Practically every MMO on the market today has had to contend with botting and the range of issues that come with it, and EVE Online
has always been a favoured target for bots. EVE
‘s slow pace of gameplay and predictable PvE activities make it ideal for automation, and the nature of a persistent sandbox is that more time spent farming resources and currency will always be better. The issue seems to have escalated in recent months since the free-to-play upgrades expanded the range of ships and modules available to free users, and the community has been pushing CCP heavily for progress.
A team of bot-hunting players made the news last month when they took down eight ridiculously expensive supercarriers being controlled by bots, exposing just how big the scale of the problem is. The EVE security team responded with a ban wave hitting over 1,800 bot accounts in January and promises that they are “coming for the bots,” but one expert admitted in a recent interview that the war on bots may never be won. So just how difficult is it to tackle botting in EVE Online, and what could CCP do to improve things?
In this edition of EVE Evolved, I look at the difficulties in detecting and shutting down botters, how extensive botting may be in nullsec, and some things developers might have to do in order to solve the problem.
Last fall, one of EVE Online’s senior software engieers passed away at the age of 35, leaving a hole in the team’s heart. While the studio created a special ship SKIN to memorialize CCP Blaze, there was more that the company and community felt that could be done.
Funds were raised to support his fiancée and one-year-old daughter which resulted in an “astonishing, unparalleled” success. The community donated over 3.7 million PLEX — $119,828.50 — to the family, making it the second-largest fundraiser ever to happen in CCP’s history.
“It’s honestly not possible for us to find words that would accurately convey the gratitude we feel to our pilots,” CCP said. “Once again, the EVE community has shown that despite differences in game, our pilots are a formidable, and indestructible force for good.”
As if CCP Games isn’t struggling enough right now, the studio announced today that it’s lost one of its own: an EVE Online developer and graphics programmer known to the community as CCP Blaze. If you’ve ever warped anywhere or switched on the tactical overlay, you’ve seen his handiwork.
“CCP Blaze, one of our Senior Software Engineers with our Audio & Graphics team, passed away suddenly at the age of just 35, while on vacation in London celebrating his recent engagement. He is survived by his fiancée and one year old daughter here in Reykjavík, and leaves behind an amazing legacy at CCP from his 8 years at our headquarters working on EVE Online.”
The company says it held an internal fundraiser for Blaze’s family over the past few weeks since learning the news, and as of today, it’s also releasing a special fundraising item for the community: a brand-new “Blaze” squadron SKIN set that will be sold for one week only as a one-off for the Armageddon (100 PLEX) and for a five-hull bundle (495 PLEX). Blaze has been written permanently into the lore for the ship skin.
Starting out fresh as a free player in EVE Online
is hard to manage. It’s not just that you’re new in a world filled with sharks; it’s that you’re moving at half the pace of subscribers in terms of skill training. Sure, the improved limits on Alpha characters makes it somewhat easier to catch up, but the new Alpha Training Injector
is going to make it that much easier for free players to catch up to the rate of subscription players.
The injector doesn’t work like other skill injectors; it can be used once per day and offers 50,000 skill points per use, making it roughly equal to a day of skill training for Omega players. You can buy it in-game via PLEX or just straight-up use real currency, thus allowing you more training points at a slight price. The hope is that it’ll allow free players to get a bit closer and have a slightly calmer ride toward making their mark on the galaxy, which is a tall order, but at least made slightly easier.
It’s now been almost one year to the day
that EVE Online
officially got a limited free-to-play option, and it’s certainly been a boon for the almost 15-year-old MMO. There’s been a significant increase in new players asking for advice on the forums and in-game channels, and activity levels have been bolstered
by the increased numbers. Some of the game’s largest corporations have opened their doors to hundreds of newbros this year, and the best is yet to come. Next month CCP will be lifting some of the restrictions
free players are currently placed under and allowing them to access to larger ships, helping to close the power gap between free and paid users.
While the expanded free tier will open up a lot more gameplay to free users, there are some tricks new players should know to maximise the effectiveness of that tier. There’s even a way for returning veteran players who find themselves constrained by the free tier’s limitations to get a full Omega level subscription absolutely free and even to make a profit in the process. Whether you’re on a free Alpha account or an Omega subscription, there are also a few sources of easy ISK that will take relatively little time each week to manage.
In this edition of EVE Evolved, I give a few tips new players can use to squeeze more out of the free tier and look at a way for returning veterans to get Omega subscriptions for free.
Though EVE Online
has a reputation as a cut-throat PvP sandbox where anything goes, the fuel that fires its conflict engine has always been PvE. Players collectively pump over 100 trillion ISK into the EVE
economy each month by hunting NPCs all across the game, and at the same time they mine around 40 trillion ISK’s worth of ore for ship and module production. Over 90% of NPC bounties predictably come from people farming in the player-owned nullsec regions where some of the largest PvE rewards can be found, but data released earlier this year showed that 7.2% of bounties actually come from high-security space
It’s unsurprising, then, that CCP chose high-security space as the test-bed for an entirely new casual PvE format with the release of Resource Wars in the recent Lifeblood expansion. The expansion also saw the return of the Crimson Harvest event and the release of a new tool named The Agency that helps players find nearby PvE content. I’ve been getting stuck into all three of these this week and seeing how it all ties together, and I’m now more convinced than ever that we could be heading for a full-scale PvE revolution.
In this edition of EVE Evolved, I discuss Resource Wars as a new model for PvE and consider how The Agency could be expanded to help promote casual pick-up PvE groups in EVE.
You’ve probably heard by now that EVE Online
is giving its free-to-play alpha clone characters a massive boost in power in December about a month after the launch of the Lifeblood
expansion. The news has been spreading through the gaming media
since it was announced last week at EVE Vegas 2017
and the reception online has been generally positive. Some existing players are worried that the change might even be too
generous, with fears that veteran players may let their subscriptions lapse and play for free, or that the new skills might be abused to create an endless army of ganking alts.
There’s no doubt that the changes will help to close the power gap between subscribers and free players and will open up new avenues of gameplay. Free players will finally be able to fly tech 1 battlecruisers and even battleships, and cross-training for multiple races will unlock multi-faction ships such as the Sisters of EVE exploration ships. Alpha clone players will also finally be able to use tech 2 weapons and fly many of the ship setups flown in massive nullsec wars, though the way that the new skill limit is being implemented may actually benefit old and returning players more than new ones.
In this edition of EVE Evolved, I dig into the free-to-play changes, briefly examine the power gap between free and subscribed players, and look at who will benefit most from the change.
A new event named The Agency kicked off this week
in EVE Online
, and it looks a bit like the daily quest systems you can find in many other MMOs. When you log in, you’ll be presented with a list of challenges that will each earn you points on a reward track, with prizes available when you reach various point thresholds. The challenges are all casual PvE activities that you might be doing anyway, such as killing 25 pirate NPCs or collecting a million ISK in NPC bounties, and they refresh every 24 hours so you can grind up the points you need throughout the two-week long event period.
It’s no coincidence that the reward track sounds suspiciously like last year’s botched Shadow of the Serpent event, as this event is built on the same event system and even uses the same user interface. The 24 hour refresh on challenges also makes it similar to a daily login reward system, something that CCP trialled last year with Recurring Opportunities but discontinued as it didn’t increase login numbers. Developers do seem to have learned lessons from both of these examples when putting together The Agency, and now I can’t help but wonder if this could be modified into a fantastic daily reward system.
In this edition of EVE Evolved, I look at some of the positive and negative aspects of The Agency and suggest how it could make a great permanent daily reward system with a few tweaks.
Of all the terminology associated with EVE Online
, the one thing that’s always made me a bit uncomfortable is to hear players describe PvP as “generating content.” It’s an oddly sterile euphemism that seemed to surface years ago during the era of the blue donut when large alliances organised faux wars for the entertainment of their restless troops, and it doesn’t sit right with me. PvP in EVE
is supposed to be about real conflict for solid reasons, not generating content for its own sake. It’s about smashing a gang of battleships into a pirate blockade to get revenge, suicide ganking an idiot for transporting PLEX in a frigate, or forcibly dismantling another alliance’s station because you just hate them so much
EVE PvP can be visceral and highly personal, not just something fun to do or a game of strategy but a way to settle old grudges and punish people for whatever the hell you want. World War Bee was a brutal mix of Machiavellian politics and massive fleets of highly motivated players coming together, not just for some fun gameplay but to try and completely annihilate the goons. So what the hell happened? Why are so many people sitting in nullsec fortresses and farming ISK, building huge capital fleets and complaining about the “lack of content” in PvP today? Does EVE‘s conflict engine need a tune-up?
In this edition of EVE Evolved, I look at some of the factors limiting real conflict in EVE today and suggest three possibly controversial changes that would drive further conflict in New Eden.
Did you know that this month marks the 20th anniversary of CCP Games
? Well now you do, and you have no excuse not to share that knowledge with your most trusted allies and confidants.
Also, you can take advantage of a sale on EVE Online’s PLEX during this momentous occasion. For a limited time, all PLEX is 15% off, allowing fans to stock up on the premium items that can be used for game time, extra ISK, or various account services.
The team at CCP also delivered a pep talk to its legion of fans. “I want to thank you for filling up our space universe with your creativity, villainry, and shenanigans,” said CCP CEO Hilmar Petursson. “You’ve challenged us and had our backs.” Watch it below!
The changes to PLEX for EVE Online
make it easier to buy small chunks, sell small chunks, and not have all of it get blown up when you stuff a cargo hold full of your money. Of course, part of what has made PLEX so vital is the need for newer players to be able to catch up with veterans, which ties into use of skill injectors… which are currently very expensive. So the game is introducing a cheaper way to get those
, as well.
Existing skill injectors will be marked as large injectors, while the new smaller skill injectors will hold a maximum of 100,000 points and offer smaller and smaller rewards to players with more skill points. The hope is that newer players can buy the bite-sized injector and start to catch up before moving on to larger purchases, thus ensuring that everyone can more quickly take part in the sprawling wars of backstabbing that make the game tick along.
The MMO industry moves along at the speed of information, and sometimes we’re deluged with so much news here at Massively Overpowered that some of it gets backlogged. That’s why there’s The MOP Up: a weekly compilation of smaller MMO stories and videos that you won’t want to miss. Seen any good MMO news? Hit us up through our tips line!
This week we have stories and videos from TERA, Rend, Tree of Savior, Dragon Nest, Neverwinter, Armored Warfare, EVE Online, Overwatch, ARK, Wakfu, Destiny, and Pokemon Go, all waiting for you after the break!
The bad news for EVE Online
fans is that the game is going to require extended downtime today. There’s nothing to be done about it; it’s just a thing that has to happen. Why? Because the big 119.5 patch is going live
. That means the game is rolling out PLEX changes to make PLEX into a currency while also no longer making PLEX a valuable physical item to blow up on a regular basis.
Of course, this patch contains more besides, as there’s the first iteration of new AI systems with Blood Raider shipyards and visual improvements to suns throughout the game. Players will also be able to display fleet emblems on station, enjoy new models for the Pacifier and Enforcer, and obtain new Blood Raider capital ships. You can check out the full patch notes to find out what you’ll be doing once the servers come back up; you’ll have plenty of time to think about it.