EVE Online blows up an entire star and everyone around it to kick off a new inter-faction war

Having apparently decided that there is just not enough conflict in EVE Online already, CCP Games has kicked off a new "narrative-driven expansion" called Uprising by basically blowing up a star and pushing its four major empires toward war.

EVE Online has been around for nearly 20 years now, and in that time it's earned notoriety for two things: Back-room machinations of unimaginable viciousness, and major space battles that can take weeks or months to resolve and cost thousands of dollars of real-world money. Here's five of our favorites: In order, a bloodbath, a massacre, an assassination, a betrayal that led to a massacre, and a "gatecamp," in which players literally went to war with CCP itself, and did better in the engagement than you might have expected.

Most of these shenanigans take place in the region of the game known as Nullsec, which is essentially lawless space where anything goes; the new Uprising expansion aims to make things a little more interesting in low-sec—a somewhat safer place where rules exist but enforcement is iffy—and in particular the region known as Empire space, where the four main NPC factions hold control.

The trouble began last week when an experimental "stellar transmuter" device designed to siphon massive amounts of energy from celestial bodies caused a bit of a mishap that annihilated a planet, ruined a major space station, and led to millions of deaths and untold collateral damage. Most of the destruction was suffered by NPCs, of course, but players felt it too: Many were lingering near the star to see what was going to happen (because CCP Games had made it clear that something was going to happen) and hopefully capitalize on whatever opportunities presented themselves.

What they got instead was a faceful of fire, radiation, and opportunistic enemies who jumped into the system after the incident to prey on the heavily damaged ships that were caught in the explosion. It was top-to-bottom unpleasantness for all involved.

But this is not just window-dressing and poking at anthills: Uprising will make mechanical changes to EVE Online that CCP Games said will change how players interact with each other and the game.

"Our goal with EVE: Uprising is to give our community more control over New Eden's vast solar systems and strengthen their connection to others, whether they are NPC groups or fellow capsuleers," EVE Online creative director Bergur Finnbogason said. "The decisions that you, your friends and your rivals make, will set the course for EVE's future. Every in-game action and reaction holds weight, contributing to a domino effect of gripping outcomes."

Underpinning all of this are changes to EVE's "faction warfare" mechanic, which enables players to fight on behalf of one of the game's four factions—Amarr Empire, Caldari State, Gallente Federation, or Minmatar Republic—for control of areas of low-sec space. Systems in the conflit will now have three "operational states," each providing different rewards and characteristics that will impact the battlefield:

  • Frontline - adjacent to an enemy-controlled star system, the absolute heart of the battle, and the highest level of reward!    
  • Command Operations - adjacent to a Frontline system, vital for strategic supremacy with standard LP rewards.    
  • Rearguard - when none of the above apply, a relative safe zone in the maelstrom.

"As faction warfare evolves, players will see the battlefield of New Eden pose new challenges, threats and unexpected consequences," CCP Games said.

You can't have a good war without good warships, and so Uprising will also introduce a new dreadnought and navy destroyer for each faction. The Loyalty Point (basically an in-game currency earned for taking part in faction warfare) cost for the navy ship blueprints have been reduced, making them more readily accessible to players, and there are also a number of "thematically appropriate balance changes" made to current navy ships in the update.

Uprising also includes new cosmetics for ships, "massive" visual enhancements to player-made Upwell Structures that provide services and docking facilities, and a handful of quality-of-life improvements based on player feedback. The full Uprising expansion patch notes can be found at eveonline.com.

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.