it happens on a fixed schedule, does that mean that if I live in Russia, it's always day?" he asks, noting the large Russian contingent in EVE Online, CCP's well-established flagship space MMO. "Maybe it's always day time when I'm available to play, so I don't want to," McDonough continues, rattling off a long string of unwieldy hypotheticals. "Or maybe I have to play this other character because we have alternate characters during the day." One workaround might be to corral the user base into different servers or realms, a common practice in other MMOs. If CCP could reasonably assume that every player on a given server lived in the same area, a more workable day-night cycle might have been possible. But World of Darkness, like EVE Online, is what CCP calls a "single-shard" game. That is to say that every player in the world will connect on one gigantic, persistent server. The thinking goes that with enough people in one on-going virtual world, drama, loyalty, politics, betrayal, friendship, treachery, and ambition should develop on their own, little bits of human nature enabled and nurtured by a few game mechanics. With no other server to offer safe haven, good and bad deeds alike will -- at least in CCP's estimation -- carry more weight. Designing an entire batch of secondary mechanics for sunlight-averse vampires is tricky enough, and McDonough's hypothetical Russian player doesn't help matters much. However, it's not just that accommodating worldwide time zones is difficult, it's that not accommodating them would violate the design ethos that governs everything CCP makes, from EVE Online to World of Darkness. "It's called World of Darkness. It's a game about vampires," McDonough says, bringing the conversation back to the ground.  "Ultimately, it became very convoluted and required a whole host of different systems that we felt was too complicated," he continues. "People want to play their vampire and, you know, it's the World of Darkness. That's really what it's about. That's the mood and tone." [Image credit: White Wolf Publishing]
World of Darkness photo
Because sleeping in a coffin is boring
News about World of Darkness has been predictably scarce: the CCP-developed MMO, based on White Wolf's Vampire: the Masquerade license, is still in early development, with no release date in sight. When I sit down t...

EVE skill point gift photo
EVE skill point gift

EVE players given 50k skill points due to DDoS downtime


Free stuff makes everything better
Jun 04
// Joshua Derocher
EVE Online recently ran into some technical difficulties the other day because of a distributed denial-of-service attack (DDoS), and the servers were offline for several hours. Of course players didn't like not having access ...
EVE DDoS attack photo
EVE DDoS attack

EVE Online server taken down because of DDoS attack


Someone broke it
Jun 03
// Joshua Derocher
Yesterday EVE Online experienced some difficulties and was taken offline for most of the day. A distributed denial-of-service attack (DDoS) was launched against the Tranquility server cluster and prevented players from loggin...

Boy's club: Why don't more women play EVE Online?

Jun 03 // Joseph Leray
Despite only comprising a meager four percent of the user base, women aren’t entirely unrepresented in EVE Online. Ali Aras, for example, is the online name of a woman currently serving as vice-secretary of EVE’s eighth Council of Stellar Management, a player-elected committee that liaises between developers and players. Still, EVE Online’s gender ratio is overwhelmingly, if not surprisingly, dominated by men, even compared to other MMOs. In a paper for Beyond Barbie and Mortal Kombat: New Perspectives on Gender and Gaming, researcher Nick Yee presents the result of a multi-year survey of over 40,000 MMO players: roughly 15% of them are women. If EVE Online were trending with the broader landscape of MMOs, we should expect to see almost four times as many women than are currently subscribed. “I think we have to be realistic about what EVE Online is,” says Thor Gunnarsson, vice-president of business development at CCP. “Science fiction-themed worlds tend to attract men.” In a separate interview, EVE senior producer Andie Nordgren echoes Gunnarsson’s explanation, almost verbatim: “Part of it is due to the theme of the game. Science fiction is an extremely male-dominated domain,” she tells me. If EVE Online’s hard-nosed sci-fi trappings have been a stumbling block for women players, CCP is hoping that the supernatural horror of World of Darkness, an in-development MMO based on White Wolf’s Vampire: the Masquerade series, proves more alluring. World of Darkness centers on the interpersonal drama and large-scale politics of a group of vampire clans, set against a gritty, urban backdrop. “When White Wolf was really the rock star of the pen-and-paper games industry, what they did was they created a fiction setting that, back in the day, had an almost equal gender balance,” Gunnarsson explains. “That was unheard of in tabletop gaming, and we’re certainly hoping to achieve something similar with World of Darkness in the future.” “The genre lends itself towards having a female population,” senior producer Chris McDonough explains. “When we were making Vampire: the Masquerade, you’d go to conventions and events and there was a significant number of women in that audience.” “Will there be more women interested in this than in EVE? The answer is yes.” It’s not enough to chalk the dearth of women playing EVE Online to their perceived distaste for science fiction, though: the game’s accessibility, interface, complexity, and design are also at fault. “There’s bad complexity in EVE,” Nordgren tells me bluntly. “Only a certain type of person will ever work their way through it, and the majority of those people are guys.” One example of bad complexity she gives is that new players often don’t have access to the information they need to understand the game’s mechanics. “We have those kinds of accessibility problems that we’re working on,” she explains, “and I think if we can shift some of this bad complexity out and just keep some of the good, interesting, challenging complexity, then we should get more female players as a result of that.” However, “It’s not a goal for us as a development team to specifically increase the number of female players,” Nordgren says. Having a broader and more balanced fanbase would be a by product of good design, “more an indicator than something strive for.” McDonough and his team are taking a similar tack with World of Darkness. Referring to his work on Vampire: the Masquerade, he explains that his team "never made a product that catered or specifically targeted women; we made a product that we thought would appeal to all gamers.” “Women are gamers just like everybody else, and our role isn’t to specifically point a product at them, but instead to make a product that we think satisfies a lot of different player-types,” he continues. “And when women fall into that player-type, that’s fantastic, and we think there will be some in World of Darkness.”
EVE Online photo
Better design will attract more diverse players, says CCP
According to David Reid, CCP Games' chief marketing officer, 96 percent of the people subscribing to his company's flagship MMO EVE Online are male. That's crazy high.

Review: Dust 514

May 17 // Chris Carter
Dust 514 (PlayStation 3)Developer: CCP ShanghaiPublisher: CCP Games, Sony Computer EntertainmentRelease: May 14, 2013MSRP: Free (with microtransactions) The major draw of Dust 514 is the link between it and EVE Online. It's not just a nominal link either -- usernames span both games, so if your name is taken in EVE, you cannot use it in Dust; this is done so you can connect to both games seamlessly. Factional warfare in Dust changes the way EVE players experience the game, and conversely, EVE creates contracts (missions and parameters) in Dust. PC EVE players can order orbital bombardments against PS3 Dust players, and so on. It's all very well thought out, and will easily be more appealing if you team up with one of your friends who plays EVE if you're not into MMOs. I've been playing EVE casually for many years, and from what I can tell from the community, nearly everyone is really excited for the project. Simply put, EVE Online is one of the greatest communities I've ever been a part of. Its fanbase is so passionate that many corporations (guilds) have already dove headfirst into the game, offering up training for new recruits who only want to play Dust 514, which in turns reaps benefits for their corporations. If you've been on the Internet since the dawn of EVE, you'll recall some of the craziest stories ever told in the history of gaming -- all of that due in part to the passion of the fanbase. It's a weird meta-aspect that you'll have a chance to embrace, and something you don't see often. But for everyone else who is not already an EVE fan, you're going to see it as another first-person-shooter -- and it will most likely not blow you away. In fact, as soon as I actually booted up my first skirmish, I was immediately underwhelmed. The environments, the guns, the visuals -- everything but the stylized character models was extremely basic, to the point where at times, it looks like a previous-generation title. I experienced major framerate issues, so much so that it affected my ability to see vehicles in the distance. At times, the game seemed to run well below 30 frames per second. I also experienced a decent amount of lag during my time with Dust, which is obviously a problem with an FPS, especially if you're fond of long-range combat. Another issue is the lack of innovative modes within the confines of Dust. Right now, there's only four basic gametypes for skirmishes, and they're basically rips of Call of Duty and Battlefield. There's team deathmatch, team deathmatch with power-ups, and two "capture the point" games (one involves multiple points, the other involves a single point). If there isn't a campaign going on relating to your faction in a cross-EVE event, you're going to have to stick to skirmishes to rack up experience and ISK (more on that later), and after a while, it can get pretty boring. When the game works though, it works about as well as a basic FPS should. If you opt to play with friends -- which should be easy since the game is free -- and stay in squads, Dust is infinitely more fun; tactical combat is much more effective here than random lone-wolf strikes. It won't blow you away in the sense that at a base level, it's all stuff you've seen before, but the more you're willing to get into the meta aspect of the universe the more fun you'll have with it. The map is incredibly intuitive, showing all the action on-screen, all the way up to available spawn-points, heavy artillery fire, and known enemy locations. Gunplay is pretty generic until you get to the later weapons, but when you're not fighting the syrupy framerate or lag, it works. The feeling of success and triumph when you storm an enemy base are all there, as are those crucial moments when you ram one of your vehicles into a group of enemies and mop up the rest. Building a loadout can be complicated, which has its own set of positives and negatives. For one, I enjoy a complex FPS, as the market is littered with too many simplistic run-and-gun affairs -- so in some form, I appreciate what Dust 514 is trying to do. Under the veneer of "kit whatever you can fit" (like the new Black Ops II system), Dust uses an energy rating that essentially allows you to build up whatever you want, and "whatever" consists of hundreds of combinations, ranging from armor pieces, to weapons, to vehicle requests, and much more. You'll also have to balance skillpoints which are basically the bread-and-butter XP system, allowing you to rank up certain skills, increase your character's stats, and unlock new equipment. By the same token, the game is littered with microtransactions, to the point where it feels like it's approaching "pay to win" territory. That isn't to say that the game is pay to win, as there is still a lot of skilled involved with the pure FPS aspect -- but it certainly feels like it. There are two currencies in Dust -- Aurum (real life money), and ISK (money earned by playing the game). In a sense, it's kind of like League of Legend's Riot Points and IP point system, respectively. On paper, it seems to be a fair way to run your game -- but in practice, it's worse than that. The absolute worst example I found during my many hours of play was the fact that you have to constantly spend ISK or Aurum to equip single-use vehicles (or armor) if you want to use some of the more complex and armored options. Yep, that's right, it costs around two to three entire rounds' worth of ISK (or Aurum, if you want to pay for it) to call in a single-use air support vehicle for instance, even if that vehicle crashes and burns in less than a minute. You do get the option to call in a basic truck an infinite number of times (essentially Halo's Warthog), but if you want any of the other (read: better) options, you'll have to wait and grind out your ISK in a painful fashion. While you can technically earn virtually everything to put yourself on an even playing field, you will have to grind to get it, and without a corporation, it won't be nearly as fun. But the fees don't stop there, as many things utilize ISK for a single use. You can buy single-use items like medi-kits, but if you don't want to keep buying them, you have to pay real-life cash in the form of Aurum to get the "blueprints." It goes on from there, complicating the marketplace with combinations of ISK and Aurum transactions side by side, to the point where you'll just ignore the interface entirely if you aren't keen on spending cash. After I realized the needless complexity and sheer audacity of the microtransactions system, I felt incredibly disappointed. I wanted to go into the marketplace section and research items to buy with my ISK, but I kept seeing constant Aurum advertisements popping out. If I accidentally clicked an option for an Aurum package, I had to wait upwards of 10-20 seconds for it to load, advertising the egregious $99.99 option. The game also has "boosters" that net you more experience points, which would have been fine on their own, but feel way too over-saturated when combined with everything else. Dust 514 has promises of greatness. It reaches high and attempts to accomplish something not many games have even tried to this day, which should be commended. But right now, it needs a few more major updates before it gets there. With a hefty amount of microtransactions that border on offensive, there is a very ambitious, competitive game underneath the sloppy veneer.
Dust 514 review photo
Flashes of greatness covered in dust
Dust 514 is one of the most ambitious games of all time. Not content with just offering a shooter within the EVE Online universe, CCP Games seeks to actually connect the game to EVE itself, allowing both titles to influence e...

How CCP made a virtual reality spaceship dogfighting sim

May 17 // Joseph Leray
[embed]252800:48444:0[/embed] It’s not long before my screen starts flashing red, my cue to start swearing at no one in particular: some red-shipped scumbag is tracking me with a salvo of missiles. I swivel my head over each shoulder, curse some more, and then glance overhead, the space around me filled with friends and foes, neon lasers, and space debris, but no incoming rockets. I wait a few more beats and then accelerate, hoping to outrun whoever and whatever is chasing me. It works, and I live to go on a warpath of my own: I pick off three or four red enemy ships before my luck runs out. After my EVR demo, on my way out of the press room, I run into a man named Nate Mitchell. He’s the vice president of product at Oculus VR, the company that Kickstarted the virtual reality headset that EVR uses. He asks me if I liked the demo, and I say yes.“The Oculus isn’t even out yet, and they’re already making stuff like this,” he gushed. “Can you even imagine?” Andy Robinson is an artist at CCP Games who works on EVE Online. By his own admission, he doesn’t get many chances to talk to the media -- that’s for lead designers and executive producers. But when he sat down at a table full of journalists to chat about EVR, I was more than happy to listen. Put plainly: EVR is a prototype of a virtual reality spaceship dogfighting game built for the Oculus Rift that uses some assets from EVE Online. It was built by a group of nine developers and artists in accordance with what CCP calls “the 20% rule”: free time during normal working hours that can be used on personal projects and cool ideas. CCP actually contributed to Oculus’ wildly-successful Kickstarter and had dev kits on hand. Robinson explains that keeping all sorts of hardware around the offices is simply part of CCP’s culture and that their Reykjavik offices are full of things to tinker and experiment with.The project started as a neat proof-of-concept, but as more and more CCP devs got involved -- and as they realized how fun it was -- the team made a hard push to have a three-minute demo ready for Fanfest 2013. The entire project took seven weeks of nights, weekends, and 20% time, and the result is a thrilling look at what could be in store for virtual reality-enabled videogames. Robinson estimates that 85% of the game's art was made from scratch. EVE Online’s ships didn’t scale well enough to be used with EVR’s depth of field, and there weren’t any existing assets for the cockpit or launch tube.There’s no denying that part of the thrill of EVR is the simple act of flying through space, of watching it open around, above, below, and behind you. During early playtests, people had to be taught to look around with the Oculus Rift headset, which Robinson called “being deprogrammed.”More than that, though, EVR’s real hook -- and the great thing about virtual reality in general -- is that it manages to handle lots of complexity with a small number of elegant, simple controls. Not only do the ships travel at a fixed speed, but the camera and missile-guidance mechanics are both controlled by moving Oculus Rift headset. The end result is a full-scale, first-person, virtual reality dogfighting game that only uses three buttons: two triggers to fire lasers and missiles, and one joystick to steer -- piloting a ship in genuine virtual reality is less complicated than playing Call of Duty. The goal for EVR was to re-create the feel and atmosphere of EVE Online and “subvert it, open it up to a new style of play,” explains Robinson. EVE Online executive producer Jon Lander agrees: “We wanted to expand what’s going on in the EVE universe.”In that sense, it’s possible to contextualize a project like EVR alongside Dust 514: projects designed to drill down to the more granular aspects of the EVE Online universe, to explore the small cogs that turn EVE’s vast economies and war machines.Unlike Dust, which was formally released earlier this week, CCP’s official stance seems to be that EVR is doomed to be a one-off experiment, a curio for Fanfest 2013 attendees to reminisce over. There are “no current plans to take it any further,” Robinson says.For those interested in playing EVR at some point in the future, however, there remains hope: in 2005, an in-house team developed an atmospheric flight prototype that allowed players to pilot down to the surface of New Eden’s numerous planets. The idea was never really incorporated into EVE Online, but it became the basis of the dropships in Dust 514. EVR may have a similar fate.Nate Mitchell was also on hand during the final Fanfest keynote to sing EVR’s praises. He called it the first true multiplayer virtual reality game while Hilmar Veigar Pétursson, CEO of CCP, mused that maybe “something will come of it.”  “No matter what happens, the guys working on this are going to continue,” Robinson told me with a hint of defiance. “This is a passion for us. Given time, we can make this much, much better.”
EVR photo
EVR changes EVRything
EVR opens with a pilot in the cockpit of a small ship, docked in a cramped launching tube. After a short countdown, the ship is fired out like a bottle rocket, the compact hangar giving way to the sheer expanse of space, litt...

EVR photo
EVR

Here's a petition for CCP to release virtual-reality EVR


And failing that, at least catch this trailer
Apr 30
// Jordan Devore
While I imagine there's nothing quite like putting on an Oculus Rift for yourself and diving into EVR, Joseph's descriptions from Fanfest and this trailer have me convinced the project should see a wider release. Six-on-six ...
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EVE Online: Odyssey

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// Joshua Derocher
EVE Online is always being patched, tweaked, re-tweaked, and updated, and it's a constantly evolving game. Lately there have been some major changes in the works and it looks like a lot of these changes will become fully...
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EVE Online starts second decade 500,000 subs strong


10 years!
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// Dale North
Massive space MMO Eve Online has just passed the 500,000 subscriber mark for the first time. CCP says that they're going into the game's second decade with the "most explosive subscriber growth" in its history. This...
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EVE's ongoing tiericide

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Feb 19
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The newest patch for EVE Online is up today, and it brings incremental changes to gameplay, some welcome interface tweaks, better corporation recruitment, and a continuation of the complete overhaul to skill t...
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EVE corporation disputes ISK confiscated by developers


EVE's security team called into question by corporation
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An unnamed player was banned recently from EVE Online by CCP's security team for being suspected of running a bot on the marketplace. The practice of market botting involves running a script that can create buy and ...
CCP knows how to party photo
CCP knows how to party

EVE Fanfest has a trailer and tickets for sale


Party in Iceland with crazy developers
Feb 04
// Joshua Derocher
Tickets are now available for CCP's Fanfest, a celebration of all things EVE Online. This year, we can expect a lot of the coverage to be focused on the integration of Dust  514, since it's now an official part of the E...
Why I play EVE photo
Why I play EVE

Still flying: Why I play EVE Online


You are about to become what all men should fear
Feb 04
// Joshua Derocher
EVE Online is one of those games that people on gaming sites are always talking about, but comparatively few people play it. This crazy sandbox is filled with tales of pirates, thieves, griefing, and war. It has an insan...

One pilot's mistake leads to massive battle in EVE Online

Jan 30 // Joshua Derocher
[embed]243509:46605:0[/embed] A simple operation went horribly wrong when a Titan pilot from the ClusterFuck Coalition (CFC) clicked the wrong button. Instead of warping his fleet to his location, he warped himself alone into the territory of the Pandemic Legion (PL). PL had a prime target with a solo Titan so they began the assault. CFC didn't want to lose their Titan, so they called for back-up, and the reinforcements started to come in droves. Many EVE players use messaging services like IRC, Jabber, or even their cell phones to always be on call when things like this happen. Pilots called in their corporations to help out, and then entire alliances began to show up. PL is a part of the HoneyBadger Coalition, and they decided that they would also rally their forces to the fight. Something like this can be a good excuse to blast someone you don't like. If anyone had a grudge against someone, this was a good time to join the opposing side. It's sort of like how everyone got involved in World War II. Allies called on allies and some people just hated Germany so they joined in the war. In the Battle of Asakai, 717,033,768,274 ISK worth of ships were destroyed -- or $24,921.30, converted to US currency. Let that figure sink in for a second. This killboard shows every ship that players lost. A total of 3,161 players from 262 alliances consisting of 715 corporations were involved in the battle. The most amazing part is that no one planned on this happening; people started calling in their friends and allies to help them out, and it just kept escalating. EVE uses a system called Time Dilation to keep lag to a minimal on the servers. Time slows down when massive amounts of players are in one system, and this allows everyone to respond to what's happening. It also prevents the server from crashing or getting overloaded with commands. The amount of ships in this battle caused the system to move at 10% speed. So if it normally takes a missile three seconds to hit an enemy ship, it would have taken 30 seconds during this battle. An interesting side effect of this is that it makes it easier for other players to jump into a battle already in-progress. Only the system where the battle is happening is effected, so everyone outside has time to get into the action. A battle that would normally be over in an hour can last for ten hours, for example. It's not just the players involved directly in the battle that make this impressive. Most of these ships, weapons, and even ammunition were made by players from materials gathered by players. I mostly mine when I play EVE, so I don't often take part in these large-scale encounters, but I know the materials I sell contribute to the massive war machine. Three giant Titan class ships (the largest in the game) were destroyed. These ships have to be built at player-controlled structures, and they can take up to two months of real time to be constructed. The player stations have to be guarded and fueled to keep everything running as well. That's a lot of time and resources to build these ships, folks.  At the end of the battle, CFC was thoroughly beaten. CFC lost over 650 billion ISK worth of ships while HoneyBadger's side lost only 67 billion. That is quite the whooping. If you want to read the real heavy insider story filled with EVE-speak and info from the corps that were involved, then checkout this article on The Mittani. A weekend of epic destruction in eve online  [EVE Insider Dev Blog]The battle of asakai and poinen must burn by the numbers [EVE Insider Dev Blog]
EVE Online photo
A misclick causes The Battle of Asakai
Every once in a while I have people who don't play EVE Online ask me about something major that happened in the game. This past weekend, I have had a lot people asking me about the Battle of Asakai, in which one pilot's simpl...

 photo
Space lasers!
CCP's ambitious first-person shooter Dust 514 is now in open beta. The free-to-play shooter, as you may already know, is linked to EVE Online, the crazy space game that's an actual viable export of Iceland. I'm not joking.&n...


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