But let's get on to the other things I also like from the incredibly long list of changes in Odyssey:
New decryptors have been added.I really love the new decryptors. Adding a bunch of new decryptors to the game was a great choice! So many of us in the T2 invention and manufacturing business completely eschew decryptors. There just aren't a lot of invention cycles where they're useful. And for the first few days of Odyssey, I was a little worried that the new decryptors weren't going to help. But now that the spawn rates are apparent, it's clear that there are going to be a number of commodity decryptors that will be useful for a lot of different invention cycles. I like that!
Decryptors now have a new naming scheme.
Still, there are a couple of things that I think should be done to tune this feature a bit. First, I think the drop rates need to be tweaked somewhat. Already, there are some pretty valid complaints that the new mini-game sites are not very lucrative to run. Now of course, this is going to balance itself out naturally. As people decide that the sites aren't worth their time, they'll stop doing the sites which will drive prices up. And as inventors start to use the decryptors for more general jobs, that will push the demand and the prices up. Where the eventual balance will end up, I think it's too early to say. But my instinct is that the spawn rate right now is a bit too high.
Second, I think the game is missing two or three MORE decryptors that can act as pure commodity decryptors. In particular, there should be a decryptor that does nothing but increase invention chances by about 10-15%, and one that does nothing but increase runs by +1 or +2. Ideally, I'd like to see us reach a point where virtually any invention job could benefit from a cheap decryptor that's commonly available... but you won't handicap yourself if you don't want to use them.
Third, I thought it was great to give the decryptors a common, understandable naming scheme. But it was a tiny bit disappointing to me that the decryptors don't include the word "decryptor" right in their names to make them easy to search for on the market. That would make things easier for all inventors, but most particularly for novice inventors. I'll be suggesting it now and again to the right people, if I can find them. ;-)
Probe Formations have been added to the Probe Scanning.Speaking as a journeyman prober, I love pretty much everything about the new probing system. I keep flashing back to the guy I met at Fanfest who was complaining that if fishermen had to use the probing interface to find fish, they'd never catch one. I really like the red spherical hints the game gives you when you first bring up the scanning interface that helps you zero in on sites. They're not giveaways, in my opinion, but save you a lot of the initial annoyance associated with the scanning system.
The default method for moving and resizing probes is now all probes at once, rather than one at a time.
Probe Launchers now launch all their probes at once (up to a limit of 8 probes).
Probe formations themselves aren't perfect, but it's a fantastic start to what I think can be iterated on over time into a really useful feature. Even this first version is pretty good, though it's really quirky and takes some getting used to in terms of resizing the probe formations. But it's miles better than the old system, particularly in terms of moving formations around, resizing formations, and understanding spatially where your formation is relative to the thing you're trying to scan for. All of these are markedly improved. Is the system perfect? Not at all. I'm not a fan of the way scanning results are displayed, but I'll cover that in another post.
All clone costs have been decreased by 30%.Yes yes yes! For too long, high SP PvPers have been repeatedly punished for getting into frigate and destroyer PvP with the ridiculously high cost of high-end clones. This is a step in the right direction but I think needs to be reduced some more. I know the concern here: where are the ISK sinks in EVE? But I think it's likely that reducing the costs here will encourage more low-end PvP and more loss of clones by high SP characters and the ISK sink value will actually come out even or maybe even slightly ahead. It's something else I'll be asking about when the time comes.
All high quality nullsec combat anomalies now contain at least one NPC that warp scrambles.This is a good start but hasn't been taken far enough. Risk versus reward, right?
The cycle time of all Ice Harvester modules has been halved, doubling the speed of ice mining.I'm a big fan of this one. The rest of the ice mining changes? I'm on the fence about them.
Capacitor needs on Large Pulse Laser Turrets has been decreased by 10%.Thank you thank you thank you. Particularly with the changes to Amarr battleships, notably the Apocalypse, this is a good change. But it helps the Abaddon out too and really helps it in its role as the heavy hitter of the Amarr battleships, which was desperately needed. It had become a rite of passage for Guardian pilots to recognize that on a long op or structure shoot you had to occasionally send Abaddons a few cycles of cap to keep their DPS high.
Capacitor needs on Large Beam Laser Turrets has been decreased by 20%.
To encourage more industrial activity in player-owned nullsec space, we are increasing the number of facilities in player-built outposts significantly.I'm a fan of these changes, but it's going to be interesting to see if they actually go anywhere. This might be a situation where null-sec players are so used to the logistics aspect of their play that the ability not to do that in some cases might not get very far. Now I'm definitely not the expert on this topc so I'll be leaning on null-sec players to tell me if this is a good or a bad change in practice. But in theory, it was a good idea and I'd like to see it pushed even farther, perhaps with additional upgrades and the like.
All Racial Battleship requirements on Dreadnoughts reduced from 5 to 3.I think the skill changes for the various classes of ships were well done in general, but I'm particularly favorable toward these two changes. So many of us have capital ship-dedicated characters and it doesn't make much sense to torture us with another 30+ days of training for ships we're never going to fly on those characters.
All racial Battleship requirements on Carriers and Supercarriers reduced from 5 to 3.
The Radial Menu in EVE has been removed and replaced with an all-new menu designed for fast-paced interaction. The menu is available when flying in space and can be opened via left click + hold on objects in space.I know the radial menu has a lot of opponents but the more I play with it, the more I like it! It's pretty clear that this is the first step away from the "spreadsheets in space" user interface that has dominated our lives in EVE for so long. Whether you like radial menus or not, you have to admit that they're a standard in games right across the industry and we're used to using them. Once you develop the new muscle memory for what's where, I think any annoyance you have over them will die down. One pretty clever bit: you can activate the radial menu from within the Overview, which I think is a really nice touch.
The UI changes and fixes in generalThis is in addition to the radial menu. Once again, the UI team has hit a home run with this expansion, cleaning up a lot of stuff that desperately needed to be cleaned up. There's almost nothing about the various UI changes that I don't really really like. I'm not going to try to list them all.
Little things that I like:
A complete redesign for the Apocalypse and it‘s factional variants.I love this. I love the attention to detail. It's probably the best-looking ship the art team has ever done.
New microwarpdrive and afterburner sound effects have been added - they each now have their own distinctive sound.The first time I heard this, I was "whasat?" (Yes, EVE has sound.) But I find myself listening for it now! It's a bit too subtle, IMO, but a nice small add.
Introduction of new items on the loot table, such as capital rigs and faction tower BPCs.Yay! I'm glad these are back. They make the game more interesting.
Removed all NPC’s from Hacking and Archaeology sites, with the exception of Wormhole sites.I think this was a good choice.
"Hacking" sites have been renamed Data Sites. "Archaeology" sites have been renamed Relic Sites.Renaming the sites and the associated modules? Also a good choice. Removing needless complexity from the game is always a good thing.
New graphical effects warning you that you are about to undock from Hangars.Excellent change! Really adds to the immersion of the game.
Jump-gates are now using the latest V3 materials and effects, re-textured and with new jump effects. The jump-in effect itself is now more subtle then before the transitions where added.I love the new jump gates, but the jump effect is TOO subtle. The art team toned it down too much.
The new Personal Hangar Array structure has been added.I may never see one, but I'm very glad this is in the game.
Cruise missiles have been overhauled to be a viable weapon system in actual combat.It's interesting, but damn I think it's left the Scorpion Navy Issue as an over-powered beast. And it's made Ravens and battleships with MJDs a little bit silly. I like it, but overall I'm concerned that it's been taken too far.
We are adjusting the composition of several types of Ore that is found in low and null-security space.I'm a big fan of these changes. I'm particularly pleased by the fact that this should help newer players out on the low-end. Ships were getting a tiny bit too expensive in EVE and I'm hoping these changes arrest that a little bit.
The range for interacting with structures linked to a Control Tower has been increased.I like this a lot. I think all the small changes made to POSes were positive on the whole though they do not get CCP out of needing to do modular POSes.
Cosmic Anomalies and Cosmic Signatures have been renamed.Yep! Yet another great example of removing unneeded complexity from the game. Now all of you out there with notes on what a Ladar site is versus a Mag site in your bios can delete those notes.
On Pod Death you will no longer instantly snap back to station. Your camera drones will show your corpse in space before your consciousness is transferred to your new clone.This is pretty nifty. Again, increases immersion.
Persistent navigation statuses have been added for: Aligning, Approaching, Orbiting and Keeping at Range.These are also pretty nifty.
When a targeted ship is destroyed the target will flash several times before it is removed from your target list. If the target gets away, it will simply disappear as before.Once you're used to this, this is fantastic! It takes a huge amount of ambiguity out of PvP in EVE. This is probably my favorite small change in Odyssey.
So overall, that's quite a long list! Next up: features that I'm still on the fence about. After that, a post about Odyssey in the bigger picture because that's what I really want to get to with these lists. What I say in that one may surprise you. Anything on this list that you're not a fan of?