CCP Games is preparing the third free update to Eve: Valkyrie. The Joint Strike update to the VR-exclusive space dogfighting game features a host of changes, including cross-play support with the PSVR version that launches alongside Sony’s VR HMD.
In addition to combining the players from both platforms into the same pool, the Eve: Valkyrie Joint Strike update features a new cooperative mode. You will be able to invite friends into your squad or use the matchmaking system to build a team that will help you fight against AI opponents. CCP said the AI team is “balanced to complement the skills of your team.” Rewards, such as XP, currency, and unlocks, are earned at the same pace in co-op mode as they are in combat mode.
More To Do
Joint Strike includes two fresh single-player recall missions. CCP said that the new missions reveal more of the EVE: Valkyrie backstory and stated that to reveal more would give away spoilers, but if you wish to learn more, CCP will post a developer blog about it later this week.
Pilots looking for ways to earn XP and credits faster will enjoy the Daily Challenges, which provide players with up to three daily tasks to complete. Each challenge is active for 24 hours. A timer above the challenge cards indicates how much time you have left to complete the objectives.
Joint Strike also features a redesigned menu system. The Chronicles (single player) menu lists the completion percentage of the four game modes (Training, Recall, Scout, and Survival) so you can see your progress without digging further into a menu tree. CCP also moved the planet selection to a rotating wheel system to make space for future content updates.
CCP streamlined the multiplayer menu. The settings button was moved to the right to separate it from the launch button, and the server region selection moved to the settings page. A button that toggles between co-op and combat modes replaced the launch tubes link, which can now be found only in your hangar. CCP also improved how you navigate the Quartermaster menu. Previously, you had to use a head-tracked cursor to select menu options, but the number of options on the Quartermaster page made navigating cumbersome. CCP moved some of the options to a wheel system, similar to the planet selection in the Chronicles menu so that you don’t have to move your head around as much to find what you’re looking for.
Thinking Outside The Box
The Clone Data Integrity page might be the most interesting change coming with the Joint Strike update. The Clone Data Integrity page is a fancy way of describing your stats page. Here you’ll find a visual representation of your progress in the game. It features that typical stats, such as kill to death ratio; the number of kills, deaths, and assists; the number of hours played; and several other data points. The page also provides progress bars and progress percentages for each of the modes and ship classes in the game.
The neural net visual display is the most interesting part of the Clone Data Integrity page, though. As you progress through the game, different sections of the background will light up like neurons firing in your brain, depending on your progress and style of play.
CCP will welcome an influx of new Valkyrie pilots shortly after Joint Strike rolls out, thanks to Sony’s PSVR launch. With a large number of newcomers inbound, CCP added a few features that should help new players transition into a game full of seasoned veterans. The developer added a guide section that summarizes each game mode and explains the features and mechanics ofthe game. CCP also added a test arena, which allows players to hop into a perpetual AI battle and hone their dogfighting and trench running skills. The test arena AI battles against itself, but it is programmed not to return fire so you can take the time to learn the mechanics of the game without the pressure of staying alive.
Communication Is Key
The Joint Strike update also includes a new communication tool called Com Alerts. There are short, pre-recorded messages that you can use to quickly dispatch orders or alert team members that you need assistance. To use a Com Alert, hold down on the D-pad and use the right analog stick to select from the list of messages. When you let go of the D-pad, the selected message will be delivered to all your teammates in the form of an audio message and a text overlay to the right of their cockpit.
The list of changes the CCP made to EVE: Valkyrie with Joint Strike is extensive. We’ve highlighted the changes that appear to be the most impactful, but there are more; you can find the full list on the Eve: Valkyrie website.
The Joint Strike update launches on October 10, which is just days before EVE: Valkyrie launches for Sony’s PSVR HMD on October 13.
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Kevin Carbotte is a contributing writer for Tom's Hardware who primarily covers VR and AR hardware. He has been writing for us for more than four years.