It is August and in the midst of the vacation cycle, so there wasn’t any real expectation that something big would drop for this months EVE Online update. That we got anything beyond fixes is a bit of a surprise.
The big item in the update, to my mind at least, is the community fittings feature. Few items are as difficulty to pass on to new players as how to fit your ship. People will toss out hull options, but modules drop you into a deep well of complexity. As I have oft said, fantasy MMORPG have the advantage of being based on a model we all understand. We know a helmet protects your head, a sword hurts your foe, a healing spell tends your wounds, and there is probably some number somewhere that lets you compare what you have now with another item so you can tell what is better.
With EVE Online and its myriad of choices it can be hard to know where to begin. I mentioned module complexity as one of the big problems for new players previously, using just the example of light missiles. Which do you choose new player?
And that is just the ammo. Which launcher do you pick, what modules will make missiles more effective, what defenses does a ship need, what other modules should I consider or avoid, all of that and more goes largely unanswered by the game. That means new players tend to just equip whatever they happen to come across in the classic “something is better than nothing” view of the world. But is the cargo scanner that dropped off that belt rat worth the effort?
This gets all the more important if a player wants to go PvP. Mission running can be fairly forgiving… you can often just warp off it things start going badly and start over again. But other players, they will tackle you and blow you up and you’ll likely not know what went wrong or how to get better.
So the idea of suggested fits has been kicked around for a long time now, and the culmination is the community ship fittings feature. What appears there will be based on some consensus being reached in the community fittings forum. People will, naturally, complain that they fittings are not all they could be. The fitting meta can be fluid. But at least it might give new players some insight into what they ought to consider.
Community fittings aside, the rest of the update looks to be of a fix and tune nature.
There are some updates to how the war declaration system works. The implants known as “Slave” will now be known as “Amulet” due to planned changes to which faction provides them. And there are a whole bunch of little fixes. I am kind of disappointed that kill marks will no longer blink on the Caracal hull. Blinking kill marks sounds like a feature. It would certainly make them easier to find.
There is one entry that might portend some change up with the Triglavian invasion event:
Triglavian Recon vessels have been sighted outside of Invasion zones
I suppose that means they will be going somewhere new to shoot capsuleers. I do wonder if this is related to the news item about an increase in wormholes connecting to Drifter hive systems. Will the Drifters be headed our way again? Will they come to blows with the Triglavians? We shall see.
The word has come that the update has been deployed successfully. For details you should go check out the Patch Notes. There is also an updates entry for today, but it mostly goes on about the already in progress Skilling Spree event and the coming Fanfest Home.