Although the average concurrent user numbers on Tranquility are down year-over-year, those still logging in are busily preparing for the release of Phoebe on 4 November. The null sec powers are on the move, with Pandemic Legion selling off half its holdings in the Drone Regions, the CFC consolidating its forces to the north-west corner of the galactic map, and Nulli Secunda rumored to have its eye on Delve. But those looking toward the future are not just limited to members of the null sec powers. CCP Seagull has stated on numerous occasions that she also wants to create content for solo players as well as those in thousand-pilot alliances. For Phoebe, at least, her design team has succeeded as I find myself wrapped up in preparing for the next release as well.
One thing I have to consider are the bomber changes. Although I fly in low sec, I've flown a Hound for two years. Lately I have signature tanked the ship, but that is getting nerfed in favor of a shield buff. I may have to shift to a new ship to provide overwatch when I dual-box with my Procurer pilot. Do I finally build the Stratios? Or do I switch to a Force Recon ship? I can fly the ships from all four factions. I love my cloaky ships, and since I finish up training the last of the medium weapon tech 2 skills to 4 on Monday, I'll feel more comfortable with my weapons choices. Oh, did I mention that I have Force Recon 5 scheduled to finish training by Thanksgiving in the U.S.?
Second, the new exploration content. CCP is advertising that to probe out those sites will require maximum skills. From the most recent design trends, that probably includes needed skill hardwiring as well. I already have the faction probes from the Wildfire level 4 epic arc. Will I need tech 2 rigs on my Cheetah? I maxed out my probing skills long ago, so at least I don't have to worry about that. Time to grind out some loyalty points if I don't have some lying around.
Next comes the Higgs Anchor. Anyone reading the blog this week knows I'm excited about the new rig. I'm back in business mining in a Procurer. The Prospect is fun, but I really like the mining barge. In relation to that, I'm looking at another faction grind involving mining missions. I finished up training Mining Connections V on my industrial character so getting the loyalty points for mining implants will go so much faster. I probably need to go on Singularity to see the materials required for building the rig. I may already have the parts sitting in a hangar somewhere.
The invention changes will also require some thought. I need to reevaluate my datacore needs and visit my agents over the next two weekends. Thankfully, the dev blog thoughtfully provided a table outlining the changes. Thanks CCP Ytterbium!
With all of these changes, especially the new exploration sites, I'm busily grinding out the loyalty points necessary to keep my store stocked with faction ammunition. I have to keep that income stream running while I develop a new one based on exploration and reinvigorate my old mining activity. Do I sound busy? I am. And as much as I've complained about changes in the past, I'm happy with this release, even if my trusty Hound is getting nerfed. I think players will eventually use three words to describe their play in Phoebe: adapt, survive, and thrive.