Eve's had a dramatic year culminating in a Save The Game expansion which intends to put right a year of tepid development.
And it's really good.
Unlike some of the other good expansions there's no particular theme to this one - it's a collection of things they thought would be cool. We have a new Tier of battlecruisers specialised in damage, we have player-owned customs offices (part of the infrastructure development for upcoming partner game DUST514) and loads of little things and artistic improvements.
The game looks really pretty now. This patch is full of little artistic touches. My Amarr Impairor (noobship) mounts a cannon on top of its hull - it now retracts the cannon when going into warp. A little touch but very cool and very nice looking.
I have built some of the Customs Offices and placed them on sale for a rather expensive price. No one has bought one yet but I think they will. I don't think we've really seen the player run planetary materials economy supporting a time of major nullsec war. Nullsec war is largely about killing opponent structures and setting up your own. If the war that everyone is expecting occurs then we will see a lot of structures blown up. I don't think the player economy will cope which means that prices will spike. In the long run that encourages more people to enter planetary production but in the short term it means large profits for yours truly.
As well as gouging off other players I've also deployed two of them for my own planetary production efforts. I produce planet goo in a class 1 wormhole which is occupied by a Russian corporation with a large and impressive Player-Owned Station. However they never seem to be about and I've been happily farming their planets for several months.
I've gone a step further now and placed something that is both visible and attackable. I think what will happen is they will just use my Offices and pay me tax (a modest 7.5% as compared to the NPC default of 17%). Possibly they may contact me and talk to me in which case I'll try to negotiate blue standings. They may kill my offices in which case I'll simply nuke every Customs Office in the wormhole for weeks until they come back to the negotiating table. Essentially no one will be able to extract anything which will make it rather hard for them to run their POS. Hopefully we can work something out.
It's a class 1 wormhole which means it's difficult to bring force to bear. The low class means you can only enter with quite small ships, frigates cruisers and battlecruisers. Which brings me to my new toys: an Oracle Amarr Tier 3 battlecruiser and a Talos Galente Tier 3 Battlecruiser. In a class 1 wormhole, unless someone has actually constructed a powerful ship inside the wormhole from scratch these Tier 3 ships are effectively the Top Predators. A Tech 3 strategic cruiser is equally powerful but costs about half a billion isk, it doesn't make financial sense to risk them against Tier 3 battlecruisers. Hull plus fittings was about 90 million isk which for me is a very small amount - they are throwaway ships, I'm quite happy to risk them. Which is what I had to do because I had them shooting the NPC Customs offices for several hours yesterday.
Theoretically a Tier 3 battlecruiser can do over a thousand dps. However with my rather indifferent gun skills I was no where near that. My Oracle does about 500 dps with large pulse lasers, I'm training up for Tech 2 ones which will be a significant upgrade. However it can shoot for 8 hours without burning out a single crystal which is very useful in W-space. My Talos does about 550 with large neutron blasters plus can hold a flight of small drones which add another 100. However I used about 1400 cubic meters of ammo. It has a cargo hold of 600 cubic meters so I had to use its cargohold, the oracle's cargo hold and fly some extra in to supply it.
I really enjoyed using these ships and am looking forward to the skills for Tech 2 weapons. It's good to be eager about skill training again. Once I can handle some decent guns, who knows, I might even seek out some human opponents again.