Daily Archives: December 16, 2020

The Idea of an EVE Online Shooter Just Won’t Die

An Eve Online first-person shooter is CCP’s greatest folly

-Jeremy Peel, VG24/7

Massively OP posted earlier about a press release from one Sperasoft about how they and CCP are working together on a first person shooter based on the EVE Online IP.

Together for a purpose

The idea of an EVE Online FPS is one that just will not die, and I am honestly confused at this point as to why this is the brass ring that CCP wants to grab so very badly.

We had DUST 514 and the promise of integration with EVE Online back in the day.  That was not a success for a number of reasons, not the least of which was the decision to make it a PlayStation 3 title, and shut down back in 2016, though CCP spent time after that closing off the integration points.

Even before the corpse of DUST 514 had cooled there was talk of something called Project Legion, the next FPS CCP planned to deliver.

That, or some elements of it, later became Project Nova, which CCP showed an early version of at EVE Vegas back in 2018.  It was hinted that the whole thing was closer to being done than we might think.

Then, about a month later, CCP announced that Project Nova had been postponed.  This corresponded with the Pearl Abyss acquisition of CCP for $425 million.  (EVE Online was worth more in 2018 than Daybreak was in 2020 I guess.)

We coasted along for another year or so until, in February of this year… which feels like it was a forever ago now… that, whatever Project Nova was, it was becoming something else, though we were not going to get a new name and CCP was going to try and stop talking about shooters until they had something more concrete to present.

That being difficult to parse as a headline, the gaming media mostly went with “Project Nova Cancelled.”

Which brings us to today and a company called Sperasoft and the following announcement:

USA, San-Jose – December 15, 2020 – Sperasoft, a Keywords studio specializing in co-development is proud to announce its partnership with CCP Games, the creators of the world’s largest living work of science fiction, EVE Online.

CCP is a leading video game developer, founded in 1997 in Reykjavik, Iceland. CCP’s mission is to create virtual worlds that are more meaningful than real life. CCP pioneers technology and design that facilitates emergent behavior, empowering people with compelling means of self-expression. With the launch of EVE Online in May 2003, CCP established itself as one of the most innovative companies in the interactive entertainment industry, winning numerous awards and receiving critical acclaim worldwide.

EVE Online is a massively multiplayer online (MMO) science-fiction game of galactic proportions, in which space flight is the path to all commerce, communication, and conflict. Set in the star cluster of New Eden tens of thousands of years in the future, in EVE Online every pilot’s greatest asset is their starship, designed to accommodate their specific needs, skills, and ambitions. Featuring a vast player-run economy, EVE Online offers an immersive, community-driven experience filled with adventure, riches, danger, and glory. EVE Online is renowned for its scale, complexity, and its gigantic, world record-breaking in-game battles where thousands of players come head to head in a single star system.

“We are excited to be a partner of CCP Games and share in their mission to create immersive virtual worlds” – comments Denis Larkin, Chief Commercial Officer at Sperasoft – “Our experienced team of developers is focused on delivering cutting edge solutions for our client and gameplay innovations for their fans.“

“We’re delighted to be working with Sperasoft on our unannounced online shooter set in the EVE IP,” said Allen Edwards, Game Director at CCP Games’ London studio. “Together, we’re looking forward to delivering a rock-solid, action-oriented gameplay experience with stunningly beautiful worlds.”

The first details about this currently unannounced title will be revealed via www.ccpgames.com/news in the not-too-distant future. In the meantime, follow @CCPGames on Twitter and Facebook for updates.

Those are some fine words, with a promise to get some more information in the “not-too-distant” future, and not much else.  I am going to guess that puts it in a time frame beyond “soon,” which itself is an unknowable and possibly quite long unit of time.

Sperasoft’s page shows quite a bit of collaboration with some big name studios and titles.  But the services they offer appear to be geared towards outsource coding and platform porting, with some live game ops thrown in.  So while they have had a hand in on titles from Call of Duty and Assassin’s Creed to DC Universe Online and Free Realms… seriously, they have the old Sony Online Entertainment logo on their brag page, a couple spots over from Trion Worlds… it isn’t clear what they specifically did for any of them or if they have ever stood up a game on their own.

Still, they clearly have success, undefined though it may be, under their belt.  So they could potentially be a big help to CCP’s shooter ambitions on the technical front.

What they probably cannot help with is finding a compelling reason for an EVE Online shooter to exist.  New Eden can be a deep, dark IP, full of lore.  But the reach of that lore is pretty small.  EVE Online is a successful beyond niche status game in the MMORPG genre, but the MMORPG market is very much niche in the grand scheme of things.

We will have to wait and see if CCP and Sperasoft can come up with some way for a New Eden shooter to stand out in the crowd of shooters that currently clutter the market.

EverQuest II Reign of Shadows Expansion Goes Live

I think the EverQuest II team had a bit more luck with their launch that the EverQuest team did with their launch last week.  The EQII team, after having the game down most of the morning, brought the servers up a little after noon Pacific time and they have been rolling on since then.  No emergency downtime.

And so we welcome the Reign of Shadows expansion, the 17th expansion for the game.

Let slips the moon cats!

It is time to head to the dark side of Luclin.  The marking blurb for the expansion says:

Emperor Ssraeshza and his unyielding throngs of insidious zealots and enslaved minions have laid claim to the ancient citadel of Vex Thal. The march of the nefarious snake-like shissar must end there, deep within the heart of the dark side of Luclin.

Face terrible challenges and forge great alliances in regions unseen by Norrathian eyes in centuries: Echo Caverns, Shadeweaver’s Thicket, Grimling Forest, Shar Vhal, and Vex Thal. Heroes will be made in the shadows!

The features list includes:

  • Play as a Vah Shir! The first new race in the game in five years.
  • 20 Reign of Shadows Prestige Advancement Points and 10 new Reign of Shadows Prestige Abilities.
  • Maximum Guild Level increased to 350 with an all new content-driven guild leveling mechanism.
  • Discover new Adventure, Tradeskill, and Signature quests as you investigate what secrets lay concealed in the endless gloom.
  • Master all new Solo, Heroic, Challenge Heroic, and Raid content in the perpetual shade of Luclin’s dark side!

The new race is a big deal, as it brings the Vah Shir, the EverQuest feline race from Luclin, to the game.  The rest sounds a bit like the usual “new zones, new quests, new raids, new collections” sort of stuff that make up the bulk of any expansion.

One of the things mentioned with the Producer’s Letter when the expansion was announced was a revamp of part of the Alternate Advancement system:

Launching with Reign of Shadows, archetype and class Alternate Advancement abilities are getting a full revamp so that every point has an impact on how your character plays. These changes should not affect Kaladim in a significant way and we do not plan on having them affect future TLEs either. To see these changes before the launch of the expansion, please login to beta when it opens and check them out.

The patch notes for the expansion list them out in detail, sorted by class, which makes for very log web page of changes to sort through.  I’ll have to log in to figure it out.  Until then, there is always the trailer.

Reign of Shadows, and the EverQuest Claws of Veeshan launch, will be the last two expansions for the franchise under the Daybreak banner.  Come the end of the month Daybreak will change over to Enad Global 7 as the acquisition is set to be done by Dec. 31st.

And, as Bhagpuss points out, Frostfell has launched in game, so holiday events are in full swing as well.