First on the developer interview docket were CCP Punkturis and CCP karkur. Punkturis was quite pleased with her work on Multisell and how well it was received, along with the other “little things” improvements in Phoebe. The 24 hour cap being removed from the skill queue was a long anticipated and quite popular change. The developers noted that the restrictions on the queue were preventing them from implementing further features and tweaks to the training system – now there is space for such development. Some discussion of EVE Down Under ensued, with CCP karkur displaying her knitted Gurista-kangaroo hat; CCP Rise, CCP Logibro, and CCP Mimic (among others) are all expected to be at the Australian player event.
After a short retrospective on EVE Vegas a pre-taped segment by CCP Explorer (@erlendur) discussed the five-week development cycle, which has truly hit its stride lately. Explorer walked the viewers through a behind-the-scenes look at the development process this year. The key takeaway: development is not restricted or rushed by the new cycle, and features that take longer than a single cycle to develop get all the time they need. The five-week rhythm simply means that development can happen in its own time and features can be shipped regularly and much more rapidly than before.
CCP Mimic then sat down with CCP Foxfour and CCP Terminus of Team SizeMatters. In Phoebe they were responsible for the much heralded changes lifting restrictions from Trial accounts and the improvement in API access for third-party developers. CCP Terminus then revealed one of the biggest changes coming with the December expansion. Rhea will see the end of the penalizing aspects of clone mechanics. There will no longer be multiple grades of medical clone and you will suffer no loss of skillpoints upon the death of your pod. Implants will still be destroyed upon pod loss, and clones (and jump clones) will still exist.
Obviously this is a major, major change. The negative aspects of clone mechanics have been under scrutiny since their inception – the general argument being that they add an unnecessary element of risk and discourage players from taking risks and PvPing. There are apparently further long-term plans for changes to the clone and implant mechanics in the works as well.
Two further pre-taped segments followed – some time with CCP RealX, discussing his composition of the Phoebe theme song, and a new segment with CCP Rise called “Does It Fit?” wherein Rise walked the viewers through a quality brawling fit for the Worm faction frigate.
Finally, CCP Mimic and CCP Fozzie had a chat before finishing off the stream. Fozzie is quite happy with how Phoebe has been received so far, particularly the features his team (Five-O) worked on, like bookmarks in space. They quickly pivoted to Rhea, however. Fozzie announced that CCP was adding more systems to New Eden with Rhea – a collection of new wormhole systems with unique mechanics and features. One system in particular he expects will be popular and notorious in the future: Thera, the first ever named wormhole system.
Thera is to be a hybrid wormhole system with unique mechanics combining aspects of wormhole, nullsec, and lowsec space. No capital ships or POS will be allowed or built within this system, but (unlike every other wormhole system) it will contain NPC stations and landmarks. Like wormholes, it will have no immediate player reveal via local chat, along with NPC Sleeper enemies. It is expected to have static connections to k-space as well as constantly changing non-static connections to both k-space and w-space. Players can live in Thera and have no idea where they’ll be connected to tomorrow. Thera will be a major part of the overall lore surrounding the expansions beginning with Phoebe (involving Sleeper tech and so on).
CCP Rise has apparently described what he expects Thera will be as “the Mos Eisley of EVE” – the lawless hub of the universe, attractive to alliances on deployments, sightseers, and PvP-hungry pilots. A unique sun, multiple unique nebulae, new station colors, and other new graphics will add to the flair. Thera is expected to be available for testing on SiSi in two weeks, with an accompanying dev blog and forum post.
To summarize: Upon Rhea’s release, there will no longer be grades of medical clone, nor SP loss on podkill. Players will also have access to Thera, a roaming Dark Mirror of Jita with unique features and mechanics. Those are two very big reveals, and they’ve certainly ignited the passion of the community in stream chat, #tweetfleet, and elsewhere. Expect more coverage of these features as information becomes available.