During combat in EVE Online, if the enemy targeted your ship and destroyed it, this was the end of your time in battle. But with developer CCP’s latest announcement, the Frigate Escape Bay, you can immediately rejoin the fight and seek vengeance, albeit in a much smaller vessel.
In late March, all battleship-class vessels will get an escape bay. The bay will allow players to store a single frigate-class ship, equipped and ready for combat. When a player’s battleship is destroyed, instead of ejecting into space as a defenseless, weaponless escape pod, players will instead pilot a small, more manoeuvrable combat ship. It’s sort of like a matryoshka doll, but with guns.
The Frigate Escape Bay comes as part of EVE Online changes that have been introduced since January as a part of the “Fight or Flight” Quadrant. Quadrants are a new way EVE developers have broken the year up into four quarters and are making changes along a distinctive theme in each one. The current quadrant focuses on all things PvP: ship balance, getting into and out of fights, and risk vs rewards. The Frigate Escape Bay allows players more options to escape or double down during battleship brawls.
In fitting with the “fight or flight” theme, players making use of the Escape Bay will have some choices to make when they power up their frigate. Only certain types of frigates will be able to be stored in the bays. The bay will only accept ships suited for direct combat or frontline support, which lack stealth or special travel capabilities. Should a player re-engage the fight with their new ship’s weapons or electronic attack systems? Or should they they turn tail and flee, using the frigate’s increased speed and manoeuvrability to escape their aggressor?
If a player’s frigate is destroyed, they will eject into their escape pod as normal. This means they risk being destroyed and sent back to their clone bay, potentially on the other side of the galaxy.
The update is expected to go into the EVE test server on Monday, and players seem very excited about it. The change is something brand new to EVE, and being able to launch a ship with a player inside of it from another ship is something that could expand to other areas of the game. With EVE’s notoriously disagreeable player base, it’s rare to see a new feature get widespread, approaching universal, love, especially one that came out of the blue instead of as a response to player demand.