The EVE Online Rolling Thunder Update Attempts to Breath Life into EDENCOM Ships

Last week CCP announced that we would be getting a “balance pass” for EDENCOM ships with an update they are calling Rolling Thunder.  That is an impressive name, even if it got some bad press back in the 60s. But can CCP live up to it?

That is actually lightning, you cannot hear thunder in space

The problem is that EDENCOM ships, introduced with the update back in June, with the splashy vorton projector “hit multiple targets” weapon systems, have failed to catch on in New Eden.

We got a frigate, a cruiser, and a battleship variation, each with its own skill, and the accompanying small, medium, and large weapon system, each again with its own training requirement, along with some subsidiary skills to improve their effect generally, all of which started a mild bit of hype about how cool these new ships were going to be.

And then not much happened.

I mentioned that I trained up all the skills to level IV or V… and some of those skills were freaking expensive, being available only from event drops… because there was some thought about using them for a Reavers doctrine.  But that got dropped because the ships suck and they are difficult to source.

I assume that they do suck because people who know ship fitting better than I, even when being generous about the EDENCOM ships, say that they fill a very niche roll at best.

As for being difficult to source… in short supply and expensive when you can find them… there is an obvious bottle neck there in that you can only buy them with EDENCOM Loyalty Points earned by fighting for the EDECOM side in the current set of Triglavian invasion events.  When you can buy a fully fit Ferox for about the same price as the just the hull of the EDECOM Stormbringer cruiser, why would you bother with that hull unless it is very OP?

So CCP is going to try and fix this.

On the cost/availability front, the fix is pretty straightforward:

  • DED LP Offers for all EDENCOM items have had LP cost reduced by 90%

Make things cheaper to buy and they will be cheaper on the market as more people try to sell them.  We hope.

As for making the ships better, they are getting a couple of tweaks:

  • Optimal Range increased for all Small Vorton Projectors by 30% [hit further]
  • Damage reduction factor down for all weapon sizes (this means mitigation from target speed plays a smaller role) [hit harder]:
    • Frig → 0.6 to 0.4
    • Cruiser → 0.65 to 0.5
    • Battleship → 0.82 to 0.7
  • Damage increase to all Small and Medium Condenser Packs for Vorton Projectors. (Tech 1 and Tech 2) [do… something?]
    • Small Condenser Pack damages have been increased by 20%
    • Medium Condenser Pack damages have been increased by 20%

These actually seem like fairly modest changes on the performance side.  We will see if these, combined with the radical price reduction, get more of these ships on the field.  I have yet to see one in the wild myself.

In addition, a new three day login event will coincide with the update, starting after downtime on September 25th, that will hand out SKINs for these ships, boosters that improve their performance, and, of course, skill points.

If they really wanted us to use the ships, maybe they should just give us all one of the hulls.  It would tank prices on the market, but it would get some in space.

In addition to the EDENCOM focus, some other ships are getting a bit of a buff.  The two lesser force auxiliaries, the Lif and Niazu, are getting a bit of a boost.

  • Lif
    • 7.5% bonus to shield booster amount becomes 7.5% bonus to shield booster amount and cap booster amount
  • Ninazu
    • 7.5% bonus to armor repair amount becomes 7.5% bonus to armor repair amount and cap booster amount

And then there are a couple of buffs for black ops battleships.  The first is an easy one.

All Black Ops have had their Fuel Bay capacity increased from 1250 to 2150

Now the blops pilot won’t have to shovel so much fuel from the fuel truck mid-bridge with larger fleets.  This is a happy, quality of life improvement aim at what the ships are mostly used for these days.

In addition, all of the blops are getting a bit of a boost to some of their default shield and armor resist values.  This hearkens back to the days when people would drop on targets in a blops solo.  These days they are mostly used for throwing covert ops capable ships around space, but I am sure there is some freebooter out there still trying for solo blops kills who will be happy to hear about this.

Details about the blops resist values and other information can be found in the updated patch notes.

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