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September 10, 2007
PAX 2007 - EVE Online: Revelations II

By Mark Rollins

CCP Studios had a strong presence at the Penny Arcade Expo (PAX) in Seattle this year. I was anxious to see what new developments they had, and what they had planned for the future.

One of the banners they had at their booth was for EVE Online: Revelations II. Eve Online subscriber-players always enjoy the free expansions, and Revelations II is definitely targeted to user complaints. CCP has a "Need for Speed" initiative that optimizes existing features and content.

It also enables opportunities for strategic operations by encouraging siege-type gameplay, enables attrition warfare, and opens up new tactical opportunities for smaller attack groups.

Starbase tactics is another area that plans to be updated. Players will be allowed to perform localized scanning for ships, jump between starbases owned by the same corporation, and quickly bring capital ships into a battlefield. Players can also access starbase weapons, including turrets and missile batteries.

There will also be more sophisticated tools for managing their corporations and alliances. That's a lot of business stuff I really don't understand, but I know some EVE Online fans are really excited about this.

Those who are more seasoned players will probably also get excited about the introduction of Level 5 Agents, who CCP promises to be the most challenging Player versus Environment (PvE). It is designed for capital ships and small gangs, and it takes a lot of firepower to beat.

For those who are not quite excited, or have never played, Revelations II has something for you as well. The New Player Experience has been redone, which allows any newcomer to get into the game a lot quicker.

Revelations II is also designed to set the stage for Revelations III, which is coming out later this year. CCP also let the PAX attendees know some other developments for EVE Online.

They showed me a complete update on the graphics, which has been a demand of players to update the graphic engine. All of it is being updated with new high-res versions, and simulated pixel shaders. In fact, the entire game is being switched to an entirely new graphics engine. EVE Online still will support the older graphics versions, but those who crave DirectX 10 will also have that too. The game is trying to stay small but not too small, that is difficult, since the world of EVE Online is getting bigger all the time.

Sound is another part of the game that will also get an overhaul. New music is being added with 5.1 sound. Another element that will be added is the ambulatory factor. Considering that one of the elements of EVE Online is that players are stuck in a ship, anyone who has done a road trip knows that you have to get out and stretch your legs once in a while. It will be a while (at least a year) before players will be able to do that, but they will interact with other players at meetings and such.

I don't know about you, but the ambulatory element sounds a lot like Second Life. If that ever gets going, that is going to change EVE Online forever.


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