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The latest expansion to CCP Games' sprawling sci-fi MMORPG universe EVE Online is called Retribution and it's launching on December 4, 2012, the developer confirms. The new pack follows the example set by Inferno and Crucible before it, introducing major changes to the game's single-shard universe.
"Single-shard" means that all EVE Online players exist in the same online space as opposed to being broken down into smaller groups on different servers, which is the way other popular MMOs work. CCP also leaves the state of the galaxy in the players' hands, with a loose set of rules allowing for more flexibility than you'd typically find in this sort of game, and a much steeper learning curve to go along with it.
The big feature update in Retribution is a top-to-bottom revision of the game's bounty system. As of now, an EVE Online player who feels wronged by a fellow player can put a bounty on that person's head, with certain restrictions. The revised system does away with those restrictions, meaning anyone can be a target. Alongside this is a UI update that makes it easier for players to tell when there's a wanted criminal nearby.
Those are the marquee changes that are coming with EVE Online: Retribution, though there are others as well. The new measurement system for aggression, added ships, and a general streamlining of various systems to make EVE Online more friendly to newcomers are all given a closer look in Massively's preview.