The December update for EVE Online has gone live after an extended downtime and brings with it an array of changes for New Eden.
Called the “Free Market” release, the headline item for the update is the HyperNet Relay gambling interface that will allow player to pay CCP to allow them to run raffles in the game.
I covered this return to gambling in New Eden in a previous post. CCP received a lot of feedback on this feature, responded to none of it, and shipped it as announced. We shall see how it plays out.
There is also a new wallet UI being added with the update.
My enthusiasm for this is fairly small as well. As usual, being used to one awkward UI makes the next one seem difficult. I suppose they are trying to get rid of yet another rows and columns grid that helps keep the “spreadsheets in space” theme alive, but I still think they need to fill that senior UX designer position sooner rather than later.
There are also some changes to the player trading interface that is supposed to make what is being traded more obvious by, for example, displaying the type of ship being traded rather than the name the other player has given the item, closing a loophole for some scams.
Also coming with today’s update is another of the Team Talos projects, Kicking over Castles.
This project has its own dev blog, but in short it is an attempt to address some of the ways that people have been using the mechanics of Upwell Structures to the detriment of the game. The changes are:
- Defenders can no longer choose a day of the week for exiting the hull reinforcement cycle. Structures will exit reinforcement at the next available hour of the defenders choosing (+/- 3 hours) after the following durations:
- Wormhole space: 1.5 days
- Low and Null security space: 2.5 days
- High security space: 4.5 days
- Updated vulnerability windows now takes 30 days to take effect (instead of 7).
- In a solar system where the Activity Defense Multiplier is above 4.0 and where an Infrastructure Hub is held by an alliance, pilots that are NOT members of that alliance will be unable to deploy medium Upwell structures (Astrahus, Athanor and Raitaru).
- The random jitter range on reinforcement exit times is increased from +/- 2 hours to +/- 3 hours.
These changes will give attackers a chance to get a timer that isn’t both mid-week and 180 degrees off their own on time zone as well as keeping down the ability for hostiles to drop staging structures in your home system.
But the biggest change coming as part of this, to my mind at least, is related to Faction Warfare, where the ability to ignore the NPC stations by bringing your own structures has been somewhat game breaking.
Basically, if you’re in FW space held by the other faction, you can no longer happily tether up and feel safe on any old structure you come across.
While that falls short of simply not allowing Upwell structures in FW space, which probably should have been the default mode back when they were introduced, it at least makes attackers in FW a little less safe.
Also, the time limit is up on Ansiblex Jump Gate and Tenebrex Cyno Jammer structures that are anchored within 500km of a structure. Any that have not been moved out of that range will now be offline until they are moved.
Finally, in another blow to fans of Player Owned Starbases, blueprints for many POS modules have been converted to be blueprints for Upwell structure modules. They are not gone yet, but there isn’t much left of the once mighty POS.
There are also the usual array of minor fixes and adjustments. These are covered in the patch notes for the December update. The release has been reported as successfully deployed, so all the changes are there waiting for people to log in.