For the last six weeks, EVE Online has been under siege by an extradimensional enemy known as the Triglavians. Recently, players were asked to join alongside the Triglavians and help them gain a foothold in the EVE universe. Many players accepted this challenge and fought alongside the alien invaders against the NPC empires and against fellow players. With the start of Zenith, the third quarterly update for EVE, the results of this invasion will begin to show.
In a late May update, EVE players were given the choice to side with the invaders or to drive them back into the abyss they originated from. In the weeks since, many battles have been fought in dozens of star systems, involving tens of thousands of players, with several key victories being earned by each side. Where the defenders won, the Triglavians were forced away and the systems were locked against them, preventing further incursions.
However, in areas where the Triglavians and their player allies were victorious, mysterious space stations began to appear in orbit around stars. These stations began to transform those stars, changing their appearance and causing space in their proximity to take on different characteristics, similar to what players have seen inside Abyssal Deadspace, the Triglavians’ home. An additional effect of the star systems being conquered by Triglavian forces has been the creation of automated defensive structures guarding the entrances to the solar system. These automated turrets make short work of players attempting to enter the system who don’t have sufficient positive standing with the Triglavians, which is earned by helping them in their quest for conquest.
In the trailer for the Zenith release, a massive, ring-like structure can be seen being created by the Triglavians. It seems to have a singularity inside of it, which is similar to the graphical effect of the Triglavian weapon systems. The popular theory from many players is that the final fate of the stars in the centre of Triglavian-controlled territories is to be collapsed into singularities and used to power further Triglavian activities in the areas. There is no telling what effect Triglavian control of the stars could have on the EVE universe.
In addition to the ongoing storyline elements being deployed with Zenith, a new feature will be added to the game by way of a special event. A major overhaul is transforming the current Abyssal Proving Ground feature, which is currently only used by a small group of EVE players, into a way for players to find instant PVP action. Players can use special items to launch themselves into an arena where they will be pitted against other pilots in a deathmatch style contest. The winner of the fights will be tracked on a leaderboard visible by the entire game, and rewards will be handed out to players based on their standings at the end of the Zenith quadrant.
These battles will rotate through different scenarios on a weekly basis, with each scenario changing the type of ships allowed, the number of players allowed into the arena, and whether or not players can bring teams in. The first three formats have been announced, with more, scheduled to last through October, remaining a mystery.
This feature offers a way for players to find combat action and short session gameplay. Players will no longer have to roam the stars for hours to find people to fight with, only to either return empty handed or run into a fleet that is much larger than their own and die. Additionally, with the cancellation of the Alliance Tournament years ago, players who enjoy structured battle for prizes have been missing that element of the game. The Abyssal Proving Grounds offer a new platform for CCP- and possibly even player-run tournaments to happen within the game, and could make these organised tournaments a possibility again.
The Zenith quadrant launches today with both the next stage of the Triglavian Invasion and the Abyssal Proving Grounds, with more content releases coming through the third quarter of the year. 2020, while pretty much a dumpster fire, is nevertheless shaping up to be one of the most exciting years of EVE’s recent history.