Tag Archives: CCP

A New Home for World of Darkness

Together, we will create the industry’s most innovative games leveraging both online and offline systems.

-White Wolf president Mike Tinney, November 2006

The ongoing tale of CCP Games, White Wolf, and the World of Darkness IP.  A story as old as this blog.

Back in 2006, during the heady days of MMO glory, when every virtual world idea seemed like a good one, CCP bough White Wolf with the express desire of turning World of Darkness into an MMO.  We had heard that by 2009, during the growth years of EVE Online, that CCP was had a team actively working on that project.

World of Darkness

World of Darkness

And then fortunes changed.  There were layoffs in 2011 and again in 2013 that directly affected the team working on the project.

Then there was the mysterious asset derecognition in the company books in March of last year that later turned out to be World of Darkness.  Then, finally, in April of 2014, the 56 people still working on the project were let go and the project was officially terminated by CCP.

After that, some tales of the project leaked out to the press, with stories of hitting alpha a few times only to be rejected and a large amount of “borrowing” of assets from the WoD team to support other projects, especially EVE Online.

And that is where things were left.  It has been well over a year since we have heard anything substantial.  And then yesterday there was finally some news.  Paradox Interactive, the Swedish King of computer strategy games, is buying White Wolf from CCP.  On the Icelandic side of things, this unburdens CCP some and provides them with some additional cash in the bank.  But we already knew that they were concentrating on the EVE Online universe and related VR titles like Valkyrie and Gunjack.  (What fate awaits DUST 514 though, the only “not in space” game in the set?)

What Paradox will end up doing with White Wolf is less clear.  The phrase “…will pursue development opportunities across relevant categories of game…” is as open ended as one would expect at this stage of things.

Does that mean a World of Darkness MMO some day?  That still seems pretty doubtful to me.  The age of “MMO all the things!” has passed.  I am not sure “WoW with vampires!” would do any of us any credit. (And hopefully nobody is thinking “LoL with vampires!”  We’re past that too now, right?)

But we might get a decent computer RPG some day.  We shall see.

The press release from Paradox Interactive is below.  There was no press release from the CCP side of things, but then they cannot even seem to keep up with EVE Online expansions there.

Paradox Interactive Acquires White Wolf Publishing from CCP Games
New Paradox Subsidiary will Operate Independently and Manage All White Wolf Properties, Including World of Darkness and Vampire: The Masquerade

STOCKHOLM – Oct. 29, 2015 – Paradox Interactive, a global games developer and publisher, today announced the acquisition of White Wolf Publishing from CCP Games in an all-cash deal. Now a subsidiary of Paradox Interactive, White Wolf Publishing is a licensing business that owns and manages intellectual properties including World of Darkness, Vampire: The Masquerade and Werewolf: The Apocalypse. Led by CEO Tobias Sjögren, former EVP of Business Development at Paradox, White Wolf Publishing will operate as an independent entity with a dedicated team.

White Wolf Publishing has a long history of producing gaming universes that span mediums, including tabletop and collectible card games, PC games and books. Paradox Interactive acquired all of White Wolf’s brands, and its new subsidiary will pursue development opportunities across relevant categories of games under the White Wolf Publishing name.

“Like Paradox’s games, White Wolf’s properties have dedicated, passionate communities. While there are similarities in spirit, White Wolf’s IPs have very different themes than Paradox’s titles, and deserve their own brand and team,” said Fredrik Wester, CEO and President of Paradox Interactive. “We have great respect for White Wolf’s gaming worlds and see big opportunities for their expansion in the future under our new subsidiary.”

“Over the last 20 years, I’ve had the opportunity to work with beloved studios like DICE and Paradox on the business management side of games, and as a developer earlier in my career. I look forward to bringing my experience to bear as we pursue new ways to interact with White Wolf’s universes,” said Tobias Sjögren, CEO of White Wolf Publishing. “The White Wolf IPs are well suited for all kinds of media and we see great potential to expand them in the future.”

“At CCP, we have great admiration for the White Wolf brands and communities, and it was extremely important to us that the acquiring company share the same respect and understanding,” said Hilmar Veigar Pétursson, CEO of CCP Games. “With Paradox, we know we are leaving the brands in good hands.”

For more information about White Wolf Publishing, please visit www.whitewolf-publishing.com.

Quote of the Day – Entonsis Links vs. Guns Blazing

Long story short, we have had long meetings about the structure attack system, and came to the conclusion that, while Entosis Links do indeed achieve our design goals for the Citadels, they are not actually delivering an experience we are satisfied to provide.

Citadels, Sieges and You v2 dev blog

I am going to claim that this captures a bit of the spirit of my post on Monday where I was waxing enthusiastic for POS shoots because you actually get to shoot something and you have the chance to get a kill mail.

The dev blog linked above is full of information about the new proposal for citadels.

Citadel Damage Sample

Citadel Damage Sample

But right up front they list out the reasons that they are not going the Entosis Link module route for the new structures which will eventually be replacing the current POS system we have now.

  • It’s not fun being shot by massive structure weapons while being unable to retaliate in kind, it gives players the feeling to be helpless while they watch a timer go down
  • There is gameplay involved in applying damage that Entosis Links do not preserve, like range, speed, falloff or positioning
  • It devalues capital ships as a whole, especially Dreadnoughts, which were specifically introduced to assault and destroy static structures
  • Last but not least, there is a visceral connection in shooting a structure down to destroy it. Having guns blazing while watching the target hit points go down is a very strong visual and adrenaline factor that Entosis Links remove out of the equation.

Oh yeah, fun.

Anyway, the dev blog goes into great detail about how and when and under what particular circumstances CCP proposes to allow people to blow these structures up.  It is all very complicated.


But they key point for me is the rejection of the Entosis Link module in favor of the weapon systems we had all along.

EVE Online gets Galatea… or is it Galleria?

Galatea might be a sea nymph from Greek mythology, but the EVE Online expansion which launches today, and which bears her name, contains so much in the way of fashion that it feels like a visit to the mall, so perhaps Galleria might have been a better choice, being a popular name for malls in the US.

Which isn’t to say I am against cosmetic items in the game.  I have spent a good chunk of ISK on ship skins.  I’ll buy any Quafe skin I can find.  I want a Quafe Drake!  I know it breaks the lore, but I want one!

However, the game does not thrive on looks alone.  Then again, iff you push an expansion every six weeks, some will seem more end up feeling more substantial than others I suppose.

Part of the plan was to redesign the great space potato, the Dominix, to give it a little more panache, as part of the ongoing ship revamp process.

The Galatea Dominix

The Galatea Dominix

I will withhold judgement until I have seen it in space, but I am not feeling it so far.  Still, a fashion item.

Then there are designer skins coming for ships, especially Caldari and Minmatar ships, which have been somewhat neglected.  The first is the Raata Sunset skin for Caldari vessels.

Bright Red

Bright Red

On the Caldari front this at least gets us away from the militaristic but somewhat drab Wiyrkomi skins that dominate the Caldari skin market and puts some more color there.  The following ships get the option for this skin style.  A list of the ships that get to use the new skin, along with previews, is available in this new post from CCP.  Highlight for me, the blood red Drake.  How can Drakes not come back with that skin available?  Anyway, very much a fashion item, being something literally to be sold in the New Eden Sky Mall.

There was an update to the visuals that certain modules produce.  The biggest one on the list was an update to the doomsday effects for titans, but other modules got updates as well, including warp scrams, tractor beams, and salvagers.  Enhancing looks is fashion.

Then there was a change so that if you have your camera set on a target, the camera will stay focused there as the ship blows up rather than jumping back to your ship the moment the explosion begins.  I see some decent screen shot potential in this change.  Very cool, but still on the edge of visual, and thus fashion.

All of which would have made for an okay, if not memorable six week feature drop.

But then, as the date got closer, CCP added one more batch of features related to Fozzie Sov.

  • Reduce the base capture time of Command Nodes from 10 minutes to 4 minutes
  • Defenders start with 60% control at the beginning of a capture event
  • Reduce cap on total nodes per structure from 20 to 10
  • Reduce spawn rate of new random nodes by ~50%.
  • Replace Entosis Link mass penalty with a 4000m/s speed limit while fitted

That was actually a substantial addition, at least for folks who live day to day in null sec space.  It was enough allow The Imperium to launch its crusade against the Jamylites in Providence at the direction of Maximillian Sigularity VI, the first major assault on a region under Fozzie Sov.  Many timers were set yesterday under the original Fozzie Sov rules, but they will come out under the Galatea updates, so we will see how the changes worked out pretty quickly.

That is all that is listed on the updates page for the Galatea release today.  The patch notes for Galatea are also available and contain additional details along with the usual list of fixes that came in with this release.

And, finally, there is the Galatea release theme, a somewhat moody tune for an otherwise colorful expansion.

All of which appears to have been successfully deployed.

The next stop is the Vanguard expansion, currently slated for September 29th and which has the updated fleet warp mechanics and new burner missions on the agenda so far.


CCP Doubles Down on VR with EVE Gunjack

Yesterday CCP announced its “VR Arcade Shooter,” EVE: Gunjack, joining EVE: Valkyrie as part of its potential VR title lineup.

SCV good to go, sir!

Just screams, “SCV good to go, sir!” to me.

While EVE: Valkyrie is targeted at the well-known, Facebook-owned Occulus Rift VR platform, EVE: Gunjack is slated for Samsung Gear VR option.  Samsung Gear VR incorporates some of the technology from Occulus Rift, so it includes the head tracking aspects of the latter.  But the Samsung unit does not include a built-in display, somewhat akin to the Google Cardboard VR unit, requiring users to purchase specific models of their Samsung Galaxy Note 4 line to act as the screen.

Because of the overlap in technology between the Occulus Rift and Samsung Gear VR units, I am not sure that this represents a doubling of CCP’s investment in Virtual Reality, but they do seem keen to jump on the VR bandwagon despite the motion sickness concerns and the need to buy a somewhat expensive unit that you then have to strap to your face in order to use.

But they now are working on twice as many VR titles.

And EVE: Gunjack distinguishes itself from EVE: Valkyrie by being… more gritty I guess.  EVE: Valkyrie is a space dogfighting simulator, while this is how EVE: Gunjack is described:

Set in the EVE Universe we all know and love, the player takes on the role of a turret operator aboard a mining rig out in the nullsec region of Outer Ring. As part of the defense team, it’s up to the player to protect the rig from pirates, opportunists and anyone else looking to take what rightfully belongs to the company.

Maybe more Space Engineers or SCV’s Online than a space warrior sim?  It is hard to tell.  The screen shots show more “doing” than “shooting.”

Salvaging an Abaddon hulk?

Salvaging an Abaddon hulk?

Anyway, that adds another title to the CCP lineup, which to date looks like:

  • Danger Game (Hættuspil) – The most popular Icelandic board game ever, with 1 in 8 Icelandic households reported to own a copy.  While there aren’t all that many households in Iceland, it did help finance EVE Online development.  Made a triumphant return with the EVE Online Second Decade Collector’s Edition.
  • EVE Online – A popular spaced based version of the Stanford Prison Experiment.  Makes all the money for CCP.
  • Quafe – Not a game, but a drink available in EVE Online brought to the real world.  CCP sold this for a while about a decade back.  It was basically re-branded lemon-lime soda from Egill Skallagrímsson, specifically Egils Orka.
  • EVE: The Second Genesis – CCP returned to the table top with a collectable card game version of EVE Online.  Hasn’t been heard from since 2009.
  • DUST 514 – An online shooter that promised to allow EVE Online players to grief PS3 owners via orbital bombardment.  Not regarded as a success.  Still pissed I never got to drop rocks on anybody.
  • World of Darkness – Worked on fitfully for a few years, then cancelled.  May not be gone for good, but not coming back any time soon.  So now WoD means Warlords of Draenor to most MMO players.
  • EVE: Valkyrie – Exciting VR tech space dogfighting simulator.  Promises to make people vomit.
  • Project Legion – A promised shooter akin to DUST 514, only on a platform that EVE Online players actually own.  (i.e. Windows)  Reported to be in development.
  • EVE: Gunjack – Newly announced.  Maybe less exciting but deeper content?  Perhaps not as prone to motion sickness?

Anyway, that is what CCP has… so they clearly need to keep EVE Online running for a few years longer to pay their bar tabs.  Or bring back Quafe.  I’d buy some of that.

Never Enough Jump Clones

This past weekend I finished up Advanced Infomorph Psychology, a good 20 day skill that got me my 10th jump clone in EVE Online.

I love me some jump clones, that is for sure.

That means I can be flying around in space in one clone and then, upon docking up, “jump” to and occupy any of those 10 clones I have sitting around in other stations.  It is a handy way to get around New Eden.

Yes, there is that 19 hour wait between jumps. (Of course I trained up that skill as well!  A 24 hour wait was too much, but 19, or even 20 hours, is just about right.)  But that means I can jump at the end of the evening and have the timer set for another jump by the start of the next.

And what do I do with all of those jump clones?

Well, I keep one at the coalition staging system so I can jump there to join fleets.

I keep another one at our alliance staging system in case I want to join a TNT fleet operation.  That would require me to log into TNT Jabber, something I have been very lax about lately, but I could if I wanted.  I just tend to be deployed out with Reavers, so what goes on at the alliance level is generally pretty far away.

I have a clone in the system I now rat in down in Tribute, about a dozen jumps from the alliance staging system.

There is one in Jita, so I can jump there, buy things, and have them shipped out to null sec, or partake in the many great opportunities being tastefully advertised in local.

I have another one tucked up in Amarr space in one of the university stations that sells skills, in case I need to buy yet another skill. (Current count: 307)  That clone also has a set of +4 attribute implants, since attributes are still a thing for the moment.  So even if I don’t need a new skill, I often just jump to that clone if I won’t be on for a couple days to boost skill training speed.

I have another one in the Amarr Navy Logistics station one jump from Amarr, which happens to be a station where I can install jump clones, having worked my way up to an 8+ standing with both the Amarr and Caldari Navies back in the day.

Then there is one down in Delve, with a ship, that was pre-positioned back during a Reaver deployment in case we got called upon to go assist Pizza with something.  Not sure I need that one any more.  Pizza still holds NOL-M9 down there, where the clone is, but not a lot else.

I have a clone in Fountain, in 4-EP12, along with a Caracal and a pile of ammunition.  I’d fly the Caracal out on a whim, but there is too much stuff in the station for it to carry.  So I keep the clone there to keep the ammo listed on the market.  Anybody need 200K rounds of Antimatter Charge L (from the Baltec fleet era) or 184K rounds of Scourge torpedoes (same era, but siege bomber fleet doctrine)?

And, finally, I have a jump clone in B-R5RB that has been sitting in that station, along with Dominix I was flying, since the great battle down there about a year and a half back.

N3 titans scattered about

I was one of those little dots chasing that Avatar titan

I keep that one for sentimental reasons.  I nearly collected the ship back when The Initiative held the system and we deployed down there to help them back in January, but never quite got around to it.  Now the system is in hostile hands and it seems unlikely that we’ll ever own that station again.  But stranger things have happened.

So those were my nine clones, sitting around in stations all over New Eden, plus the clone I am currently using.

Now I have one more clone I can place.  Of course, I don’t HAVE to go put it anywhere, I could hold it aside for a rainy day or some sudden need.  But there happens to be a window of opportunity with the alignment of a couple of events.

The first is that the Reavers happen to be down in Curse to play Entosis Link games with the locals just to see what we can get away with.  The other is an “accidental” change to how jump clones work, announced by CCP yesterday.

Apparently they broke the standings requirement for jump clones.  Previously, in order to install a jump clone in an NPC controlled station, you had to have a standing of 8.0 or greater with that corporation.  As I mentioned above, I worked for quite a while on Amarr and Caldari Navy missions way back in the day in order to be able to install jump clones at need in high sec.

Now though, according to CCP:

Before the release, minimum standings of +8.0 were required with an NPC corporation in order for a pilot to be able to install a jump clone in their stations. This is no longer the case, and capsuleers can freely create jump clones in whichever NPC station they choose to do so.

So jump clones installation for everybody.  Go use it quick before CCP makes up its collective mind about whether or not to “fix” this.  They seem to content to let it stand, but it is also summer and the vacation mindset might be influencing their view.  They might sober up or the cold might set in again and put them in a more stern state of mind.

I might have been angry about having ground all those missions if I had just finished them last week, but I did that seven years ago and can barely remember how long it took.  It does seem to put paid to organizations that were allowing people to make jump clones, and there is the remaining question about what use are standings now.

Anyway, that means I ought to be able to install that tenth clone down in Curse in one of the NPC stations with cloning services.  And then, at some future date, late on a week night, I can fly out, one by one, the ships I left behind from that deployment to Curse we had nearly two years ago.  Not that there is anything of great value there.  Just a couple of Harpies, a Burst, and a Ferox along with some ammo and fittings.

I think I will do the same with that jump clone down in Delve.  I’ve always been the good soldier and pre-deployed ships and clones where told.  The problem is that I appear to be in the minority on that front, and so every operation needs to start out of the coalition staging system in Deklein.  And since the destination is always a secret when we set out, we end up flying for an hour and wind up five jumps from my jump clone and doctrine ship, which continue to gather dust.

Learning to do the Fozzie Sov Shuffle

After the false start of Wednesday, when downtime was extended well into the Icelandic evening and jokes about Fozzie Sov killing EVE Online were starting to feel uncomfortably close to real, it looks like people really dove into the whole new sovereignty mechanic with a vengeance.

If you look at the Timer Board web site that somebody put together to use the updated API’s ability to tell you what systems are in play, you will see… as of when I am writing this… more than 200 things are being assaulted.  Obviously, not all of them are going to get taken.  A lot of timers look to be past their mark.  But clearly Entosis Link trolling is a thing, if nothing else.

Meanwhile Wollari over at DOTLAN EVE Maps has integrated some of the new data available into the map options on the site.  In addition to the usual sovereignty view of a region, you can also now choose views that show systems that are vulnerable, which systems have which of the three key structures (TCU, ihub, station), and what the active defense multiplier is for systems.

That last one is important for both attackers and defenders.  For attackers it determines how long the Entosis Link module has to run to capture something, a range of 10 to 60 minutes depending on the multiplier.  And for defenders, it essentially lets you know what your response time has to be for given systems and where you might want to focus some effort in order to boot that number.  (I am waiting for somebody to put that ADM data together into a chart to show how many sovereign null sec systems people actually use regularly.  If the ADM is 5 or greater, people live there.  3-4 shows some life.  But if it is less than that, not so much.)

This has lead to some changes of behavior, at least in The Imperium.  Before now, the carebears amongst us were, at a minimum, kidded about spending their days ratting, mining, building, or otherwise whiling away the hours in space not shooting people.

Now though, with their behavior influencing the ADM, the call goes out for shock workers to perform hero ratting in low multiplier systems.  Strategic mining ops are called and participation links given out for burning rocks.  Industrialists are now hailed as heroes of the coalition.  I am not making this up.  Well, maybe I made up that last one, but the first two are real.

It is a good time to be a carebear in The Imperium.  And it isn’t a bad time for combat operations as well.  Mordus Angels and Pandemic Horde have been making runs at systems in Pure Blind and Fade in small, easily destroyed fleets.  I managed to get into a homeland defense fleet that caught MASSADEATH himself and a small Cerberus fleet trying to finish off a vulnerable node in Pure Blind.  We got some kills, drove them off, and made the save.

Making the save

Saving the ihub

The theory seems to be that if they get in quick with a small fleet, they can get away with it.  But small gangs and squishy Entosis Link ships just feed the Feroxes of the Homeland Defense fleets.

Feroxes for Freedom

Feroxes for Freedom

The Timer Board site only shows a few systems of The Imperium under attack out of that list of 200+, and mostly on the periphery where hostiles have easy access.  It is a little early to make much of a claim, but it feels like having the coalition contract into a smaller perimeter that consisted of space that was mostly occupied and in use on a regular basis was a good plan.  Attacks are only really getting any traction where we are thin on the ground.

And the ihub upgrades for rats seem to be having an effect.  A system I ratted in pre-Aegis used to generate a single Guristas Forsaken Hub, the best generally available ISK/effort anomaly.  After that system got the upgrade, it was generating three Guristas Forsaken Hubs and a Haven.

I also had an opportunity to go out and be part of the offensive side of the Fozzie Sov equation.  Last night Asher Elias and the patron saint of welps, Dabigredboat, ran a joint Reavers/Bomberwaffe operation down to the Reavers’ home away from home, Querious.

A test run, we went down in Caracals and interceptors via a convenient (if more rare) null-to-null wormhole to  see if Darkness would defend some of their space.  Ideally it would have happened in ED-9LT, the former Reaver outpost in the region.  That was not an option.  Instead we were headed to UYU-VV in the 8BO-IH constellation.  (This is going to mean learning system AND constellations now, isn’t it?)

We faced no opposition on the first Entosis Link attack and pushed the event into the “scatter round” when additional command nodes appear throughout the constellation… in this case six systems… forcing us to break up into smaller groups.

The group that stayed in UYU-VV actually faced a bit of opposition.  The group I was in, sent off to W6V-VM, was not bothered.  We flew off to the Territorial Claim Unit Command Node that spawned in the system.

TCU Command Node

TCU Command Node

That appears to be the overview marker for the actual target, the Structure Command Node.

Timer on the command node

Timer on the structure command node

Of course, in the grand CCP tradition, the option in the overview to actually SEE these nodes is unchecked by default, harkening back to the battle cruiser split when one of them… attack battle cruisers I think… didn’t show up on overviews by default.

You need to check the right box...

You need to check the right box…

Upon finishing off the node inW6V-VM , two more nodes spawned.  Our Entosis Link fit interceptor went after one while we flew cover and, upon finishing that one, we were called back to UYU-VV.  Enough other modules were running that we did not need the additional one in our system.  And while Darkness appeared in small numbers, they did not seem interested in hitting any of the Structure Command Nodes to contest or operation.

The results bar tipping heavily in our direction

The results bar tipping heavily in our direction

And so the system was rolled.  Later, Plaid Rabbit ran out, grabbed a TCU, and planted it in UYU-VV, thus taking sovereignty for Reavers in Querious yet again.

Our constellation

Our constellation

It would have been nicer if it had a station, but I am not sure we’re going to spend ISK upgrading a system we grabbed on a whim at the other end of New Eden.

After that we had the option of starting the process on another system or going 20 jumps on the off chance we might get into the middle of a fight.  The killers won the poll, clearly betraying out Reaver philosophy, and off we went.

We did catch a blockade runner along the way just idle near a gate.  I am going to guess the pilot went AFK cloaked and then got decloaked by somebody passing too close.  That was a quick kill.  And while I understand that eventually some of us got on a dreadnought kill or two, I ended up getting popped when we crossed paths with a Northern Coalition fleet headed for the same fight, and so missed out.  Life in a combat zone.

So that has been my experience with Fozzie Sov and the Entosis Link module dynamics so far.

CCP has put out a video detailing how the mechanics of the new system work.

How the new system will actually play out over time though, that is a horse of a different color.

Introducing Carnyx the Magnificent

Answer: The New Eden Store, a Panther, and the EVE Online Launcher.

Envelope reveals: Name a shop, a blop, and a flop.

Come on old people, laugh at the ancient, late night TV reference!

Nothing?  May Mister Vee call you as primary just as you go for a bio break!

Anyway, today is the day for the Carnyx release, a carnyx being some sort of ancient Celtic wind instrument, leaving open the option to claim that this expansion blows I guess.

The big thing for me this time around will likely be the ongoing null sec sovereignty updates.

Five weeks back, with the Mosaic expansion, CCP put the Entosis Link module into the game, the key item in CCP’s planned “Summer of Sov” changes.  Now that we’ve all had time to make the modules, their first use is becoming available with Carnyx, the ability to assail station services.

  • Station services for outposts and conquerable stations are now enabled/disabled using the Entosis Link module. They have become immune to regular damage.
  • The structures have been moved away from the center of station to more appropriate locations on the station model. Each type of station/outpost has a different layout of service locations.
  • Services will take 5 minutes of uncontested Entosis Link activation (after completing a warm-up cycle) to enable/disable. To provide a defensive bonus, the time take to disable a service is increased according to the solar system’s occupancy multiplier (more details in the dev blogs linked here)

That means no more sitting on stations expending ammunition, a current favorite pastime for both sides in the Querious war.

Missile exhaust trails

Shoot the big thing… no, you don’t get a kill  mail

Instead the attacking side will have to hold the station grid and keep the defenders from killing any ships running the Entosis Link module which, as was announced in a previous post, will be unable to cloak, warp, dock, jump, or receive remote assistance.  No reps, no running, no hiding, the Entosis Link ship has to survive on its own.  I will be interested to see what fits end up becoming common for link ships.

It also means that the activity defense multiplier will be in effect.

Activity Defense Multiplier

Activity Defense Multiplier

This gives a bonus to your defense, in the form of increasing the amount of time an attacking Entosis Link module must run in order to complete its conquest, based on how much mining and ratting has been done in the system as well as how old the currently active infrastructure hub is.  This should lead to some comedy in Querious, where nobody is ratting or mining and nobody has held any of their current systems long enough to have built up much age on their ihubs.

So I have that to look forward to.

Otherwise, the updates page has some additional goodies.

We get another new ship today, the Caldari tech III destroyer, the Jackdaw.

Enjoy me before I am nerfed

Enjoy me before I am nerfed

There is the next round of Pabst Blue Ribbon physically based rendering graphics updates and changes to lighting.  More screen shots required.

Also on the list:

  • New overview icons, so everybody will be confused for a while
  • The next round of module rebalancing, with shield extenders and armor plates getting a pass along with a rework of propulsion modules. (MWDs will now be 5/50/500NM and Afterburners will be 1/10/100MN, or something like that, to make them more distinguishable.)
  • Sentry drone nerf, because the game is still Ishtars Online most nights.
  • New ship SKINS for marauders, and SKINS for the Astero, Stratios, and Nestor coming soon.
  • New Angel Cartel burner missions
  • Updated graphics for the Caldari Naga battlecruiser.
Hail to the new Naga... pretty close to the old Naga to me...

Hail to the new Naga… pretty close to the old Naga to me…

And then there are the full patch notes, where CCP tends to bury a few interesting nuggets.  I like these line items:

  • Drifter presence has reportedly been increased throughout Amarr space.

No doubt something will come of this.

  • New systems are available that can be accessed via the Unidentified wormholes. (Unidentified wormholes can be found in systems that contain the Jove Observatory)

Makes me want to figure out scanning again.  I don’t think I have done that since the Apocrypha expansion was fresh and new.

  • Ships in high-sec space piloted by a character with a Criminal Flag will now be unable to use in-space re-fitting facilities.

I have seen this mentioned a few times, and I am sure it is meaningful, but I haven’t seen the impact fully explained.  Some aspect of suicide ganking will no doubt have to change with this.

Then there was the announcement that players would no longer be allowed to start the game from the exefile.exe, but would have to use the still flawed and somewhat annoying launcher to access the game.

With Carnyx coming to Tranquility it will no longer be possible to launch EVE Online using the exefile.exe file from EVE/bin/ folder. If you are using this method due to the issue with your launcher where “PLAY” button remains gray after downloading an update, please pay close attention to the information provided in this article.

If you still have other issues launching the game, please contact our Customer Support team.

This caused much groaning in the bit of the community that actually pays attention to these announcements, as well as prompting my little attempt at a joke at the top of this post.

But that announcement was contradicted the same day by an announcement regarding the repair tool, which included this addendum:

Please note that contrary to the earlier news article, launching the EVE Online client using exefile.exe will continue to work after the deployment of the Carnyx release.

The original announcement was tossed down the memory hole, never to be seen on the official site again.  But the RSS archive remembers!

So that is what has gone live today.

Addendum: Also, a new model for the Caracal, which I know was talked about, but which didn’t quite make it to the patch notes.  Rixx Javix has a picture of it in his post about the new PBR rendering.

Meanwhile the next expansion, Aegis, which will deliver the balance of the null sec sovereignty updates, has been pushed back one week and is now slated to launch on July 14.  Happy Bastille Day I guess.  I do not know if that will push out all of the subsequent expansions by an additional week.  There was already a six week gap planned after Aegis (vacations, no doubt), so if nothing else changes the launch dates should look like this…

Edit: The Fozzie Sov stuff will be going live July 14, the Aegis expansion appears to still be on track for July 7 otherwise, so I misunderstood what was being said… again.  So the dates look like this for expansions still:

  • July 7th
  • August 25th
  • September 29th
  • November 3rd
  • December 8th

No word on the whole “features between releases” idea that was floated with the Mosaic expansion.  I don’t think adding stuff to the New Eden Store counts.

And, finally, there is the Carnyx launch music, which is kind of moody and foreboding in its own electronica way.