CCP’s Arnar Gylfason has said the new, avatar-centric Incarna content won’t lose sight of EVE Online’s space epic origins, but it will make things easier for new players scared off by the game’s scope.
The senior producer told Massively that a new focus on avatars should help divorce players from the notion that losing a ship is the end of the world.
“One of the big things with Incarna is about allowing players to identify more with their avatars – their personae,” he said – as opposed to their spacecraft. ” … People are way too afraid of losing their ships.
“The one thing we noticed was that in any other game you start out as an avatar in a very safe, secure environment. That’s just something people are used to and it’s something they expect when they go to a new game.
“Being able to identify with an avatar gives you more connection and flattens out the learning curve just a little bit.
“In some aspects, [Incarna] is definitely targeted at easing the transition for new players into what is essentially very new to everyone who tries out EVE. This is not like something they’ve played before, so giving them a hint of home in that is an important thing.”
Gylfason commented that the new content means new players aren’t immediately hit by a “Welcome to space” message.
“What’s really changing is the crash course, which is being turned into an epic arc. It’s more of a familiar taste for MMO players to come in and get that, more of a gradual introduction into what EVE is.”
Nevertheless, CCP isn’t going to relinquish the satisfying complexity and elements of risk inherent in the lauded MMO.
“EVE is forever. Seriously. We’re not gonna forget our roots, even if we’re now deepening the immersion on planets and with avatars.
“We’re not going to forget that there’s a space game out there,” Gyflason said.