The Crucible expansion for EVE Online is mere hours away. Read these ten tips for surviving the transition, and maybe make yourself some ISK while you are at it.
10. Stop Mining In High-Sec Space, Damn It
Okay, so everybody knows that the goons (and friends) have been hitting the Gallente ice belts in high-sec with suicide ganks. The price of oxygen isotopes, a critical ingredient for running Gallente starbases, has at various points more than tripled. The cost is so high that by now most players are probably running on stockpiles, switching to other races of starbases, or mining their own ice.
Well, things are about to get worse. The yearly delight known as Hulkageddon is about to kick off, right after EVE's Crucible expansion is released. Last year the event netted over 1,200 kills. If it is running at the same time as goons are still killing ice miners, just fuhgeddaboudit. Go do something else for a couple weeks. On the other hand, mining ship BPCs can usually be had on the cheap, and the mineral market is sure to be whirlwinding in the weeks after patch, so it might be a good time to throw some ships into the oven.
9. Be Ready To Refuel Starbases
If you are one of those dedicated industrialists that owns a starbase, there is going to be some serious scrambling necessary. Once the patch goes live, the blueprint originals needed for the new fuel blocks will be available from NPC sellers in Thukker Mix stations. Fortunately for everybody, CCP is giving us two weeks to build the fuel blocks and switch over our fuel types. Until that two weeks is up, starbases will continue to use the old fuel types, but fuel blocks will be permitted in the fuel bay.
It is important that you begin phasing out the old fuel in favor of the blocks, but also give yourself a few days of wiggle room old-style fuel, on transition day, in case CCP does something wrong. In any case, starbase owners should procure blueprints as quickly as possible to keep things running, while industrialists should do the same in order to line their pockets with sweet, sweet ISK.
8. Hold Off On The New Battlecruisers
Everybody will want to be the first guy in his corporation to have one of the new battlecruisers. That doesn't mean it is cost-effective to buy one, right away. Though many industrialists (including this author) will be hurrying to churn out the new ships. The demand is so high that many of us will be building without waiting to research the blueprints!
7. Mind Your Gosh-Darn Fighter Bays
If you are fortunate enough to own a supercarrier, you will need to make some adjustments in the hours before the patch, or regret it afterwards. CCP sometimes has trouble with the transition from pre- to post-patch, and this is a good example of that. After the Crucible expansion goes live supercarriers will no longer be capable of fielding normal drones, only fighters and fighter-bombers. This is a change that CCP feels is for the good of the game, and I am inclined to agree (though I don't want to get into that here).
The important thing here is that if you have any normal drones in your bay, CCP will need to move everything in your drone bay into a station. It is apparently too technically arduous and difficult to apply more granularity than that. In order to avoid the sorry state of floating in space with an empty drone bay, just remove the non-fighter drones ahead of time. I feel sorry for the supercarrier pilots that aren't subscribed (but not too sorry).
6. There Has Never Been A Better Time To Run Anomalies*
(*Unless you live in the drone regions)
Cosmic anomalies are sort of like the null-sec version of missions. You scan the sites down with relative ease, warp to the location, and kill whatever is there. The best sites earn a decent amount of ISK, and really pro PvE pilots can earn ISK exceeding that earned by level four missions. It doesn't exceed the ISK earned by farming incursion sites, but that party can't last forever. CCP has diligently gone over their anomaly sites and increased the ISK earned per hour from running cosmic anomalies.
This means that it is once again worthwhile to live in null-sec, and run anomalies. If that sounds like your cup of tea, it might be time to start checking out the recruitment ads, dusting off your killboard resume, and practicing excuses for your trolls on the EVE forums. Go get 'em, tiger.
The one exception to this general rule of increased value is the drone regions, where there was apparently a bugged drone complex that could be exploited to earn incredibly high amounts of EVE ISK. That will be fixed. To the chagrin of many slavic language-group speakers, apparently.
5. Get Theorycrafting For Time Dilation
Alliance fleet doctrines are about to get a big ol' kick in the boot. As things stand, fleets are designed with crippling lag in mind. This lag prevents fancy footwork of all types, including much of the old-fashioned "sniping while warping around on the same grid" doctrines. With time dilating down to a crawl we can expect much more sophisticated tactics, and new ship setups to go with 'em.
So fire up your copy of EVE Fitting Tool and start playing with the numbers. You could be the guy that thinks up the next big PvP flavor of the month. Pro Tip: it's a fair bet that the next wildly successful fleet doctrine will involve one of the new battlecruisers.
4. Set A Course For PvP
This is a great expansion for PvP. The supercarrier and titan nerfs will make getting hot-dropped by gigantic unkillable ships less commonplace, for one. That's a pretty big one, honestly. Then there's the increased tech II salvage from the wrecks of player-flown tech II ships. That's handy in that there is a bit more financial motivation. There's also the buff to destroyers, a class of ships that has long been looked at as the poor man's PvP vessel. Especially the noble thrasher, a fine specimen of Minmatar craftwork that helped me camp many a gate in my more tender years.
3. Your Corporation Needs You
Nearly all large-scale conflict in null-sec has come to a halt due to the risks involved with supercapital warfare. Post-patch the risks of using them will be so high that many alliances will probably save them for after they have already won a battle. That's actually a good thing for the null-sec's little guys, because it means that war is back on the menu, but with far less supercapital shenanigans. Alliances will be tearing into each other, and all these groups that have been holding their breath waiting for the Crucible expansion will start invading the heck out of each other.
They're gonna need you out there. Fortunately for everybody, there are some things that will make the corporate lifestyle a bit more convenient. Alliance and corporation messages of the day will make sure everybody is constantly kept updated about what is going on, for one. Available jump bridges will show up on the in-game map, for another. Those bridges will no longer require passwords, either, which should is a blessed relief from an otherwise annoying step.
2. Dust Off Your Dreadnought
Dreadnoughts are going to be actually useful in the Crucible expansion, and not just for killing other capitals. They will even be able to help players carve out little planet-base financial empires, by destroying player-owned customs offices. CCP even cut the cycle time of the siege module in half, just to be friendly.
In order to get the most out of your dreadnought, you might want to start training up Tactical Weapon Reconfiguration to level five, since that will probably be required for the new tech II siege modules that are coming out. On the bright side, these will more than be worth it.
1. Start Copying Blueprints
While we are on the topic of tech II modules, let's talk about blueprints that are suddenly going to be usable with invention. These include warfare links, core probe launchers, siege modules, triage modules, tractor beams, and most incredibly, bomb launchers. Check out the EVE Crucible expansion patch notes for the full list.
Buy a bomb launcher blueprint original and throw it into a copy slot, pull it out, and invent away. Do the same with other likely modules. Sell the resulting modules for ludicrous stacks of EVE ISK. The invention market has been stale for a long while, and this could be just the thing to give it a kick in the pants.