A while back, at the last (incredible) Fanfest, you may recall CCP Oveur dropping a word or two into his keynote speech about an EVE Online community site called COSMOS. Since that announcement, we have been quiet, but we have been working like squirrels researching and designing COSMOS with the goal of creating the most reliable and awesome backend system tied to the wonder that is EVE.

The first time you will get to play with COSMOS will be with our winter expansion, but to stop you from being utterly overwhelmed by the greatness of a fully functioning social network website coupled with EVE interactivity – oh alright, and so that we are truly Agile in our development process – we will be releasing features bit by bit.

The starting platform will have your character, corporation and alliance profiles, a new mail system and a new contacts system, which brings in two-way agreed friendships. The mail and contacts system will have parallel functionality on the all-new COSMOS website as well as in-game, so you will have the same mail and other information both in- and out-of-game. Following the first release, we will be churning out additional features and will have an ongoing team of developers and designers working full-time on COSMOS.

You will, no doubt, have many questions about this huge new part of the EVE community. This will not be the last blog you will see about COSMOS. We will be giving you information every couple of weeks with more details. To clarify a few points in advance: yes we will be tackling new forums for you; yes you will be able to "do" EVE game stuff but not on the first nor second COSMOS releases; and yes it will look very sexy.