Thursday, May 16, 2024

The New Upwell Line Of Hauling Ships In Equinox

On Tuesday CCP published another in its Equinox in Focus videos and news posts. For those who need a Suitonia fix, the player now known as CCP Kestrel provided the narration of the video.

The new ships coming in the summer expansion are pirate haulers. That's right, I went there. The Upwell Consortium, until I hear different, is a pirate faction just like the Sisters of EVE.

The purpose of the new ship line is to support Upwell's Equinox suite of products for null sec living.

Each of these vessels is equipped with a large infrastructure hold, able to store various items essential for owning and upgrading sovereign space. This includes the new orbital skyhook, Metenox moon drill, sovereignty structures and upgrades, as well as other Upwell structures, resources, deployables, and more. Despite their primary role as industrial ships, all four boast considerable missile firepower for their size, allowing them to deter potential aggressors keen on plundering their valuable cargo. Two new skill books are being added to go with the specialized nature of these ships: Upwell Hauler and Upwell Freighter. These can be acquired at Upwell Consortium NPC stations.

When looking for where Upwell Consortium stations are on Dotlan, I discovered Upwell Consortium was a one person alliance active from 22 August 2016 to 22 September 2016. But as of now, a search for Upwell Consortium in the game only brought up three specialty items.

Back to the ships. The most basic ship is the Squall. A tech 1 hauler, the ship has a 4/5/3 layout with skill bonuses to infrastructure hold capacity and missile damage. The role bonus dramatically reduces effective distance traveled for jump fatigue. Lore-wise, I think the role bonus makes sense. One might think the designers of the Ansiblex Jump Gate to not only know some advanced theory but then seek to profit further from the knowledge.

The Upwell sales pitch for the Squall somehow found its way into the news article.

Starting with the Squall, this ship serves as an affordable entry-level hauler, ideal for transporting infrastructure and reagents. Priced slightly above a Tech I cruiser hull, the Squall offers comparable cargo capacity, hit points, and defensive capabilities, enabling it to fend off smaller aggressors or participate effectively in larger fleet operations, such as skyhook raids.

Next up is the Deluge. A blockade running version of the Squall, the Deluge boasts a 4/4/2 layout with the typical 2 rigging slots of a tech 2 ship. I'm going to lay out the bonuses for the ship in bullet point form.

  • Upwell Hauler skill bonuses:
    • infrastructure hold capacity
    • missile damage

  • Transport Ship skill bonuses: 
    • warp speed
    • warp acceleration
    • reduction in cloaking device CPU requirements

  • Role Bonuses: 
    • reduces effective distance traveled for jump fatigue
    • allows the fitting of covert ops cloaking devices
    • allows the fitting of a covert cynosural field generator
    • immunity to all cargo scanners
    • cloak reactivation delay reduction

Upwell does have a sales pitch, if one is needed. Perhaps the numbers won't be so great.

The Deluge, a Tech II variation of the Squall, trades some cargo capacity and missile firepower for enhanced stealth capabilities, including the use of a covert ops cloaking device. Its improved mobility and warp speed make it the perfect choice for maintaining your infrastructure on the fringes of your space or operating behind enemy lines.

If a ship line has a blockade runner, then a deep space transport is also called for. In Equinox, that tech 2 ship is the Torrent. The ship's 4/6/3 layout does not leave a lot of room for cargo expanders but does allow the fitting of three missile launchers. Instead, the ship has a large quantity of skill and role bonuses.

  • Upwell Hauler skill bonuses:
    • infrastructure hold capacity
    • missile damage

  • Transport Ship skill bonuses: 
    • increase fleet hangar capacity
    • increase shield resistances

  • Role Bonuses: 
    • reduces effective distance traveled for jump fatigue
    • increase warp core strength (probably by +2)
    • doubles the benefits of overheating modules

The sales pitch also lists an interesting capability not mentioned in the bonuses: energy neutralizers.

Its big brother, the Torrent, is another Tech II variation of the Squall. It sacrifices some agility and speed for increased hit points, a larger infrastructure hold, more firepower, a fleet hangar, and substantial bonuses to overheating defensive and propulsion modules, as well as energy neutralizers. This ship is ideal for operations in high-threat environments where both capacity and survivability are paramount.

Finally I did not expect a new freighter, but the Upwell Consortium is providing one. The Avalanche not only is specialized, but has high slots. A freighter than can fight back? The slot layout of the new freighter is 6/3/3 with the ability to fit 6 (!) missile launchers.

  • Upwell Freight skill bonuses:
    • infrastructure hold capacity
    • missile damage
    • auto-missile damage

  • Role Bonuses:
    • reduces effective distance traveled for jump fatigue
    • reduces capital flex shield hardener capacitor activation cost
    • reduces capital flex shield hardener capacitor powergrid requirements

And what is an Upwell product reveal without the sales pitch?

The pinnacle of this new fleet is the Avalanche, an immense freighter that not only carries a vast amount of resources but is also the first freighter in EVE Online to feature high-power slots, with enough missile firepower to match most battleships. Unique among freighters, the Avalanche can equip capital shield flex hardeners and benefits from an enhanced bonus to auto-targeting missiles, making it a formidable presence in any logistic or combat scenario.

Corporation and alliance logistics is important, but also a niche market. In order to appeal to a broader audience, they made what the ship can carry more versatile.

To ensure that these ships appeal not only to major corporations but also to individual industrialists, the infrastructure hold has been expanded to accommodate everything necessary for larger and smaller industry tasks. This includes a wide range of materials, such as fuel and planetary commodities, making these vessels an excellent choice for pilots seeking a superior alternative to the Epithal for carrying out their Planetary Industry operations.

Also, factional warfare will receive another income source as building tech 2 ships like the Deluge and Torrent requires invention.

Upon the launch of Equinox on 11 June, blueprints for the Squall and Avalanche will be accessible at all Upwell Consortium member NPC stations. The Deluge and Torrent must be invented from Squall blueprint copies. The invention jobs require new Upwell starship engineering datacores, which are available in the four empire Factional Warfare militia LP stores. Additionally, the construction of these new Tech II ships calls for new Upwell components, with blueprints available from all Upwell Consortium member NPC stations, using a mix of all the racial components.

I'm interested in how much activity throughout New Eden will change as players scramble to figure out how to profit off the changes coming to EVE Online on 11 June in the Equinox expansion. Honestly, I expect the null sec alliances, both big and small, to spend the third quarter converting to the new game systems. With any luck we'll see plenty of Upwell haulers reach the markets as well.

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