Yesterday I actually got to log into Eve Online and check out Retribution for a couple of hours. Eve's expansions usually don't affect me too much but I just had to check out some of the changes while I had the chance.
First on my list was the safety. I've heard a lot of complaining about the feature and how onerous setting the safety every time a player logs in is. So the first thing I did after I undocked and warped away from the station was set my safety. The process is so easy even I could do it. The safety is attached to the UI's health/capacitor wheel and shows the level of activity allowed. Green means no aggression, amber for suspect-level activities and red for kill'em all and let Hilmar sort it out actions. Changing the settings on the safety involves 3 mouse-clicks. First, click on the safety. Next, look at the nice, easy-to-read menu to select the safety level. Finally, click confirm. I found that when raising my safety level that I didn't have to click on confirm. I tested undocking, changing ships, etc, and the setting is persistent during a play session. For those who wonder why a carebear like me would ever need to change my settings off of green, I do believe in shooting others in self-defense so I'll be changing the settings every time I log in.
I then had to fly to high sec to check out the changes to two of my ships, the Orca and the Hurricane. My Hurricane was sitting in my Orca and I don't fly my most expensive ship in low sec. First, the Orca. I don't mind not having the corporate divisions for sorting purposes. But can people in NPC corporations use the fleet cargohold? I hope not because that would be a boost for botters. They could keep their Orca fleet boosting bot in NPC corporations and get an increase in ore capacity.
The Hurricane change just made me sad. I like flying with shield harmonizing gang link, but in order to do so I had to leave one of my high slots empty if I wanted to fly with tech 2 425mm autocannons. Usually I would use a nos for quick capacitor fill-ups when fighting battleships since my standard fit is not cap stable when running my afterburner.
I hadn't run a security mission in months but ran one last night in order to check out the UI changes. I probably should have stuck to a level 3 mission but I need standings with the Brutor Tribe and would up with The Blockade. So Rosewalker got in the Maelstrom and Wandering Rose in her Hurricane and off they flew to battle the evil Angel Cartel.
The combat was the same but the icons were different. The nice part looking real close is that I could actually see the shields either regenerating or being repped. Wait a minute, did that happen before? I'm not sure since I run security missions so infrequently but I thought the shield repairs were a lot more effective on the NPC ships than before.
The second surprise occurred after I warped my Hurricane out after reaching one-third shields. Remember when I wrote the combat was the same? Not really, but I was too slow on the uptake to notice until later. When I warped back in, only one battleship was close with the rest chasing after Rosewalker's Maelstrom. So I engaged the battleship in the Hurricane. Before yesterday the ships would have continued chasing Rosewalker because he was closer and doing a lot more damage. Last night? The NPCs decided to ignore the Maelstrom and concentrate on Wandering Rose. I would not have minded that except wave 4 showed up and I was tackled by 4 Angel Cartel interceptors. I managed to kill 3 of them before the Hurricane went pop.
So what did I learn? First, buying insurance is good since having purchased it means I still made a profit last night instead of breaking even or losing ISK. Second, Eve has sound. With 425mm autocannons blaring from one computer and 1400mm artillery booming from the other I really got into the mood while fighting. Finally, the NPCs are a lot smarter. That means I need to get smarter. If the NPCs really want to concentrate on Wandering Rose I can use her as a decoy orbiting Rosewalker until I make sure all the tacklers are off the field. I can replace a gyrostabilizer with a Damage Control II to really beef up the tank. That could make life easy.
Not the greatest start to an expansion but I can afford the loss. I still have a lot to look at and a lot to learn.