Summer is upon us and the usual warm weather player slump has shown up… if that is all it is… and before CCP effectively shuts down due to staff going on vacation they gave us an end of month update with some big changes.
The big item on the list for me is DirectX 12 and what it brings to the table. You can throw a lot of crap at EVE Online for its various failings, but CCP has always put in the effort to make sure space looks good. That is one of the pillars of the game and the art team makes few mistakes. (They fixed the frills on the Stabber, didn’t they?)
The changes with DirectX 12 were:
- Updated the texture compression format and removed the old texture packing system.
- Increased the graphical fidelity of assets.
- Reduced texture corruption and artifacting.
- Cameras are now more performant as they have to render fewer objects when they are not in view.
- Doubled the resolution of every background nebula
- Rebalanced the color of all background nebula.
- Significantly decreased seaming of the background nebula.
- Overhauled the Level of Detail system, which allows assets to have a more accurate representation of how they should look when changing the zoom level.
- Revamped every Career Agent mission site.
- Added new decorative asteroids.
- Added many new space assets.
- Overhauled all existing assets.
- Added new environment templates for these sites.
- Updated and reactivated the Cloud Cover effects which can now be found in the Career Agent mission sites.
You can still roll back to DirectX 11 if there are issues, but the game just got a little be better looking.
In addition to that, the long neglected career agents… they’ve been barely attended to for more than a decade… finally got some attention with a new AIR Career Program that has a slate of careers, goals, and activities.
- 4 Careers:
- Explorer – navigation, scanning, hacking, Project Discovery
- Industrialist – mining, manufacturing, salvaging, trading
- Enforcer – PvE combat, missions, Abyssal Deadspace
- Soldier of Fortune – PvP combat and support, Faction Warfare
- 10 Activities per Career
- 3-10 Goals per Activity
- 188 goals in total
There is also a host of new rewards for completing the new activities, with skill points, expert systems, SKINs, and boosters being a part of the mix along with the usual ISK reward for each goal you complete.
That helps extend out the new player experience, as the old career agents were letting the team down. However, as I have said before, the new player experience can only take new players so far. There still has to be a way for players to go from training wheels to the various player organizations that collect around the myriad of activities the game has to offer.
There were also some audio updates… EVE has sound… as well as some additions to the still in beta Photon UI, the latter finally acknowledging that maybe not everybody plays on giant screens with so much real estate that lots of dead space won’t be noticed.
Also, an interesting note towards the end of the patch notes:
The Gallente Federation has constructed two new stations to house key government offices. The new Parchanier IV – President Bureau and Bereye III – Supreme Court Tribunal stations will serve as relocated headquarters for their respective government branches, moving these key Federal facilities into high security space. Capsuleer available industrial facilities and office slots will be added to these stations in the near future as the final construction work is completed on the remaining station areas.
I am not sure what prompted that, but I suspect we’ll find out.
There is a lot more detail in the patch notes, but that was what got my attention.
Anyway, the update went out yesterday and, after some teething issues, seemed to be finally set and settled by the time evening rolled into USTZ.