CCP Games has announced November 11, 2008 as the release date for the latest expansion to EVE Online, its Massively Multiplayer Online Game (MMOG) for Mac OS X, Windows and Linux. The expansion, called Quantum Rise, will be a free download for all players upon release.
EVE Online is set in outer space, where players command massive starships. Players can travel throughout an online galaxy comprising thousands of individual worlds, and can lead careers as pirates, traders, prospectors, speculators and much more. The game has been available for the Mac since 2007.
Unlike many online games, EVE Online all takes place within a “single shard” system, where all players participate on the same server — up to tens of thousands of gamers play at any given time, all sharing the same experience. That’s led to occasional problems involving game lag and other issues compounded by having many players online together at once.
Quantum Rise, the ninth expansion to EVE Online, is a two-staged release. The first stage has already been deployed — CCP has incorporated “under the hood” enhancements to resolve those problems — the game now uses technology called “StacklessIO” and “EVE64” to help reduce network lag and server overloads.
Newly announced enhancements for Quantum Rise include in-game subscription services; “Assembly Array” upgrades for those wanting to produce very large items; Alchemy; UI changes including a moveable HUD, module recharge timers and weapon grouping; more efficient bomb production; a rebalancing f ship speeds; 10 new music tracks; and upgrades to the Trinity Premium graphics content (which, sadly, is not yet available for the Mac).
Other already-announced feature updates in Quantum Rise include the ability for corporations to distribute custom medals; a newly-designed certificate system; rebalancing of industrial ships and the introduction of a new capital ship called the Orca, new autopilot avoidance options and more.
More details are anticipated at EVE Fanfest, CCP’s annual gathering of EVE Online enthusiasts, which comes to CCP’s home town of Reykjavik, Iceland from November 6 – 8, 2008.
EVE Online requires an Intel-based Mac to play. A 14-day free trial is available for download.