EVE Online: Crucible released today

CCP Games is readying the release of EVE Online: Crucible at this hour. It’s the fifteenth free expansion for EVE Online, the popular massively multiplayer online game for Mac OS X and Windows. If you’re an EVE Online player in good standing, the update will automatically be downloaded the next time you log on.

EVE Online puts you in control of massive interstellar spacecraft as you forge your way between star systems. A true “sandbox” game, EVE Online lets you manage your own destiny as you become a pirate, fleet leader, miner, industrialist, day trader or many other professions within the EVE universe.

Crucible incorporates four new “Tier 3” battlecruisers – massive, deadly vessels brimming with heavy firepower – and these were created from artwork made by EVE players.

Graphics also get a boost in this new version with the new “V3” technical upgrade – enhancements to shader and texture quality for ships. Newly rendered nebulae inspired by real world imagery are included, and engine trails have returned. A full portrait viewer lets you examine fellow pilots “and their brave senses of fashion.”

Other enhancements include time dilation, which reduces the performance impact of massive (200-1,000 vessel) ship battles; station-themed captain’s quarters; player-owned customs offices; new Tech 2 modules; rebalancing for hybrid weapons, logistics ships and destroyers; and much more – you can get the complete list by visiting the Web site.

A free 14-day trial is available for download.