Wednesday, March 15, 2023

The Shadow War Event

I received an email from CCP advertising the new upcoming changes to factional warfare in EVE Online. In addition to Direct Enlistment and changing the fighting from a two-sided conflict to a four-way free-for-all, an event is coming up called The Shadow War.

The premise of The Shadow War is to collect McGuffins to enable each side to build teleporters to allow factional warfare players to travel directly to fighting in the war zones. Think the portal systems in games like Final Fantasy XIV. I can only imagine the local economies and trade hubs that will develop around the systems hosting the transporters.

Now, following December's Empire Frontiers event, each of the four empires is at different levels of technology. Thus, the goals are different, although the basic gameplay loop is the same. Players will go to one of three types of sites, depending on ship type. Basically, the event will bring a little bit of FW complex play to high sec.

  • Research Data Nodes - allows entry for Tech I and navy frigates.
  • Waylaid Courier sites - allows up to Tech I and navy destroyers plus Tech II frigates.
  • Besieged Laboratories - allows entry for ships up to battlecruiser and navy battlecruiser classes plus Tech II cruisers

Of course, the sites are protected by NPCs. These are not like data or relic sites.

The initial goals are accomplished by entering the sites and taking loot. Here are the details for each faction.

Caldari - steal stellar transmuter tech from the Amarr and/or Minmatar by targeting sites in the Factional Warfare (FW) warzone systems controlled by the Amarr and Minmatar, as well as within the highsec systems in the Kisana, Ryra, Tiat, and Ani constellations.

Amarr & Minmatar - steal transport relay tech from the Caldari by targeting sites in the Aokinen and Minnen constellations as well as Caldari-controlled FW space.

Gallente - steal both types of technology from all the sites mentioned above. If those loyal to the Gallente manage to acquire any of the above tech, capsuleers aligned with the other empires can expect Gallente sites to eventually spawn in the Intaki system, as well as within the Kiartanne constellation, and within Gallente-controlled FW space.

Once all the necessary material is gathered for a faction, the next step is to construct the interstellar shipcaster. This step requires the "the harvesting of materials from Pochven and moons, carrying out industry jobs, and then delivering the output to your empire."

Players can also receive individual rewards by earning points throughout the event.

These rewards include new combat boosters tailored to specific empire ship characteristics, and 11 fresh ship SKINs for each empire, including the all-new Penumbral Shadows SKINs as well as Versus Redforce and Blueforce SKINs available on some hulls for the first time.

The post also mentioned that The Shadow War replaces the The Hunt, an annual event featuring the Guristas. I'm sure CCP didn't think of the implications. A PvP focused event, which looks to bring player-versus-player gameplay to high security space by flagging participants for PvP, is replacing an event that allowed PvE players in high sec to participate as well.

At this point in time, I play very little EVE Online. The Shadow War won't bring me back, and not just because my gaming rig connects poorly to the hotel WiFi network. I don't like high sec PvP and do my best to avoid it at all costs. I can't do anything about suicide ganking, that is just part of the game. But the suspect flag mechanic? I avoid that at all costs.

That said, I like the thought and game design decisions in the post. The processes seem to flow in a logical way and will involve industrialists. I'm not sure what WoW/FFXIV style insta-travel will do to EVE long-term, but I think CCP's goal is to make factional warfare an instant source of PvP. We'll see how that plays out, but at least the developers are involving the players in making the story. One of EVE's attractions is that players make the story. Involving them in the developer-created story is a plus.

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