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EVE Online: Odyssey 1.1 - What's in the Latest Release?

The sci-fi MMO EVE Online sends more improvements across the interwebs to its players.

EVE Online's latest expansion, Odyssey, is to get an upgrade on Tuesday September 3rd (tomorrow at time of writing).

As has been CCP Games' content delivery policy with their free expansions for several years, these regular releases of new gameplay features and fixes are no longer delivered in the single fire-and-forget strategy of old. Following the initial major content release, it is not uncommon to see several additional “point release” downloads with further iterations, refinements and new material.

All good news for New Eden's capsuleers (well, in most cases at least, there's always someone who isn't happy).

Odyssey 1.1 has a host of shiny new tweaks and interesting changes which will affect many playstyles. For those who don't want to wade through dry patch notes, what does this latest deluge of content bring?

Jump Clone Skills

Two skills have been introduced which will greatly improve many EVE players' quality of life with regard to jump clones (which essentially provide custom location save points and character variants).

  • Advanced Infomorph Psychology enables players to have up to 5 additional jump clones. Meaning players can now “exist” in ten places at once.
  • Infomorph Synchronizing will be a popular convenience for many, providing a 1 hour reduction per level of the 24-hour jump clone cooldown timer.
Radial Menu

The polish comes in the form of continuing implementation of the radial menu, the slick new contextual control interface which functions as an alternative to the right-click dropdown options. The radial system is a welcome modernisation of EVE Online's myriad menus and sometimes clunky UI elements, but at this rate it may take some time to see every aspect of EVE given the radial treatment.

This releases sees the pre-existing functionality given some more polish and its use has been broadened to include radial options on the fleet interface, autopilot HUD, starbase structures, bookmarks and drone groups.

Ship Rebalancing

Over the last couple of years, several of CCP's developers have been working to fine-tune the intricate Rock, Paper, Scissors relationship of EVE Online's 200+ ships. Prior to the rebalancing, only a small percentage of the available ship types were considered optimal and many hulls were left gathering dust with little real value. The “tiericide” initiative has progressively made many previously unattractive vessels far more viable.

In this release it has been the Tech 2 Command Ship battlecruisers (the Amarr Absolution and Damnation, the Caldari Nighthawk and Vulture, the Gallente Astarte and Eos, the Minmatar Sleipnir and Claymore) which have been modified to “create a more compelling experience alongside the changes to Warfare Links”.

Tech 2 Heavy Assault Cruisers (Amarr Sacrilege and Zealot, Caldari Cerberus and Eagle, Gallente Deimos and Ishtar, Minmatar Vagabond and Muninn) have also been rebalanced, making them “weightier”. These already ferocious combat cruisers will now share many of the same characteristics that their smaller T2 Assault Frigate counterparts enjoy, with increased resistances, electronics specialisations and a reduced microwarp drive bonus making them potentially tougher, quicker and generally even more aggressive.

The non-combat industrial haulers have also been re-examined, with the sub-standard vessels reworked to provide a specialised hauling service, with particular ships having dedicated bays for specialist cargoes. The Iteron versions Mark I to IV have been renamed the Nereus, Kryos, Epithal and Miasmos and the Badger Mark II has become the Tayra.

Ship Modules

Several key items of ship equipment have been tweaked:

  • Energy vampire modules which have been modified in a way that will give small ships an edge over larger ones. Only ships with less capacitor charge are able to drain capacitor from the target - previously this was calculated by comparing capacitor percentage, but now it's by absolute value, leading to some interesting possibilities for frigate leech swarms. 
  • Long range weapon turrets have been made more damaging but less accurate.
  • Warfare link modules used by command ships to provide bonuses to fleet members have been changed significantly – most importantly by preventing their use from inside the safety of a Starbase forcefield. This is significant as it is a step toward ending the era of off-field boosting. For now, at least the boosting ship will be vulnerable, if not visible.
  • Armour repairers and shield boosters have been enhanced.

A cornucopia of other, minor changes are also included in the full patch notes, including probing improvements, asteroid resource changes, mindlink implant tweaks, T2/Faction additions, drone menu enhancements (sadly not as enhanced as everybody would really like) and many other quality of life improvements.

All in all, not a bad little shopping list of freebies squeezed in between main expansion releases.

Published Sep. 2nd 2013

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