Galatea includes a first iteration on sovereignty capture mechanics, a batch of designer ship skins for Caldari vessels, user interface tweaks, a new Dominix model, and the usual round of bug fixes. You can get further details on the update by clicking here, here, and below.
Studio: CCP Games
Launch Date: May 6, 2003
Genre: Sci-Fi Sandbox
Business Model: Hybrid Free-to-Play (Optional Subscription, Cash Shop)
It’s been over a month since EVE Online deployed its new sovereignty and territorial warfare system, and the dust is only now beginning to settle. The Aegis update completely revamped sovereignty warfare, replacing the grind of shooting massive structures with massive fleets with a new system based around the Entosis Link module. It was hoped that the new system would lower the barrier to entry for sovereignty warfare and allow smaller but dedicated alliances to capture and hold space against larger opponents. While the old system made large fleets practically mandatory and led to ever-growing coalitions banding together, it was hoped that the new system would encourage a larger number of smaller fights. When fleets of any size can attempt to contest the ownership of a structure, it’s up to the owners to aggressively defend their space or lose it.
There has been considerable noise in the EVE community since the update went live, with plenty of critical feedback from nullsec alliances and even some backlash directed at its designer CCP Fozzie. Despite complaints, it’s clear that the sov system is achieving some of its stated goals: players have reported an increased number of smaller fights, a few small alliances are capturing space, and industrialists are being actively recruited into nullsec alliances again. The past month of warfare has nonetheless highlighted some pretty serious problems with the sovereignty mechanics that CCP will need to address, some of which it plans to tackle in Tuesday’s Galatea update.
In this edition of EVE Evolved, I delve into the player response to EVE‘s new territorial warfare mechanics, highlight a few remaining problems with the system, and look at the upcoming Galatea sovereignty update.
Rohan on the Blessing of Kings blog posted yesterday a fascinating article on player bankers in Star Wars: The Old Republic. I knew of players becoming de facto bankers in EVE Online, but I can’t say it’s common in themeparks. We have BioWare’s free-to-play limitations to thank for this one; in TOR, apparently subscribers pose as bankers for F2P players, allowing them to “deposit” money on the subbers’ unlimited accounts and then acting as their brokers for large purchases — for a small fee and a mountain of trust, of course.
It shouldn’t blow me away; I’m a sandbox economy player at heart, after all. But it did. I’m always impressed when players find a way to circumvent irritating game mechanics to interact with each other, creating whole professions where the designers left only blank space.
What’s the most original player-created profession you’ve ever seen in an MMORPG?
Man, our Kickstarter backers are fixated on virtual reality. It’s almost as if you guys are really tech-savvy and into gaming immersion or something!
Today’s Massively Overthinking question is indeed VR-related and comes to us from donor Dividion:
“Which released, first-person-playable MMO do you feel would benefit the most from implementing VR technology?”
So which MMO really, truly could benefit from VR, right now? Let’s do this!
Some people learn by watching and listening while others require hands-on interactivity for the lessons to sink in. So why not both? YouTuber Scott Manley has put together an eight-minute “VR video” that gives a solid overview of the EVE Online factions and ships while allowing viewers to drag the camera angle around.
If you use a VR viewer, such as Google Cardboard and a smartphone, you can get a first-person look into EVE. How much in the future are we living right now? Anyway, you can watch — and manipulate — this fan video after the jump!
The recent announcement of arcade shooter EVE: Gunjack for the Samsung Gear VR has prompted some pretty interesting negative responses from gamers this week. There’s obviously still a lot of ill will in the air over the cancellation of the World of Darkness MMO, and people have been a bit skeptical of CCP‘s plans since Monoclegate and the underwhelming reception of DUST 514. Many of the comments on Massively Overpowered and other sites suggested that CCP should release Valkyrie before starting work on yet another title, or that the studio should stick to EVE Online and stop wasting money from EVE subscriptions on side projects. People are honestly suggesting that CCP should keep putting all of its eggs in one big (and slowly shrinking) basket, but that just doesn’t make business sense.
Nobody should be surprised that CCP wants to develop several new games or that it’s failed to replicate the success of EVE Online. EVE activity seems to be on a slow decline, and the truth is that very few independent game studios strike it big with even one game. Previous success is not necessarily an indicator of future success, and it’d be naive to think one game can support a large studio indefinitely, so CCP naturally has to keep working on new titles just like everyone else if it wants to survive. If we want EVE Online to still be around a decade from now, it may depend on experimentation with new games and emerging trends such as VR today. There may even come a time when CCP won’t revolve around EVE Online but around whole collection of titles spanning the EVE universe and beyond, and it won’t get there without taking some measured risks.
In this edition of EVE Evolved, I look at why CCP can’t just focus on EVE any more and why developing lots of small experimental games could benefit EVE Online in the long term.
In this edition of Massively Overthinking, Kickstarter backer Yinta wants to talk about virtual reality.
“When will we see the first VR MMO?”
So let’s tackle those upcoming VR MMOs (and borderline MMOs), whether VR MMOs are something you want to see, and whether VR is going to flop in MMO vs. the broader market. I posed Yinta’s topic to our writers; read on to see what they said.
Players take on the role of a gun turret operator on a mining vessel in the Outer Ring region of EVE Online’s New Eden sci-fi universe. “As part of the ship’s defense team, it is up to the player to protect the rig from pirates, opportunists and anyone else looking to take what rightfully belongs to the company,” CCP says via press release.
Gunjack is a first-person arcade shooter built on the Unreal Engine 4.
The MMO industry, much like any other entertainment industry, is full of wonderful people as much as it’s full of really odd people. And our host Larry Everett has pulled in some long-time gaming journalists to talk about some of the fun and odd things that have happened in the industry.
The rules are simple for this debate: Our panelists were given four questions to consider before the show. The host will award one point per question for the best argument, and the panelist with the most points at the end wins… the internet!
The past few months have seen a flood of frequent updates hitting EVE Online, and among them we got a whole new class of ship with the Tech 3 Tactical Destroyer. Unlike their cruiser-sized bigger brothers, tech 3 destroyers can transform mid-battle to choose between three separate roles: Defense, Propulsion, and Sharpshooter. These versatile little ships have carved out a niche for themselves in small scale PvP such as Faction Warfare, each functioning as an effective tackler and brawler rolled into one. Tech 3 destroyers can also fit a combat probe launcher to get a warp-in on enemy fleets and have become a popular anti-tackle tool that can snipe from over 50km and track interdictors and interceptors.
I’ve previously written a guide on fitting the Amarr Confessor, the first of the new tech 3 destroyers to be released, but since then a balance patch has made those setups obsolete. Now that all four races have got their own tactical destroyers and the prices have come down to an affordable 35-60 million ISK, I’d like to take a look at how we can fit each of them for PvP. EVE has become a testing ground for dozens of experimental ship setups for each of the tech 3 destroyers as players compete to find out what fitting works best for a variety of situations. The dust has far from settled, but some pretty decent brawling and kiting fits have been gracing the killboards lately and I’ve put together four of my favourite brawling fits. All of the fittings in this article use only tech 2 and named items, but they require good fitting skills and sometimes a 2-3% CPU or powergrid from implants. They’ve been put together with the aid of the fantastic EVE Fitting Tool.
In this edition of EVE Evolved, I look at PvP brawler fittings and strategies for the Amarr Confessor, Caldari Jackdaw, Minmatar Svipul, and Gallente Hecate.
This week’s Massively Overthinking comes to us from Kickstarter donor Dahui, who asks,
“What do you think MMO developers can do to try to minimize the toxic behaviors that are so prevalent in some of the bigger name MMOs?”
I posed Dahui’s question to the writers, and now I pose it to you.
Server issues happen. They are inevitable. The development teams behind games do everything within their power to make sure that they don’t happen, but sometimes it’s just the reality of the situation. EVE Online had an unexpectedly lengthy server downtime back on July 15th, and in light of that delay in play, CCP promised players some skill points to make up for the lost time to play.
Those skill points are going out today to all players who had an active training queue at the time the game could not be accessed. You can use it to catch up to what you would have lost and perhaps even a bit more besides, which is pretty nice as compensation goes.
The big focus in EVE Online recently has been Sovereignty, the process of taking control of the valuable resources in nullsec space. But how does it work? What are the basic mechanics behind it? If only there were a brand-new video from CCP Games explaining all of that in broad terms that you could watch just below!
You get the idea.
There’s also an extended series of tutorial videos that go into more depths about the systems, but the video below will give you an idea of how stations shift ownership and when your claim to a portion of space becomes the most vulnerable. If you’ve never played EVE Online but want to understand how control of space can shift, you owe it to yourself to check it out.