Tag Archives: EVE Updates

The EVE Online July Update Brings Performance Updates, a New Event, and More

We are in the midst of Summer now, which is generally a slow time for CCP as they crew goes off on Holiday, leaving space to mind itself for a while.

But before people clocked out and headed for their various destinations they put in some work to give us something to chew on for a while.

The Agency

First of all there is a new live event launching today, the Minmatar Dawn of Liberation.

Dawn of Liberation Event

This will feature sites in The Agency interface where you can fight slavers and free the subjugated.  The event will run until July 24, 2018 and will feature rewards including fireworks, SKINs, and cerebral accelerators.

Missile Redux

On the actual code change front, probably the biggest technical item in the patch was the update to missiles to improve client performance.  The current missile graphics went in with the Inferno expansion back in May 2012.  Missiles went from colored blobs of light to projectiles with launch animations, smoke trails, and explosions on contact.

Missile exhaust trails

This made missiles very pretty to watch, but also put a performance demand on the client which had to render all of that pretty launches and trails.  It clearly wasn’t the biggest demand on the client… after all, it took CCP six years to get around to working on them again… but it eventually came up as something to address.  And so there is a Dev Blog on missiles and the work that went into making them perform better.  We are, however, back to missiles being blinky lights in the night again.

Abyssal Updates

Also in today’s update are the changes mentioned at EVE Down Under regarding Abyssal pockets.

All in the update

More POS News

There was also another step on the path to the end of player owned starbases.  Blueprint copies for faction starbase towers will no longer drop.  In addition, the amount of minerals you get for reprocessing starbase towers and modules has been increased.  CCP is no doubt hoping that you will take care of removing some of those yourself via that route.

Wager No More

Also facing removal from the game, though more immediately, is wagering on duels.  This feature went in with the Lifeblood expansion last year.  I’m still not sure who wanted this feature, I do not know anybody who used it, and now I don’t know why they’re taking it away.  Business as usual I suppose.

Fozzie Claws and Zealots

On this ship front, the Amarr Zealot heavy assault cruiser got a drone bay in the hope of making it viable for Abyssal pockets as I understand it, while the Minmatar Claw interceptor got a bonus change from a damage boost to a rate of fire boost, meaning that roaming Claw fleets will be less able to alpha bigger ships off the field.

Notification Reduction

There has also been a change so that corps and alliances will only get notifications that somebody is shooting one of their structures if the shield hit points drop below 95%.  Pinging towers has long been a way to annoy your foes.  I have been out to hit structures in order to provoke a response only to cloak up and warp off when the defenders arrived.  Now you have to be more serious about that.

In addition to the above there are the usual list of small fixes and adjustments that went into the update.  You can find most of the information in the patch notes.  The Updates page seems to have fallen behind and does not have an entry for this patch.

Addendum: The updates page got its update as well.

The March Update Brings Big Things, Little Things, and More Guristas to New Eden

The March update for EVE Online is upon us today, and with it comes a pretty long list of updates and changes.

Where do I even start?  The list this month is so long!

For openers, there is a new event in The Agency called The Hunt.

Fatal and The Rabbit’s turn to be loot pinatas

This seems to fall into the now standard pattern of events from The Agency; find a site, warp in, kill NPCs, collect loot, earn points.  The twist here is that you need to harden up against and shoot kinetic and thermal ammo.

For those using capitals, jump bridges, and back ops bridges, there has been a reduction in jump fatigue.

Having both jump fatigue and range restrictions dropped on us with the Phoebe release about three and a half years back felt like a bit of a double whammy.  From my personal perspective I went from being able to do a series of 12ly jumps in my Archon to just a 5ly jump and an accompanying wait which increased with each subsequent jump.  It had to be done.  Capital travel was too easy.  But that doesn’t mean it didn’t feel like a hit, and doubly so when I had to make my way from Saranen down to Delve.

That has been dialed back some in the past and is being dialed back even more with the current update, as detailed in this dev blog.   Jump fatigue will now be capped at 4 hours, down from five days, with the jump timer being similarly brought down from a maximum of 9.6 hours to just 30 minutes.  No longer will this be seen:

The old jump fatigue maximum

We will see what that means for capitals and jump bridges and the like.  People will hopefully feel more free to go on ops as the participation requirement of “no jump fatigue!” fades away.

There is also a change to tethering.  When you jump in to a cyno on a citadel you won’t tether immediately.  There will be a cool down during which you will be vulnerable.

That dev blog also includes changes to entosis operations related to sovereignty warfare.  We shall see if that makes trying to take space more common or not.  Right now you can sit back and build up ISK and material in a single region if you’re willing to care bear it, so grabbing more space or trying to upgrade your own space isn’t much of a motivator anymore.  It isn’t like the old days where the CFC took Fountain because of moons.

There has also been a balance pass for ships.  Tech I battleships get a boost to lock range and cargo space, the Oracle, Naga, Talos, and Tornado can now fit MJDs, and the Ferox and the Machariel have been nerfed a bit while a few ships got buffs.  We’ll see if this leads to Munin fleets or not.

Also part of that is the new FC ship, the Monitor.

The Monitor Flag Cruiser concept

Since it was brought up by CCP last month it has had the ability to fit a target painter and a probe launcher added (along with the ability to hold some probes) so FCs can scan down enemies and get on kill mails.  We shall see if anybody ends up using this thing.

In addition today’s update spells the end for EVE Voice as well as a revamped chat system that features a back end on its own server.

And, finally, there is the Little Things update, where CCP has updated or improved a bunch of small items that should make capsuleers happy.  There are quite a few on there that make me happy, especially being able to see the ship type of people broadcasting for reps.

Who is asking for reps?

It isn’t that logi doesn’t like you frigate pilots, but spending time locking you up to find you’re already dead or have zipped out of range is annoying.  Logi has bigger ships to protect.

So that is what I have to report.  The update has gone live and further details can be found in the Patch Notes and on the Updates page.

Addendum: The game is down while they look into issues that may have come from the new chat system.  The whole thing was troublesome enough during the first mass test that I am surprised that they didn’t push it off to a future release.  This may be a rocky launch.  It is a good thing we all have a skill queue now.

Addendum 2: According to the forum thread the game is up as of 19:00 UTC, but there are still issues:

CRITICAL ISSUES:

CHAT SYSTEM:

  • THERE IS CURRENTLY A DELAY OF UP TO 10 MINUTES FOR UPDATES TO LOCAL CHAT
  • OTHER CHAT CHANNELS ARE ALSO AFFECTED BY SUBSTANTIAL LATENCY
  • WE ARE CURRENTLY WORKING ON A SOLUTION TO THIS WHILE TQ REMAINS ONLINE

BOUNTY SYSTEM:

  • WE ARE AWARE THAT BOUNTY TICKS ARE CURRENTLY NOT BEING PAID OUT
  • ALL NPCS THAT ARE BEING KILLED ARE BEING LOGGED
  • A FIX FOR THIS IS CURRENTLY BEING WORKED ON
  • MISSED WALLET TICKS WILL BE REIMBURSED IN THE COMING DAYS WHEN A FIX IS IN PLACE

Addendum 3 – The bounty system has been fixed and now pays out correctly.  Those who did not get paid today should see a payout in the coming days.  Chat, however, is still not working as expected.  When I logged in earlier, Jita was silent.

Addendum 4 – A final summing up of events by CCP Falcon.

The Coming March Update in New Eden

CCP is pretty good about telegraphing what they are going to do with their expansions and updates.  They have a long history of dev blogs and forum posts about proposed features and have shown themselves to be responsive to feedback.  Of course, the latter is always a hazard, because if CCP bows to somebody’s logic then somebody else with a different view of things will start crying “foul!” or “favoritism” or “fake news!” or whatever the term du jour is.

I tend to believe CCP operates in good faith, in part because changing your mind in front of a live studio audience tends to be a painful experience and, as noted, makes people mad.  It would be much easier to do this in a smoke filled back room and announce the results as edicts not up for discussion. It works for Blizzard.

Anyway, in the grand scheme of things now, CCP has month updates which tend to tune a few things and maybe add a feature, and expansions, which are the vehicle for big changes and spanking new features.  Citadels and Alpha accounts go with expansions, ship re-balancing and in-game events and changes to how you blow up a citadel go with updates.

But now I am looking at the mounting number of things planned for the March update and it seems like a lot.  There isn’t any single item that seems out of scope for the above rules.  Rather, there are so many things with such impact that it is starting to feel like more than an update.

First there was a dev blog about ship balance changes that opened with these two points that came out of the recent CSM summit:

  1. More change is better, even if it’s small
  2. The meta is feeling stagnant, particularly around Feroxes and the Marchariel

So, yes, both the Mach and the Ferox are taking a hit.  I always feel a bit sad for the Ferox when it gets knocked down as it was, for a long stretch, completely nonviable in the fleet meta where Drakes and Hurricanes ruled back in the day.  But now it is on the decline.

Meanwhile CCP has been trying to beat down the Mach for a while now, reducing the blueprint copy drops and boosting the cost to make them.  But the Russians have been farming those blueprints for so long that the supply is effectively endless.  As for raising the cost to make… do you even read the monthly economic report bro?  So CCP is now set to clip its wings a bit hoping to push this faction battleship back towards being a rare bling-mobile rather than its current status as a ship of the line for nearly every major coalition.

There were other ships getting specific tweaks while tech 1 battleships got an across the board boost:

  • +25% to cargo capacity
  • +20% to maximum lock range

Because why not I guess.

The dev blog also introduced the Flag cruiser concept, a hardened FC ship, in response to the ongoing drone about FC headshotting. (A topic covered for Blog Banter 76 a couple years back.)

The Monitor Flag Cruiser concept

You can see the proposed stats, as well as the community response, in this forum thread.   The debate is heated and one common item that keeps coming up is the lack of a way for an FC on this ship to get on kill mails.  We shall see where this ends up.  Right now it seems like a niche ship for very specific circumstances.

While that was still in the air another note came from CCP about removing the built-in voice chat from EVE Online.  This is apparently another item in the way of a 64-bit client.  Built-in voice chat was very much the thing a decade back and CCP, like SOE and a few others, went to Vivox for an integration. (I found out at GDC that the Vivox people came from the same speech/voice corner of tech I have dwelt in for most of my career.)  EVE Voice came in with the Revelations expansion back in November 2006 (high level list of features on the EVE Uni Wiki, but the actual Revelations 1.0 patch notes for the release went missing with the update to the community site) and has been lightly used ever since, with CCP declaring that only 0.4% of the players giving it a shot.  Of course, we’re finding out now who depends on it, but for the most part you were more likely to use the captain’s quarters than EVE Voice.

Then there was word of a new chat back end coming with the March update.  CCP will move to a centralized independent chat service that should make things better for somebody.  Currently one of the ways to improve your client performance in a big fleet fight is to close Local, even when TEST isn’t involved.  Maybe this will help with that, though it sounds like it won’t change anything you dislike about the in-game part of the chat system.

Then a huge dev blog dropped… huge if you’re in null sec at least… about changes to entosis, tethering, and a 95% reduction in jump fatigue.  This was greeted with both cheers and speculation as to whether or not all of CCP had been replaced by pod people or something, this being a heady and unexpected change.

The jump fatigue change, a game mechanic introduced with the Phoebe update in late 2014 because null sec was stagnant and needed a change, will drop the cap for overall fatigue (blue timer) from 4 days to 5 hours and the jump clock (orange timer) from a maximum of 9.6 hours to 30 minutes… because, no doubt, null sec is stagnant and needs a change.

Will 30 minutes be enough of a roadblock to keep titan fleets from ranging across the map, moving from citadel to citadel in great packs?  Or will the jump range limitations that came in with jump fatigue be enough?  As I tend to say, we shall see.

Finally, in what I suspect is the final package of things for the March release, there was also a forum post of “little things” to be addressed.  The list, as it stands right now:

  • Color coding in Fleet watchlist window
  • Targeting bracket on Fleet mates is purple (the fleet color) rather than yellow
  • Text for broadcasts for reps now include what ship type the broadcast came from
  • Fleet tags are now displayed on the targets in the target bar
  • It’s now possible to remove a Fleet tags (from whatever was tagged before)
  • The results from ship scans are now organized by slots
  • The Show Info window for a solar system now has a special tab for structures in the system. Please note that like before, it only lists those structures you have docking access at.
  • The HQ listed in Show Info windows for corporation will now be a link
  • A tooltip has been added to the standing icon in the show info window to show what that icon is based on (player to player, player to corp, alliance to corp etc).
  • If your security status is -2 or lower, the tooltip on your security status in the Character sheet will tell you in which systems the faction police will attack
  • There’s now an option to have the Compare tool only list those attributes that differ for the items currently being compared
  • The height of the “Duration” drop down in market orders have been increased, so all entries fit without scrolling
  • The Salvage option for salvage drones has been moved to the top of the right click menu
  • Volume information has been added to the “material input” and “output” tooltips in the Industry window
  • The right click options that have been categorized as potentially especially destructive will now have a red ! in front of them. Among other things, we hope this helps to make it easier to differentiate between “Reprocess” and “Repackage”.

My favorite on the list is the ability to see the ship type that broadcasts for reps.  It isn’t that I don’t love you support frigates in the fleet, but I really need to keep DPS, my fellow logi, and the FC alive, after which I might have time to spare a couple of rep cycles for you.

Color coding the watch list will be good as well.  Currently I have a stack order for FC, main anchor, snowflakes, logi anchor, and cap chain partners that can get a little mixed up when things go sideways.

Anyway, as I was getting at a thousand words or so back, this seems like a lot for a monthly update.  It lacks a big anchor feature to make it an expansion, but for an update it has a lot of chewy goodness packed in.

Finally, I suspect that these updates coming now, after the winter CSM summit, are not a coincidence.  Good job CSM12!  I suspect that this update will feature in a few re-election campaigns.  But my real question is, does this mean having Sort Dragon speak up constantly during meetings is a good thing?  His name comes up a lot in the minutes.

Citadel Changes Feature in February EVE Online Update

The February update for EVE Online has been deployed and it brings a host of changes.

Love is in the air… or space… or whatever

As noted in the headline, the biggest changes are probably to citadels, which got the
“Upwell 2.0” firmware update.  Or so they say.  This is covered in detail in a Dev Blog, including changes that were made after it was initially published, so I won’t repeat all of that.  Instead, a few highlights.

Low Power Mode – This is a new state for citadels that have no service modules active which, one would assume, means that they aren’t being used for much besides docking and tethering.  When in low power mode any attack will get to skip the second round of assaulting the citadel, skipping the armor cycle and having to just do the shield and structure rounds.  Shield hit points for structures in low power mode are also reduced by 33%.  This should make clearing unused or abandoned structures, something of an issue in high sec currently, easier.

Updated Vulnerability and Reinforcement Cycle – The timing of attacks have been changed.  Probably the biggest aspect of that is now one can attack a citadel and finish the shield cycle at any time rather than having to wait until a specific weekly vulnerability window.  After that attackers have to come back during a time chosen by the defenders.

  • An initial attack that can occur at any date and any time chosen by the attackers
  • A second attack that occurs in the timezone of the defenders, on the day chosen by the attackers
  • A final battle that occurs in the timezone and day chosen by the defenders to allow them a last stand

CCP posted a news item suggesting that owners of citadels set these new timers before the update.

The flow of attacking an Upwell structure now follows this flow chart.

How to explode a citadel

There has also been an overhaul of citadel weapon systems that includes the removal of void bombs, which were restricting the composition of attacking forces to doctrines that could hold up while being neuted out.

Moon mining is now available in wormhole space and in 0.5 high sec systems, two items promised since last year.

Again, there is a huge list of changes covered in the dev blog (and clarified in some cases in the patch notes) for those interested.

On to other items, Assault Frigates got a balance pass to make them more attractive, so they are all now a bit faster, a bit lighter, and have 30% more capacitor.  In addition the Ishkur, Retribution, and Jaguar got some extra attention, which is covered in this thread and the patch notes.

There is also a new series of Assault Damage Control modules that may be fit only to Assault Frigates or Heavy Assault Cruisers.  The new modules give less passive resistance, but can be activated for a short period (13-17 seconds depending on the type) to provide a 75% boost to resists, after which it takes 150 seconds for the module to recycle.  We shall see if this makes Assault Frigates or HACs more useful in a universe where battlecruisers, strategic cruisers, or T3 destroyers are usually a better or cheaper option.

Then there is the Guardians Gala Event, which kicks off today and runs through to the 27th of the month,

Guardians Gala Comes Again

The event consists of sites that will pop up on your overview all over New Eden which you can attack for loot.  They will show up in The Agency interface.  The sites come in two flavors this year, normal and VIP.  The VIP sites are alleged to require more than one ship according to CCP, but I’m sure somebody will come up with a fit to solo them.  There is a scouting report for the event over at The Nosy Gamer.

Among the prizes this year are slot 8 stasis webifier enhancing implants and Eros Blossom SKINs, which are pink… and you know how we all love pink SKINs.  In addition some Eros Blossom SKINs (and pink fireworks as well) will be available in the New Eden Store for PLEX.

On NPC structures, Bloodraiders and Guristas shipyards will now no longer be locked into a select set of regions but will now spawn all over low and null sec.  I do not see a mention of whether or not there will be more spawns, but I assume that at least the Bloodraiders, which used to be limited to a single spawn, will be increased in numbers.

And both the shipyards and the forward operating bases will have a cap put on the size of their defense fleets.

Objects seen on missions (which CCP still calls “dungeons” in the patch notes because they hate me and want to give me an aneurysm) have been updated for the V5 shader so are probably a lot shinier than they were before.  They might even look better too.

Finally, there is a line item in the patch notes that indicates that CCP has updated the Wwise audio engine in order to improve audio stability and performance, which I am sure will get any number of readers to respond with, “EVE has sound?”  Audio has long had performance issues in the game and people who end up in fleet fights generally turn sound off just to eke out some additional performance from the client. (Closing Local helps too.)  I’ve run this way so long that I’ve become used to fight in space being silent affairs aside from voices on comms.   But silence is probably right for battles in a vacuum.

Anyway, the update is now live.  You can read up on it in the Patch Notes or on the Updates Page.

The January Update and the Death of the Agent Finder

In place of the Agent Finder we will set up The Agency. And it shall not be tiny and dark, but as beautiful and terrible as the the star maps both new and old!  Fair as the sea and the sun and the snow upon the mountain as seen from orbit! Dreadful as a sudden hot drop! Stronger than the tanking modules of any faction. All shall love it and despair!

-January 2018 Patch Notes, early draft

Into the cold reality of the new year… unless you’re in Sydney, in which case you’ve recently been the hottest place on the planet… as YC120 comes with new changes.

The first update of the year for EVE Online is upon us and it touches a sore spot with me.  I’ve been over this already, so I won’t rehash history.  The short version is that the old Agent Finder, which I still think of as “new,” is going away.  The replacement is in the iron framework of The Agency.

You shall put nothing before The Agency

There is a reasonable logic to this change.  CCP wants to put all things PvE into The Agency framework.  The filters for finding an agent in The Agency are even a little bit better than they were in the Agent Finder.  The problem is that The Agency only has room in its soul for a dozen results.  Maybe that is all that people need.  I just rebel at the thought of replacing something that shows all the agents that meet your criteria with something that only shows the nearest twelve.

Anyway, I’ve probably given that change to the game all the weight it deserves and then some.  There is a Dev Blog about changes to The Agency which will now also serve as a way to locate:

  • Factional Warfare Sites
  • Incursions
  • Expeditions

In addition the Journal window will see some changes, with The Agency taking over a number of its roles.  I suspect that this will annoy some people merely due to having to change long instilled habit, but for me the Journal isn’t that big of a deal.  My primary use for it is to check on how may Loyalty Points I have earned but never spent over the years.

Also, NPC Forward Operating Bases… which are also becoming more numerous with this update… will be visible via The Agency interface as “Pirate Strongholds.”

Anyway, the reach of The Agency continues to grow.  If you’re a fan of the interface you’re probably happy, and if you’re not… well… you’d better get used to it all the same.

Also in this update, NPC coloration in the overview is now supposed to follow a consistent pattern:

  • Blue – Friendly NPCs
  • White – Neutral NPCs
  • Red – NPCs that mean you harm and are probably trying to shoot you even now

I’m pretty sure it was always supposed to be that way, but seem to recall some neutral, or at least non-hostile, NPCs getting colored red in the past.  Maybe that is all good now.

On other fronts CCP has applied their current shader technology to more objects and structures found in deadspace and missions areas.  I expect asteroid mining stations to be at least 30% more “shiny.”

CCP has also reworked the occasionally problematic reload cycle in an attempt to fix issues that occur when you’re reloading and do a state transition.  While the work was done in the background it does have some user end changes which include:

  • It is no longer possible to group or ungroup weapons while the weapons are reloading.
  • Cloaking, docking, and jumping after reloading will no longer interfere with reloading (but a cloaked ship can still not start a reload).
  • After the inventory operations have completed the reloading will no longer be interrupted by anything (but other things can be blocked until the timer has finished).
  • All inventory operations connected to a reload command are now done at the beginning of reloading and the reload timer is behaving like a reactivation timer on the module.
  • Several other minor bugs and inconsistencies around loading and unloading ammunition have been fixed.
  • Fixed a bug, which could lead to loss of ammunition when grouping the weapons of an Upwell Structure.

Hopefully this will resolve the issues intended and only introduce a few minor new issues.

In addition there is the usual long list of smaller issues addressed.  Information about the release can be found on the Updates page and in the Patch Notes.  As of this writing the update has been deployed successfully and is the current reality in New Eden.  There is a known issue when it comes to expeditions in The Agency already, so that functionality has been returned to the old Journal for now.

The August 2017 EVE Online Update brings the Lucky Clash Event

We are getting an August update this year, which I found a bit surprising.   And they even kept the naming consistent for three months running.  If they hit four that might be a record.   Anyway, lots of people at CCP are generally on vacation during July and August, so the month has been skipped at times for lack of content to deliver.

Not this August though, this August we’re getting some… stuff… I think… even if it was delayed a day.

We got a new event.  As a follow on to The Agency event, we got the Lucky Clash event starting today.

I want to say Lucky Cash… or LSMFT

This event pits the Independent Gaming Commission against some pirates known as the Redtail Sharks, and the IGC needs your help fighting them off.  So from now through August 23rd you can join help defend the various IGC gambling dens around New Eden from the Redtail Sharks.

So now we’re defending casinos again?  I wonder if that was accidental or deliberate irony.

Anyway, check your overview… and then go fix the settings… to find a site to defend near you.

After that, well, CCP giveth, and CCP taketh away.  The other big item in the August update, as CCP announced last month, is the removal of the Captain’s Quarters from stations in New Eden.

Me in the Captain’s Quarters back in 2011… the last time I used them

The source of much of the Incarna drama, the captain’s quarters were too much or not enough of something, depending upon whom was speaking.  In the end, walking in stations ended with the rejection of the Incarna release and the Captain’s Quarters have been mostly lingering ever since.

No, six years later, they are being removed from the game.  CCP posted a dev blog as to why they were doing this, but the upshot is that the code takes dev time to maintain and it is standing in the way of a 64-bit client.

As somebody who went through three Fortizar fights in the last week or so, each of which would have been made better by having a 64-bit client… unless you turn down graphics the current client is likely to access all the memory it can and then crash… I applaud this decision.  We’ve had 64-bit processors and 64-bit operating systems for a decade now, time to move the client forward.

I know, somewhere, somebody is really mourning the passing of the Captain’s Quarters.  One of my iron laws of MMORPGs is that any feature, no matter how bad, tangential, or useless, is somebody’s absolute favorite feature, and you’ll find out who the moment you remove it.  Sorry you have to take one for the team, but dealing with what tends to be called the “technical debt” of old features is painful, and sometimes you have to drop a feature to move forward.

And so it goes.

After that the August release is just fixes and adjustments to things already in the game.

There were some tweaks to how citadel launched void bombs work:

  • Reduce the rate of fire of the Structure Guided Bomb Launcher from 20 seconds to 40 seconds
  • Reduce the area of effect of Guided Void Bombs from 40km to 20km
  • Reduce the neut amount per second of the Guided Void Bomb by 25% (6000GJ every 40 seconds as opposed to the previous 4000Gj every 20s)
  • Reduce the velocity of the Guided Void Bomb by 20% (increasing flight time to keep the range the same)

That, however, is not going to be enough to change the structure shooting meta.  You will still have to attack them with a fleet doctrine that can shoot when neuted out, so armor tanked Typhoons or Machariels or Hurricanes supported by cap-chaining Guardians will still likely be the only options against slower shooting, but harder hitting, void bombs.

Meanwhile, deploying Upwell Structures has been made a bit easier, and using them has been made more attractive as some of the bonuses for the soon-to-be-removed player-owned starbases have been removed.  Industry and reprocessing bonuses are gone.

There were also updated for the standings, scanning, and beta map as covered by a recent dev blog.

The beta map is another one of those features that makes my head hurt.  One of my long standing gripes about EVE Online has been that the in-game map isn’t very useful.

It is pretty, and hella impressive to show your non-playing friends, but it just isn’t very practical as an in-game tool.  And I say that even today, with the current map, which is a vast improvement over the state of the map back when I started playing EVE.

Seriously, I went to DOTLAN yesterday and got a database error when I tried to look up a system and my heart about stopped.  The idea of not having that out-of-game map resource, and being stuck with the in-game map, was painful to even consider.

And then came the beta map, the plan for which seemed to me to be “let’s make something prettier and more impressive to look at, but even less practical to actually use.”  And so the new map has lingered as the beta map for a few years now, because it was clearly a step back from the already impractical in-game map in terms of usefulness.

But CCP seems to have decided to get back to work on the long neglected beta map.  The list of changes is long and impressive.  Somebody spent some time on the project recently.  But is that enough to make the beta map useful?

There are a pile of other small fixes that have gone into the August update.  Details are available via the Patch Notes and the Updates page.

The update has been reported as successfully deployed, so it is all there waiting for us.

Still no music though.  I guess the days of a new song with every update are over.

 

The July 2017 Update Brings Revamped Strategic Cruisers to EVE Online

The last big update before summer vacations sap the momentum from development at CCP.

Yes, I made this myself since CCP failed me…

At least CCP has stuck with the same naming scheme two months running.  I expect there will be no August update and by September they will change the naming pattern again.  But on to the update.

Strategic Cruisers

The big deal for this patch, judging on the number of times CCP has posted about it alone, is the Strategic Cruiser revamp.  Introduced with the Apocrypha expansion back in the first half of 2009, these were to be modular ships that could be refit with various subsystems to adapt them to different roles.  Relying on materials from wormhole space to be produced, they were quite rare for a while before expanding and becoming main line doctrines for many alliances over the years.

However, they did tend to be fit and left in one configuration much of the time.  Asher had us bring subsystem refits on a deployment at one point, but fitting and forgetting seemed to be the default.  I have a Tengu that has been essentially the same fit for years.

Strategic Cruisers… now with skins

CCP ran a focus group and took input and at the end of the day changed these key items:

  • Subsystems reduced from five to four, with the electronics subsystem abilities being folded into the others
  • A subsystem bay so you can haul subsystem refits without filling up your cargo bay
  • Ability to remove rigs without destroying them
  • Scan Probe Launcher CPU reduction bonus moved from subsystems to hulls
  • Overheating bonus
  • Changes to construction materials
  • Models updated to support SKINs

The details, or links to posts with the details, can be found in this dev blog.

If you have a strategic cruiser, when you log in today it should have been updated, have four subsystems installed, and a fifth one in the subsystem bay to make up for the one you lost.  There is a spreadsheet detailing what you should end up with based on what you started with.  There are only 1,024 possible fits per ship to sort through.

Additionally, you should get some skill points refunded for any you have used for the racial electronics subsystem skills.  Since I have that trained up to 4 or 5 for all of them, I should get a nice pile of skill points back, which I plan to apply to getting Command Ships 5 trained a bit more quickly.

I expect that this will lead to some interesting results once people start playing with the fittings on the main server.  They have been on the test server for a bit now.

Project Discovery

Previously Project Discovery helped the Human Protein Atlas project.

We’re talking exoplanets now

Project Discovery will now be used to help analyze data from the CoRoT telescope in order help search for exoplanets.  As before, by helping with this project you can earn credits for in-game items.  Details can be found in this dev blog.

Other Items

  • The Rupture, Munin, and Broadsword ship models have all been revamped.  They still all look like power tools.
  • Battle station structures have had a graphical revamped to bring them up to the current state of the game.  Expect to see high quality spikes on Sansha structures.
  • The drop rate for blueprint copies for Small Ancillary Armor Repairers has been temporarily increased.
  • The materials required to build pirate faction battleships has been increased.  This is the second phase of the plan to make these battleships less common.  In the last update the drop rate for blueprint copies was reduced.
  • Back end code for The Agency event starting on July 18th deployed.  Drops will include Strategic Cruiser SKINs.

And then there are the usual range of fixes and minor changes.  You will now, for example, get the transition animation if you change SKINs on your ship while in a station or citadel hangar.  Further details can be found in the Patch Notes and on the Updates Page.

As with the June update, no new music was included with this release.  I wonder if the music production time is going to support CCP’s VR games rather than EVE Online.  We did at least get a development update this week.

Anyway, the release has been deployed and is waiting for me to get home from work.