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Eve Online set for big changes

CCP outlines the space map ahead.

The launch of next week's Citadel expansion took centre stage at the Eve Online keynote at this year's Fanfest in Reykjavik, Iceland.

It's a much-anticipated release which will allow players to build their very own stations, complete with fitting services, trading markets, and all of the other bits and bobs that have previously been the sole preserve of Eve's NPC factions.

These new structures will also introduce a whole host of new weapon, defenses, docking options, gadgets and gizmos for the playerbase to do bad things with.

There'll be more content following the initial release, too. This summer will see some new features added to Citadel, such as player contracts and new weapons which will physically repel attacking ships.

Industrial Arrays are also coming, which will put research and manufacturing endeavours under the umbrella of these player-owned structures. The first Industrial Array blueprint arrives this autumn, while Drilling Platforms - due out during the winter - allow for moon mining and other mineral manipulations - a vital aspect of Eve's economic backbone.

On the subject of harvesting materials, the Rorqual - a pricey ship you might remember the Eurogamer corp holding to ransom once upon a time - will also be upgraded with a devastating weapon to help protect the mining expedition.

New mining drones are also coming to the game, and all mining barges are being upgraded cosmetically, and given a few quality of life improvements, too. Check the Eve Updates website for more details of the roadmap ahead - you'll also be able to read up on the new Pirate faction capital ships that are in pre-production.

A renewed investment in new players is top of the agenda too. Last year's Opportunity training system replaced a lot of the old game's text-heavy tutorials with interesting activities, but more progress is desired.

A million and a half players tried the game last year, but more than half of those new arrivals disappeared within two hours of starting. CCP intends to give new players a more meaningful journey through the game's backstory, which will hopefully give them both the skills and the confidence to immerse themselves in the more daunting sandbox systems of Eve Online.

For established players who need more control outside of the game, a new Eve Online mobile companion app is coming for Android and iOS. It will keep you abreast of all the most important in-game events with options for push notifications for vital alerts such as the imminent destruction of all of your space stuff. As well as being able to browse Eve Mail and the in-game calendar, you can also manage subscriptions from the app as well.

The launch trailer for Citadel - which you can view below - was also unveiled.

Watch on YouTube

We'll be spending the next few days taking in the sights and sessions of Fanfest, before bringing you a report on the show next week. Last year's event covered subjects as diverse as embedding science projects in Eve to cure terminal illnesses, and community support projects for players suffering from mental health issues. Who knows what will come up from this year's show?

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