Here we are with another EVE Online expansion day at hand. Today’s expansion is called Mosaic and, in addition to being the last expansion before big changes to null sec sovereignty, it is introducing another new era of how features will be added to the game.
The every five week expansion plan will continue. CSMX member Sugar Kyle posted a list of the dates as part of her CSM update this week to remind us when we can expect drops. Here is what the rest of 2015 looks like:
- June 2nd
- July 7th
- August 25th
- September 29th
- November 3rd
- December 8th
But, in addition to those regularly scheduled trains departing the station, to use a metaphor popular in my world, CCP Seagull is also talking about the possibility of injecting new features between releases as part of the changing coming to the post-Mosaic world of EVE Online. So we might end up with something like this, stealing the graphic used in the post:
This is one of those things that concerns me in a somewhat abstract way. I appreciate the idea of shipping things when they are ready, that features should go when they go and not face an artificial wait. On the other hand, expansions are sort of rallying points to get the community excited about the game. Resubscribing because of an expansion is very much an MMO thing, so doing away with expansions (as
SOE Daybreak is planning to do with both EverQuest and EverQuest II) or trivializing them by first making them very frequent and then by letting features land in the game on their on between the five week expansions feels like it might contain an element of risk that CCP is not currently considering.
It might just be me, but I have problems distinguishing in my mind what came with which five week release over the last nine months. But I am old.
Anyway, to facilitate this there is a new updates page that lets you find what got added based on the date as opposed to being sorted out by expansion. You can sort it by date, so you can see what got added at a specific point in time. For example, everything that is coming in with Mosaic today. Or you can highlight by categories, such as #audio, though this seems a little awkward to use in practice. If I click on #audio, it just darkens posts not in that category. You still have to scroll through them all. I’d prefer to just see #audio entries alone.
All of which might make you wonder what Mosaic is bringing us today. Is this a sign that there won’t be much to talk about?
Behold, there is actually a pile of stuff in Mosaic. The list includes:
- The new ship customization system: SKINs
- The new new new New Player Experience, Opportunities
- The “in beta for a while” new star map is live
- New Burner Missions featuring Serpentis and Blood Raiders NPCs
- Pretty nifty new assembly effects for structures to keep GSOL entertained
- A rebalance of the Confessor and Svipul
- Changes to null sec ore mining yields
- New and very cool looking force field effects around control towers
- Environmental rendering updates for structures
- An update to the corp roles interface
- Changes to sovereignty infrastructure upgrades
- Battlecruiser warp speeds boosted by 8%
- Ability to ditch the sensor overlay effect… it was cool the first few hundred times…
- Upgrades to the Mac OS client
- A new icon for Damage Control modules
- Two factor authentication at last!
Of course, you look at that list and wonder “what does it all mean?”
I hope the latest turn on the new player experience does well. There has been a big push of late to help new players and some null sec entities have opened up special corps just to funnel people into that aspect of the game. But EVE Online still needs to be able to handle the person who finds the game by chance, downloads the trial, and just wants to see what is going on before engaging. If it can hook more people like that… and I was very much that person back in 2006… if can only be good.
When it comes to two factor authentication, I am not sure how big of a deal account hacking is for CCP. I am going to guess that it wasn’t as big of an issue as it has been for Blizzard in the past, otherwise we would have had EVE Online authenticator fobs already. I mean, I’ve had a Blizzard authenticator for nearly six years now… long enough that I wonder how much longer the battery will last. (Didn’t they give some similar fobs out at FanFest a few years back?) But the option for more security is better, though I would have liked a suggestion or two on what “Google Authenticator compatible application” is good or trusted or not a complete hack on iOS. I have no experience there and browsing the App Store is very low on my list of favorite things.
On the things in my corner of the woods front, there is clearly some ground work going into the upcoming null sec changes when you look at this list from the patch notes.
In addition to being able to manufacture the Entosis Link module in anticipation of that coming into play, the volume of Infrastructure Hubs and Infrastructure Upgrades have been reduced:
- Infrastructure Hubs: 60,000 m3
- Military/Industrial upgrades: From 5,000 m3 to 60,000 m3 (depending on the level)
- Strategic Upgrades: 200,000 m3
- Infrastructure Upgrades may now be manufactured from blueprints.
- Structures may now be deployed to space from ship Fleet Hangars
- The rate at which mining accumulates Sovereignty Industrial Index points has been greatly increased
- The rate at which killing NPCs accumulates Sovereignty Military Index points has been greatly increased
The first few are to make sovereignty upgrades easier to deal with, while the last two (along with the changes to null sec ore output) are clearly pointed at the plan that space in which your alliance actually lives will be easier to defend.
And then, finally, one from my WTF list, “Time Dilation no longer causes info panels to be delayed when opening.” When the system slowed down to 10% speed because of TiDi, the client UI would slow down to that speed as well because… screw you for being in a big fight! So that has… maybe… finally been addressed about three years late.
Some interesting items though, aside from the new player experience, nothing that seems like a huge game changer. But then, at least from a null sec perspective, we are waiting for the next expansion.
And, finally, it wouldn’t be an EVE Online expansion if it did not include some music.
Op success I guess.