Tuesday, 10 February 2009

Tech 3 and Apocrypha Exploration - First observations

From what I can see from the test centre reports so far (I couldnt get on to test it yesterday, was a bit too busy to log in)

Tech 3 ships have 6 new skills, the basic spaceship skill, and 5 subsystem skills. These subsystem skills need level 5 as a prerequisite from the 'obvious' skills that are linked to it and in some cases, level 3 in secondary skills, for example:

Caldari Propulsion systems (think thats the name) requires Navigation 5, whereas Caldari offensive systems (again, unsure of the name at work) needs Missile Operation 5 and Gunnery 3 (possibly Medium Hybrids, you'd think I'd remember to bring the screenshots with me!) and the defensive subsystem needs Shield Operation 5 and Mechanic 3.

It seems to be fairly well confirmed now that the initial 'skill loss' mechanic is there with the subsystem skills, which are basically rank 1 skills (i.e. approx 5 days to train a level 5 skill) and you lose one level randomly when the ship dies - the subsystem skills seem to require your standard training time (i.e. they dont train independantly to your other skills) so depending on how expensive it is to buy a T3 ship, you could potentially be locked in a training loop if you lose one every 5 days where you are constantly re-training the same skill again - of course chances are that they will be so expensive, if you lose one every 5 days, you'd be bankrupt within a month.

Probing seems to have changed quite a bit - instead of the 'chance based' system, now there is a system involving using multiple probes to triangulate a known point in space. It seems that the new system is fairly clunky at the moment (talk of the icons and UI elements being too big and unwieldy to handle) but it looks promising, but it needs some refinement - for example scan times are now down to 10 seconds, which puts a lot of the previously used scanning skills close to redundant.

Theres talk of revamping the skills and covops bonuses to make them more useful to the new scanning system, so that will be welcomed.

The only downside to the new system seems to be that you can distinguish ship types that you want to find via search filters, but all the 'classic' scan sites are now lumped together under one filter type (cosmic signatures I think theyre called) which means you cant tell a wormhole from a Gravimetric site, from a Ladar site and so on. Would be nice to get that differentiation in under the new system, but theres plenty of test time left, and it has been raised as a concern.

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