September 30, 2013

Rubicon and Mercenaries

Everyone's talking about Rubicon. I feel like it's getting more attention than many of the recent expansions, even. For good reason too; some really nifty additions and changes that are coming with this expansion are posed to shake up the norm in many regards.  We're all working off of the broad outlines of the announcement, of course, and CCP will let more detailed information leak through as mid November draws nearer, but there's been some pretty good analysis of what's to come already.  I'd like to focus on what Rubicon means for mercenaries, specifically for how I envision Noir. taking advantage of these things.

Being a mercenary in EVE is not an easy way to play the game, especially if you have a mind to start a corporation up from scratch.  Take a look at the Crime & Punishment forum and you'll see a half dozen or so new mercenary threads each day, with pretty varying degrees of reception.  It's not hard to figure out why. Most mercenary corporations start out in high sec, war deccing whoever they're paid to . . . and war deccing anyone they can when they're not paid to.  As a mercenary group gets 'better' they move into other space, low, null, or WH.  Generally. Luckily for Noir., we've made a name for ourselves, and we're hired quite often, but even we have our slow times.  How's Rubicon going to affect that?


Well, for starters the new deployables are going to be great for us, both for contracts and non-contract times.  One of our most popular contract type has us living out of our ships in deep null with no base of operation. If you lose a ship, you have to bring another one out from high sec some 30-40 jumps out. The "space yurt", as Ali calls it, is perfect for these types of contracts.  Using one of these, our options just got exponentially greater, allowing us to bring much more to the table and react to the situation.  If this was the only deployable added, we'd be in heaven.  A mercenary corporation that lives behind enemy lines should use these at all opportunities. But there's more.

The siphon is another incredible feature for mercenaries.  Asset Denial is an incredibly common contract type, where we do what it sounds like - deny the target any and all assets from his space that we possibly can, whether it's ratting, complexes, mining, or whatever.  Now, we're able to take directly from their passive incomes without having to go toe-to-toe in a battle over a POS. Often, we're outnumbered in our contracts, and we don't have the option of contesting our targets over their large assets. This changes that, allowing small groups, like mercenaries, to hit a target harder, in an area that was previously well-protected, and do it on our terms. This little gem also gives us a lot of opportunity for income when not on contract, and that can be a real lifesaver for a small mercenary group. This is another really attractive feature for mercenaries.

Customs Offices

Another nice addition is the high sec customs offices.  There's going to be a mad grab for these initially, and while Noir. rarely operates in high sec, there may be some potential for new contracts in this area. I see this as a terrific opportunity for budding mercenary corporations to really spread their wings and branch out, though. These are great money makers for the owners, and if your organization is known for doing these well, don't be surprised if your mailbox gets flooded with requests to take these down far into the future.

Ship Changes

The ship changes are a bit more nebulous in their use and attractiveness from a mercenary standpoint. The benefits really apply to everyone, but I'm personally most excited about the changes to the interceptors and interdictors. Being able to ignore warp bubbles in an interceptor, coupled with the warp speed changes, means a small, hard-hitting roaming fleet has more chances to disrupt larger, unorganized fleets. Again, fighting outnumbered a lot of times, this is something that we'll be sharpening up on. I think the interdictors will really excel in this regard too, beating targets to the warp-to point and snagging a kill for the fleet, making those hard-to-pin-down roaming fleets a lot more successful.

All in all, Rubicon looks like a very attractive expansion from a mercenary's point of view.  There are some things that don't really come into consideration at all - mainly the tractor-beam deployable, but also who can say whether the Sisters of Eve ships will be worth using or not for us yet? - but overall, I think this is going to add a few tricks for our bag, opening a few new doors as well as opening others a bit wider.