As per usual, a large amount of new developments have been announced as part of this year's Fanfest, however the timing of the keynote towards the beginning of this year's Fanfest is opening up the rest of the convention to allow for discussion about the things revealed. That is to say, more details definitely to come, especially on the bigger news.
The first major new feature is the release of a varierty of entertaining and quite in-depth stats measuring player activity of all sorts, including the huge amount of damage applied by players in a variety of contexts and exemplified by the observation that German and Japanese players perform more industry than any other country. Aggregate stats from 2013 are going to be made available via the CREST API and third-party developers have already created examples of this, such as Your EVE Year.
The EVE releases are continuing to evolve, with CCP starting to shift focus towards actual features rather an individual releases. This is best reflected by the new features page as used for the upcoming Scylla. The potential for continuous delivery was alluded to and one might imagine features being deployed when they're done and the release cadence fading away.
Big changes on client front with the first phase of two-factor authentication being made available for login via the launcher (both into EVE, but eventually all services). Also, the on-demand client behaviour that has been enabling rapid deployments of SiSi will be brought to Tranquility, opening up the possibility for hi-res textures in the very near future. Two-factor authentication and the rapid deployment client will be coming in April, with hi-res textures sometime in 2015.
A new feature with the fitting screen is something hinted at previously, now entitled 'Ghost' fitting. This will allow a player to fit modules and even ships that they do not have and experiment in-game with putting a fit together without the items at hand, absent items or the ship itself appearing translucent if it is not owned.
SKINs, the new skin system were elaborated upon, mainly showing a large selection of the 102 new skins that will join the existing skins already available for 130 total at release. Skins are due in the April 28 release. Also, legal issues with alliance logos have been ironed out with a tagging system branding CCP-only variants of alliance logos, leaving the originals owned by their creators.
As rebalancing continues, the scope is starting to grow larger, starting to focus holistically on ship classes rather than individual ships. As part of this, CCP announced that the long-awaited capital rebalance will happen as part of this more class-oriented balancing sometime this year.
The biggest news of the session relates to the new direction with structures. While not fully detailed - more will be announced in the presentation on Saturday - a lot was hinted at, including changes to and the potential total removal of anchoring restrictions. These changes are going to be a total re-imagining of structures across the board, with new categories and new structures such as:
- Assembly Arrays
- Drilling platforms
- Offices and markets
- Observatory arrays
- Administration hubs
- Propaganda towers
A critical element will be the introduction of new modules and a fitting screen associated with the new style of structures, the concept being for structures to mirror ship operation. Players will be able to take control of said structures directly, POS shields have been replaced with a new mooring system, while inventories have been unified. There was even hints at player-created and interrupted intelligence networks.
The keynote ended with the superb Emergent Threats trailer.