EVE Evolved: Operation Frostline patch and event guide

    
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Practically every MMO does some kind of event for the holidays, but how do you bring the holiday cheer to a dystopian sci-fi universe set in the far-future of a warring galaxy? EVE Online usually just gives us gifts and snowball launchers, but this year CCP Games has gone all-out with its new Operation Frostline holiday event that ties in with the game’s core storyline and offers a whole series of prizes to be found. Players have reported finding lots of avatar clothing, Quafe Ultra speed-boosters, ship skins, and synth boosters as loot. If you’re lucky, you can also find limited run copies of the new Endurance tech 2 ice mining frigate, valuable impants, and even PLEX or multiple character training certificates. The patch also adds a heap of new stuff to the game, including new battle damage and thruster graphics and new logistics frigates.

The Operation Frostline sites themselves can be easily completed by a new player in a cruiser and spawn throughout the game, even in highsec and wormhole space. The storyline surrounding the site’s appearance all over EVE revolves around the ongoing arms race between the various pirate factions in EVE Online. Over the past year we’ve seen covert research labs belonging to several major pirate factions being uncovered, each one introducing some new piece of tech into the game and kicking off a mini gold rush. This time it’s the Serpentis pirate faction that has been caught with its pants down, as Mordu’s Legion has begun revealing the locations of their secret research facilities across the universe.

In this edition of EVE Evolved, I look at the lore behind the Operation Frostline sites, give some tips on completing them, and highlight some other major changes that landed with this week’s patch.

The lore behind Operation Frostline

If you’ve been following the in-game news recently, you’ll have heard of a new group called the Upwell Consortium who are currently designing the player citadels we’ll get in the upcoming Citadels expansion. The Upwell Consortium has been trying to get mining technology development company Outer Ring Excavations on board as its industrial base, but ORE has been under the thumb of the Serpentis corporation since the Outer Ring region was overrun. Working with the military power Mordu’s Legion, the Upwell Consortium has now managed to strike at the Sepentis corporation and liberate ORE from its grasp.

A number of Serpentis haulers managed to escape the attacks with ORE assets such as blueprints for the new tech 2 mining frigate, which were then stashed at Serpentis research sites throughout the galaxy. The event kicked off a few days ago when Mordu’s Legion started revealing the locations of the Serpentis research sites and CONCORD declared that capsuleers can keep any of the ORE property they recover from them. The sites have now begun appearing throughout all levels of space and can be identified by the “Operation Frostline Target beacons installed at them.

How to find and complete frostline sites

As with the blood raider sites that spawned during the halloween Crimson Harvest event, Operation Frostline sites don’t need to be scanned down and appear on your overview as “Operation Frostline Target” beacons. Some players may have beacons switched off on their overview, and the NPCs that spawn at the sites are a new category that won’t initially show up on your overview. Before you go hunting for frostline sites, open your overview settings and ensure that you have Beacon ticked in the Celestial list and then tick the boxes for Serpentis Event Frigate, Serpentis Event Cruiser, and Serpentis Event Battlecruiser in the Entity list. Once that’s done, just get into a ship fitted for combat and travel around the galaxy looking for Operation Frostline Target in the overview.

The site itself is easy enough to complete in a tech 1 cruiser with minimal skills, and deals very little damage, so you can fit for high damage to speed up your frostline farming or even tackle the site in a PvP ship. The first room of the site has three waves of five extremely weak frigates, each of which will spawn after the previous wave is destroyed. The second room contains three waves of slightly tougher cruisers, and once they’re all destroyed a Serpentis Battlecruiser will spawn that drops the loot. None of the structures in the site drop any loot or can even be damaged, so don’t waste time shooting at them.

Most sites will drop a pair of Serpentis jackets for your avatar and a unit of Quafe Ultra worth around 10 million ISK and falling, and it’s likely that the chance of the rarer drops depends on the security rating of the system the site is in. Wormhole space and rarely-visited areas of lowsec are also more likely to contain sites that haven’t been completed yet, with reports of some wormhole systems collecting over ten sites as no-one had visited the system in a long time. At least one player has reported getting a PLEX worth almost 1.2 billion ISK in his loot, and others have reported getting officer modules, rare blueprints, expensive implants and other rare loot. EVE Online Youtube personality JonnyPew has put together the video below, which is a great first look at the Operation Frostline sites.

Also in the Operation Frostline patch

Miners will be interested in the new Endurance ice mining frigate, which is a beefed up Venture with bonuses to ice harvesting and ore yield. It doesn’t have the ability to fit a covert ops cloaking device like the Prospect, but has a CPU bonus to fitting standard cloaking devices and has no ship speed penalty while cloaked. That means you can cloak up if enemies appear in the system and align to a planet or bookmark, then decloak and warp once you’re at full speed. The speed penalty on cloaking devices usually makes this impossible on other ships as you need to be moving at 75% of your top speed to enter warp. The ship has been introduced with a new type of ice mining laser that can only be used on expedition frigates like the Endurance, and its 15,000m3 ore bay allows it to hold 15 pieces of ice. Its small mass and ability to enter frigate-sized wormholes makes it a great ship for ninja-mining through wormholes.

The Operation Frostline patch also added some pretty awesome new graphics, with overhauled thruster effects and a new damage and dirt system for ships. Your ship will visually accumulate damage as the armour is hit by enemy weapons, and the new armour repair graphic is a green pulse that slowly heals the burned areas from the outside in. We’re told that ships will also accumulate dust over time that can be cleaned off from the ship fitting menu, but I have yet to see any of my ships in need of a clean. The patch also added new tech 2 logistics frigates that are sure to see some strategic use in faction warfare, and some new navy issue electronic warfare frigates. But perhaps the most fun new addition is the tech 2 command destroyers, which can fit area-effect micro jump field generators that teleport all ships in range forward by 100km when activated, including teleporting enemy ships against their will.

frostline-endThe Operation Frostline sites are designed to be fun loot pinatas that anyone can complete for a chance to get something valuable. CCP has said that the loot in the frostline sites will actually be changing over the course of the event, so keep your eyes peeled for new prizes. And if you go hunting for sites in lowsec, nullsec or wormhole space, be on the lookout for opportunistic pirates who are using the sites as miniature battlegrounds.

EVE Online expert Brendan ‘Nyphur’ Drain has been playing EVE for over a decade and writing the regular EVE Evolved column since 2008. The column covers everything from in-depth EVE guides and news breakdowns to game design discussions and opinion pieces. If there’s a topic you’d love to see covered, drop him a comment or send mail to brendan@massivelyop.com!
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Zennie
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Zennie

Move out of highsec if you’re there ;)

Zennie
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Zennie

While it would be awesome to have Walk In Station, the true power of EVE is in its community, not in shiny spaceships ;) other games are still miles ahead in this.

Zennie
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Zennie

When stating something about sociopaths etc, it is a good idea to mention which sec you used to live in. Most douches live in highsec, so if you want to experience something better maybe you should move elsewhere? EVE is not a standard MMORPG, nullsec is not “level 100 only”, in fact our newbros live in null and love it there, so there’s really no reason to stay in high….

Kaloth
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Kaloth

Anyone care to share some fits they’ve been using to do the frostline beacons? 
I ask because I haven’t had time to do more than take advantage of the “Quafe Rush” that’s been going on across the trade hubs since the update went out and I’m curious to see what kind of ships and fits people are using. While it’s not quite the pinata that the beacons apparently are, at least I’ve still tripled my isk solely on buying/reselling Quafe Zero this past week (and still have 500 stockpiled for 6 months from now when the price starts to climb again). So not totally missing out on the event.

Boardwalker
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Boardwalker

Gibs Boardwalker Well, let me clarify: I’ve been ganked 2 times in *high* sec over that time span. In low and null sec, I’ve probably been attacked much more than that (which I expected heh). 

The great thing about EVE is that New Eden is a huge space to play in. If you’re having trouble in one system or region, there are many others that you can go to. Because of the size of its universe, it’s probably easier to avoid gankers in EVE than it is to find them.

Fenryr
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Fenryr

Boardwalker LordSolarMacharius I share your experience, I’ve been playing for 6 years most of them in high sec and i only got ganked 2 or 3 times. Every other death was because of wardec or adventures in low sec. If your high sec space seem to be to dangerous just go somewhere else.

Gibs
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Gibs

Boardwalker wow ganked only twice in 10 years ..how the heck? 

I must’ve been ganked like 20 times in my first 2 months trying to learn low/null/wh survival tricks. I still get ganked every time I make a mistake or simply get distracted..or simply there’s no way to avoid. Getting ganked is not EVE’s problem anyways.

Ceois
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Ceois

MorpayneRADIO And the same people will cry and shout when EVE will go probably go down because of all those other games.

If they wouldn’t have listened to those crybabies EVE would have been light years ahead of those new games :(

Tongle
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Tongle

MorpayneRADIO Agreed, they really need to step it up. But I think they will continue to be a niche game so they are not worried.

Boardwalker
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Boardwalker

LordSolarMacharius My experience is EVE has been quite different. In the 10 years that I’ve played, I’ve only been ganked twice (which is far less than in other games), and I’ve found the community to be one of the best, and most knowledgeable, that I’ve encountered. 

I’m looking forward to checking out this event.