An expansion for the space-based MMOG EVE Online is due to be released in the first week of December.
The download, dubbed Trinity, will include some hefty changes to existing gameplay in the form of 20 new ships, ranging from small frigates capable of special electronic warfare to battleships equipped with niche cloaking capabilities.
On the hardware front, the aging graphics engine has been entirely rewritten, and all-new ship models will appear. Free in-game voice software will also be provided, though many of the large player alliances will likely continue using the standalone TeamSpeak.
EVE Online CEO Hilmar Petursson has said the graphics overhaul in particular was important, enabling a performance increase and less stress on the CPU, and thus less lag.
During the MMOG's annual fanfest in Iceland, he also unveiled new details about ideas to be incorporated into future expansions.
Human avatars, so far absent in the game, will apparently have some The Sims-like options at their disposal, such as the ability to cruise bars and clothing stores.
Perhaps more interesting for longtime players is the prospect of planetary interaction, which developers said is still on the board for the longer term. Though planets appear in the game along with other celestial objects, they are currently inaccessible, and all trading and so on takes place at space stations.