As touched on briefly in my recent article on the subject, EVE Online’s upcoming “Crius” expansion will soon be upon us, and with it it’ll bring improvements and enhancements mostly regarding the game’s player-driven industry and manufacturing occupations.
Being held in special a place in my heart, EVE Online was my first MMO, both my first MMO I tried out and my first MMO I got into in a really, really big way. I first experienced the game back when it was still young--around the “Revelations” expansions, or a little bit before.
Despite only being able to jump into the game again every now and then, it’s a warm feeling to see a game from your childhood continue to grow, expand and evolve. So, in light of Crius’ imminent release, let’s go over what the expansion has to offer in a brief overview.
According to the recently launched feature website for Crius, EVE Online’s forthcoming expansion will bring new features, overhaul the user experience for industry-related tasks, and introduce more tools and improvements to make the gameplay a little more streamline.
Crius’ new features brings about additions to manufacturing teams, Dynamic Pricing, improvements to blueprints and research, and changes to starbases.
Teams are specialized NPC workers that can modify your industry jobs, and Crius will add these teams that can be used for time research, material research and copying, with invention teams soon to follow later on.
Each team has four team members, and each of them have their own speciality, which will dictate what particular job said speciality will affect and to what extent. There are currently a total of 134 specialties, and they are divided among six different types: Structure, Components, Consumables, Ship, Mobile and Equipment. Each type has is it own amount of specialities relating to it, such as 11 specialities for Consumables and 50 specialities for Equipment.
Basically, teams will be required for all jobs in EVE Online, of which you’ll be provided with a basic team to do your stuff when playing the game. The more specialized ones will have to be auctioned for. Furthermore, each team member will have their own efficiency rating for their specializations and performance--the higher the efficiency, the more of a bonus they give to their job.
Crius' introduction of dynamic pricing allows for players to make more of a decision when it comes to paying ISK for a job to be done, instead of whimsically placing an order and being done with it. With Work Teams playing a role in this as well, Dynamic pricing is said to give players more of a reason to utilize a well-staffed team.
As the name implies, Dynamic Pricing builds upon EVE Online’s pricing system that responds player activity by raising or lowering prices in the game’s economy. What is being implemented with Crius is that there will now be two factors regarding the base price for a job: the cost of the job output, and what the fractions of the in-game universe’s total job-hours are being in a given system.
Simply, the pricing is calculated per activity type of a given industry (manufacturing, copying, etc.), per system. This means that the base cost of a given job will be the same everywhere in EVE Online in a given system, with multi-run jobs naturally costing more.
IMPROVEMENTS TO BLUEPRINTS AND RESEARCH
With Crius’ improvements to how blueprints and research are created and done in EVE Online, the major change regarding blueprints is to move blueprint research to a more skill-training-like system, with a fixed number of researchable levels with identical bonuses.
Specifically, blueprint research will be moved to a ten-step system, with each step granting a reduction in material requirements for a given blueprint by one percent in Material Efficiency, and a 12 percent reduction in manufacturing time in Time Efficiency.
Research times are said to essentially follow the same curve as skills, with the additional five steps being interpolated between the existing skill times. Furthermore, blueprint “ranks” multiply the research times for more advanced blueprints.
CHANGES TO STARBASES
Finally, industry-related improvements to player-owned starbases implemented with Crius will revamp Starbase Reprocessing Arrays, which allows for reprocessing ore to be an instant result.
Furthermore, Starbase Compression Arrays will now only require 100 units of a given base ore in order to deliver one unit of the ore’s compressed variant. Compression ore will also be an instant result, with no cooldown either. Additionally, ores and ices of different types may be compressed at the same time.
In general, reprocessing has been has been implemented with a new system, one with a more intuitive interface, item grouping and market data. This new system will allow for players to make more informed decisions on whether or not to reprocess or sell off a given thing.
OVERHAULING USER EXPERIENCE FOR INDUSTRY-RELATED TASKS
As for the overhauling of the user experience with industry related tasks, the visual experience for the in-game windows relating to industry and research has been improved upon, offering dynamic data that’ll be crucial to decision-making. Plus, the related information will be more graphical and will offer more clearer feedback.
The Crius expansion will make it so EVE Online’s industry will be easier to understand, and make it so the industry itself is more interesting and skillful to you on an intellectual level rather than the stats of your character. In short, you’ll have more control and more options, with the industry work being easier and the decision-making harder.
MORE TOOLS AND IMPROVEMENTS
Lastly, a few little extras will be introduced with Crius, specifically ones regarding EVE Online’s user interface, gameplay and the players’ API.
Particularly, there will now be an option for members within a fleet to opt-out of being forced into a fleet warp. You’ll also be able to prepare your ship for interstellar travel without having the skills required to fit a given module (but you’ll still the modules’ required skills if you wish to use them). This means that you’ll be able to fit a module onto your ship without having the skill to actually use it.
Finally, in light of Crius’ changes to EVE Online’s industry, a number of new industry-related features for both the EVE API and Public CREST will be released, allowing for third-party developers to create EVE Online-specific tools and apps.
EVE Online’s developer CCP Games will be releasing more information on the Crius expansion the closer it gets to launch, and there will be several tweaks and additions following the expansion thereafter.
I look forward to trying out what Crius has to offer, and maybe I’ll return with a recounting of my experiences of being an industrialist.
[ EVE Online ]