CCP's annual EVE Fanfest in Reykjavik, Iceland has moved into full swing this afternoon with a keynote speech focused on improvements to both the new player experience and some long-standing player bugbears.
"We're simplifying a lot of things, starting with the default overview," said Kristoffer Touborg (better known to the community as CCP Soundwave). "You can still tailor them, but it's better for the new player, rather than just saying, 'Welcome to EVE, here's a Rubik's Cube. Now go f**k yourself.'"
It's all part of the renewed focus taken by CCP since the player revolt last year over the company's preference for grandiose future feature development rather than committing to addressing existing complaints and refining previous expansions.
"It's basically all the small stuff. Not necessarily the new NPCs and flash content, more the clicky stuff that pisses you off."
Loot logging will now be enabled by default, making one small step towards killing the flood of windows caused during fleet formation. You'll still be able to cheat your fellow players out of hard-earned loot, but it'll be easier to spot.
Mission agent divisions are also being tweaked; speaking to a combat specialist will no longer lead to you jumping across the galaxy with a cargo hold full of milk. Those with a preference for courier work will likewise find themselves doing exactly what they want within the player-versus-environment aspect of EVE.
Agent quality is also being removed in an attempt to prevent players from simply gravitating to the system that contains the best agents, spreading the population more evenly throughout New Eden and easing the load on the server.
The in-game scanner is also receiving a well-earned makeover. While the old scanner once served a highly perfunctory purpose, it was recently improved upon with the addition of probes. Probes will now not only have a longer range, but will run with a shorter cycle time.
Wormhole explorers will also soon be able to change sub-systems while in wormhole space.
There'll be relief for veterans and newcomers alike as Eve's notoriously unfriendly font is consigned to the dustbin. The new font will arrive in the summer expansion and provide cleaner, sharper text alongside a graphical overhaul to how targeted ships are represented in the user interface.
Finally, CCP will be the first customer to take delivery of IBM's latest iteration of cutting-edge server technology, due in the very near future. As part of the ongoing war against the lag that so torments large-scale warfare, CCP hopes to be able to accommodate even greater fleet numbers without performance degrading further. The players, of course, will always want to bring more.