Eve Fanfest 2014: A space opera at the top of the world

Every year the Eve Online faithful gather in Reykjavik, Iceland to mingle among their own gamer kind, attend panels on the likes of PLEX pricing, interstellar piracy and space combat, and learn about the future of this massively popular, massively online game.

Join Polygon as we cover this year's show, live from Iceland with all of the Eve Online, Valyrie and Dust news

CCP hints at master plan for the Eve Universe: Three games, one universe, one platform

There are also big changes coming to EVE Online, including a new model that introduces 10 new updates every year.

The real story that came out of Fanfest was one that many people missed however, although understanding what’s going on helps makes sense of everything else. CCP is in the process, and those are definitely the very early stages of this plan, of creating the equivalent of Battle.net for internet space ships.

Trimming down

Things were something of a mess even a few months ago. CCP was working on its breakout hit, Eve Online, it was developing a World of Darkness MMO for the PC...

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Eve Online's Iceland monument has already been vandalized (update)

The monument erected in Iceland to commemorate players of CCP Games' Eve Online was vandalized less than a week from its official dedication, apparantly by a real-life group belonging in the in-game player alliance known as Goonswarm.

Goonswarm — a faction known for griefing other players and making repeated attempts to break the game through events like planned suicide bombings and attacks on the Eve econmic hub — apparantly placed the insignia of their group, a bee in a helmet smoking a cigar called "Fatbee", on the face of the monument (photo above). According to a post on the Eve...

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Why Eve Online's economist thinks bitcoin could be a scam

The value of PLEX, which is redeemed for one month of game time in Eve Online, is relatively stable. CCP has experimented with allowing players to purchase video cards with PLEX.

At Fanfest this year players could even purchase things around the convention center by converting their PLEX into "ISK Coins," plastic chips with CCP's logo on them that worked like real currency at certain vendors around the show.

In many ways PLEX has become a working currency, and CCP has tried some experiments using that currency outside of the game. The line between the game's economy and the "real" economy...

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Burning Napalm, an Eve Online corporation, bought a beer for every Fanfest attendee

It’s hard to know what’s going to happen next during CCP’s Fanfest event in Iceland, the goings-on of the show can be just as unpredictable as the game. Battlestar Galactica star Katee Sackhoff made a joke about buying every attendee at the show a beer, before quickly taking it back. Warning: the video contains profanity.

One person, on the other hand, took the offer very seriously.

The CEO of Burning Napalm, a player-run corporation in Eve Online, contacted the CEO of CCP and made the offer to buy every attendee of the show a local beer.

I spoke with David Reid, the CMO of CCP, who...

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CCP denies end to Dust 514 development, promises player migration to Project Legion

The online response to Project Legion, CCP’s update to the Dust 514 formula coming to the PC, has been largely negative. Representatives from CCP have openly admitted that the PlayStation 3 free-to-play shooter could have been better, and the PC release is a way to improve on the game’s ideas.

This led existing players to assume Dust 514 was headed to the chopping block.

Jean-Charles Gaudechon, the executive producer of Dust and one of the minds behind Project Legion, addressed these concerns during the final keynote of CCP’s Fanfest in Iceland.

"Is Dust 514 stopping? The answer is no,...

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CCP VP admits Dust 514 wasn't a great game, promises to do better with Project Legion as fans riot

The fan reaction has been immediate, and largely negative.

Sean Decker is the VP of Product Development at CCP, and he told Polygon the days of waiting a few years to show off a game while hoping the fans like it are done. "Put it out in front of them, see if they like it," he said. "EVR [later renamed Eve: Valkyrie] was a perfect example of that. Legion will or will not be an example of that, we’ll see, and if Legion does well, great, we’ll continue to invest in it. If it doesn’t, we’ll open up some beers, have some fun and say, "'Ok, that was fun, let’s do something different now and go...

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CCP's MMA brawl pits 10 developers against one UFC fighter: Gunnar Nelson

I’m sitting across from two developers from CCP. One of them looks, on the whole, relatively "normal." The other appears to be Zangief from the Street Fighter series. We’re discussing the fact that 10 developers from CCP are going to fight Icelandic UFC fighter Gunnar Nelson.

The rules are bonkers. They’re going to fight him one at a time. Ten men, in a row. I’m told that you’ll be forgiven for tapping out in an arm or leglock, but if Nelson were to get you in a chokehold, you’re honorbound to hang in there until you lose conscious. The idea is to wear him down, to make him tired. If all...

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Eve Online ditches expansion model, will now offer 10 updates per year

The latest expansion, called Kronos, will be released on June 3 and will turn this practice on its head. There will now be ten updates to the game per year, rather than two large updates.

It may seem like this will lead to smaller changes, but the company argues that they can now be more aggressive and ambitious with its development cycle.

"It’s going to change everything. It’s going to allow us to respond quicker. It’s going to allow us to actually take more risk in a good way," CCP CEO Hilmar Veigar Pétursson told Polygon. They don't have to plan far in advance to launch and enable...

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Project Legion is a new PC shooter from the people behind Eve Online

The game seems to build on the ideas first tested in the PlayStation 3 shooter Dust 514, although the two games won't interact in any way. In fact, Dust 514 was barely mentioned during the talk, other than to release some basic milestones. 5.2 million clones have been killed in the game, just in case you're curious.

As for Project Legion, the scope of the project, and whether or not it will be turned into a full-fledged release, seems to be somewhat in the air.

"It’s still very early, it’s been a few months the team in Shanghai has worked on it, and the idea is to really deliver on that...

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CCP CEO on World of Darkness cancellation: 'We are now the Eve Universe company'

It seemed like a strong fit; Eve Online provided the sort of "anything goes" sandbox atmosphere that would work well with the political and social focus of the World of Darkness table top role-playing games. But the game was ultimately cancelled in mid-April, after an extended and troubled development cycle.

"We began with huge aspirations, wholly optimistic ones, which is often the case when you come from any success and you want to expand on that. And we’ve made many scoping [changes], changed direction and all that through the year, and the core experience has suffered for it, in a way....

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CCP's Eve Online monument in Iceland honors the players by making their names immortal

You can't go back in the game to relive your favorite moments, and the game's biggest events and battles, the ones that make news and impact the game's economy, are often unplanned. The press releases come later; CCP is often just as surprised by the actions of the players as everyone else.

So how do you make something that will last the test of time if you want to honor your game? You have to make it physical. CCP revealed a physical monument to the game in Iceland yesterday in a ceremony that included the game's developers, player who have traveled to Iceland for Fanfest and government...

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Eve: Valkyrie moves to Unreal Engine 4, adds Starbuck

The company announced at Fanfest that the game has moved from the Unity engine and will now run on Unreal Engine 4, and has in fact been completely rebuilt from the ground up to use the engine. Nothing has been kept from the original version of the game except for a better idea of what Valkyrie is and some place-holder assets.

"It gives us familiarity. It gives us a great engine, I’ve worked in Unreal before. It gives us ready made accessibility into the market," Chris Smith, the lead game designer, told Polygon. "I’m not a business person, so for me it’s just a great engine that renders a...

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