Posts Tagged ‘expansion’

Lychee Please

Lychee

Looks like my predictions on the Expansion were pretty much as wrong as you can get! Although I cant say that disappoints me much.

Perhaps expansion are a bit like waiters and toilets. Hmm that perhaps needs some explaining… When you are a restaurant and the food seems to take an age to arrive. Generally I find the only sure fire way to speed things up is to go to the loo. Generally the moment your out of sight of the table all the food arrives. I guess deciding to predict the next expansion as something non PvP means we get a PvP expansion. I’ll keep this theory in mind come summer.

Sadly I missed that actual twitch stream (because I was at a wedding Fair >.<), but so far every thing looks pretty awesome. I’m still digesting a lot of the release (and trying to find the details that people who watched the stream are taking for granted. I’ll hold off on long posts until I have more details, but here are my first thoughts on the announced features so far:

  • Structures: pretty cool in general, like the idea of them being destructible in high sec. Also looks like the beginnings of modular POS’s (I guess I kinda predicted something right?)
    • Space Yurt: Awesome
    • Mini Jammer: sweet, esp that BLOPS isnt effected
    • Tractor: Bleh, but I can see its usage. Hope its mega expensive for PvE tears… Risk and reward baby.
  • SOE ships: Looking mega sexy. Blops fleets are going to get very popular. At the moment they are fragile hit and run platforms, but if the SOE ships are combat capable, they could become the backbone of BLOPS doctrines which can actually engage outside of a standard gank
  • Interceptor Balance: Fleet wise I am all for the Bubble immunity. My first 0.0 role was that of fast tackle, and I still hold a place in my heart for these nippy ships. Unfortunately, even with bubble immunity, they are too easily killed to risk my implants and clone costs to fly. Out side of fleets Bubble immunity kinda sucks (see T3’s) I dislike definitive immunities because I feel they leave no room for skill or luck. for a further explanation see Arians post on Super Capital Immunities.
  • Interdictor Balance: Again I really want to get into Interdiction, but the smaller variety are space coffins. I’ll hold judgement until the actual change are announced however.
  • Highsec Poco: Good news, and an interesting precedent for capsular controlling Highsec, given the “Dream” Seagull is selling us wholesale, could be the start of something good
  • Certificates: Interesting. CCP demo’d some interesting potential new skill trees at fanfest. Clearly these had quite some work put into them, although CCP didn’t commit to them being “Production items”. I expect these “certificate changes” to be the offspring of these ideas, which looked pretty awesome. Edit: Looks like this album from the screen, pretty much confirms that this is exactly what the overhaul is.

Looks like a good expansion, and this is only the beginning. Lets see how much more comes out.

Winter Patch Predictions

During Fanfest CCP released a wonderful little wrap up for the Retribution expansion, detailing that it was exceedingly successful. Numbers back this up, with retribution going on to give a massive increase in players (citation needed I know, I swear there was a follow up to this post by Jester where retribution got a record-breaking final statistic, but I just can’t find it). Since the retribution expansion, CCP have been following the same recipe for effort pretty closely, as I detailed in my post “You say goodbye” looking at CSM recommendations and this recipe.

 

So with the numbers from that post in mind, I think its time for me to give some predictions about the Winter Expansion. Firstly the “Expansion Theme”. I’ve given up hope of a Nullsec orientated theme anytime soon, the fact of the matter is that Nullsec players are already hooked on the game. Why develop cleaner drugs for the addicts when you can make cocaine infused lollipops to get new customers? So I won’t be predicting a Nullsec theme (no matter how much I want it). Instead, from what’s been going around, and reading in-between the lines of the CSM I predict that this expansion theme will be:

 

PvE content (specifically a revamp of missions).

 

Most eve players start their lives as mission runners, and quite a few end them as one. And let’s face it Missions are pretty much as out of date as it gets in the PvE department, I can’t think of a MMO with worse PvE than eve at time of press. A mission revamp would have three clear advantages for CCP going forwards:

 

  1. Bringing new players to the game

If eve can get back to the curve with PvE it might do a better job of recruiting more new players with promises of more traditional MMO content for the masses. I’m not saying raid bosses are coming, but having the equivalent of 5 man dungeons might bring more small groups into the game.

 

  1. Player Retention

Missions are not fun, and players want fun content. Simple as that. Make missions fun, and people might stay around long enough to learn something, and get hooked into PvP.

 

  1. Player progression

Leading on from above, Missions could (but aren’t currently) be a great way to Segwaying players into PvP without the current jump-into-cold-water-from-a-sauna level of system shock.

 

With that core concept in place lets look at the break down of content I expect to see this winter (% numbers are based purely on the retribution recipe):

 

6% UI improvements

I expect to see maybe a bit of drone UI work here. But I am not sure just how much. I suspect this will be a “nice to have” feature for the expansion and may get dropped for a 1.1 or later. Mostly I would expect this to be around the corporation management (enabling the content creators after all), and the mission UI. Wouldn’t surprise me if the Agent system gets another go, if it exists in any form anymore.

 

8% new ships

I expect there to be some new ships (around 1-4), but I really don’t know what form they will take, something linked to missions of course. Personally I would love to see a salvage frigate which could be used for ninja salvaging, but really that’s just a pipe dream.

 

9% revamp

The big part, Missions get a thorough going over. Best hope is that it’s something close to the way CCP did exploration, completely overhauling the dynamic and perhaps even going far enough as to scrap the Agent system for something more dynamic.

 

18% code revamp

The smaller half of the expansion, this is being done partly because it needs doing, and partly because it opens the door to the POS work next expansion (gosh am I doing two expansions worth of predictions now?).

 

10% ship rebalancing

Obvious predictions is obvious. We already know about marauders. Not sure  what will be next . Perhaps assault frigates?  More likely is a begin on the Navy and Pirate factions ships, they are favourite for missions already.

 

49% minor features

These are really hard to predict as what is a “Minor” feature is hard to tell. I expect a lot of life improvements run outwards from the corp code revamp. I also expect a second revision on the Exploration content pushed out last patch, maybe some new modules etc. Perhaps even so far as trading of hacking powerups. I also predict some more ginger toes going into the sea of CREST, alongside other minor tweaks.

 

As I said before I would much rather a Nullsec revamp, but I just don’t think it’s on the cards. I almost would begrudge missions getting a pass though, it is without doubt the most outdated section of the game (well perhaps baring the UI). Better mission content could make for better, or at least fun, money making prospects for individuals, so let’s see. Of course this is purely working off gut feeling mixed with some interpretation, and I expect to be entirely wrong about the expansion.
Fly like Mystic Meg (wrong),

 

Hark

Eve Online: The start of another 10 year Journey?

Well that’s the new expansion announced, seems kind of early to me but maybe that’s just the horrid spring we’re having here. Some one at CCP has been reading their classics as our expansion has been named Odyssey  If I remember correctly it took Homer 10 years to get home from Troy, coincidently the same amount of time eve has been released for this year. Perhaps this is CCP’s way of aiming for another ten years.
As regular readers will know I was really pinning this expansion on being a Nullsec  one (more out of hope then anything else). Obviously with only a name and a few paragraphs of gumph, its hard to say exactly where this one is going. Certainly from the headline text, its going to be about exploration… again. All the quoted text here is taken from the expansion page http://www.eveonline.com/odyssey (which is all I have seen yet as I haven’t had time to review any other sources). So here we go:
Welcome to EVE Online: Odyssey
EVE Online’s nineteenth free expansion, Odyssey, offers new tools for exploring the stars, challenges you to breach the unknown for adventure and rewards, and to face what lies on the other side. A re-imagined scanning system, intuitive navigation and new exploration modules will aid you as you search the heavens for your next conquest. Some will encounter sites never discovered before, and others will be confronted with intriguing tests of skill and resolve. Ample rewards await those that return from their journeys with ships intact.
Lots of interesting stuff, but lets hold fire till the little detail we have:
DISCOVERY SCANNER
Using this new system, more pilots will reveal the hidden secrets of the EVE Universe. Beautiful new visuals, customizable controls and new functionality have been added to encourage the adventurer in everyone. There is now more among the stars, enticing even the most experienced veterans to explore.
Interesting one this one. At worst this will just be another iteration on the scanning system, updating it to a more modern system. At best this could be a massive change to the way that scanning, intelligence and communications work. There has been some back and fourth for while now on the idea of revamping the way Intel is gathered in eve. Specifically removing the concept of local chat away from the best method of determining who is in the system. Could this be the first step along that road?
THE WAR MACHINES
Forged by the lessons learned from countless combat pilots, the four factions will issue forth with the latest tools of war and re-designs of old favorites – ships as awe-inspiring as they are deadly.
Sound the klaxon,  ring the bell! That sounds suspiciously to me like “New ships”. Could just be new modules, but then why not just say that?  Gods lets hope its new ships, everyone loves new ships.
A NEW “SPACESCAPE”
A rebalance of major areas of space from highsec to nullsec include changes in exploration sites, industrial resources, some types of NPC loot and more…
Again this could be the first step down the road of removing moon goo, although with a  wider scope around it. Color me intrigued.
THE STORYLINE CONTINUED
The shared EVE Universe storyline continues to evolve following the Battle for Caldari Prime, with participatory events spawning unique player stories in two games at once.
Blah blah blad, more live events for people who live in Europe and don’t work. Good but its not going to get me to take my pants off and dance on the table.
THE LITTLE THINGS
Continued development towards raising accessibility without removing functionality will bring dozens of changes to player-owned starbases, game UI and beyond.
Good to see this effort continuing (as if there was any doubt at this stage), great to see that POS’s will be getting some love after all, even if its not the full Monty (well done two step).
All in all its an interesting set of notes, with what could be diamonds in the rough. All in all I have to admit that my first impression is disappointed. I was really hoping to see EVE Online: Fixing the shit we said we would in dominion, but this really doesn’t look to be that. I honestly feel that Nullsec has been left out in the cold a little too long (lets face it as a group were starting to pine for attention. Such is the way of things however. 
Guess we’ll all be watching for the next press releases.
Fly slightly disappointed but not surprised,
Hark