Experiences of Empyrean Age on SiSi. (little update)
Came home and saw CCP added the Emperyan Age on SiSi (the test-server). Quickly installed the thing to try it out. I’ll write up my brief experiences here, including a couple of screenshots.
Logged in an Amarrian station as usual. Quickly spotted the new Militia button in the menu on the right. Clicked on it and saw this “Fight for the Empire” window. Clicked on enlist and got this message back. Yep. I’m not very high on standing, I’ve never really bothered with mission-running in EVE. Ah well, guess that will have to wait. Found out they changed the character screen as well, there’s a new Decorations tab, which was (of course) empty for me.
I set course for Huola in the Bleak Lands, since I was pretty sure I’d be finding some of the new FW complexes there. I ended up talking with a Bug Hunter and another friendly random person that were cleaning some of the complexes for the Empire. The Bug Hunter was able to provide some answers to a few of my questions. Useful.
Anyway, like in the “beta” FW on Tranquility, there are complexes in all the FW low-sec regions, people can uncover these complexes with the on-board scanner. When the complex is uncovered a beacon of it appears on the overview for everyone in the system, so everyone can easily warp to it for attacking/defending, no matter if you signed up for a militia or not. These complexes have an outpost you can capture by flying within 20km, doing this angers the npc’s there who start attacking you. These npc’s respawn every now and then in different strenght and probably at random times. They aren’t extremely hard, but probably hard to do completely solo. It takes 15 minutes to ‘capture’ this complex for your faction and the others have this time to successfully defend it. I believe the beacons disappear again after a while when they’ve been defended, at least this was the case in the ‘beta’ (or more like alpha) version we participated in months ago. And if you stay there for 15 minutes the complex is successfully captured.
Then there’s also Control Bunker in every capturable system. The Amarrian model of it appeared to have a glitch on my computer. I couldn’t lock this Control Bunker, but the bug hunter told me these things can be taken down when the opposing faction has done ‘enough’. This probably a major thing and you can expect both factions to group up for a big fight when these things are switching. When it’s taken over, system sovereignty also switches.
Another important thing of all this is the complexes and how it restricts ship-types from using the star-gate to warp in. As you can see in this screenshot, the outpost only allows frigates, cruisers, destroyers and industrials. This is a way of CCP to have more small skirmish warfare and let ‘newbies’ be more useful. But there appear to be different types of complexes that allow different types of ships. The bug hunter told me there were complexes that allowed battleships as well and that these complexes are more likely to appear in 0.1 than 0.4 systems. So the lower the sec-status, the more ‘important’ the complexes are. I asked him if there were complexes that allowed capitals, he said he didn’t know.
One of the ‘bugs’ of FW on Tranquility was that it had complexes in high-sec, which then become impossible to defend because the attackers are protected by Concord. I’m not sure if they’ve changed this, but it wouldn’t suprise me.
I’ve got no idea about the rewards and all the fluff around it, but the militia corporations got lots of stations and agents. I wasn’t able to get missions from the agents as I wasn’t enlisted. I think these missions are rather similar to usual missions as you’ve to blow up npc’s as well, but it’s still a bit different and I assume the rewards are much better. It does however work in ‘levels’ again, so you’ll have to build up loyalty. Prepare to grind. I heard of one person that did a lvl1 mission for the Imperial Crusade and had to shoot down some npc’s in a low-sec minmattar system 14 jumps away, so it isn’t completely similar. It’s probably a rather risky adventure as well through all these potentially harmful systems.
What I personally think of all this? Well, I think I’m optimistic. I’m not that much interested in the missions, rewards and other fluff (I’m a rather anti-materialistic person in MMO’s), but I think there are a lot of people that are. But I do like blowing up other players (and usually getting blown up myself) and I’m looking forward to this new target-rich environment. These low-sec regions are probably going to be a lot more filled. RiskvsReward is likely to be better balanced, which was very much needed. Lvl 5 missions are going to get a boost as well.
I do have to say however that this stuff reminds me a lot of the outdoor-PvP things in World of Warcraft. Yep. I know it’s totally wrong to compare WoW with EVE all the time. As a wise person once said, comparing EVE to WoW is like comparing WoW to a 8 player game of Unreal Tournament. But still, Silithius / Eastern Plaguelands and some regions in the Burning Crusade expansion had similar capturable outdoor PvP points. I remember I was very hyped up for these additions in WoW when they were announced and was very disappointed when I played them ingame. Factional Warfare also is a form of ‘Controlled PvP’. Big difference is however that EVE always got it’s consequences and the scale of these new capturable complexes is much bigger than the stuff in WoW. It’s a lot less meaningless. But still…
You could also argue that capturing systems by capturing lots of complexes and a control bunker is somehow silly and a bit unrealistic. I agree on that, but the POS warfare also got some silly restrictive mechanics currently. Perhaps even sillier. Also, I wouldn’t know a better way of implementing Factional Warfare in EVE. I think it’s decent enough and I’m very curious to how the ‘sandbox of EVE’ is going to respond to the new mechanics. I actually think nobody is able to exactly predict that. I mean, would 0.0 alliances even bother signing up if they were able to? How much influence would they have over the fights? How much negative impact would it have on newbies? Would there be huge blobs moving around, lagging around and if so, would they be there for long? Even CCP wouldn’t be able to answer these questions.
Back to alliance issue. Greyscale has responded to some of the (constructive) criticism and I liked his post. He still said that his argument for not allowing alliances was a ‘design’ decision and not a technical. I still consider that a rather weak design decision, but he also hints that alliances may be able to enlist in the future as it seems to be technically possible with 10 minutes of coding and two weeks of bug-testing. Woah. I really hope they’re going for it after the initial influx is gone. It’s stupid to restrict it.
That’s it. Long post it seems. Intended to only write my experiences briefly, but I once again failed miserably. Here are some two screenshots of the militia offices and one funny log that was dropped by some tribal minmattar pilot. 1, 2, 3.
– update –
I talked about the missions from the militia shortly. There’s another ‘addition’. When someone goes to ‘deadspace’ for a mission it only lights up a beacon named ‘Exposed’ that provides a warp-in point to the stargate for everyone. So with FW missions there’s no need anymore for someone to probe the mission-runner down. Very nice in my opinion!
Only the reward seemed to be rather low. Only 60k for a lvl3 mission. It might also have something to do with the rank you’re having, I don’t know.