Monday, July 19, 2021

The Grand Heist: The Announcement Players Expected

Last week CCP posted a video using YouTube's premiere feature announcing the return of the Alliance Tournament to EVE Online. A lot of people were upset the video didn't address upcoming changes to the game. The last update of the Foundation Quadrant is due to hit Tranquility on 10 August and a lot of people were hoping for news. Maybe even a hit about the theme for the third quadrant due out in September.

CCP released the news about the next update, The Grand Heist, on Friday. The update will put the finishing touches on the Encounter Surveillance System. Since the ESS reserve banks were implemented, over 20 trillion ISK in bounties accumulated, waiting for players to harvest. Access to the money is granted through the use of a key. Acquiring the keys to open up the null sec banks are found in low sec.

There are eight types of reserve keys to be found. Each key will have a corresponding quadrant of the map where it can be used and a duration that it will hold the reserve bank open. The rate of pay increases over time until it reaches a maximum at which point it will begin decreasing until totally shutting off at the end of the unlock duration...

To acquire the extremely coveted reserve bank keys, you will not be able to simply ask the SCC to hand them over. Instead, your plan should be to locate and trespass into the SCC’s secure key storage sites hidden throughout low security space to get your hands on a key, and these sites will be guaranteed to always have a key inside. There are certain restrictions to ship numbers and class that will be allowed into one of these sites, but that challenge will ensure that only Capsuleers who show patience and skill will be able to pull off the heist. The reward is significant, so be prepared and good luck!

Perhaps I'm jaded, but I see another case of CCP linking systems in other security bands to low sec just to increase low sec activity. 

The graphics associated with the ESS are also receiving a revamp. The size and look of the ESS itself are changing as well as the warp disruption bubble effect. The 10km boundary for receiving ISK once a bank is unlocked will have lighting to make positioning easier.

The user interface is also receiving an upgrade.

The UI window that is used to interact with the ESS has been removed and both the interactivity and information of the ESS have been moved through a new in-space UI. With the brand-new structure for the ESS, the UI in space points physically to both the main and reserve banks, showing the status of your interaction.

When an intrusion to the main bank is underway, the timer will be visible in space surrounding the main bank, showing both the time remaining visually and numerically. The timer will be visible to all on grid, even if outside of the interaction range.

The reserve bank is similarly represented, and the in-space UI will show an access timer as well as the time until the next payout is delivered. Both banks are represented by two colors, with blue representing the main bank and orange representing the reserve bank.

Initiating hacks against either of the banks will update the info panel immediately. For the main bank, the portrait of the hacker will appear with a timer. The reserve bank has detailed information, including how many Capsuleers are linked to it, and the status of the payouts.

The Grand Heist is the final major content mentioned in the Foundation announcement back in May. The only affect is see on my gameplay is to increase traffic making my activities more difficult to perform. Hopefully CCP gives players a hint of what is to come in the third quadrant of 2021 sometime in August.

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