The April update is here and we had been warned that big things were coming.
The first item on the list is the change to remote repairs that gives them diminishing returns, so that the more reps on a target the less effective each rep becomes as the number or reps increases.
There was a whole dev blog released about upcoming changes for April, and this was at the top of the list. The idea is to have more capital ships die by once again trying to nerf faxes. We’ve been here before, as the Onslaught expansion nerfed faxes last November.
While this change also affects sub capital reps as well, CCP has charts to prove that the impact on them should be minimal compared to the hit to force auxiliaries.
Also on the capital front, the dev blog above also contains some nerfs to how well they can apply damage to sub caps. High angle weapons (read: anti sub cap weapons) are being nerfed in order to make titans less able to kill sub caps with impunity, while boosting their effectiveness when used with a siege module, to keep dreadnoughts in the game against subs.
Also, damage application for fighters is being nerfed, which I imagine will have an impact on both the effectiveness of carriers and super carries at gate camps as well as for anomaly ratting.
And, with anomaly ratting being mentioned, there is once again this line in the patch notes:
Adjustments have been made to the respawn rates of certain nullsec anomalies. These adjustments are part of a gradual ongoing process that will see further tweaks for this type of content.
As I mentioned in reference to last month’s economic report, they are still tinkering with anomalies and ratting to try and stem some of the flow of ISK.
Ratting is also a passing focus of the sub cap rebalance, which nerfs the Vexor Navy Issue, everybody’s favorite forsaken hub runner, by removing its drone velocity buff and increasing its signature radius.
Finally on the economic front, there are a few hits against Rorqual mining.
- Reduced the bonus to shield boost amount provided by the Industrial Core to 60% for T1 Industrial Cores and 75% for T2 (was 120% and 140% respectively)
- Reduced the base duration of the PANIC module to 4 minutes (was 5 minutes)
- Increased the bonus to mining foreman burst strength provided by the Industrial Core to 30% for T1 Cores and 36% for T2 (was 25% and 30% respectively)
- ‘Excavator’ Mining Drone base mining yield decreased to 80m3 (was 100m3)
- ‘Excavator’ Ice Harvesting Drone base cycle time slowed to 310s (was 250s)
- Excavator drone volume increased to 1100m3 (was 750m3) and Rorqual drone bay volume increased to 8800m3 (was 6000m3)
Mining yield and cycle time are easy to see as attempts to slow down the voracious null sec Rorquals. Likewise, reducing the duration to the PANIC module makes a Rorqual more likely to die.
The size of excavator drones however, that is an attempt to get a side effect. Right now if your Rorqual gets dropped on you drop a mobile depot and put your excavator drones in there. Those drones are expensive and that helps mitigate the loss of your ship. Making them bigger means you can’t hide as many, meaning if your Rorqual gets destroyed you’ll lose some excavators making the loss more expensive.
Meanwhile, if the Rorqual is shepherding sub cap mining ships, they’ll be more vulnerable but will have better mining yields.
So that is the capital and economy themes of the patch, but that isn’t all.
On the war declarations front there are updates (covered in this dev blog) to close the neutral assist loophole.
- Neutral remote assistance will now cause a criminal timer and CONCORD response when applied to an active war declaration combat participant or limited engagement participant in highsec space
- Command bursts deployed by neutral characters will no longer apply any bonuses to active war declaration combat participants in highsec space
Then there is the rest of the sub cap rebalance which nerfs the popular Ferox some and improves medium beam lasers so maybe the long neglected Harbinger, which also got an increase to its power grid, will see some use in fleets.
And the patch notes keep on going. There are some graphical updates to station hangars (mood lighting), the monument to commemorate Katia Sai’s journey has now been deployed in the Saisio system, and the planet at Yulai IX has been named “Kjarval” to honor the long service of CCP Guard who recently left CCP to pursue another dream.
Missing from the patch notes, but called out in the Spring update dev blog, were changes to insurance. It is not uncommon for CCP to miss something, but that is kind of a big item to omit.
There are more details, but I think those are the highlights of the update. That is certainly all I am going to bother calling out. Now we will just have to wait and see if any of this changes the meta. I personally want to fly a Harbinger because I like lasers.