EVE Online is entering its twelfth year of gameplay, and as usual, the dedicated team at CCP Games is releasing another free update, codenamed Rhea.
Rhea is a huge push forward toward modernizing the series which is a little archaic around the edges due to the simple fact that technology has advanced immensely since the game first launched, and the game itself has changed and modernized in piecemeal segments along the way. Rhea hopes to not only add new content to EVE Online, but touch up some of those rougher edges and introduce a lot of quality-of-life updates for the dedicated players.
So what is changing? Here’s a run-down:
- New regions of space to explore! EVE Online will have 101 new wormhole systems to enter. This includes Thera, a new system (being touted as the largest sized in the game), featuring a big spacestation, and the first wormwhole system to contain such a structure. This allows for players to dock their ships, make repairs and restock supplies, advance trade in this region, among other amenities. As is customary in EVE Online, this also means that the plot of deep space will also be ripe for territorial domination by corporations/alliances (the game’s version of guilds), which may enforce their control over the region through brute PVP force.
- Two new ships! Specifically a tremendous freighter for transporting smaller ships across the galaxy, as well as a tactical-offensive destroyer ship: the Bowhead and the Amarri Confessor (Tech 3 Destroyer), for those veteran spacefarers who are reading.
- Updates to a lot of the hulls of ships. The game has had a lot of slow graphical updates over the years, and Rhea is no exception, with new hull modifications to some ships to make them looks spiffy in the games modernized engine.
- New rendering of ships. New technology for the dev team to work with means prettier models. All ships are getting a detailing, using a new method of rendering which better reflects light reflecting off the hulls of ships, as well as highlighting details in color and shape. And believe me, the changes are dramatic and gorgeous.
- UI updates! Part of the problem with all the UI on screen is that it blocks the gorgeous work of the nebulea and planetary artwork featured in EVE Online. To fix this, they’ve give the UI blurry effect that reveals more of the background behind it. Furthermore, they’re adding coloring of menus. If the steely blue was never to your liking, now you can customize it to your whims.
- Another big UI update! The dev team is reorienting the symbology of the icons. This can help new players on their first attempt to look at the headache of menus by making the navigation of all these different icons more easy and intuitive to understand.
All this, along with updates to clones, drones, and an optional new map which will be in voluntary beta, all released for free if you already have an EVE Online account. The Rhea update launched as of 11:15am GMT, and assuming there are no server problems with huge influxes of players, the update should be waiting for you next time you log in. If you don’t have an EVE Online account, maybe now is a good time to try. EVE Online uses a subscription model for payment, but also allows players to pay their own way if they earn enough in-game currency, meaning you can hypothetically play the game for free, for life, if you’re willing to dedicate the energy to earn the in-game funds.