Yesterday saw the March update patch that included some of the items announced as part of their Road to Fanfest dev blog last month.
One of the big items on the list was a role bonus for battleships boosting the effectiveness of armor plates and shield extenders. Battleships were already in a bit of a bind out in the field any time there were bombers about, but when last April’s industry changes inflated battleship hull prices dramatically, they became even more scarce.
CCP declined to reduce the cost to build battleships, vowing instead to make them more effective. So we got the following role bonuses for battleships, except the Praxis, because screw the Praxis I guess.
- 50% bonus to HP from all Armor Plates
- 100% bonus to HP from all Shield Extenders
- 5% additive bonus to all Reinforced Bulkhead modules
That will make battleships more survivable in the field. My Bhaalgorn now has 222K EHP unboosted.
In addition, Large Micro Jump Drive fitting costs were reduced as follows:
- PG need reduced to 800 MW, previously 1375 MW.
- CPU need reduced to 54 tf, previously 77 tf.
More mobility will help with survivability as well. I do wonder how this will affect PvE missions. That can be a lot more EHP depending on how you fit.
CCP’s second run at resource compression… the first awful attempt died on the test server, being so bad that many wondered if CCP ever tried playing their own game… also arrive with the patch, allowing compression of ice, gas, mercoxit, moon, ore, and asteroid ore.
The new mechanics require a Rorqual, Orca, or Porpise to be running a compression module which will allow fleet members within 200km of the support ship. When that is happening, you can just compress resources in your cargo hold. The Rorqual and the Orca have modules that allow you to compress all of the resource types, while the Porpise is limited to just gas and asteroid ore.
The blueprints for the modules have been seeded into the game along with the accompanying skills, so so compression will be a thing for all of these resources. More details in the patch notes linked at the bottom of the post. (Or they will be seeded soon, as among the known issues with the update is that the blueprints didn’t make it on the first pass and you cannot inject the skills.)
Also, as part of the update, which gave all the ships additional bays, the Epithal got a special command center bay that allows it to carry 6 command centers, so you don’t have to use another hauler to deploy command centers, then go back and and get your Epithal to haul your PI output.
Also on the list was Player Owned Customs Offices, which had their gantry shield hit points reduced from 10 million to 500 thousand to make them less defensible. We shall see if that puts more POCOs in play as conflict generators.
Likewise, CRAB beacon BPCs have had their cost in the CONCORD LP store reduced and the rewards for using them increased in order to tempt players to commit the required capital ships to run them. They did not, however, make any changes to capital ship blueprints, so it still costs 9 billion ISK to build a dreadnought hull, so only those to with a cache of such hulls are likely to risk them
Finally, there is a new AIR tutorial for mining available to newly created characters and “another graphical update” that will make your shiny ships… looking at you Amarr… reflect structures and events.
Not in the update was any mention of addressing Upwell structures or revisiting the blueprint changes from last April that, among other things, made dreadnought hulls cost 9 billion ISK to produce. Maybe some day.
The update went live yesterday and we all hope with today’s follow on patch the initial issues like missing blueprints have been resolved.
In addition, to promote the mining changes, CCP is also launching a mining focused event today called the Prospector’s Path.
This includes login rewards, daily challenges, special items in the store, and a special Venture abyssal proving grounds event. The event runs until downtime on March 16th. Details at the link below.
One fly in the ointment in all of this is a pack that CCP is offering as part of the event which straight up sells you a fully fit mining ship.
This represents another step towards the inevitable “everything is for sale in the cash shop” destiny the game has been moving to for the last few years.
Some will be outraged at this, while CCP apologists will point out that it is just one ship and temporary, forgetting the actual slippery slope of the last decade where CCP went from promising that skill points not earned in game would never be sold to straight up selling skill point packs for cash in the store. The cost of doing business is that business must come first in all things.
So it goes. I said that last year’s Destroyer Pack was moving CCP towards this, and now we’re there. Completely predictable.
I loathe microtransactions, but fully agree with your assessment that they are necessary. Game subs should be a lot higher than they are, but I’m very much in the minority when I say I pay for entertainment and leisure and don’t expect it to be free. Gamers are very entitled about their hobby—they’ll pay $10 to go to a movie for 90 mins but think anything more than $20 for a sub that you use for 40 hours in a month (or more) is an economic crime. The state of the industry is caused by consumer choices, not “greed.” If you are against paying post-1995 prices for subs, then you are PRO-microtransactions; you can’t have it both ways unless you hate games and want them to not exist. If a game cost $50/mo and had no microtransactions I’d pay it w/o blinking. I realize I’m alone in that opinion so PTW is here to stay.