Taking a look at Crius I

From a recent CCP email (quoted here, because it has all the links to the devblogs) :

Crius links

Crius is the name of the next release to be deployed on July 22nd. As you might recall, EVE development moved away from the traditional six month expansion cycle to a much faster six week release deployment.

Crius itself brings a major change to industry in EVE Online – including changes to manufacturing and invention. As EVE is a very complex system and industry being at the core of EVE, you can expect a lot of changes that will ripple through the universe:

· The Science and Industry user interface is completely rebuilt and made much more user friendly.

· Refining, reprocessing and compressing are made more meaningful and intuitive. Skill matters!

· All industry slots will be removed including NPC stations, outposts or POS arrays.

· The more jobs are installed in a specific star system, the more expensive it will become to install additional jobs. Centralization costs.

· NPC teams can be hired to give benefits to whole star systems, this will benefit everyone. Centralization helps.

· Material and Time Efficiency levels on blueprints will change and be capped to ME 10 and TE 20 with each level giving a fixed benefit of 1% point. Additionally all static blueprint data, such as copy and research times, will be streamlined and adjusted.

· Industry related POS structures will give you benefits, the more structures you have, the more you benefit (until an upper level).

· Moon mining available in 0.4 security space.

All these changes and more are already available on the Singularity test server. Check it out!

Additionally you can expect several quality of life improvements, for example for the often discussed tooltip changes.

I have indeed checked out the changes on Sisi today and here are a few screenshots to show you what changed. First of all planetary colonies are no longer under the industry tab, but in the business menu.

NewMenu

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Rubicon Announced

The upcoming winter expansion was announced today on twitch ! Why this name ? Apparently it’s the start of more player build things and stuff (?). Rubicon was the river Caeser crossed and start his reign in Rome. So I guess CCP see this as a start of something. I am little skeptical about these things, being a bitter old vet and all that, so  we’ll see where that will go.

Some of the new features:

  • New Sisters Of Eve faction ships. These look very cool, with bonuses for scanning and hacking. DO WANT !
  • Space vacuum cleaner – A deployable unit that will tractor all your wrecks and leave them in  a convenient pile to be salvaged later. Sounds very  handy !
  • New missile launcher that will do Battleship type DPS but will also do decent against smaller targets. Sounds very handy for doing Sleeper sites. And it’s good to have a new  weapon.
  • Pocos  (custom offices for PI) in HiSec  will be destructible and can be player owned. – Not sure this is a good idea. It will be a nuisance for new players and members of smaller corporations to get into PI, probably the pocos will be owned by larger alliances, leaving  the little guy in the dust.
  • Depot – Sort of a mobile POS. Nice to invade wormholes and the like. Maybe we’ll see one in our own hole and we can destroy it Smile with tongue out.
  • Twitch integration – Very interesting addition

Caesar Crossing the Rubicon

Those are the ones that I remember now right  off the bat and that  seemed the  most interesting. The warp speed and interceptor  changes don’t do much for me, but might be  cool for other people.

All in all a nice list of features. With only about 2 months away (it’ll be released on Nov 19th), it’s more than I was expecting. I am sure it won’t be buggy at all Winking smile.

And  yes I know we had BLINKGATE today as well, still making my mind up what to  blog about that, I did take notes so more on that later.

Incursion

CCP has sent out a press release today about the upcoming expansion ‘Incursion’. You can find it here.

So what do we get:

– Sansha’s invasions, which seem to be some sort of public quest. Along with that special rewards, wealthy bounties, earning loyalty rewards and high commendation as the press release put it. Rather vague but it sounds interesting.

– New ships, most noticeably a dedicated salvage boat. Since the bpc is only sourced in Outer Ring, it will be rather expensive, especially at first. I was hoping it would be targeted towards new players, since they benefit the most from salvaging their missions and don’t have a marauder yet. But it’s nice to see that very nice hull being used again

– Improvements the CSM came up with. Not quite sure what this will be, but we’ll see. (Update: there is a devblog about these).

– Hardware and infrastructure improvement. Of course these are welcome, but to mention them as part of an expansion is a bit ridiculous. They did this before as well, and I find this as silly now as I did then

– Improvements to EveGate, forums and such. Any improvement is welcome, and forums are nice to have for newer corporations that don’t have their own yet. This makes me wonder why EveGate can’t be improved gradually. Agile is all about releasing little things a time. And since EveGate doesn’t need a client side update, why not improve it gradually. It doesn’t make sense that it’s being improved on the same pace as expansions are released.

– New character avatar builder. Don’t really care about this.

– Improvements to PI. Too little, too late I am afraid. My planets have been withering away since two weeks after the expansion. Way too much clicking for very little reward. Maybe this will be reduced, but I have pretty much already lost interest in PI.

All in all, the pve part sounds interesting, and that’s about it. Nothing to get really excited about, but it’s always nice to have more PVE stuff to do.

Tyrannis is coming

The trailer is now out and can be downloaded from http://www.eveonline.com/tyrannis/videos.asp. Once again the eve video creation team outdid themselves, it’s a very nice one !

Tyrannis will be out on may 18th. The current iteration of Planetary Interaction still seems a bit rudimentary, although it’s come a long way since I first tried it. I am afraid the interface will be more or less the same as it is now. Also the whole thing feels a bit disconnected from Eve, but I already stated that in my previous post.

The game play, if you can call it that, is a bit simplistic, connect the Pins and dots game. But it’s a nice side game nevertheless. It’ll take a bit of time for people to learn all the related skills and be able to harvest six planets (the max at the moment on the test server).

But once they have, most commodities like water, oxygen and various pos modules and other goods that we used to buy from NPCs will be available from players ! Since everybody can start producing and there won’t be any struggle for planets (it’s instanced so Jita IV can be harvested by the 1000s of people sitting in Jita), the competition will be quite heavy.

UPDATE : as pointed out in the comments, this won’t be the case once it goes live ! @StMistaken: Planetary resources are shared, so consumption is intended affect extractor yield

There probably won’t be much money in it, maybe the end products might be profitable, I doubt any of the lower stuff will be.

As for the other features: Evegate will be fun and handy, especially for when you can’t log in to the game and to keep in touch with in game friends. There are also Event Landmarks, which is nice, but not groundbreaking.

The fact that a new Scorpion model is being touted as a new feature is scary. This is a bit of a sign that the expansion is slightly thin on content, but I am not complaining since it’s introducing a whole new sub game that can be tinkered with almost every time you log on and that will take up a bit of playing time.

Tyrannis

The upcoming (summer ?) expansion was announced in a new devblog. As it was to be expected, it will mainly consists of the ‘tinkering with planets’ sub game that was mentioned at fanfest 2009. Back then we were told that it was sort of sim city like game, a side game you tinker with every time you log on for 10mins or so.

Nothing much more was revealed about the planet subgame, so it leaves more questions than answers. Will there be some sort of limit to how many planets one player can ‘own’ ? Or will the startup costs be the limiting factor ? Will there be a mad gold rush once this thing goes live and will all the ‘good planets’ be taken 30mins after Tyrannis going live ? Will losec planets be better than hisec ones ?

What will be produced on these planets ? How will it tie in with the existing game industry wise ? I hope we’ll get the answers in the upcoming devblogs on the subject.

Another part of the expansion will be Eve Gate. This is what the eve fans have been calling Spacebook. EVE Gate will allow you to interact with EVE through a regular web browser. Sounds like an interesting addition to the game, but not something that really changes or enhances the game. Why it’s agile to change a name I don’t know, but let’s just assume that’s some sort of joke ;).

We are working on other optimizations and improvements throughout the game, as usual with our expansions. A task force is working on reducing fleet fight lag, often working deep into the night chasing action around on TQ, while another team is developing an advanced simulation environment for load testing on our local servers.

Once again something that should just be normal operations for an MMO is being touted as an expansion feature… <mumbles something about marketing speak>.

So what do I think of all this ? While interesting, just the planet subgame seems a bit thin for an expansion. I missed the T3 frigates announcement. I guess that fell by the roadside, or maybe they’re still working on them and they might be announced later.