Eve Valkyrie is a three versus three deathmatch dogfighter played with your head inside a VR headset not unlike the Oculus Rift. We’ve tried it, and can tell you that current thinking on the game goes like this: “Wheee!”.
“Wheee!” doesn’t need context - but once we have the thing in our hands next year and the honeymoon is over, there’ll be questions. Like: how will Valkyrie fit into Eve’s extended connected universe? And: how does a spaceship game like this one slot neatly into another, very different spaceship game?
In a weekend chat with RPS, CCP marketing man David Reid said that the Icelandic developers plan to have Valkyrie connected up with Eve Online from launch, in a similar manner to PS3 shooter Dust 514. Fingers crossed.
“We don’t have ship dates for virtual reality tech yet,” he cautioned. “So if that was tomorrow, then we wouldn’t have it all linked in. But that’s the plan.”
Ensuring their VR magic is shipshape and fully-supported is top priority - but once that’s done, CCP can “start laying roadwork for integration with the universe”.
“Ultimately, what it should be is the sort of stuff where corporations should be able to span all three games, EVE, Valkyrie, and Dust,” explained Reid. “Chat should span all three games. That market will span all three games. Things like that will happen.
“And then you start thinking about, ‘Well, what is the analog of orbital bombardment between EVE and Dust with Valkyrie now added? How do all three of these games have something happening?’”
That’s not such a simple question. The division between Eve Online and Dust is fairly well delineated in, er, space - the MMO handles off-planet goings-on, and the FPS covers affairs on the ground, fittingly enough. Eve Valkyrie, however, is a system for ship-battling in a universe where inter-corp laser-fights are already well-established. But Reid already has some ideas for how the games can be conjoined without overwriting elements of one or the other.
“With Dust integration, what we’d like to do is have boarding parties from Dust dropships enter in EVE spaceships someday, and start laying waste to the crew and taking over ships and stuff,” he said. “So that would be a place that – if we were able to do that – would collide those things. Does a Valkyrie ship collide with an EVE ship? What’s that shared space? How do we think about that?
“But you can also go in a different direction that would be technically easier to implement, which would be that they’re all in a shared universe. They share resources, they share an economy and things like that together, but the actual literal combat mechanics are more like orbital bombardment between EVE and Dust right now. It’s not that Valkyrie ships are flying around in the exact same space that EVE frigates and titans and things are; it’s a different part of space.”
That’s an idea that makes a lot of sense to Reid as a former military man - if Dust is the army, and Eve is the Navy, then Valkyrie is the airforce.
“The Navy ships, whether it’s water or space, it’s a very different thing than the frantic stuff that’s going on when the airforce are doing their dogfights,” he said.
“But ultimately, the beautiful vision that many of us gamers would have is like, the EVE ship is coming by slowly like a Battlestar from Battlestar Galactica, and then the gates open and out come all the Vipers flying into battle. I think that’s possible, but I don’t think it’s going to be happening in 2014. I think that’s a little farther out on the roadmap.”
A distant prospect that may be, but it only takes a glance back up the road CCP have build for themselves since launching Eve in 2003 to know that they're capable of reaching it.
Ultimately, CCP are determined open new doors to the Eve universe. What point down the roadmap are you holding out for?