Header art by Smultar
On the third and final day of FanFest 2018, CCP Fozzie gave us information on upcoming changes and advancements to the structure systems in game, as well as details about the upcoming outpost and conquerable changeover and the faction Fortizars that will replace them. In the past year, CCP has introduced small changes to structures, such as the introduction of alliance logos and updates to structure weaponry, UI improvements for deployment, and easier fueling in August, and the more recent introduction of Upwell 2.0 and Lifeblood’s introduction of refineries and moonmining via Upwell. Since that introduction of citadel-based moon mining, there are now more Upwell structures than old player owned starbases.
Now, CCP is full steam ahead on Upwell deployment and enhancement. In the next few months, we will see the replacement of old outposts and conquerable stations with new faction fortizars, and the introduction of several permanent monuments at the locations of the old stations. We will also see the roll out of the next Upwell structures, particularly structures for navigation, which will replace jump bridges, cyno beacons, and cyno jammers, as well as structures for propaganda and advertising.
On June 5 of this year, all conquerable stations and permanent outposts will be replaced by faction fortizars. There will be five different variations: one for each of the factions, and a generic one that will replace conquerable stations. These faction fortizars will have unique bonuses associated with their structure type. They will not, however, be able to be built by players. After the approximately one thousand structures are destroyed, they will never exist again.
As fortizars, they will be fittable with modules and rigs, including special rigs which will approximate the benefits from controlling upgraded outposts. However, these rigs will be destroyed if the citadel is unanchored or destroyed, so they are truly one of a kind – a decision intended to force a choice between relocating faction fortizars or holding them in place.
The fortizars will belong to whatever corporation controls them at the time of the changeover. Thus, it’s very important that players verify who is controlling their stations beforehand. It’s also important that the access control list defaults and vulnerability window defaults be set for the corporation, to prevent a lapse in access to the structures. In case of lapses, however, the structures will be invulnerable and inactive for two days after the changeover, before entering into the standard shield vulnerability mode. When the changeover occurs, all players, clones, assets, ships, offices, industrial jobs, market orders, contracts, and even direct bookmarks will be updated appropriately, though CCP is already anticipating an extended downtime for the update.
In addition to the structures themselves, permanent monuments will be erected in place, which commemorate the history of particularly important historical stations and outposts.
Full details will follow in a devblog in the near future, and CCP anticipates public testing to come in the near future.
Player Owned Starbase Phase-out
Coming in July, all moon mining POS modules will be phased out, with a reimbursement coming through reprocessing bonuses that will recoup almost the full costs of the modules. Blueprints will be converted into their Standup equivalents. Then, this Winter, all manufacturing, research, industrial, and reaction jobs will be disabled in POSes. Currently only a fraction of a percent of total industrial jobs are using POS, so this is not likely to have a major impact on many.
Next generation of Upwell structures
CCP is aiming to introduce a new series of structures that replace the functionality of POS and expand the functionality of player structures generally. The first, and most important, structures are those relating to navigation. Presently, POS are still necessary for the deployment of jump bridges, cyno beacons, and cyno jammers. With the new navigation structures, these can be phased out. These structures will be “small” type Upwell structures, which do not allow for tethering or docking. They will also require sovereignty control to deploy, for now. CCP is currently working on how access control lists and jump fatigue will interact with these new structures.
The second class of small structure that CCP introduced were propaganda and advertising towers. These will allow players to display their own art anywhere in system through deployed structures. With many options for visual customization, players will be able to show off and represent their dominance. However, CCP also hopes to allow for vandalization and graffiti on these towers, which will allow for offensive “tagging” operations.
Odds and Ends
Stargate customization, shown in an artistic mock-up, which would allow players to modify the stargates in their territories in a variety of ways. This is purely concept art, and no details are firm about how this would function mechanically, if at all, or if it would be purely cosmetic. CCP Fozzie also discussed distant, tentative plans for the future including the introduction of player forward operating bases, which would quickly deploy but which would be far more temporary than current Upwell structures. These would allow players to deploy small structures for wormholing, incursions, or initial invasions of hostile sovereignty.
Finally, with the Capsuleer Day event in May, we will see drops of the first structure fireworks and fireworks launchers.
These changes represent a good trajectory for structures and possibly even sovereignty. As rigs and fittings are introduced that replicate the benefits of sovereignty control, a more organic system can be moved towards. CCP Fozzie expressed a desire to look at structures in a fresh, new way, rather than committing to using current systems exclusively, meaning innovation that can keep the game fresh. In keeping with CCP’s commitment at the beginning of FanFest to continue developing Eve for as long as possible, these changes and this willingness to take a new approach inspire (perhaps guarded, reserved) optimism. For my own part, I look forward to rattle-canning propaganda towers in the North.