Surprise Patch Gives 'Eve: Valkyrie' A Visual Overhaul

CCP Games announced that the PC versions of its flagship VR title, EVE: Valkyrie, will receive a “mandatory patch” today that includes a graphics update for gamers with powerful Nvidia graphics cards.

When CCP Games builds a game, it sticks with it for the long run. The developer’s primary title, EVE Online, came out in 2003, and to this day it enjoys a loyal fanbase, many of whom attend the company’s annual community celebration, EVE Fanfest. EVE Online’s community continues to enjoy the game in large part because CCP continues to support it with regular patches. The developer is doing the same thing with its flagship VR title, EVE: Valkyrie.

In 2012, when Oculus launched the Kickstarter to fund Rift developer kits, CCP Games was one of the first developers to jump onboard. The company quickly started exploring ideas and eventually settled on EVE: Valkyrie, a first-person space dogfighting game built within the EVE Online universe. EVE: Valkyrie came out alongside the Oculus Rift as a timed exclusive title, and CCP has since launched the game on the SteamVR and PlayStation VR platforms.

The version of EVE: Valkyrie that CCP Games launched all those months ago is a very different game from the version you can play today. With each patch, the developer alters the game somewhat, whether it's with better AI, new maps, more affordable ships, or extra game modes. In fact, CCP Games teased that the development team is “incredibly hard at work on some exciting (but still secret) changes to the game you know and love.” In the meantime, the developer dropped a surprise announcement about a patch for EVE: Valkyrie players on PC. Normally, CCP Games announces changes a few days in advance, but this update is coming down the pipe today.

Visual Improvements

CCP Games added an Ultra Settings option to the Graphics menu that improves the visual fidelity of the game for Vive and Rift players. The new graphics settings add God rays to create a more realistic look to the environment and better VFX on projectiles to make the firefights even more stunning. The cockpit gets the most impressive overhaul with improved lighting, move vibrant color, and crisper edges to make it a little bit more realistic.

CCP Games didn’t explain why, but the developer said that the new settings are meant for players with “higher spec Nvidia cards”—namely; GTX 1070, GTX 1080, or GTX 1080 Ti owners. We’re not sure if that’s a suggestion because AMD doesn’t currently sell a GPU that can keep up with Nvidia’s top dogs, or if there’s some Nvidia-only technology baked into the new update. We’ve reached out to the developer for more details.

Changes For Newbies

Today’s patch isn’t just about the visual effects. The company also made changes to the game that should improve the experience for newcomers. Previously, when you started your career as a Valkyrie pilot, you would start with one ship and would have to work your way up the ranks to unlock new ships. Following community feedback, CCP Games increased the starting lineup from one ship to three. Now you get access to the Wraith, Spectre, and Banshee from the moment you start the game.  The developer said that allowing players to try each class from the get-go removes “unjustified barriers” to finding the class the matches their playstyle.

The latest version of the game also disables the Rolling maneuver associated with the right analog stick by default so newcomers won’t accidentally “initiate some of [the] more ‘extreme’ aerial maneuvers” before they're ready. You can enable Rolling in the Settings menu.

Balance Adjustments

CCP Games said a big patch is in the works, but that didn’t stop it from making changes to the player balance now. The developer made changes to several ships, including dialing up the power, speed, and damage to various Fighter class ships and toning down the effectiveness of weaponry on Heavy class and Support class ships.

The update also includes the customary bug fixes and stability improvements. For more information about the changes, you can find the patch notes on the EVE: Valkyrie website.

 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.