Ruminations -- I am sure someone else has already thought of it for the alliteration. But still, I have not seen what they wrote. I have read, so far, only the leaked info on TMC, and then Ali Aras' article. Go read that now. Anyway, without further self-congratulatory ado: Von, what think you of EVE Rubicon?
First off: in general, I like it a lot. It is nothing earthshaking, that is true. But then I have only played for a year plus. So I have never seen a really big change in any release, and I don't expect it. (Y'all bittervets with your Apocrypha etc. are spoiled.)
To my mind, the biggest change in Rubicon is the easiest one for CCP to implement: the highsec POCO change. That is going to have huge ramifications on highsec. I am 100% for it. Wherever CCP can create property, they should, because valuable property in the absence of law means armed conflict. Armed conflict in EVE means ship explosions, and that is good. Highsec is no exception. Let the race commence to command the biggest and baddest highsec marauder gang! My prediction: a few alliances will end up controlling all POCOs in highsec. Perhaps even just one alliance. As the already established sovereign of highsec, I am hoping it is James 315, though it might be the CFC or perhaps it will be some new alliance as-yet obscure. (I'll have to think on this more and write an article.)
Now let's talk specific changes.
A lot of this stuff does not affect me much or at all. The highsec POCOs for one; I live in wspace. Also in the "does not affect me much" category: the POS-siphon deployable, the local cyno-jammer deployable, the warp acceleration change, and ship rebalancing. Though I will probably consider training to marauders, that's a long time in my future.
Some of the changes might or might not affect me. Lack of information applies: the interdictor changes are not known.
The "space yurt" might make exploring a bit easier. My exploration Buzzard might use scanning parts to increase scanning speed. Then refit only when needed with a codebreaker or relic analyzer, and cargo scanner. It depends on how much time it takes to deploy and un-deploy the yurt, and also how much cargo space it takes up.
I just changed my mind on the POS-siphon. Rereading what Aras wrote, it may be possible to steal not just mining as such but also from reactors: "it takes stuff out, whether that's reaction products or mined moongoo." There is no moon-mining in wspace. But I often see towers with reactors, although I have no idea if they are running or not because it has never been important. It may be possible to steal from them. If so, and depending on the rate of siphoning, I might want to use POS-siphons. Open a system; look for towers. If there is an active reactor going and nobody home, go back and grab one (or more?) siphons. Fly back, anchor them. Come back and pick them up 3 hours later. Profit.
One final big question mark happens around the new Sisters of EVE faction ships. Given that they can fit a stealth cloak, there will almost certainly be some use for them, either as a buzzard-replacement explorer or a stealthy hunter where you don't lose experience when things go wrong. But lacking details, I cannot say for sure how big of a change they might be. I would welcome an exploration ship with abilities in between a Tengu and Buzzard. I would also welcome a cloaky hunter that can fire combat probes, but is not as costly to lose as a T3 or as pitiful in DPS as a Falcon.
Now here are the changes most likely to change my game.
First, the "auto-tractor" deployable. Even with pretty short range, I'd use it to supplement a Noctis in wspace sleeper harvesting. The auto-tractor gets deployed immediately and probably orbitted (I already use a jetcan as an anchor much of the time). It sucks in at least all of the frigate wrecks. Depending on its range, maybe many or most cruiser wrecks. If its range is sufficient to grab most wrecks, then we might change from a Noctis to some other ship as our salvager. Indeed it may be possible to salvage as we go. I imagine a Drake with two salvager IIs and one salvaging rig.
Second, the rapid heavy missile launcher. Currently my corp uses mostly cruise missiles for sleeper killing. Cruise missiles are great against sleeper battleships, and (with "precision" T2 missiles) tolerable against sleeper cruisers. Heavies are better against cruisers (I think), and needed against frigates. So this will allow us to dispense with a Drake or Tengu that we keep there to kill off pesky frigates. If the DPS is better for rapid heavies than cruise, we might end up going all heavies on our C3 fleet, since C3 sleepers tend to appear close to the warp-in.