It's been a big year for EVE fans, one that many of us can be proud to have been a part of. The EVE community turned its financial wizardry toward the real world and raised over $190,000 US in relief aid following a typhoon hitting the Philippines, and CCP even built a monument dedicated to the community. Several massive player battles once again put EVE on the global media's radars, and the Odyssey and Rubicon expansions revitalised the game for explorers and PvPers alike. But not everyone can hold his heads up high this year, with details of more cyberbullying within EVE coming to light and several players being banned for defacing the EVE monument in Reykjavik.
In this anniversary retrospective, I summarise all the major EVE news from the year in one place and take a look at what the future may hold for the EVE universe.
|Ship destroyed in EVE Online worth approximately $8,000
It's really hard to get your hands on a Revenant Supercarrier in EVE Online. Darn near impossible, in fact. The ship is worth around 300 billion ISK, coming out to about $8,000 in real currency.
|EVE Online's 4000-person battle is its largest yet
Last night, EVE Online players did what they do best: organize record-breaking battles with internet spaceships. The 4000-player battle between TEST Alliance and the Goonswarm-led CFC lasted more than five hours at the cost of almost 3,000 ships, according to reports from Eurogamer.
|Unfortunate capsuleer learns not to move EVE Online PLEX in starter ships
There is one rule in EVE Online that all pilots should remember: Never fly what you cannot afford to lose. Every few months, however, a capsuleer gets a little too comfortable, feels a little too safe, and is instantly punished for a tiny lapse in judgment.
|EVE Online's PLEX for GOOD drive raised over $190K to aid The Philippines
EVE Online players aren't all about intrigues and blowing each other up in New Eden, they are about helping others in this world. The community banded together in the recent Plex for GOOD drive and raised $190,890, all of which goes to the Icelandic Red Cross to help The Philippines recover from Typhoon Haiyan.
|EVE Evolved: Six years of EVE Evolved
Six years ago to this exact day, I joined the Massively crew and published the first edition of this column dedicated to the ins and outs of EVE Online.
|CCP formally dedicates EVE Online monument to internet spaceships
This morning in Reykjavik, Iceland, near the CCP headquarters, the studio behind EVE Online, DUST 514, and EVE Valkyrie officially unveiled the EVE Universe Monument first announced last February.
|Massively unboxes EVE Online's Collector's Edition
Sci-fi MMO EVE Online initially launched as a physical disc sold in stores back in 2003 and saw limited success in the fledgling MMO space. A decade of regular updates and digital distribution has seen EVE grow organically into the largest sci-fi sandbox on the planet with over half a million subscribers, but until now something has been missing: EVE has never had an actual collector's edition box.
The Odyssey and Rubicon expansions were awesome
At last year's Fanfest, CCP presented its long-term vision of players building their own stargates and exploring new hidden regions of space for the first time. EVE took its first steps toward that goal this year with the Odyssey and Rubicon expansions, both of which were extremely well-received. Odyssey revamped EVE's hacking mini-profession with a virus penetration minigame, redesigned the radial menu, introduced dual character training for PLEX, and implemented countless user interface improvements. The exploration-focused expansion also introduced the Discovery system scanner, shook up nullsec with the distribution of additional moon minerals throughout the game, and rebalanced all the navy issue ships and tech 1 battleships.
Rubicon aimed to fundamentally change PvP and territorial control in EVE forever, and it certainly lived up to that promise. Control of the NPC customs offices around planets in empire space was turned over to players, sparking several highsec wars for dominance in key systems. Changes to warp acceleration and the rebalancing of frigates and interceptors gave players the tools to travel around EVE in relative safety, and twitch integration allowed players to stream large battles more easily. The expansion's big feature was a set of new personal deployable structures designed to disrupt territorial alliance control, including the freeform Mobile Depot that functions as a ship fitting service and hangar all in one and the Siphon Unit that can steal resources from unattended moon-mining starbases. Rubicon also introduced the first version of a new ship painting service, with several pre-designed ship skins released in the NEX store.
It wouldn't be EVE without some controversy
At this point, I think it's pretty well understood that EVE Online can't go for six months without at least one major controversy kicking off within the playerbase. EVE players were up in arms in September when CCP changed the game's terms of service to technically outlaw spying and scamming, then issued several clarification statements that didn't seem to clarify much at all. Less than a month later, CCP came under fire again when it was revealed that developers had given gambling website SOMER.Blink billions of ISK worth of rare ships in exchange for running an in-game event.
Most recently, several players attending EVE Fanfest 2014 were permanently banned from EVE, DUST 514, and future Fanfest events after it was found that they had defaced the EVE monument in Reykjavik. But perhaps the worst piece of controversial news to break this year for EVE was more revelations of the kinds of cyberbullying and abuse that some players get away with. Former GM Elizabeth Wyand revealed the kinds of offensive things players say to deliberately upset each other but that CCP doesn't take action against. And just two months ago, evidence emerged of cyberbullying in EVE that some have claimed borders on psychological torture. CCP responded with a statement calling real-life harassment morally reprehensible and drawing a line between in-game and real-life events.
DUST 514 and EVE: Valkyrie
Console FPS DUST 514 officially launched just after EVE's 10th anniversary last year, and CCP had some pretty lofty predictions for the game's growth. Massively checked out the game at launch and again two months and several patches later, and neither time were we really blown away. CCP continued to update the game after release, however, adding changes to taxes, factional warfare, and more. In a surprise move, CCP recently announced a new PC-based MMOFPS codenamed Project Legion. The DUST 514 keynote and associated panels at Fanfest were mostly dedicated to Legion, hinting that DUST on the PS3 might be on the way out.
This year saw the official announcement of EVE: Valkyrie, a virtual reality dogfighter that is set in the current EVE universe but doesn't directly hook into the EVE Online server. CCP acquired industry veteran Owen O'Brien from DICE to head up the project in its Newcastle office based on his experience working on Mirror's Edge. Valkyrie was announced as a launch title for the upcoming Oculus Rift gaming headset and will be coming to PlayStation 4 using Sony's Project Morpheus headset. The recent announcement that Battlestar Galactica's Katee Sackhoff will be playing Valkyrie's main character has also had fans of the series excited. It's not yet known whether Valkyrie will eventually hook into the EVE Online server or whether there will be any story crossover in the form of live events within EVE, but its success would mean big things for CCP and EVE.
last year's EVE Mobile plans were quietly buried with the departure of project lead Jon Lander, and the unexpected cancellation of World of Darkness has driven a wedge between CCP and a potential new market. But the one constant throughout the years has been the dedication of the EVE Online community.
This time last year, we had a future vision for EVE of deep space exploration, colonisation of entire new solar systems hidden in the void, and wars erupting over control of player-built stargates. It was refreshing at this year's Fanfest to see that CCP still has the same vision as last year and now has a solid plan for delivery. The Odyssey and Rubicon expansions have given us the first step toward that goal, and the recently announced Kronos industrial expansion will lay the groundwork for industrial megaprojects like player-built stargates. With CCP stepping up its game in response to upcoming competition from games like Elite: Dangerous and Star Citizen, the next few years could be an absolutely incredible time to be an EVE Online player.
Brendan "Nyphur" Drain is an early veteran of EVE Online and writer of the weekly EVE Evolved column here at Massively. The column covers anything and everything relating to EVE Online, from in-depth guides to speculative opinion pieces. If you have an idea for a column or guide, or you just want to message him, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.