Vanguard Roadmap | Jan '24 Playtest Dates
Recently, the EVE Vanguard First Strike event saw legion take to the surface and help spread corruption in New Eden by fulfilling contracts on the frontlines. We are thankful to all who participated in this first experimental deployment of these new warclones in New Eden. This was merely the beginning and we want to take a moment to reflect on some of the learnings from the First Strike event, and take a look ahead at what is in store in the first half of 2024. We also encourage you to join the discussion on our Discord server, where you can get all the latest news and updates about EVE Vanguard, as well as connecting with other players and developers alike.
BUILDING IN CONJUNCTION WITH THE COMMUNITY
Both during and after First Strike, we have been watching and listening to vast amounts of feedback received from those who took part in the playtest event. There were several common themes so let’s dive into those:
Some players expected a more complete game than they got to experience. While we tried to make clear that EVE Vanguard is in early development as part of our Founders’ Access, and that First Strike would present limited content, we can clearly do better to inform those expectations in the future and hopefully this news item and the roadmap for the first half of 2024 helps us get closer to achieving this.
A positive sentiment that really stood out was the response to the game’s performance – which held up really well, even for those playing on systems that did not meet the minimum requirements.
The overall atmosphere of the game received a lot of positive feedback, including the environment, the effects, the audio, and how the map already felt like a part of New Eden.
Combat and gunplay were also received very well, which is excellent news, as we feel strongly that EVE Vanguard needs to be a good FPS first and foremost.
That said, we received very helpful suggestions and feedback on ways we can continue to improve the environment (such as geometry collision issues), the audio (such as footsteps volume), and make the gunplay feel even better (such as refining weapon recoil).
We received a wealth of useful feedback on the onboarding experience and the learning process of the game as a whole. While the game lacks any formal tutorials at this early stage of development, it is very useful to gain insight into which systems people struggled to understand, and which ones felt more intuitive. This will be a massive boon for further development of the new player experience.
The user interface (UI) was met with similar feedback, regarding the ease of use of some of the menus and screens. We got excellent insight into how the user experience (UX) can be improved, and how to make some of the UI systems easier to use, which will certainly impact future iterations of the interface, such as getting in and out of menus faster while on the battlefield.
Many players expressed a desire for contracts that contribute to suppression as well as corruption. This will be prioritized and hopefully delivered in our March update.
A wealth of suggestions and discussions cropped up regarding potential future features for EVE Vanguard, including expanded movement (such as sliding and mantling), vehicles, and the old Dust 514 favourite, orbital bombardment. While these discussions were great, the main focus, for now, is to continue building on the core gameplay, but we look forward to discussing ideas in this vein with you further down the line as we continue to evolve and add to the game.
Several technical issues were reported, including but not limited to installation problems with Easy Anti-Cheat, custom keybindings not persisting across sessions, and uncertainty about how to uninstall EVE Vanguard. Work on these issues has been prioritized, and you will see some of them addressed as early as the January playtest event.
BOOTS ON THE GROUND IN 2024
Many players just wanted to keep playing Vanguard after the end of the First Strike event on 11 December. The wait won’t be long, though, as the dates for the next playtest have been confirmed. As you can see from the roadmap below, the next chance to play will be 25-29 January, and Vanguard will be playable every month for the first half of 2024. Let’s dive deeper into what those playtests will look like.
The first half of 2024 will be action-packed for Vanguard, with different kinds of updates for various playtest events. In January, February, April and May, these events will focus on minor patch updates, primarily centred around bug fixes and balancing changes. March will bring a minor feature update, and we look forward to a major feature update in June.
In addition to the aforementioned fixes and balance changes, increased support for players from Asia Pacific and South America will start in January, with dedicated servers in those regions opening the door to a new wave of Vanguard warclones. The March playtest event will provide players with a mining feature prototype, introducing the ability to mine for resources and complete new contract types. The goal is to also introduce the ability to contribute to suppression in this update. Around this time, the Vanguard may also get to test a new drop suit.
The playtest in June will introduce a new battlefield with a new map, which we will introduce in more detail as we get closer to that moment. At this time, a weapon modification feature will be introduced, and fittings will be persistent across sessions, meaning there will be more options to tool up, modify, and upgrade your weaponry before and after deployment. The plan is to build upon the mining prototype, introduced in the March patch, adding further objectives and activities.
We can’t wait to put EVE Vanguard into your hands again in 2024, and we hope to see a large number of warclones return to action to help us further build on these early foundations.
GIVE ME YOUR BIOMASS!
The First Strike event that ran 7–11 December was a chaotic success, giving Vanguard their first opportunity to experience the new dynamic FPS module of EVE Online. A total of 359,736 warclones went planetside and spent a combined 34,964 hours on the frontlines, with precisely 900 deaths caused by friendly fire! For more details on what went down, check out this infographic.
CLAIM YOUR FREE SKIN
If you are one of the brave Vanguard who participated in the First Strike event, don’t forget to claim your exclusive Arkombine Arisen capsule skin from the New Eden Store before it expires at 23:59 UTC on 15 January. The reward has been granted to anyone who took part in the First Strike event and is only available this one time.
This really is just the beginning of the Vanguard journey, and we hope you agree there are plenty of things to get excited about in the upcoming year.
See you planetside, Vanguard.