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My review of Apocrypha has gone up over at MMORPG.com. Go check it out and get involved with the usual “EVE is boring” vs “No it isn’t” knife fight in the comments thread. Apocrypha was a difficult one to give a solid opinion on, and it’ll probably be around the release of the next expansion that we can really look back and judge how successful it was.

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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capture_150309_170009

This is not a picture of a Falcon, I didn’t have any handy, so instead you can gaze upon the glorious prophecy, which is slightly appropriate. One of my predictions for EVE in 2009 has come true, ECM ships are changing. We all knew it was coming, it was just a matter of when, and what they would do to them. Not having flown ECM ships, I can’t appreciate the exact changes to each of the ships, but as someone who specialises in PVP combat, I can appreciate how the Falcon losing its dominance on the battlefield is a fairly massive change for PVP in EVE.

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loki1

The Minmatar Loki, or one of its combinations at least, in all its untextured glory.

Now, as Apocrypha was released onto Singularity yesterday, CCP also released a set of preliminary patch notes to accompany the changes. I thought now would be the best time to have a runnage around and highlight some of the interesting changes-before another dev blog or server patch goes up and I get distracted again.

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cal72

It would be foolish to log on to Singularity on the first day of a major new patch and expect everything to be fine, and today was no exception. Everything was either broken, missing, or a placeholder, and it was a chaotic experience for everyone participating. Pictured above is one of the new Strategic Cruiser modular ships, the Caldari Tengu. The tengu was the only ship with textures, and there was only fifteen of the twenty five parts avaliable, but these screenshots should give you an idea of how varied they can be.

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tourneyend2

The continuing coverage of the sixth alliance tournament has been fantastic to watch and the final matches were spectacular. Congratulations to Pandemic Legion for seizing victory in a stupidly close fight with R.U.R.

Now, given the more recent information from CCP Hammerhead about T3 during the last sections of the coverage, we can get past the violent knee jerk stage and see how the big issue of losing skill points when you lose a modular will work out.

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apoc1

As well as the fights from the final of the sixth alliance tournament, EVE TV also has some brief interviews with some of the CCP devs as they reveal more information on the Apocrypha expansion. Some of what has been said is already old news (epic mission arcs, skill queue, etc), but CCP Fear dropped the bombshell that we should be seeing attributes being taken out of the character creation screen and put into the main game, so both new and old players will be able to assign/re-assign their attributes. This will obviously help stop new players from gimping their stats because they don’t understand what kind of effect they have. To stop it being abused, it will take an amount of isk and have a six month cooldown, which seems appropriate. Hopefully this isn’t the only “big” announcement over the weekend.

t32

The thread has since been updated with more of the Apocrypha models:

The Minmatar Loki

Sleepers

Mad love to Prometheus from SHC for putting in the time to export what he could.

joves

Some clever sort has been exporting the latest ship models from the latest Singularity build and been posting them up on the SHC forums. So even if we can’t access all the goodies until “next week”, we can at least see some of what’s avaliable.

The presence of Jovian ships is a suprise, though. As far as I know they haven’t been announced in any way for Apocrypha, so it’s quite possible they might just end up sat on the database until CCP decide to do something with them. Jovian ships have appeared in the game before, but this is the first time they’ve been seen in the Trinity graphics engine.

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skillque

…when I’m not looking. When I left the house CCP had just announced the skill queue, but by the time I returned my corp had managed to get a Navy Mega kill, our War Targets retracted their dec, and one of the biggest, and most notorious alliances in the game had been disbanded.

The skill queue  is something that has been demanded from the players for some time now.  So, come March 10th we’ll now be able to form a queue of skills, as long as they all start within twenty four hours. This means that it will be possible to set a number of short skills without having to log in to set it each time one finishes. Not everyone is happy with the time limit, as you’d expect, but it’s a perfectly fine compromise to stop skill training being an entirely AFK process.

The queue is clearly an addition to the improved New Player Experience that CCP are aiming for with Apocrypha. With the lower skill levels varying from a few minutes to a few hours it makes perfect sense to cut out the need to log in several times a day just to change skills.

That doesn’t mean it’s  entirely useless for long time players. When a long skill finishes at 4am, I will no longer have to stop it and wait until I have the time to be there when it finishes. 24 hours before it finishes I can just pop another skill onto the queue to start a 4am, which is brilliant.

The disbanding of BOB is  the subject of much debate across the EVE community, but the thing to remember about EVE is that no alliance or corporation lasts forever. BOB may have lost their name, territory, and a good chunk of assets, but the players are still there and they will reform into something else. In the meantime, I can imagine the carrion are already moving in and it’ll likely be carnage as they try to grab the suddenly uncontrolled sections of space.