Exploration Evolved

eve2

By now most anyone who’s into EVE has been playing around with some of the new features in Apocrypha.  One of the coolest new features is the new scanning system. It’s integral to finding wormholes, arguably the largest part of the new expansion

The scanning system’s been in EVE since the beginning, but not like this.  Prior to this expansion, you deployed your probe where your ship was and the player employed a measure of personal skill in order to lock down the location of the target.  I’ve never been good at it, but I wanted to give the new system a try to locate my first wormhole.

I started in my Helios, dropping a single probe set out at maximum range and located a spot that could be a hit.  Dropping three more probes I arranged them in a quadrilateral arrangement (triangulation, but in three dimensions).  Shrinking the probes and moving them back into a clustered formation, I whittled down (or up, as it were) the signature strength of the hit until it reached 100%.  I’d found my first wormhole.

I put down a bookmark for the location, did a Show Info on the thing.  Looked like it hadn’t been jumped through by anyone yet, so I decided to take the plunge.  The wormhole blew outward into a giant reflective sphere which encompassed my ship (very cool effect, by the way), and I was through.  For the first time in a long time, doing something in EVE had an air of the unknown, and it was a good feeling.

On the other side, first thing’s first: bookmark the wormhole.  It’s amusing how during those first few days how many people got stuck inside w-space because they didn’t bookmark their only known way out.  Before doing anything else, I bookmarked the wormhole and cloaked.

The wormhole I found contained a pulsar of some kind.  On first entry my shields took a 30% hit, but then after that, nothing.  Strange.  I dropped some probes and proceeded to scan down a spot to find some unfriendlies.

It didn’t take long, and I warped to a scanned complex, and found myself staring at a peculiar disc-like structure surrounded with glittering effects.  Suddenly a small group of Sleepers appeared, patrolling for my ship.  Thankfully, I was cloaked.  Without friends, there was no way I was going to be dealing with the Sleepers myself.  I did a bit more exploring and then went back to the wormhole I’d used as my entrance.

It was an interesting experience doing this just a day or so after the expansion went live.  The feeling of seeing the truly unknown and unexplored hasn’t been a part of EVE in a long long time, and it was good to see it back.  Doing a wormhole with an uncloaked ship has to be a very interesting experience, since you truly don’t know what kind of challenge you’re going to expect when going in.  Bringing friends helps but is never a guarantee.

The new scanning system is much more approachable than the old one, and while the wormhole experience isn’t something that brand new players will be able to experience right away, it doesn’t take a large amount of training time to be able to use the gear you need.  More importantly, the addition of huge amounts of  content which is incredibly lethal really fits with the EVE style.    In order to properly take advantage of all w-space offers (loot, gas, and salvage for making tech 3 ships) you’ll have to coordinate well with others.  That’s not to say there isn’t content for solo folks in the “lesser” wormholes, in fact the act of scanning for a wormhole itself can be pretty interesting.

All and all, even just the addition of w-space makes Apocrypha one of the most important and entertaining expansions in a long time.  Sure it doesn’t do much with regards to alliance warfare, but even alliances can easily get in on the fun.

Now go out there and explore.

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