Wednesday, April 01, 2009
EVE opens PvE server
When I played EVE Online nearly six years ago, it wasn't the game for me. There was relatively little PvE content, and as you all know, I'm not a big fan of PvP. But in the years since, CCP has added more and more PvE content to the game. Agents have been introduced which give "quests". The latest expansion, Apocrypha, added exploration of wormholes. It was clear that the developers tried to broaden their audience by appealing more to the PvE fans, and this strategy lead to a strong growth in subscription numbers, probably around 300k now.
But CCP realized that to grow further, they had to give better incentives to new players. EVE Online in its current form can be quite harsh to new players, because skills are gained over real time, so new players can never catch up. And a large number of players is found huddled in safe space, with very few players entering 0.0 space, because most players simply can't survive powerful alliances of veteran players killing everyone approaching "their" space.
So today CCP announced that they will open a second server for EVE, giving everyone the possibility of a fresh start and thus leveling the playing field. And the new server will have a different ruleset: It will be a PvE server, with only consentual PvP in the form of duels and pre-arranged battles between alliances. The existing classification of space from safe 1.0 to unsafe 0.0 will remain, but only be an indication of the number and strength of NPC space pirates attacking you, of which there will be more than on the PvP server.
I think this is a great idea, and I'm tempted to resubscribe to EVE Online and play on that new PvE server. I always liked the player-run economy of EVE, with auction houses that have not just sales but also buy orders, and thus the possibility to become a trader or crafter full-time. Without PvP EVE can finally be soloed, which previously wasn't really getting you anywhere.
The only downside is the risk that the old server will become rapidly deserted, because many players there are looking for a new start. Even a subscriber of EVE Online can be a carebear at heart. :) CCP already released the names of the two servers: The original PvP one will be called Felucca, the new PvE server will be called Trammel.