EVE Online: Odyssey Image Analysis – Exploration Speculation (HD Edition)

Get your best squinty face on and see what you can make of these blurry images as we attempt to make a meal out of scraps from CCP's PAX East table.

Get your best squinty face on and see what you can make of these blurry images as we attempt to make a meal out of scraps from CCP's PAX East table.

I’ve just been browsing the EVE community, getting a feel for the early groundswell of opinion on the new Odyssey expansion and I stumbled across some screenshots of CCP Games’ PAX East presentation taken by sirunidan. One shot in particular caught my eye (see above).

Below are the key elements zoomed for closer examination and wild speculation.

EXHIBIT A: Robot Genitals?

The central panel shows a concept schematic with a caption reading “Hacking Side Structure – Large”.

The other three panels show a series of what could be slick-looking HUD overlays.

EXHIBIT B: Evil Zig-Zags

The first screenshot shows what could be some kind of exploration minigame suite, with a complex sequence of hexagonal links akin to a molecular diagram. At the top of the screen are four icons, one of which is highlighted. Could this be a new interface for data-miner modules with an interactive minigame element? The icons could represent the various explorer data-mining functions; codebreaking (hacking), analysis (archaeology) and salvaging (erm…salvaging).

Alternatively, this could be some kind of navigation aid, perhaps an alternative to the somewhat bewildering universe map and the relatively unused F11 pop-out sidebar, but how that would lend itself to an entirely hexagonal system is hard to imagine, so perhaps not.

The second and third screenshots both seem to show what could be the updated “Discovery Scanner” as mentioned on the new Odyssey expansion webpage. Curved distance indicators as seen from within a sphere could be a revised version of the existing HUD overlay.

EXHIBIT C: Curves and Boxes

The second shot is intriguing. It has what appears to be a targeted object which could be a ship, with a series of irregular panels adjacent to it. Could this be another data-miner mini-game? A case could also be made that it is a display for sub-system targeting in combat, but as much as that would be an incredibly exciting concept, it would be such a massive game-changer, it is highly doubtful.


EXHIBIT D: The Q Continuum Attacks…

The third panel shares some overlay elements with the previous shot with the addition of several highlighted objects and a hexagonal layer. This image shares many elemets with the existing scanning system, with coloured “signals” indicating the strength of detection and a highlighted sphere indicating the effective scanning range.

All of this is likely to be proven wrong when more information comes to light, and in my experience the reality is always slightly less exciting than the possibilities arising from this kind of speculation.

Expectation management is a tricky business, but we’re unlikely to find out the truth until Fanfest in Iceland on 25-27 April 2013.

[Edit: Image quality enhanced to Slightly Less Blurry standard with zooms taken from HD image, with thanks to CEOJunko.]

About the author

Mat Westhorpe

Broken paramedic and coffee-drinking Englishman whose favourite dumb animal is an oxymoron. After over a decade of humping and dumping the fat and the dead, my lower spine did things normally reserved for Rubik's cubes, bringing my career as a medical clinician to an unexpectedly early end. Fortunately, my real passion is in writing and given that I'm now highly qualified in the art of sitting down, I have the time to pursue it. Having blogged about video games (well, mostly EVE Online) for years, I hope to channel my enjoyment of wordcraft and my hobby of gaming into one handy new career that doesn't involve other people's vomit.