I’m here to tell you about some brand new ships coming to EVE Online in the next free expansion: Rubicon, which is now less than a month away!
I’m sure many of you know a lot about them already, whether you heard us talk about them at EVE Vegas, on our expansion announcement stream, or read about them in the Features and Ideas forum thread where we’ve laid out all the details, but this blog should collect all the important information in one place while shedding some light on their development as an added bonus!
So, without more delay, let me introduce you to the Astero and the Stratios:
In a nutshell, this is a new ‘pirate faction’ ship line from the Sisters of EVE. It combines Amarr and Gallente skills and has a strong focus on exploration and self-reliance in hostile space.
Following off the strong exploration theme in Odyssey we really wanted to create a ship line that EVE’s explorers, both new and old, could be excited about. We were also inspired by the success of the Gnosis, which was introduced for EVE’s 10th anniversary and was generally well received due to its flexibility and accessbility.
So, if we whittle that down to a more specific set of goals it might look a bit like this:
- Appealing to solo explorers in all security bands of space
- Focused on sustainability and long deployments away from stations
- Capable in combat, whether in sites against NPCs or against other players
- Provides a lot of fitting versatility that translates into support for a range of play-styles and tasks
Let me go through point-by-point and tell you how we’re hoping to meet those goals.
Appealing to solo explorers in all security bands of space
This basically boils down to being able to compete with other popular exploration ships. We went full-on for this goal by not only giving both ships bonuses to scan probe strength and virus strength for relic and data analyzers, but also by giving them both the ability to use Covert Cloaks. If you aren’t familiar, Covert Cloaking Ops Device II is the only module that allows you to warp while cloaked, and before the introduction of the Astero and Stratios, you could only use one on certain tech 2 ship classes like Recons or Covert Ops Frigates. Access to these bonuses and capabilities goes a long way towards creating an exploration ship that can compete with Covert Ops frigates or even Tech 3 cruisers like the Tengu.
Focused on sustainability and long deployments away from stations
This goal is a large part of why we chose Amarr and Gallente as the contributing races for the Sisters of EVE ships. If you’re going to be out in space a long time without being able to refuel you want weapons that don’t rely on a lot of charges, and so with drones coming from Gallente and lasers coming from Amarr, you won’t have to worry. Both ships also have very large cargo and drone bays so you can hold even more loot before needing to find your way back to a hangar.
Capable in combat, whether in sites against NPCs or against other players
Now this is a goal I can get behind. The cloak gives these guys a leg-up to begin with, so we didn’t want to get too out of control, but substantial drone damage, an armor resist bonus on both ships and all of that backed up with pirate faction quality base stats makes both the Astero and the Stratios extremely mean fighters.
Provides a lot of fitting versatility that translates into support for a range of play-styles and tasks
Both ships have above average mid-slot allocation for ships with an armor bonus; 4 for the Astero and 5 for the Stratios. This means that they sacrifice some raw damage and tank potential but can easily field all the modules necessary for exploration. It also means that if they aren’t exploring, they have lots of room to field support mods, electronic warfare or even switch to shield tanks for more damage. This sort of flexibility is a big part of what makes the Gnosis so much fun and we’re excited to have more ships in the game with a similar versatility.
The end result is a very exciting new tool in the sandbox with tons of potential and we can’t wait to see how they get used in the wild. And again, if you want the nitty-gritty numbers head over to the feedback thread and dig in.
Alright CCP Rise I’m sold, how do I get one?!
Well, as you can see by this graph of LP awarded over the last three months by EVE’s biggest pirate factions, many of you already know the answer: Sisters of EVE Loyalty Points.
Both of these ships will be on offer from all Servant Sisters of EVE corporations in the game, which means these will be the first ‘pirate faction’ ships available in high sec. This doesn’t come without a cost though. Only the Sanctuary Corporation, who are credited with actually creating the Stratios and Astero, will offer them at the normal pirate faction prices. If you get them from the Sisters of EVE Corporation in high security space get ready for a mark-up of up to 50%.
We hope you guys enjoy the new ships, and make sure to keep your eyes peeled following Rubicon, the Sisters of EVE may not be done giving us new toys quite yet…
- CCP Rise