CCP's sci-fi MMORPG EVE Online is set to receive an overhaul over the next 12 months, codenamed "Kali", that will see a complete refinement of the graphics engine, implementation of a new content system, and ultimately the addition of factional warfare.
The first major improvement will be the introduction of an "Advance Reactive Content System". This means that collective player actions will dynamically reshape the political landscape and borders of nation-states in the EVE universe, directly contributing to the game's destiny and resultant storyline.
CCP is also planning two iterations of the graphics engine. The first, taking advantage of the next DirectX 9 features, will improve overall image quality and detail and include a complete remodelling in "ultra-high resolution" of the 300-plus starships that make up the EVE fleet, with per-pixel lighting, HDR and soft self-shadowing on the agenda.
The second will be launched to coincide with Microsoft's new Windows Vista operating system. Dubbed Trinity II, it's being developed to take advantage of new features, including programmable shader pipelines and built-in instancing support, in the Vista-bundled DirectX 10.
Along with new regions, exploration content, next-generation player R&D (including reverse engineering capabilities), ship upgrades, new player professions, combat boosters and new warships, the Kali package will eventually also introduce factional warfare, allowing players to align themselves with NPC factions in-game.
CCP says the Kali rollout will begin in Q2 2006 and end in 2007 with the introduction of the latter system. An exciting 12 months ahead for EVE fans, then, as CCP's support of the ageing sci-fi MMORPG shows little sign of abating. We'll bring you more as they do, and if you're new to the whole EVE thing, you might want to check out our article from last September, EVE Online: 28 Months Later.