Cool Spaceships Ahoy: EVE Online Rhea Update Launched

What malice!

Do you like dramatic shots of cool spaceships looking cool in space? Because boy oh boy, the trailer accompanying EVE Online‘s latest big update ‘Rhea‘ sure has some cool spaceships. Shiny metal usually holds few thrills for me, but watching this I’m beaming at EVE’s new ships and improved graphics, especially the ship which looks like a cross between a Nighthawk bomber and a Mega-City One block, starlight glinting off cruel facets. Should you have an interest in EVE beyond cool spaceships, let me tell you this update has done a few interesting things too.

But first things first: pretty spaceships. Rhea introduces physically-based rendering, which is a word we’re hearing a fair bit nowadays. In short, it’s a graphics technique which makes objects reflect light more realistically. If you want to know more, this blog post explains with examples and equations and everything. Rhea also brings new ships, including one which – oh me oh my – can switch between three different forms, as well as redesigns of several older ships. It’s that new Blackbird I’m cooing at most.

Beneath the shininess, Rhea’s made a few interesting changes. It brings loads of new wandering wormholes to explore and a new system that’s full of the blighters. It’s done away with clone upgrades too. Previously, folks needed to keep buying better, more expensives clone bodies as they gained skill points or they’d risk losing a portion when they died. CCP hope this’ll help newbies and maybe encourage oldies to take more risks:

“New players no longer have that awkward surprise awaiting them the first time they’re podded without an updated clone, and veteran players have the high overhead of clone replacement removed from the equation when deciding to get into a scrap or undock for a risky run.”

To celebrate the launch, EVE is on sale on Steam, down to £3.74 including a month’s play time, and ‘PLEX’ time cards are discounted a little too. Rhea’s full patch notes are this-a-way.

10 Comments

  1. Stevostin says:

    Well the new rendering looks overall uglier than previously. I hope there is a way to turn it off.

    • mukuste says:

      I’m not sure how you could think that, but the chance for it being toggleable are pretty low; once you go PBR, you really want to do it consistently, and you also don’t want to maintain two sets of lighting information for each asset.

      • vulcan_hacker says:

        They just changed the mathematical rendering side in this release. They said they will tweak the looks of the ships. Be patient. Some of the ships look too dark, but these are prolly not the final look.

  2. cylentstorm says:

    Oh, it definitely looks more “substantial,” but does little to entice me to return. It has little to do with the fact that the incremental design changes have tended to renovate rather than innovate since 2003. It doesn’t matter if the game’s “physics” seem to be having have an ongoing identity crisis. It isn’t even about the fact that a relatively small portion of the community constitute the majority of the “life” left in the EVE universe, while the rest are either so cold and efficient that they cause the laughable AI population to appear almost human in their ineptitude, or annoyingly l33t and gung-ho about the endless pissing contest that is the norm for PVP situations.

    No–that’s just fine. It’s a giant sandbox, so one could expect a few cat turds to be buried in it. My disappointment stems from the rather limited scope of the nature of all possible activities. If you look at the big picture, there is nothing to do that doesn’t involve making money or blowing things up. For many, this seems to be enough, but I find myself wanting more out of my experience. The opportunity for true exploration and discovery would be a most welcome addition. Where is the wonder? Or even science? I know–I expect too much, and that probably means that I should find more meaningful things to occupy my time. It could be so much more, but I doubt that EVE will ever grow beyond what it is today, or what it has been for more than a decade.

    • wyrm4701 says:

      Where is the wonder?

      You know, I think that’s what I should have typed in response to the CCP questionnaire regarding my continuing refusal to resubscribe. It sounds weird, but my first two years in Eve (wait, really?) were pretty much about exploring the universe and hoping some of the weird monuments and sites would actually lead to something. I kept playing because they led to interesting interactions with other players, and I stopped playing because those interactions turned boring and profoundly unsatisfying, shortly after I started to see them as the game’s main focus.

      I guess what I really wanted was for the old Yan Jung Relic site to have led to something neat and interesting, not to be eventually turned into NPC encounter #129 with a <1% chance for a useful item. Come to think of it, I stopped playing Eve when the archaeology skill I trained turned out to just… open cans. I was really hoping it'd lead to a great chapter in the Han Solo fiction Eve let me approximate. It's too bad they never really figured out that part of the game's appeal.

  3. Boosh says:

    The new map beta is a thing of beauty BUT after playing so much Elite Eve’s ‘galaxy’ is ridiculously small!
    I’ve been in/out of Eve since it started, but for at least the last 5 years it has baffled my as to why there hasn’t been a real expansion in the game ‘world’, (wormholes excepted).

    It’s still loaded with daft immersion breakers like having spaceships as pseudo-avatars,having to fly up to space ‘chests’ and ‘loot’, just like you would in Wow or something, and dungeons in space.

    It needs massive and rapid expansion of the current galactic ‘walls’, and to re-introduce the wonder, vastness, and mystery of space.
    But yeh, let’s go for shiny ships for now. :)

    • Premium User Badge

      phuzz says:

      If the galaxy was bigger, then each system would hold less pilots (and even more would contain none).
      If players don’t often encounter each other then content doesn’t get created*.
      On the other hand, the new system, Thera, there’s already been over 1,500 kills in the two days that the expansion has been out. Now that’s content!

      *(ie no one gets shot)

  4. sonofsanta says:

    I should not watch Eve trailers. Intellectually I know the game holds nothing for me anymore; I can’t dedicate the time it requires, and I will forever feel limited by the knowledge that I have forgotten most of what I learnt, and will never be as capable a pilot again.

    But that new Amarr destroyer just circumvented all my logic circuits and went straight to my heart <3

  5. Psychomorph says:

    Can’t they drop the nebulae for once…