CCP has revealed the kind of content players can expect from Walking in Stations, the expansion that will bring 3D player avatars and interiors to space MMO EVE Online. And it's not quite what you might expect.
Instead of crafting extensive content for the expansion itself, CCP will encourage players to fill empty space-station promenades with their own bars and shops.
You'll be able to buy blueprints for establishments, install them in empty "sockets", and then customise them with rules, products, hired NPCs and even custom dialogue.
Products and services you'll be able to sell include beer, tattoos, clothes and plastic surgery. The idea, senior producer Torfi Frans Olafsson explained, was to use a player-driven market economy to stimulate activity in social areas that would otherwise be empty.
"Although the invisible hand of economics doesn't work outside of EVE currently, I'm hoping it's going to be working inside of EVE," Olafsson said.
All players will also have a customisable "captain's quarters", a private space that they will default to as soon as they take direct command of a ship. Corporations will have offices with public recruitment areas and private meeting rooms.
Space stations will also host mini-games: a chess-like strategy boardgame with a hexagonal layout was shown, and CCP confirmed that players would be able to bet on games.
CCP is about to show Walking in Stations code running for the first time at its Fanfest convention in Reykjavik, Iceland. We're there, and will bring you full first-hand impressions as soon as we can.