This is a special article on this site, something I wanted to share with a bigger audience. For the local ones, you can find the Czech version here.
There has been a couple of speculations about the future gameplay on the long roadmap of EVE Online… Based on the known things, here is my point of view with some nice ideas… Again, all is pure speculation and fiction of mine…
What we know
Known are the Ascendancy implants, new warp speed modules, star gates… Let’s say a new expansion will happen in Jove space, so new ships, background story and actual space is given… Now, how to get there?
Let’s talk about distances. 1ly is 63,24k AU. The Leopard with 20 AU/s warp speed can make it in app. 53 minutes if in warp. To do that, a ship needs a bookmark. The current scanning interface is designed for exploring in solar system scale (50-250AU), so for exploring bigger space, we will need a new interface. For demonstration, let’s take a 10 ly bubble as the new playground for Jove space exploration. New probes for deep space exploration can be added (or the old remade). For traveling in blind space, we will need new scannable anomalies. To harden the travel, and make slower the exploration process, these anomalies should be in relatively close distance (0,1~0,5ly). These new anomalies can give us more content, new materials, modules and new ships. While you exploring, you might end up in a gas cloud or a black hole (which would appear on you exploration star map). You want to avoid them of course.
I will divide the anomalies to 3 types. Exploration, combat and celestials. These anomalies are providing precious bookmarks in the unknown space, allowing us to get closer to the Jove systems.
Data and relic sites will provide skill books, blueprints for new modules, materials for new modules. As a newbie you start here… Through these sites, you can warp closer to the Jove home systems and make your own routes. Not static, random.
Pretty much high-end small group PVE, NPCs with Sleeper+ AI, insane tank and damage. Also other pirate factions are up for the challenge. You might find some pirate bases on your routes. Reward: Jove ship, pod and implant BPCs. Not static, random.
Suns, planets, stations, POSes, mobile structures, gas clouds, black holes. Including Jove stations and bases. Static.
To make special the Jove space, we can eliminate cyno, and give some bonuses around (like in WHs). These bonuses, combined with the new Jove ships will make them stronger locally. Let’s say 10 times stronger and faster (in warp) than other ships, so we get Jove superiority in the area. Any player taking hand on these ship types, will have the advantage 10 to 1 against another hostiles, resp. will be equal to Joves.
Stargates connect long distance space, in our case solar systems. Corporations, alliances can build stargates to connect the Jove systems and make colonisation faster. Once you are in a solar system, you can set up a base and start connecting more systems. Of course, gates should be corp/alliance use only, or based on standing. There will be no possibility to connect known space and Jove space, only exploration will take you there… Gates are destroyable. Acceleration gates may be installed, but destroyed also.
The new POS system (which will allow you to make your own static „deathstar“) should support the local advantage for groups, and make them self-sufficient for living in distant space. New deployables also should support the long deep space exploring life.
Now something hard…
Once you are in Jove space, you will have 2 choices. Stay what you are or become a Jove. Once you sit in a Jove ship, you become a Jove in your actual pod (maybe special pods will be needed to fly Jove ships). To not die, you will need some kind of drug to survive (Jovian decease), made exclusively from Jove space materials. Once you die, you start in a new pod and loose Jove skill points. You may install clone facilities and clone jump back to anywhere, but you cannot take anything Jove back. To prevent you to take back any Jove technology, Joves will make everything to stop you on the way back (they can detect their own technology).
Jovians are very advanced in technology, in space traveling as well. They can track you down while you are traveling in warp and with warp bubbles and other advanced tech, can stop you in travels, ambush supply convoys or moving fleets. Some might have been unbeatable even for capsuleers. If they detect a big fleet or mass warping around, they track you down and destroy you… so much for the blobs. Some vectors (areas) might be more patrolled then others (especially border regions and direct routes between Jove systems), so a special route would be a key to travel without gates. Cloak, new nullification modules should save you from ambush, but will be too expensive for all ships in a big fleet. Do not forget the traveling time, moving big fleets will be pain. Titans and capitals? Joves like to destroy everything bigger then battleships. :)
We get a new exploration based, small fleet supporting hard-core gameplay (forget local), where teamwork will be key to survive or you take the solo even more hard-core gameplay. Now it does sounds that this might be something for vets only, but actually all you need is a scanning ship. Find your route to a Jove system, on the way scan down data and relic sites, learn new skills you find. Once you are in Jove space, you can travel back on the same route you get there. There might be a chance Jove patrols catches you and you explode (100% if you carry Jove technology on your ship), but once you got a clear route, you can start smuggle additional stuff in (mobile manufactures, drug labs, depots, mobile force field, defences, clone labs) and start to build your local empire. In case you became a Jove, you will be allowed to dock on Jove stations and access more Jove tech (warp vector analyser, all ships, new weapons, jump cloning without delay in Jove space, Jove implants). So there will be 2 types of players. The one who became Jove and stays „forever“ in Jove space (you can jump clone still back to the empire) and the one who is trespassing and going for something else… After capsuleers have settled in Jove space, they can explore the space beyond and search for a new galaxy.
The ultimate Jove technology will be a wormhole generator, which should allow you to generate wormholes, and connect long distances. Working as regular wormholes, will be time and mass depending. Still, no Jove technology is allowed to leave Jove space. Players have to found out how to connect the new galaxy with New Eden.
Hint… An artefact recovered by SOE says, there is another wormhole (there is always another one, says Bob) similar to the original one, which led to New Eden, which is in Jove space somewhere and connects the new galaxy.
Now, there are some holes in the story, and it’s just a bigger picture, details have to be worked on. I might also be inspired by other fictions, so don’t yell on me… the purpose of this story is to inspire CCP devs and you… Also I just want to say „I said so!“ when it comes out… Dont worry CCP, in 3 years everyone will forget this story. Well. almost everyone… :) I also appreciate every constructive criticism…
tl;dr – joves… joves everywhere… wait…
Fly safe, play EVE Online…