The Cold War Edition patch contains a new concept within Eve Online: COSMOS. Simply put, these are constellations within Eve that are populated with unique agents and complexes intended to improve the game's content by making it less generic and including more storyline material. Each of the COSMOS constellations contains agent sites, each of which has a unique story behind it and unique agents. There are also a number of complexes and encounters strewn through the constellations which are linked with the COSMOS agents.
Here are some interesting facts about COSMOS. Reading them might come in handy before you explore the COSMOS systems.
Two COSMOS constellations were implemented with the Cold War Edition; They are Okkelen and Ani, located in the Caldari State and the Minmatar Republic, respectively. Gallente and Amarr players need not worry, though - our next step is creating similar COSMOS constellations for them.
COSMOS agents are located in space, not inside a station as you are used to. Technically they can be located in anything from an asteroid to a space ship, but normally you will find them inside the latter.
Normally the COSMOS missions which are given by these agents are flagged as once-per-character, meaning if you fail or complete them you won't receive them again. Note: The mini-profession missions are NOT once-per-character.
There were a multitude of new modules created for COSMOS. These modules are dished out by the COSMOS agents as mission rewards, usually in the form of a 3-run blueprint copy.
COSMOS mission rewards can technically be anything from an implant to a module, but usually credits are given. Occasionally, faction ammo is given as well.
The mini-professions which were implemented this patch are directly linked to certain COSMOS agents. There will be a seperate Dev blog about that.
COSMOS uses the concept of 'agents in space' and 'mission hotspots'. Although we have tried to avoid 'mission hotspots' in the past due to latency issues, the fact that most COSMOS missions are once-per-character makes this a bit easier to implement, as we don't intend for players to stay in these constellations for a very long period of time grinding missions.
All missions in COSMOS, aside from the mini-profession missions, are sequential. This means the mission runner is supposed to complete a set number of directly linked missions for the agent. These sequences are usually 2-5 missions in length.
COSMOS missions often use static complexes or encounters instead of spawning a mission dungeon. This means that you probably won't get a bookmark when your agent tells you to kill something. Instead, he'll probably give you a hint on where to find the pesky NPC in the mission briefing and you'll have to find him/her yourself. Of course, this means players might find that their mission spawns have been recently killed by another player, but the fact that the mission spawns have a higher-than-average spawn rate and very low-end loot and bounties should limit the farming of these NPCs by non-mission runners. Most of the loot and ISK is instead located in the mission reward itself.
COSMOS agents require standing just like their generic counterparts, and they are also level-based, preventing players from farming the high-end missions with alt characters on the fly.
Each COSMOS constellation has a theme behind it. I'll let you figure out for yourselves what they are.
The current COSMOS constellations are mainly intended for mid-range players, meaning the missions are mostly level 2 and 3 and their location is around 0.5 space. After we finish the Gallente and Amarr versions we will move on to the newbie COSMOS constellations, and then on to 0.0.
Although most agents in space will be located within COSMOS agent sites, there will still be some stragglers here and there offering missions in unlikely places. Their locations will remain secret until you find them. :)