Apocrypha, the latest expansion pack for the science-fiction massively multiplayer online role-playing game EVE Online, debuted on Tuesday as a download as well as part of a boxed product available at retail through Atari. In addition to wormholes that lead to over 2,400 new solar systems guarded by an ancient race known as The Sleepers, players explore booster sites, archeological digs, hacking sites, gas clouds, and salvaging sites, thanks to new scanning mechanics added to the game. New technology found beyond the wormholes also allows players to manufacture new spaceships whose modular nature lets them customize both appearance and performance.
CCP also made a number of other improvements in Apocrypha, including epic mission arcs that tell complex stories, audio and video enhancements, changes to character development, and interface tweaks. Recognizing that new players sometimes struggle to figure out what they should do in the game, CCP has improved the introductory tutorials to give them possible career paths that will direct their gameplay.
Finally, Mac players finally get the chance to experience the premium graphics that were added to the game in late 2007. Technical issues with implementing the improvement caused the delay. EVE Online uses TransGaming's Cider technology, and CCP and TransGaming needed the time to deal with those problems.
Like each of the previous EVE Online expansion packs, Apocrypha is a free download. The retail version of EVE Online, which bundles the main game with all the expansion packs, sells for US$34.95. That edition also includes 60 days of free game time, which existing subscribers can trade with other players for in-game currency, an exclusive in-game ship, a career guide, and a certificate for quicker access to organized combat.