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."

Richardsson said the EVE team will be using New Eden to increase communication between friends and distribute news about the game through multiple platforms and various types of media. "We don't feel that you should be limited to actually interacting just when you're actually playing, he said. "The reason we're still playing EVE after six years is not because it's the most awesome game in the universe, which it is, but it's also that your friends are there. That's really the key thing here."

He mentioned that CCP has sold more than 80,000 EVE novels. "We wanted to provide more back story" with the books, he said. This led Richardsson into a discussion about the big picture for EVE over multiple platforms, from mobile to consoles. "Stop thinking about it as a world. Think about it as a universe which has multiple entry levels," Richardsson said.

Richardsson said the API is probably the "most awesome" tool of them all since it allows players to create third-party applications. "I'm constantly surprised by what's actually made," he said.

Richardsson continued to emphasize that New Eden will use mobile devices, such as iPhones and Blackberry phones, to keep players connected. He said the social networking tool is CCP's fundamental way to help EVE live on for years to come by bringing the universe to multiple platforms. "While we're doing it, we're exposing so much in-game functionality outwardly, but it's actually enabling us to go to all the other platforms," he said.

DUST 514, CCP's upcoming console-based MMOFPS, is one such new entry into new platform. The game will be integrated into New Eden. "There you will have the mercenaries and pilots in the same universe. You will actually be having a mutual, beneficial relationship between the two. ... We actually have meaningful gameplay on both sides," Richardsson said.

As for CCP's future plans with EVE, Richardsson said the company is looking at machinima and movies to add to the game's story.

Associate Producer Helga then took the stage to give more details on the social networking tool. She officially announced that COSMOS will now be known as New Eden. "It's basically your EVE away from EVE," she said, emphasizing that you'll be able to see what's happening in the EVE universe from anywhere. "It's the start of something really big."

She then discussed some of the features that will be included in the New Eden release that's planned for the first quarter of 2010. You'll have access to character profiles with your corporation information and employment history and be able to view your skills and training queues. You'll be able to make status updates to let your friends know what you're doing and keep track of your friends' and corporation/alliance feeds.

There will be a new mail system, which was greeted by loud applause from the audience. Labels will be used to organize mail and there will be corporation and alliance mailing lists, as well as spam prevention. There will also be a calendar that will allow you to view corporation and alliance events, as well as keep track of your personal events. Official CCP events will also be posted on the calendar.

The EVE client buddy system and standings will be fused together with the new two-way friend system to create a new contact list. You'll be able to use labels to manage your contacts and see an overview of your friends and enemies, as well as your friends' friends and enemies' enemies.

Andrew "Tamat" Beegle

Darryl "Togikagi" Gangloff
News Reporter


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