EVE Online received some big graphical overhauls with the recent Crucible expansion, and every ship will have its graphics iterated on in future patches as part of with the ongoing V3 project. A great deal of time and money is poured into keeping EVE's graphics at the bleeding edge of the industry, and yet the game's music has barely changed since launch in 2003. Warped ambient compositions like Red Glowing Dust gave a feeling of depth and scale to early EVE's empty universe, and the electronic beats of tracks like Below the Asteroids and Merchants, Looters and Ghosts have become iconic sounds of EVE. The music still manages to impress new players, but with so much of EVE being overhauled, I think it's time to give the music another look.
Very few game studios pay as much attention to music as to graphics, the user interface, or gameplay, but the right music has the power to completely transform a player's experience. Just like in a movie, music can evoke an emotional response and so alter a person's perception of events. Fighting monsters in a fantasy MMO or shooting down pirates in EVE might not be a terribly epic activity, but throw in some epic music and suddenly it feels a lot more real. I wrote about the psychological effect of music in MMOs several years ago, and the topic is as relevant today as it was then.
In this week's EVE Evolved, I look at three different types of music that could improve EVE and suggest how CCP could take advantage of each type to give EVE the soundtrack it deserves.