At 7:00pm last night (New Zealand time), players of Eve Online: Incursion were logged off for the last time, as Iceland-based developers CCP started deployment of the long-awaited Eve Online: Incarna 1.0 expansion.
The downtime was expected to last for ten hours (the Tranquility game server goes down for maintenance every day from 11pm to 11:30pm), but issues with the update during the night meant that the downtime was extended, with the server coming back online just before 11.30am this morning.
Eve Online is a massively popular multiplayer online game that allows players to navigate a vast galaxy in an incredible array of spacecraft. Aside from being stunning to look at, Eve Online offers players a gaming experience of unparalleled depth. There’s so much to do in the game that the only problem is finding the time out from the real-world to do it. Players can choose from a myriad of tasks from humbly mining asteroids, trading on the markets or hunting down pirates, all the way up to being a CEO of your own company or commanding an attack fleet.
The Incarna update is the fifteenth expansion since Eve Online’s initial release in 2003. The previous expansion, Incursion, cumulated in its final update with the provision of a new character portrait creator utilising CCP’s proprietary Carbon technology.
Incarna builds upon the tech glimpsed in the new character creator, in bringing those characters into the game. Players will be able to control their pilot avatars as they finally step out of their spacecrafts for the first time.
The initial phase of Incarna, dubbed the "Captain’s Quarters”, will limit players’ access to a private, single-player environment. With later updates, CCP will finally allow players to walk around on space stations and meet other players face to face.
Today’s Incarna update brings the Noble Exchange online. This new feature allows players to purchase vanity items for their new 3D characters. These items will be purchased in a different way from other items in game, breaking down PLEX (play time card/points system) and using the more direct new currency, Auram, to purchase luxury items. If you get bored with the item, you can trade it to another player in-game the same way you can trade anything in Eve.
The Incarna update also adds content to the new player experience, in an attempt to make the game more accessible. If you are a sci-fi fan looking for something different and with a little more meat that the usual fare, give Eve Online a spin. If you take advantage of the 14-day trial, you’ve got nothing to lose.