The announcement of new Sisters of EVE (SoE) faction ships coming in the upcoming Rubicon expansion, to be released by CCP Games on November 19th, has generated a lot of interest from players eager to get their hands on the sleek Astero, a frigate, and the powerful Stratios, a cruiser. Pilots have rushed to the Osmon system to run SoE Level IV missions and amass Loyalty Points, in order to acquire the new vessels as soon as they are available.
In fact, CCP Explorer announced that so many people were missioning in Osmon that the system was being reinforced with additional server resources. I am sure that Lozdod Pousel, the security agent residing in the Sisters of EVE Bureau station at Osmon II - Moon 1, has never been this popular.
If CCP follows similar practices for pirate factions, then the Astero frigate will probably cost around 80,000 loyalty points (LPs) plus 5 million ISK, and the Stratos cruiser will likely require 240,000 LPs plus 15 million ISK. Assuming an average of 5,000 loyalty points earned per Level IV mission (and that would require high Security Connections skill), that's about 64 missions to accumulate the needed LPs.
In other words, there be a lot o' mission-runnin' goin' on out of Osmon.
Why so serious?
The reason that so many people are intently grinding missions is that the SoE boats, as currently described, are going to be amazing. In fact, I'd have to say that they are overpowered, and I suspect we may see some of the proposed stats get nerfed a bit before the update. This applies especially to the Stratios cruiser, which looks like it will be able to warp cloaked, run exploration sites with ease, deliver over 1,000 DPS, and maintain a nicely robust defensive tank.
As someone who invested in maxing out drone skills, I am especially excited. The Stratios, if released as initially described, will have a whopping 500 cubic meter drone bay and 125 megabits of bandwidth, enough to field five heavy or sentry drones. This is going to be one handy boat - perhaps too handy. Something tells me that my Ishtar is going to get mothballed in the hangar pretty soon.
Plus, the new ships just look cool. They kind of remind me of something I've seen before, somewhere...
When you swim with the sharks...
Whenever you have big schools of fish swimming around, the sharks are sure to gather at the edges. And the number of ships destroyed in Osmon and nearby systems (Olo, Korsiki, Inaya and Uminas) has bloomed - in other words, the gankers are having a field day, preying on a plethora of foolishly faction-fitted mission-running ships.
So far, I've had no trouble flying my Tech II fitted Rattlesnake on my own SoE missioning campaign, but that is because I have deliberately avoided making myself look like too rich a meal. When flocks of pilots routinely undock in spicy, flavorful vessels dripping with faction and officer modules, worth billions of ISK, my relatively simple, plain-vanilla 'Snake looks pretty dull by comparison. Still, it's a bit unnerving whenever I'm outside the SoE Bureau station and it looks like the largest CONCORD family reunion ever assembled.
Fly faction at your own risk
My unsolicited advice to SoE mission runners: leave your glittery, blinged-out missioning pimpmobiles at home for a while. Fit simple Tech II fits, and you'll do just fine. The extra four percent in speed or tank or DPS isn't going to reduce the mission-grinding time all that much, and you'll be able to undock without a lot of worry. If you have more ISK then sense, and you are addicted to super-performing officer and faction modules, I suggest you wait a while, and invest in higher skills. Then you'll be able to run Level IV missions just fine, with less potential heartache.
Trust me, I know of what I speak. For a while, I flew a shiny Navy Dominix laden with faction modules - I thought that's what you needed to run Level IVs successfully. But I soon realized that I was just a gank waiting to happen. When you fly faction fitted, it's just a matter of time before someone decides to break open your big loot piñata. Which is exactly what happened to me.
It was an 800 million ISK lesson - not nearly as bad as it could have been. But it taught me that patience is a virtue. I invested in my skills, weaned myself off of faction modules, and got a nice, dependable Rattlesnake boat - which are surprisingly affordable as faction battleships go: currently, they sell for under 500 million ISK. But you can run Level IVs just fine in a Tech I battleship with a solid Tech II tank fitting - and the gankers will certainly find you much less attractive.Fly safe! o7