EDIT — This page is outdated. For all future updates, please refer to this post
There is a lot of buzz surrounding the recently announced Project Nova with several different interviews with CCP Rattati popping up on various websites. With a lot of confusion, assumptions, and misinformation floating around, I wanted to compile all of the confirmed information as well as offer up my thoughts and opinions. Bear in mind that while these conclusions are based off of actual interviews with the developers, even information in direct quotes from Rattati himself can be misinterpreted or changed, so all of the following information should not be considered set in stone.
Free to Play
- The goal is to make the game Free to Play. There is no confirmation of what kind of Free to Play model CCP will pursue.
- “That’s where we want to be … we want to be perceived as a really good free-to-play shooter.” (source)
- OPINION: I’m mostly curious to see how the source of income will work. Free to Play certainly appeals to a larger crowd but can sometimes feel frustrating depending on how the monetization works. For the most part DUST did a fairly good job at making the game feel like it was not Pay to Win, however some of the pricing decisions on products later on did not sit well with me and I would have actually preferred a subscription based model instead of very overpriced cosmetics.
16 vs 16 Battles
- While the tech demo at EVE Fanfest featured 6 vs 6 battles, the final game will be 16 vs 16.
- “Árnason explains that was only to satisfy space restrictions at a convention; it’s going to be 16 versus 16 instead” (source)
- OPINION: My first FPS game was MAG which featured battles of 128 vs 128 players, so my tendency is to prefer larger battles. However to be honest, even in the largest battles, you really only interacted on a 32 vs 32 battlefield, and most engagements were 16 vs 16. Honestly I had hoped for at least some game modes in Project Nova to feature 32 vs 32, but as long as the maps and game modes are properly sized for 16 vs 16, I don’t feel that it will hinder the game play experience.
Planets and Spaceships
- While the tech demo only showed a ship interior map, Nova will feature maps inside ships/structures and likely planets in connection to Planetary Conquest.
- “…’It’s very important to me and the team to be very thematically accurate and to take place in EVE in a recognizable way. I want to be on ships, I want to see planets, I want to know where I am. I want to feel like I’m in EVE. That’s a passion to be in EVE. DUST 514 was maybe too generic on the planets. You wouldn’t always necessarily know you were in New Eden,’ Árnason commented.” (source)
- Planetary Conquest is on the roadmap, but may not be a feature right away.
- “…planetary conquest is something that I consider the key feature of the game. It’s where you had the veterans fighting the veterans, and that is on the roadmap.”
- “The idea of open maps… we have all the terrain and the assets, so it’s fairly easy to create the maps and with unreal engine 4 and a more powerful PC you can make them look quite vivid compared to the barren worlds in DUST. That’s something that’s on the roadmap, but those kinds of battles would of course coincide with planetary conquest in districts owned by players.”
- OPINION: In some sense I agree that you didn’t feel like you were part of EVE, a game built around space travel, when all of your experiences in DUST took place on planets. Ship maps were always something the DUST community asked for and obviously the developers are willing to deliver on that wish, but I am hopeful that we will see some more open-air combat on planets as well.
No Vehicles at Release
- There will be no vehicles at release but the possibility at a later date is not off of the table.
- “We’re not planning any vehicles for the first release; it’s the same philosophy that we’re approaching the rest of the game with that we’re not going to do something if we can’t do it well. You add complexity when you are capable of adding complexity.” (source)
- OPINION: Vehicles have always been something near and dear to my heart, but I also admit that there were some extremely core flaws with how they were implement into the game and the role (or lack therefor of) they played in moment to moment gameplay. I do hope that the ultimately make it into the title at some point in its lifetime.
60 Frames Per Second
- The game is set to guarantee 60 frames a second for PCs meeting the minimum requirements. What those requirements will be are still up in the air.
- “CCP also makes a point to emphasize that it’s aiming for an ‘uncompromised 60 frames per second’ for rigs with the right specs.” (source)
- OPINION: Performance is extremely important when standing up against other FPS games on the market. It will be exceedingly difficult to stand up against some of the larger bigger studios producing FPS games if Project Nova attempts to compete solely on the shooter and performance level. However I don’t think that is really the plan anyways as a fair amount of New Eden will be injected into the game to set it apart and make it feel unique. Regardless, the game still has to feel and play on a similar level to some of the larger names if CCP wants new players to take it seriously as a modern shooter. The big question on everyone mind of course is what the required specs for the game will ultimately be.
No Direct Combat Link to EVE Online
- No Direct Link to EVE Online. Game will be connected thematically through lore and potentially indirectly though things like economy at a later time.
- ” there are no direct ties between Eve Online and Project Nova outside of being set in the same universe.” (source)
- “[Snorri Arnason] told Polygon. ‘If we were to ever go into connected gameplay I would assume it’s on the economy or more thematic stuff like that.'”(source)
- “We’ve been proposing the following connection stages: thematic, followed by social (being in the same corporations), supplemented by planetary conquest so we have the corporations owning land. The next link for me would be an economic link, so there is the idea that if you own a planetary district, you can farm something, but that unit would be useless to you as a Nova player; it would only be useful to you as an EVE player and vice versa.” (source)
- OPINION: While this is a touch subject, much of the grand integration schemes between DUST and EVE, while exciting in theory, were almost impossible to implement in practice. In many ways, resources were excessively spent on nurturing a direct connection that was never able to bear fruit. In time, an indirect economic connection would likely be far more appropriate and offer up interesting business opportunities that work better with the difference in time scales between the two games.
Possibility for E-Sport Game Mode
- Nova will not be structured to be suited for e-sports, but developers are considering a specific game mode that may be compatible.
- “We’re not thinking about it as an e-sports game, but there should be rudimentary things like spectator modes and streaming in-game. We have strongly thought about a unique game mode for veterans that’s a free for all last-man-standing thing, and in the EVE spirit I’d like for you to place a bet on yourself.” (source)
- There are still the three sizes of frame, Light, Medium and Heavy, and then classes built from those sizes. Approximately 6-8 base classes will be available immediately to new players, who will then be able to level up and move into more specialized classes.
- Players progress a certain class by playing as that class and leveling it up. This is unlike EVE or Dust where SP was passively applied to a skill, or accumulated and then allocated.
- “These are not final, but the progression is a kind of tech tree where you have to play in the loadout to earn it” (source)
- OPINION:I highly approve of the notion that specializations are available immediately instead of wading through Basic Frames like we have in DUST. Additionally it seems to me that there is really only on “tier” of suit and further progression simply allows one to explore specific aspects of a role which I am also a fan of. Also the shift away from your EVE/DUST style SP system may be a better, or at least more intuitive option in my opinion. I always disliked that pepople could simply play as one role, stock up SP, and buy their way into high level skills of another role without the need to ever actively play and earn that progression. To me this proficiency based system seems far more appropriate for this style of game.
- New players will be presented with full loadouts and leveling up classes will unlock options which will allow them to swap out weapons and gear to customize the experience. Unlocking new options doesn’t so much make the character stronger, but more customizable and specialized.
- “…’I really want to give you a full loadout with all the things you want and that should be on the loadout,’ Árnason said.” (source)
- “…people are perceiving the loadouts that they start with to be the definitive loadouts. They’re there to help you start the game, and afterwards we’re definitely aiming freedom that you have in DUST 514. We’re trying to learn the lessons of DUST and not just give you all these choices in the beginning.”
- OPINION: This is the one that worries me the most. The fitting system in DUST 514 was one of my most beloved parts and I enjoyed endless hours tweaking and perfecting the finest detail of a fit to get my optimal performance. Now while it doesn’t explicitly say it’s moving away from the classing EVE/DUST fitting system, it seems to me that it’s a much simpler version. I won’t pass judgement on it until we see more of it, but I am very nervous about losing one of my favorite part of DUST. In general it sounds like they’re moving away from a tiered base progression which I’m a personal fan of. It also sounds like they’re moving towards a more solidified class based system where modifiers can be unlocked. In many ways it sounds similar to the system proposed by CCP Z for Project Legion which I was also not terribly fond of. Again I will have to see what it looks like exactly before I form a solid opinion.
- Developers are focusing on making sure the game is a solid shooter right now, but fully intend to bring “New Eden” elements to the project once the core shooter is established.
- “That future is all an open map,” says Árnason. “We can do whatever we want, after we demonstrate the correct shooting mechanics.” (source)
- OPINION: This is really the most important takeaway from the interviews. While CCP is focusing on the core mechanics of the shooter which is exactly the part that was weak in DUST. DUST attempted to start with high level ideas and develop the shooter mechanics after the fact, this obviously failed. Project Nova is taking the reverse approach which is why Rattati is emphasizing the shooter elements so much right now. Its clear to me that the development of this game will not simply stop with core shooter elements, and that CCP is simply saying “Look, we’re trying really hard right now to make sure we avoid the pitfalls of DUST 514, once we achieve that, we can move into the parts that you all love”
The future development of Project Nova certainly seems interesting and will most definitely be riddled with excitement and controversy. The memory of DUST is very real in everyone’s’ mind and emotions run extremely high in this community. However I would like to remind people that change from something you like may not always be a bad thing, and to keep and open mind and a level head to new ideas coming across the table. Hopefully more information will be released in the coming months and we will be here to report and discuss it along the way.