Marking a change from the traditional launch of Eve expansions, Inferno will be released with a precursor patch on April 24th. While few details were given on what this build-up patch would contain, players were assured that it would deliver meaningful content, in advance of the main expansion release on 22nd May.
In line with CCP's new focus on refining existing features, Inferno will be supported by further content patches in August and September. The winter expansion will arrive in November.
In a keynote address that focused on the core gameplay of Eve Online, the troubles of last year's Incarna expansion were discussed in depth, before further assurance was given that the core gameplay of Eve Online will be the developer's focus for the next 12 months.
First up for improvement is Eve's ageing war declaration system. Current loopholes in the system will be removed, while battle reports will also be introduced along with an improved killmail system. Those who find themselves under attack can turn to the upcoming mercenary marketplace where protection can be sought - for a price.
Players have long requested that CCP revisit and rebuild the Faction Warfare system in Eve and CCP are promising a meaningful experience that rewards victories with currency and loyalty points used for buying specialty goods. A new interface will make Faction Warfare easier to navigate and participate in.
Rebalancing the game's entire roster of ships is also high on the agenda, and an improved inventory management system will make it easier to manage them. Assets including modules and ammunition will have filter options made available. New modules such as salvaging drones and adaptive passive resists tools will also be provided.
Looking beyond the near future, CCP are promising to make player-owned-stations desirable, affordable and worthwhile for all players. We're promised these will range from individual "stations" to fully-fledged war machines. A regular release of new ships was also assured.
Keen to stress that these features lay further off in the future, Eve's mining system will also undergo a radical overhaul, allowing moon minerals - lucrative resources currently only available to those working in the lawless areas of Eve's universe - to be harvested by groups of miners in the less dangerous areas of space.
From an artistic perspective Amarr ships will be next to receive a fresh coat of space-paint, paving the way for the often-requested player decal feature. Character racial features can be blended together at character creation and Eve's stealth bombers will receive a radical overhaul to improve their desirability.
Last but not least, CCP unveiled a well-received trailer that showcased the new turret animations for rocket weapons in EVE. We'll have this video for you as soon as it becomes available.