Eve Online, voted best game in MMORPG.com's Readers' Choice Awards and having over 100,000 subscribers is on the brink of a new expansion entitled The Path to Kali. ...and a very large expansion, at that.
The upcoming expansion to EVE Online—codenamed Kali—will introduce an innovative Advanced Reactive Content System (ARCS). With this system, the political and trade aspects of EVE, which are already directly affected by players' actions in-game, will affect the physical borders of nation-states within the game, thus directly controlling the game universe destiny and resulting storyline.
"Games either provide active content, in which the player reacts to artificial changes in the game universe, or they provide reactive content, in which the entire game universe reacts to the actions that players decide for themselves," said Magnus Bergsson, CMO of CCP Games. "CCP believes strongly that the players should be the center focus of the storyline and control the evolution of the game universe. The Path to Kali will lead EVE Online to great heights in reactive content and further establish EVE Online as the premium free-form MMOG on the market today."
CCP will also release a newer version of the current award-winning graphics engine for EVE Online as part of this expansion, which will take advantage of the latest DirectX 9 features to produce superior imagery and detail than the existing client. This Herculean effort requires that the game’s three hundred plus starships—each of which is composed of millions of triangles—be remodeled in ultra-high resolution. Players will then see these ships rendered by the power of per-pixel lighting, HDR, and soft-self shadowing.
Parallel development of an entirely new graphics engine called "EVE Vista" is also underway. The new graphics engine—named “Trinity II”—will take full advantage of the new features and optimizations offered by DirectX 10, which will ship with the new Windows Vista OS. The highly anticipated graphics API will give Trinity II the ability to render far greater detail by leveraging the fully programmable shader pipeline and utilizing the API’s built-in instancing support. The combined technologies will allow CCP to continue building dynamic environments with visual effects that will surpass the already stunning graphical presentation of the game.
The final component of Kali will be factional warfare, in which players will have the option to align themselves with an NPC faction. Also included in the Path to Kali will be the opening of new regions in the game universe, the addition of significant exploration content, next-generation player R&D that includes reverse engineering capabilities, additional ship upgrades and player professions, the introduction of combat boosters, and the addition of new warships.
In order to get the Path to Kali's new features into the hands of eager EVE subscribers, CCP is subdividing the expansion into three different updates. This process will begin in Q2 2006 with the first release, and end in 2007 with the factional warfare implementation.