Thursday, June 13, 2013

Odyssey - Living Up To The Name

CCP named the summer 2013 expansion for EVE Online Odyssey because the theme of the expansion is exploration.  Admittedly, high school was over 30 years ago, but I remember Homer's The Odyssey as the story of a Greek king who had an unexpectedly long journey going home, sometimes facing great danger, after the fall of Troy.  On that level, at least for me, Odyssey is succeeding.

Unlike many, I like the mechanics of the new exploration system.  The changes to make the probing system appeal to Asian gamers is nice as only having to use the mouse to probe relieves some stress from my left hand.  In addition to getting up there in years, I'm still suffering the effects from years of playing the EverQuest 2 crafting mini-game.  I also like the new hacking mini-game.  Sure, I warped out of a relic site last night trailing flame courtesy of The Marmite Collective, but that pressure just adds to the fun.

I think where CCP fell down is that the system is less exploration and more shopping.  I now think of the exploration sites as data and relic stores.  When I jump into a system, I automatically see the billboards for all the stores tempting me to visit.  I see this a lot since I have a level 2 research agent I visit every day to run research missions for.  What normally is a 10 minute journey sometimes turns into an odyssey of an hour (sometimes two!) because I just can't resist dropping probes and seeing what bargains I can find.  I can usually find a store to visit in a few minutes of searching.  And like Odysseus, I sometimes survive the encounter by the skin of my teeth.

I should add that probing also finds combat and gas sites.  Yes, I finally found a gas site after a year of exploring.  I guess they don't spawn in faction warfare systems.  Like that ancient Greek king, I am seeing new things in my travels since the launch of Odyssey.  But I wouldn't call it exploration.  I'm just stumbling upon them in my travels, just like Odysseus stumbled across the Cyclops.

8 comments:

  1. I'm there with you on the feeling that many of the changes are nice, but wouldn't call it exploration front.

    It still baffles me that CCP went with this theme but at the same time gave everyone instant intel on what sites are in a system AND removed on item to be scanned down at all (ore). Very strange move.

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    1. Their trailer also speaks of things this expansion is not. From a view from inside the game I'm puzzled. Yet this looks as if they are not selling Odyssey as an exploration expansion to we the current t players but those who would look to play and are ignorant of how much of a false statement the title of exploration for these changes is.

      Unless probing down mission runners and link alts are now exploration

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    2. I just had a revelation, I was responding to Scientist re his post "
      It’s the little things you miss" (http://eveblog.allumis.co.uk/?p=1302), when it hit me... After Odyssey dropped I felt something was missing, now I know what it is...

      I miss the little things..

      I miss the fear, pressure and risk involved in the possibility of not recalling my probes in time…

      I also miss the immediacy and the need to keep your head in the game that imminent probe loss forced on us… you looked away from your screen on pain of death… now you can watch whole episodes of Mad Men and your probes just take care of themselves…

      I miss the trepidation, pressure and risk inherent in needing to be decloaked long enough to launch all 7 probes…

      I miss working out the best probe configuration on my own… not having one that is just ‘meh’ good enough so that I no longer ‘waste’ time setting up my own patterns… and I fear for our poor noobs, who will believe that the one insta-launch 8 probe configuration is the BESTEST configuration ’cause CCP wouldn’t have put it in there if it wasn’t… right?

      I miss launching just the number of probes “I” want to launch, and no more.

      but most of all,most of all... I miss undocking, logging on or jumping a gate or a hole into a deep black forbidding mysterious sky… and NOT immediately KNOWING EVERYTHING around me without trying…

      I miss exploring…

      Strange to feel this way after an ‘Exploration’ based expansion drops huh?

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    3. For me fear has been introduced into the exploration now, the pressure of scanning down a site before someone else. Starting the hacking game before someone else MWD's to the hacking station before me,and then the mad rush of collecting has many floating cans with only seconds left. Or rushing to a ore site to pop that special low sec. rock in a high sec. system before the other 20 miners show up and/or the gankers show up to pop me before any of that ore could be stored at the station.

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    4. I think this was an attempt to enable exploring to become larger portion of the game. To do so the first few steps have to be made easier in order to build a rabbit hole to then be able to build the entire rabbit den.
      When I started in 2007 probes were just introduced and was a chance base of finding stuff random. Had to scan stuff several time to just make sure you didn't miss anything. I was an "Add On"
      Next gen of probing made it more skill base to find random hidden stuff, but you always have a signature though. The Exploration became more of a Profession, a shallow one as once you found something you switch ships.
      With the exploration being more of a them for eve for the next 5 years, They have to dumb down the current system in order to make it more accessible to more people as new content will be arriving via this system. Expect to see more adventurous exploration in the next couple expansions. as Odyssy is only the foundation of what is to come.

      In the distant or not so distant future you will try and find regular space that is only reachable via non- inhabitable Worm holes (won't accept POS towers)
      Having to build you own jumpbridge network to this location.
      Or Exploration Escalation sites maybe requiring serious skill to scan down, and the requirement to decipher (randomly generated) keys to these hidden location...

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  2. When I read the expansion name Odyssey I immediately wanted to play Odysseus - who doesn't want to spend 7 years on an island with Calypso?

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  3. There are specific constellations where you want to liveand explore if you are looking for gas sites.

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  4. My take on it is this: we have a couple of new tools and the mini-game, but that does not make it an exploration expansion.

    Sure, CCP have lowered the entry requirements and lessened competition in high sec by denying T3s through some gates, but essentially the anoms have not changed at all.

    So, imho, these changes are just an overlay on existing systems - albeit with a few tweaks here and there. Suspect there is something awesome waiting in the wings (or perhaps I just desperately want it to be so). Made it plain to Mike Azariah.

    This all comes with the proviso that I'm looking at it from a long time explorers perspective as opposed to someone just starting out.

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