The February update for EVE Online has been deployed and it brings a host of changes.
As noted in the headline, the biggest changes are probably to citadels, which got the
“Upwell 2.0” firmware update. Or so they say. This is covered in detail in a Dev Blog, including changes that were made after it was initially published, so I won’t repeat all of that. Instead, a few highlights.
Low Power Mode – This is a new state for citadels that have no service modules active which, one would assume, means that they aren’t being used for much besides docking and tethering. When in low power mode any attack will get to skip the second round of assaulting the citadel, skipping the armor cycle and having to just do the shield and structure rounds. Shield hit points for structures in low power mode are also reduced by 33%. This should make clearing unused or abandoned structures, something of an issue in high sec currently, easier.
Updated Vulnerability and Reinforcement Cycle – The timing of attacks have been changed. Probably the biggest aspect of that is now one can attack a citadel and finish the shield cycle at any time rather than having to wait until a specific weekly vulnerability window. After that attackers have to come back during a time chosen by the defenders.
- An initial attack that can occur at any date and any time chosen by the attackers
- A second attack that occurs in the timezone of the defenders, on the day chosen by the attackers
- A final battle that occurs in the timezone and day chosen by the defenders to allow them a last stand
CCP posted a news item suggesting that owners of citadels set these new timers before the update.
The flow of attacking an Upwell structure now follows this flow chart.
There has also been an overhaul of citadel weapon systems that includes the removal of void bombs, which were restricting the composition of attacking forces to doctrines that could hold up while being neuted out.
Moon mining is now available in wormhole space and in 0.5 high sec systems, two items promised since last year.
On to other items, Assault Frigates got a balance pass to make them more attractive, so they are all now a bit faster, a bit lighter, and have 30% more capacitor. In addition the Ishkur, Retribution, and Jaguar got some extra attention, which is covered in this thread and the patch notes.
There is also a new series of Assault Damage Control modules that may be fit only to Assault Frigates or Heavy Assault Cruisers. The new modules give less passive resistance, but can be activated for a short period (13-17 seconds depending on the type) to provide a 75% boost to resists, after which it takes 150 seconds for the module to recycle. We shall see if this makes Assault Frigates or HACs more useful in a universe where battlecruisers, strategic cruisers, or T3 destroyers are usually a better or cheaper option.
Then there is the Guardians Gala Event, which kicks off today and runs through to the 27th of the month,
The event consists of sites that will pop up on your overview all over New Eden which you can attack for loot. They will show up in The Agency interface. The sites come in two flavors this year, normal and VIP. The VIP sites are alleged to require more than one ship according to CCP, but I’m sure somebody will come up with a fit to solo them. There is a scouting report for the event over at The Nosy Gamer.
Among the prizes this year are slot 8 stasis webifier enhancing implants and Eros Blossom SKINs, which are pink… and you know how we all love pink SKINs. In addition some Eros Blossom SKINs (and pink fireworks as well) will be available in the New Eden Store for PLEX.
On NPC structures, Bloodraiders and Guristas shipyards will now no longer be locked into a select set of regions but will now spawn all over low and null sec. I do not see a mention of whether or not there will be more spawns, but I assume that at least the Bloodraiders, which used to be limited to a single spawn, will be increased in numbers.
And both the shipyards and the forward operating bases will have a cap put on the size of their defense fleets.
Objects seen on missions (which CCP still calls “dungeons” in the patch notes because they hate me and want to give me an aneurysm) have been updated for the V5 shader so are probably a lot shinier than they were before. They might even look better too.
Finally, there is a line item in the patch notes that indicates that CCP has updated the Wwise audio engine in order to improve audio stability and performance, which I am sure will get any number of readers to respond with, “EVE has sound?” Audio has long had performance issues in the game and people who end up in fleet fights generally turn sound off just to eke out some additional performance from the client. (Closing Local helps too.) I’ve run this way so long that I’ve become used to fight in space being silent affairs aside from voices on comms. But silence is probably right for battles in a vacuum.