It took me to time to ponder over the changes that so far slated for the Rubicon expansion. Some of it I am excited for, some of it doesn’t quite excite me, and still there are some things that I am excited and concern about.
Things I am excited about:
Sisters of Eve Ships:
Finally we have an Amarr/Gallente “pirate” group. So far there hasn’t been much information out aside from the looks of their ships and that at least the frigate will be able to fit a Covert Ops cloak. Beyond that the speculation is pretty high, with the only phrase about the ships being that are “designed to support extended, discreet travel in hostile areas of deep space.” True, SOE are mostly known for their humanitarian pursuits, both the book “The Burning Life” and the Chronicle “1” indicates that there are more militant factions within the SOE that might also be the impetus for a ship building program.
To be honest, lore-wise, I’m not surprised about the frigate, but I am about the Cruiser. This is because if it’s a logistics cruiser (which would follow their main faction), then it will neither be cheap enough for newer logistics pilots to fly nor would it be a ship that would supplant Tech 2 Logistics cruisers. If it is a combat ship, then I think it will be viewed as “just another combat ship”. To be honest, I’m more surprised that it isn’t some kind of industrial as an industrial would be more fitting to the lore. Still, we have yet to see what all is to be planned for it.
Personal Deployable Structures – Mobile Units
Anyone not excited about these are dead. Certainly they are causing quite a stir and no doubt everyone has already drawn up plans to utilize the four that are to be released. Now, while it says that four types will be released, I did notice on the concept art that the ones were labeled (Small). This may indicate that there will be medium and large versions as well.
- Siphon Unit – Cool name incoming, but this is probably the best addition in Rubicon (in my opinion). Basically a mobile unit you can place near a POS doing reactions or is moon mining and your siphon unit will suck a little bit away each cycle. The downside is that there are no locks so someone else could pull the stuff out instead of you. The interesting thing will be if there is a limit to these per POS or not. Zerg dropping of these Siphon Units on a single POS might be a pretty interesting tactic. I also wish there was a way for it to be “disquised” as another module so that it wouldn’t be so easily found on the overview. It would still be outside of POS, and it would still show up on the overview.. but it wouldn’t be such a dead giveaway.
- Depot – A new “mobile home” that can be used as a temporary base of operations, even for solo pilots. It sounds like it will have a reinforcement timer and that you can scoop your loot out of it, even while in reinforcement. The benefit of this is that it can act as a fitting service as well. Just about everyone is excited for this, and I am one of them. I probably won’t use one, but I know this would be a GREAT help to merc, pirate, and “sabetour” groups that have a need to operate far away from established areas.
- Mobile Cyno Jammer – A short range, short time, one-time use cyno jammer. Not sure if this can be deployed in a “reactive” mode, i.e after a cyno has been lit, or if it has to be “preventative” and be on before a cyno is lit in the area. We do know that the range considered is pretty small: 75 to 100km range.
- Auto Tractor Beam and Looting Unit – I’m the least excited about this unit, but I can see a use for this with incursions, group mission running, and depending on how long they stay in space and how many can be deployed at one time, belt ratting.
Ship Balancing Changes
As always it is nice to see ships get an improvement or more balanced. Rubicon will be fixing Marauders, Interceptors, Interdictors, and EAFs. There has already been a lot of talk regarding all of these ships but here is how I see each one:
- Marauders – The most recent change for Marauders is that they are going back to their original change. The general Eve public has not been very good about having a “wait and see” attitude towards these ship changes and quite a few have fallen off the edge of good taste. So far CCP Fozzie, Ytterbium , and Rise have done an excellent job with ship balancing (and if anyone says otherwise then.. well, then they are just blind and a few other derogatory things as well). In the meantime, I will wait and see.
- Interceptors – Less HP and the ability to nullify warp bubble effects to themselves. Quite a few folks are making this a big deal, but effectively they were immune already. The only time they weren’t was really if they got caught on a pull bubble and your team had some fast tacklers or a smartbombing BS. Outside of that, it’s a change that really isn’t a change.
- Interdictors – Haven’t seen anything on this yet.
- Electronic Attack Frigates – Ripard Teg seems very excited about the upcoming changes that we haven’t heard about, though they are slated to have extended ranges. Again, until I see more I’ll just adopt a wait and see attitude.
Warp Acceleration Mechanics
This is a very big deal here. Basically, Tech 1 cruisers are the baseline. Whatever is smaller will enter warp faster and whatever is bigger will enter warp slower. This will really slow down roving BC and BS gangs and make them more vulnerable to lighter and faster gangs, while limiting their overall effective response range. This will certainly improve the variety of tactics out there now and harassing enemy forces will be a much easier task.
Changes I’m Less Than Excited About:
Well, perhaps “less than excited” is too harsh. More like, “not sure if this is special to me”.
- Twitch TV integration – I see potential, but I also see quite a bit of wasted potential too if they aren’t going to get serious about developing a competative sport community/mechanics in Eve Online itself.
- New Certificate Changes, Character Screen and Ship Map – Good for newbies, which is always a plus. There are some interesting changes just mentioned in a Dev Blog today, and that definately will improve the life of a new player.. but for a old player like me.. hard to see the long term benefit anymore. The downside: I kinda did sorta like pressing the “Claim” button for certificates. Felt like I had accomplished something. It was Eve Online’s version of the “Ding” when you gained a level.-
- New Bubble Graphics – Considering that new graphics were done for bubbles somewhat recently, I am a bit curious as to what and why they want to do that.
- Rapid Heavy Missile Launcher – Bout time. Not much of a missile thrower myself, but something like this should have been in the game a while ago for the Rocket -> Rapid Assault Launcher path.
- Gunnery Tiercide(new) – Having trained all my gunnery secondary skills to V, I actually am a bit more positive about this than most. Mainly because there will be more pilots out there in a hurry to get to Tech 2 weaponry, which makes me my skillset even more valuable.
Changes I am both Excited and Concerned About:
Yeah, I waited until last to talk about the High-sec POCOs. They are a nice, stable source of isk for industrial players. Emphasis on the word “Stable”, because low-sec and null-sec PI operations produced a lot more materials than high-sec did per planet. But a lot of people do high-sec PI, so this change could have a real impact on T2 production and POS fuels.
The results could be all over the board. But there is serious concern that powerful null-sec entities like Goonswarm and Pandemic Legion could go in and take whatever High-sec POCOs they want, denying small time operators any serious change to make isk in those operations and doing this at a large scale.
Supposedly, this could be hampered by several reasons:
- High-sec does not allow for capital ships, so structure grinds would take considerably longer and be more vulnerable to defending forces.
- Denial operations would prove to be pointless as the amount of PI generated per planet would not make the effort worthwhile. There needs to be some possibility of profit.
- War-dec operations would make war-deccing multiple industrial corps/alliances very expensive and time consuming as well as expose other risks in high-sec.
The change DOES have the potential for force more industrial corps to diversify and to work on improving their PVP chops. Certainly some will, especially those who consider themselves “industrialists with teeth”. However, since PI is usually an individual or very small group operation, I am not sure if that push will be generally successful because it would take months to recoup any serious losses.
So, I am more excited than concerned overall. I mean we still are having issues with the TOS and Marauders are still in everyone’s craw, so it could be an interesting expansion once everything settles down. But we’ll see. This will be the first of many expansions where CCP Seagull has taken personal responsibility for its success.