The November update for EVE Online dropped this morning, bringing with it the one-two punch of promised null sec nerfs related to NPC bounties.
But first, a screen shot of the newly finished station at Jita 4-4.
When people refer to “Jita” they usually mean the Caldari Navy Assembly Plant at Jita planet 4 moon 4, the main trade hub of the game. After 17 years CCP decided to upgrade the long used station model to something befitting its stature in New Eden.
Like any commercial property in a prime location, the station is now plastered with more advertisements that Times Square in New York. But once in a while it tells you where you are.
To celebrate this CCP has launched a new login campaign, because of course they have. But you’ll have to re-do your insta-dock bookmarks as the new structure has changed all of that.
But back to nerfs.
First up is the new Dynamic Bounty System that was announced a couple weeks back in a dev blog.
The plan is to reduce the NPC bounties in null sec systems that see lots of PvE activity, while raising it in systems that see PvP activity. Bounties will range between 30% and 150% or normal depending on activity.
The stated idea is to drive conflict by forcing alliances to expand and compete over more fertile ratting grounds. Not only is it unlikely to do that, but that seems to be a reverse tack from the reasons for Fozzie Sov, which sought to end the era of three giant empires controlling most of null sec in order to make people live in their own space. The whole ADM system encourages ratting at home to build up defenses.
We’ll see if this has any impact or is players will just figure out how to game the system. The This certainly won’t have any impact on botting, which will just take the payout nerfs in stride, since ISK obtained with unattended play is all upside.
Encounter Surveillance System
This is a rework of a previously option, and widely rejected mechanic that would boost bounty payout in exchange for putting some of your payout at risk. These were banned in Imperium space due to the huge amount of drama they brought with them. A dev blog announced an updated version of the ESS that is now mandatory in all null sec systems.
The new ESS now takes a big percentage of your bounty payouts (I think they said a third in the live stream about it) and holds it in a bank that will pay out in regular three hour intervals. You can go and collect it yourself, but you have to go through an acceleration gate and motor 75km to the bank. But anybody else can show up and do the same, stealing your bounties. There are restrictions to make this a bit of work:
- Warping is disabled
- MJDs are disabled
- MWDs are disabled
- Cloaking is disabled
- No cynos may be lit
- No filaments may be activated
However, somebody in a PvP fit ship is going to have an advantage over anybody rolling in to the bank in a ratting ship. I expect small gangs will take the gate and just sit at the warp in and kill ratters while taking their bounties.
This will probably have an impact on ratting as it will make it considerably less attractive to people who are not botting. It also seems likely has the reverse effect of the Dynamic Bounties as it will encourage people to clump up for defense, ratting in fewer systems. It will also favor groups that can form defense fleets.
We shall see what the MER says about these two changes, but the Imperium response has been to promote other ways its members can make ISK.
Those are the two big nerfs hitting null sec.
The Vat out of Hel idea is also being implemented today in an attempt to give supers their own roll. This comes in three parts. First there are some changes to the various hull bonuses:
- Wyvern and Aeon Fighter damage bonus increased from 5% to 7.5%
- Heavy Fighter Hit Points increased by 10%
- Light Fighter Speed reduced by 10%
- Light Fighter Signature increased by 10%
- Increase Supercarrier Ship Maintenance Bay capacity from 2,500,000 m³ to 5,000,000 m³
The increased bay size is key here, as that is where supers store fitted subcaps.
Then there is a new module, the Tactical Capsuleer Recloner:
- New module which allows fleet-mates to reclone directly in space in the event of capsule destruction
- Can be fit to Supercarriers only
- Requires different fuel types depending on which Supercarrier type fits the module. Each reclone event consumes 10 units of fuel. Fuel will be consumed from the fleet hangar and the cargo bay.
- Wyvern: Nitrogen Fuel Block
- Hel: Hydrogen Fuel Block
- Aeon, Revenant: Helium Fuel Block
- Nyx, Vendetta: Oxygen Fuel Block
- Blueprints for the module can be found at the same stations that provide Clone Vat Bay blueprints
And then there is the Nanoheuristic Clone Mapper implant:
- This new implant must be injected prior to capsule-destruction in order to enable recloning
- Implant last for 6 hours (with duration further extended by the Biology skill) and will survive across capsule deaths
- Blueprint sourced from Navy LP stores
All of this adds up to the ability for capsuleers to temporarily set their death clone to a supercarrier with the idea that, if they are podded, they come back at the super where they can grab a fresh ship to rejoin the fight. The mechanics are:
- Recloning allows fleet-mates to reclone directly in space in the event of capsule destruction, instead of waking up in a new medical clone at a station.
- Recloning requires the the capsule pilot have a “Nanoheuristic Clone Mapper” implant injected, and that a fleet-mate Super Carrier pilot provides a recloning site with a active Tactical Capsuleer Recloner module.
- On Capsule destruction, the Capsuleer will automatically reclone with a new capsule at the fleet’s closest active Tactical Capsuleer Recloner within the same solar system. The new capsule will spawn with 60 seconds of temporary invulnerability.
- Added a new tab “Active Recloners” to the fleet window that will show all fleet-mates providing recloning facilities
An interesting idea. CCP has struggled to make clone bays in capital ships useful in any way up until now. I suspect that this won’t be a feature used in big battles, like the ones we have seen over Keepstars recently. The level of coordination is high, and under severe tidi it is probably much quicker to death clone out of the battle, reship and fly back with no tidi, and just jump back into the system when you’re ready. But for a small group operation, like a hot drop fleet deep in hostile space, this could be used to get pilots back in the fight quickly.
There are a lot of small fixes and updates as is usual with these patches. One I want to highlight is:
It is now possible to cancel an in-progress target lock
I am not sure when I would have time for that in combat. It is generally just easier to wait for the lock and then remove it, except in high tidi situation, in which case another command is just going to sit in the queue for however long it takes, which is probably longer in many cases than it will take the actual lock to happen. But I am sure somebody wanted this.
Anyway, the update has been successfully deployed. Posts and other links related to it:
- Patch Notes
- Patch Feedback forum thread
- Known Issues forum thread
- Dynamic Bounties Dev Blog
- Encounter Surveillance System Dev Blog
- Jita Remastered announcement
- New Eden Post – Review of the Patch Notes
- Reddit – Thread exploring how the Dynamic Bounty system is a change of directions
- EVE Travel – A close look at the new Jita 4-4 station