The Grand Heist is here!


Space crowbars at the ready – it’s time for some serious interstellar robbery. The Great Heist is here, landing in New Eden at the end of July. For months players have been speculating about when these much fabled “Reserve Keys” would be unveiled and now we know. The planned changes are available to test on the Singularity test server, starting on July 16, 2021. With around 20 trillion ISK lying in wait, there isn’t a better time to plan some crime!

From what the DevBlog reveals, there will be a new series of anomalies that spawn in Low Security (lowsec) space. These sites contain a guaranteed drop of a new item: the Secure Commerce Commission (SCC). These new anomalies, named Secure Key Storage Sites, will require “patience and skill” to complete. We are excited to see what they look like.

After successfully completing the site, the capsuleer can use the SCCs on an ESS specific to a particular quadrant of the map. However, it is not clear whether these locations are tied to the looting player or to a particular system or region. We will see two types of keys: a long and a short duration. Judging by the graphics displayed on the DevBlog, the long key will allow a player to siphon ISK for 45-minutes, whilst the shorter option appears to only be 6-minutes. Just enough time to get in and get out before the locals arrive!

Once a player uses a key on an ESS, the payout starts to increase until it reaches a maximum, then slowly decreases. The trick will be holding the grid for that length of time. This heist will become even more challenging as the opening of a Reserve Bank will trigger a region-wide alert – thefts must be well planned and properly executed, especially when done behind enemy lines.

Although the ESS Reserve keys have been anticipated for some time, the news of the release isn’t the most noteworthy addition. The graphical changes to the UI featured on the DevBlog look spectacular. There are many quality-of-life changes, including a new visibility for the warp-disruption bubble that will change with the player’s perspective. This change comes in response to player feedback. Further, there is a new intrusion interaction as well as a redesign of the actual ESS model.

The ESS system has removed the gump that appeared when hacking a bank; it has been replaced with an “in space UI,” allowing the player to interact seamlessly. There is a very cool looking in-space timer that appears around the ESS during an invasion, with a blue circle for the main bank and an orange one for the reserve bank. CCP is clearly using the Grand Heist as a trial run for these new systems of interaction. Let’s hope we see more dynamic methods rolled out across the whole galaxy.

The opportunity to steal ISK all over New Eden will be an exciting prospect for many players. Having control over large swathes of the galaxy will now have a real advantage. But, with the sites spawning in lowsec, we may also see a definite steer towards the non-capsuleer empire pirates who reside there. Many have already suggested that large alliances will simply buy ESS keys to their own space – but marginal gains aren’t what this is all about. The ESS is about content. With the right key, in the right system, at the right time, small groups of players could steal billions from under the noses of the large empires.

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  • kwnyupstate .

    None of this ESS even makes sense to begin with. Just make the NPCs drop loot and screw this ESS system.

    July 16, 2021 at 9:30 PM
  • Garreth Vlox

    “will require “patience and skill” to complete”

    That’s CCP dev code for boring and having a ridiculously high barrier to entry.

    July 17, 2021 at 3:00 AM
    • Undeadenemy Garreth Vlox

      My thing is why wouldn’t the major alliances just rob themselves and take all that money they’ve been stashing? I’ll admit I don’t know for sure, but I struggle to think of any mechanic currently in the game, or one that I can devise, that would prevent that activity.

      Can’t remember if this ever made it to one of my articles, but I had an idea for this that makes more sense to me:
      You go to the spot, and grab the “ball” (this contains the money). The ball is too big to fit inside anything smaller than a battlecruiser or battleship, or smaller class are simply outright banned by the mechanics from picking up the “ball”. Being in possession of the ball prevents jumping, bridging, tether, docking, and cloaking. It also broadcasts it’s position through the map and the EVE API, updated at least every 30 seconds. If a player logs off the ball is dropped. The ball appears on overview system-wide, and is warpable, including when being carried by a ship. The “goal” is a randomly selected NPC station in lowsec or a randomly selected new type of celestial that spawns in lowsec.

      The “goal” is always a minimum distance from the origin of the “ball”. Once at the goal, the player is safe, and can pick from a number of options: keep the money, distribute the money either to the taxed players, the players corporations, or alliances, or to send the money another entity (including NPC entities).

      So basically, alliances who want their bonus money have to grab their balls every couple of weeks, and then escort the runners to the goal to make sure they don’t get intercepted. Think like a Brinks armored truck…that plays ice cream truck music… in Somalia.

      July 19, 2021 at 2:07 PM
      • kwnyupstate . Undeadenemy

        “So basically, alliances who want their bonus money have to grab their balls every couple of weeks”

        July 19, 2021 at 4:33 PM
      • Garreth Vlox Undeadenemy

        “My thing is why wouldn’t the major alliances just rob themselves and take all that money they’ve been stashing? ”

        This is EXACTLY what is going to happen all across the game the second the keys are available.

        July 20, 2021 at 12:31 AM
  • This is pretty funny. Remember when people would go hunt ratters simply because it was fun (and possible) to blow up other people’s spaceships? Instead of melting their big brains trying to come up with extremely convoluted systems designed to “create content,” why don’t they just un-fuck their ship meta so that people go out into space in ships that can be hunted and killed again? What was wrong with plain old open-world PvP just for fun?

    July 18, 2021 at 6:36 AM
    • kwnyupstate . Ganthrithor

      Because they need to constantly change things for no reason to keep people “engaged”

      July 18, 2021 at 2:34 PM
      • It’s pretty sad the state of their development. Amazing how much more appealing Tarkov is to me right now, with that game making almost no effort to force engagement. That game only provide the player with some very basic “quests”– go find three of X item in the gameworld, or go kill ten NPCs (or other players, sometimes), or go find this location and explore it. Kind of like the original EVE missions: very little dev time or effort expended on devising the material. The game pretty much just relies on the merits of its own gameplay and the fact that exploring and hunting and looting are fun in and of themselves. I wish CCP would return to that minimalist development style rather than focusing on adding so many convoluted mechanics to a game that’s fundamentally un-fun because they made non-consensual PvP so difficult and also removed all the PvE rewards.

        July 18, 2021 at 8:24 PM
        • kwnyupstate . Ganthrithor

          Like many companies they change things just to be able to say look at this new thing to give the impression they are evolving and to con players instead of not changing things that work already.

          July 18, 2021 at 9:16 PM