Eve Online

EVE Online: Retribution expansion releases with tons of new features, new ships and rebalances

Tyler Wilde at

The 18th EVE Online expansion, Retribution, is now being transmitted to subscribers. Retribution rebalances EVE's ships, introduces new destroyers and an industrial frigate, and adds many new features, such as safeties to prevent accidental crime, greater potential consequences for committing crimes, and improved enemy AI. All of Retribution's new hardware and deep space tweaks are described in detail on EVE's official site.

They're all notable, but I'm most interested in the reworked bounty system. Prior to Retribution, bounties just didn't work. They were notoriously used to transfer currency between alts with self-placed rewards, and even legitimate bounties could just be claimed by a target's friend. As long as the reward covered the minor damages, it was a win for the target.

To squash these exploits and make bounty hunting a legitimate occupation, the new system bases payouts on how much monetary damage is done to the target, so hunters will never receive more than they cost their victim, and targets can be killed as many times as it takes for the payouts to deplete the bounty pool. The change should prevent exploitation and make bounties more meaningful: they're now about inflicting monetary losses, and money matters to EVE players way more than easily-replaceable clone bodies.

Retribution also makes UI changes, adds new sounds and situational music, and according to Executive Producer Jon Lander, will make EVE "feel revitalized" as it enters its second decade. For me, the last EVE expansion had the following effect: Oh, right, I have an EVE account. I guess I should log in, but do I really want to--well, that does look cool. Alright, I'll play for a bit. *Logs out of life for two months.*

In this case, Retribution has to fight PlanetSide 2 for my time. It's going to be a tough battle.