solo

EVE Evolved: Will EVE Online’s Abyssal Deadspace ever be expanded?

EVE Online‘s recent Into the Abyss expansion has managed to grip me in a way that few expansions have, providing a challenging new solo PvE feature that’s as addictive as it is lucrative. Now that players are starting to figure out ship fittings and strategies for taking on abyssal deadspace and it’s being farmed at an increasing rate, the question on many players’ minds is “what comes next?” The Triglavian storyline is far from resolved, and these new size-restricted instances could be expanded on in dozens of different ways to spark a virtual renaissance for small-scale PvE and maybe even PvP.

CCP Games has a long history of making impressive “first steps” like these in new areas of gameplay, but sometimes those ideas don’t go much further and the first steps are the last. Abyssal deadspace could easily become another one shot feature that joins EVE‘s permanent gameplay, just like the Sansha incursions that are still in the game years after they probably should have ended. I seriously hope that CCP doesn’t abandon the feature this time though, as further work on abyssal deadspace has the potential to open up whole new types of gameplay that aren’t available anywhere in EVE right now.

In this edition of EVE Evolved, I theorise about some of the different ways abyssal deadspace could be expanded and how the story of the Triglavian Collective still has a long way to go.

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Solo has a couple blink-and-you’ll-miss-it references to Star Wars Galaxies

One of the best aspects of all of the new Disney Star Wars films is their references to places, events, and characters outside of the film canon and in the extended or “legends” universe. And now, with the release of Solo in movie theaters, Star Wars Galaxies has joined that list of shout-outs for all time.

One of the blink-and-you’ll-miss-it references is to an AV-21, a two-seater Corellian speeder that debuted in the late, great MMORPG. In the film, young Han Solo said that he spent part of his childhood boosting these vehicles. Another is a mention of a valahorn, a musical instrument that was created for the game.

In any case, the references were not lost on some fans of Star Wars Galaxies, including creator Raph Koster, who seemed pleased as punch at the nods.

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EVE Evolved: Last-minute advice on Abyssal Deadspace in EVE Online

There are just two days to go before EVE Online‘s Into the Abyss expansion lands on May 29th, introducing its new Abyssal Deadspace solo PvE feature. Players will use abyssal filaments to travel into Abyssal Deadspace pockets that exist underneath space throughout the EVE universe, risking their ships in challenging procedurally generated encounters. It’s in these instanced solo encounters that players will come face to face with The Triglavian Collective, a bizarre and twisted subspecies of human with powerful new ships and a new type of subatomic particle weapon called the Entropic Disintegrator.

This new solo content is intended for players of all skill levels, with the lowest tier sites being easy enough to complete in a well-designed tech 1 cruiser and higher tiers requiring considerably more expensive gear. Each site contains 3 randomly generated pockets of deadspace to defeat within 20 minutes, after which time the pocket will implode and destroy your ship. The prizes for risking it all in these dungeons include blueprints to build player-controlled Triglavian ships, plans for Entropic Disintegrators, and Mutaplasmids that can randomly mutate the stats on existing items.

In this edition of EVE Evolved, I follow up on last month’s article on preparing for the Into the Abyss expansion with some last-minute guidelines on preparing your ships, how to use drones effectively in Abyssal Deadspace, and useful tips and strategies for tackling the sites.

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EVE Fanfest 2018: EVE Online’s upcoming ‘Into the Abyss’ expansion sounds incredible

While player capsuleers are undoubtedly the most powerful force in EVE Online, there are some pretty scary NPCs lurking in the depths of space. One of those threats has just been unearthed throughout New Eden with the discovery of The Triglavian Collective, an ancient and twisted offshoot of the human race found in tiny pockets of space cut off from the rest of the universe. EVE Online players will soon be able to invade these pockets of Abyssal Deadspace and face the collective in the upcoming “Into the Abyss” expansion coming on May 29th.

At EVE Fanfest 2018, CCP revealed a huge set of interconnected new features revolving around ancient Triglavian ships and Abyssal Deadspace pockets. Players will hunt through these bizarre new environments filled with unpredictable dangers that get more challenging the further you go, and with increased challenge comes some incredible rewards. You’ll find blueprints for powerful Triglavian ships, an incredible new weapon system ominously named the Entropic Disintegrator, and organic mutaplasmids that can transform your existing modules into powerful Abyssal versions.

Read on to find out who the Triglavian Collective are, what the deal is with Abyssal Deadspace, and why the “Into The Abyss” expansion could be incredible for solo PvE players.

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EVE Evolved: EVE Online’s case for asymmetric and asynchronous gameplay

If there’s one thing that EVE Online does better than any other MMO on the market today, it’s persistent gameplay on massive scales. The now-famous Bloodbath of B-R5RB in 2014 involved 7,548 players over the course of almost 24 hours, and the Siege of M-OEE8 at the end of 2016 peaked at 5,300 separate players all piled into the same star system at the same time. Hundreds of thousands of players live and fight in the same single-shard universe, and EVE‘s largest corporations have more members than the total population on some other MMOs’ shards.

But what about the smaller end of the scale? MMOs aren’t just populated by monolithic organisations bent on galactic domination, and a growing proportion of today’s gamers play online games solo or in smaller groups. Features such as Upwell structures and the new PvE gameplay have clearly been designed with a wide range of gameplay scales in mind, but EVE has never really got past the problem that bigger groups are almost always better. Could the solution to this problem be found in small-scale asymmetric and asynchronous warfare opportunities?

In this edition of EVE Evolved, I look at why EVE‘s massive scale makes it so compelling, the problem that massive scale introduces, and the case for more asymmetric and asynchronous warfare.

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EVE Evolved: The Agency could revolutionise casual PvE in EVE Online

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.

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World of Warcraft Demon Hunter solos normal Gul’dan

A Demon Hunter should be able to kill demons. That’s their one job description, and so it should be no surprise that World of Warcraft’s Demon Hunters are actually very good at killing demons. But most of them are not nearly as good as Mione, a name you’ll find in no lore compilations who still deserves a nod for soloing normal-mode Gul’dan.

Yes, solo. As in “big boss of the second full raid of the expansion taken out by a single dedicated player.”

Obviously, gear has improved somewhat since Gul’dan’s release, but the fight (which is watchable in sped-up form below) still took over an hour to complete. “Doesn’t Gul’dan hit enrage at 12 minutes?” you ask. And you’re right, he does. He enrages, and Mione deals with that mechanic. Go ahead and watch the video, then check out the video description to see how this was accomplished, including waiting out the enrage. The notes do mention that the “real” fight (after the enrage happens and falls off) “only” took 27 minutes, which is… still insanely impressive.

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Atlas Reactor patches in a new solo mode and a new character

There’s a tendency for all of us to claim that it’s our teammates holding us back in online games. Any raid leader, for example, will probably opine at least once or twice that the rest of the raid is what’s holding back progress. Atlas Reactor‘s new Fourlancer mode lets you put your money where your mouth is, though; in this new mode you control the entire four-person team and face off against another player controlling a full team, with an extended decision timer and no one else to blame if you screw up. If you’ve ever said that your teammates are holding you back? Prove it.

The same patch also brings in Isadora, who is protected by a lot of shields but has very little health beneath that. She switches gameplay modes if her shields are destroyed, but she can also re-activate her shield as an ultimate ability, allowing her go charge back into the fray. Combine that with a double ISO weekend running from September 8th to the 10th and you have plenty of reason to get in there and play.

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Exclusive: Elsword previews a new hardcore solo endgame dungeon

The western version of side-scrolly hack-‘n’-slasher Elsword is about to get a long-awaited feature from the Korean version: a challenging endgame dungeon known as Add’s Energy Fusion Theory Dungeon. Oh yeah, and it’s solo-only. Oh yeah, and it’s a way for players to get some of the best weapons in the game. Solo. Did you get the solo part? It caused a combination of concerns and cheering when it released in Korea last year, but the game didn’t burn down, so it turns out that soloers aren’t ruining everything after all and it’s not actually codified in MMORPG law that all the good stuff be reserved for raiders. Who knew?

Says KOG Games,

“Add’s Energy Fusion Theory Dungeon is Elsword’s ultimate, solo, end-game dungeon experience. This dungeon is not for the faint of heart! However, this solo-only (no co-op), hardcore dungeon may be brutal, but the battle is worth it. The loot is some of the best in the game. What are you willing to sacrifice to obtain the most powerful weapon in the game?”

Check out the exclusive video below!

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Leaderboard: If you solo in MMORPGs, why?

Solo players in MMORPGs are a strange case, chiefly because they are treated like an outlier when they aren’t. The fact is that almost everyone solos at one time or another — yes, even in classic MMORPGs — and the vast majority of people apparently prefer to solo more than not solo, even if they also want to group. Or at least one might draw that conclusion from the last dozen years of MMOs!

I thought for today’s Leaderboard, we could drill down some of the reasons people solo. Pick as many as apply!

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Solo players are welcomed to Craglorn with The Elder Scrolls Online’s One Tamriel

When Craglorn first arrived in The Elder Scrolls Online back in 2014, it had a robust selection of content for max-level grouped players and a constant radiating wave of death for anyone exploring solo. This was intentional; the area was meant as a max-level challenge zone, and the designers were adamant that you should be grouped when you went in or you should expect to die repeatedly and painfully. With the introduction of the One Tamriel update, however, solo and grouped players of all levels will be able to dive into Craglorn and explore what the area has to offer.

The video below shows off some of what you can expect when you return to Craglorn, with a story that all players can complete and a variety of puzzles and activities for all sorts of playstyles. Overland content, daily quests, and dungeons have also been thoroughly adjusted for new and returning adventurers, so even if you think you know all there is to know about the region, you’ll find something new to explore. Check out the video down below, and keep your eyes peeled for our interview about the redesign in the near future.

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Star Wars: The Old Republic is launching the next story chapter on March 10th

With the tenth chapter of Knights of the Fallen Empire available to players of Star Wars: The Old Republic, the question on every player’s mind is “when does the next part launch?” And the answer has already been given: March 10th, or March 8th for those subscribed by March 1st. It was one of the topics covered in yesterday’s producer stream, which also covered the other features coming along with Chapter XI and the plans in the further future.

The Eternal Championship will be coming along with the next chapter, offering players a rare mount and pet along with a weekly quest for taking on the challenge solo. A new Warzone and arena are both planned for testing within the next three weeks, with a planned launch alongside Chapter XII. Players can look forward to more details on the Eternal Championship coming this month and several quality-of-life improvements, including the ability to own all five Strongholds per legacy. Check out the archived stream footage just below.

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WildStar’s next major update promises to be very, very cool (in an ice region)

Ready to enjoy some more chill time in WildStar? The game’s next update has been announced, and it should be really cool. Literally cool. Destination: Arcterra is sending players to the eponymous Arcterra, a frozen wasteland with a new reward track including new costume pieces, new mounts, new pets, and a new style of snowballing boss fights that pits players against ever-greater threats as the zone’s bosses get cleared away.

Arcterra is the new max-level area, but players will also be getting more adventuring in with the second chapter of the Nexus Saga in the form of the Vault of the Archon. This instance contains plenty of story as well as the option to play solo or in a group, so you can take it on yourself or bring your friends along for the ride. There’s a promise of more coming along with the update, but for now, get ready to stay frosty when the update hits the test servers soon.

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