EVE’s long-running alien invasion has come to an end. Over the last few months, the aliens known as Triglavians have taken over many of the game’s star systems, with the help of some players. The mysterious forces’ ultimate goal was not known until the launch of the Phoenix Quadrant last week, when 27 of those star systems suddenly blinked out of existence.
The solar systems and everything within them weren’t destroyed, however — they were drawn deep into “Abyssal Space,” the realm the Triglavians call home. The stargates that previously connected them to neighbouring star systems were sundered and corrupted beyond use. In place of stargates are newly-formed Triglavian conduits that connect each of the systems to each other and create a newly formed Triglavian region of space.
Many important systems are part of this new region, including Niarja, the lynchpin to the game’s largest trade route; Raravoss, the first star system to fall to the Triglavians; and Tunudan, the site of the famed “World War Chappy” and its monument. The new part of space is called the “Pochven” region, and it’s controlled and constantly patrolled by the Triglavian NPC faction. This new area of space offers all-new opportunities for players to explore for riches, glory, or a good fight.
Factions of players have been fighting alongside the Triglavians for months to secure a foothold in the EVE galaxy. In Pochven, their efforts seem to be rewarded: The conduits linking the systems together require a player to be in good standing with the Triglavian forces, so those who sided with the Triglavians have a bit of an advantage getting started in this wild, untamed new area of space.
Players who don’t have such standing are still able to find their way into Pochven, however. Wormholes have been seen forming inside of the systems that make up Pochven, allowing players to attempt to sneak inside through blockades of aggressive NPCs. Alternatively, new consumable filaments were added to the game that can teleport players and their fleet mates into or out of Pochven, allowing them the chance to perform smash and grab raids on the new area of space.
While the plan to create this new region of space may have always been in the cards, the exact 27 systems that were drawn into Pochven were left entirely up to player agency. If players had chosen different star systems to help the Triglavians assault, or if the players who sided against the invaders had won victories in different systems, the map would have been altered in entirely different ways.
When asked why he would leave such a major decision in the hands of players, EVE Online’s Creative Director Bergur Finnbogason told Kotaku in a video interview, “This is something I’ve been talking about, on stage, forever. Player actions should matter more. This is an incredibly important step towards a living, more dynamic universe.”
EVE’s Brand Director Sæmi Hermannsson told Kotaku, “[The Invasion] is a blueprint of what we can do going forward, as far as player impact driving the story of New Eden, but I don’t think that the community, or us at CCP are quite ready for another similar experience, at least not immediately.”
When asked what the next steps were now that the Invasion was over, Finnbogason cracked a sly smile and laughed, “Is it over, though?”
The next big storyline may be a mystery, but EVE Online’s next gameplay steps are coming with the launch of Quadrant 4: Phoenix. Phoenix marks one year of the new design philosophy behind EVE Online, which promised a more rapid-fire development cycle, with impactful changes coming more often. Full details about the contents of the Phoenix quadrant haven’t been released yet, but one of the major changes seems to revolve around the game’s Supercarrier-class vessels.
These giant vessels will be given the ability to house massive cloning vats, alongside hangars full of smaller spaceships, allowing for players to quickly rejoin battles fought around these massive motherships. The trailer for Phoenix shows ships metaphorically rising from the ashes and being reconstructed in space all around the carriers. What this means when translated into gameplay is still unknown, but players are eagerly awaiting details of this change, along with the promised visual overhaul of these ships.