EVE Online ‘Apocrypha 1.5’ expansion due in August

CCP Games producer Torfi Frans Olafsson recently posted a blog update indicating what kind of changes players can expect in the next evolution of the online game, expected to arrive in August. Among the changes are new epic mission arcs, improvements to rigging and more.

EVE Online is a massively multiplayer online game in which players take massive spaceships to the stars, mining, pirating, transporting cargo — whatever they want. The game, which runs on Macs and PCs, underwent its last major evolution in March with the release of Apocrypha, its latest expansion pack. Olafsson revealed that the next release in August is “Apocrypha 1.5,” a mini-expansion made to smooth out some of the changes introduced in the March expansion.

Among the changes in the August update will be improved ability to “mod” vessels with the addition of small and medium rigs — equipment that radically changes the way your ship works. Thus far rigs have been expensive and bulky, but this change will introduce rigging to the smaller frigate-class vessels many players find themselves with early in the game.

Also new in 1.5 will be Level 4 “epic arcs.” Epic arcs — dozens of interconnected missions from computer-controlled non-player characters within the game — are new to Apocrypha, but this far there has been only one, and it’s a Level 1 mission, suitable for a new player with limited experience. The Level 4 arcs are meant for more experienced players: “… they will be more challenging, but also more rewarding,” said Olafsson. Each one is themed around a specific “race” in the game: Gallente, Minmatar, Caldari and Amarr represent the four playable human races in EVE.

Players will be able to add specialized cargo holds on their vessels, such as fuel bays; and factional warfare is being improved with the introduction of “Loyalty Points” awarded to players for kills and captures.

Olafsson also indicated that CCP Games remains hard at work for a more ambitious “Winter Expansion” that’s “focused on sovereignty.” He offered no other details except to say that “you will not be able to walk in it.” This is an important clue — at last year’s EVE Online Fanfest, its annual gathering of gaming enthusiasts in CCP Games’ home town of Reykjavik, Iceland, the developers demonstrated a tech demo of player avatars walking in stations. That capability remains a way off, it seems.

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