In an interview published today, EVE Online senior designer Noah Ward has revealed that a rethink of the way players claim sovereign space is next on the agenda after the release of tomorrow's Apocrypha expansion.
Asked if he felt the game's single server was getting over-crowded, Ward said, "EVE isn't over-crowded though; it's just that players all flock to the same places and that's due to game mechanics. We understand this and we're doing things to alleviate these bottleneck systems.
"The next thing we intend to tackle is the sovereignty mechanics. That should both spread players out in 0.0 out and not 'force' them to claim as much empty space as they currently feel inclined to do."
Developer CCP will also be concerned with expanding the new Epic branching missions, being introduced with a "lower-level chain" in Apocrypha. "As we introduce the higher-level Epic Arcs, the players in mission hubs will spread out as well. There is plenty of space out there, it's our job to give the players things to do in it."
Apocrypha, which CCP reckons is the biggest-ever expansion to EVE in its five-year history, goes live tomorrow, accompanied by an Atari-published box copy of the game later in the week.
Apocrypha's main features are the introduction of uncharted space that can be explored through unstable wormholes, a new NPC faction called the Sleepers, Tech 3 modular ship designs, a revamped new player experience and those epic missions. Ward discusses them all in more detail in the interview.
The Tranquility server goes down for the update at 3am GMT tomorrow, and is expected to be back up at around 4pm.