More details have been revealed this afternoon regarding the first component of EVE Online's Incarna expansion, the long-awaited feature that will allow players to walk a humanoid avatar through the game's space stations.
Captain's Quarters will be released in the summer of this year. CCP's Teemu Vilen, speaking at the EVE Fanfest in Reykjavik, Iceland, told the audience:
"What we're trying to do with the Captain's Quarters feature is change the experience of EVE magnifying it and making it a grander experience. It's all about the character coming to life and taking your first steps out of the pod. When you're out in a ship, you're not just an abstraction, you're not something floating in your ship."
The first iteration of the expansion will see players confined to solo hangar areas where they can either gaze lovingly at their newly acquired (or stolen) ship rendered in glorious scale or retire to their chambers to take in the holographic screens dotted throughout.
These will offer a wide range of information, from tutorial videos exposing new areas of EVE, to market tickers, recruitment tools, significant ship kill information and sovereignty changes.
Teemu agreed that it would be great for players to be able to view significant live events through these news feeds, but at present could only offer his enthusiasm for the suggestion. Likewise, while players may be able to view activities outside of the station at some point in the future, it won't be possible in the initial release.
As well as providing a more familiar game-style for those arriving from other MMOs, Captain's Quarters will allow these players to slip into the game a little more gently than its current, infamously bewildering introduction allows. Aura is being fully integrated into the new tutorial and her robotic charms will be localised into EVE's supported languages.
Changes are also being made to the structure of the new player experience in terms of how the trial itself is presented, although details have yet to be finalised. Those who have tested EVE's waters before but found them uninviting should find acclimatisation far easier come summer.
While the first release will be a solo affair, multiplayer interaction will be added in future iterations of the feature as the team grows and builds on the technology and implementation.
For those concerned about having to walk back to their ship in order to undock, rest assured that the NeoCom system will remain, and instant undocking from anywhere in your quarters will still be possible.