Eve Online is bringing narrative focused updates

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CCP Games is working on releasing a series of narrative-driven updates for the infamous space-based MMO Eve Online. The set of updates was revealed as part of the keynote speech during the 2022 Eve Fanfest.

The story expanding updates, or arcs, aim to enable players to build stronger ties with their home empires. Through dynamic storyline and events, players will have more power to shape the ever-changing universe. Players can also expect improvements to the faction-based warfare mechanic as well as infrastructure.

CCP Games is promising more information about the first arc in the near future.

“Eve is getting ready to enter its third decade and the future has never been brighter,” said CCP Games’ Bergur Finnbogason. “With arcs, we’re setting Eve up for the next chapter with a steady stream of narrative-driven content that emphasizes player actions and decisions. Veterans of the Triglavian Invasion may recall the fall of Pochven that altered trade routes and supply chains across New Eden – the narratives coming with arcs can have similar effects. The upcoming stories and events aren’t restricted to veterans, though – with more activities coming soon to the new player experience, all Capsuleers can enjoy Eve’s arcs, regardless of their skill level.”

Story updates are huge, but there’s more coming

Story updates aren’t the only thing coming down the pipeline, though. A localized Spanish client is releasing in late 2022. It’s more than likely a welcome change – there’s a not insignificant number of players who speak Spanish as a first-or-only language.

CCP Games is also working on modernizing Eve Online over the next chunk of years. Audio and visual overhauls are in the works. So are improvements to the user interface. It’s also teased a number of additional, as of yet unannounced feature improvements.

But the diamond in the rough here is a partnership with Microsoft. CCP Games is enabling players to add a JavaScript API into Microsoft Excel to seamlessly import data from Eve Online. Pilots will be able to access and calculate.. well, sort of everything. Profit margins, trade prices, battle strategy and more.

As a long lapsed Eve Online player I cannot overstate how useful this feature is going to be. I remember working with a handful of other players in my then-clan to try and collapse the mineral market for fun. That endeavor boiled down to a tiny bit of gameplay and a lot of entering numbers and formulas into Excel. If I’d had this feature back then I could have caused so much more chaos.

There’s probably a word in German to describe the feeling of nostalgia-laced loss and sympathy I’m feeling for myself from a decade ago.

Traditional storytelling versus organic, player-driven storytelling

Nevertheless. The real question here is whether or not these new storylines can compete with the actual madness generated by players? I haven’t played in years but I still remember some of the incredible wars from back then. The most recent territory maps make me believe the player-driven conflict is still creating incredible story beats.

If Eve Online can produce NPC focused, narrative driven storylines that at all compete with what players pull off? It’s going to breathe life back into one of the oldest still active MMOs out there.

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