EVE Evolved: Getting ready for the Invasion in EVE Online

    
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EVE Online‘s Invasion expansion lands in just two days on May 28th, and there are plenty of things you can do now to make the most of the expansion. Even with all of the mystery and speculation still surrounding the new Triglavian invasion feature, now is the time to start organising groups to tackle the invading forces and preparing certain ships that are sure to be needed in the fight.

Industrialists should be getting ready to corner the market on the new tech 2 Triglavian ships, and PvE enthusiasts can theorycraft ship fittings and tactics that may be effective in fighting the Triglavian menace. Even new players signing up now thanks to the 100% off starter pack sale on Steam can start putting together tackling frigates and damage cruisers to join in. The expansion also comes with some major improvements, such as the Agency overhaul, the biggest changes yet designed to make war declarations fair, and the beta release of the 64-bit client.

In this edition of EVE Evolved, I dig into all the major features coming in the Invasion expansion on Tuesday and how best to prepare for it in the time remaining.

What can we expect in the invasions?

CCP has been pretty secretive with the fine details surrounding how the invasions will actually take place, but we know that the format will be quite similar to the Sansha incursions already in-game. Individual constellations or areas of space will be invaded by a wave of forces as seen in the expansion trailer, with a truly gargantuan World Ark ship gating in hordes of Triglavian ships. When a system is invaded, Abyssal Deadspace will bleed into normal space and rifts will open that players can explore.

There will be Minor and Major Conduits for players to tackle, which are likely to be group sites that house escalating and unpredictable Triglavian ship encounters, and the World Ark Proving Ground will likely be a massive battle similar to the Sansha mothership fight at the end of the Sansha incursions. I suspect that the World Ark will mostly provide materials and CONCORD LP when killed, but I will absolutely squeal if CCP throws us all a curve ball here and it drops BPCs for some as-yet-unannounced tech like a Triglavian Dreadnought or Triglavian deployable structures.

Abyssal asteroid variants will also appear in the invaded systems that players can harvest for rare materials, and roaming Triglavian fleets will actively fly around certain systems hunting for players until someone puts a stop to them. Strange environmental effects like those in Abyssal Deadspace will get more powerful as you get closer to the origin point of the invasion, and new Triglavian support structures will be deployed that players can destroy. There’s very little else that we know about the invading forces, so save up a little ISK and expect to lose some ships figuring this one out!

How can I prepare for Invasions?

Though we don’t know exactly what the composition of the Triglavian forces will be, we can make some assumptions based on their ships and behaviour in Abyssal Deadspace. Triglavian ships are armour-based with bonuses to remote repairers, energy neutralisers, smartbombs, and entropic disintegrators, but we haven’t seen them using ECM-based technology so far. In the absence of target jamming, it’s likely that strategies used in Sansha Incursions such as cap chains and logistics will be effective.

The Amarr Guardian may be the ship of choice for armour fleets and the Basilisk for shield fleets — Pairs of these ships can use Remote Capacitor Transmitters on each other to generate free energy out of thin air, and then use that to run remote armour repairers and remote shield boosters to keep the fleet alive. I could also see packs of spider-tanked Triglavian ships doing well here with their bonuses to remote armour repairers, and focus-firing those entropic disintegrators will be lethal.

For those who don’t fly logistics, I would suggest fitting a few solid shield or armour buffer tanked ships with high damage output, such as the Rohk or Machariel, and getting ready to join player fleets that already have logistics pilots. Prioritise high resistances over raw hitpoints in your buffer tank as this will multiply out into more effective repair per second when logistics ships heal you. Fleets may also benefit from long-range tacklers such as the Huginn to tie-down those fast Damaviks. I suspect that shield fleets will dominate the Invasion meta due to their increased speed and instant repair, but players in Precursor ships may push this in favour of armour.

The Agency revamp and new players

If you’ve just got started with EVE Online or are relatively new to the game, you’re going to love one new expansion feature that has gone a little bit under the radar: The Agency revamp. Every new player who starts the game and runs through the tutorial emerges on the other side with an overwhelming number of choices for what to do next and not very much guidance. Many simply aren’t aware of the content that’s out there to find, and not everyone is comfortable asking players for help.

CCP introduced the Agency window some time ago to highlight content near players that they might want to engage with, but the current version is clunky and doesn’t give the player much choice in what they want to see. Ironically, it lacked agency. The new Agency panel coming with Invasion is frankly a massive improvement. It’s almost part content discovery tool and part wiki, showing players all of the different things they can do in EVE and pointing them to nearby places to do it. You can even see how many cosmic signatures are in a star system from a distance using it, a feature that not all players are happy to see but that will make exploration easier for newcomers.

Everything is broken down into the categories Resource Harvesting, Encounters, Agents & Missions, Exploration, and of course Triglavian Invasion, with an additional section on the tutorials and career agents for those who skipped them. Those sections break down further into different types of content such as Faction Warfare, Pirate Strongholds, and Combat Anomalies, each one with detailed information on it and links to open the official chat channels for that activity. This is a huge step forward, as getting people into chat channels to ask questions and group with others is probably the most important part of engaging new players.

What else is there in the expansion?

The Triglavian invasions are obviously the headline feature of the expansion, and with them come new tech 2 versions of some of the Triglavian ships. Blueprints for these won’t be dropped as loot, but will instead be created by players using tech 2 Invention and new Triglavian Quantum Engineering datacores that will probably drop as loot in the new invasions. There will be serious money to be made here in the opening days of the expansion as a virtual gold rush takes places on the new ships.

Other changes include the ability to fit tech 2 ammo in any faction or storyline weapon, which is certain to make some weapons spike in value as many faction and COSMOS weapons almost useless without tech 2 ammo. New players and corp leaders will also benefit from the new Help Pointer feature, which lets players create links in chat and EVEmails that other people can click to highlight a certain element on their own UI.

This sounds small, but if you hang out in the Rookie Help channel you can see dozens of people trying to explain to new players where the button they want is located. This is a welcome solution to that problem, and I can imagine it being used heavily in welcome EVEmails for new player training corps and in the help channels.

War declarations will finally be fair

Countless players over the years have tried EVE Online with friends and then been driven out of the game by a war declaration from a veteran corp. For most of EVE‘s lifetime, the war declaration system acted as a pay-to-grief system that allowed a small number of powerful corps to prey on newbies. That all changed a few months ago when CCP began a comprehensive overhaul of the war system, the first step of which was to make corps with no structures in space immune to wars.

The result of that change was transformational, with new players now able to create purely social or industrial corps that can’t be pulled into wars against their will. The next stage in that overhaul is arriving in Invasion, and it’s the big one: War Headquarters. When a corporation wants to declare war on another corp or alliance, it now has to designate one of it’s own stations in high-security space as the headquarters of that war. The war immediately ends if the structure is destroyed or removed from space.

This gives the defender in a war an actual victory condition, and makes it more reasonable to hire mercenaries to help fend off a war. It also prevents a warring corp from simply hiding when you finally get a fleet together to kick its head in, because now you have a target to go after. I’ve been practically begging for something like this since as far back as 2012 and even used the name “War Headquarters” to describe it in 2017, so I’m understandably happy to see it finally happening. It remains to be seen whether there will be workarounds and edge cases players can use to avoid losing their structures, but it’s a huge step.

I’ve been at EVE Down Under in Sydney this weekend to find out what people think of the upcoming Invasion expansion, and I’ve got a feeling this one is going to be big. The expansion is due to land on Tuesday 28th May at 11AM GMT and the mood among players is similar to before the popular 2010 Incursion expansion. People are getting ready to tackle these new group PvE challenges and to solve and the added wrinkle of roaming Triglavian ships and environmental effects as Abyssal Deadspace bleeds into normal space.

Industrialists will be chasing the gold rush of inventing the new tech 2 Triglavian ships and mining new materials, people will be theorycrafting new fits and strategies to repel the invasions, and I’m certain PvPers will be looking for opportunities to capitalise on invasions for fun and profit. New players should even be able to get involved due to varying difficulty levels, and I sincerely hope we see the rise of public fleets to fight back the Triglavian menace.

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!
Disclosure: In accordance with Massively OP’s ethics policy, we must disclose that CCP paid for our writer’s travel to and accommodation at this event. CCP has neither requested nor been granted any control or influence over our coverage of the event. Don’t worry Dunk, I won’t write mean things about you! Dunk Dinkle for CSM!
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Lateris

War Headquarters are a great step, love it.

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PanagiotisLial1

Generally it sounds very interesting. I got some fundemental things I dont like on EVE from day 1(short versions usefulness of bigger ships as opposed to all other space themed games) but its a game that I always love to return to and play. Only game I think has potential to replace it is Dual Universe.

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John Mclain

Yeah that Dual Universe game is sounding more and more like EvE 2.0. With the combat planning to be somewhat similar. (tick based and targeting focused) Not sure the game will ever really work though, the limitations of what they want to accomplish sounds almost impossible with current tech, hence why I’m not willing to support it yet, but if they can put out a product that meets those lofty goals, it would be my new game of choice.

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Castagere Shaikura

I would be so playing this if it wasn’t an open world gankbox.

Mordyjuice
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Mordyjuice

Feel the exact same way.

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PanagiotisLial1

I havent lost a PVE ship since 2016 and did a lot of PVE. The important is to know what is suicidal and how you can be proactive. Learn to use directional scanner, learn your local – do not haul very expensive things in visibile storages, do not use the autopilot. Simple things that lower the ratio you die to significantly low levels. Among vets usually players who die a lot go for that type of gameplay – they arent forced to – you can play in a fairly safe way

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3dom

> do not haul very expensive things
It’s more like – do not haul anything at all. Last time my cargo ship was ganked I had ~300M worth crap from missions. Which is basically pennies considering how an average incursion battleship cost(ed) 4-10B to equip and there are 30 of them in a single fleet. Not to mention how people couldn’t run incursions or farm Sisters of EVE missions in mediocre Tengus because there were whole ganking fleets of 5-20+ ships parked outside of stations.

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PanagiotisLial1

Especially mission things should be hauled with a covert cloaky -not cargo scannable- blockade runner manually. For the record I run missions mostly nowadays too. Know where you can mission and what. Make docking and undocking bookmarks. The reason you get killed is because you make yourselves easy targets and gankers love easy targets – why wouldnt they?