Summer Odyssey

This entry has been written from an ‘out of character’ perspective to discuss EVE’s newly revealed summer expansion – Odyssey.

eve_online_odyssey.0_cinema_640.0

And now we know the name and theme of the summer 2013 expansion!  Odyssey is going to be themed around exploration.  That is certainly the hook CCP are dangling, although looking at the feature list and information trickling out so far, I’m starting to think that this expansion is as much about resources as it about exploring.

There does appear to be a headline feature at the core of Odyssey, and that is the ‘Discovery Scanner’ of which we don’t seem to know much yet.  It will feature customisable controls, add new functionality and be pretty.  Which sounds great.  Along with this we are going to see new exploration content to go discover.

What interests me most so far is that CCP seem poised to drop a bomb shell on all of us.  And it may turn out to be a rather epic one.  The Odyssey feature site promises a ‘new spacescape’ that will re-balance rewards and resources in all areas of EVE, from high sec to null.  This could be huge.  I think it was in the summer 2012 CSM summit minutes that CCP mentioned conducting a thorough review of all income sources in the game, across all areas of the map.  Odyssey might be the expansion that takes those findings and implements a co-ordinated economic re-balancing on a level we have never seen in EVE’s history.

What would that look like?  I’m not sure, but I expect that CCP have been gathering hard data for awhile now that will drive those decisions.  We may see high sec get nerfed a little in some respect, probably with some resources being moved over to the new exploration model.  Maybe high sec asteroid belts will be diminished in favour of exploration-based mining sites, I dunno.  But I don’t think that we will see high sec ‘nerfed into oblivion’ as some are crying out for, in favour of a direct null sec boost.  Instead, CCP shall probably giveth and taketh away.

Anyone remember that thing CCP was talking about for awhile they called ‘Planetary Ring Mining’?  Well I don’t think it will be in Odyssey.  But I do think that some of the new exploration sites are going to give up moon goo resources.  When CCP were discussing Ring Mining they were talking about using some sort of new scanning mechanic with groups of ships working together like a fishing trawler fleet.  To me this new Discovery Scanner sounds like a step in that direction so we might be taking the first large step towards Ring Mining.  Odyssey probably won’t be the end of moon mining as we know it, but I think it is going to a step towards breaking the super coalition stranglehold on the Technetium supply by introducing a viable new source of precious moon goo.  Technetium Alchemy put a soft cap on tech prices, this could be CCP’s first move towards breaking the monopoly.

This talk of resource distribution and moving away from ‘static’ resources is probably intended to be CCP’s first moves towards shifting alliance incomes from ‘top down’ moon goo over to a ‘bottom up’ economy of players getting out in space and doing stuff to earn their ISK.  One of the biggest issues facing null sec these days is the perception that players don’t live in their space any more.  Reportedly many null sec players get their ISK from alts running high sec Incursions, or from their alliances technetium gravy trains, or from AFK-mining is high sec or whatever.  CCP need to tackle all of that (real or perceived) and get players out into their null sec empires moving around and doing stuff in game.

There is more to this.  between the feature site and reports such as this one on EN24, despite what was said in the Winter CSM minutes, CCP seem to be doing a lot of work on POS.  Guess they really did take note of the protest threadnaught! 😉  They are also targeting industry alongside resources:

POS industry retooling.

Nullsec being advantageous to the production of anything other than supercapitals.

That is an interesting, if vague little tease.  More efficient production lines maybe?  If there were a discount to production costs then that would alleviate the need for legions of miners or importation from empire.  And then you might not need that ‘super veld’ solution often kicked around.  Or maybe we’ll see that introduced as well, who knows.

And finally, of particular interest to those of us in FW, faction Tier 2 Battlecruisers.  Republic Fleet Hurricane y’say?  Don’t mind if I do!  This probably means that the ship rebalancing team are going to have a look through the faction navy line up now that Tech 1 is completed (I’m assuming that Battleships are going to rebalanced in Odyssey if it doesn’t happen in a final Retribution point release).

I’m getting pretty excited about Fanfest now.  From this early information 2013 could turn out to be a very big year for EVE with some very big changes in store that really shake up the landscape of the game.  I’m looking forwards to it. 🙂

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