The weird concept of “NPC eggs” has been floating around in random forum topics for a while now. We’re of course not planning to introduce robot chickens, though I’m sure this is sad news for some.

The egg system, or how it should be called from now on, distress beacons, is a new feature that is intended for quick “on-demand” PvE battles. It also kindof replaces the roaming Observers that have been removed from alpha islands in the last patch.

The pranksters of Nia

So what are distress beacons? They are basically a secure communication device and a teleport endpoint node, which the alien factions are using to call in reinforcements. However, if you get your hands on one of these beacons, you can use them to your favor: upon activating these beacons, the alien forces will instantly teleport there, where you can easily ambush them if you are properly prepared. It is really much like doing false emergency phone calls.

Some more details:

Various types of distress beacons
  • There are two main types of beacons: the ones that get in normal multi-wave squads, and the ones that call single wave high ranked officers and commanders with shiny loot.
  • 4 factions (the industrial federation being the 4th), 3 different levels and 2 different size classes for each. This results in a total of 48 different distress beacons.
  • Depending on level and type, you might need multiple Agents to activate them. (You can find the number in their info.)
  • You can only deploy them while in a squad, even if it needs only one man to activate.
  • The NPCs brought in this way will retreat if they are not attacked for a minute.
  • Much like mobile teleports, they can’t be deployed near terminals.
  • Some of the high ranked NPCs drop observer kernels.

Squad-type beacons and the lowest level commander beacons can be acquired from artifacts (with a higher chance on beta islands) or by looting certain elite NPCs. The higher level commander-type beacons are dropped by the robots you called in with your first beacons. It works like a cascade, if you get a really lucky streak, you can get from the lowest level officer to the highest commander.

We’re also introducing two brand new tiers of modules, which can be looted from the officers and commanders. I don’t want to spoil here what these are exactly, find out for yourselves! :)

Just to get you in picture on how all this works in practice, some of us got together for an afternoon brawl with the aliens:

GIEF NAO!

We’re still working hard on some of the details, but it should be out within a month or so...

Just kidding, you’re getting it tomorrow in a patch :)

We’ll be also having a little pop-quiz event tomorrow (10.21.), some hours after the patch at 22:00 servertime (link for local times), where you can be the among the first ones to get your hands on a distress beacon! More info here. The patch itself will be at 13:00 CEST!

A more free trial experience

Well, of course trials are free, but so far you had to deal with quite a lot of trial limitations. Originally we introduced them as a precaution, but we decided now to lighten it up a bit. So after tomorrow’s patch, the only trial limitations that remain will be that you can’t send money to other players (but you can receive), and that you can’t found a corporation (and of course the 15 days of game time). All the other restrictions regarding market access, trading, chat, field containers and joining a corporation will be removed.

To make the life of corporate spies a bit harder, you will be able to see whether an Agent is on a trial or not if you check their profile information.

Of course we reserve the right to reinstate certain trial limitations if they are deemed necessary again in the future.

So, that’s it for now, see you tomorrow after the patch, and we’ll return next week with the final details on the new spark system!

Comments for this post

1 Karos

Interesting new feature... can't wait to try it out.

2 Naralh

Can you pop it where you want ?
If yes... afk miners, autopilot haulers, and all the poor new players should be afraid ^^

3 DEV Zoom

Anywhere, except near terminals or teleports.

4 Ezri Dax

good choice about trial limitation, more trials happy, more subbers.
about beacons, even if it's squad-only, it's a good addition, giving to a team a "dungeon-like" experience without dungeon (if you have fair chance to drop next beacon).


5 Inspiration

This is likely to be abused (depends on price) by dropping a beacon on someone NPC spawn. Not any particular, but in game enemies and such.

Or on someone with fully prototype fit in order to get the remains afterwards when they teleport out.

Has there been any thought on this?

6 Kaskuo

Nice so no more pp gonna mine anymore........... If you can use it anywhere i am sure to many pp gona abuse of it and use it on mining spot just for kill pp so.........

7 Trap Card

Neato

8 DEV Zoom

The NPCs coming from the beacon primarily target the deployer, and those who attack them.

Bystanding innocent miners won't get harmed if they don't attack the NPCs. And if noone attacks them they will despawn after a minute as the post says too.

9 Inspiration

Good to know, the NPC know who is awakening them form their pretty dreams!

10 Arga

Will the distressed NPC's be "+" attuned to the squad, so nearby players can't steal your hard won beacon action?

11 DEV Zoom

Arga: yes, to the deployer.

12 Celebro

Keep it coming, sounds cool!

13 Lucius Marcellus

Awesome!

14 Sundial

Looks like its going to be pretty sweet, nice work guys

15 Ville

Does this mean that new trials will have default recruitment channel?

16 Gremrod

Nice eggs... oh I mean beacons.

Also great news about the trial accounts!

17 DEV Gargaj

Eggs go well with beacon.

18 Alexadar

Another good blogpost. This game became better.

19 Pawel Lato

It would be nice if NPCs spawned in a (small) circle around the beacon, not all in a single point.

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