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Eve: Rubicon sets up CCP’s greatest mystery yet – interview

Monday, 18 November 2013 10:06 GMT By Dave Cook

Eve: Rubicon is the devilishly clever 20th expansion to CCP Games’ sprawling MMO sandbox. VG247′s Dave Cook quizzes the studio about how the race for new frontiers is only just beginning.

I seem to conduct Eve: Online interviews every other month, but the insight never ceases to impress me. As I type this my brain is aching from what I’ve just learned, and trying to imagine exactly what’s going to happen once new expansion Rubicon lands on the servers. It’s incredibly smart.

Here’s the rub: Basically, developer CCP Games is adding a whole new sector of space into the Eve Online universe, but exactly how Capsuleers get there is shrouded in mystery. The only clue given to me by chief marketing officer David Reid is that corporations will have to construct a new type of Star Gate capable of taking them there. What lies on the other side is – for the time being – a heavily-guarded secret.

Instantly I was reminded of Minecraft’s Nether Portal, which can only be crafted using certain materials. They too were shrouded in mystery, but over time the player-base figured it out. The same approach is being taken in Eve: Rubicon, except now the entire player-base will be competing with each other, sabotaging plans and warring over the chance to be the first corporation to steers ships into that secretive new frontier. It’s pure, unfiltered, emergent gameplay gold, and it’s insanely exciting to comprehend.

“Rubicon marks a really important moment in the Eve: Online history.” Reid told me over the phone. “We announced a particular vision at FanFest this year, and talked about the concept of space colonisation. The Eve universe is a pretty massive place already, with 7,000-plus solar systems and tens of thousands of planets. But other than the wormhole expansion that happened with the Apocrypha [expansion] in 2009, there hasn’t been an expansion per se, of the known universe. Using the analogy of other MMOs, there haven’t been new ‘zones’, or ‘continents’.

“Rubicon begins a multi-expansion arc that will allow players to begin harvesting, amassing the resources, blueprints, the implants and things that it will take to construct the first Star Gates and then go forth and colonise new galaxies. At some level there is this very intricate balance of power that’s been going on in Nullsec for many years. We’re going to open up a whole new gold rush if you will. There’s going to be a race to build the first Star Gate, and the corporation that do that are going to be the first to plant their ‘flag’ on the hills of new systems if you will.”

Already you can envision corporations sabotaging Star Gate construction sites, commandeering necessary supplies, deploying a range of espionage tactics to subvert or deceive efforts and as always, engage in mass-scale dogfights. Reid confirmed that supplies necessary to build the coveted device will be found at ‘Ghost Sites’, which are vaults secured by pirate factions. These encounters will take many forms and add new urgency to engagement as players battle for those precious loot drops.

It’s not just about Star Gate pieces either, as you’ll also need to liberate and use sufficient implants to adapt your Capsuleer to the gate’s new warp speed, vital ship upgrades and more. Collecting the necessary item set to reach Eve’s new section of space will demand great teamwork, but as always, Reid isn’t fooling himself by thinking everyone will simply play nice and work together. In fact, he reckons many corporations will only discus their efforts in locked forums and through other means to ensure they, and they alone are first through the gate.

“It’s like anything else,” Reid continued. “If you think about the early colonisation of our world, there was great reward, but there was also tremendous risk. I mean, who knows what you’re going to find on the other side of that Star Gate? There’s any number of things that could and will happen.Some of these colonisation efforts will be wildly profitable, some of them will end in the modern analogy of the Donner Party in America colonisation, where they were snowed in and it was quite a disaster. That level of choice and consequence, loss and victory is pretty unique to Eve and we just want to amplify that. We want to make the absolute value of these things even bigger than players are seeing today.”

“The process is beginning now,” he added. “People will have a couple of expansions to think about this and to run their own little ‘water cooler’ bets as to what’s on the other side of the door, or down the rabbit hole if you will, pick your analogy. But yeah, part of what makes a game like Eve work so well is that sense of mystery and wonder and risk. We’re certainly not going to spoil it, because there are genuinely few things in video games now where people can be surprised. There’s a big internet, millions of people playing and posting walkthroughs on YouTube and what-now, but we have an opportunity to deliver some real surprise in this game and that’s something we want to stick to.”

So how long might it take a corporation to assemble a Star Gate, augment their Capsuleer and ship enough to make the jump and break through to this shrouded new area of space? Reid suggested that it would take a while, given the contested nature of the gate components and the eventual conflicts that will rise out of Rubicon’s space-race. The process will run over the next few expansions as it’ll take time for the Ghost Sites to be found, and for people to figure out how all of the special items fit together.

Reid offered a theoretical scenario, and explained, “I wouldn’t be surprised if – yes you’ll have some players who will want to propel the universe forward and give their findings away for free – and there will be some who say, ‘Absolutely not. We’re going to get there first, we’re going to sabotage anybody who looks like they have an edge on us.’”

The race to the Star Gate won’t simply impact on the world of Eve, as Reid assured me that its ripples would also be felt within DUST 514 and hopefully Eve: Valkyrie. It may not be as profound as a new feature or visible bleed-through, but the overarching economy and performance of corporations is all relative, so there will be a degree of cross-over at some level. As ever, Reid and the whole of CCP is confident that its player-base is smart and capable enough to thrust the combined world into a new age of prosperity and war.

It’s going to be very interesting to see how the Eve: Online community reacts to Rubicon and as the creation of the universe’s first Star Gate nudges closer. As always we’ll be here, reporting on it and being blown away by the community’s efforts.

Eve: Rubicon launches tomorrow, November 19 for free.

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6 Comments

  1. Luciferous

    Oh gods damn it!

    I can see myself being drawn back in to this game… I want to go through the Star Gate!

    I wonder if this new Gate will deposit groups of players in random systems in this new sector without jumpgates to get around.

    #1 1 year ago
  2. m2stech

    I think the new systems are the Jove regions if not an entire new map with thousands of systems.

    #2 1 year ago
  3. MaxWyght

    @m2stech
    The Jove empire is a region in the current map.

    I think for some reason they will bring them back home(ie earth).

    I think It’s time to renew my sub…

    #3 1 year ago
  4. Jack_Hu

    I think the fact that this was information divulged by “chief marketing officer David Reid”, and that he also stated:

    “The process will run over the next few expansions”

    Are reasons enough not to get too excited.

    It’s his job to build hype around things. That’s the sole purpose of his professional life.

    Also, as there are only two expansions a year, and it’s going to be implemented after the next few expansions, I wouldn’t expect to actually see anything mentioned in this article (except for the ghost sites) until at least late 2015.

    For the record, I play EVE nearly daily. However, I would also take everything marketing execs say with a grain of salt. They’re not the ones developing it, and they’re not involved, at all, with any kind of gameplay design decisions.

    So yeah, pretty irrelevant really. Unless you have firm, factual details and a solid, reliable release date, please don’t fall victim of the hype-machine.

    #4 1 year ago
  5. Dextrome

    @Jack_Hu
    Well said!

    #5 1 year ago
  6. GGG

    Although what Jack_Hu has said is probably right to a certain degree; how is this not still something to get excited about?

    This brings back the feeling that there are things to find in eve space that we still haven’t found. The real meaning of exploration! And lots to come from EvE/CCP in the future. I’d personally lost that feeling because there was nothing new once you’ve done it a few times and got your set ways of doing things like Data/Relic sites. That doesn’t count as exploration once you’ve explored it and mastered it.

    This is the chance to not only anticipate what’s to come, but be a part in the making of it, and to also pick up clues and hear the stories of how it came about as time passes. This is going to be great!

    I couldn’t be more excited about it!

    #6 1 year ago

Comments are now closed on this article.

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    Activision has announced a new Clan Raids mode will be made available through the Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare Companion App. According to the CoD community blog, raids are time-based challenges where success earns you a spot on the Clan Raids leaderboards and new Clan Raid-exclusive in-game gear like the Equilibrium set. Clan members will […]

  • Play Battlefield Hardline starting March 12 through EA Access

    Xbox One users with an EA Access subscription will be able to play 10 hours worth of Battlefield Hardline starting March 12. EA Access members will are being granted access to the game five days before the street date, with full multiplayer and all saves transferring over into the main game. It was announced yesterday […]

  • This video summarizes the contents of Destiny patch 1.1.1

    With Destiny patch 1.1.1 now available, here’s a video summary of what to expect. In the video above, Arekkz Gaming gives you a rundown of the important bits in the update. Subscribe to Arekkz Gaming for more Destiny tips and trick through the link.

  • Destiny 1.1.1 patch notes out, update is live

    Destiny’s 1.1.1 patch arrives today, so if you have been kicked from activities, it means you will need to download the patch now that it’s live. We will be pushing the 1.1.1 patch for Destiny shortly. Players will be kicked from activities and required to download the patch. — Bungie Help (@BungieHelp) February 25, 2015 […]

  • Payday 2 packs based on Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number coming

    Starbreeze has announced another collaboration with Dennaton Games which will see masks based on Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number appear in Payday 2. The collaboration consists of two free updates when you acquire Hotline Miami 2 or its deluxe version on Steam from February 25. The two updates, called Hotline Miami Mask Pack and Jacket […]

  • Velocity 2X making its way onto Linux, Mac, PC and Xbox One

    Velocity 2X will be released on Linux, Mac, PC and Xbox One Futurlab has announced. The developer is in charge of the port, which will be published by Sierra. According to Futurlab, the deal with Sierra came about when self-publishing proved to be difficult due to spending “more time doing PR and marketing on Velocity […]

  • Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number finally has a release date

    A release date for Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number has been announced, finally. The game will arrive on Linux, Mac, PC, PlayStation 3, PS4 and Vita March 10. It is now available for pre-order on GOG, Humble and Steam for 10% off for $13.49/£10.99. There’s also a Digital Special Edition available which includes tracks from […]

  • Warhammer 40,000: Dark Nexus Arena is a twin stick shooter MOBA for PC

    Warhammer 40,000: Dark Nexus Arena has been announced as a twin stick shooter MOBA blend from Whitebox Interactive. Set for a 2016 release on PC, the game’s beta will be on show at PAX East next month. An Early Access release is slated for Q2 2015 and you can already purchase early access for a […]

  • More information, videos for cancelled Legacy of Kain: Dead Sun surface

    A trailer for the cancelled Legacy of Kain: Dead Sun title from Climax which was reportedly set for an E3 2012 reveal, has surfaced. Along with the above video is another which is described as a pre-boss battle cutscene. It’s below. According to a source of NeoGAF’s Mama Robotnik, the game was being developed under […]

  • Three additional games added to Square Enix Humble Bundle

    Kane & Lynch Collection, Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light and Startopia have been added to the Square Enix Humble Bundle. All three are made available when paying the average price of $7.69. Those who have already purchased the bundle will automatically be granted the titles. All three are available for PC only. The […]

  • Forza Horizon 2 gets Fast & Furious with standalone expansion

    A Fast & Furious tie-in and standalone expansion to Forza Horizon 2 will arrive for Xbox consoles next month. Titled Forza Horizon 2 Presents Fast & Furious, the downloadable title does not require the base game to play. “We’ve been talking with the folks at Turn 10 for a number of years and have always […]

  • The Evil Within: The Assignment has a release date, new trailer

    The Evil Within: The Assignment will be released on March 10 in North America and March 11 in Europe, it was announced today. Along with an exact release date was a trailer detailing more information about the first set of DLC. The Assignment is the first of two DLCs centering on Detective Castellanos’ mysterious partner, […]

  • Steam and GOG cross-platform multiplayer added to AvP Classic 2000

    Steam and GOG have announced Aliens vs Predator Classic 2000 owners will be able play multiplayer with each other across both platforms. With the recent online multiplayer update for for AVP Classic 2000, Rebellion CEO Jason Kingsley has made good on his promise from June to offer cross-platform play between the Steam and GOG platforms. […]

  • OlliOlli 2: Welcome to Olliwood arrives on PS4, Vita next week

    Roll7 has announced it will release OlliOlli 2: Welcome to Olliwood next week. The developer announced the dates on Twitter this morning alongside the launch trailer. You will be able to download the game for PlayStation 4 and Vita March 3 in North America and March 4 in Europe.

  • Week 7: Play GTA Online with VG247 tonight at 8pm UK time!

    Heists got a date! Come play GTA Online with us to celebrate. We’re playing GTA Online on PS4 tonight with whoever else fancies it. That means you. This week’s playlist is Happy for Heists, because we kind of are. The six jobs involved will last about 45 minutes. Anyone can turn up. Here’s how. We’ll […]

  • Batman: Arkham Knight – first look into the story

    Batman: Arkham Knight has a new trailer available that gives us a peek into Scarecrow’s plan to unite all villains against Batman. The trailer below has a different tone to the ones showing Arkham Knight. Instead, we get a look at Scarecrow’s team of super-villains including new footage of Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn. There […]

  • Vita knocks New 3DS LL out of top slot on Media Create charts

    Thanks to four new titles, one of which was God Eater 2: Rage Burst, PlayStation Vita has knocked New 3DS LL out of the top slot on the Media Create charts in Japan. The handheld, which came in thrid place last week, moved 35,203 units for the February 16-22 period, compared to 10,901 units the […]

  • Dragon Quest Heroes coming west in 2015, PS4 only

    Dragon Quest Heroes will be making its way to west this year. Square Enix has announced that it’s bringing Dragon Quest Heroes to the west this year. The press release mentioned only PAL territories (Europe & Australia). Though it’s unlikely it will miss the US. The game will release on PlayStation 4, both digitally and […]

  • Destiny: how to make sure Crota stays down for longer

    If you’re familiar with the final encounter of the Crota’s End raid, then you know every second Crota is immobilised counts. Arekkz Gaming has a handy tip for anyone who’s played Crota’s End or anyone attempting it. The trick is simple to execute and will ensure Crota stays on his knees for longer, making for […]

  • NBA Live 15 added to EA Access just four months after release

    EA has added NBA Live 15 to the list of games available instantly to anyone with an EA Access subscription. NBA Live 15 has been added to EA Access’ Vault, EA has announced. As of today, anyone with an EA Access subscription on Xbox One can play it alongside other available games. NBA Live 15 […]

  • Deal: get Advanced Warfare Limited Edition Xbox One bundle + extra game for £299

    UK retailer GAME is offering a good deal on the Advanced Warfare Limited Edition 1TB Xbox One bundle and is throwing in an extra game. The retailer has reduced the price of the bundle to £299, which is the usual price for the standalone console. The bundle is of course Advanced Warfare-themed. The console and […]

  • That Metal Gear Rising 2 logo was for the second anniversary of the original

    Metal Gear Rising developer Platinum Games has confirmed, once and for all, that the “2″ logo we saw during Sony’s presentation at Taipei Game Show was definitely not for a sequel. Platinum posted this on Twitter earlier. デザイナーの趙&ニシイから、『MGR』2周年記念イラスト! ディレクターの齋藤( @PG_saito )が、開発スタッフブログでご紹介しています↓↓ http://t.co/IW1aOxAZQR #mgr pic.twitter.com/ZbNF3Jk1tF — PlatinumGames Inc. (@platinumgames) February 25, 2015 The illustrations were made by artist Yong-Hee […]

  • Resident Evil Revelations 2 is formulaic and I’m okay with that

    There’s something comforting about the lack of ambition and plain old gameplay in Resident Evil Revelations 2, says Matt Martin. “It’s locked from the other side.” Of course it is. What did I expect? I’ve been here before. So many times. Not just in Resident Evil but a million other games. It’s so familiar as […]

  • Battlefield 4: double XP event live now through Sunday

    EA is holding a double XP event in Battlefield 4 on all platforms. The publisher is celebrating Battlefield Hardline going gold by offering all Battlefield 4 players double XP in multiplayer matches. The double XP event is now live and through 23:59 UTC on Sunday, March 1.

  • BioShock Infinite, Tomb Raider, Rayman Legends free with March Games with Gold

    The list of free games coming in March as part of Microsoft’s Games with Gold programme has leaked. The leaked list of games include Rayman Legends and #IDARB for Xbox One along with Tomb Raider and BioShock Infinite for Xbox 360. In addition, Microsoft will be offering double the amount of games in April. The […]

  • Telltale’s new IP will be a “super show”, bridges the gap between TV and game

    Telltale’s upcoming mysterious new IP will be produced in collaboration with Lionsgate and will be a hybrid game and TV show. Entertainment Weekly spoke to Telltale CEO Kevin Bruner to understand what’s a super show. “A “Super Show” episode combines one part of interactive playable content with one part of scripted television style content,” said […]

  • Next Mortal Kombat X stream to show Brutalities, new character

    Brutalities will be making a return in Mortal Kombat X and we’re getting a look at them very soon. The next Mortal Kombat X live-stream has been dated and we know it will show Brutalities for the first time. Developer NetherRealm Studios posted this on Twitter. pic.twitter.com/ZJYN1FNRZ9 — NetherRealm Studios (@NetherRealm) February 23, 2015 Notice […]

  • PC version of Resident Evil: Revelations 2 does not support offline co-op [Update]

    Players who bought the PC version of Resident Evil: Revelations 2 have realised that the game doesn’t support offline co-op. Unlike the console versions, the PC version of Resident Evil: Revelations 2 can only be played in single player, with no offline co-op option. Capcom has not revealed this prior to launch. Instead, users on […]