Expansions of Eve Online
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|Genre(s)||Space simulation Massively multiplayer online role-playing game|
Eve Online is a player-driven persistent-world massively multiplayer online role-playing game set in a science fiction space setting. Since its release on May 6, 2003 the developer CCP Games has added a total of twenty-one expansions to the game. CCP provides expansions free of charge to its subscribers. This article highlights the expansions and changes introduced to the game.
Release date: December 18, 2003 Castor was the first named content release, with one of the key features being the addition of the first special Tech 2 components and ships through research agents, and improvements and tweaks to the mission system launched in earlier patches. During the pre- and post- Castor patch cycle Eve players saw the introduction of conquerable stations in 0.0 security (lawless space) systems, the introduction of the agent mission running system, and the introduction of various NPC agents to help players gain in-game currency and faction standing through missions, the EVE equivalent of quests in other MMO's.
Release date: November 17, 2004
Main features of Exodus were the introduction of alliances between corporations and the ability for said alliances to claim ownership of a lawless (0.0) solar systems via "player owned starbases.", which were also a major new feature in the patch. Deadspace complexes - areas in space guarded by hostile NPC's, with chance of getting special loot - were also introduced in Exodus.
Exodus: Cold War
Release date: June 29, 2005
Cold War Edition contained an extensive new tutorial sequence and a storyline background introduction. Introduced in Cold War were "COSMOS" constellations where in-space agents began giving out story-driven missions and unique rewards. The freighter and dreadnought capital ships, full-fledged player-owned "outposts," and improved NPC pirate factions improved alliance -based gameplay. This expansion also added Unicode chat support, allowing communication in Asian, Cyrillic, and Greek languages.
Red Moon Rising
Release date: December 16, 2005
Red Moon Rising was split off from the Revelations -expansions in order to maintain a more regular expansion schedule. In addition to various performance optimizations and tweaks, key features associated with the RMR expansion were the introduction of 39 new ships - most notably the introduction of the carrier, mothership and Titan -class capital ships, the expansion of the COSMOS feature from Cold War, and the addition of four new Asian-inspired bloodlines for players to choose from: The Achura for the Caldari State, Jin-Mei for the Gallente Federation, Khanid for the Amarr Empire and the Vherokior for the Minmatar Republic.
Release date: November 29, 2006
Revelations was scheduled to be released in three parts under the codename "Kali". Major features of this expansion included an exploration system for scanning down various sites - combat, mining areas normally not visible, a proper contract system for trading or auctioning items, the replacement of the previous "Tech 2 research lottery" with the invention mechanic, ship customization with rigs, temporary combat boosters, and eight new regions of space to conquer.
Eve Voice was integrated as part of Revelations content patch 1.4, initially planned for release with Revelations II. Eve Voice is a Voice over IP tool integrated into the Eve Online client, with software licensed by CCP from Vivox.
Release date: June 19, 2007
Revelations II was the second of three expansions, designed to show the increased tensions between the empires within the game universe. Several new features were introduced; including a mechanism for overloading modules and area of effect bombs. A number of existing features have been extended including Level 5 agents, changes to sovereignty, starbases, outposts, and balancing changes to the Amarr race. Revelations II also changed the way new players start the game, in addition to new optional tutorials the existing tutorial has been shortened and refined, and players now start in a private dungeon to allow new players to get used to the controls in a protective environment.
Release date: December 5, 2007
Trinity was the third of the "Kali" expansions. Its biggest changes were the update of the game's graphics engine and addition of 5 new ship classes: Heavy Interdictors, Electronic Attack Ships, Black Ops, Marauders and Jump Freighters, capable of using the jump drive to travel through low security space without using stargates. "Factional Warfare," a major addition to game mechanics, had been planned for this patch but was later announced that it would be included in a future patch, along with Ambulation (walking in stations and Full Human Representation, announced on the Eve Online Fanfest 2007). From the release of Trinity until the Apocrypha expansion CCP offered two editions of the game client; Classic for users who could not run the new graphics content on their computer, and Premium for those with a Shader Model 3-capable graphics card.
The initial launch version of the Trinity patch would under certain circumstances delete Windows XP's boot.ini file, thus rendering the operating system unbootable. Six hours after the release of this faulty patch CCP fixed the issue. While the number of affected players is unknown, 215 had specifically asked CCP for assistance.
Release date: June 10, 2008
Empyrean Age, previously named Kali 4, was the ninth expansion of Eve Online and the last one in the Kali tetralogy. CCP included the Factional Warfare in this release. In this expansion the in-game story played a key role and the situation in the game reflects events depicted in the novel of the same title by Tony Gonzales. The expansion allowed both individual players and whole corporations to fight for the four major NPC Empires of New Eden and battle for control of regions of space.
Release date: November 11, 2008
The Quantum Rise expansion included features such as a new certificate system that allows verification of a player's proficiency in certain defined groups of skills by other players and a medal system for awards by corporations. Industrial ships were rebalanced and optimized, with addition of the Orca-class ship, "a sub-capital logistical ship with a mining command focus." The staged delivery of the expansion began with the recent implementation of new technology such as StacklessIO and EVE64 which upgraded the server hardware and streamlined communication between server and client to reduce lag. These improvements provide performance allowing for player vs. player battles with thousands of participants. Further hardware and software improvements are planned. Other features of the expansion include further graphics updates as started in the Trinity expansion; the ability for players to group their vessels' weapons for easier interaction; changes to autopilot routes and avoidance of player-defined solar systems. This patch also brought a controversial overhaul of the speed system.
Release date: March 10, 2009
At Fanfest 2008 it was announced that instead of a six-month gap between expansions the subsequent expansion to Quantum Rise, Apocrypha, would be released on March 10, 2009. This expansion included a training queue, Tech 3 vessels, and exploration of uncharted space through unstable wormholes. Apocrypha has improved NPCs' artificial intelligence and has added a new NPC faction to the game, the Sleepers.
Apocrypha 1.5 was released on August 20, 2009 and considered by CCP to be a mini-expansion. CCP felt that Apocrypha was released very early for a Summer expansion, and that they had enough content ready to go for it to be classified as more than a patch. The new mini-expansion brought to EVE four more epic mission arcs, new rig sizes, specialized cargo bays for specific ships, and performance enhancements for their Factional Warfare.
Apocrypha ended official support for Linux operating systems.
Release date: December 1, 2009
Release date: May 26, 2010
Tyrannis is the 13th expansion to EVE Online, and focuses heavily on planetary interaction. Players are able to take advantage of deposits of minerals and other raw materials found on the planets of EVE. To that end they are given the ability to build infrastructure for harvesting, storage and processing of these materials.
The previously revealed out of game community site allowing players to interact, organize and communicate with each other through a regular web browser has been renamed EVE Gate. EVE Gate features EVE Mail, in and out of game calendars and contacts and updates for players, corporations and alliances.
CCP added hundreds of new landmarks throughout New Eden. These are points in space connected to past storyline or player events. The landmarks show up in the overview, making them more apparent and accessible than before.
The Scorpion-class battleships received a graphical overhaul featuring improved quality textures, unique detailing for each model setting them apart from the other variations. The expansion also focuses on other optimizations and improvements throughout the game, such as reducing fleet lag and load handling.
Release Date: November 30, 2010
Incursion was announced on September 21, 2010. The expansion featured the "escalating attacks of the deadly Sansha's Nation". Players are able to join public fleets and co-operate to repel the Sansha incursions, receiving bounties and earning loyalty rewards. Incursion also includes many improvements as suggested by the CSM, as well as hardware upgrades, software improvements and new cluster components aimed at increasing game performance.
Additionally, the character creator was updated with CCP's Carbon character technology for new pilot portraits. Finally, CCP added a Sansha Mothership, the Revenant, Fighter-bombers, the Noctis salvaging vessel, improvements to NPCs and their AI, new loot and rewards, storyline events and a more dynamic and simplified system for Planetary Interaction. The web-based social networking platform, EVE Gate, and the official forums received updates in the Incursion expansion as well.
CCP released the Incursion expansion in three phases: a first-step patch with a collection of player-requested improvements on November 30, a second-step patch with hidden features before December 25, and a third-step patch that included key features of the expansion (Incarna Character Creator, Sansha Incursions) on January 18, 2011. CCP has stated that this method of implementation prevents numerous bugs from infiltrating the code, and the key features "will benefit greatly from an additional level of polish."
During the second-step patch the learning skills were removed. Players were reimbursed in two ways, they got their invested skill points back which they then could redistribute to their liking or, when they hadn't already inserted the skillbook, they got the NPC price back.
Release Date: June 21, 2011
Previously known as 'Ambulation' and 'Walking In Stations', the overall Incarna feature revolves around allowing players to leave their pods and walk around in their station HQ. Currently 'face to face' interactions with other pilots is not possible. This feature has been in development for the majority of the life of Eve. The first phase of Incarna was released on June 21. 2011.
In the initial Incarna release all Captains Quarters were of Minmatar design. The captain's quarters are a private single player environment to introduce players to Incarna. As with the previous expansion (Incursion) this expansion will follow a segmented roll out. This allows for testing of each major feature under the stress of the live server separately.
Incarna also included a major visual revamp of all turrets, mining lasers, tractor beams and salvagers design and animation (including the firing animation).
One of Incarna's changes, the introduction of the "Noble Exchange" (NeX) as an in-game market allowing players to buy vanity items, received negative reaction from players and prompted in-game riots.
Release date: November 29, 2011
The Crucible expansion was introduced to refine the existing game aspects. New nebulae graphics, an improved UI, time dilation and gameplay balancing were included in the expansion. CCP also added a line of third tier battlecruisers, which can fit battleship weapons, and the remaining Captain's Quarters for the Amarr, Gallente, and Caldari races. In addition to this, the engine trail effect was reintroduced.
Release date: April 24, 2012 (Pre-Release background enhancements), May 22, 2012 (Full release)
The 2012 summer expansion was announced with the name "Inferno" on February 22. Inferno brought a complete overhaul of the war declaration and factional warfare systems, addition of 17 new modules and 3D models for missile launchers and missiles along with a mercenary marketplace, unified inventory and graphical updates.
Release date: December 4, 2012
Retribution brought a revamped bounty system, a new "crimewatch" system, added 4 new destroyer ships and a new mining frigate, re-balanced the frigate, cruiser and destroyer ship roles and improved enemy AI. The expansion also added a more fine tuned bounty hunting system for new Eden, featuring new wanted icons that overlaid on Character portraits, fleets could get paid for bounties and took of the restrictions of the Bounty office making them accessible any time.
Release date: June 4, 2013
Odyssey revamped the exploration mechanics, added a new radial navigation tool for the UI, added new Navy Battlecruisers, rebalanced all Navy-issue class ships, moved ice belts into scannable anomalies, tweaked nullsec manufacturing stations, added a security tag trade in system where players can exchange security tags for security status, added a dual character training mechanic, added a jump-gate animation, along various visual and performance related improvements.
Release date: November 19, 2013
Rubicon brought major updates and changes to core game elements, the certificates system was overhauled along with the player login screen. New features included the addition of player owned high-sec customs offices, ghost sites, new hacking mechanics, warp acceleration changes, a new character selection screen and Twitch streaming. The update is also the first steps towards colonisation, as stated in CCP Seagull's vision.
Release date: 27 April 2016
Citadel introduced Upwell structures (new player owned stations referred to as citadels), Force Auxiliaries (a new line of logistics themed capital ships), a rebalance of existing capital ships, new super-weapons for citadels and Titans, a unique citadel named the 'Palatine Keepstar', of which only one may exist in the game at any given time, and 'Recurring Opportunities' (a daily quest for bonus skill points feature, which have since been removed.).
Citadel was the first major expansion to Eve Online since CCP made changes to their release cadence.
Release date: 15 November 2016
Ascension introduced Clone States, giving the game a freemium model. Two clone states (Alpha and Omega) were created with Alpha clones being able to play for free while Omega clones would use the same subscription model as before. Ascension also saw the addition of more Upwell structures with an industrial focus called 'Engineering Complexes'. Ascension saw a multitude of other changes such as an improved new player experience (NPE), a new fleet system involving Command Bursts, the Fitting Simulator, balances to the Rorqual and Tactical Destroyers as well as a few graphics and UI changes.
Release date: 24 October 2017
Lifeblood introduced new player owned structures known as refineries, designed to replace current methods of moon mining and reaction processing as well as to be form the new base of operations for resource processing activities. It also introduced massive changes to moon mining, the individual and corporate mining ledger system, and resource wars, a new mode of cooperative player versus environment gameplay.
Other minor additions included new types of NPC sites, several new pirate capital ships, and changes to alpha clone ships and equipment.
Into The Abyss
Release date: 29 May 2018
Into The Abyss added a new type of encounter in Eve Online called 'Abyssal Deadspace' along with new ships, weapons and technologies. The update also featured improvements to the previously outdated UI and UX of Planetary Interaction.
Release date: 13 November 2018
Onslaught introduced new Upwell anchorable structures for Cynosural Beacon, Cynosural jammer, and Jump Gates, replacing the previous POS-based structures. The update added new Triglavian destroyer and battlecruiser ships, and both co-operative and PvP Abyssal encounters were introduced.
Release date: 28 May 2019
Also known as The Triglavian Invasion, The Invasion would blur the lines between known space and Abyssal Deadspace showing that the systems that were affected by the invasion would exhibit strange environmental effects. The update added new Triglavian Tech II ships, New Mutaplasmids that would directly affect damage control units and assault damage and Ancillary shield boosters and armor repairers. The update also featured a redesign to the Agency, put the EVE 64-Bit client to open beta and added a balance to the War Declaration system.″
Invasion Chapter 2
Release date: 26 November 2019
Invasion Chapter 2 continued the story arc revolving around the Triglavians which began in chapter 1. Players were allowed to choose sides during engagements between the Empires and the Triglavian Collective. The update added the Zirnitra Triglavian dreadnought class ship. This ship brought new skills needed to be trained before it could be piloted by players. This chapter of the Invasion expansion also brought with it other new features too, including Shareable Bookmarks. This new addition allowed players to share specific locations in New Eden with alliance members and anyone else they choose, with control over access and duration. The Mimesis Implant set was also added to the Loyalty Points store.
Fight or Flight
Release date: 16 January 2020
This was the debut quadrant release for EVE Online, themed around PvP. The components of the quadrant were tied together, for example only the ships affected by the heavy missile balance changes were allowed to enter sites that were part of the in-game Dragonaur Blitz event. The event was also used to introduce the Nirvana Faction Implants. Other in-game events during the quadrant, such as the Skilling Spree and Skilling is Just A Means, encouraged players to engage in PvP and PvE rewarding efforts with skill points. The Needlejack Filaments, capable of transporting a group of players into a random solar system, were reintroduced after their initial introduction as RDLF-09 Filaments during the 'Naughty or Nice' event. The quadrant rounded out with the Loyalty to Low Sec update which included the frigate escape bay mechanic, allowing players whose battleship was destroyed to continue fighting via a frigate that was stored within the battleship. PvP was encouraged in low security space through increased loot drops and faster warp speeds, this event bridged into the second quadrant.
Changes to expansions
On May 6, 2014 at their yearly Fanfest convention, CCP announced the move from the current development cycle of two expansions per year, to ten expansions per year on a rapid release cycle of six weeks per expansion. In September 2015, CCP announced that while the five-week release cycle would be maintained for content such as quality of life changes, ship balance changes, visual upgrades, new ship skins and storyline developments, they would also be bringing back expansions:
An expansion will be a set of big, connected features that both make impactful change on EVE, and make a statement about what kind of game EVE is. Second, there won't be a fixed number of them per year, but rather we will announce when we have one in the making and what the main features are.
In early 2020 CCP Games announced they would be splitting the EVE Online year into four quadrants. Each quadrant would have an overarching theme associated with it that allowed for releases, events, offers and more to exist within a given theme for that period of time. Each Quadrant would contain seasonal events, balance changes and game health improvements, permanent meta changes, challenges and rewards that could be themed, for example, around a particular style of gameplay, or any aspect of EVE. The name of the first quadrant for 2020 was 'Fight or Flight' and was themed around PvP.
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