Saturday, October 6, 2012

Eve Vegas: CCP Soundwave Discusses Winter

[EDIT: When these posts were first written they were done at the table as people were speaking. Hopefully I can clean some of it up to make it more readable.]

Eve Vegas 2013. Next year they are going to try to have more sponsors and lower the ticket prices. On the last day, there was a general announcement that the Rio was interested in having the convention. It is one step off of the strip but they had more that they could offer. The general response was positive and it looks like things will move and already next year is in planning.

From Eve Vegas 2012

The first speaker was Soundwave. He had been pointed out to me the night before. I had been a bit lost as to where exactly the convention would be held in the convention area. I saw the Devs walk past me and decided that following them would be one of the better ideas that I had that morning. I walked down the long, secondary hallway to where Eve Vegas was going to be held and found myself amused by the "Dev Team" across the back of their shirts.

They had a scanner for those that had printed out their tickets already. Having had no idea if I'd need the physical printed ticket, I had printed one out and remembered to stuff it in my bag. I then got to fill out a convention card with my Character Name, Corporation Name, and Alliance name. There was coffee and hot water for tea and hot chocolate. People trickled in at a slowish rate. You had to stop and register.

Starting time was supposed to be 1000 hours but the trickle of people and the continue trickle in of people things didn't get started until around 1030. I found myself sitting beside a lady from RVB and listening to an argument about wormholes behind me. The Eve Conversations had been light the night before at the pub crawl. Now the t-shirts were out and the Eve chatter going at full speed.

Things got settled and sorted, the powerpoint went up and Eve Radio started to stream. I was still not sure how I'd work through the information at this point. I decided that I'd type it up, try to keep it coherent, and dump it out. Then, I could go back and clean things up and make a prettier post or series of posts. I was just going to have to see what happened. It turned out that I wrote a lot of stuff, very quickly and rather imperfectly.

"This Winter in EVE-Online" by CCP Soundwave

Soundwave both talked and had slides. I tried to pull the information from both things. I think all together he was a good presenter and comfortable with his information.

The first thing was the 10k tournament. There is already a Dev Blog about this event about this. He is hoping that we will have something like the 10k tournament every month or two if he has his way. He commented about how Starcraft and League of Legions has a them, and he'd love us to be that point. The graphics and sides showed a gaming convention (Starcraft I believe) and while Eve is not there yet that is where he wants us to be. He said that he wandered through the sports bars and all the sports are the traditional ones. Esports is a growing area and one that he'd love for people to be able to turn on and watch someone spaceships blow up.

Next was crime watch. The tagline from the slide was, "This winter Justice will be done. If not by their laws then by ours." It also seems to be the tag line for the Retribution Expansion. Checking the website the Expansion's tag line is slightly different but says the same thing.

Soundwave said that he does not like NPCs governing the game and he would prefer to have players take care of the in game law enforcement. This winter is the first step to this. This is a bit of an experimental step. They are placing some tools in place and looking to see what happens. Depending on the outcome they will take the next step down the path.

What is it about?

Giving players the tools to police space so that one day concord doesn't have to.

Player to player content is more meaningful then player to environment.

You know what owns? people getting blown up. That's what owns.

Or also known as the cycle of dickery

(from the slide)

The cycle of dickery had a slide that was a set of circles that made up a circle. In each circle was the word 'dick' and he described this as the cycle of dickery. Person A to Person B to Person C and how it comes back around. Eve Players are well known to push in these areas and what someone creates may come back to them in negative ways too.

The Bounty Hunting:

People have no faith in the current system. CCP wants to make a system where loss means something. If a bounty is placed on a person they lose something when that bounty is claimed. Payouts are broken down so that if you place a large bounty on someone it pays out based off of the value of what they are flying. The bounty stays until it is drained.

The example given was: Someone places a billion ISK bounty on player A. Player A is then killed in a Raven. The Bounty Hunter gets 20 million ISK. Now there is a 980mil ISK bounty on Player A. Player A is killed again in a Raven. The Bounty Hunter makes 20 mil. Player A now have 960mil ISK in bounty on his head. So forth and so on until he dies.

The hope is that they will create more content with the changes in bounties. Also, there is now the fact that bounties can be placed on everything, anyone, any corp/alliance at any time. There will be no more restrictions on who can have a bounty.

Soundwave wants to remove the default option of CCP judging who is bad and who is good. He also does not want 'bad' and 'good' defined by the game mechanics. They want it to be that if you dislike someone you can do something about it. Kill them or in some way affect them. If you really don't like them or their entire group you can bounty their corporation and their alliance.

They are also looking into visual indicators for when someone has a bounty so that people know and can act upon it.

Sharing kill rights:

The word used was 'rent' out kill rights. ANYONE will be able to pick them up and go and kill that person. It will have a time limit to it. If you want to collect your own kill rights with your alt you can. But it costs money and is time limited. Prices were not discussed. Soundwave wanted to make it that someone that used alts to shield them from the kill rights on them would be made to pay.

Also how the kill rights will show up is unknown. They want it to be nice and obvious like bounties so that someone can land on grid and someone can collect kill rights and go to work.

Crime Watch:

To redo the aggression mechanics they had to understand them. What they did is outsource it to a Q&A company. A month later, they received a forty page document detailing what did what. He said they were amazed by how terrible it was and wondered how they had managed to build such a ridiculously complex system. This led to the simplification of crime watch. They wanted it simpler for them, simpler for the code, simpler for the servers and simpler for the players.

There will be a new warning box that can be turned off. There was a slide that showed three dots that are 'settings'. They will be displayed somewhere on the HUD I believe from the slide. But the slide was dark and the room bright. There are three settings.

---Green for Safe you can't activate things to hurt people and get yourself popped
---Yellow/Orange for illegal acts such as can flipping and wreck theft
---Red for shoot all the things and have no warnings

He said that petitions for 'accidentally clicked box was CONCORDED!' will be answered with, "You are probably dumb". If your safety is green you won't be able to shoot people in empire. If you set it to orange you can do mild things like can flipping. If you put your setting to red then you can do whatever whenever with no warning anymore. So if you set it to red, its your own fault.

There are the new icons. Visual representation for what things can happen to you. A red skull means players and CONCORD will kill you where CONCORD is around. Yellow means players will be able to kill you. The yellow exclamation point means that you can not log off safely. Each one has a timer bar around it similar to the module bars. This will shrink so that you have a visual indicator of how long you have left until you can dock/jump/log off safely.

Soundwave said that they have spent a lot of time working on Eve around the edges. He wants Eve to be a better game to fly around an do stuff. He is focused on the core. One of these things is the buff bar. They want the in flight UI to be better. They are adding tooltips for every customization module in the game. But, they are also going to let players turn these things off.

The path that he is going on is one where it is easier to get information for hard choices. This is not a winter expansion detail but an end goal. He wants the game to be difficult. However, he does not want it to be difficult because the game's user interface is bad. An example was that if a ship warps out of range and it was a target some way for a player to know why and then make a faster decision on what to do.

Faction Warfare:

There will be no more speed tanking. There will be new NPCs. There will be less space between the warp in point and the capture point. They are changing the upgrades given by taking the system. There will be quicker industry and building. POS fuel will be reduced. Different territorial space will have different bonus systems. He wants the faction warfare NPC stations to be the best to build/refine/research at. (Faction Warfare is his baby. He sounds like he loves it.)


Next summer will be battlecruiser rebalance with the battleships next summer. Then there were pictures of the little new ore frigate and the new destroyers. He said the minnie dessie comes from another game that the artiest liked a ship in and used that as inspiration. There is admission that the new amarr dessie looks like the old one. Then a commentary on the vagabond having frills again which led to clapping and cheers.

They will be updating a lot of the lore art. Its been neglected for years and they want to catch up so that all the artwork reflections how lovely the game is.

Soundwave feels that this expansion feels like Crucible. Lots of small things that make sense and feel good.

Q&A time:

Q---New Bounty System: Who gets the payout?
A---Its like a regular bounty. The entire fleet will get a piece of the payout. The person who paid for the bounty will also get a kill mail when it happened.

Q---Streamlined UI About hard choices: Will this be for the market to?
A---Yes, the market is hard to touch because it is very old and works well. He wants the spaceships to be able to give better data about the market. He wants the market to give everything.

Q---In game gambling based off of corps?
A---He'd like to build a stockmarket that depends on how the alliances is doing. Then you can buy stock and sell it from how alliances are doing. And then hopefully people will make all sorts of scams that he can enjoy.

Q---Kill rights and renting out how many people can he rent them out to?
A---Its public and anyone can pick it up. Limited time only. If someone has a kill right a popup can come up you can click claim and then go and rent them. If someone wants to rent them to themselves they will pay out the ass.

Q---Reinvigorate the naglfar?
A---Soundwave says... well... yeah... but he expects that size ship to be next winter or the summer after.

Q--- Will we see Salvage Drones this patch?
A--- They are for December.

Logoff for NPC aggression is that to hurt people? Its a sixty second logoff timer for NPC aggression not 15 minutes.

Kill rights do you know who wants to kill you will he know? He will be notified about it. But he is the first person on the cycle of dickery and such but Soundwave wants players to have more of an edge and cat and mouse game going on. So the person will know that someone is after them.

Bounty system anon? No. They will know you did it.

New aggression timers: I can jump gate and it resets logoff timer? It will be fixed and correct time applied.

How will new thing affect cyno jumps: You will still be aggressed if you jump out on a cyno. And TIDI will affect it somehow.

Q---Elaborate on the bounty UI? Tied to local? Notification?
A---Soundwave says that he wants it to be super visible. They are discussing a popup like the new tutorial or an icon change or something that is very visible so that you can find out that they have the bounty.

AFK Campers! Does soundwave like it or will they be able to do something about it? No changes in the AFK cloaking. Cloaking mechanic is very difficult right now. He said that maybe next year something about AFK Cloakers. He does not like how it works but they are looking for a solution for it.

[EDIT: Hong says Soundwave is happy with AFK cloaking. I heard it as AFK Cloaking is going to change and they are looking into Solo PvP or something. So not sure which way this went cuz we heard different things. Someone who has Eve Radio can hopefully clarify]

Q---Bounties... is there a way to harm them without killing them... like a ransom type situation where the ship isn't blown up?
A---Nothing like that has been discussed. It is an interesting idea. But he really wants people to blow up.

Q---Current mining barge changes and how they each specialize and how everyone using the Mack now and so its not balanced. Are they going to nerf the Mack?
A---They are reviewing it right now to see what they need to change or tweaked

Q--- When will we have Logis on Killmails? (lots of cheering and clapping).
A---Soundwave says: Soon with a little chuckle. (I dont think that means soon :( )

Q---Bounty stuff: Can I grief someone out the game?
A---Pretty much. If they want to keep dropping cash on someone and going after them. Forum posters who alt post Soundwave does not like. He wants social consequences and for people to debate what they are doing that brought it down. People thinking about the enemies that they make. Are there people in empire angry with Goons that are going to pour cash onto them? Yes. And he wants that to happen. He wants people to decide who the bad guys are based off of social things. Not for him to figure out but for players to figure out.

(In general the last question about griefing caused the most murmurs around the room.)


Version two with some time gone over to clean it up a little bit and flesh out some of the short hand.


  1. "AFK Campers! Does soundwave like it or will they be able to do something about it? No changes in the AFK cloaking. Cloaking mechanic is very difficult right now. He said that maybe next year something about AFK Cloakers. He does not like how it works but they are looking for a solution for it."

    Uh, I was sitting right next to you and did not hear that he "doesn't like it"... In fact he said it was "one of the last bastions of solo PvP", which gave rise to at least a few claps and cheers, esp from yours truly. ;-) lol

  2. I heard he didn't like it as it stood then and wanted to change it. So I may be wrong or people were to Damn noisy and I misheard. Thanks for correcting/restating. Shrug.