The EVE Online expansion Into the Abyss went live earlier today.
Announced at EVE Fanfest last month, the expansion is centered on new PvE content for the game in the form of abyssal pockets. These are solo PvE encounters. However, you need to take care. Once you start one of these encounters you have 20 minutes to complete it and come out the far end. If you fail, the pocket will collapse and you will lose your ship and your pod, ending back up where ever you have your death clone set.
A new way to stimulate the market?
The pockets come in multiple flavors (5) and levels of difficulty (also 5), but you can only get into one if you have an abyssal filament. You can find those at data sites or, likely, on the market. I am sure enterprising explorers will be happy to see some.
In the pocket you will face three encounters with Sleepers or the new Triglavians. But when you go into a pocket a marker is left that lets people scan down where you will re-appear once you are done. And if you do level 4 or 5 difficulty pockets you will also have a suspect timer when you exit, so anybody can shoot your likely damage ship and take your stuff. Fun fun!
So why, given the drawbacks, would anybody bother with abyssal pockets?
Well, loot of course!
Rewards include blueprint copies for one of the three new Triglavian ships, entropic disintegrators and related modules, the hot new weapon system the Trigglavians bring to the game, or those Mutaplasmids, special items that can mutate the stats of current modules in New Eden, making them better… or worse… or just different. For the new ships and modules there are new skills you’ll need to train up… because of course there are. For the Mutaplasmids though no special skill is required, just a willingness to gamble with modules.
Or maybe you will want to go just for some screen shots. Those abyssal pockets are pretty.
Just don’t go out of bounds in search of a good screen shot, that’ll blow you up as well.
Maybe try abyssal pockets out on the test server first. That’s what I did.
That is the big anchor feature of this expansion, solo PvE death dungeons… in space!
But that isn’t all there is to the expansion. Also announced at EVE Fanfest was the fact that somebody at CCP actually tried Planetary Interaction and found out that the interface was confused shit. So they decided to try and fix that. The feature’s only been around for eight years, coming in with the Tyrannis expansion back in May 2010, so it was about due for a pass. There is a whole dev blog about how CCP plans to make things better.
Of course, if you’ve grown used to the unintuitive psycho-clicky interface over the last eight years, I am sure the new one will seem a burden, at least for a while. Time to re-learn.
Aside from that, you can no longer have a warp core
scrambler stabilizer fit if you want to use a Factional Warfare acceleration gate. Unless you have a mobile depot out and quickly refit after activating the gate… or so I hear. CCP was going to fix that by not allowing people to refit while aligning for or in warp, but it turns out capital pilots use that feature pretty often. After dismissing the capital pilot outcry for about a day by pointing out that this was an unintended feature they had been using for years, CCP relented and left things as they were.
There is also the usual range of big fixes and the like.
And then there was one more item. CCP also updated the recommended computer specifications for playing EVE Online. Those are now:
- OS: Windows 10
- CPU: Intel i7-7700 or AMD Ryzen 7 1700 @ 3.6 GHz or greater
- RAM: 16GB or higher
- VIDEO: NVIDIA Geforce GTX 1060, AMD Radeon RX 580 or better with at least 4 GB VRAM
- OS: Mac 10.13
- CPU: Intel i5 Series @ 3.8 GHz or greater
- RAM: 16 GB or higher
- VIDEO: AMD Radeon Pro 580 or better with at least 4 GB VRAM
That came as a bit of a shock. CCP defended this move by pointing out that they haven’t updated the specs since 2013, but in the world of video games, where “recommended” often really means “minimum” and where “minimum” usually means “the publisher wouldn’t let us ship if they knew how demanding our game really was, so theoretically you can play with this config, but it will likely be frustrating” that seems like a pretty high bar to set. People may assume that they shouldn’t bother if they don’t have the recommended config.
However, the minimum specs didn’t change, so I guess we’re all still okay with this update. I assume I’ll still be able to carry on running two clients with graphics turned up, in the manner to which I have grown accustomed. But I am now fairly far behind the recommended spec with the following:
- OS: Windows 7 64-bit
- CPU: Intel Core i5-4590 3.3GHz Processor
- RAM: 12GB of RAM
- VIDEO: nVidia GeForce GTX 960 video card with 4GB of VRAM
Oh well, we shall see.
The expansion has been successfully deployed. Details are available in the Patch Notes and on the Updates Page. There is also the Known Issues post about what has been found so far with the expansion.
The next big update will be coming next week when, on June 5th, CCP retires all of the null sec outposts, converting them into faction citadels. At that point all of the lost goods, trapped in hostiles stations, will go into asset safety, leading to… I am not sure what. INN has some speculation on that front.