What's New In The Tyrannis Expansion To EVE Online

The upcoming Tyrannis expansion for EVE Online introduces a bushel of new features. Colonizing planets with our own factories? Got that.

The upcoming Tyrannis expansion for EVE Online introduces a bushel of new features. Colonizing planets with our own factories? Got that. An EVE-centric social network that will let players manage some of their EVE affairs from a web browser at work? Yeah. New organizational tools to help corporations coordinate their members? Yep. Basically, this is a pinata of new content that will enrich the experience of EVE Online players, going forward.

This article is a survey of the new features and changes that will be included in the Tyrannis expansion.

Planetary Interaction

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Big changes are coming in Tyrannis.

The most important new feature from the perspective of long-time EVE Online players is Planetary Interaction. The ability to run factories on planets, blast the products into orbit, there to be picked up for use or sale, is a primo feature for any industrialist. It's about time CCP added some new major areas of industry, and this is it. Materials that until now have been available only from NPC sell orders, will be manufacturable by players. It is unknown whether there will be a grace period in which the materials will still be purchasable during a grace period, but I'm betting not. The planets themselves are beautiful.

The neat part is that, unless you're in null-sec space, the the use of a planet is non-exclusive. Anybody can use any resource on a planet, though the more people using a given resource, the faster it will run out. Nor do you need to be on-site to manage your affairs. Once everything is set up, you can run things from afar, so long as you are logged into EVE. It's something to do while waiting at gate camps or traveling, so it enriches your general EVE experience rather than distracting you from it.

The exact materials that will be produceable are uncertain, though it seems likely that they will include the basic building block materials and the NPC goods used to fuel POS. Which is great for null-sec dwellers who would like to fuel their POS with materials produced on-site, or perhaps even build new stations with them. Another neat thing about this is that much of the planet-side processes are nearly passive income sources, meaning that you get richer without expending too much effort. Excellent.

Best of all, there is every indication that the way that planets will eventually be fought over will be via the upcoming Dust 514 first-person shooter, in the first interwoven MMO/FPS within a shared single world in video game history. The FPS won't be out for a while, yet, but Tyrannis will include the planet-side prize that the DUST marines fight over. I can't wait.

[protip]CCP is changing the kind of many of the planets, so that any notes prior to the patch are unreliable, as are any databases of planets. Some of the planets are also being moved to reflect new, more realistic orbits for planets of their type. Be wary of any bookmarked spots in the vicinity of a planet, things might not be the way that you remember them.[/protip]

EVE Gate

Speaking of MMO history, the Tyrannis patch will include another first: the first integrated social network for their MMO that will allow you to manage EVE affairs from a web browser, at their office desks, in much the same way that many swivel-chair jockeys presently browse Facebook on the sly, when nobody is looking over their shoulder. I'm pretty damn sure this is a first for MMO history.

Included in EVE Gate will be:

  • Checking on what skills you are training (though not, alas, changing skills).
  • Any production or laboratory jobs that you have going on will be viewable, which is great for pilots with multiple accounts that
  • don't want to log in just to see when their shuttles (or whatever) will be finished.
  • The ability to check EVE mail.
  • The ability to manage your friends and enemies.
  • Access to a shared chat channel for your corporation.
  • Access to a shared corporate calendar.

That last feature is probably the most important, because getting corporation members to all be on the same patch is like herding cats. All of them are important because they put the tools of the big corporations in the hands of the little guys. No longer do you need a huge corporation with absurd resources making custom-written applications to alert fellow corporation members to your fleet operation tonight. Nor do you need to rely on the perfidiousness of members checking for corporation mails. Trust me, this one is going to change the face of EVE.

Major Changes: Ship Insurance

The insurance payouts for lost ships in EVE Online have been causing some problems. First of all, they haven't been changed. Ever. Second of all, due to their static nature they wreak havoc with the in-game economy. They generate a "price floor" for the basic minerals mined from asteroids. One side effect of this is that so-called low-end asteroids end up being worth more than asteroids that are harder to get. So they're changing them. They will wax and wane with the cost of the ships.

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The tweaks to minerals, mining, and insurance will affect every player in EVE Online.

Though nobody is exactly sure how it will work out, this will probably mean that tritanium and pyrite will crash in value like nobody's business. It will also mean that there will be a lot more pressure to leave high-security space, since the minerals that can be mined there will no longer be worth nearly as much in comparison to those found in low-sec and null-sec space.

Another change will be to the insurance payouts on tech two ships. Though not approaching the reimbursement levels of tech one ships, they will pay out a great deal more than they used to.

Major Changes: NPC Loot

The other major change that will affect mineral prices is that CCP is changing the loot tables for dead NPC drops so that the loot will primarily be "named" gear rather than tech one modules. Though named gear is generally better than their tech one cognates, they refine into smaller batches of minerals. This means that the loot from missions will no longer screw up the mineral market, which, according to CCP, is an entirely unintended side effect of their existence.

In a related move, the loot drops for drone region NPCs, namely Rogue Drones, will be changed so that less of certain minerals will be dropped. I don't really trust the numbers on the test server to be final, but I expect a lot more nocxium to be produced from there, and a lot less tritanium, pyerite, megacyte and zydrine. We'll see if that changes things for the better or worse, out there in Perrigen Falls and Malpais.

Major Changes: Asteroid Composition

Some asteroids found in low-security and null-security space have been changed to contain more low-end minerals. Though hard data is not available ahead of time, it looks like mining in low-sec might actually be better than mining in areas of null-sec with crappy ore. This means that mining out there might actually be worth it. Break out your hulks and get to it.

Minor Changes: The Hodge Podge

A ton of other minor changes were thrown in, too. Lots of fixes and tweaks all over the place. Truth be told I think I'm probably looking forward to these changes more than the big ones. Here are some of the most important tweaks:

Courier missions have been revamped so that there is parity between the different races' mission hubs. They have also been revamped so that the level of the mission determines the size of the cargo being hauled and how far it must be transported, instead of it being basically random.

The scorpion (and related Tech Two versions) are getting amazing makeovers, making them the coolest looking ships in EVE. I had no idea space ships could look so sexy. Really. If I could drive something that looked like the new Scorpion will look, I would.

Rorquals are getting a buff. Their mining foreman bonus has been doubled while in deployment mode. Between this and the changes to asteroids, maybe we'll actually see people using them in belts, instead of at POS.

The so-called "deep safe spots" located hundreds of AU away from a solar system's sun, that players made with borderline exploit mechanics, will be deleted and made impossible to re-create.

The Complicated Patch Schedule

In order to ensure that Tyrannis is as bug free as possible, CCP is taking a delayed approach to their introduction. As of tomorrow, the 26th, we will be able to scout planets, train the skills relating to their use, and (it seems) devise business plans based on the final production numbers. The actual ability to make use of these will require Planetary Command Centers, special planet-side bases that will be available off of the market on June 8th. It kind of stinks, I agree, but it is better than a totally buggy patch.

Vive La EVE!

Good luck waiting out patch day. See you on the other side!


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