CCP Fozzie has outlined changes to a metric shipton of ships. I am not worried primarily because I am skilling up Amarr Frigate V (yes, I know under the new system I technically only need level IV, but I don’t like surprises). According to my time schedule, this will allow me plenty of time to get Caldari Frigate V taken care off before Retribution hits on December 4th.
But then again.. after December 4th, the game will pretty much be nearly new again. All Tier 1 Frigates revamped, some given completely new roles. All Tier 1 destroyers revamped, and even a new line of destroyers being launched as well. Let’s not forget that all the Tier 1 cruisers.. even some battlecruisers are being redone as well (YEAH for Missile Changes! Boo for Hurricane Nerf 😦 ). Not to mention Command Ships also being reviewed for a complete overhaul.
That is a lot. That is more than an expansion in my book.. that is a re-design, even a re-image of the game itself. Fleet doctrines? Out the window. A single ship dominating a class? Certainly still likely.. but the terms will vary greatly and not so clearly. Fitting experts? Gone. All of us will have to start over again. Those of us in the game may have a leg up or two, but classical wisdom is done for now.
But, there is more to Retribution than just a revision of ships. You also have the change in game mechanics and even a new career field. The game mechanics should have been fixed years ago, but when it took more than 41 pages to document all the possible outcomes of the current “crimewatch” system.. then it was clear that perhaps, just maybe, that this particular game mechanic might actually not be “new player friendly”. In fact it wasn’t friendly to any player and this change allows for new gamers to get the rules quick enough that they might actually enjoy playing Eve before their frustration at losing ships in high-sec over and over drives them away.
Then you have the new Bounty Hunting system. I like it much better than the old one, and from the outset it really does look like being a Bounty Hunter has the potential to make isk and thus, be an honest.. well, honest in the Eve sense, game mechanic. There are some little, stealthy, perhaps even “minor” changes that will effect the game in a big way:
For example, the new UI and camera angles view:
Now, I like the HUD changes.. but I think CCP will still need to work on them more (and I am still waiting for fully customizable UIs that can be made by players, btw). The big thing though, in my opinion, is the new camera angle. The one where you can lock on a target and follow him, but from the angle of your ship.
It is what I like to call, the “Arena” camera angle.
As I mentioned here and here, Eve Online suffers from a problem for Arena style combat and that is that the camera angles are just horrid for seeing the action. The camera angles have also been a problem for people wanting to make promotional videos and AMVs from Eve because it simply was a lot of work for what is a pretty common feature in most games. With this change, I think you will see much better involvement in the artistic side of Eve, as well as getting better perspectives and being more “into it” game-wise. I am very excited about this change.
Perhaps this could lead the way to having player sponsered tournaments again.. or better yet.. tournament circuits.. hmmm… such possibilities.