Groundrush Update and Patch Notes

by CCP Roo

Hello pilots,

It gives me great pleasure to introduce our second game update of 2017 for EVE: Valkyrie – Groundrush!

With every update, we try to push our gameplay in new and exciting directions. As part of the Groundrush update you will gain access to our stunning new map, Solitude. This is a radical departure from the battlefields of open space as the action is set against the backdrop of our first combat zone located on a planet’s surface. We’re excited to see how pilots adapt their techniques to capitalise on all the new hazards (and opportunities) that comes with this new environment.

You’ll also find even weirder and wilder new gameplay in our next round of weekend Wormholes! We’ve been calling this Season 2 in the studio as we’ve added a ton of new content, from twisted locations to exotic mechanics there’s lots to be discovered. We eagerly await reading tales of your adventures in wormhole space on our forums.

Light ‘em up and let’s get out there!

CCP ROO

NEW! Map: Solitude

Groundrush Solitude Base 02 A former Minmatar research base set amongst a mountainous, rocky, snow-covered landscape provides the setting for Solitude, Valkyrie’s first land based map. This hidden Schism facility holds a secret beneath its craggy surface -- a network of hollowed out tunnels and caverns stretching deep beneath the snow. The burned orange and reds litter the pristine white planet with shards of solar panels and rusted armor plating.

At one end of the map, the Solitude base itself sits nested into the mountains, providing cover and launch positions for the Schism. A safe distance away, but still in sight of the facility, the Valkyrie Carrier is positioned low above the planet’s surface. Underground, two storage facilities offer cover from the harsh conditions on the open surface, creating some tight, enclosed spaces for close up combat, ideal for dropping mines and Spiderbots. Outside cover is sparse, so you’ll have to utilize the natural landscape’s deep gorges and rocky outcrops for maneuvers, as well as the landing pads and various outlying structures from the research base.

Solitude is also available in Survival and Scout modes so you can get to grips with all the topographical opportunities this exciting new map offers. With its tight tunnels, mountainous terrain, and cavernous underground spaces, Solitude will test the flight skills of even the most seasoned Valkyrie pilots.

NEW! Feature: Wormholes Season 2

Returning to that part of space where the rules no longer apply! In Groundrush, we are adding even more chaos into our weekly events. This release sees a selection of new maps, modifiers and variations in the ever-expanding mix of unique game modes to be found behind the bubble of Valkyrie Wormholes.

The community has been a huge part of the Wormhole expansion, contributing to its future by pitching us a mountain of dream game modes and exploring some, well… just… crazy ideas on the EVE: Valkyrie forums.

To thank you for all your incredible contributions, we wanted to add one of your most requested features - Friendly fire. That’s right, the safety is turned off for these selected weeks so keep that trigger finger under wraps and your aim true, pilots. Team kills will be penalised!

If you would like to get involved with your best Wormhole game mode idea, join the conversation in our ‘Designing the Future’ thread here.

But wait, that’s not all! Groundrush also includes two twisted new maps:

Nightyard

Groundrush worm Nightyard This truly stunning new wormhole map brings with it the most dramatic visual departure to date. Shrouded in darkness and soaked in electric blue, Nightyard is our first map set away of the glare of the sun. The vibrant colour of your ships’ weapons and trails pop against the shipyard under an eclipse, while two Caldari Ravens cut pathways with neon red light through the challenging structure. The absence of sunlight results in an eerie and oppressive environment that oozes menace.

Goldenroad

Groundrush worm Golden The sun bursts from behind the dusty clouds, bathing the warped scorpion tail of our Crossroads control tower in golden light. Heavy gravitational forces have pulled the structures and rock formations into the centre of the wormhole, making for a condensed field of combat for pilots to evade enemy attacks.

NEW! Steam Controller Support for PC

By popular demand, we’ve officially added support for the Steam Controller to EVE: Valkyrie. Our default configuration offers an immediate and accessible experience, but pilots also have the option to dive into the Settings menu and fine tune things to better match their personal preferences.

Feature Improvement: Co-Op

Our Co-Op mode has been expanded to include both Control and Carrier Assault game modes. This Player Versus AI only playlist is the perfect place for pilots looking for a challenge with other pilots, rather than against them. No matter which mode you select, all XP progression and rewards are the same. You play the game how you want to, and be rewarded for it.

NEW! Pilot Animations

New for this update is our avatar animation feature. Aside from making our virtual world a far more believable and realistic place, the animations will help pilots celebrate a victory or commiserate a defeat.

NEW! Game Subtitles (English)

Accessibility and usability have both been focal points during the development of Valkyrie, so we are pleased to announce that English subtitles will be available as part of this new game update.

Feature Improvement: Valkyrie League

As part of our ongoing iteration on the Valkyrie Leagues feature, we have tuned our calculations to further penalise players who are regularly quitting matches early, as well as tightening up some of the average scoring when playing against AI and real players. Opting out of leagues now stops league scores updating during battles, allowing casual play without worrying about ranking. When ready to play competitively, simply opt back in to start updating leagues again.

Feature Improvement: Pilot Training

We’re also been making to adjustments to our Pilot Training modules in this update to make things a little less rigid in their objectives. The roll gates in Fighter, Heavy and Support training now have three variants of success – “Great”, “Good” and “Pass”. Depending on how perfectly aligned your ship is when passing through a gate you will be given more appropriate feedback. We’ve also removed the fail condition for incorrectly flying through a gate. This limits the frustration of having to back-track in such instances. The flight routes for all training modules have also been slightly tuned to create a smoother ride.

Feature Improvement: Radar

In this update we’ve made some adjustments to the cockpit radar to improve the usefulness of this feature, these changes are outlined below:

  • Radar objects now use an arrowhead shape that face the same direction as the object they represent
  • Enemies become more prominently visible on the radar if they fulfill the following conditions: The enemy is in a cone area behind your ship or, the enemy has targeted you
  • Missiles now only display if they are targeting you
  • Friendly ships display on the radar if they send a com alerts message to heal, assist, or group up
  • When flying a ship with healing capabilities, friendly ships will always appear on the radar
  • Distant friendly ships clamp to the edge of the radar
  • Friendly ships will disappear from the radar 5 seconds after their last message

Multiplayer Playlist

Valkyrie is at its best when pilot-on-pilot action is at the heart of combat. Keeping our players together is a primary consideration when we look at our matchmaking rules and game options. In this update, we have combined all the multiplayer modes and maps into a single playlist. We feel that this will offer the best gaming experience and we will be tracking our server traffic over the coming months to verify this.

Bug and Stability Fixes

These include:

  • Fixed: Carrier Defense Turrets not appearing in Kill Feed cam and in the Clone Vat
  • Fixed: AI not using Mines or EMP Mines
  • Fixed: Rendering issue (white flash) when looking around the Clone Vat
  • Fixed: Accepting a Squad invite through session list caused the invitation to expire
  • Fixed: XP transfer issue when a ship tree is maxed
  • Fixed: Test Arena is not set to infinite time
  • Fixed: Performance issues resulting in lag across multiple matches
  • Fixed: Persistent Gatling Gun cannon audio after ship is destroyed
  • LOD (level of detail) improvements to Heavy training module
  • Color Balance improvements to some Pilot Suits and Helmets
  • Improved camera positions when viewing Carrier Explosion from fixed locations (respawning)

If you are experiencing any issues with updating, please check the support article here.