The first of CCP’s smaller, more frequent expansions went live today in EVE Online. They call it Crius, which I keep wanting to type as Cirrus.
The Kronos expansion went live back at the beginning of June, the last of the expansions with a six month run-up to launch. It was big and had bits and pieces for just about everybody.
With Crius, the age of the more focused expansion begins. What does it mean?
That is a question with answers on several levels.
Crius itself is focused on industry in New Eden. You can read the release notes for all the gory details, or the page devoted to the expansion, which at least has some pictures related to the changes for the more visually oriented. Or there is the video. There is always a video. And music. There is a Crius theme up on SoundCloud, where CCP posts all the EVE Online music.
Anyway, there are some general bug fixes and some small changes in other areas, but most everything is about industry.
Which isn’t very exciting to some.
Not that industry isn’t of absolute, vital importance to the game. Without the great industrial concerns of New Eden we might very well be flying about in rookie ships with civilian modules, terrorized by that guy who just finished the tutorial and was flying a Bantam or a Kestral. Every other ship in EVE Online has to be built by somebody. Some player in the game buys the blueprint, collects the materials, runs the assembly job, and lists the result on the market for just about every ship hull you want to buy. I am not sure I have played any MMO that depended so much upon player crafting.
So industry deserves attention. I am just not sure that it grabs much attention.
I went through an industrial phase myself, and my eyes still start to glaze over looking at those patch notes. I like that you now only need 100 of any ore to refine it. I have several stacks of 487 units of some ore that used to require 500 to refine. And it is a good thing that was mentioned at the top of the list, because it kept me from speed scrolling to the bottom of the notes for probably a good five seconds as I looked for something else that made sense to me. I think it is easier to plant a POS in high sec now. Maybe.
I’d better stick to the page with the pictures. Go Teams! They are a some kind of thing now.
Necessary stuff, but not exactly exciting. No marketing team’s dream here. The ingredients required for things to go boom, without any of the actually boom.
And it brings change to what is a fairly conservative group in New Eden.
The core of these changes were supposed to go into the Kronos expansion, but there was such a hue and cry over them and how they might change the dynamics of industry and rob this group or that of their livelihood that it got pushed off to Crius. Industry is such a basic necessity to the game that even CCP, who have been known succumb to their rash viking heritage from time to time, felt they had better back off and think about this. But eventually they came up with something that did not start a revolution amongst industrialists against the company, and that is going live today.
Which brings me to the big question, what do these changes mean to the game itself?
Damned if I know.
I am so long out of the industrial side of things that I can’t gauge what will be a popular win and what will be a milestone around the neck of this expansion. But there are plenty of smart people in EVE Online who can explain things. You can try these:
- Mynnna – Crius Economic Chaos
- Neville Smit – Behold Crius
- TMC – Crius POS Changes and You (and a last minute change)
- EN24 – How to Access Your Planetary Colonies
- EN24 – Crius Known Issues
- The Nosy Gamer – Tear Fueled Ambition
- Kirith Kodach – Fear and Loathing in Los Crius
I am sure there will be many more posts on the topic. The general sense seems to be that things will be a bit more expensive. We shall see.
Meanwhile, the next focused expansion on the list, Hyperion, should be well under way. We should start seeing dev blogs about that soon.
While the dates have already changed, we should still see Hyperion about eight weeks down the line if CCP can hold to its planned pace.