For EVE on the near horizon is the Odyssey patch, which aims to get back to the wonder and splendor of space exploration. One of those aspects is ships, rather than simply adding more, CCP is instead going through what's been lovingly referred to as the "tiericide imitative." Instead of having a bunch of classes of ships where there's clearly a superior among them, the focus will be instead to balance ships into distinctive and purposeful roles. An unused frigate that was clearly worse as a combat vessel to its higher tier cousins will find new life as say, a dedicated disruption boat that fools with enemy sensors and targeting. With what's already been implemented, there's been a huge uptick is usage of what were previously derelict ship lines. Much of this is in line with the sentiment and tone of Fanfest 2012, with a shift in focus away from Jesus features, like the infamous Incarna patch which moved towards player characters and real money transactions, back towards blowing up internet spaceships. The Odyssey patch will also change how and where you move about the universe. Exiting a station will trigger a new scanner overlay to help point you in the direction of new exploration opportunities, and jump gates feature a new transition to seamlessly move between systems without seeing anything that looks like a loading screen. The Odyssey expansion is set to launch on June 4th of this year.
As Fanfest 2013 and the first decade of EVE Online drew to a close, there was also a look at what's just past the horizon. CCP is in the process of refining new ways to creating its expansions. Starting with an identifiable science fiction theme, seeing how it applies to the solo and group players and to the enablers and instigators, the four quadrants of players that CCP breaks the game roughly in. The next themes for EVE will be about space colonization, building structures, destroying them, the rise of the EVE pilots in society, taking over what the empires used to have control of, flying your own colors and a final hint of constructing new stargates to unknown places.
EVE Online has certainly carved an interesting niche for itself in the MMO genre, and it stands as a testament that practices of creating a game for a core group of users, crafting an open sandbox instead of linear questing and supporting your game for years can lead to success. CCP is setting up the EVE universe to go on for another decade.