Planet-Busting: The Future of EVE

By Alec Meer on March 28th, 2011 at 9:37 am.

Like Galactus, but less pink

We have all manner of crazed reportage on the recent EVE fan-fest due from the boy Smith throughout this week, but while we wait for him to purge all those mysterious Icelandic alcohols from his system, let’s take a look at CCP’s video vision of their MMO’s not-too-distant future…

BOOM.

As well as the long-promised spacestation-roamin’ avatar mode, this is all about the integration between impending console (for heaven’s sake, just put it out on PC too – that’s where your fanbase is) shooter DUST 514. If there was any fear about DUST stealing all the good stuff in the EVE universe, the promise of corps enacting planetary genocide from the heavens kinda puts paid to that. Come armageddon, come.

I’ll save further speculation though: Quinns will be along shortly to fire words at your eyes.

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86 Comments »

  1. jeremypeel says:

    Gulp! The obvious question is – how are the troops on the ground going to feel like they have any agency at all if they can be nuked on a whim?

    At the same time though – it looks like the troops on the ground could be nuked on a whim! And CCP know how to keep their diehards calm and happy by satiating their powerlust.

    • worbat says:

      Simple, honor. If you get a reputation for nuking all your troops then why would anyone work for you?

    • tomeoftom says:

      And that is brilliance, I think.

    • Bantros says:

      @worbat, we can still only expect the game on the Xbox 360 at the minute and many of those who pick it up might not of even heard of EvE let alone give a fuck about reputation and honor. They just want to play Team Deathmatch CoD style in space.

      Not only that but we all know the next iteration of console hardware as close as 2/3 years away, Dust has to be released pretty sharpish to have a chance of winning over new supporters and I don’t see that happening. Maybe they will release on the PC too as I honestly think they’d be pretty stupid not to

    • crainey92 says:

      I can’t even begin to imagine the dynamics a well implemented system such as this could have on EVE and Dust. Can you imagine how exciting it would be taking the fight to the big man and toppling his empire? Also think of the slogans that corporations would adopt.

    • Navagon says:

      @ worbat

      Well the end of the trailer answered that question. Clearly shortening your employees’ life expectancy isn’t good for your own.

    • Gap Gen says:

      There’s a wonderful sense of PC elitism there where PC owners can force console owners to fight for them and then idly nuke the scattered survivors from orbit.

    • Eggy says:

      Well we aren’t the PC gaming master race for nothing now are we?

    • Lukasz says:

      @Gap Gen

      I agree. That what makes the whole idea at least on paper so awesome. PC players, semi-gods traveling through galaxy in their incredibly powerful spaceships fighting themselves for glory, power and money.
      Console player are just tools employed by them to further their goals. No different to the new gun put on the spaceship.

      The idea is so brilliant I cannot stop smiling. I really really hope it will work out.

    • Commisar says:

      it looks pretty cool, put just put Dust on freakin’ PC. I bet most console players haven’t even heard of EVE

  2. Baka says:

    That’s such a huge mountain of potential and I reckon everyone thought about a game-format of similar sorts sometime before discarding it as not realizable. Kudos for CCP for attempting it, if they ever succeed in creating their vision I don’t think I’d have much free time for anything else. Ever.

  3. Meat Circus says:

    Is this a first in the history of gaming? Two separate MMOs existing and interacting in the same persistent universe?

    It’s an extraordinary experiment, and I really hope it works out, despite Dust’s baffling (and I suspect, temporary) absence from the PC.

    • Lost Trousers says:

      I think CCP’s real plan is to create a game where console players scuttle like ants on the surface of planets, fighting wars for the glorious PC gaming gods in the sky.

    • ANeM says:

      Technically speaking, City of Heroes and City of Villains were two ‘separate’ MMOs, as both products could be purchased and played as a stand alone game (and originally purchasing only one did not allow access to the other).

      Though EVE and DUST are certainly the first games to try mixing two very different genres in the single universe.. and their interaction has a bit more subtle than “The other MMO players are evil, PUNCH THEM FACE”

      As for the console only thing.. it is baffling. While console shooters are really big these days, it just seems like the consoles online policies (xbox 360 in particular) will only create a massive stumbling block for CCPs “vision.”

    • luckystriker says:

      @ Lost Trousers Haha, what a delicious thought!

    • Pop says:

      @Lost Trousers

      The question is, would you rather pwn in hell or serve in the heavens?

    • HermitUK says:

      @Lost Trousers

      Course, if you look at it the other way round, the PC folk are just killstreaks for the console players :p

    • AdamK117 says:

      @Lost Trousers

      Ooooohhhh, I’m afraiid the EVE death cannon will be fully functional when the console gamers get close to the baasee.

    • .backslash says:

      Unfortunately, I’m afraid Dust will stay as console only. For the simple reason that it’s one persistent world, and the “servers” are EVE players invading each other’s planets, therefore the PC players would have to share servers with the console players, and everyone knows that mouse + keyboard trumps controller any day of the week. Which means either crank up the controller’s autoaim unreasonably high, or make the PC guys have more recoil or something, to balance the odds, and that would be impossible to get right without one side always having an unfair advantage.

    • Stompywitch says:

      The console game will have a few months of intense play, and then it’ll basically die, just like the majority of console manshooters that aren’t Call of Duty. And then there’s next-gen, which may not be backwards compatible…

      If they want to keep it properly “alive” and mattering in the game universe, they absolutely need a PC version, if not direct EVE integration. Maybe a 514 subscription could cost half as much on it’s own as an EVE sub, but also be free with a full EVE sub, to get people into it.

  4. Navagon says:

    If this console FPS thingy isn’t subscription based then I could have been interested in that. You know, if it wasn’t console only like some kind of ludicrous, inexplicably bad development decision. If nothing else it could have acted as a gateway to the MMO side of things. But I guess they don’t want more subscribers.

  5. Nighthood says:

    So, how long will it be before we get an MMO which does everything?

    • TillEulenspiegel says:

      If we take two data points of Ultima Online (1997) and most ambitious stuff that’s actually playable right now, my guess is: a very long time.

  6. Lobotomist says:

    They are going for a Mega Game – 3 games in one in one persistant world. ( well 2 + walking in stations )

    But to make it really good they will need to make DUST , playable on PC (really where did the idea for making it console only come from ?!)

    And they will need to make walking in stations – a game in its own right (and not just avatar showcase)

    • mandrill says:

      There are not 3 games. there are 2.

      Incarna (walking in stations as you call it) is part of EVE. It is not a separate game but is part of that universe. This is the mistake that many people seem to be making, thinking that Incarna will be intrinsically separate from the flying in spaceships part of EVE when it will not. Just as living in wormholes is considered to be a separate game (even though it is fundamentally different from the known -space game) so why are people tripping over themselves to say that Incarna is separate from EVE. Incarna _is_ EVE.

      Dust can be considered a different game as it is built on a different platform and requires a separate client to log in to. Incarna will run though exactly the same client as we have now, on exactly the same hardware (unless you’re running a PC from the stone age which only barely runs the current client, plan your upgrades now)

      I agree that CCP are being totally short-sighted in not releasing Dust for the PC and am thinking that they will be correcting this error in short order once the console jockey’s limited attention spans are drawn to the next Call of Duty clone. The issue of console players fighting against PC players is moot as it can be arranged so that they never meet in battle quite easily. One Space corp hires PC mercs to attack somewhere, the other space corp cannot defend with console mercs, problem solved.

    • Commisar says:

      I know, WTF is Dust on consoles, ALL of your present player base is on PC????

    • rapchee says:

      @mandrill i think he was just trying to say that the walking part is so different from the flying part that it’s basically a different game

  7. Kdansky says:

    Hello, I am selling these nice leather jackets.

  8. kyrieee says:

    This is not the future of EVE, this is just what they dangle in front of you to keep you playing, but it will never be realized.

  9. reticulate says:

    I could be beautiful, and I dare to dream that it might be so.

    But I have a feeling the reality will not be quite as good.

  10. Daniel Rivas says:

    SHOOTING IN STATIONS.

  11. konrad_ha says:

    This is just the logical next step in MMOs. If they manage to pull this of, that is.

  12. CMaster says:

    If they really let EvE players smash their ground forces to paste rather than pay them, then it’s gonna cause some serious drama.

    Which seems to be what CCP live for mind.

    • Lukasz says:

      Indeed. But…

      If using mercenaries aka Dust players to further your own goals becomes quite essential then nuking them would prove disastrous to your plans as you won’t be able to make them join your team. while your opponent will be able to do that.
      also you might get shanked on a station.
      or maybe they can blow up your ship next time you dock.

  13. frenz0rz says:

    God I am so tempted to try EVE after my final year exams, but I swore I’d not play another MMO. But… NNGGHH. In concept, it seems to be everything I’ve ever wanted from a game, and I’ve got friends willing to take the plunge with me.

    That said, I’ve done my research and the initial complexity seems like a bit of a barrier. Anyone got any advice to offer on whether I should give it a go – or indeed, whether its too late to be jumping into an MMO that is already 8 years old?

    • Meat Circus says:

      The initial complexity is not as formidable as it once was, but you really need to get into a good corp as soon as you can to really benefit.

      And there’s always EVE University.

    • schurem says:

      Being 8 years late off the starting line is not as big a problem as it seems. Even when your character is only a couple weeks old, he or she can have a very meaningful contribution to the corp and even alliance. At about six months, a character could be said to be grownup, and after that its either marginal specialisation, or branching out. Character development in EvE is not very linear.

    • frenz0rz says:

      Trading one university for another, eh? :)

      How hard is it to get into a ‘good’ corp? Thats a very vague question, I know, but theres honestly so much I dont know about EVE. Will I be forced to do mining or manufacturing to make money, or is it literally a case of anything I fancy? How does the content fare for small (3-4 ppl) groups of new players looking for something to do?

      Also, I’ve heard about those 30 day licence extensions that you can actually purchase in-game on the market. Although I dont expect to be able to get one straight away, it sounds like the ideal way to help a poor student get by on an MMO sub. Or are they pointlessly expensive?

    • P4p3Rc1iP says:

      They used to be around 250-300 mil isk when I last played, but whether you can make enough money to buy them differs from person tom person. Some people never have that kind of money, some make it in a day. It depends on what you do.

      I’ve been playing on and off for a few years, but I’ve never actually had that much money.

      The game has gotten a lot friendlier for new players though. Nowadays if you finish the tutorial mission line you’re basically set with a few ships and some decent money and should have a decent understanding of what you’re doing.

    • CaptainWaffles says:

      frenz, there’s actually a Rock Paper Shotgun EVE corporation. The recruitment thread in the forum has some good info about who we are and what we do:

      http://rockpapershotgun.com/rpsforum/topic.php?id=4238

      I got into the game myself with just a few RL friends and I have to say I enjoy having a larger group to play with.

    • Stinkfinger75 says:

      A good corp to consider for someone new to the game is Adventurers. They are relatively large, have lots of veterans that are interested in helping the new guy out as well as taking part in a lot of higher level activities.

      At the start of my career I eschewed mining and manufacturing in favor of exploration. For someone new to the game exploration is very feast or famine, but it involves this really great mini-game whereby you are scanning solar systems to find things (hidden stations, asteroid fields, wrecks) which can reap significant isk. Plus the scanning itself is tons of fun, you really get the sense that you are finding something when you pinpoint those coordinates.

    • frenz0rz says:

      @CaptainWaffles – Cheers pal, bookmarking that for future reference. I’ll not start playing till my dissertation and exams are over, but when the time comes thats the first place I’ll head.

      @P4p3Rc1iP – Good to hear the game has got friendlier to new players, that was probably my main concern. I look forward to owning many a space-boat.

  14. Vadermath says:

    Wait wait wait, so we get to bomb the silly console fodder from orbit?

    AWESOME.

    • Davee says:

      Yes, I think most of us are having trouble deciding whether to like the console-exclusive or not. As in; be one of them and kick some ass (which would be the case if they do it for PC) or play demi-god with them instead?

  15. Scatterbrainpaul says:

    Don’t people just play multiplayer First Person shooters until the next one good one comes along. I’d hazard a guess 90% of multiplayer shooter lose the majority of their population after a couple of months, obviously a few exceptions (CS, TF2 etc.).

    As much as i like the depth of the idea, i just can’t see it working long term. Unless 1) They open it up to PC Gamers 2) They eventually fully integrate it into EVE Online. Kind of like how the total war games move from Campaign maps to battles.

  16. Derpentine says:

    CCP, making things that are half complete and destined to fail from the get-go? well I never! I’m sure it’ll come out on the PC after about a year; in reply to subscription based, it’s looking like it’s micro transaction based. Expect it to be a glorious failure and hopefully put CCP a bit of an uncomfy financial situation, since they’ve clearly been burning cash on these retarded ideas instead of working on their *sole* revenue stream, which is falling apart every second week. Their creepy relationship with nvidia is strikingly noticeable as they’re both equally badly mismanaged. But hey, the more strategic alliances and middleware, the better? right guys? oh gooddddd

    PL bitter vets crew checking in.

    • wu wei says:

      This.

      More than anything else, EVE needs a HUGE phase of revision. Especially with the interface. Oh dear god, does it need a new UI.

      I’d like to be more enthusiastic about Dust, but let’s face it, the complementary economies in EVE don’t really fit well together in the one game – planetary interaction for eg seems so completely detached from everything else – that I can’t see them having more success when spread across games.

  17. utharda says:

    I’m just having a hard time imagining console players being stupid enough to alarm clock for time zone wars.

    What the hell was wrong with me.

  18. unentschieden says:

    A big element is though that eve players actually can invest and earn REAL money. Depending on the scale of the influence ground battles have Eve corporations can actually pay their Mercenarys real money. The theme of backstabbing however is entirely real and accurate.
    I can´t imagine they would allow Eve players decide groundbattles though. MAYBE pay for advantages.

    • MisterT says:

      Its not like any 2bit corporation would be able to, I bet that either anti-planetary ammo or ground-capable fighters would be rather expensivee

  19. lethu says:

    Do you realize what this really means? We overlords, at last, get to send those really annoying console fanboys to their certain death! At will! From the heavens!

  20. GHudston says:

    It seems more and more like CCP are from the Peter Molyneux school of game development.

    I love EVE to bits, but you should always take CCPs announcements with a shovel load of salt.

  21. Nallen says:

    This reminds me, I resubbed to EVE while drunk.

  22. FriendlyFire says:

    Every time I see an EvE trailer, I’m like “Damn, I want to play this game!”

    If only someone could release it.

  23. Mutak says:

    The balancing act this would require is monumental. How do you make the ground troops feel like their choices matter when they can be nuked from orbit at any time. How do you make the spacers feel like the game is worth investing their time in when they can be taken out by an assassin at any time.

    I don’t think the things we saw in that video will happen in game. I just don’t see how they could pull it off.

  24. Will Tomas says:

    I can honestly say that I can’t see any reason why anyone would want to play the console game. Especially not if it’s got a subscription model.

    All the squeeing from PC-elitist-types kind of suggests to me that Dust 514 (which is a seriously rubbish title for something wanting a fairly large audience) will die a death. Why would anyone want to sub for a game that they have to just be ordered about at whim by some unseen PC gamer?

    I mean, PC gamers people hate it when the commander in Battlefield 2 actually orders them to do anything. Grenade-spamming COD gamers just won’t bother.

    And how can this ground attack work with the tiny number of players that you can get playing on a console?

    As you can see, I’m not convinced…

  25. Derek Smart says:

    This will probably never see the light of day. And if it does, will be a botched mess and signal the downfall of CCP.

    The fact that DUST 514 is billed as a console shooter, should give you an idea of what CCP is thinking.

    My guess is that it will fail. Spectacularly.

    Eve is a space combat game (a spreadsheet in space more or less) and adding this layer is only going to dilute the game and make it into what it is not. Then guess what? A bunch of people are going to try this sort of thing, hate it and plunge the entire Eve community into chaos after it has been completely diluted.

    Without playing and being involved in Eve itself, Dust 514 is JOS (Just Another Shooter). Which is why it will fail. Unless of course they’re billing this to the less than 300K subscribers they have. If so, they’re foolishly thinking that those nerds are really interested in a console plug-in module for their beloved PC (!) game.

    Ask yourself this, why is not a PC module?

    With all their resources, you’d think that they could have come up with a planetary incursion module (no, not the resource mining rubbish hack they recently rolled out) module that works within the game’s EXISTING framework. Heck, guys like myself – and those crazy Russians – have been doing just that for nigh on TWENTY years now. And this is new? How?

    Wait’ll they see Line Of Defense (yes, it actually has a space module) in the coming months.

    • Dominic White says:

      My Iron-E-meter just exploded, killing dozens and turning countless more into disaffected hipsters.

      I hope you’re proud, Mr Smart.

    • Jim Rossignol says:

      Derek has a point: why is this billed as a console shooter when Eve is the most PC game there is? It makes little sense.

    • Dominic White says:

      Why is World of Warcraft an Everquest-patterned MMO when Warcraft is an RTS? It’s a bizarre non-point to make. Large companies with plenty of operating capital tend to diversify. Those that don’t, find themselves relying entirely on a single facet of the industry which could well collapse at any time.

    • Jim Rossignol says:

      There’s a difference between moving between genres and moving between platforms. Eve is already established among hardcore PC users – just as Warcraft was – and yet there is going to be *no* PC variant of Dust? Despite the games being connected? Blizzard did not expect their users to have new and different machines to play WoW on.

  26. Farsearcher says:

    I read an interview somewhere fairly recently with one of the CCP guys I think it was on Gamasutra.

    One of the things that stood out to me was them saying they’d always wanted to make the ultimate sci fi simulator. I think the idea of planetary interaction has been in their minds from the start.

    I imagine in five or ten years you might be able to build bases on planets, perhaps playerbuilt cities might grow up.

    CCP are extremely lucky they were allowed to buy the license to EVE back from there old publisher (I think thats right I read about it ages ago?). With their large continious revenue from EVE there one of very very few developers who can really try to realise their ambitions.

    I really hope this goes well. If EVE gains enough more direct person to person interaction – through an FPS component and personal interaction on stations – and eventually on ships and planets I hope – they could gain many more users and hopefully become far more influential to MMO’s in general.

    Good luck to them

  27. Olivaw says:

    This will not work nearly as well as anyone hopes it will.

    Ambition like this, on this grand a scale, never turns out well for anyone.

  28. monkehhh says:

    Confirming that RPS, Eurogamer and PC Gamer’s semi-official unofficial corps are all now in the same alliance (Huzzah Federation) – if you do play Eve, come play it with a load of awesome people like us :)

    • Jim Rossignol says:

      Ha, that is amusing. Many of StateCorp’s best times were in Huzzah.

    • monkehhh says:

      Yup, there’s quite a few folks around with the legendary StateCorp in their histories. The introduction of RPS and PC Gamer into the alliance has made things pretty fun, especially with some of RPS’ more, er.. unorthodox Fleet Commanders. Lots of opportunites for smaller-scale, cheaper, funnerer PVP for all.

      In-game channels for keen folks – ‘RPS Community’, ‘eurogamer.net’ and ‘PCG Community’.

  29. Unaco says:

    Ooooh… Ambitious. Good luck to them, I say. I’ve never played EVE, but it has always seemed quite compelling, something quite different from the usual MMO’s… the sort of MMO that I would likely play, if I were to play an MMO.

  30. Derek Smart says:

    Why is World of Warcraft an Everquest-patterned MMO when Warcraft is an RTS? It’s a bizarre non-point to make. Large companies with plenty of operating capital tend to diversify. Those that don’t, find themselves relying entirely on a single facet of the industry which could well collapse at any time.

    @ Dominic

    Shirley you can’t be serious. You’re not even arguing about the same thing and – as usual- you’re just spewing nonsensical rhetoric just because you can.

    Eve = ***hardcore*** PC game

    Dust 514 = ***short-attention-span*** console game

    Eve + Dust 514 = wtf?

    What is so hard to grasp?

    As I have proclaimed, it CAN and most likely WILL fail. But my guess is that they’d see this earlier on and just cancel it. In fact, considering that DUST 514 was announced so very long ago and everyone pretty much forgot about it, it wouldn’t surprise me in the least if they either just canned it or announce it for the PC.

    Even so, the Eve player is NOT a traditional fps gamer. At all. How many true Eve gamers are going to bother with the whole “immersion breaking” sidetrack such as engaging in an fps module? I mean seriously, someone thought this was a good idea.

    And this is not about diversifying (you can release a new IP if thats what you want to do), it about someone having an idea and trying to figure out how to capitalize on that by associating it with the company’s sole and well known IP.

    It will faiil.

    • DrGonzo says:

      Well I’m a lot more interested in EVE after reading this. I think Dust 514 is an ambitious and interesting idea, that does in fact appeal to me.

    • McDan says:

      It is really interesting, might even get me back playing EVE to see how it affects the main game. Plus all the changes look sooper.

    • Consumatopia says:

      It certainly would not surprise me if this fails. Most big ideas fail. Or at least fail to impress.

      But there’s a chance it could be a really big deal. And the “attention span” dichotomy you’ve set up doesn’t really make sense. The shortest attention span gamers of all, Facebook gamers, are willing to spend a lot of aggregate time building up persistent resources by performing tedious tasks, even most of them only do so in smaller chunks.

      There’s two kinds of complexity in EVE–the complexity of flying spaceships around by manipulating the game interface to perform in-game tasks, and the “meta-game” complexity of interacting with other players and corporations. Maybe there are players, even on consoles, who wouldn’t want to deal with the first kind of complexity but would find the second kind a bit interesting.

      It’s even possible that releasing the games on different platforms would actually be good for this kind of player–if Dust were just an expansion for EVE, then it would come to be expected and obligatory that players engage in both kinds of gameplay.

    • FrankGrimes says:

      What’s this? One of PC gaming’s biggest failures predicting another developer’s game will fail? Sounds like someone has spaceship envy.

  31. Bowlby says:

    CCPs largest problem is going to be getting an FPS out there on consoles that is actually good and sustains a community.With so much competition in the genre at the moment, and given that CCP has never worked on consoles, and that an MMO RPG is the furthest thing from an FPS, this makes their chances of success very low.

    The actual EVE tying into Dust thing isn’t a huge problem conceptually. I’m sure there’s a way of tying them together while building in a contingency for if the community dies. It’s just that this reminds me a lot of another MMO action game that bankrupted a major studio through poor management and over ambition. CCP need to make sure they don’t put their eggs in one basket.

  32. Sardaukar says:

    PC player-gods this, nuke the console players that.

    You realize, these planets are probably going to have anti-ship defense installations. Who do you think is going to control and fire those?

  33. geldonyetich says:

    A trailer rife with the players stabbing each other in the back amidst a backdrop of pretty sci-fi graphics and unfeasibly straightforward gameplay.

    Talk about your truth in advertising.

  34. narcogen says:

    “(for heaven’s sake, just put it out on PC too – that’s where your fanbase is)”

    Which is, in fact, the point. EVE fans are on the PC but they are not the entirety of the target market for Dust 451. I’m sure they expect that some percentage of EVE players will also play Dust, but I tend to think that Dust is not going to be successful competing head to head with other FPS games on the PC among people who do not play EVE.

    The idea is to use Dust as a bridge to put CCP in front of people who game on consoles but not PCs, with EVE players who own consoles as the bridge; the guy who plays EVE on his PC, but also plays Halo on his Xbox 360, now has something he can point his Halo-playing buddies to that runs on the platform they game on, is similar to what they are used to, but integrates with EVE.

    • Derpentine says:

      I think everyone *gets* that it’s the point, no one disputes that. However what is being pointed out is that it’s most likely a bad idea. Just like Russian Roulette is about putting a gun to your head and hopefully hearing the click, no one disputes that is the point… but at the same time there’s an expectation that you might also have your brains all over the floor very soon. Skilled players are meant to be able to tell by the weighting of the weapon, what will happen next.

      EVE is to gamers as caviar is to the average person, an acquired taste, the few that like it have enough money to eat it – if in fact they are trying to capture some market, going after people who are very unlike the average EVE player seems a bit of an illogical venture… Likely why you don’t have McFishEggs; or advertising for it in your Guns ‘n Ammo Monthly.

      At the end of the day you might get a few hooked, but if they will continue to be part of their long term subscription pool seems unlikely, a risky move which is looking quite uncalculated, even with the safe bet genre.

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