EVE Vegas 2015: Citadel expansion details revealed

CCP promised some big reveals at EVE Vegas 2015 and so far it has definitely delivered. In yesterday’s EVE Online keynote speech, we heard concrete details on the big Spring 2016 expansion and some other cool stuff coming to EVE in the near future. Now officially named Citadels, this expansion is intended to be the “biggest addition to the sandbox gameplay since the original starbases” and includes a complete overhaul of capital ships as well as three different sizes of the new modular citadel structure. CCP confirmed that citadels will be anchorable anywhere, even in high-security space, with the only restriction being that it can’t be within 600km or so of any NPC structure, celestial object, or other citadel.

We also learned that the supercomputer which runs EVE‘s main Tranquility server is getting upgraded and moved to a new data centre, and some big server-side performance optimisations are on the way thanks to the Brain in a Box feature. CCP also confirmed that the company is standing behind its somewhat controversial Transneural skill packet system that will soon allow players to trade skillpoints on the open market, but that they are still taking feedback on board regarding the specific implementation details. EVE will also be getting some new camera options (including a first person mode) and a fancy new launcher by the end of the year.

Read on for a full breakdown of the reveals for the Citadel expansion and the capital ship rework.

Citadel details revealed:

While we already had a vague idea of what to expect with Citadels, the keynote did a lot to solidify those plans and put numbers and details in place of promises and speculation. Medium sized citadels are aimed at small or one-person corporations who might currently use starbases, costing just 608 million ISK and with modules and rigs costing between 10 and 50 million ISK each. They will be vulnerable to attack for only three hours per week while the defenses “recalibrate and refuel,” a period which can be set by the owner. All citadels will be able to fit new citadel weapons, electronic warfare modules, and station services such as reprocessing units and manufacturing facilities.

Large citadels are definitely aimed at larger corporations or small alliances, with a price tag of 7 billion ISK and more slots for weapons, electronic warfare and station services. They will have significantly more hitpoints compared to the medium citadel but are vulnerable for a total of 6 hours per week. X-Large citadels are physically the size of a small moon and seem to be slated to make Outposts obsolete. They’re aimed at large alliances and will cost 70 billion ISK, and rigs to improve its services and modules will cost between 1 and 23 billion ISK each. Players in the game’s largest alliances have pointed out that this may be too cheap, but with 21 hours of vulnerability throughout the week these structures may be blowing up far more often than we think.

Docking, mooring and weapons

All of the citadels (even the relatively inexpensive medium sized version) will allow standard capital and subcapital ships to dock just like real stations, giving each person a private hangar that can’t be accessed by the station owner. If the citadel is destroyed, the contents of all personal hangars are ejected into deep space and the co-ordinates are available only to the owner, so your ship and items are safe as long as you can mount a rescue. The exception is in wormhole space, where all ships and items are dropped as loot. The X-Large citadel is also so large that titans and supercarriers can dock inside just like any other ship, so we won’t need special supercapital characters to log off in any more.

Citadel weapons will include AOE torpedoes, long-range ship missiles, short-range flak cannons to hit small ships with, energy neutralisers, and a ship tractor beam to grab enemy ships with. The x-large citadel can even fit a new citadel doomsday device that bounces between up to six targets. The mooring mechanic described in the original citadel devblog has been modified to produce a new mechanic called Tethering. Ships with docking permission at a citadel will automatically be enveloped by a tethering beam when in range that provides protection against attack, potentially eliminating docking games and station camping.

Capital ship overhaul

CCP has been pretty tight-lipped about the upcoming capital rebalance, but at the EVE keynote they finally revealed broad plans for the revamp. The biggest change is that carriers will no longer be remote repair platforms; That role will be moving to a new Remote Auxiliary capital ship class that has limited combat capabilities but excellent logistics and can use the Triage module. Capital remote repairers are also being nerfed on non-triage ships so that groups of carriers can’t spider-tank effectively, and ships will no longer be able to refit while they have an active weapons timer. This eliminates several popular capital combat strategies and appears to be part of a move to ensure that capital ships cannot be effective without subcapital support.

Electronic warfare immunity is being removed from supercapitals so that a single frigate can now tackle a titan if the opportunity arises, and we’re getting a ton of new capital ship modules. In addition to meta level and tech 2 variants of existing capital modules, we’ll be getting capital armour plates, shield extenders, afterburners, energy neutralisers, nosferatu, and capacitor injectors. New short-range but rapid-fire capital weapons will also be added that are designed specifically for fighting sub-capital ships, giving Dreadnoughts a dual role in PvP fleets. Capital class weapons will be rebalanced into a structure combat role, so dreadnoughts may have to carry two sets of weapons and refit in space. To accommodate this, CCP is adding refitting capabilities and corp hangars to Dreadnoughts.

Capital weapons and strategy

With carriers and supercarriers no longer occupying the logistics role, they are due for a combat role overhaul. Fighters are being grouped together into squadrons instead of being launched individually, and fighter hitpoints are being replaced with a simple indicator of how many fighters in the squadron are left alive. This eliminates the ability to remote repair fighters, but means there’s less for the server to track and gives players more control. We’ll be able to use a new interface to move drones or fighter squadrons to particular points in 3D space and to give them orders. This clever little piece of UI design asks players to first select the position they want the drones to move to on a 2D plane, and then pick how far above or below the plane the final selected location is.

The same interface will let titan pilots manually target directional doomsday devices, which CCP was able to demonstrate in an early but functional state during the keynote. We saw an Amarr Avatarr class titan select two points on the screen and then a giant beam slowly swept between them. The beam can destroy sub-capital ships if they aren’t fast enough to move out of the way, making it a tactical weapon that can manipulate the enemy’s movements on the battlefield and punish their mistakes. If that wasn’t enough manipulation of enemy movement, CCP also revealed a new superweapon tentatively named the “Hand of God” that uses the titan’s jump portal tech to forcibly teleport a group of enemy subcapital ships against their will. Supercarriers will be using similar area-effect superweapons to debuff enemy ships and manipulate the fight from a distance.

The excitement during the EVE keynote talk was pretty high, and responses from those at home receiving a trickle of news from the event have been equally animated. The Citadel expansion is set to release in Spring 2016, with a release date due to be announced early next year. There’s still plenty more to come from EVE Vegas 2015, including a look at a new project named Project Discovery that aims to gamify scientific analysis of actual research images and uses EVE players to further scientific research in the real world.

I’ll also hopefully get some hands on time with the latest version of EVE: Valkyrie, and find out some more about the progression and customisation options available, and of course I hope to find out what’s happening with DUST 514. If you have any questions about EVE Online or anything else you’d like me to ask CCP, please ask it in the comments and I’ll do my best to find an answer.

Disclosure: In accordance with Massively OP’s ethics policy, we must disclose that CCP paid for our writer’s travel, accommodation, and ticket for this event along with several other members of the gaming press. CCP has neither requested nor been granted any control or influence over our coverage of the event, and the writer is paid exclusively by Massively OP for this work. He also had to sit in a room full of Americans chanting “USA! USA,” which is practically a form of torture for someone from the UK.
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43 Comments on "EVE Vegas 2015: Citadel expansion details revealed"

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slavetoguilt
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slavetoguilt

Thanks for the info! Keep up the good work.

Cosstarica
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Cosstarica

Nyphur Cosstarica Thanks for the reply. I appreciate the effort

Nyphur
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Nyphur

slavetoguilt Nyphur We got some news about the future of PvE that you might be interested in: https://t.co/zIvN6MBobB . It’s not necessarily coming soon, but there are some pretty awesome ideas in there.

Nyphur
Guest
Nyphur

Oleg Chebeneev Just letting you know that we have a news post out now on the future of PvE in EVE: https://t.co/zIvN6MBobB

Nyphur
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Nyphur

JudgeDavid101 I think it makes sense to have no aliens. It fits the core storyline of EVE that humanity found a stable wormhole and began colonising the small cluster of stars on the other side, then the wormhole collapsed and most of the colonies died out. The likelihood that this small cluster of stars happened to contain an intelligent space-faring civilisation is astronomically small. As we explore new areas of space (like wormhole space), it makes sense too that we might eventually bump into an alien race, but that is still very unlikely.

Nyphur
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Nyphur

Cosstarica Nyphur I checked for you and couldn’t get an update on DUST or Legion. At this point, I would surmise that DUST 514 is still chugging along with a small dev team and Legion is essentially shelved as a project. The last we heard was that they’d keep working on DUST 514 until such times as a PC port made financial sense. There is also likely to be no link between EVE and Valkyrie other than the storyline, which will play out in both games.

Nyphur
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Nyphur

Entropy512 CirimCollective I think the biggest change here is that you can no longer look at the field and know that if you kill player X, Y and Z that your supers are safe. When everyone can contribute to holding the supers down, you’d better be sure you can win the fight before committing them. Your prediction may turn out to be correct.

Nyphur
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Nyphur

CirimCollective We’ve discovered that the large citadels will have a market and it will have lower taxation than the NPC stations in most systems, so I could imagine someone setting up a black market in Jita near the 4-4 station with slightly lower prices. They’d have to defend it against attack of course, so it might be interesting to see if anyone invests the 7-10b to get that up and running.
Even the medium citadel will give players an office and hangar space too, so I could imagine them being set up next to asteroid belts to shorten the warp distance or in systems without stations that are largely untapped. In lowsec and nullsec, I could imagine people plopping them 600k from stargates as a scan post to check the gate, or in the middle of systems with no stations as form-up locations. Tethering making ships invulnerable basically means our safespots will actually be safe now, which is pretty epic.

Oleg Chebeneev
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Oleg Chebeneev

I would return if they added some interesting story/exploration content for solo players. Current mission system is pretty boring and exploration also not very engaging. I can see how it could be improved alot

dragonking4831
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dragonking4831

i can see the massive suicide citadel kills in the works

jade0black
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jade0black

Nyphur Tufty Pfft! Non theme park content doesn’t exist! It’s just a deranged legend that mothers tell their mentally ill game dev children to keep them from doing something crazy. /s

jade0black
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jade0black

Cosstarica Nyphur It’s on hold while Valkyrie is the focus of their efforts.

jade0black
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jade0black

JudgeDavid101 Rogue Drones have emotions, hopes, aspirations and mental illnesses and quirks. 

There is your alien race. 

Everything else was either wiped out while the gate was open, or afterward. The isolation of humanity is a central tenant to eve. 

We’re the only ones. We conquered the milky way, we used up all its resources, got a fresh start. But we’re still all alone. Our only companion a race of machines we built on accident.

Entropy512
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Entropy512

CirimCollective “no single frigate” – The fact that frigates can now gangbang means DIC/HIC are no longer necessary.

Among other things, it means low-skill players will be able to play more of a role in supercap fights – just like now, a common “newbie” role in a fleet is to run tackle since it doesn’t require very high skills, now we may see some corps start using newbie zergs against supers.

slavetoguilt
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slavetoguilt

Nyphur slavetoguilt Thanks. :D

JudgeDavid101
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JudgeDavid101

Nice. Still want a non-human alien race faction though, it’s would hint that CCP believe another type of intelligent life other than differently evolved humans exist in the EVE universe.

The citadels looks awesome.

Cosstarica
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Cosstarica

Nyphur Can we please get a status update for Project Legion?  I first played EVE in 2004 but not anymore nowadays. A link between EVE and a PC Dust514 or Legion or Valkyrie will definitely bring me back. Thank you .

Nyphur
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Nyphur

CirimCollective  Correct, in today’s capital talk they clarified that capitals ewar immunity is being replace with ewar resistance and so they will require several scramblers to successfully pin down. Capital scramblers will have multiple point strength to compensate.

dangerbeard
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dangerbeard

Nyphur Doing god’s work here, man.

CirimCollective
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CirimCollective

What remains to be seen is why a highsec citadel will be a compelling place to visit, when the NPC stations already have the agents people want, and a competing public market. If it is simply a station without any agents that won’t compel anyone to move. A busy mission hub like http://evemaps.dotlan.net/map/Essence/Oursulaert already has 16 stations, and could have another 16 citadels since there will be no anchoring restrictions.

CirimCollective
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CirimCollective

“Electronic warfare immunity is being removed from supercapitals so that a single frigate can now tackle a titan if the opportunity arises”
Pretty sure they contradicted that in the follow up. No single frigate can fit enough points to counter the default warp stability of a capital.

Nyphur
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Nyphur

Passivepixels Nope, the figures are definitely per week, and the owner can spread them however they like around the week in 1 hour blocks.

Passivepixels
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Passivepixels

“Medium sized citadels… … will be vulnerable to attack for only three hours per week..”

“Large sized citadels… …are vulnerable for a total of 6 hours per week… …but with 21 hours of vulnerability throughout the week.” 
I assume this should read 3 hours a day for mediums and 6 hours a day for larges. Giving 21 hours of vulnerability a week for mediums and 42 hours a week of vulnerability for larges.

SallyBowls1
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SallyBowls1

I take it your review of EV itself is positive?   CCP seems to have done a nice job of expanding it.  It is nice to have an interim info dump halfway between FanFests.

SallyBowls1
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SallyBowls1

Nyphur TY so much for all this interesting info; keep it coming!

I find almost all EVE econ discussions interesting. 

It is not something for me, but I am curious about what the latest is in the DUST 514 to Legion to D514 saga is. Although tbh some of that is “slow down and gawk at the wreck.”  IMO, “lots of people still PS3” will be even less credible in 2016 and it is time for the next step and no news is news.

SallyBowls1
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SallyBowls1

Nyphur SallyBowls1 Woot!

Smiggins
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Smiggins

EVE could probably get me back if they added FP avatar gameplay, including FPS gameplay.
The ship gameplay is just not good.

Nyphur
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Nyphur

slavetoguilt  There is a PvE roundtable scheduled, I’ll go and find out what CCP has planned.

Nyphur
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Nyphur

SallyBowls1  The medium one is definitely viable for one man corps, less than 1b after all costs and much more flexible than a POS. 3 hrs per week vulnerability window and you’ll probably need to be wardecced if it’s in high sec (will attempt to confirm this fact with a dev). Plus you can hop in the structure and man the guns during an attack, so it’s defensible. This is going to be awesome!

Nyphur
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Nyphur

To update in response to a few questions here, there is a talk on Structures today and a roundtable on the skill packets that I will attend to find out more. Tomorrow has a PvE roundtable that I will attend, and a talk on Project Discovery and one on the EVE economy that may prove interesting. I will also try to get some interview time with a dev to pose your questions directly, and that will be posted as a separate article. Stay tuned for more from EVE Vegas!

SallyBowls1
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SallyBowls1

Did CCP mention a time frame on Transneural skill packet? As part of Citadel or drop in before or ?
Is a small hisec citadel for 1-person carebear corps going to be viable?  I just assumed no. And if someone wants you dead badly enough you are dead.  But 3hr/week seems after the initial rush it might even be viable? Can this be?

SallyBowls1
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SallyBowls1

captainzor No as per below.  Besides, I tend to think of it not as size but as capital ships require capital skills.  So someone making the move to caps get a lot of new skills to train. Or inject.

zyrusticae
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zyrusticae

captainzor No.Frigates, for example, are about the size of the Millennium Falcon. The largest ship class, the battleship, while being quite large in and of itself (capable of housing crews measured in the thousands – see https://wiki.eveonline.com/en/wiki/New_Eden_crew_guidelines), is still only something of a third of the mass of a full dreadnought (the smallest ship class that is considered “capital class”). 
There’s a HUGE image showcasing the sheer scale of it all here:comment image

Tufty
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Tufty

captainzor then you have mining ships, frieghters and transports, all diffrent in size

Tufty
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Tufty

captainzor No, you have frig, cruiser, battleship, dreadnoughts, carriers, Super carriers and Titans all different sizes

captainzor
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captainzor

I’m confused… aren’t all the ships in Eve capital ship sized?

Tufty
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Tufty

Oskiee Tufty Because when the content is sitting inside a POS for 3 hours, waiting for said player content to happen, or fly throught system to system listening to chatter on TS which is fun most of the time looking for player content, not how i want to spent my free time, played Eve for 5 years i want more than player content, i want, WIS, New Mission, and maybe a storyline that i can get into somthing like Homeworld which Eve is based on

Nyphur
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Nyphur

Tufty  What the Citadel expansion will do is allow players to create their own social content. You could open a medium citadel in a highsec mission system, for example, and open it to the public, then sell ammo there cheap and buy salvage. Or you could open a safe harbour against pirates in lowsec, or a waystation in wormhole space that charges people to dock and sells bookmarks to empire on contracts. There’s a lot of potential here!

Oskiee
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Oskiee

Tufty In eve, the players and what they do is the content. Why dont more people understand this?

Tufty
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Tufty

So still no real new content, guess im waiting until next year for that WIS, but really good update if your still into pvp and null

zyrusticae
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zyrusticae

At last, they’re finally getting around to updating those really, really outdated hit effects. Shield hit effects are good step in the right direction. 
I consider the graphical spectacle just as important a part of the PvE experience as the actual content. I would be content spamming missions all day if it actually looked like I was blowing apart massive ships piece by piece. Sadly, that is currently not the case.

slavetoguilt
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slavetoguilt

Alas still no PVE update. Perhaps next expan

Boardwalker
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Boardwalker

Great stuff, Brendan. Although some of these changes won’t affect how I play (solo exploration in null mostly), I’m still quite excited about what’s planned for this expansion and the direction CCP is headed with EVE.

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