The eigth free expansion for CCP’s EVE online, EVE Online: Empyrean Age, has gone live today.”Factional Warfare has been on the wish list for a while and we’re excited to be able to introduce it in this expansion, giving players a new framework to engage in roleplaying and PvP,” said Noah Ward, lead designer for CCP. “The focus is on accessibility and fun. The features in Empyrean Age will appeal to players on many different levels: a tightly integrated storyline, social camaraderie, focused combat and battle statistics.”This latest update features:EVE Online: Empyrean Age destroys the peace of New Eden as long suppressed political tensions between the four major Empires of EVE boil over into direct conflict. Stalwart starship pilots join the newly mustered militias and make solitary strikes deep within enemy territory. By choosing sides in this epic war, players have the power to direct the course of the conflict. New players can quickly immerse themselves in the EVE universe by diving into large-scale factional battles.The events leading to the outbreak of war in the expansion are based on the science-fiction novel, EVE: The Empyrean Age, utilizing a rare and dynamic creative style where an MMO and traditional literature mirror each other’s development. Written by EVE novelist Tony Gonzales, EVE: The Empyrean Age will be released in the UK by ORION Books on June 19, 2008 with worldwide distribution to follow.Factional Militias and Ranks – The militias serve to organize each government’s war effort. All militia members will share a chat channel to allow them to quickly coordinate strategy. The ranking system rewards talented pilots by granting titles and recognition within their chosen militia.Factional Warfare Agents – More than 260 new militia agents coordinate the activities of militia pilots and a*ign missions inside enemy territory.Statistics – Pilots can track their own warfare victories and kill statistics, as well as those of their corporation and militia. In addition, the galactic map has new options to show system control status and to detect the presence of hostile militia forces.System Occupancy – Occupancy is gained by winning conflicts in contested complexes and indicates that the militia is succeeding in capturing and holding valuable territory for their empire.Combat Zones – Starship pilots will find a variety of combat zones in low security space. Each of the systems within a combat zone contains a System Control Bunker which coordinates all activity within that system’s Factional Warfare Complexes. Once a militia defeats a certain number of complexes, they are authorized to attack the bunker. A victory against the Control Bunker shifts control of the system to the victorious militia. Factional Warfare Complexes – Militia pilots that successfully scan for a hidden deadspace complex and hold it uncontested for a set amount of time will claim it for their faction, and be rewarded with corporate standing as well as more tangible benefits.-World Shaping – The confines of settled space cannot contain a war of this scale, causing the fighting to spill over into a new region. Named “Black Rise,” this new region contains 49 new star systems, 80 new agents and nearly 40 stations, many of which are already sworn to one faction or another.
A list of features with full details can be found at