Again, I do wish that CCP would pick a naming convention for these updates and stick with it. This should be YC119.6, or maybe YC119.5, except that was last month, but now we’re just going to toss that and go with the month and year. Points for clarity, but it took a while to get here and I have my doubts that they will stick to it at this point.
YC119.6 if you prefer
I mean, look at the list of the updates so far in 2017 and tell me what the pattern is.
No more than two in a row alike
That minor gripe aside, now to the things in the update that are setting Reddit on fire.
First there is the next round of Rorqual and mining nerfs which came up back on the first of the month. Excavator drones for Rorquals will be hit as follows:
- About 9% less yield for Ore Excavators
- 12.5% lower speed for Ore Excavators
- About 11% longer cycle time for Ice Excavators
- 10% lower speed for Ice Excavators
Meanwhile, the mining anomalies, where Rorquals harvest, will now have respawn delays as follows:
- 20 minutes for the Small Asteroid Cluster
- 1 hour for the Medium Asteroid Cluster
- 2 hours for the Large Asteroid Cluster variants
- 4 hours for the Enormous Asteroid Cluster variants
- 5 hours for the Colossal Asteroid Cluster variants
The anom changes will keep Rorquals from being able to continually harvest in colossal clusters in a single system without interruption. It will also mean that people in later time zones might be left in the lurch waiting for respawns.
Meanwhile, in an effort to put a lid on the expansion of the money supply, Friday CCP announced they would be nerfing fighters in order to reduce the efficiency of super ratting.
This is the one that really lit up Reddit and required the moderators to create a single threadnought as new threads were spawning repeatedly. There the threats to rage quit were rife while the only CCP response came from CCP Quant, who does the monthly economic reports, who seemed keen to follow the CCP strategy of increasing overall drama by opening with this:
What we have here is literally the top 1% of the top 1% screaming their lungs out over these nerfs, while trying to convince the rest of the player-base to think that CCP is ruining the game for everyone. What we are really doing is keeping it from becoming yet another hyper inflated virtual economy at the cost of pissing off a particular group of players. Prior to this patch, a relatively small group of players were making the same amount of isk in npc bounties as the entire player-base did a year ago.
His statement proved the danger of carelessly throwing around numbers in front of an audience of internet spaceship nerds. He had to back away from his claim that people were making 260 million ISK ticks (a tick is 20 minutes of time) while the “top 1% of the top 1%” has to be such a vanishingly small number… maybe 50 people if you think half a million play on Tranquility, and it would amaze me to find that there were that many people playing… that he was wrecking what I believe was his point… /r/eve doesn’t represent the whole population of New Eden… with a distracting statement.
This surge of push back on the plans… some of which coalesced around the idea of balancing PvE on the back of PvP, ever a hot button topic… caused CCP to spend the weekend reflecting on the whole thing. They came back yesterday with some revised changes. The plan is:
- Light Fighters (Space Superiority): No Change
- Light Fighters (Attack): 10% reduction to Basic Attack and Heavy Rocket Salvo damage (was 20%)
- Support Fighters: No Change
- Heavy Fighters (Heavy Attack): No Change (was 10% reduction to Basic Attack and Torpedo Salvo damage)
- Heavy Fighters (Long Range Attack): 20% reduction to Basic Attack damage (was 30%)
- Heavy Fighters (Shadow): No Change
- NPC Fighter Aggression: No Change (was +15%)
- We are working on changes to Anomalies that will reduce the effectiveness of Carriers and Supercarriers. These changes will be announced at a later date.
They also added in some data, which people had been asking for, to support these nerfs. For the first five days in June 10.6 trillion ISK was rewarded from bounties, with the top three recipient classes being:
- 22.3% (2.3T) of the ISK was generated by 1.4% of characters earning bounties, using Supercarriers
- 24.2% (2.6T) of the ISK was generated by 4.8% of characters earning bounties, using Carriers
- 19.1% (2T) of the ISK was generated by 16.6% of characters earning bounties, using T1 Cruisers
So 46.5% of the bounties paid out went to just 6.2% of the players awarded bounties.
That certainly sounds out of balance to me. But I didn’t put down 20 billion ISK to buy a supercarrier when it became clear that running anomalies in them was the most efficient way to collect bounties… something that was pretty clear about six months back. I still potter about in my Ishtar making the same amount of ISK per tick as I was five years ago.
Anyway, we shall see if this puts any sort of damper on the ever increasing money supply in New Eden or if CCP has to go further.
And then the third nerf, pirate faction battleship blue prints will drop less frequently now as part of an effort to reign in the proliferation of these hulls in New Eden.
I guess when a cheapskate like me who only rats in an Ishtar, thus deprived of dank super ticks, has a Machariel for fleet ops, it might be a sign. Once such hulls were reserved for big spenders and the elite who would fit them with officer mods and fly them with expensive implants. Now even the Imperium, ever conscious of the budget constraints of their rank and file, has a Machariel doctrine with Bhalgorns in the mix, several groups run Nightmare doctrines, and ratters everywhere… if not in supercarriers… use Rattlesnakes.
So this month CCP is trying to throttle the supply of blueprints, though the stockpiles of them in New Eden are huge, while next month they will be increasing the material requirements of the blueprints in order to make them more expensive.
None of which bothers me all that much. I tend to be a fatalist, taking the game as it comes as opposed to wanting it to be something that it no longer is. But all the more so, I fly for the Imperium, which tends to be the very pragmatic in its approach to the game, optimizing the mechanics as they change. This will mean changes for us, but since it will mean changes for everybody else in null sec as well, we just have to handle them more efficiently than our foes.
Controversies aside, there are some other things in today’s update.
There is a new Rogue Swarm event going on from now through the 27th of the month. Akin to past such events, rogue drone sites will be all over New Eden and will drop a variety of prizes including skill training accelerators and PLEX.
The defenders of the Blood Raiders Shipyards have been changed, presumably to plug the hole in their defense exposed by a force of T1 Punisher frigates. (Also exploitable by fighters, which are frigate sized.)
In addition, the drops from a destroyed Blood Raiders Shipyard will now come in an armored cache that will require an industrial ship to haul off to a station or citadel before it can be opened. This will keep unstoppable interceptors from dashing in at the kill and stealing the loot. The tale of this is over at INN.
There is a new color blind mode that allows players to adjust the UI to make things more visible relative to their own needs.
The Sin black ops battleship along with the Vexor and Ishtar are getting graphical updates.
The Vexor doesn’t actually look that different to me…
How fleets can be structured has changed. While the same total cap applies, squads and wings are now flexible in size. Additionally, who gets to be fleet boss when the FC dies should now be more consistent. The watchlist will now show ship icons and double-clicking on people in your watchlist will no longer bring up their character info screen.
There are some additional update along with the usual array of tweaks and bug fixes, most of which can be found in the Patch Notes and on the Updates page. Otherwise the update has been deployed.
One thing that is missing from this update however is music. The tradition of a song to accompany ever single expansion or update has been broken. If you want to be outraged and start an angry thread on Reddit and shoot the monument in Jita, do it because you want more music!
We will have to make due with the sound track from the Birth of a Capsuleer video instead.