Dang it, you’ve sunk my battleship. It’s fine, it had a smaller boat inside it all along. No, that’s definitely how the game Battleships work. I know what I’m talking about. Time was in EVE Online, losing your spaceship meant losing the fight. But CCP are mixing up intergalactic PVP by announcing new Frigate Escape Bays – getting you back in the fight by turning some of New Eden’s biggest ships into starfaring matryoshka dolls.
Dying is sort of a big deal in EVE. Ships cost money to replace, but so do your clones. Spare bodies cost more cash the more skills you have, and bricking it in deep space can also cost you any expensive implants (skill modifiers) you’re kitted out with. Normally, you get one chance to escape after your ship pops – a fragile escape capsule, hard to target but immediately doomed once a would-be assailant gets a solid lock.
With the Frigate Escape Bay, battleship pilots will get another shot before taking their chances in the capsule. These bays can hold a single frigate-class ship in their moorings, ready to be instantly piloted the moment the larger ship takes a punch to the reactor core. Despite being only somewhat larger than shuttles, frigates have their place in larger battles – bigger warships have a hard time targetting them, making them handy for fending off fighters or filling in support roles.
All battleship-class ships will be retrofitted with one Escape Bay once the update hits. Of course, not all frigates are created equal. You can put any Tier-1, Assault, Electronic Attack or Logistics frig in the bay. But notable outliers include stealthy Covert Ops ships or Stealth Bombers. Popping straight into a cloaked warbird could make getting out of a fight a little too easy.
The update is part of EVE’s “Fight or Flight” quadrant – CCP’s new way of delivering updates through themed, quarterly seasons. This first one focusses on all things PVP, and elsewhere includes a spicy new tool for jumping you and your friends into a totally random Nullsec (read: very dangerous, no cops allowed) system.
Fancy seeing how all this works yourself? The Frigate Escape Bay will hit EVE’s test server, Singularity, this coming Monday.