Our project is already three years in development and we want to share our vision on release readiness and overall game state.
First of all I want to list our goals. We're headed for self-entertaining gameplay, meaning that in-game content will be either based on player's actions (PVP branch - own stations, guilds, battlegrounds) or automatically generated (Environment VS Environment (EVE) branch - huge conflict of NPC factions). Right now we have both branches in near-ready state and next Alpha test will be focused on them and will hopefully show which direction is going to prevail. We're not abandoning PVE branch (pre-created content for players, quest, stories and dungeons) but having limited resources we're able to provide only small amount of such content comparing to other famous MMO titles.
Both PVP and EVE branches are about 80% complete and will be more or less ready for autumn 2019 test.
As I said before, we do have have PVE system in the game - there are four big "dungeons" with unique story lines, twelve smaller locations alike Drone Dump, 100+ quests connecting dozen of NPC bases and so on. We also have a Vivisector dungeon with thrilling story of mad half-cyborg doctor trying to improve human beings beyond any reasonable limits ("With hands of iron, there's not a task we couldn't do"). But such content is limited and could take less than 30 hours to explore. And as a tiny Indie studio we can't provide you with large amounts of such kind content without compromises.
We spent last year working hard on player-owned stations. Nowadays you start the game with your own tiny station in a location with few neighbors and hostile contrabandist bases. Under constant pressure and waves of attacks you have to build up your defense systems, gather minerals from nearby asteroids, research further technologies and maintain water, energy and resource consumption balance. When your base is strong enough to withstand attacks, you have a complex quest to construct huge space engines and move to main location. There you'll have other treats including hostile players and conflicts for rare resources. We suppose on that stage players will form guilds, start attending battleground-like competitions* and think of choosing the right jurisdiction to minimize taxes and maximize benefits. I.e. keeping your base on Global Cybernetization Movement (GCM) territory will improve your station research potential, while residing on VEDH territory will result in higher weapon production rates. And yes, there is a multi-tiered craft system to produce weapons, modules and even new hulls on your station.
* Right now there is only CTF-style games, alike Warsong Gulch, if you know what I mean.
While players are busy exploring and building up their stations something new emerges on Jupiter orbit. From time to time players are contacted by agents of something or somewhat dubbed The Entity. They bring you gifts of weapons or modules without asking anything in return. In some cases they offer you to consider doing the same - spread the tech goodies without asking for their source. Most confusing is the fact that those gifts are built with technologies and precision hardly reachable on the Earth. Later on you realize that everyone in Amalthea sector seems to be aware of The Entity but no one is sure what exactly it is. VEDH faction (religious weaponmakers order) blames The Entity and anyone accepting the gifts, while GCM states the collaboration with The Entity a new future of mankind. All sides try to avoid direct confrontation but some of their followers and allied of minor factions are not so cautious and their debates often results in gunfights.
Everyone missed a moment when Pirate Guild somehow became something more than a bunch of smugglers. Either with or without help of The Entity tech they manage to concentrate a great power on its territories devouring most of independent mines and workshops in adjacent areas. There are rumors of upcoming proclamation of Independent Jovian Union - separate state uncontrolled by the Earth and its major powers.
The Entity and its technology remains a mystery - it's either a group of prodigious Earth scientists, or results of breakthrough based on recently found Alien artifacts, or even Aliens themselves trying to manipulate us.
Tension is growing, alliances are formed. Most of factions had already joined the ranks of Entity-lovers or haters. New stations emerge every day, not for resource control but for strategical advantage. Often you can see the fleets rushing in one direction or another for no meaningful reason.
War is coming.