This Week in EVE: April 24 – May 1, 2015

This Week in EVE is back! This week we’re talking about Mosaic, the latest update to the game that brings with it balance changes, the Opportunities system, a beautiful starmap, and more!

 

Developer Blogs

This week saw the release of the 30th (depending on how you count) update to EVE Online! Mosaic, part of CCPs new content schedule that sees incremental releases every five weeks or so, rolled out some interesting new systems for new players and those looking to fly a little fancy.

 

A New Opportunity – Learn to Fly

If you’re a new player or someone who is giving EVE flirty eyes, you’ll be happy to know that Mosaic marks the full release of the brand new Opportunities system. The new non-linear tutorial shows early promise of increasing engagement for new players in EVE while simultaneously allowing them to explore each facet of the game at their own choosing.

“I can happily report that so far all signs are good. Players given Opportunities are roughly 10% more likely to become EVE subscribers and to continue flying their spaceships betwixt the stars than players given the old tutorial. On top of that, we are seeing enormously increased engagement across a range of fundamental game features,” CCP Rise said in a developer blog.

Instead of following a set tutorial, which shows players the basics of how to fly their ship, shoot their guns, and more; the new Opportunities act like mini achievements that are awarded for completing a task. Opportunities are intuitively grouped together so players can complete several tasks at once, and each grouping handles various aspects of learning how to play the game. Even better, the new system helps peel back the curtain on EVE’s less obvious systems, such as the Market, wormholes, and more!

“We added some new essential opportunities including camera use, route setting, and chat; and also split some of the original set up into multiple opportunities to give us more room for details and to make the overall flow smoother,” CCP Rise said. “With the full release we are going to continue expanding and improving on the content in the Opportunities system. We will be adding Opportunities for missions, exploration, manufacturing and joining player corps to name a few.”

EVE Online - Opportunities

While Opportunities loans itself best to new players looking to understand the ropes, Rise also identified an opportunity (heh) to expand into a fully fledged achievement system that rewards players for tackling some of EVE’s greatest challenges, like killing a Titan.

Either way, the new system looks like a meaningful first step in revamping the new player experience. Expect changes and expansions to the system in the coming months.

 

Going on a Treasure Hunt – Star Map is Out of Beta

In a second developer blog, CCP Rise also announced that the new star map will be leaving beta as of Mosaic’s release on April 28th. The star map has been in development since the Rhea update in February, and since then the team has been working to implement many of the features included in the old map.

“We are close to having all important features from the old map migrated into the new one and are hoping that soon we can leave the old behind completely. That said, we want the transition to be as smooth as possible for you, so for the time being we will be leaving the check box in the escape menu (Try the New Map check box) which will allow you to switch back to the old map. Even with the new map on, you will also still be able to access the old map through the Neocom menu.”

Some new improvements to the map include:

  • You can now double click on results to center the camera on the signature
  • Visual indications of results should now persist correctly between scans
  • The map will automatically center appropriately on your system making its use in wormholes much smoother
  • Performance has been improved

Mosaic will also introduce some nice filtering changes to how the map works; including sorting recently used filters to the top so players don’t have to waste time scrolling back and forth.

The new star map is gorgeous, but during my time with it this week I found I vastly preferred the old map, if only because I found my familiarity allowed me to be more adept at manipulating it, especially for scanning. We’ll keep our ear to the ground as changes and improvements are made!

EVE Online - Starmap

The Other Stuff – Coporation UI Enhancements, T3 Destroyer Changes, and More

CCP Sharq and CCP Fozzie teamed up this week to deliver a developer blog detailing some of the smaller, but no less important changes, coming out this week.

The first section of the blog tackles some improvements made to managing roles in corporations.

“we took a pallet knife to the UI, triaged the biggest issues people have with the current system, and threw away excess stuff to make a lighter system that is easier to navigate and manage.”

“Under the current system, the number of screens needed to set roles was a whopping 19 screens. That is a lot to go through,” CCP Sharq said in the blog. “Consolidating roles and grantable roles was one of the key ingredients of this effort. By adding a tristate checkbox, we sliced the number of screens in half.”

A similar treatment was given to managing roles for hangar and container access, cutting the total number of screens down from 12 to just six.

Also included in the new corporate role suite is a search function which allows you to enter the name of a specific player.

Looking forward, CCP Sharq stated that ongoing improvements would be made to the corporate role management UI.

“Ultimately, there are more things the team would like to do with the corporation management system, like additional quality of life improvements we can implement to make dealing with roles better,” he said.

CCP Fozzie then stepped in to introduce some new balance changes that would be made to the new Tactical Destroyers introduced Rhea and Tiamat updates. Both the Svipul and the Confessor received balance changes that saw a decrease in turret slots from 6 to 4, while simultaneously getting a passive bonus that adds +50% role bonus.

Other minor changes included a boost to warp speed for Battlecruisers, fixing an exploit that allowed people to bridge titans directly behind a tower’s protective shields, new burner missions, and a two-step authentication process!

News from New Eden

Things are beginning to heat up this week as HERO moves into Fountain and NC. announces a new campaign against ProviBlock alliances. Let’s dive in!

NC. and ProviBlock Skirmishing in Providence

Several weeks ago NC. announced that they would be relinquishing ownership of their Querrious holdings in favor of a better staging system. That announcement was solidified last week when NC. began offensive operations against ProviBlock forces within Providence.

EVE Online - Proviblock NC

As the Mittani reports, three major engagements have happened so far. All three engagements have seen ProviBlock members withstand the assault from NC. and other allies who joined the fight. Only one engagement saw the use of capital ships, as ProviBlock forces fielded no less than 2 Archons during the final engagement.

Although NC. has suffered initial defeat, this campaign looks like it’ll likely only be warming up for the continuing months as both alliances redouble their efforts.

 

BRAVE Skype Logs Leaked

Remember two weeks ago when I said that the drama regarding the bid to unseat Lychton Kondur as Alliance Executor of BRAVE was likely far from over? Called it.

Last week Skype chat logs were leaked on the Zulu forums, the logs deal primarily with the dissatisfaction at Lycthon’s leadership, which eventually became the catalyst for the coup. Key players in the unvalidated chat logs are Revan Chion and Toasty Biggums. While Revan seems to be the one pushing the idea of betraying Lychton, Toasty was the one who did most of the heavy lifting.

While the chat logs don’t do much to save the reputation of Toasty, in response he has claimed to have hacked the Pandemic Legion forums and will be taking them down unless the chat logs are removed from Zulu.

 

Propaganda of the Week

Last week we saw The Imperium tease some big things in their propaganda video. This week, the infamous coalition is back with some more of their delicious brand of chest thumping.

The first video, titled Unity, features some dramatic lines and an anecdote about strength in numbers:

The second video from the Imperium is, in my opinion, far and away the better of the two. Featuring much more dramatic shots of fleets and some nice transitions.

Finally, the show stopper this week was without a doubt the propaganda video released by TEST of the HERO coalition.

Kill of the Week

230 Billion Lost in Epic Wormhole Clash

On April 27th, a feud that had been days in the making reached its epic climax as corporations The Dark Space Initiative and Lazerhawks engaged in an epic battle that would result in a total loss of 230 billion ISK.

This fight was the result of weeks of aggression as Lazerhawks sought to forcibly remove The Dark Space Initiative from their C6 wormhole. In EVE, wormholes systems are incredibly lucrative properties, and a C6 is the most valuable.

The engagement took place between the 24th of April through to its conclusion late on the 27th when The Dark Space Initiative successfully repelled attacking forces while losing and being unable to reinforce their own fleet. Initial reports say that following the large battle, TDSIN will be looking to evacuate the wormhole and move to a less volatile C5.

I highly recommend watching this video which nicely details the events leading up to the final fight and captures the drama of the ensuing capital fleet engagement.

That’s all folks! We’ll be back again next week with even more news from EVE Online and more impressions as further developments are made and the space drama continues to reach its fever pitch. If you have any comments or questions, leave them in the comments!

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