Tag Archives: CCP

DUST 514 to Shut Down on May 30, 2016

And so it goes.  It seemed like an odd idea to create an adjunct to EVE Online on the PlayStation 3.  We all had PCs, right? (Plus PlayStation 3 support is going away at the end of 2016 if I recall correctly.)  Anyway, it officially launched back in May of 2013. (Open beta started in January of that year.)

Dust514Trans

Now the time has finally come to say good-bye, the game lasting just over two years.  Something on the PC will follow on at some point it seems.

Here is the announcement from the forums:

Dear DUST 514 Community,

CCP’s development team in Shanghai has been working on a prototype for a first-person shooter for PC with the goal of building a great FPS set in our sci-fi universe of New Eden (the universe in which EVE Online, DUST 514, EVE: Valkyrie, and Gunjack are set). Their experience is being utilized to build a new game from scratch using Unreal Engine 4 while harnessing all our learnings from DUST 514. This is in many ways an evolution of Project Legion, the concept we announced at EVE Fanfest 2014, but without the limitations of technical debt and development paths we quickly discovered in that effort that could never serve as a future-proof technology base for a full production game. This new project is still in an early phase of production, and we feel like we’re on the right track and plan to give an update at EVE Fanfest on April 21st as a part of the free livestream of the event. Since this new game will be different from DUST 514 (although keeping many of its great parts), we will provide tiered recognition rewards to our loyal DUST customers, details to be announced.

We are very proud of what we’ve learned and accomplished with DUST 514 on PlayStation 3 over the past three years and it is an honor to be a part of such a dedicated community. We consider DUST 514 one of the best free-to-play offerings on the platform, but the years have caught up with us. It is with a heavy heart that we inform you that DUST 514 will be shutting down on May 30th, 2016. We therefore will not be releasing the 1.3 update as we had planned. Players will continue to be able to play for free on our servers until then, but all further PSN packs and purchases have been removed and disabled from the in-game marketplace and the PlayStation Store. Players with existing Aurum will be able to continue to purchase items from the in-game marketplace.

Thank you for being a part of DUST 514 on the PlayStation 3. We look forward to the next chapter, and hope you’ll be a part of it and continue the journey with us.

I’m still annoyed I never got to kill anybody in DUST 514 via orbital bombardment in EVE Online.  I suppose somebody can be smug today as DUST 514 joins World of Darkness on the unfulfilled dreams list for CCP.  I hope that VR stuff is working out for CCP, because otherwise it is just us capsuleers keeping CCP afloat still.

The Return of the Stripper

Video safe for work, it is just music.

That is the song that came to mind when I saw the CCP Dev Blog go up about a return to the skill stripping plan, though Smed over using the word “hardcore” and “extremely deep” yesterday might have influenced that line of thought.  Anyway, the whole thing is a bit lurid, something of a tease, and not making everybody in the community happy.

Officially CCP is calling this Skill Trading.  This is the ability to strip skill points from a character in 500,000 SP chunks and sell them on the open market.

For lore reasons this may hurt a bit...

For lore reasons this may hurt a bit…

There seems to be a couple of reasons behind this move.

The first was articulated by CCP Quant at EVE Vegas, where he said the desire going forward was to have players able to create as many of the items in the New Eden economy as possible, including skills… and, apparently, skill points.  This seems to fit withing that over-arching goal.

The second is the classic new player complaint about their inability to “catch up” to older players.  I’ve seen that come up any number of times, the feeling that skill points are the levels of EVE Online and that people who show up late are being unfairly penalized by a system where time alone is the only way to grind up the skill point scale.

And, true enough, no day one newbie is going to be flying a titan or a faction battleship or even a strategic cruiser most likely.  Then again, no day one newbie is going to have the ISK to buy a titan or a faction battleship or a strategic cruiser… or a 500K SP bundle, which is bound to be a bit pricey… not unless they also buy some PLEX to boost up their bank balance.

And therein lies the rub, as the whole discussion gets into the “Pay to Win” arena.  There was enough push back on this idea when CCP broached it initially a couple months back that I thought they might shelve it, but now it is slated for the February 9th release.

The argument against does seem pretty clear.  You can take real world money and, through some process, turn that into skill point advancement for your character.  You are, essentially, buying levels and, while CCP isn’t selling them directly to you, they make money along the way and thus leveraging new players for fun and profit.  I’m sure the #ResistCapitalism team would have some choice words about that situation.

On the flip side CCP makes it quite clear that they are not creating skill points out of thin air.  A quote from the Dev Blog:

It’s very important to note here that this means all the skillpoints available to buy on the market in EVE will have originated on other characters where they were trained at the normal rate. Player driven economies are key to EVE design and we want you to decide the value of traded skillpoints while we make sure there is one single mechanism that brings new skillpoints in to the system – training.

The sum total of skill points in New Eden won’t change inflate because of this, players will simply be trading skill points amongst themselves. [And, as noted in the comments, the total number of SP in game may actually go down a bit.]

Also, for those dying to spend money to advance their skill point total, there is already the character bazaar where you can buy and sell characters for ISK, something that has been around for years without much in the way of objections.

The skill point injectors also will favor new players, so this won’t be just a way for those “rich” in skill point to get richer.  The injectors have diminishing returns based on how many skill points you already have:

  • < 5 million total skill points = 500,000 skill points per injector
  • 5 million – 50 million total skill points = 400,000 skill points per injector
  • 50 million – 80 million total skill points = 300,000 skill points per injector
  • > 80 million skill points = 150k skill points per injector

Then there is the fact that you do not actually have to spend any real world money at all on injectors and the like.  They will all be for sale, from other players, on the market for ISK.  See Jita for the best pricing.

And, finally, there is the fact that advancement does not equal winning in EVE Online, unless your goal… your personal win condition… is to merely skill up your character.  As somebody whose main character recently passed the 150 million skill point mark (while my main alt is past 110 million), I can tell you that having skill points does not mean winning any more than having ISK means winning.  In my case, it generally just gives me a wider range of ships in which to be blown up.

Still, even with those offsets, the whole plan makes me somewhat uncomfortable for a couple of reasons.  One is that even a whiff of “Pay to Win” will give those who already hate the game for whatever reason to throw stones about how CCP is exploiting new players, cash grabs, the evil of money grubbing developers, and so on.  Once you go into an area with a dubious reputation, like multi-level marketing schemes or free to play MMORPGs, you inherit some of the reputation that such has already attained.  You may seem to be selling power with the best of intentions, but it has been done so blatantly wrong before in other games that it is tough ignore.

Then, of course, I am waiting for the tale of how Goons will be the main beneficiaries out of the feature.  If your Goon conspiracy theory cannot include that, you’re doing it wrong!

But mostly I am wondering where the hole, the exploit, the unintentional outcome will show up, because if there is one thing that the last dozen years of the game has shown us is that the wisdom of crowds is a thing and that there is no way a few hundred people in Reykjavík can foresee what a couple hundred thousand people will come up with.

If they mess up with a new ship or a module or game mechanic, they can fix that in the next patch without much bother.  We’ve seen that over and over.  But when you start mucking with one of the core aspects of in-game character development, that might be a place where I fear to tread. We’ll just have to wait see how it plays out.  At least we don’t have skill point losses due to forgetting the update your clone any more, though there is still the strategic cruiser thing.

And in the long run, I suspect that the likely users of this feature will be old hands looking to quickly boost an alt, corps and alliances looking to help promising new players along, people looking for a bit of ISK out of skills they trained and never used, and maybe, just maybe, a few hard cores who want to be able to retrain lost strategic cruiser skills more quickly.

Will I use this feature?  After all, having gone beyond the 150 million skill point mark there must be some skills in there that I ended up never needing.

The thing is, this is EVE Online.  There are so many paths to follow that I can’t really predict what I might need tomorrow given how many careers I’ve had in the past.  Hell, if it wasn’t for Reavers I might run off and join Signal Cartel and be a space hippie for a year, and who knows what skills I might need for that.  So I doubt I will be stripping any skill points out of my skull any time soon.

Others on the topic currently:

Some post from when this first came up:

 

What is to Be Done with CSM 11?

The season is upon us again, the run up to the EVE Online Council of Stellar Management elections has begun.

CSM11_logo

The schedule of events looks like this:

  • January 15, 2016 – Candidacy period opens (Hey, that’s tomorrow!)
  • February 9, 2016 – Candidacy period closes, CCP validates potential candidates
  • February 29, 2016 – Voting begins
  • March 25, 2016 – Voting ends
  • April 21, 2016 – Results to be announced at Fanfest 2016

A new slate of candidates are already warming up their pitch… a new slate because a number of the veterans are declining to return.  For me the surprise isn’t that some people won’t run again, it is that some of them have run twice already.  From the outside being on the CSM looks like a bad middle management position: Too much work, not enough credit, scant control over your what tasks you get, and little chance your feedback will be heeded, all while reporting to a group likely a few time zones away that you will never truly be a part of.

I’ve had that job in real life, where it at least paid well and I got 6 weeks of vacation.  Doing it for free on top of my day job though, that seems like a bit much to ask.

And there is the institution itself, which I have considered a questionable tool for the job since its inception.  Having a consistently disinterested player base elect a slate of representatives is no way to ensure the right people are available to advise, not to mention that it favors well organized groups (read: Null Sec) so heavily that CCP had to re-rig the voting scheme so as to at least try and make it seem like they were doing something about it.

Then taking those elected and locking them into a year of working on topics for which they may have no practical experience all at the running hot and cold pace of product development and interacting with teams that may or may not care what they have to say or even trust them with details doesn’t seem like a great way to run a railroad.

And then there is the downside of having CSM members chosen by election, which is that it occasionally gives some of them the sense that they have a real mandate to do something.  The problem is that they only have the power that CCP allows them, unless they decide to go to the player base and publicly oppose CCP.

Admittedly, that worked once, with the Incarna and “Greed is Good” debacle. (Unless, of course, you were a fan of walking in stations.  Fans of space monocles, however, were spared any harm as the monocle of ill repute, which caused outsiders to deem this all “Monocle-gate,” is still available in the New Eden Store.)

That one moment during CSM6 gave people a sense that the CSM was perhaps not just a CCP publicity stunt, that it could be a force, a voice, to help set CCP straight when they started to stray from the fundamentals of the game.

Since then, however, that sense of mandate has been more likely to lead things like this.  I’m sure somebody at CCP did a spit-take when reading that, because in the midst of a dysfunctional relationship there is little they are less likely to do that try and depend more on the CSM.

CCP clearly needs to get feedback on ideas from players.  They have admitted in the past that the wisdom of the crowd can often see flaws and exploits in their plans long before they do.  Even the forums, as unwieldy as the can be, seem to offer a better chance of providing such feedback than a small elected body.  And short term focus groups seem like a much better alternative than either.

The main complaint I have heard about focus groups is that in a mix of conflicting opinions that such a group might bring, the developers are likely to only listen to the voices that agree with their preconceptions.  Unfortunately, while that can be true, it doesn’t seem less likely to be the case with the CSM either, the only difference being that CCP is likely to simply get less opinions to weigh.  That doesn’t feel like an off-setting benefit to me.  The wisdom of the crowd fades when the crowd dwindles to a little more than a dozen people.

If you look around to other companies running MMOs, the idea of selecting groups of players to offer feedback on aspects of the game for which they are qualified is pretty common.  SOE had their guild council running off and on for years.  Blizzard grabs players now and again for feedback.  And, while I would hardly endorse Turbine as an example that other companies ought to follow on most fronts, they do have their player councils for Lord of the Rings Online and Dungeons & Dragons Online.

That doesn’t even get into the whole Kickstarter and Early Access idea that is so popular these days and how that channels feedback to companies.

So what of the CSM then?

I always think back to when the idea came into being as a response to the T20 scandal. (Long version.)  It was somehow going to provide some oversight and transparency or some such to restore player confidence in CCP.  Has it done that yet?

I suspect that it will linger on for a few more seasons, despite my prediction.  I think it is telling that the CSM White Paper was firmed up this time around when it came to replacing members of the CSM.  That aspect of the CSM certainly got some exercise during CSM X, and it makes me wonder if the path to the exit will be shorter going forward.

But I am, by my own admission, quite the cynic at times, especially when it comes to sandbox politics.  I think reading the minutes of the Academic Senate at my university put me squarely in that spot.

Others are less cynical.  Some very earnest, hard working, and well meaning people will be running for CSM 11.  I am not for a boycott of the election, since I suspect that such an act would only cause the election to further favor the organized groups that will vote a full slate.   So I will not try to dissuade you from voting for the candidate of your choice, and all the more so if you believe they can do some good.

I even put together my own platform for a CSM run as a joke, then figured I had best not post it because once you start something like that, even in jest, some people will think you’re just being coy and really want the job.  I am sure there are people out there waiting for Gevlon to run despite his statements to the contrary.

My idea was to distill down the game to its most essential element, which I considered to be explosions.  My platform was solely based on explosions.  Explosions are exciting, give a great sense of satisfaction, are pretty, generate kill mails, and stimulate the economy.  I would be in favor of any plan that would increase the number of explosions in the game over the long term and against anything that reduced explosions in the long run, and would evaluate any idea based solely on that idea.

So, for example, I would have been against the Entosis link module idea, since explosions were reduced by that in my experience, something that seemed likely before it went into the game.  I would also be against being able to build a big red button that would cause everything in the game to explode because, while explosions would go up in the short term, the long term prospect for explosions would be dim.

I would likely have been for citadels, as those seem likely to increase the net explosion count, though I might be against the extremely small vulnerability window of the medium citadels,

So if you are just dying to run for the CSM and need a platform, feel free to steal that, or some variation on it.  As far as I can tell, it is as meaningful a platform as any I have seen laid out there, at least relative to what CCP will let you do in the end.

There go a thousand or so words on a topic in which I allegedly have little interest.  I doth protest a bit much or something, I think.

Of course, this being the CSM season, others are trotting out their own news and views on the institution.  We shall see what the election brings us.

 

How Much to Play EVE Valkyrie?

So the big news yesterday, I suppose, was the opening of the Occulus Rift pre-orders and how much the unit costs.

The magic number is $599… plus sales tax (varies by location, but for me it adds up to $50) and $30 shipping.  Call it a round $680.

For that sum… which is more than a PlayStation 4 and a couple games… or more that a Wii U and every good game for the platform… you will get:

  • the headset
  • a head-tracking camera
  • an Xbox One controller
  • the Oculus remote
  • the cables to hook it up, a spiffy carrying case, and two included games: space shooter
  • the game Eve Valkyrie, a cool space shooter
  • the game Lucky’s Tale, a platformer
Not picture, spiffy carrying case

Not picture, spiffy carrying case

Of course various forums on the internet exploded with unhappy reactions to that price point. (Though, if you backed the Kickstarter at the right level, you were probably pretty happy.  Good for you if you backed it at the right time.)

Personally, I wasn’t all that shocked by the price point despite past price estimates. (Though clearly many felt otherwise.) I’ve done hardware projects before. This is the first run of the hardware, this new hardware has to be very good to get people to accept VR as more than a gimmick, the hardware itself is unique and complex (as noted by the team, as they apologize for the price yet again), and they have to hand a bit of money to the software devs for the bundled items.  It was going to be a big ticket item.  Likely, a year or two from now there will be a cost reduced version with a more efficient manufacturing process and likely no controller or remote for less.

Which doesn’t mean that I am going to run out and pre-order.  I played EVE Valkyrie at EVE Vegas and it looked really good… but not $680 good.  I was actually a little worried that CCP was going to try to extract a bit more money from people with the EVE Valkyrie Founder Pack they started talking about yesterday, but that appears to be included with the pre-order.

Founders Pack with the pre-order...

Founders Pack with the pre-order…

We’ll see when that becomes an extra-cost option, but for now it is just another incentive to pre-order today.

Of course, $680 might not be the only expense you’ll incur getting into virtual reality.  Your computer also has to be up to snuff with the following requirements:

  • Video Card NVIDIA GTX 970 / AMD R9 290 equivalent or greater
  • CPU Intel i5-4590 equivalent or greater
  • Memory 8GB+ RAM
  • Video Output Compatible HDMI 1.3 video output
  • USB Ports 3x USB 3.0 ports plus 1x USB 2.0 port
  • OS Windows 7 SP1 64 bit or newer

I happen to be in luck for most of those requirements.  When my power supply zapped my computer, taking out most everything directly connected to it, I ended up getting an Intel i5-4590 for the replacement.  I am also good on the operating system, RAM, and USB ports.

The video card though, there I come up short.  A quick search on nVidia GTX 970 shows that to be a $300+ investment which, with sales tax and shipping, puts the whole bill for playing EVE Valkyrie past the $1,000 mark for me.

That is way too rich for my blood, even if I can use it with Elite: Dangerous as well.

That price, for all the loud complaints it has yielded, doesn’t seem to be hurting the popularity of the pre-orders.  The quote at the top of the post is unironically true in its own way.  I saw somebody from the team state that they sold more in the first ten minutes than they thought would go in the first hour.  Meanwhile, later in the day, I saw somebody a bit annoyed that the ship date on their pre-order was slated for June, the queue presumably having eaten up all the March, April, and May dates.

For me though, the VR experience will likely be limited to the Google Cardboard set that the guy in the cube across from me has for some time to come.

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.

Simplyshootstructures

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.