EVE Online players had better start gearing up for battle now, as the Apocrypha expansion unleashes a whole new breed of tougher non-player character enemies upon the universe.
Combat versus NPCs in EVE Online has generally been a rather simple affair, requiring the player merely target the enemy, start firing, and wait for them to explode. With the upcoming Apocrypha expansion to the massively multiplayer online game, that's all about to change.
...for Apocrypha, we are unleashing an ancient race into the universe: the infamous Sleepers, lurking throughout the vast unknowns stretching at the other side of the Wormhole maws. Do not underestimate them, as they will remain radically different from the regular pirate factions you are used to. More often than not, they will give you some substantial bang for your buck and will require player gang coordination and effort to be dispatched. More details are left for another Dev Blog, but at the moment, know they have comparable player attributes and thus require variations of PvP fits to engage.
The Sleepers are only the beginning of an effort to slowly ramp up the enemy artificial intelligence in the game. At first only the Sleeper and Officer spawns will be getting an upgraded A.I., but developer CCP is looking to slowly ramp up intelligence across the board, making for a slightly more difficult but ultimately more enjoyable gameplay experience.
When evolution leaps forward [EVE Online Dev Blog via Eurogamer]