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A Look at the History of Expansions - Part Nine

A Look at the History of Expansions - The Series

Previous Entry: Red Moon Rising

2006 is almost three years since the launch of Eve Online: Second Genesis. Few trailers have been released during that time. 2006 had two. One for Revelations, which we will get to at a later time.  The trailer, "No Other Destiny" is not a expansion trailer. Instead, it is a story of Eve Online and it was powerful enough to receive three nominations for a Mackie. In this trailer CCP does something they do much better than the trailers ever convey: They tell Eve's story.


It is now March of 2006 and the scent of the Icelandic spring is in the air. CCP is in a good place. They are going to conventions and trade shows left and right. The community is growing. The test server is in play and CCP is working on Serenity, the Chinese mirror of Tranquility. The forums are being tweaked and a search function is being added (I assume they built their forums from scratch). The graphics are getting an upgrade to Direct X10 and optimization for Windows Vista.

Most important thing of the year. My precious Jaguar is being rebalanced to be more amazing. It will surprise no one that ECM is an issue. It still is today. However, along with the Jaguar rebalancing note that bringing issues onto the forums for developer discussion has a long history in Eve as does rebalancing.

2006 is a year with only one expansion released. However, unlike 2004 this seems to be intentional. CCP has a lot of features coming forward (such as Eve voice) but they are also working on the games structure. I find this fascinating because, eight years later, they are in the same place with rebuilding Eve's physical body.

However, the current release is named 'Kali' and it is scheduled to load in a series of smaller patches tarting in September of 2006. Faction Warfare is on this list. So is a contract system that I could say most current day players wished that we had:
Contracts
This is the most extensive addition in this release, something which will affect players of all ages. Gives you the ability to manage corporations offline and create "missions" for players and corporations alike.
Boosters are being added to eight regions. Salvaging is happening. The Tier 3 battleships (Abaddon, Rohk, Hyperion, and Maelstrom) are on the horizon as well as some new, fresh battlecruisers. They are also adding space to the game with new regions.

Eve Mobile may truely be vapor ware. CCP wanted to produce it as early as 2006 and even had software to show at E3. The 2006 release is going to be very, very large and it is absorbing all of CCP's time.

If anything, these looks into the past show interesting echos.
The world we created still feels a little bit dull for players that are not much into PvP, alliance operations & politics and other activities that don’t involve other players. The group of players that come in mind that feel this lack are mostly the new comers and solo players. How do we fix that? 
This question was the introduction to a blog about the expansion of exploration content. CCP wanted to make a dynamic set of options for players to enjoy. There is a lot of ambition in these announcements and ambition that will not always make it through the final cut.

It is May of 2005 and Eve is three years old. The next alliance tournament is in June. Around this time CCP is producing a lot of dev blogs that explain what they are doing. The state of the current development, the state of testing, the state of the company, and their future plans.

Revelations is going to be an amazing expansion. In June, CCP Hammer details some of the things that are coming. These things include invention for T2 items. Salvaging wrecks to get salvage which will build the newly introduced rigs. Faction Warfare is still brewing. Also, way back then something that has never happened was in the hopeful future, the ability to buy and sell corporation shares. The structure of corporations shows that this was an intended addition but it is one that never happened. Also, the map is getting an update to what we know it as today. Boosters will also be entering the game. I now know that I can go to CCP Tuxford to ask why they feel incomplete. Scanning is also getting an overhaul.

The summer of 2006 is slow when it comes to CCPs activity. There are discussions about the changes but the office is on vacation or working. The dev blogs are more contact and communication oriented. There is a lot of discussion about the future A patch hits in the end of August but it is a code only no content patch.

It is September of 2006 and Eve has passed the 30,000 PCU (Peak Concurrent Users) mark. And while things look amazing they are not. Tranquility is having problems again. But CCP is working on it.

Fortunately, while CCP is doing their thing Eve is progressing as normal. The Eve Investment Bank scam happens. This was back when contracts were based off an escrow and auction system where you could make loans. This was being replaced in the upcoming expansion with the new contract system which we know as the current one (which they are again looking at refining and improving.)

During in a blog discussing the new invention process, the next expansion's name is revealed. Revelations will, as noted earlier, being invention into the game. There is a notation that there will not be battleship invention because there are no Tech 2 battleships in the game.

The fall cascades quickly. Fanfest is late in the year still, unlike its current early year location. There are tournaments happening and the general scope of Eve is full steam ahead. The slow and steady pace of the expansion bursts into energy through October and into the start of November. Eve Online: Revelations will be released on November 29th, 2006.

Next post, we will look at Reveltions release and what CCP was able to bring to the table compared to what they attempted to bring. But, before I go, there is one note from Fanfest 2006 that is very, very interesting.

At Fanfest 2006 CCP announces that they are "working on a system to render and animate full-body characters within Eve. The system will be used to represent your character in-station and other locations where a capsuleer would crawl out of his pod, take a quick shower, throw some clothes on and mingle with other capsuleers".

They have named it, "Walking in Stations".

Resources:
2006 Eve Online Dev Blogs
No Other Desteny - You Tube
EVE Online News - No Other Destiny Nominated for Mackie - MMORGP
Eve Online Economy Suffers 700 billion ISK Scam - Softpedia

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