Apocrypha marks the sixth EVE Online expansion I have been through (the other five being Revelations, Revelations II, Trinity, Empyrean Age, and Quantum Rise) and it is, without a doubt, the expansion with the biggest immediate impact on me and how I play so far.
I could sink my teeth into some of the new features right away!
-Probing: I really like the new interface for probing (just don’t try it on a machine without a scroll wheel mouse!), but it feels like it is only 80% there. I want preset formations (and the ability to make my own) for probes and the ability to move probes as a group for starters. Even with my clumsy probing technique I have found a few wormholes already as well as a drone hive that had a pile of veldspar asteroids hanging about.
There is a downside. I had setup shop to manufacture and sell probes a while back. It was a mild money maker, helped by the fact that there were so many flavors of probes and that you lost them when you used them. Now I have five identical blueprints, since they were all consolidated into a single type, and I haven’t lost a probe yet with the new system. The price of probes has fallen and the demand is way down. Oh well.
-Skill Queue: What we have all been asking for! Of course, I would still like to queue skills up out to forever, but piling up a bunch of short skills then hanging a long skill off the end is still better than what we had. It took me a minute to figure out how to do that. In the queue editor you can only line up skills to the 23 hour 59 minute mark. But once you’ve saved your queue, you can go to the old skills window, right click on a skill, and add it to the end of your queue.
I did have a couple of issues with the queue early on. A couple of times it failed to start the next skill, something I only noticed because the API reported a skill I knew wasn’t on the list to EVEMon
-Ship Fitting Window: It looks neat. Data is presented in a much better way and I love the idea of saving pre-set configurations. On the other hand, the new big circle o’ fitting is a bit odd. It isn’t bad necessarily, but I can’t imagine anybody requesting that a window in EVE Online take up MORE real estate.
-Agents: I like that you can now see the mission you’re getting from an agent without having to open up the journal then open up the mission. Instead you get to see the mission right there, right away. I also like that they added a bit more information to the default mission briefing, like the security level of the systems involved.
I do wish they would tell you how many jumps there were between locations. And not just for courier missions, though that would be key. Once in a while an agent send me off to run an encounter 5 or 6 jumps away.
-Graphics Changes: There are a lot of little updates to the graphics. I seem to spot something new every time I log on. The new gate jump graphic is nice. Mining lasers seem brighter and shinier than ever. I’ll have to get out the Mackinaw just to see if they made the ice lasers blue again. I appreciate that asteroids are no longer a series of identical space dumplings, but space is dark and things are usually far away, so all those new asteroid models are just so many shaped rocks. There is just more variety.
Of course, not everything in the expansion was targeted at players like me.
-Tech III Ships: Call me in about a year, I might have it figured out by then.
-Wormholes: Being somebody who loses every time in PvP, this just seems like a new and interesting way to get ganked. Send me a post card from the other side.
-New Player Experience: I want to give it a try at some point when I have some time.
-Epic Mission Arc: I have received the mission Humble Beginnings a few times now. However, the drop that sends you off to start the whole thing says I have to fly 27 jumps into the heart of Gallente space. Given that the last time I strayed into Gallente space found me persona non grata and whatever the Latin phrase is for “shoot on site,” this seems like a bad idea for me.
And then there are the unexpected changes.
-Bounce: I don’t think this was supposed to be a feature, but since the expansion “Warp to 0m” seems to have become “Warp to Intimate Contact Range.” Getting hung up on a mission gate is amusing and all the first dozen times, but the second or third time your freighter bounces off a jump gate and ends up more than 10km out and faced the wrong direction you start to wonder what is going on. At least I don’t seem to get hung up on the new CONCORD billboards.
-Crash: Things seem to have gotten a bit unstable since Apocrypha launched. Last night I had the game client crash four times in under an hour. That can wear on you a bit. I hope we’re going to see a patch pretty soon to address this. I am not the only one seeing this it seems.
All in all, despite the last two, Apocrypha has been a very good expansion for me so far.