Posted Tue, May 15, 2012 by Space Junkie
Incursions have proven to be one of the most popular major features in EVE Online, for a while. This is partly because they have a dynamic effect on the game world, partly because they are really cool, but mostly because they are crazy, crazy lucrative if you grind them. CCP apparently feels that their risk-reward ratio is out of whack, as is the ease with which people run the most valuable Incursion sites. So they are taking a whack at them with the nerf bat. On the one hand, I some people are pretty unhappy about this, and others are going to get downright mad when the changes go live. On the other hand, they did not nerf them as much as I and many others were expecting, and it is pretty nuts how much ISK people could farm, all in the (relative) safety of high-sec space. We'll see how things shake out.
Whether in a mission, a sleeper exploration site, or in PvP, it can be pretty darned tough to figure out what is happening. Processing a lot of information at once is a valuable PvP talent, but with EVE Online's in-space user interface parsing things can sometimes be an uphill battle. Any change that improves that situation is a welcome one, especially this: post-patch, non-damage effects being used on you will have a much more prominent place in the user interface. After all, the only thing worse than being warp disrupted is not even noticing that you are being warp disrupted. This will help new players understand what is happening in fights, and also allow veteran players to make better-informed tactical decisions. Delicious!
It says a lot about CCP and EVE Online that they chose to showcase the opportunities that the Inferno patch has created. Any time there is a major change to EVE Online, some portion of the game's economy or political meta-game is thrown into chaos. This chaos allows smart, lucky, or dedicated players to earn ISK, seize power, or just have a lot more fun than they otherwise would.
In this expansion, there will be new opportunities to carve out swaths of space in low-sec, new opportunities to make ISK on the wildly fluctuating mineral market, or just to be the first to develop a popular new ship fitting.
The run-un to Inferno has already showcased several major improvements to the user interface in EVE Online. The most important of these is that players can now see which orders are theirs on the market, just by browsing the market. It sounds both obvious and simple, but the effect is astonishingly helpful. Now you can modify your orders to be the most competitive with just the market window, and no need to open your wallet orders window. Other changes along these lines have been made, like the option to open the category to which an item belongs in the market browser, the ability to create shopping lists in the quickbar, and a miraculous ability to clear all content from a chat channel (a must have for Jita). In the world of user interfaces, everything is a matter of baby steps, and these will all go a long way toward making players' lives more livable in the world of New Eden.
The Inferno Expansion
This expansion does not boast any of the huge, messianic features that previous expansions like Incarna or Incursion did. The biggest changes to the game itself have probably already happened, in that the drone regions have stopped producing minerals in excess of the rest of EVE, thus making mining a viable profession, again. On the other hand, the main part of this expansion could bring low-sec space to life, and turn PvP upside down with new fittings and ship specifications. It's hard to say what the results will be, but it should be interesting. See you on the 22nd.