A YEAR WITH UPWELL STRUCTURES: Citadels & Engineering Complexes
The Structures That Have Changed the Fabric of New Eden
Since last year, the way Capsuleers have lived, and played, in New Eden has fundamentally changed. With the deployment of the LIFEBLOOD Expansion, Capsuleers will soon have a greater opportunity to make their mark out in the stars. Before the upcoming Refineries, though, let's look back at the structures that came before. With these new types of stations, starting with Citadels, we were given the ability to make a home that we truly called our own. With that ability comes great risk, but should you pull it off, the sense of pride and achievement felt when you see the anchoring timer go from yellow to that sweet, sweet turquoise (or RGB Cyan for those colorphiles out there), that let you know your new home is secure, it is simply unparalleled.
When CCP announced the CITADEL Expansion in 2015, and the structures bearing the same name, some players roared against the change, taking to Reddit by storm; some suggested an update to the current POS system instead (which was the current player owned station option at the time); and others looked on eagerly to see what these structures, offered by the new and benevolent NPC organization, Upwell Consortium, would offer us. By this point, we had known for some time that CCP was up to something regarding player structures. Many amazing pieces of concept art had been circulating the web and dev blogs, demonstrating CCPs ideas that were intended to shake up the game in a deep and new way. (See images below. Property of CCP Games. Credit CCP Games.)
With these new structures, Capsuleers received promises of a more "station-like" experience, new defense opportunities, and a way to fit these stations like ships. We would be able to make these new homes of ours trade hubs, fortified battle stations, and possible advanced research laboratories. The EVE chat channels were filled with ideas, concern, and wonder. One station was even rumored to be able to finally give super capitals - Super Carriers and Titans - the ability to dock, thus giving their pilots greater freedom. This same station was also rumored to have the ability to field a Doomsday super weapon - something to finally rival the Titans themselves. Possibilities seemed endless if you were bold, cunning, and creative enough, not too far from becoming a reality.
Finally, on April 27th, 2016, the structures went live. Capsuleers flocked into their ships as soon as Tranquility completed updating, rushing out to buy blueprints so that they could build a Citadel of their very own. Check out the awesome CITADEL Expansion trailer created and produced by CCP, celebrating the deployment of Citadels. (Credit: CCP Games.)
So - what is the big deal? POSes were already a thing for years. Read on my friends, we will discuss that below.
Citadels were the first class of the Upwell Consortium structures to come to New Eden. These are your general purpose station. They are rugged and flexible: built to be your ideal home in the stars and to defend whatever assets you leave in them. They could be the beachhead from which a deployment began or the ultimate declaration of supremacy for a victor over their a fallen foe. These stations come in three sizes: The iconic and affordable Astrahus class medium Citadel, the enterprising & capable Fortizar class large Citadel, and the ultimate throne of power: the Keepstar class xtra-large Citadel.
Pilots, Corporations, and Alliances across New Eden purchased blueprints and rushed to get the new structure components, and the stations themselves, into the industrial oven so that they could lay claim to a piece of the sky for themselves and show off these amazing new structures to allies and friends. With Citadels, the days of shared storage in POSes was over. Wormholers had a home that felt more like the NPC stations of known space. Small gangs had secure bases to deploy from in deep low sec. Enterprising traders now had the chance to build a trade empire in a hub of their very own. Large alliances now had a better way to secure their flagships of war and dominate captured systems. It was the beginning of a new era for New Eden.
Included below is the Feature Tour Video for the Citadel Expansion. In this video are some awesome infographics discussing features of the Citadels and showing off their awesome design. (Credit: CCP Games.)
With Citadels came a new system of fittings, too. Powerful structure-based weapons, service modules that enabled station operators to tailor the functions of their structure, and an assortment rigs that enhanced Citadel performance. To build Citadels, it took more steps as well. A range of new structure components were introduced to the market. Like capitals, Citadels require the construction of a selection of these components, or "legos" as they are commonly called, in order to move to final assembly of the structure itself. Then comes the process of deployment.
As public structures, Citadels have empowered many enterprising Capsuleers, and there are now more trade hub Citadels in the top 250 trade stations of New Eden than NPC Stations. In addition to many trade hub Fortizar class Citadels, numerous Astrahus class Citadels are spread across almost every system in New Eden and call them home, serving roles such as Cloning Centers, Mining/Reprocessing Platforms, or as general Freeports. Several low sec Keepstar class Citadels have taken on the role of mega trade hubs, allowing Capsuleers to trade in everything from ammunition to Capitals and Super Capitals.
SO - What Is Unique About Citadels Compared to Other Upwell Structures?
- The most robust of the Upwell structures possesing the greatest amount of HP in each of their size categories.
- Smallest total amount vulnerability hours.
- Greatest defensive capability. The most weapon slots + greatest fighter capability in each of their size categories.
- Discounted operating cost for general use service modules (Clone Bay, Market Hub, etc.)
- Ability to utilize a Doomsday (Keepstar).
- Forward Deployment Base (Astrahus)
- Clone Storage/Jump Point (Astrahus)
- Trade Hub (Fortizar/Keepstar)
- Deep Space (Wormhole) Base of Operations (Astrahus/Fortizar)
- Alliance Headquarters (Fortizar/Keepstar)
- Mining Stations (Astrahus - Soon to be replaced by the Athanor)
- System Domination (Keepstar)
- Increased operating cost of Industrial Service Modules: Additional cost PER HOUR due to lack of fuel consumption bonus (All Citadels > All Eng. Complex)
- Cannot operate the Moon Drill or any of the the Reactor Service Modules.
THE ENGINEERING COMPLEXES
Several months later, on November 15th, the ASCENSION Expansion went live and Upwell Consortium added Engineering Complexes to their portfolio. With these exciting new industrial cousins to Citadels, Capsuleers now had far more greater industrial capability, efficiency, and security than ever before. Like Citadels, but unlike POSes, Engineering Complexes offered a more secure and organized hangar system to keep goods, materials, and blueprints safe and organized - just like NPC stations. With the use of structure rigs, unprecedented levels of performance were attainable in the areas of manufacturing, invention, and research. Want an advanced research station? Done. Want a massive space factory to build capitals at speeds and prices previously thought impossible? You can do that, too.
Check out this brief teaser video put together by Upwell Consortium (Credit: CCP Games)
As a public structure, Engineering Complexes, especially the Raitaru, are spread throughout New Eden as public Mining/Reprocessing ports and many serve the role as public R&D and manufacturing centers. Due to great misunderstanding about how the tax system works with Industrial jobs, however, many such Raitarus go out of business, becoming unanchored or abandoned, or are switched over to become private-only platforms to reduce overall costs. As of late 2017, a trend began of making Trade Hubs out of Azbels as opposed to Fortizars, due to the much lower price of entry. Due to significant increase in costs associated to running such an Azbel, though, many have begun to go bankrupt and later decommissioned from public use.
SO - What Is Unique About Engineering Complexes Compared to Other Upwell Structures?
- Reduced costs associated to Industrial Jobs: Material, ISK, and Time.
- Discounted operating costs for industry based service modules (Research Lab, Invention Lab, Manufacturing, etc.)
- Most affordable of the Upwell structures in each of their size categories.
- Capital Production Facility (Azbel)
- Super Capital Production Facility (Sotiyo)
- Invention (Raitaru/Azbel)
- Research - ME/TE (Raitaru/Azbel)
- General Manufacturing (All Engineering Complexes)
- Cannot [re]dock combat capitals (All Engineering Complexes)
- Limited Rorqual docking access (Sotiyo only)
- Largest total amount of vulnerability hours (All Engineering Complexes)
- Increased operating cost as a trade hub compared to Citadel: 10% additional cost PER HOUR due to lack of fuel consumption bonus (Azbel > Fortizar, Sotiyo > Keepstar)
- Cannot operate the Moon Drill or any of the the Reactor Service Modules.
THE FUTURE OF UPWELL STRUCTURES
The next, and third generation, of Upwell Consortium structures, Refineries, are not far from deployment. Unlike Engineering Complexes and Citadels, however, Refineries will only come in two sizes and will be the first structures to use some class-exclusive service modules such as Reactors and Moon Drills. CCP has declared, as of EVE Vegas 2017, that Refineries are not going to be the last of such structures and that in 2018 Upwell Consortium will be expanding it's product offering to Capsuleers, Corporations, and Alliances more choices and more control of their future in New Eden. Gate Banners, Plinths, and new Station Banner concepts are in the works. They intend to give ambitious, wealthy, and capable groups the ability to build a nation with their own unique identity.
You can learn more about Refineries in our early write up about them in our blog post: "MOON MINING 2.0 - Pt 1: REFINERIES".
THE WRAP UP
More in-depth blog posts about Citadels, Engineering Complexes, Refineries, and their various roles and impacts in New Eden are coming soon. With the LIFEBLOOD Expansion release just a few days away [on 10.24], there is no doubt that there is a lot of exciting news to come. Stay tuned!
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