A little over two weeks ago, I wrote about the winter ship update that’s been in the works. It’s now been officially announced that this is no mere update, but a full-fledged expansion. Eve: Retribution is coming.
The major focus for this expansion, indeed its very name, derives from the overhaul to the bounty system. It’s long been held by the playerbase as an almost useless system, largely used by experienced players for either vanity purposes or as a means to trick new players. One of the very first things I was told when I logged into the game for the first time was never ever attack anyone with a bounty on their head.
Hit the jump for more details, including screenshots.
Eve: Retribution is all about consequences. CCP has always taken a hands off approach, proclaiming that as long as you’re not using an exploit, you’re free to do anything you like in New Eden. Want to ambush and podkill new players? Go ahead. Scam? That’s the must lucrative way to earn money in Eve. Eve is a dangerous, deadly world, and currently, there’s simply very little a new player can do about it other than try to avoid being taken advantage of. The Bounty System is supposedly a way to combat that – if you can’t take someone out, pay someone else to do it, however it’s so easily abused that currently it’s little more than decoration. But all it does is put money in the pocket of the bountied player – who jumps into a cheap ship, has a friend kill them, then both split the cash. Rather worthless as a means of enforcing consequences; many of the highest bountied players use it as a status symbol to display wealth by putting enormous bounties on their own heads.
In the new system, there are no longer any limitations that must be met before putting up a bounty – anyone can put up a bounty on anyone at any time for any reason. And not just people – you can also put up bounties on corporations and alliances. CCP wants the community as a whole to determine what is and is not acceptable, and they are working hard to create a system that will allow for a new profession in Eve - bounty hunting. They’ve said they’ve done away with the friend-killing loophole, although not how they’ve done it. The keyword for this expansion is consequences. I’m definitely looking forward to seeing more!
Freedom of choice is not limited by Crimewatch, freedom from consequence is.
There are many other tricks and tweaks on the table as well: new ships, new textures, a new UI in the hopes of avoiding the “spreadsheets in space” feel that has pervaded Eve for so long. All in all it’s looking like Eve: Retribution will be an interesting experience.