Eve Online, the space MMO that’s so laden with consequence it’s frightening, is introducing multi-year story arcs to pull its NPC factions into the heart of the game. The finale of developer CCP’s first planned arc will launch before the end of 2022. The idea is to let capsuleers build meaningful bonds with their home empires by fighting for them in New Eden’s living universe - which has always been shaped by players, not NPCs.
“Eve is getting ready to enter its third decade and the future has never been brighter,” says creative director Bergur Finnbogason. “With arcs, we’re setting Eve up for the next chapter with a steady stream of narrative-driven content that emphasizes player actions and decisions.”
Disputed systems in factional warfare will become frontlines, with associated content and strategic advantages, while adjacent systems will hold their own tactical value as forward bases for command. Frontlines will be quicker to conquer than surrounding systems, pushing the tempo of territory disputes overall.
NPC factions will pass down missions to players, the outcome of which will leave a lasting impact on New Eden - regardless of whether or not they succeed. As a hypothetical example, CCP suggests that the Caldari faction might plan to create a new navy ship. And if players flying the Caldari flag fail to back that effort, the ship simply won’t be released - “at least for some time”. See? Consequence.
This weekend in Reykjavík, the halls of the Laugardalshöll sport centre have been dressed in Caldari colours as part of CCP’s Eve Fanfest celebrations. More than 750 players have flown in for the event - the first Fanfest to be held in-person since 2018. Eve Online itself is one of the younger attendees, at a sprightly nineteen years.
Perhaps the most Eve news to come out of Fanfest so far has been the announcement of Excel integration - enabling players to export Eve data directly into Microsoft’s maths-y software. Truly, this is the game of spreadsheets in space.