CCP has revealed ambitious plans for its EVE Online web portal and social network, which will open in the first quarter of 2010, at the EVE Fanfest.
Previously codenamed Cosmos, the portal will now be known as New Eden - the same name as EVE's universe, because "we don't want to differentiate between the web app and the EVE universe", according to CCP's social producer.
Inspired by social networking sites such as Facebook as LinkedIn, New Eden is similar to the MyLOTRO site launched by Lord of the Rings Online developer Turbine in the US, or a more evolved version of the World of Warcraft Armory. In the future, it will integrate with console spin-off Dust 514 as well as EVE.
At launch next year, New Eden will feaure character profiles (biography, employment history, location, wealth), your character's skills and training queue, Facebook-style status updates, and news feeds for your friends, Corporation and Alliance.
There will be a new mail system, much-improved over the current EVE mail, with labels, spam prevention and Corp and Alliance mailing lists. This will be made available in the EVE game client ahead of the launch of New Eden, with the Dominion expansion later this year.
Perhaps the most impressive feature is a contacts system that merges friends lists and EVE's "standings" with the six-degrees-of-separation-style system of sites like LinkedIn. This list is populated automatically from all your interactions - whether combat, commerce or communication - and will provide information on how you're linked to or have interacted with any other player, either in-game or on New Eden.
After launch, New Eden will expand to include new forums, including secure CCP-hosted forums for every Corp and Alliance. There will be out-of-game text and voice chat support, which should even be able to link into mobile devices. There will be file hosting for images at least, and enhanced kill boards for combat records.
In-game information tracking of your market orders, contracts, wallet, science and industry, ship fittings and combat log will be supplied. Initially this will be read-only, but CCP will eventually make it possible to interact with the game database directly through New Eden - how much, it has yet to decide, and will do so in consultation with players, since the effects on the game's market in particular could be huge if access is extended beyond the game client.
We'll have more on EVE and Dust 514 from Fanfest in the next few days.