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Tag Archives: Exploration

Tech three is still very much an anomaly in the EVE universe. They are virtually non-existant on the Tranquility server, and unless you’re the guy using GTC sales to cover his Proteus losses, or the people who killed his first two, then you’ve probably never seen one outside of the test server. The market for the new strategic cruisers is in its infant stages as, while masses of T3 resources are being brought back from wormhole space, the blueprints needed to produce them are still very rare.  A brief glance at the market and contracts show the main ship hull going from around 1.5-3 billion isk, and the individual subsystems at 400-500 million each.  Several billion isk ships are a far cry from the prices we’ve been told they will finally settle at (somewhere in the region of 100-200mil), but, even though it’s been almost a month since Apocrypha’s release, it should still take a few more months for them to come down to sane levels. The fourth subsystem, that’s in development right now, should help that process a lot.

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npcs

NPCs aren’t going to take your shit anymore.

Well, not all of them, but officer spawns and the new Sleeper NPCs will have a new, proper AI system that will allow them to intelligently switch targets, and other, as of yet unkown, tactics. As with the previous dev blog, it doesn’t go into specifics and is really just another massive cocktease as to what we can expect for Apocrypha, but it’s comforting to know that w-space probably won’t be the “solo PVE Paradise” that somep people fear it might be.

It also mentions that PVP setups will be more suited to fighting the Sleepers, which could mean that they are less reliant on specific armour/shield reisists and may need to be warp scrambled to prevent them from escaping.

We also got the first hints that they are looking at re-balancing low-sec to make it more profitable than high-sec, but with more risk. NPC battleships will be appearing in some low-sec areas, making ratting and raising your security status easier than travelling all the way out to low-sec. It should also increase PVP if they can lure more people out there with the promise of more money to make, more money makers to pirate, and more pirates to shoot.

My theory is that this is just one of many changes to low-sec that we’ll see in Apocrypha, and that 0.0 alterations will follow in the summer expansion, along with changes to the soverignty system; but anyway, that’s two of eleven, or possibly more dev blogs out and Apocrpha is already going to have a massive impact on the universe.

shtupaboutw

Some of the CCP devs have faced the whirlwind of madness that is the dev blog comments thread and given us a little more clarification as to what we can expect:

After some debate as to whether a wormhole will let you jump back, it’s been confirmed that, dependent on the remaining mass and time limit, all wormholes are two-way tunnels. This means that you will be able to scout the new areas before deciding if it’s worth exploring fully.

All w-space is the equivalent of 0.0 space, where anything goes, and most encounters with other players are likely to be bloody because of it. Unlike 0.0 space, or any other space for that matter, these new systems will not be named; no system, constellation, or region information will be displayed. It’s been suggested that players will put together a database based on the system IDs in the API code, but otherwise they are completely unidentifiable systems. The only way to mark them for future reference would be through bookmarks.

The possibility of capital ships finding a route to high sec quickly became a concern, but it’s very likely that the mass restrictions on high sec wormholes will be small enough to stop that, or they’ll put in a hard limit that stops them jumping through into empire space. Players with outlaw status in smaller ships won’t have that problem, but jumping into space where they can be shot on site should be a surprise for some of them.

After the initial rumours that wormholes would be based entirely in 0.0 space, I’m very interested to see what will happen with the high sec wormholes. My theory is that, as with factional Warfare, hundreds of players that wouldn’t normally go anywhere near a 0.0 are going to be flocking in droves through the various wormholes in search of riches. Which is good, as this constant trickle of t3 components and materials is going to form the basis of the t3 market, but maybe not so good for some as they suddenly find themselves in a place where they can shoot each other with impunity.

Whether w-space will keep the current form of local, or feature some kind of delayed made is still unconfirmed at the moment, but it will make a fairly epic difference if it does use a delayed mode. In theory, the new scan probes might be enough to make removing local a possibility, but it’s all up in the air at the moment.

The new NPCs will be “different”, which leads towards the idea that these will be the first NPCs to use the AI that CCP has been working on. It’s also likely that it’ll be possible to fight them with PVP fits, which will make preparation for exploration a lot easier. Half the reason low sec missions aren’t touched by the majority of the player base is because it relies on bringing a PVE fit ship into what is, essentially a PVP zone.

w-space-blog

and the bastards release the wormhole/exploration dev blog.

Now I can’t stop thinking about the implications, and this is only the first of a possible eleven dev blogs on Apocrypha.

Essentially, it’s appears that it’s everything I hoped it would be: hidden wormholes that lead to random 0.0-esque systems, rather than special exploration complexes.

“The wormholes themselves will be open only for a randomly determined amount of time and can only let through a certain amount of mass before they collapse. Pilots should carefully consider the information their ship’s computer gives them about a wormhole before committing to travel through it. Although there will always be a way back to known space from wormhole space, you may have to search long and hard to locate it.”

The mass restricts suggest that they will lean more in favour smaller ship classes rather than capital, and even BS groups being the fleets of choice in “W-space”, which is good. It’s similar to the way they limited the FW complexes, but with less of a hard cap; you can bring your carrier through, but there’s no guarantee that the wormhole, or any that lead to other system will have enough mass for you to keep going, or return. Oh yeah, it’s called W-space now; probably going to get shortened to w-sec, or something.

The other important highlight is that there are no plans, currently, to allow sovereignty, and since keeping a POS will be a logistical nightmare it’s likely that sustaining any kind of significant presence in w-space will be impossible.

It’s entirely possible that there will be the appropriate materials to run a POS in a system, but whether it will be permanently available is something else; running a base of operations in a system with exits to random systems is also going to be madness.

There’s also there’s information on the changes to the probe system:

  • You will be able to drop more than one probe in a grid
  • Probe scan ranges can be adjusted via a drag and drop interface in the 3D map, removing the need for multiple probe types
  • Probes can be repositioned in the solar system map using a drag and drop interface and will warp to their specified positions
  • Scanning will now use triangulation to refine and improve accuracy of scan results
  • You can recall probes for re-use at a later point and time
  • The transition from ship view to 3D Solar System view to Universe Map view has been made near instant, allowing for quick switching between them

“There will be two new probe types, exploration and combat. Exploration probes will not be able to locate ships and drones but will have extremely low fitting requirements, making them ideal for people who wish to hunt down wormholes and other celestial anomalies. The combat probe launcher is able to detect ships and drones but has a higher fitting requirement, making this the tool of choice for those wishing to hunt down other pilots.”

In a word: Fantastic. Probes were fiddly little buggers, and changes like adjustable ranges streamlines their use without taking away too much of the skill element.

So yeah, training Astrometrics V at the moment.

Maybe w0.w0?

exploration

The current war has taken us down into Minmatar space, but since all of the targets are US timezone things have been a bit on the quiet side and I’ve been doing a bit of exploration when there’s been nothing to shoot. It’s very chilled out, to the point that it makes salvaging look like base jumping,  easy going on my poor hungover brain on days like today, and being cloaked ninety percent of the time keeps me out of trouble.  One of the best things about exploration is that I get to fly the sexy beast in the picture above. An Amarrian Covert Ops frigate, the Anathema is yet another ship that I wish could be fitted for serious combat. I also want to get involved with finding wormholes when they arrive with Apocrypha so I’m brushing up on my Astrometrics skills in preparation.

I wasn’t around for the introduction of Tech Two, but these tunnels to new areas of space and Tech Three modular ships are going to kick off a new gold rush come March, and I want in. When the Revelations expansion brought in a whole host of new Tech One ships the prices were insane for the first few weeks, but as T1 blueprints and materials were relatively easy to come by the settled quickly. Although the exact details of how wormholes are going to work, it’s likely that they’ll be more difficult to obtain than T2, which means the prices may stay stupidly high for months, especially for the popular ship parts.

What I’m hoping for, at least, is a system that won’t just open the doors for the major powers to move in and settle these new areas with overwhelming numbers as soon as they appear. It would be nice if there was a random element to the wormhole destinations, with the entry/exit points changing locations, so that setting up a base there is possible, but maintaining one is difficult over a long period of time. I’d imagine these new areas are going to be impossible to jump to via jump bridges, so people can’t just dump x many Capital Ships wherever they like.

The good thing is that since Wormholes are part of an overhaul of the Exploration mechanics there probably won’t be more skills to learn, beyond the ones for actually using them, so I can start training towards it right now and get more specific when Apocrypha hits Singularity.