EVE Online: The Wild Wild West of Space

One of the elements that has always fascinated me about EVE Online is the stability and resilience of the in-game economy. What you may not know is that CCP has a team of economists that work with the development team to provide players with a stable economy unlike some of the other MMOs out there. We had a chance to sit down with the Lead Economist for CCP, Dr. Eyjólfur Guðundsson, to talk about the EVE economy and what makes it so special.

ZAM: First of all, what is Unholy Rage? I mean, there was a discussion earlier on it, but what are the underlying principles of it?

Dr. Eyjólfur Guðundsson: Unholy Rage is simply the name of a task force that we put together within CCP to fight off activities that are very well known within MMOs in general - they're usually called gold farming. In general, it's behaviour where players - but I don't want to say players, because they're not really playing the game - it's the behaviour where individuals use the game as a business for themselves, rather than using the game as an environment to play. This is very prevalent within all MMOs, but the problem is that these entities are usually using tools and additional tools that are not allowed to use to give themselves additional advantages, so they can gain more than a regular player. So that's really what we're going after.

ZAM: And this task force lead to the banning of several thousand people, as I understand it?

Official DUST 514 Trailer Released

By now you've heard several of us talking about how cool DUST 514 is. It's time for you to see for yourself. CCP has just released the official trailer debuted at GDC Europe. Check it out and make sure to read our First Look Preview and Interview with CCP CEO Hilmar Veigar Pétursson and Creative Director at CCP Asia, Atli Már Sveinsson.

DUST 514: Our First Look

During a special press conference at the 2009 EVE Fanfest we were able to see a live gameplay demonstration of DUST 514, which is an FPS and strategy game set within the EVE universe. The game is set in the same universe as EVE Online but the two are fundamentally different in that DUST 514 takes place on individual planets. Players can expect a persistent universe where every battle is significant and every player will make meaningful decisions that helps to determine the outcome of the individual battles and the state of both games overall.

CCP expects that the two online experiences will compliment each other and that players will have plenty of reason to work together between games. EVE and DUST 514 will be linked using phased implementation strategies at specific stages during the development lifecycle of the two products. To clarify, EVE Online will in no way be dependant on the success of DUST 514 at launch, but as the games evolve, CCP will continue to build the two products so that players will work together even more.

CCP Forms Permaband, Spits Hot Fire

And now for something completely different. When you think of CCP, you probably picture ships flying through space in EVE Online, or maybe even wonder what you'll see in DUST 514. Whatever images pop into your head, I doubt a rap group was one of them. Well, say hello to Permaband.

Members of the CCP team formed the group and posted their video for the song "HTFU" on YouTube. According to the link on the EVEOnline Facebook page, the song was performed and produced in house. Oh, and they "spit hot fire." It's true. Here's a taste of their rhymes: "Every day is a fight, there's no room for bloopers. Bugs coming at us like in Starship Troopers. We help when we can, every child, every man. Treat the boogie man to a permanent ban!"

Check out the video if you don't believe me. Actually, wait a minute. If you're at work, don't watch the video yet. Wait until you're home. As CCP puts it, the video's "not safe for YOUR work, sorry--so quit and join us so you can watch it."

Fanfest EVE Online: Dominion Interview

We learned an abundance of new information during the CCP Presents keynote on Saturday. After the presentation we sat down with EVE Online's Lead Game Designer, Noah Ward to get clarification on some of the newly announced features including Planetary Interactions, Mining Enhancements and the rise of the Jovians.

Noah Ward: Hi, my name is Noah Ward, I also go by Hammerhead, and I am the lead game designer.

ZAM: First of all, can you just go into a little bit more detail about the sovereignty capture system that's going in?

Noah: It's really simple, and that was the whole goal of it. You just plunk down your clay marker and that's really all it takes. There's a bit of a timer. In order to take it back, you have to have 51% of the gates in the system controlled with these, we'll call them "disruption beacons," I don't know if that will be the final name. Basically you have to have, what we consider air superiority of the space in order to make the clay marker vulnerable.

ZAM: OK, so there will be new planets and stars. Does that have anything to with DUST? Are those in preparation somewhat?

The Persistent Linking of DUST 514 and EVE Online

Even though DUST 514 was officially announced at GDC Europe / GamesCom in August, CCP was reluctant to share anymore information until they could do so before the fans at the 2009 EVE Fanfest in Iceland. After the special presentation, we sat down with CCP CEO Hilmar Veigar Pétursson and Creative Director at CCP Asia, Atli Már Sveinsson to talk about DUST 514, EVE Online and how they'll compliment each other. Check it out!

ZAM: Dust 514 is a persistent universe where the characters and the world will be persistent and every battle will be significant and all of the outcomes will affect both worlds. Can you go into some detail as to how persistent some of those features are going to be, and how they will affect both EVE Online and Dust 514?

Atli Már Sveinsson: Obviously the character progression is quite persistent. Your wealth is persistent, or not. But in terms of conquests or control of planets, this is, I think, the main thing that is certainly persistent.

Hilmar Veigar Pétursson: The fundamental communication between the games is that players can contract Dust mining rings to fight over territories on the planet. Where we go beyond that initial standpoint is something where we sort of go with the flow, as we've always done with our game design ideas, where we see where people take the ideas, and we follow the track. So we're very much thinking about the link and Dust alone as a model and DUST together with EVE. So it's really starting there and leading from there.

CCP Presents - Fanfest 2009 Keynote

If you weren't one of the 3,000 viewers watching the CCP Presents Keynote today, you'll be excited to know that there was plenty of new information about DUST 514 and what's to come after EVE Online: Dominion. In addition the announcement that EVE Online now has over 302,657 subscribers, CCP CEO Hilmar Veigar Petursson told the crowd that the company has a new goal of reaching 600,000 active users. Considering the EVE Online team is now 5x the size it was at launch, this is definitely a possible and something to believe in.

Make sure to check out our summarized after the jump and stay tuned for our DUST 514 gameplay impressions, and transcribed interviews covering DUST 514, EVE Online and the overarching economy.

Opening Ceremony Focuses on Social Networking

The ZAM team is currently in Reykjavik, Iceland, at the sixth annual EVE Fanfest to celebrate with players and learn more about Dominion and DUST 514. We got the chance to attend yesterday's opening ceremony and heard all sorts of details about COSMOS, the upcoming social networking application that will be implemented in the EVE universe. Actually, forget the codename COSMOS, because it was announced during the ceremony that the real name of the tool is New Eden.

CCP Exective Producer Nathan Richardsson kicked off his speech by congratulating a couple who got married on Friday and giving them a book signed by members of the EVE team. The newlyweds actually met at last year's Fanfest and are celebrating their honeymoon in Iceland. Richardsson also discovered through members of the audience that there were players in attendance from as far away as South Africa and Australia.

Richardsson then jumped right into a discussion about New Eden by saying that many people in this day and age gather their information through numerous sources and tools. He said that New Eden will let you "communicate with anybody whether they're in-game or out of game, or wherever you are in the world."

Dominion Scheduled to Launch on Dec. 1

Senior Producer Torfi Frans Olafsson confirmed at Fanfest that Dominion, the 11th expansion for EVE Online, will launch on Dec. 1, which happens to be Iceland's Sovereignty Day. Iceland became a separate state as part of the Kingdom of Denmark on Dec. 1, 1918. The country ultimately obtained independence in 1944.

Members of the ZAM team are still at Fanfest in Reykjavik, Iceland's capital, so keep an eye on ZAM.com for more news from the EVE Online celebration. Are you looking forward to the release of Dominion this winter?

Fanfest Events Will be Streamed Tomorrow, Oct. 3

The ZAM team is currently in Reykjavik, Iceland at the sixth annual EVE Fanfest, and we plan to bring you all sorts of news from the convention. But if you want to feel like you're at Fanfest, CCP will be streaming events live tomorrow, Oct. 3, from noon to 5 p.m. GMT. The streaming player will be available on both the Fanfest and EVE TV sites. Replays will also be made available on CCP's YouTube channel.

According to the announcement, here's what will be streamed: "Watch the finals from the Fanfest PvP tournament, view Torfi Frans Ólafsson's keynote on EVE's next expansion, Dominion, from the night before, and witness Saturday's keynotes on the future of CCP, EVE Online, and DUST 514."

Oh, Vivox will be be broadcasting audio from the keynotes and panel on the EVE Online Facebook page, which also already has some pictures up from Fanfest. Check out the images to see what's going on in Reykjavik and keep an eye on ZAM.com for our own exclusive coverage!