How could the two games be integrated?
Release date and possible console exclusivity
First shown off at EVE Fanfest 2013, EVE Valkyrie was a tiny side-project that managed to gather massive interest from fans of the Oculus Rift. It went on to win several awards at E3 and attract large crowds at other trade shows. But despite this initial wave of interest, CCP has been a little reluctant to announce any solid plans for the title. The company recently refused to confirm that the game will launch on PC or that it'll wait for Oculus Rift's release, revealing only a vague launch window of 2014 on a yet-to-be-determined platform.
It's possible that CCP is just angling for a proposal from either Sony or Microsoft regarding launching first on either the XBox One or PS4. We know that the game currently runs on the PC, but the reluctance to confirm a PC release means console exclusivity may still be on the table. With upcoming sci-fi sandbox titles Elite: Dangerous and Star Citizen stealing the spotlight recently and both games offering dogfighter-style combat on PC, CCP will have to make up its mind which platforms it'll release on soon.
Linking Valkyrie with the EVE universe
It was always assumed that Valkyrie would be a standalone competitive multiplayer game that just happens to borrow some art assets from EVE Online, but that might not be the case. In a recent talk at the EVE Vegas convention, Chief Marketing Officer David Reid hinted that CCP is looking at ways to actually merge the game with the EVE Online universe and confirmed it in an interview on RPS. He compared EVE Online players in spaceships to an empire's navy and DUST 514 players to its ground troops, leaving EVE Valkyrie to potentially fill the role of the air force.
The idea of Valkyrie interacting with EVE is obviously intriguing, but we have to take care not to get carried away. It's pretty unlikely that you'll be dogfighting among actual EVE Online spaceships in realtime, as the load on the server caused by direct flight controls would be prohibitive. A simple alternative would be to have EVE Online, DUST 514 and EVE Valkyrie share the same character pool, allowing players of one game to jump into the others with the same personae.
is linked to EVE Online
, it's likely to be a severely limited interaction much like the current link to DUST 514
. Both games could easily share characters, player-run organisations, and economies, but the core gameplay would have to be separated, and both games should be able to function independently. That means Valkyrie
battles will have to happen in places that normal EVE
ships can't go, such as in the atmospheres of planets or inside massive structures. We could see fighters deployed as strike forces infiltrating space stations or flung toward strategic targets by magnetic acceleration gates.
Personally, I think the most effective way to release Valkyrie
initially would be as a competitive online game with matchmaking, stat-tracking, and an e-sports component. This would make it more like a MOBA that shares its characterbase with EVE
, and integration could be further enhanced over time. Playing the game could be incentivised by adding salvage components or loyalty point rewards for winning battles, along with a new loyalty point store to spend them in. Integration could be further improved by allowing a degree of customisation of your Valkyrie
fighters, and then having the customisation items built in EVE Online
Most of the interest in Valkyrie
so far is a result of its innovative use of the Oculus Rift, but it'll be years before the average gamer has a VR headset to play with. If Valkyrie
is to succeed on its own merit as a dogfighter, it will need more than just fancy graphics and an EVE
logo slapped on top. Integration with EVE
would be a huge bonus if done right, but I think doing that justice would require a PC release.
players could launch matches from a training simulator station service, Valkyrie
could then become a fun diversion while they're waiting for something interesting to happen in EVE
. Rather than log off when there's nothing going on, players would be more inclined to stick around and play a few rounds of casual pew pew. While Valkyrie
could become a great game in its own right and has a lot of potential for a console release, I think its real potential lies in making it an everyday part of playing EVE Online
.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.