In a May 3 devblog, CCP announced their new Quadrant, Foundation—which began the next day, May 4. The theme: “[C]elebrate the identity of the four Empires of New Eden, as well as the incredible 18 years that have passed since EVE’s own founding. It represents the pride in the history of these four Empires that have become the cornerstones of New Eden, pride in players’ own accomplishments, and pride in the collective journey that’s propelling EVE toward its third decade.”
Elements of the Foundation Quadrant went live on May 4. These include a new hangar interior for Jita 4-4, and a new 3D-rendered Aura. Most of the initial patch appears to be similarly minor cosmetic tweaks, though there have been a few gameplay changes. CCP has removed the standings requirements from Pochven loop gates. Some item costs in the DED LP Store have been altered, as well. And corporations with negative wallet balances can no longer transfer structures to another corporation.
At the same time as the initial announcement of Foundation, CCP Fozzie posted a discussion thread revealing some of the plans for the Quadrant: empire-based holidays. Last year, these holidays saw login campaigns and capital ship parades. This year, there are plans to expand them further.
The big focus for 2021 will be on the Liberation Day celebrations in the Minmatar Republic. These will run from July 7 through July 20. According to Fozzie, CCP plans to introduce ‘The Liberation Games’. The Games will be ‘an “olympics-like” inter-tribal event that celebrates the seven major tribes of the Republic. Capsuleers will get a chance learn about the tribes and choose one to support specifically for the event. If this event is received well, we would then build on it and bring it back in an improved form for Liberation Day 2022 as well. The CCP-run ingame events for this year’s versions the other three holidays will be smaller in scale than the Liberation Day event, but they will still be more expansive than last year’s events and we’ll continue adding to the lineup of national events each year until all the empires have major recurring summer/fall events.’
In addition, CCP is planning to highlight player-run events during these holidays. Fozzie’s asked anyone planning to run such an event to post to the thread. This may mark a turn toward player-driven stories having more impact on the empires. If so, it means a goal CCP has talked up for years at FanFest, Vegas, etc may finally draw near.
Fozzie Comes to the Events Team
Since joining the EVE Ingame Events team, CCP Fozzie has been fairly active in helping to bring some of the NPC storylines of New Eden to life. This includes involvement in the recent string of high-sec dreadnaught incursions into each of the empires.
Between active developer involvement in the storyline, and the focus of the Foundation Quadrant, CCP appears to be looking to revitalize activities in empire space beyond simply attracting more miners. As highsec is the area new players see most immediately, measures that provide more activity and engagement should help retention. If so, CCP may even find an improved NPE model: Interact with newbies, instead of asking Aura to babysit.