Grid Size Changes on the Horizon

2015-11-17

A key part of EVE you probably don’t think about much, the grid, is set to get a major overhaul in the near future.

GRIDS – AN INVISIBLE CONUNDRUM

A grid in EVE is the volumetric area that your ship occupies — a pocket of simulated space that allows you to see other ships on your overview in nearby space. Grids in EVE are independently generated, and best thought of as an invisible sphere radiating roughly 250 km in every direction from a static or deployed structure in space. Within this sphere, you can see ships and objects on your overview that are within the sphere. Go past the invisible boundary, and you will enter a new grid, and ships still on the previous grid will simply see you disappear from overview, although you will remain visible under a d-scan of course. Unless you are in a combat recon ship such as a Curse, or cloaked.

Cunning players have found ways to manipulate grid boundaries. Commonly referred to as “Grid-Fu,” the art of grid manipulation and maintenance has been passed on from the old guard, to the new guard, continuing on today as a footnote for all EVE newbie education and bitter-vet reformation programs. Grids can be shrunk, distorted, or expanded, allowing for a variety of strategies to be implemented to attempt to gain the upper hand in an engagement. Much of the information needed to achieve this legal behavior is covered in detail on the EVE wiki.

Expanding a grid.

“I’ve seen grids you people wouldn’t believe. Assault frigates afire off the shoulder of Amarr. I watched pulse beams glitter in the dark near the Mittanigrad Gate. All those moments will be lost in time, like pods aflame.” Myrddin Callyx of Merch Industrial speaking about pockets of space less known.

PRELIMINARY GRID SIZE CHANGES ON SINGULARITY

Players logging on to the EVE test server, Singularity, may notice that grid size has been massively increased. Some reports from Singularity indicate minimum grid sizes at 10,000 km and climbing. Where celestial objects, such as a moons of a planet, were previously on separate grids, players may now find more than one moon per grid, and even nearby stations on-grid too. It is unknown what the final grid size on the live game will be, and posts on the EVE Online forums by the developers responsible indicate they are crunching these numbers at this time. The grid size changes could be wind up much smaller, larger, and generally different to current EVE grid mechanics.

The increase in grid sizes has been largely lauded as necessary for the upcoming Citadels expansion. In a post to the EVE online forums CCP Claymore, a lead developer on the new grid changes, clarified the preliminary changes:

“Hello players, With the latest update on Singularity you might notice some strange goings on. For some of the work Team Game of Drones are doing in the build up to Citadels we have made the grid size bigger. How much bigger? MUCH BIGGER! What is this going to affect?

As with many of the changes Game of Drones are making we really hope you will not notice much but there are some pretty big exceptions with this one.

1. Your safe spots are possibly not so safe anymore, other people can probably see you now.

2. When running some missions you will be able to see rooms you should not be able to see, we are aware of this and are working out what to do.

3. Anchoring POS might have some issues, we are aware of this.

Please let us know if you run into any issues by submitting a bug report through the F12 menu in the client. Please report the bug before restarting the client as your logs are super important for tracking down issues.”

THE FALLOUT

The thread has sparked an impressive amount of discussion from the players, including analysis of the changes, and many questions answered by CCP Claymore. To demonstrate that new grid sizes means there are places where two moons may appear on the same grid at once, Querns from Goonwaffe posted some data mining results, showing the location of possible dual-moon locations. Despite the increased grid size, lock range will still be capped at 250km. Mission and deadspace complexes can now have different rooms appear on the same grid, though this is being addressed, and will likely be fixed before released.

A major complaint by one player was that with the increased grid size, players will have to load more assets while in space. Many posters fear that it may make jumping gates a lag-filled affair in a large battle scenario. CCP Claymore clarified again that these changes are modular at this time. Maybe even with brain in the box being fully implemented in the near future, stronger server technology will counter-balance the possible EVE client performance hits sparked by increasing grid size.

You know the first rule of combat? Spot them before they shoot you

Grids are going to change, and space is going to feel much more massive and expansive than ever before. Getting to a safe zone will not be as trivial as it is at the present, and prudent players may wish to update their safe spots in preparation for these changes. It seems, on the face of things, that being in space will be more dangerous. But perhaps at the same time, larger grids meaning greater visibility in space may make New Eden safer at the same time. It all depends what side of the situation you are on.

This article originally appeared on TheMittani.com, written by Anehii.

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