Space. Mankind has always been captivated by the stars and the mysteries they hold, long dreaming of exploring the vast extents of the universe and one day even colonizing other planets. While this dream has remained out of reach, there is one universe where this is already possible. The EVE universe.
In our latest column, Final Frontier, we will cover everything EVE so you our reader can stay up to date with what’s going on in the ever evolving universe developed by CCP. In our second edition of Final Frontier we will take a look at the latest free expansion pack for PC MMO EVE Online, Kronos.
Kronos is the first release under a new release model that will shift EVE Online’s development from two updates per year to a sizeable ten updates. This faster release schedule means that updates including new content and revisions to old components can be implemented much faster than before.
The latest content update brings the rise of the pirates, criminal factions who are taking advantage of the ever increasing tensions between capsuleers and the empires that rule over New Eden. Looking to capitalize on the situation, pirates are emerging from the shadows to the front stage of this tension. So what’s in store for capsuleers in this latest expansion pack for EVE Online? Let’s find out.
EVE’s Pirate Factions
For a while the pirate factions of New Eden have been living in the shadows, awaiting their opportunity to make a move that would set them ahead of everyone else in the arms race. Working in hidden research facilities, these pirates have managed to make unchecked advances in their technologies. With Kronos, each of the pirate faction have unveiled newly upgraded ships that will change the battlefield.
Angel Cartel have harnessed speed and mobility, Blood Raiders are mastering energy draining, Guristas have specialized in drones and missiles, Sansha’s Nation have advanced their afterburner technology, and Serpentis have combined hybrid damage with high performance stasis webifiers to deadly effect.
The Legion are cracking down on research stations being used by the Gurista pirates to develop illegal technologies. With many great advancements being made by the pirate faction in their research, Mordu’s Legion have began assaulting these facilities. Capsuleers have been summoned to assist the Legion in finding these facilities. Pilots who manage to discover a Contested Guristas Covert Research Facility and hack in to its Transponder Tower can return the data to the Legion’s headquarters for a reward at the Mordu’s Legion LP store. The Legion HQ is located in null sec system 5ZXX-K.
Once Mordu’s Legion receives enough data on a Contested Guristas Covert Research Facility, they will launch an all out assault on the complex. Pilot’s will recognize these as Besieged Covert Research Facilities. The Legion will handle the assault, but capsuleers can take the initiative and dive right in the middle of this conflict. At this point the Legion will not appreciate your interference even if you were intending to help, they will treat all players as hostiles and attack them. For those who can survive the onslaught of both Mordu’s Legion and the defending Guristas there will be riches to be claimed.
The spoils of war include eight new ship skins that drop as blueprints for the Brutix, Catalyst, Coercer, Cormorant, Cyclone, Ferox, Thrasher, and Prophecy. Additionally, these besieged research facilities will potentially hold some of the sixty new pirate implants with full sets of Centurion, Crystal, Edge, Halo, Harvest, Nomad, Talisman, Slave, Snake, and Virtue. Due to expanding research of the Guristas, capsuleers may also come across a new warp speed module called a Hyperspatial Accelerator.
For those players dealing directly with Mordu’s Legion, their LP store in their null sec headquarters is now offering a new line of faction ships. Three new ships are available; a frigate called Garmur, a cruiser called Orthrus, and a battleship dubbed Barghest. Each ship is built as a pirate class ship dedicated towards long range, high speed missiles and boosting the efficiency of capturing targets.
Outer Ring Excavations
The NPC faction ORE have been working hard on a new type of mining ship that will allow for easier access to some of the most dangerous parts of space to collect resources. After the success of the Venture mining frigate, ORE has introduced the Prospect – the first in a new class of ships known as Expedition Frigates. This tech 2 frigate not only maintains the gas collection rate of the Venture but also possesses the capability to equip and use Covert Ops Cloaking Devices and can also light Covert Ops Cynosural Fields. All while featuring enough horsepower to speed tank null sec asteroid belt rats.
The introduction of the Prospect falls in line with many new changes to the way resources are spread throughout the galaxy. Hedbergite, Hemorphite, and Jaspet are now appearing in low sec after initially only appearing as rare spawns in high sec. Additionally Arkonor and Bistot sites that called null sec home are now popping up across low sec, giving industrial capsuleers more reason to venture there.
Other changes have also been made to several mining barges and exhumers. The Retriever and Mackinaw had their ore hold slightly reduced, the Procurer and Skiff gained an extra low slot and bonuses to drones, and finally the Covetor and Hulk gained a bonus to their optimal range and yield.
Logistics in New Eden
With the advancement of ship technology, factions making their move across New Eden, and many more wars to be waged – pilots will continue to haul supplies at increasing rates. Seeing an opportunity with the new demand for dangerous expeditions, manufacturers have gone back to the drawing board and introduced improved versions of their blockade runners, deep space transports, and freighters.
Freighters allow capsuleers to move huge amounts of goods across New Eden, Jump Frieghters allow smaller amounts to be moved between jump bridges. Blockade Runners evade cargo scan and can cloak themselves, while deep space transports offer higher defenses and a large fleet hangar. There’s a hauling ship for every space truckers needs, but now they come with new low slots that enable customization.
Ever since the invention of the drone by the Gallente Empire, advances have been made that continually pushed these unmanned ships to the forefront of both combat and industry. With new technological advancements, drones are becoming more specialized and accessible by new pilots. With lowered skill requirements, pilots can also enjoy new drone support modules that have been released.
Picking the right type of drone is of crucial importance. While Gallente drones deal slow but heavy hitting thermal damage, Caldari drones deal kinetic damage almost equal to their Gallente counterpart at a higher rate. Amarr drones pump out EM damage at a balanced rate, while Minmitar drones specialize in outputting explosive damage at low rates but with unmatched speed in comparison.
Quality of Life
CCP Games quite often focuses on ensuring that their decade old game remains beautiful to look at. They also make sure that systems are improved on to bring them in to a new age of convenience. This can range from graphical updates to streamlining processes in the game. Kronos brings a few of these types of changes to EVE Online, making life just a little bit better in the cruel and unforgiving MMO.
When warping throughout New Eden pilots enter a slipstream, a highway straight to their destination. Now when doing so, pilots will experience a new slipstream effect and warp sound that makes every jump a little more epic. This is one of several new changes made by CCP with the release of Kronos.
Another change that might seem quite small in nature to some, is of higher significance to others – including the founder of CCP. The change was the introduction of thirteen new solar flares. Founder CCP Solaris originally created the solar flares players see from suns in New Eden. In fact it was the last thing remaining in the game that he himself created, so we’re sure he is sad to see it go. The rest of us however can now enjoy a more varied galaxy with the touch ups made to this graphical feature.
Cosmetic updates also extend to player ships with the addition of new paint models available on the New Eden Store. This will allow players to initially give four types of ships a new paint job that will set them apart on the battlefield. Another change to the store was the unification of all aurum currency account wide. Players can now use their combined AUR currency from any character on their account.
Stations have also been given a paint job, with all stations that are owned by NPC factions have been rebuilt with their factions theme. This makes them easily recognizable in space, and helps to add to the immersion of the universe. Finally those who want true control over how they play have been given some tools to play with. New sound customization has been added that allows control of every sound.
There is plenty to be discovered in the latest expansion pack for EVE Online, and a wide variety of opportunities that have become available. It will be interesting to see how the community takes advantage of these opportunities and what CCP has in store for their next update. We will cover it all right here in our future installments of Final Frontier – a regular look at everything EVE.