Tag Archives: EVE Updates

EVE Online Gets a Very Small November Update

With Team Talos working to its own every other week plan, as brought up during EVE Vegas, an expansion likely on the way for December, and other projects being more long term, the November update for EVE Online is about as small as any update for the game I have ever seen.

Velator rookie ships as the patch theme

I will copy and paste the patch notes in their entirety.

Patch Notes For November 2019 – 2019-11-05

Released On Tuesday, November 5th 2019

New Player Experience:

  • A portion of new capsuleers will start experiencing a preliminary version of a login campaign, complete with minor rewards.

More updates to come as the month rolls on.

That is it.

This update covers something that was brought up in Vegas about CCP’s plans for the tutorial and new player experience.  The goal is to throttle new player attrition, as exemplified by this chart, which was shown at EVE North in Toronto back in June.

How many new players log back in as time passes

At Vegas the presentation about new player retention showed some of the things the had already done to make the tutorial better… and there were some serious “fix the stupid” intems fixed… as well as some of their upcoming plans.  One item on the list was a special login reward campaign for new players.  This campaign is set to offer rewards to encourage new players to log in again the next day.  I do not know what the rewards are, and the tentative nature of the patch note entry leads me to believe that the company is going to tinker with those rewards as time go on, but CCP said they would be useful for new players.

So that is apparently what today’s update brings.

And it seems simple enough that it might work.  I mean, if the game and its UI piss off a new player… which I am sure it does often… it won’t help.  But if somebody is on the fence, the promise of something new might get them to log back in, which gives the game another chance to get the new player engaged.

It remains to be seen if that sort of thing can get a new player out to the 30, 60, or 90 day mark, but if might boost the numbers at the 1 to 7 day end of the scale.

The September Update Brings Cyno Changes and New Player Improvements to EVE Online

The Chaos Era continues in New Eden as CCP proceeds with the dual goals of making the game more difficult for veteran players while simultaneously attempting improve new player retention.

In my book the big item hitting the game for September is the cyno changes, which I mentioned previously.  This has been summed up in the patch notes in a single sentence:

Cynosural Field Generator I now only able to be fit to Force Recon Ships and Black Ops Battleships.

Yesterday most of the 345 ships currently flyable in New Ede could have lit a cyno, the requirement having been just a high slot.  Today it is down to nine.  If you’re like me, you’re now stuck moving your capital ships around in fleet ops unless you are willing to blow a 300 million ISK force recon hull for every jump, or a billion ISK black ops hull.  My solo trips in a cap are done, don’t undock what you cannot afford to lose being the iron law of New Eden and all.

No more of this frigate cyno stuff

The one set of hulls excused has been Jump Freighters.  Initially CCP was simply going to allow them to use covert cynos, which had its own mix of good and bad. (Which needed Cyno V on your cyno alt as well as the ability to fly a covert ops ship, but exposure would be reduced.)  That plan was changed (hopefully before people skill injected their cyno alts to Cyno V) and now there is a new cyno module just for jump freighters.  Per the patch notes:

  • Added Industrial Cynosural Field Generator.
    • Can be fit by Industrials, Deep Space Transports and Blockade Runners.
    • Industrial Cynosural Fields can be jumped to by Jump Freighters and Black Ops Battleships.
    • Requires Cynosural Field Theory I to activate.

Industrials will be the new cyno ship for jump freighters.  This will also keep cyno vigils a thing, though now vigils will be held in haulers, which seemed to be a major factor here.  More room to hold fuel I guess.  The odd bit is the addition of Black Ops ships to those being able to jump to the new cyno.  I did not see a reason listed for that.

And so the chaos continues.

On the new player side of things, the big feature for September looks to be warning messages when players are fitting ships sub-optimally.  There will now be four levels of warnings in the fittings window if you commit any of these fitting sins.   The warnings are broken out into the following groups:

Crucial/Red if:

  • The ship’s CPU is overloaded
  • The ship’s Powergrid overloaded
  • The ship’s Cargo is overloaded
  • The ship is a Strategic Cruiser and is missing a subsystem

Warning/Yellow if:

  • The ship has Invalid modules fitted (for example after a ship has been rebalanced or when swapping subsystems on a Strategic Cruiser)
  • Some fitted Modules are not providing bonus (for example if you have a Magnetic Field Stabilizer fit but all your guns are projectiles turrets)
  • Mixing turret groups
  • Mixing turret sizes
  • Mixing launcher groups
  • Both Shield and Armor modules fitted
  • Offline modules

Info/White if:

  • Armor tanking a ship categorized as shield ship
  • Shield tanking a ship categorized as armor ship
  • Polarized weapons fitted

Skill warning if:

  • Skills for the ship or fitted modules are missing
  • Skills for items in the ships cargohold are missing

Hovering over the warnings will describe which tenant of ship fitting you have broken and highlight the offending modules.

Dual tanked Raven as an example

With this in place can we then assume all bad fits are on purpose?

Other items of note on the list of changes include the long promised warp timer.  Previously tossed due to technical reasons, you can now only be kept from warping by bumping for three minutes:

Ships that bump while attempting to enter warp will now automatically enter warp if they remain in the pre-warp state for three minutes continuously. Scramblers or any other form of canceling the warp will reset this timer.

The out is that if the people bumping you are willing to sacrifice a rookie ship and a warp scram to CONCORD every two and a half minutes or so, they can still keep you stuck indefinitely.  But if you’ve set yourself to warp in a belt and walked away, you’ll only bump off that asteroid in your way for three minutes… so long as belt rats don’t get you before then.

On the graphics side of things, there has been an update to graphics and shaders related to stars and wormholes.  There was a dev blog about this, but I guess it can be quickly summed up in a graphic from that.

The before and after look

Wormhole graphics will also indicate the age and capacity of the wormhole, so capital capable wormholes will be visually distinctive from frigate sized holes.

There are, as always, lots of other small fixes and tweaks in the update.  You can find details in the patch notes and on the updates page.  Word is that the update has been deployed successfully.

The EVE Online August Update brings Community Ship Fittings

It is August and in the midst of the vacation cycle, so there wasn’t any real expectation that something big would drop for this months EVE Online update.  That we got anything beyond fixes is a bit of a surprise.

CCP chose this image for the update, maybe it means something

The big item in the update, to my mind at least, is the community fittings feature.  Few items are as difficulty to pass on to new players as how to fit your ship.  People will toss out hull options, but modules drop you into a deep well of complexity.  As I have oft said, fantasy MMORPG have the advantage of being based on a model we all understand.  We know a helmet protects your head, a sword hurts your foe, a healing spell tends your wounds, and there is probably some number somewhere that lets you compare what you have now with another item so you can tell what is better.

With EVE Online and its myriad of choices it can be hard to know where to begin.  I mentioned module complexity as one of the big problems for new players previously, using just the example of light missiles.  Which do you choose new player?

Not shown, defender light missiles

And that is just the ammo.  Which launcher do you pick, what modules will make missiles more effective, what defenses does a ship need, what other modules should I consider or avoid, all of that and more goes largely unanswered by the game.  That means new players tend to just equip whatever they happen to come across in the classic “something is better than nothing” view of the world.  But is the cargo scanner that dropped off that belt rat worth the effort?

This gets all the more important if a player wants to go PvP.  Mission running can be fairly forgiving… you can often just warp off it things start going badly and start over again.  But other players, they will tackle you and blow you up and you’ll likely not know what went wrong or how to get better.

So the idea of suggested fits has been kicked around for a long time now, and the culmination is the community ship fittings feature.  What appears there will be based on some consensus being reached in the community fittings forum.  People will, naturally, complain that they fittings are not all they could be.  The fitting meta can be fluid.  But at least it might give new players some insight into what they ought to consider.

Community fittings aside, the rest of the update looks to be of a fix and tune nature.

There are some updates to how the war declaration system works.  The implants known as “Slave” will now be known as “Amulet” due to planned changes to which faction provides them.  And there are a whole bunch of little fixes.  I am kind of disappointed that kill marks will no longer blink on the Caracal hull.  Blinking kill marks sounds like a feature.  It would certainly make them easier to find.

There is one entry that might portend some change up with the Triglavian invasion event:

Triglavian Recon vessels have been sighted outside of Invasion zones

I suppose that means they will be going somewhere new to shoot capsuleers.  I do wonder if this is related to the news item about an increase in wormholes connecting to Drifter hive systems.  Will the Drifters be headed our way again?  Will they come to blows with the Triglavians?  We shall see.

The word has come that the update has been deployed successfully.  For details you should go check out the Patch Notes.  There is also an updates entry for today, but it mostly goes on about the already in progress Skilling Spree event and the coming Fanfest Home.

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.