The next major patch for CCP Games’ first-person space dogfighting sim, EVE: Valkyrie, is due out at the end of the month, and it will bring improvements to the player experience.
EVE: Valkyrie was one of the first Oculus Rift games to be revealed. It was first shown to EVE fans years before the launch of the Rift HMD and later became a limited time bundled launch title. The limited free bundle is over now, but there are thousands of active gamers duking it out in Valkyrie servers, and CCP is doing right by its loyal fans by offering continuous updates and preparing for the onslaught of newcomers this fall when the game hits PSVR and expands to support the HTC Vive.
The upcoming update will focus on making the game easier to jump into as a newcomer. Players with a lower rank than 5 will have access to Team Death Match servers only, but they won’t be able to play against other players. Jumping in against veteran players is intimidating and doesn’t give you the chance to get accustomed to the controls. To promote newcomers and give them a real chance to learn the ropes, low-ranked players will play as a team against “specifically tuned AI” opponents. Once you reach rank 5, which will take a handful of matches, the full game unlocks, and you're free to play any mode.
The AI opponents don’t go away after rank 5. In fact, CCP has made it so AI pilots are recognizable and can be ranked for matchmaking purposes. Each AI player will have its own distinct ability level that will remain constant from match to match. CCP said that this should give them all “recognizable personalities.” This work began in the Carrier Assault update that CCP released in June with the inclusion of individual names for the 100 different AI pilots. The next update gives them their character.
The AI character’s ranks will be part of the matchmaking considerations, meaning as you get better at the game, the tougher even the AI opponents will become. It also means that you may be able to recognize when you spot an easy mark or a cunning foe.
In addition to the advanced AI characteristics, the new patch will feature increased match rewards. Currently, when you win a match you get 100 XP, and you get 300 XP for playing through a whole match. Soon you’ll be getting 800 XP per match and another 200 XP if you win. CCP said this change is intended to “speed up progression in unlocked more ships and ship upgrades.”
And of course, as with any game update, the forthcoming patch will include a number of bug and stability fixes that should improve the experience.
AI targeting of capture points (Carrier Assault)AI drone dropping in same location (Carrier Assault)AI targeting of cooling nodes (Carrier Assault)AI are now less predictable when firing slower rate of fire weaponsImproved path finding for some AI Heavies that excessively slowed while navigating terrain
EVE: Valkyrie Patch 2016_R4.4 is scheduled for release on Tuesday, August 30. You can read the full patch notes here.