Yesterday was launch day in Odyssey and I think it went well. The downtime ended well before the scheduled time and the download was exceedingly quick. I was able to get home at a decent hour and jump right into the game. Here are my first impressions from what I did.
Probing - Of course, after checking my market orders, the first thing I did was jump into my trusty Cheetah and start probing down sites. I think CCP did an excellent job of adapting the probe system for the Asian market as I didn't have to use the keyboard once. I tried, but found my time spent more efficiently just using the mouse. Amazingly, the system works just using a mouse.
Of course, I should add I have spent a lot of time exploring and have the skills to prove it:
Astrometric Acquisition IV
Astrometric Pinpointing IV
Astrometric Rangefinding IV
I think after all the changes are added up I actually gained 5% in scan probe scan time, maximum scan deviation, and scan probe strength. Thanks CCP!
With the new system, the probes come out all at once, which saves time. Then the sites come out in a pattern (I use the pinpoint one) which saves time. Then the sites are already localized in red spheres, which saves even more time.
Actually manipulating the probes is easier once you forget the western need to use the keyboard. Just move the probe icon to where you want to center your search. Then select one of the edges of the search bubbles and move it to the size of the area you want to search. Simple. The only thing I need to do is develop the muscle memory to do that faster and I'm set.
Hacking - Admittedly I did play with the system on Singularity, but the game is pretty straight forward. I only failed two hacks. But remember, I was using a Cheetah with tech two version of the data and relic analyzers and I have both Hacking and Codebreaking trained to 5. The only thing that gave me problems were the restoration nodes that granted more power to all the firewalls over time. I finally learned not to chick on all the shiny things until absolutely needed. The shiny things are data caches that show up as white dots. They contain both good and bad things. I figured out not to click on them until I didn't have a choice.
I do have to say that after the first day the rewards were disappointing. I ran four sites and collected 37 million ISK in drops. I think before Odyssey I was collecting around 15 million ISK in drops, bounties and salvage per site. On the bright side, I did manage to run 4 sites, which I didn't do pre-Odyssey. Because rats don't spawn, I don't have to worry about combat and salvage so I'm free to wander around farther afield looking for sites. I actually didn't have to wander far as our new overlords in the Amarr militia and doing a good job of scaring the non-hardcore carebears away.
For the hacking, I'm hoping that everyone will hear the feature is not worth the effort and leave all the sites to me. I actually find the hacking game fun and as everyone knows, I'm not really playing EVE to maximize profits. I mean, I live in low sec.
Refining - After doing my exploration I was going to go belt mining. Then I realized I had Dark Ochre and Gneiss that I had saved to refine. With the changes to the mineral content in the high end ores, I decided to find out if I needed to mine for tritanium. I didn't. Let's just say that after refining that plus some Veldspar variants I mined plus some drone goo I collected I wound up with 2.6 million units of trit. Enough to satisfy my manufacturing needs for a couple of weeks as long as I don't try to manufacture cruise missiles. If ore sites pop frequently in low sec, I can see the veldspar rocks getting mighty big in the belts.
Ice Mining - With my regular mineral needs met, I decided to go ice mining. I do have to say the new sensor overlay is nice and I don't mind having to find the ice site in space instead of going through a right-click menu tree. So I warped in and mined 1 1/2 loads of ice. I only stopped when I saw Shalee Lianne drop probes. I lost one Procurer to In Exile. last month and don't want them to think I'm an easy target they can farm. So since I was already aligned to a station, I waited a few seconds for the module to finish and then warped off and docked.
I wound up with 18 blocks of Glare Crust and 1 block of Glacial Mass. Not too bad for 20 minutes of work. I probably should put some rigs on my ice mining Procurer, but I'm in the habit of moving it around low sec and I'd rather repackage it and use the Prowler for moves than to risk gate camps. I'll also need to look at the market in Molden Heath to see if the ice products will sell or if I need to go to Hek or Rens to sell my wares. I may have a new line of products to sell this month.
Conclusion - So far I'm finding the new game mechanics interesting. I think they will appear to the Asian gamer, but more importantly, I like the mouse-only system too. Unlike moving in space, players can still use the keyboard, but really, why bother unless you are doing some of the complex stuff for PvP? Last night was fairly quiet, but I expect that to change this weekend. So for now, I'm having fun, which is the purpose of playing a game.