CCP Announce next expansion for Eve

Rhivre 2017-09-01

To start the month off with a bang, CCP released details of the next expansion for EVE, titled “Lifeblood”.  An announcement trailer was released along with updates to the, erm, updates page on the EVE Online site.

Many of the changes were already slated to appear in the Winter Expansion, so are now coming early in an autumn one instead.

There are the changes to moon mining and reactions, which were already known about, and are partially on SISI for testing at present.

Empire Changes

It seems as if the Empire changes originally scheduled for Winter will also now be arriving in October.  The updates page lists two high-sec specific changes, Resource Wars and Pirate Forward Operating Bases.

At first glance, the resource wars seem to involve some sort of collaborative exploration style gameplay, and the tags assigned to the update page indicate that as well. They may equally be high-sec mining incursions.

Resource Wars

 

Pirate Forward Operating Bases seem to also involve exploration in high-sec, but are tagged PvP as well.

 

Pirate FOB

As this is the first time we have heard details either of these upcoming changes, there is very little information to give at present. but, we will keep an eye on the devblogs, and SISI and update you as more information becomes available.

Whether these two additions to the game satisfy those who have been eagerly awaiting the winter high-sec expansion (and who were worried it had been scrapped completely with the removal of any mention of it from the Winter Updates page), remains to be seen.

Alpha Ships Balance Pass

Another change is a balance pass for alpha ships. As with the Pirate FOBs and the Resource Wars, nothing is as yet known about this beyond what is on the updates page.  It appears that commonly used Alpha ships will be getting changes to their slot layouts and bonuses. There is no additional information on the forums yet about this, but the last balance pass for frigates and cruisers was in Rubicon in 2014. With the addition of Alphas to the game last November, it seems that they need another look at their uses, especially as alpha players are stuck with their racial ships.

The Agency

There are also changes coming to The Agency series of events, which have so far had a luke-warm reception from pilots. There will be the possibility to find other pilots to do agency-related activities with, which implies that the activities will be expanding somewhat from what they are at present.

 

The key aspect of this update is the moon mining and reaction changes, as these represent a large change to the landscape of Eve. The addition of high-sec activities involving pirate factions has the potential to drive engagement in high-sec, while the alpha ships balance pass hopefully allows alphas to feel that there are ships from all races which are useful to them.  At present, the advice is too often “Go Gallente”, which can be a bit disheartening if an alpha has their heart set on being Caldari (and admit it, who doesn’t want to be Caldari!).

We will keep an eye on the forums, and SISI as these changes are slowly added and will keep you updated as more information comes out.

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Comments

  • Jamie Grainger

    I wanna be Caldari!
    Oh, wait….I already am.
    My bad.

    September 1, 2017 at 6:58 pm
    • Caldari is, of course, the best option, always!

      September 1, 2017 at 7:05 pm
  • Rimp Malukker

    Great breakdown, I for one am looking forward to Pirate FOB and the moon mining changes. As FC for our alpha friendly corp, I can’t wait for a re balance as I do recommend Gallente now :(. But what is the Resource Wars, CCP’s post, It’s just so vague!?!

    September 1, 2017 at 7:00 pm
    • Rhivre Rimp Malukker

      Yeah, resource wars could be anything from mining incursions to some huge secret belts hidden away.

      September 1, 2017 at 7:23 pm
      • Rimp Malukker Rhivre

        I was thinking “Is this a round about way of adding to FW?” With the mining for factions, seems like a way to bring non pvp into FW

        September 1, 2017 at 8:56 pm
        • Rhivre Rimp Malukker

          It could definitely be, yes. It is very frustrating how vague the information is. Usually announcements of expansions have forum posts or devblogs associated with them, but this one was very low key.

          September 1, 2017 at 8:58 pm
  • Alaric Faelen

    Nice analysis based on limited info.

    I am glad to see CCP taking a multi-prong approach to content. Too often they seem to focus on one thing to the exclusion of everything else.
    Also love the direction of merging PvE and PvP much more. I believe that closing the gap between PvE and PvP is a critical step in improving Eve Online.

    September 1, 2017 at 8:06 pm
    • Rhivre Alaric Faelen

      It will be interesting to see how they implement the high-sec parts of the expansion. I may even undock on SiSi to test it ^^

      September 1, 2017 at 9:07 pm
      • Froggy Storm Rhivre

        I see pirate incursions and look longingly towards the fall of hisec 😉

        September 2, 2017 at 12:18 am
        • Rhivre Froggy Storm

          The empires losing their grip on power is something CCP vaguely hinted at a few years back when they first introduced citadels, maybe this is a step along the way 🙂

          September 2, 2017 at 12:57 pm
  • Alaric Faelen

    I’d like to see piracy, as a ‘career’ path get some content. CCP uses piracy in their advertising, and it’s part of the core pillar of non-consensual PvP that Eve is built on. It also naturally fits with solo and small gang activity, which I like to see more of. But it has almost no support from CCP. Maybe you can consider attacking the new NPC mining fleets a type of piracy, but there just isn’t much content from CCP around being a pirate. Farming some BPCs in epic arcs notwithstanding, piracy in Eve is totally what the players make of it. I’d like to see them get some love too.
    Maybe add ‘pirate’ as a third party in FW mechanics. Not only does owning a system require kicking out the other empire, but cleaning up the riff raff and profiteers that accompany any conflict. Let pirate activity influence tier level, or even security status level itself, and have added effects like gate gun locking delay based on that.
    Essentially legitimize piracy as ‘a thing you can do in Eve’ like mining, mission running, exploring, etc. Give it some weight to the game and conflict drivers to integrate it into the larger whole.
    How many people would flock to join say, Serpentis and be part of the empires’ problem rather than the solution? Probably a heck of a lot more than dropped everything to run out to sov because of Fozziesov or citadels.

    September 1, 2017 at 9:44 pm
    • Reinder Langhout Alaric Faelen

      if by piracy you mean ganking/griefing that might not be the best idea, inventive gameplay is fun, but there is no fun in being the lonely t1 industrial flying pilot with 200 ish mil onboard being ganked in a remote system by a few vexors. As it is the plus 1 ship culture is far to easy a solution to always win, and lets be honest, after a while the only positive of piracy is the tearfarming, in any other aspect it is about as engaging a gameplay as mining rocks.

      Integrating it into FW though, making it a legitimate gameplay that isn’t all focused on griefing is a great idea. Non-consentual pvp has a place in highsec, but griefing is just a tedious sideaffect that we should try to discourage. Right now the best tactic in a freighter is to log off in 90% of the scenarios and let luck take care of you. Thats not engaging gameplay to me at all.

      September 2, 2017 at 12:47 am
      • pervertparade Reinder Langhout

        >Non-consentual pvp has a place in highsec, but griefing is just a tedious sideaffect that we should try to discourage.

        This is a difficult proposition. It sounds good on paper, but it can lead to dismal outcomes.

        Can flipping and AWOXing once flourished in highsec. Both were (arguably) inventive forms of non-consensual PvP. An alert player could avoid both of those risks by talking to other players and doing research. A player who was victimized by either scheme could adjust their gameplay in order to mitigate that risk in the future. Most importantly: a player could observe the action, be intrigued by it, decide to imitate it, and thereby gain a new form of entertainment and engagement with the game.

        But some players denounced these activities as newbie griefing, and CCP listened. The game mechanics no longer allow some of the inventive PvP of yesteryear. Changes made in good faith can have nasty consequences (see also: wardec watchlist).

        Can you provide a few examples of non-consensual highsec PVP activities which you would like to retain, and a few activities which you’d like to diminish or remove?

        September 2, 2017 at 5:41 am
        • Reinder Langhout pervertparade

          actually canflipping is one i’d like to retain, freigther bumping indefinately and consistently starting an agression timer to prevent any counter action except yield ( and again and again and again ) from the target i consider griefing and broken. Awoxing though utter bs i’d keep too. You explained the criteria yourself, “is there a smart way ( other then not playing / undocking / accepting the inevitable loss ) a target can counter? Keep. Is there no such way, its griefing and needs to be removed.

          Should the only valid ship anywhere not wh space be a skiff mining? no, but anything else gets blown up due to t1 frig gangs, or vexors or whatever they use so that balance is messed up and needs to be adjusted making it not profitable as a gank. Either by lower mat cost on the mining ships dropping their prices so that the value is more reminiscent of the gank fleet, or by increasing the value of the gank fleet by either making the ships more costly or alternately lowering the overall dps of those ships forcing them to bring more ( eg more value ) to succeed in a gank. Creative play does not protect a miner from ganks, these gangs roam entire constellations showing up in system every few minutes essentially forcing the decision to a abbandon the activity, b accept the consequence and die, or c log off. Non of these alternatives are good for player retention. Should ganking be allowed? yes, should mining be allowed? yes. Now should mining only be valid in a skiff or venture? absolutely not, it removes the place for all the other ships and makes no sense at all. The balance between ehp and mining yield has been messed up to such a point over the last iterations that mining hs ended up broken.

          In essence the practice of plus1 where value of engager < value of target should be managed closer so that ganking becomes less profitable. In the end its like this. A dedicated pilot should be able to bring a ship to kill another player in non consentual pvp. But in highsec this action is supposed to come with a consequence, the use of gank alts ( where standing doesn't matter ) and cheap ships ( where the loss doesn't matter ) has essentially removed the consequence of ganking, ergo that system is broken. Canflipping was never broken except that it was only ever working against new players. And lets be fair it wasn't even broken then. A player went suspect and you were more then capable of retaliating. Overall it was a better situation then the griefing we have now.

          Another one is bumping, as suggested hundreds of times before, create ship damage for bumping. Worried about that titan kill ? well maybe you should have a sabre on standby BEFORE you are required to keep a titan from warping by indefinately bumping him.

          Wardecs i'd retain, but change not so much in cost but in essence, let a wardec by gouverned by some form of structure similar to a mobile depot. You engage it you get concorded unless you are allowed to ( eg wartarget ) have it anchorable in the targets home system ( where there main office is ) make it something difficult, like needs to be scanned down. Able to anchor within weapon range of citadels ( attacker can use citadel guns to protect it ) If defenders blow it up war is over. BUT the defender decides the timer on it. So its reinforce is EXACTELY 24 hrs. Structure requires fuel, Ded bribes or some bs, wich is lootable, once reinforced they can not be removed. War can only be extended by shipping in MORE bribes it wont hold more then 24 hrs of bribes at a time. If your goal is war, there are now multiple ways to create fights and content. If its griefing and mass wardeccing so you can camp amarr, you can find something else to do.

          Alternatively within the current system allow Unwardecs, If a corporation is willing to pay more To DED then you as a wardeccer then let that be valid counterplay. You dec some miners, you pay, now they pay the same it goes away, You raise it, you can shoot again. Heck let the change be instant so that miners can wait to pay untill you jump in system and if you shoot regardless you get concorded. Make little announcement things so you know its happening, and update the highlights appropriately so there is no confusion.

          I'm all for non consentual pvp, i just don't like systems where there is NO counterplay other then: don't engage in an activity at all, or log off, or just sit there and die.

          Basically i'd like a situation where those that don't want pvp can go about their lives without worry unless they are A stupid or B have active actions to take to prevent loss after something happens. Griefganking overall isn't PVP it might as well be mining though slightely more technical. I for one think ganking could be fixed quite simply by changing the concordable time to a larger time untill a balance is reached. You gank, good luck you now can't play for a time, be it 1 hour 2 or 24, whatever works so that ganking actually carries a consequence.

          TL DR
          PVP is good, everywhere, Stomping over ppl isn't. The only way to play eve should never be to join massive groups, it should allow for smaller groups to be successfull by compensating for their numbers in creative mechanics. EG dps caps on citadels, Entosis gameplay, ANYTHING where plus 1 does not beat 5 players dedicating their life to not get stomped over.

          A perfect example is hole controll in wormholes, you can plus 1 all you like for 20 hrs a day, if there are 4 hours where everyone sleeps and the otherside is willing to stay awake for that, they will still win. Everything in eve should be built around that balance.

          September 3, 2017 at 5:25 am
    • I’m not against people being offered increased incentives for piracy but it would need to be balanced with harsher penalties from NPC factions in high-sec.

      For instance, I’m all for unique modules and separate, roaming, pirate docking stations in Hi-Sec but only if normal NPC stations start to shun and eventually revoke access to their services for repeat pirate offenders.

      Making gankers the source of unique modules (which would have a 100% drop rate and unlootable by players with negative security standing) would give players incentive to hunt them and if the separate pirate stations they relied on migrated from region to region (with the eventual inclusion of pve events where locals could force the pirate stations to go elsewhere) you could make ganking a seasonal thing per region and attempt to force gankers to rotate to new areas or face a complete cut-off of normal resupply sources.

      The issue is that in an age of multi-boxing, you cannot force penalties on an individual players as not only will the other characters on his account be unaffected but he could easily shift his logistical work to other free accounts.

      t;dr: The fact that one cannot inflict sticking penalties on the people who play pirate characters stops one from giving alternative bonuses to those pirate characters.

      September 3, 2017 at 3:57 pm
  • Bill Bones

    Looks like the highsec content will be just group content. Since the problem with highsec demographics and its impact in EVE demographics come s from the lack of new solo content, these fleet things are like doing a hair transplant to a patient with a failing liver…. may look cool but’s its still dying.

    September 1, 2017 at 11:01 pm
    • Rhivre Bill Bones

      That is something that concerns me. Incursions are group content, but, they are not really something done by a group finder, rather they are organised pre-formed groups. Outside of Incursions, fleets for PvE content, whichever area of space you live in, tend to have a lot of multi-boxing.
      With Eve being what it is, will players really use a group finder for anything?

      The descriptions are vague enough that they don’t really give any indication of the content, but, the perception seems to be mining incursions.

      September 2, 2017 at 8:27 am
      • Bill Bones Rhivre

        In any case it’s not what high sec PvE needs.I can’t see it appealing to more people than Incursions do, and that’s a tiny bunch. Totally fixing the wrong problem and the price is to ignore the real issues.

        September 2, 2017 at 12:29 pm
        • Rhivre Bill Bones

          I agree. I dont see high sec miners or mission runners queuing up to do group content

          September 2, 2017 at 12:56 pm
  • Rolfski

    Probably nobody on this hardcore vet side would agree with me but alpha balance pass is BY FAR the most important update here.
    Current alpha state is simply trash, CCP doesn’t empower them to be good at anything. Which is a huge mistake in a reality were subscription MMO’s are simply a thing of the past.

    This is also my biggest critique on INN (except maybe for the blatant, intelligence insulting propaganda). Goon’s success is highly depended on alpha’s, aka newbros/casuals. Yet this site is completely run by Omega’s who have simply no clue what it is to be an alpha: No alpha guides or perspectives whatsoever on this site. Honestly, I actually expected Mittens to foresee this issue and do something about it, because there is a huge recruitment opportunity here that no other Eve blog is picking up atm.

    September 2, 2017 at 12:53 am
    • Rhivre Rolfski

      Alpha balance pass is the thing that people are overlooking, but, that is natural with the moon mining coming in. It should also be noted that frigates and cruisers are not alpha only ships, and are popular in many situations.

      As for the site being completely run by omegas having no clue what it is to be alpha, my alpha market traders and exploration characters would like to disagree with you (or was that not the sort of alpha experience you were talking about?). I have actually been having way more fun doing exploration and salvaging with my alpha than should actually be possible.

      Whilst it is true that we do not have anyone writing for us who has installed Eve for the first time this year, that is not by design. Nor is who we hire a decision made by Mittens. We hire anyone who would like to write for us, and can put a sentence together in approximately the right order.

      From my interactions with people who have expressed an interest in writing for us (And as EIC I tend to be the one they usually talk to), the most common concern from potential writers is that they do not know enough about Eve to write about it. After all, the scariest thing can be our lovely commentators who are great at making sure we don’t get things wrong. Now, when you are a grizzled grumpy bunny like me, mixing up jackdaws and Cerberus and having people tell you you messed up may not be such a concern. To someone who has written something and then finds comments filled with their mistakes, it can be very off-putting.

      That is not to say we should not try harder to perhaps recruit more fresh blood, after all, we need new faces to meet you all in the comments. New perspectives are always good, and that is something I am personally always trying to find.

      We had a few articles on alphas when they first came out, but, not a whole lot has been done to change their experience since then (The Agency does not count by the way). With the upcoming ship balance pass, I will definitely be making sure we have a look at the changes, because, as mentioned earlier, T1 frigates and cruisers and not just alpha-specific.

      (I hope this did not come across too grumpy, I perhaps should not reply to comments before I am on my 3rd coffee of the day.)

      September 2, 2017 at 8:24 am
      • Rolfski Rhivre

        You basically nailed the current problem with alpha’s: They’re only good for exploration (they suck at trading but can be handy if you need a character at all the major trade markets).

        That’s not an excuse to not write about them though. For starters, this site could use a few good alpha fitting guides, based on actual tested alpha game play and not some omega theory crafting.
        Also ISK making is a very different dimension as an alpha that could use a guide. Where as with your omega account you can use a single Jita character to PLEX your account, as an alpha you definitely need 3 or 4 of them.
        Mining and industry are basically out of the question as an alpha.
        Also with ratting and mission running you run into serious limitations as an alpha, that alone would justify a guide on this. Good luck doing lvl 4 missions as an alpha. Maybe you can pull it off with a Gnosis but then you need at least be Amarr or Galente. And don’t even think of doing afk VNI ratting as an alpha. Again this site could use a good guide on this.
        And then there is stuff like Faction Warfare and player fleet support of course that could all use an alpha perspective.

        September 2, 2017 at 11:32 am
        • Rhivre Rolfski

          You definitely do not need 3-4 alpha characters trading to plex an account.

          It is no more difficult than the 5k-1b challenges. The main issue with alphas is that, well, the market data is unreliable, so unless you know your way around the market, you are screwed. There is no way for a brand new player to know that even though the history says this item has no margin, and only goes to buys, it is definitely traded at 10%.

          Fitting based on tested alpha gameplay is something best left until after the expansion imo, rather that rehashing the tried and tested alpha fits. But it is definitely something I will wave at the writers we have who do fitting.

          The FYF and Alpha logi fits are things that I suspect will have to be reworked once the expansion comes out, so that will be a prime opportunity to go over those.

          September 2, 2017 at 12:56 pm
          • Rolfski Rhivre

            I plexed my alpha account and definitely needed 3/4 characters to do it, without taking ages. Only 17 market orders at your disposal is simply not enough, especially because of the reasons you mention: It takes a shitload of experimenting with various buy/sell orders as a typical alpha to figure out what works and what not and the relative high tax you pay as an alpha severely limits what you can bid on. This makes procurement an absolute bitch and I ended up almost completely skipping it, sticking almost exclusively to directly selling skillbooks bought from a school 2 jumps away (straightforward, no buy tax, stable market and no buy order loss/hassle)

            Which brings me to the biggest mistake CCP is making with this whole alpha model, which frankly is worth an article on this blog alone: It’s still treating alpha as a limited trial and not as a f2p version with limited content.

            If for instance alpha’s would have access to the full frigate line (incl. modules & skills) and would have better options for making ISK, then chances are they might make the jump to omega for the extra content at some point.

            But right now most alpha’s are just getting frustrated and quit because of the insane grind and severe limitations that make them weak at everything. Resulting in the player numbers dropping back where they were before the alpha launch.

            September 2, 2017 at 9:29 pm
          • Bill Bones Rolfski

            IIRC one of the reasons to limit alphas was to avoid giving omegas endless useful alts.

            Say you let alphas use the full frigate skill tree: why would a frigate pilot bother with being omega?

            Think of something like Bomber’s Bar full of alphas…

            September 4, 2017 at 7:27 am
          • Rolfski Bill Bones

            The whole fear of cheap farming alpha alts that was there before launch simply turned out to be not that much of an issue. Fact of the matter is that there is a limit to multi-boxing and running anything more than a dozen of alpha’s is basically the same as giving up your whole life for some pointless video game grind. The very few autists that would go that self-torturing way would have a very limited impact on the overall economy.

            And even if you have the best time of your life as alpha flying teched-out frigates, you still would likely get some interest at some point in flying other ships properly as well.
            But this is besides the point. Eve becoming proper f2p means alpha’s don’t NEED to change to omega. The idea of this model is that you’re making money of them in other ways, with all kinds of services and cosmetics.

            September 5, 2017 at 12:46 am
  • Read and weep what I wrote (when I was still a guy) in 2009 back when I studied Game Design.

    https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B8qjQQ-uyJfWNW81OVlNdlFJSms/view?usp=sharing

    Yeah I actually wrote that. I was a bit weird back then, but trust me these days I am far weirder. Read the part on “detonating moons” with close scrutiny, you will love it.

    These motherfuckers should offer me a job.

    September 2, 2017 at 4:25 pm
  • Alot

    I’m left wondering if a mining barrage which knocks off large chunks of moon would be more or less destructive then a doomsday weapon – I mean all you’d have to do is hold up a very big picture of a moon in front of a citadel and we could have ourselves a real “mining incursion”.

    September 3, 2017 at 9:32 pm
  • Casey Patterson

    Nice to see those alpha ship balance changes

    September 6, 2017 at 8:41 pm