Tag Archives: EVE Updates

The June EVE Online Update Brings Better Shadows and Repair Services

The month of June is a bit ripe at this point, but CCP still has an update for us.  Of course, after the big Invasion expansion last month there wasn’t a lot of bandwidth left work on much.  Still, there are a few items of note.

First up, all NPC stations will now have repair services as one of the options they offer.

An expensive ship docked in a station

In the age of citadels, where tethering up for a couple of minutes will repair all of your damage woes for free, this feature feels like it is more than a few years late.  Like how wasn’t this on the list back in 2007 or so?

Well, at least for new players and the occasional situation where you are stuck with a burned out MWD in a system with an NPC station and no tether access to an Upwell structure, you can get yourself sorted.

Second up, there are improvements to character models, which I am going to quote directly from the patch notes:

  • Refactored Character shadows to make them more performant. Refactored the character animation system, and added in new idle animations which make the characters seem more lifelike.

Part of me hates that they did this, both because it will spark the inevitable “Walking is Stations 2.0 confirmed!” and because they might be right and CCP might be dipping their toe into the colossal waste of time and resources that was the original captain’s quarters project.

On the flip side, they used the adjective “performant,” of which I heartily approve, so I’ll call it a draw.

The third item worth a mention is the addition of an attributes tab to the info window for NPCs.  This tab will show both the damage resists that a given NPC has as well as the damage types they deal.

This is in response to the most popular bio entry in New Eden, the NPC damage/resists table.  As with the repair services in NPC stations, I have to wonder why this wasn’t a thing back in 2007 rather than making its appearance half way through 2019.

However, the problem here is that having that attributes tab doesn’t really replace that damage/resists table, since it is already out there and gives you all you need to know in an easily digestible, compact format.  I honestly think CCP might have been better off if they just made every new characters bio be that table by default.

Golf clap for a nice try I guess, and at least recognizing something from within the game.

By the way, if you want that table for your own, the EVE Uni Wiki page about NPC damage/resists has a version you can paste on in, complete with ECM types as well.

Or, if you want a PDF of all the NPC information and more, somebody did a nice document that they posted to Reddit just this week.

Anyway, there are other items in the update, but that is all I felt like mentioning.

The update itself appears to have gone live.  You can read all about it in the Patch Notes or on the Updates Page.

The EVE Online April Update Brings Capital Nerfs

The April update is here and we had been warned that big things were coming.

The first item on the list is the change to remote repairs that gives them diminishing returns, so that the more reps on a target the less effective each rep becomes as the number or reps increases.

Call a fax nerf a fax nerf

There was a whole dev blog released about upcoming changes for April, and this was at the top of the list.  The idea is to have more capital ships die by once again trying to nerf faxes.  We’ve been here before, as the Onslaught expansion nerfed faxes last November.

While this change also affects sub capital reps as well, CCP has charts to prove that the impact on them should be minimal compared to the hit to force auxiliaries.

Also on the capital front, the dev blog above also contains some nerfs to how well they can apply damage to sub caps.  High angle weapons (read: anti sub cap weapons) are being nerfed in order to make titans less able to kill sub caps with impunity, while boosting their effectiveness when used with a siege module, to keep dreadnoughts in the game against subs.

Also, damage application for fighters is being nerfed, which I imagine will have an impact on both the effectiveness of carriers and super carries at gate camps as well as for anomaly ratting.

And, with anomaly ratting being mentioned, there is once again this line in the patch notes:

Adjustments have been made to the respawn rates of certain nullsec anomalies. These adjustments are part of a gradual ongoing process that will see further tweaks for this type of content.

As I mentioned in reference to last month’s economic report, they are still tinkering with anomalies and ratting to try and stem some of the flow of ISK.

Ratting is also a passing focus of the sub cap rebalance, which nerfs the Vexor Navy Issue, everybody’s favorite forsaken hub runner, by removing its drone velocity buff and increasing its signature radius.

Finally on the economic front, there are a few hits against Rorqual mining.

  • Reduced the bonus to shield boost amount provided by the Industrial Core to 60% for T1 Industrial Cores and 75% for T2 (was 120% and 140% respectively)
  • Reduced the base duration of the PANIC module to 4 minutes (was 5 minutes)
  • Increased the bonus to mining foreman burst strength provided by the Industrial Core to 30% for T1 Cores and 36% for T2 (was 25% and 30% respectively)
  • ‘Excavator’ Mining Drone base mining yield decreased to 80m3 (was 100m3)
  • ‘Excavator’ Ice Harvesting Drone base cycle time slowed to 310s (was 250s)
  • Excavator drone volume increased to 1100m3 (was 750m3) and Rorqual drone bay volume increased to 8800m3 (was 6000m3)

Mining yield and cycle time are easy to see as attempts to slow down the voracious null sec Rorquals. Likewise, reducing the duration to the PANIC module makes a Rorqual more likely to die.

The size of excavator drones however, that is an attempt to get a side effect.  Right now if your Rorqual gets dropped on you drop a mobile depot and put your excavator drones in there.  Those drones are expensive and that helps mitigate the loss of your ship.  Making them bigger means you can’t hide as many, meaning if your Rorqual gets destroyed you’ll lose some excavators making the loss more expensive.

Meanwhile, if the Rorqual is shepherding sub cap mining ships, they’ll be more vulnerable but will have better mining yields.

So that is the capital and economy themes of the patch, but that isn’t all.

On the war declarations front there are updates (covered in this dev blog) to close the neutral assist loophole.

  • Neutral remote assistance will now cause a criminal timer and CONCORD response when applied to an active war declaration combat participant or limited engagement participant in highsec space
  • Command bursts deployed by neutral characters will no longer apply any bonuses to active war declaration combat participants in highsec space

Then there is the rest of the sub cap rebalance which nerfs the popular Ferox some and improves medium beam lasers so maybe the long neglected Harbinger, which also got an increase to its power grid, will see some use in fleets.

The Harbinger is the screen shot used for the sub cap rebalance

And the patch notes keep on going.  There are some graphical updates to station hangars (mood lighting), the monument to commemorate Katia Sai’s journey has now been deployed in the Saisio system, and the planet at Yulai IX has been named “Kjarval” to honor the long service of CCP Guard who recently left CCP to pursue another dream.

Missing from the patch notes, but called out in the Spring update dev blog, were changes to insurance.  It is not uncommon for CCP to miss something, but that is kind of a big item to omit.

There are more details, but I think those are the highlights of the update.  That is certainly all I am going to bother calling out.  Now we will just have to wait and see if any of this changes the meta.  I personally want to fly a Harbinger because I like lasers.

News of the successful deployment of the update went out earlier today.  For all the details that CCP opted to share you can read through the patch notes or take a look at the updates page.

The EVE Online March Update Brings Restrictions for Alpha Clones

CCP has released the March update for EVE Online and probably the biggest change in the patch comes at the expense of alpha clones.

Borrowing from an in-game event

CCP had previously experimented with expanding the features available to alpha clones, with the Arms Race expansion in December of 2017 opening up new options for them, including battlecruisers and battleships.

But then came alpha clone bots running level 4 distribution missions, which turn out to be a reasonably lucrative thing to do if you’re just going to let a script do it for you.  This was covered over at The Nosy Gamer and led directly to CCP decided to remove level 4 and 5 missions from the alpha clone capabilities.  So that is the big change this month:

Level 4 and 5 Agent missions are now only accessible for Omega Accounts

I am not sure level 5 missions were a thing for botting Alphas, but if you’re going to take away level 4 missions, then level 5 missions have to go too.

The March patch also adds the previously discussed feature that allows players to purchase and inject skills directly from the character tab, removing the need to go find a station that sells the skill.

Buying from the character sheet

CCP has decided on a straight 30% markup for purchasing skills via this option, leaving some middle ground for those making money hauling books to Jita.  Arbitrage remains ever so slightly alive, though there is now both a floor and a ceiling on the skill book prices.

There were also some changes to the war declaration system, which remains a work in progress, to close some of the holes that people were using to exploit the system.

Probably the most mysterious item in the patch notes is this gem:

Adjustments have been made to the respawn rates of certain nullsec anomalies. These adjustments are part of a gradual ongoing process that will see further tweaks for this type of content.

CCP isn’t always specific about what they have changed and not every change makes the patch notes.  But we have seen one like this before,  Back in December this very same text was used, and the rumor then was that Havens were being tinkered with to try and trim back super capital and titan ratting.  I suspect this may be more of the same.

The only other highlighted item in the patch notes is:

The tooltip of a repairing module in the ship hud will now have a count-down, showing how long until the module is fully repaired.

I assume that means when you’re being repaired while tethered, as nanite repair paste already has a progress indicator on the module.

Oh, and there is something about sound, to which the bitter vet response must be, “EVE has sound?”

Otherwise there are lots little fixes and tweaks and graphical anomalies that have been addressed.  Your Lockstep boots will no longer clip through your Commando pants I guess.

Anyway, the word is out that the March update has been deployed successfully.  You can read about all the details CCP has chosen to share in the Patch Notes and on the Updates page.

EVE Online February Update Brings Little Things and the Guardian’s Gala Event

With the update to the EVE Online launcher already in our hands, the February update for the game doesn’t have much in the way of big features.

No UTC Clock yet, but more space for announcements and accounts

Instead February brings us something of a little things release.  And that is not necessarily a bad thing.  In a complex project like EVE Online with many moving parts there are plenty of refinements possible.

One of the highlighted changes for the update is a reorganization of the Neocom menu structure, including removal of the “holds and bays,” “ship hangar,” and “item hangar” options, as those all roll up into the unified inventory window already.  CCP will also be reducing the number of items that are on the Neocom by default to help with the sensory overload problem that is the game’s UI.

Another change being called out affects the overview, where cynosural fields will be moved to their own selection in the configuration, separate from other beacons, allowing capsuleers to filter on just those.  A placeholder slot was put in the UI in advance of this, to allow people to update and have their overview ready to go.  If you want to see cynos you should probably check and update your settings.

And there there is the dev blog post about many of the other little things that are arriving with the update.  One silly little item I am looking forward to is a change to how links show up in chat, color coding them so you have a better ideas as to what to expect.

Link colors update

There is always somebody out there that forms a link to look like a kill mail, but when you click on it adds you to a specific chat channel.  That ruse will at least be a bit more obvious now.

The UI will also now prompt you when you attempt to map a key already in use, allowing you to reassign the key right then as opposed to having to hunt down the current key and unmap it manually.

This would have been handy a while back

Also in the mix are two larger font sizes for contextual menus, no doubt a boon to the aging population of the game.

The update also kicks off the now annual Guardian’s Gala event in New Eden.

Coming to The Agency today

The event will run from today through until February 25th.  As usual, it is hooked into The Agency interface in the game and will offer special drops from various activities as well as the usual points system used to accrue towards specific rewards.  Expect SKINs, cerebral accelerators, and the like.  Also, special pink SKINs are for sale in the New Eden Store.  I might need the Eagle and Basilisk SKIN.

As usual we’ve gotten word that the update has been deployed successfully.  For the details there are the patch notes and the updates page available for your perusal.

Also coming soon, CCP think they have nailed down the major problems with the XMPP based chat system they introduced last year.  As a reward for our patience, accounts that were Omega status on March 20, 2018 will be getting a 500K skill point reward on the character with the most skill points.  It’s like a free skill injector.  Details here.

And, finally, CCP has announced a new initiative called CCP Please which will act as a tracking methodology for their ongoing work when it comes to quality of life improvements in the game.  You can visit the CCP Please site here.  Among the first items to be tracked, progress towards a 64-bit client.

The January EVE Online Update Brings Updated Asteroid Visuals

The January update for EVE Online is rather sparse if you’re looking for big ticket items.  Granted, the regular monthly updates are just suppose to be regular vehicles to deliver small fixes and features, but we have had a series of them that have had significant items in them over the last year.

Still, there is one new feature.  The update includes a graphical change to asteroids, which will now dissolve as they are mined out.

Asteroid dissolve sample

So now you will be able to see as an asteroid is progressively used up as you mine it.  That almost makes me want to hose the dust off of one of the mining barges I have docked up to see that in action.  We’ll see if I get around to it.

After that though, the patch notes are mostly about fixes to things already in the game

The New Player Experience got a change to make it easier to understand, though since we’re talking about something in the context of EVE Online, the word “easier” is extremely relative.

The Activity Tracker, which came in with the Onslaught expansion back in November, and about which I have moaned already, can now be opened up in a window within the game rather than taking up the entire game window.  Now if they would do that with the map window… or better yet, let the map window undock from the game so I can put it on another monitor.

There is me, hoping against hope, that CCP will make the in-game map both useful and usable again.

CCP has also made a change that prevents skill extractors being used on characters for a set (but undisclosed) time period after a password reset in order to help keep hacked accounts from having their characters drained dry.

Also if you use a ship scanner on a strategic cruiser you will now get the subsystem information back as well as the modules.  Previously you could guess pretty accurately at the subsystems based on the modules and slot layout if you had memorized all of the options, but now mere mortals will be able to see what is there.

And, finally, as a last minute addition, there was a fix put in to fix a visual desync problem experienced when exiting warp.

After that though the patch notes are pretty much a laundry list of small fixes, covering everything from the appearance of the corpse hold capacity for the Blood Raider capital ships in the info window to the correct spelling of the word ambience.

There were a couple of items I expected to see updates about that went missing.  First was the changes to the war dec system.  I realize the “no structure, no war” change just went in with the December update, and then we had the holidays and all.  But the change, as expected, has already managed to highlight other holes in the whole plan as noted over at INN.  (With no war going on, Arrendis has been watching the whole war dec thing pretty closely.  Those of us in RepSwarm have reaped some of the benefits of his wisdom on that front.)

I was also expecting to see something about the chat system, though updates for that might just be going on behind the scenes.  Still, the chat windows have been borked on a fairly regular basis of late.

Then I was hoping to see something about  a recurring issue I have been seeing where, after going through a gate, my overview fails to load.  I would estimate that this happens to me somewhere between 1 in 30 and 1 in 50 jumps .  It hasn’t been fatal.  Often it happens in during a fleet op and the FC is going to warp us to the next gate anyway, so I can just click on that for the next jump.  And even solo there are a number of work-arounds.  But it is annoying, especially when flying through hostile space.  There used to be a similar issue of the overview failing to load if you undocked with a fleet which I haven’t seen for a while now.  Maybe this is it manifesting itself elsewhere.

And so it goes.

As usual we’ve gotten word that the update has been deployed successfully.  For the details there are the patch notes and the updates page available for your perusal.

Over at The Nosy Gamer there is a further look at some of the items buried in the patch notes.

The December Update for EVE Online brings War Dec Changes, New Ships, and the Start of the Holiday Event

It is time for the December update for EVE Online.  One of the key things up front for this update are changes to the War Dec system.  CCP put out a dev blog on these initial changes, but the key is eligibility.  As was discussed previously, this change will not allow players to war dec a corporation unless it owns a structure.  The following structures count:

  • All Upwell Structures (including Upwell FLEX structures)
  • Starbase Control Towers
  • Player-owned Customs Offices
  • Sovereignty Structures (Infrastructure Hubs and Territorial Control Units)

If your corp does not own one of those structures then you should be immune to war declarations.

And, to close a glaring loophole, the second change is to add a setting to disallow structure transfers.  At least CCP could foresee that war dec corps would seek to bypass the structure rule by simply transferring a structure to their prospective victim and then declare war.  There is now a setting in the corporation details tab that allows automatic rejection of structure transfers, and the default setting for that will be true.

That is expected to be the first round of changed for war decs as CCP tries to figure out how to deal with this issue.

Also coming with the December update are two new Triglavian ships, the Rodiva and the Zarmazd.  These are the previously mentioned Triglavian logi cruisers.

Logi cruiser hull model

Unlike other Triglavian ships, this one comes as both tech I and tech II, aligning to the logi cruisers from the empires.  Only the blueprint for the Rodiva will drop and you must go through and do invention on the copy to get a Zarmazd blueprint.

There are also armor rep blueprints going in to match the two new ships, available as Abyssal drops.

The niche for these new logi ships is that their reps get stronger the longer they stay on their target.

Also coming to Abyssal space is a set period of invulnerability when transitioning through Abyssal gates.

The update also introduces the 2018 holiday even for EVE Online.

Thirteen Days Only

Called the Thirteen Days of EVE, you need to log your account in daily to claim prizes… like an advent calendar… but you have 17 days, so you could miss a couple days and still get all the presents.  The prizes include some new things EVE, including a standings booster, new Candy Chromatic SKINs, straight up skill points, and, for Omegas only, a booster with three uses that will allow the pilot to use skill injectors without the diminishing returns penalty.  That means people like me, with over 80 million SP on a character, could get the full 500K of skill points from an injector rather than the 150K one gets normally in that situation.

A sample of the rewards

That last item requires you to log in for the full thirteen days.  But that is easy enough and there is no reason not too.  Details are available at the event site.

The update also lays down the groundwork for the next in-game event, Operation Permafrost.

Coming soon

As usual, the event will come to you via The Agency and will require you to accumulate points for rewards.  At EVE Vegas is was mentioned that this event will bring your ship down into the atmosphere of a planet, giving the art team at CCP a chance to show off some more fancy new environments.  Details are currently up on the live event page.

Also on the graphics front, CCP has added atmospheric auroras to planets.  They only show up at random times though, so you have to be there at the right moment to catch them.

A Megathron spotting an aurora

Another possible background for screen shots.

A lot of the rest is just the usual tweaks and minor fixes that accompany any update for the game.  However, there is one innocuous one in the mix that I want to call out.  This one:

Adjustments have been made to the respawn rates of certain nullsec anomalies. These adjustments are part of a gradual ongoing process that will see further tweaks for this type of content.

As rumors have it, the “certain nullsec anomalies” are havens and that this is a direct poke at titan ratting.  Yes, titan ratting is a thing.  The alleged reason is that at the current respawn rate a titan can can use its boson doomsday, clear a haven, and another one will have spawned by the time the titan has recovered and is ready to keep rolling.  We will see if there is a corresponding dip in the NPC bounties with the coming of the December MER.

So that is it.  CCP has already announced that the update has been deployed successfully.  Information about it is available via the patch notes and the updates page.

The October EVE Update Claims to Bring Balance

But as we know, one person’s balance is another person’s horrific nerf.

Probably the biggest change coming with the October release is an update to electronic counter measures, of ECM.

Backbirds jamming in the dead of night

ECM effects, target jamming and other debuffs, are frustrating when you’re the target.  You just sit there watching the  indicator cycle down, unable to do anything about it, hoping that the RNG goes in your favor for the next cycle.

In an effort to alleviate this, CCP has made a change so that the ship being jammed can always target the ship jamming it.

I guess if you are in a fleet fight this might give you something to do.  As a logi pilot the jamming ships are often outside of my drone range, so about the best I can do is yellow box the jammer and hope they get nervous.

But if you’re in a small gang this simply makes ECM ships more vulnerable, and if you were using ECM to escape one on one encounters previously, that plan is now pretty much a bust.

There is talk of CCP boosting the survivability of ECM ships in the future, but for now they are more vulnerable.

The next item up is interdiction nullification.  This is a null sec thing.  About five years ago CCP made a change to interceptors that basically allows them to ignore warp disruption bubbles.

Fear no bubbles!

This has been controversial since it went in.  It made travel ‘ceptors a thing.  If you fit your interceptor so it can align in under two seconds you can move pretty safely through null sec space. (Just watch out for Asher in that smart bombing titan on a gate.)

The problem is that it also makes interceptor-only fleets pretty much impossible to pin down.  It is one thing to have some strategic cruisers with the interdiction nullification subsystem, like the Slippery Pete Tengus of past glory, zipping about playing hit and run.  They at least have to sacrifice some capability to get that and they cost a lot of ISK.   But when you have a fleet of arty fit Claw interceptors zipping in and out, quick to align, quick to shoot, and quick to warp off, blapping ships in your fleet one by one without much skin in the game, that gets on your nerves.

So, in the grand CCP tradition of half measures and compromises that make nobody happy, CCP removed interdiction nullification from some interceptors.

The combat interceptors (Claw, Crusader, Raptor, Taranis) will no longer have that null sec super power.  The reign of the Fozzie Claw may be coming to an end.

However, the fleet interceptors (Stiletto, Malediction, Crow, Ares) will keep interdiction nullification.  We shall see if this changes anything or if there will just be a new interceptor doctrine based on one of these hulls.

The Crow also had its agility number dropped as part of this.  Is a 2 second aligning Crow even possible?

The best part of this however will be the people who don’t read the patch notes and who end up getting stuck in a bubble and blown up wondering what just happened.  It is a good thing that I opted for the Ares as my default travel ‘ceptor I guess.

Exoplant SKIN Ares on the move still

Next up was a change meant to fix a mechanics exploit with heavy interdictors that looked to screw over wormhole space.  CCP used the phrase “unwilling collateral damage” right up front.  Not being a hictor pilot nor a wormholer, I didn’t quite get what was going on with this, just that wormholers were getting the short end of the stick.  In the end, however, CCP created a new module… the zero point mass entangler… to address this and the wormholer’s ability to roll holes in high mass hictors will go unchanged.  I think.  There is a forum thread about it.

Also on the “fixes for null sec” list were two changes to titans.

The first was discovered in the recent war.  It turned out that if a group of titans used their doomsday weapon on a capital and killed it in a single volley, those titans could then re-tether on a citadel in a minute rather than facing the five minute post-doomsday restrictions in place for other actions such as jumping or cloaking.  That has now been changed and a titan that fires its doomsday will now be unable to tether up again until the five minute timer has passed.

In addition, the minor splash damage effect that exploding titans had was removed.  CCP had said in the past that they didn’t think that this was causing any performance problems in large null sec fleet battles, but everybody involved has been harping on this for so long that I get the feeling CCP just said, “Sure, fine, whatever, we’ll take it out. Are you happy now?” so they could get on to other performance related issues without having to hear about exploding titan splash damage over and over.  Sometimes you just have to do this sort of thing.

More generally there was also a change to the slot layout of the Triglavian Damavik frigate.

A damaged Damavik

It loses a low slot but gains a mid, giving the hull three of each.  People said a frigate with only two mid slots wouldn’t be viable, and they were right.

Otherwise there were the usual round of small fixes, many focused on graphical fidelity, with an item thrown in there designed to make me grind my teeth:

  • Additional dungeon assets have been upgraded to the latest shaders.

It isn’t that I don’t want various mission assets upgraded to the latest shaders, it is that I hate when CCP refers to mission spaces as “dungeons.”  This is a long standing gripe and no I won’t ever get over it.  This isn’t Space WoW.

So that is it for October.  The update is already live. (That page has the links to the feedback and known issues threads.)  You can find the original ideas for the October balance pass in this dev blog.  They didn’t get to the Force Auxiliaries this time.

To see what did get changed there are the patch notes and the updates page to guide you.

Between now and November we have EVE Vegas.  That falls on October 19-21 and I expect it will be there that we’ll hear about the “next big thing” for EVE Online.  There is generally a big, named expansion at this end of the year.  Optimists hope for the next great feature that will revive the game while pessimists expect a Pearl Abyss enforced cash shop nightmare.  Reality will probably be somewhere in between.