After years as the victims of senseless violence, the Blood Raider Covenant has finally begun to make its presence felt in the universe. Rumor has been breezing through stations and citadels for some time of a fundamental shift in the Covenant’s tactics and technology. Recently it has been discovered that this pirate faction has built and deployed their own Sotiyo-class Engineering Complex, and it would seem that they have the means to defend it. Already, the first probing fleets sent against the Blood Raider stronghold have been wiped out. And in the expected course of things, these space vampires have not only destroyed the assaulting ships but attacked and destroyed the pods of the doomed pilots for their celebrations.
That’s No Moon, Its a Space Station
In the time since INN reported that the Blood Raider Sotiyo had been officially located in the system of E-DOF2 many eyes have turned towards the region of Period Basis. Groups across New Eden are eager to see which organizations would be the first to dip their toes into this most dangerous of PVE activities.
When INN staff investigated the pre-patch version of the Blood Raider citadel (on Sisi), they told stories of several fleets of NPC’s that employed anchors and burned perches to jump to and from the fight. Many hundreds of NPCs worked in ways that very much mimicked the fleet tactics seen during the massive fleet engagements of Null sec. Hundreds of swarming Space Vampires appeared to be eager for payback for years of being farmed all across the universe.
The First of Many
Period Basis, where the Sotiyo was found, is currently under the purview of the Red Alliance. So it comes as no surprise that RA were the first victims of the Blood Raider’s vengeance. A fleet of not quite 2 dozen went to try their might against the Blood Raiders. Unfortunately, the 17 Rattlesnakes and 5 mixed shield logistic vessels didn’t stand much of a chance. A spokesman for the Blood Raiders, however, expressed disappointment that no pods were secured for their celebration.
The next fleet was less lucky. A mixed TEST fleet comprised of bombers and tactical destroyers, as well as few other T1 and T2 frigates—and for some reason, an Onyx—tried their luck on the field. Based on the fleet makeup and the lack of significant logistical support, it appears that these TEST Alliance souls were out for different fish entirely and were caught unawares. In this case, the Blood Raiders did feast on the pods. It’s possible, being so far from home, that the TEST pilots intentionally fed themselves to the space vampires to shorten their trip back to friendlier space. A request for comment was sent out but has so far gone unanswered.
One Reddit user going by TimHM1, in response to having TEST called out for this fleet loss, did have this to say, “You mean TEST that got personally congratulated by CCP for destroying 60 and then 200 battleships, that TEST?” It is unclear whether that means that there were more craft involved in the action and these were the stragglers that ended up dead, or if Tim is referencing a different fight altogether. It does strain credibility that a fleet large enough to power through 200 Blood Raider battleships wouldn’t have drawn far more attention, and losses than the report shows.
Regardless of the specifics of these two small skirmishes, it is a safe bet that the violence has only just begun in Period Basis. Start with the extreme difficulty of dealing with so many advanced AI NPCs (to say nothing of the cap pressure from a hundred Bhaalgorns). Then add in the vast numbers of NPC’s and the amount of Tank and Logistics that will be required. It virtually mandates a commitment of capital and super capital fleets. Whoever is willing to commit those fleets then has to also calculate in the fact that any fleet that size is going to draw in every “third party” in EVE to come try to disrupt operations.
This reporter plans to keep a close watch on E-DOF2 for more developments.
I am surprised it is not RF yet. I was watching the streams yesterday, and it was 20 or so people in local most of the time.May 14, 2017 at 9:42 AM
Daito Endashi Rhivre
Me too. I’d have expect it to be RF’d by the evening, if not earlier. Seem like they were really able to give us a challenge this time.May 14, 2017 at 1:30 PM
At least for the start lol
Big props to CCP for finally making some interesting PVE. Hopefully this is a sign of things to come.
I like the idea of NPC factions which actually fight for space. I think they could provide a continual well of content.May 14, 2017 at 11:21 AM
Sounds like functioning as designed, you can only take them out by risking (super) caps.May 14, 2017 at 11:39 AM
CCP just needs to be less scattershot in their approach. They obviously have shiny new AI, but rather than apply it to the ton of PvE content already in the game, it just serves as another one-off niche activity. I’m always afraid that the day after content like this is put on Tranquility, CCP will completely abandon it like Incursions- which just became yet another one-off bit of content to be farmed for eternity.May 14, 2017 at 2:08 PM
Anything that makes PvE more like PvP is a good thing, IMO. I just want CCP to actually do more than drop a thing in the game, then walk away while 1% of the players do it. This new AI should have just been brought into the current combat PvE system (missions, exploration, etc). Reducing the spawn sizes in favor of stronger individual AI much like the Burner missions. That would have given everyone a chance to test themselves against next gen AI, as well promote group PvE to deal with tougher content.
I feel like CCP has a handful of really promising mechanics/content but they are all kept separate and niche rather than integrated into a larger whole.
Wilhelm Arcturus Alaric Faelen
I think it would be a bad idea to spread this new AI far and wide until it has been honed for a while. I hope CCP doesn’t drop it, but first we get to see how it plays out in a single instance.
Meanwhile, the problem with making PvE more like PvP is that there is a good chunk of PvE pilots that do not like the unpredictability that such changes must necessarily bring. They want to log in, run their mission, be entertained, and be rewarded in a predictable way.
Unfortunately, the “be entertained” part falls by the wayside pretty quickly with that model, as it does in almost any predictable PvE content. But if there is a chance they might not get rewarded, they won’t play. So I suspect that this tech won’t be spread game wide once it is honed because it would drive a segment of the player base away. Instead I think we’ll see a different PvE path that you can opt into as with burner missions.May 14, 2017 at 7:00 PM
Froggy Storm Wilhelm Arcturus
There is also the WH space AI to consider along with the Burners. I agree that tiers of difficulty in the NPC ai is a great thing to preserve.
I only with that the rewards for “easy mode” were better tunes to discourage that being such a pervasive norm. I would almost venture to think that now, with the plex changes, could be a great time to make it only economic good sense to get out of lvl4 mission running and push the players to WH and Nul. Or at least to incursion running with it’s higher skill and risk levels.May 14, 2017 at 9:37 PM
Alaric Faelen Wilhelm Arcturus
I agree that it would need many balance passes and dealing with issue of scale to make this the base AI….however I think it should be done.
I absolutely do not care about people being butthurt over the game changing around them…if they only play Eve to log in and AFK then I don’t care if they quit. I know, CCP probably does- but that is because they’ve created a situation where too many of their players do just that. Make a game where AFK farming isn’t the ‘end game’ content and you’ll attract better players, the farmers and cowards will migrate to other games.
Look, we all got stuck with FozzieSov, a terrible change to the core ‘end game’ content of Eve and were told to ‘suck it up, quit if you can’t handle change’.
I simply apply that to the same care bears so full of advice over FozzieSov. Adapt or don’t play. It certainly doesn’t hurt the game when joe the miner that’s never left .8 space and doesn’t even know where the fleet finder is, quits. My corp CEO runs 9 or 10 accounts- so one guy in null sec is already worth a dozen whiners that would quit over the PvE actually offering…a challenge. gasp.
If difficulty and unpredictability are a problem for someone in a game, the problem is them, not the game.May 15, 2017 at 1:22 PM