I recently wrote a quick and messy post about the upcoming Rubicon expansion. I did this from the only perspective I am qualified for – Wormholes. Since then, a few dev blogs have come out going into a lot more detail. The final word likely had the CCP guys at EVE Vegas, I caught their Rubicon presentation with about 3/4 brain while at work.
So, what follows is a Rubicon & Wormholes reloaded.
Player-owned customs offices
Well, I didn’t think it would be such a bit deal. After all, everyone else in New Eden had to deal with them already and it has neither broken nor really changed the game. Generally, null and WH space just removed the customs offices without much fuss and put their own up. Shooting a POCO without a Dreadnought is actually an exercise in patience. The normal Interbus things have very little HP, the player-owned ones quite a lot. And a reinforcement timer. So, what will happen?
As usual in EVE, there will be a wild period in the beginning followed by a slow and inevitable self-organization toward larger organizations. The first few weeks will be filled with corps standing up their own POCOS, hire mercenaries to defend them and fail against larger, more organized PvP corps. Who won’t stand a chance against e.g. Goons or RvB who can absorb the wardec cost and suffocate any opponent with sheer numbers. I don’t know what Jester is smoking when he writes how this brings good fights to the game. Sure, it will. For a time. And then Goons will own it. Shadow Cartel apparently owns many low sec / FW POCOs and derive a handy income from them. But the more important feature is the strategic advantage that POCOs give a large organization. For example, the how can the goons bring down all invention, T2 production, raise the price of nearly everything and (!) harvest buckets of tears and rage quits? Simple. Just focus on Lava and Plasma planets. They are the only source for Chiral Structures which in turn are a key ingredient in Robotics which in turn is fundamental to POS fuel. No Chiral structures, no POS fuel, no POS fuel, no POS.
Now I am not tinfoil to think that there is no valve. First of all, there are tons of Lava and Plasma planets in the game. Nullsec is rich in these planets (and goons and their peasants own a lot), lowsec has lots as well (but no carebear will go there) and we have of course plenty in Wormhole Space. But a focused and well-advertised take-down will – permanently – make PI painful for High Sec Industrialists. They will not fight, they will simply play world of tanks or run incursions.
Verdict – Nullsec / Highsec content.
Moving on. Deployable structures.
Portable Cyno Jammer – useless. Nullsec / Lowsec Content
Depot – not sure what use it would have without being able to refit T3 subsystems – all we fly for PvP and PvE is T3. These things show up on D-scan and can be destroyed. WH dwellers will notice them the minute they are put up and take them down as fast as they see them. Even in empire, Concord doesn’t intervene, and anyone can risk a suspect flag. I can see them to be useful for long solo raids into Nullsec – find a very quiet backwater, drop this and change fits between scouting and hacking. Null / Low / High sec content.
The salvaging structure – yeah, I can see how this work. The site runners just drop a few on their way in and wait for a cloaked destroyer to suck the wrecks up. This really is the end of the Noctis in WH space. High, Low, Null, WH content.
Lastly, the Siphon unit – yeah, thanks. We don’t have moon goo. And if we did, every few hours, our neighbors change, placing these things on a POS would be useless, at 10mil a pop, their costs amortize after 24-48 hours (depending on the goo). Not useful at all. Null / Low sec content.
Sisters of EVE ships have been discussed in detail elsewhere – they are amazing for WH dwellers. The frigate is gorgeous and will be an excellent light tackler, a role that the Stealthbomber only reluctantly fills. The cruiser will be wonderful, basically a full replacement for a Proteus. The DPS comes from a huge arsenal of drones which also make this a hugely versatile ship (and versatility is King in WH space). You can switch these things from hard long-range EWAR platform (Damps and ECM drones) to extremely heavy brawler (sentries, heavies) without changing subsystems. Getting one of those will be tricky tho. The Sisters run their own weird sideshow in the Lore and maybe they won’t sell those through the LP store but drop the blueprints in one of the new (? whats new about them??) Signatures that CCP announced in Vegas. So, all the LP farming may be for nothing? High, Low, Null, WH content.
Warp speed changes – still amazing. LOOVE it – to be able to land before an industrial ship even leaves the force field. But hey, I fly Industrials. This sucks! I have no idea how long my Orca now flies takes to get into warp but it will make hole closing or fuel supply runs really painful – and dangerous. So, yesyes, for the PvP / F1 monkey, this is a great change. For the logistics dudes – no fun at all. High, Low, Null, WH content.
Interceptors can go stupid fast now (fun!) and have interdiction nullifiers as part of the hull. That makes them likely the safest boats to zoom about for quick supply runs but to be honest, we prefer to stay hidden and rarely go deep into nullsec where gate bubbles are a problem. Nullsec Content
As time goes on, more details and even more features are being discussed, such as new scannable “Ghost Sites” that seem to be CCP’s apology for the annoying hacking mini game. Depending on how crummy the loot is and how annoying the hacking, its not something we would focus on. High, Low, Nullsec Content
Overall, I am still really looking forward to the expansion – the Sister’s ships are going to be AMAZING and I like the loot deployable thing, it will shave hours off salvaging sleeper sites. Other than that, I wish CCP would stop calling these patches “Expansions” and do what Blizzard does, smaller content patches and every 2 year something really big. It feels more mature as a company. This quick update cycle is a start-up company trick that CCP shouldn’t need anymore.