It has been more than a month since CCP Greyscale first announced, via a Dev Blog, the changes to long distance travel coming with Phoebe. Now the expansion is here, and I hear it took longer to deploy than past expansions because it had to take gates.
As I predicted back then, despite the uproar this announcement caused in some quarters, the changes were pretty much set in stone. There were only a few tweaks to the plan, as noted in the appendices on the Dev Blog. Industrial ships got a bit of a reprieve so that commerce can continue to flow between high and null sec. Otherwise, jump fatigue and capital ships using gates are now a thing.
Now what will the change mean? As CCP Greyscale said:
We expect the impact of these changes to be emergent, and as a consequence are unpredictable and will take a while to develop on TQ [Tranquility, the EVE Online live server]. This plays into our longer-term plans…
The sov holders in null sec each have a plan of their own, and hunkering down into a more defensible territory seems to be a common thread. The CFC withdrew from Delve, Querious, and Period Basis in the southwest. Pandemic Legion sold off much of their rental holdings in the northeast. Northern Coalition set up shop in the southwest leaving what looks to be a power vacuum in the east, as that will be too far away to defend if push comes to shove. Here is what has changed (maps from the usual source):
We’ll call that the first round of changes to the map of null sec, though it appears to still be in progress, with Perrigen Falls region going to a new alliance. (Though Circle of Two grabbed a system that linked to CFC space.) I suspect that once things settle down that we will see some additional names on the sovereignty map, though I wouldn’t bet on them being names new to those positions. And with sovereignty structures taking a hit to hit points we may get an idea of exactly how far away from its central base of operations a coalition can reliably defend sovereignty in a few weeks. The structure changes ended up being:
- Station Services: (-66% EHP)
- -83% Shield HP
- +50% shield resists
- IHUBs and Stations: (-50% EHP)
- -60% Shield and Armor HP
- -50% Hull HP
- +20% Shield and Armor Resists
- SBUs: (-50% EHP)
- -50% Shield, Armor and Hull HP
It will be interesting to see what the sovereignty map looks like by the time Rhea, the next expansion, arrives in mid-December.
Anyway, that has probably been the most talked about aspect of Phoebe. As usual though there is more to the package, including a number of quality of life improvements.
First there is the unlimited skill queue. (Though I think I read that it is, in fact, limited to 10 years or some huge number of skills… 300 maybe? [50 says Jester] But effectively unlimited for any sane definition I guess.) I remember five years back when getting any sort of skill queue at all seemed like a major boon, and now I will be able to queue things up for years at a stretch.
The updated sensor overlay looks good as well.
I know I had one minor nit to pick with the old one, which was that it was a pain to target anomalies in some systems as they tended to cluster together in a bunch, so clicking the right one could be a chore. Of course, I haven’t run anomalies in a while, but this update also includes a keyboard shortcut for making bookmarks in space (Control-B by default), which will help with my new found need to make safe spots in hostile space.
The Phoebe expansion also includes:
- Multi-item sell orders
- Exploration updates
- Changes to invention and manufacturing
- Changes to trial accounts
- A rebalance pass for Heavy Interdictors and Stealth Bombers
- A host of minor updates, including brighter nebulae for tourists like me
- A new song for the release, which sounds appropriately tense and uncertain
Now to go fill up my skill queue.
What will you be doing now that Phoebe has arrived?