Tag Archives: EVE Updates

The June 2017 Update Brings Null Sec Nerfs to New Eden

Again, I do wish that CCP would pick a naming convention for these updates and stick with it.  This should be YC119.6, or maybe YC119.5, except that was last month, but now we’re just going to toss that and go with the month and year.  Points for clarity, but it took a while to get here and I have my doubts that they will stick to it at this point.

YC119.6 if you prefer

I mean, look at the list of the updates so far in 2017 and tell me what the pattern is.

No more than two in a row alike

That minor gripe aside, now to the things in the update that are setting Reddit on fire.

First there is the next round of Rorqual and mining nerfs which came up back on the first of the month.  Excavator drones for Rorquals will be hit as follows:

  • About 9% less yield for Ore Excavators
  • 12.5% lower speed for Ore Excavators
  • About 11% longer cycle time for Ice Excavators
  • 10% lower speed for Ice Excavators

Meanwhile, the mining anomalies, where Rorquals harvest, will now have respawn delays as follows:

  • 20 minutes for the Small Asteroid Cluster
  • 1 hour for the Medium Asteroid Cluster
  • 2 hours for the Large Asteroid Cluster variants
  • 4 hours for the Enormous Asteroid Cluster variants
  • 5 hours for the Colossal Asteroid Cluster variants

The anom changes will keep Rorquals from being able to continually harvest in colossal clusters in a single system without interruption.  It will also mean that people in later time zones might be left in the lurch waiting for respawns.

Meanwhile, in an effort to put a lid on the expansion of the money supply, Friday CCP announced they would be nerfing fighters in order to reduce the efficiency of super ratting.

This is the one that really lit up Reddit and required the moderators to create a single threadnought as new threads were spawning repeatedly.  There the threats to rage quit were rife while the only CCP response came from CCP Quant, who does the monthly economic reports, who seemed keen to follow the CCP strategy of increasing overall drama by opening with this:

What we have here is literally the top 1% of the top 1% screaming their lungs out over these nerfs, while trying to convince the rest of the player-base to think that CCP is ruining the game for everyone. What we are really doing is keeping it from becoming yet another hyper inflated virtual economy at the cost of pissing off a particular group of players. Prior to this patch, a relatively small group of players were making the same amount of isk in npc bounties as the entire player-base did a year ago.

His statement proved the danger of carelessly throwing around numbers in front of an audience of internet spaceship nerds.  He had to back away from his claim that people were making 260 million ISK ticks (a tick is 20 minutes of time) while the “top 1% of the top 1%” has to be such a vanishingly small number… maybe 50 people if you think half a million play on Tranquility, and it would amaze me to find that there were that many people playing… that he was wrecking what I believe was his point… /r/eve doesn’t represent the whole population of New Eden… with a distracting statement.

This surge of push back on the plans… some of which coalesced around the idea of balancing PvE on the back of PvP, ever a hot button topic… caused CCP to spend the weekend reflecting on the whole thing.  They came back yesterday with some revised changes.  The plan is:

  • Light Fighters (Space Superiority): No Change
  • Light Fighters (Attack): 10% reduction to Basic Attack and Heavy Rocket Salvo damage (was 20%)
  • Support Fighters: No Change
  • Heavy Fighters (Heavy Attack): No Change (was 10% reduction to Basic Attack and Torpedo Salvo damage)
  • Heavy Fighters (Long Range Attack): 20% reduction to Basic Attack damage (was 30%)
  • Heavy Fighters (Shadow): No Change
  • NPC Fighter Aggression: No Change (was +15%)
  • We are working on changes to Anomalies that will reduce the effectiveness of Carriers and Supercarriers. These changes will be announced at a later date.

They also added in some data, which people had been asking for, to support these nerfs.  For the first five days in June 10.6 trillion ISK was rewarded from bounties, with the top three recipient classes being:

  • 22.3% (2.3T) of the ISK was generated by 1.4% of characters earning bounties, using Supercarriers
  • 24.2% (2.6T) of the ISK was generated by 4.8% of characters earning bounties, using Carriers
  • 19.1% (2T) of the ISK was generated by 16.6% of characters earning bounties, using T1 Cruisers

So 46.5% of the bounties paid out went to just 6.2% of the players awarded bounties.

That certainly sounds out of balance to me.  But I didn’t put down 20 billion ISK to buy a supercarrier when it became clear that running anomalies in them was the most efficient way to collect bounties… something that was pretty clear about six months back.  I still potter about in my Ishtar making the same amount of ISK per tick as I was five years ago.

Anyway, we shall see if this puts any sort of damper on the ever increasing money supply in New Eden or if CCP has to go further.

And then the third nerf, pirate faction battleship blue prints will drop less frequently now as part of an effort to reign in the proliferation of these hulls in New Eden.

I guess when a cheapskate like me who only rats in an Ishtar, thus deprived of dank super ticks, has a Machariel for fleet ops, it might be a sign.  Once such hulls were reserved for big spenders and the elite who would fit them with officer mods and fly them with expensive implants.  Now even the Imperium, ever conscious of the budget constraints of their rank and file, has a Machariel doctrine with Bhalgorns in the mix, several groups run Nightmare doctrines, and ratters everywhere… if not in supercarriers… use Rattlesnakes.

So this month CCP is trying to throttle the supply of blueprints, though the stockpiles of them in New Eden are huge, while next month they will be increasing the material requirements of the blueprints in order to make them more expensive.

None of which bothers me all that much.  I tend to be a fatalist, taking the game as it comes as opposed to wanting it to be something that it no longer is.  But all the more so, I fly for the Imperium, which tends to be the very pragmatic in its approach to the game, optimizing the mechanics as they change.  This will mean changes for us, but since it will mean changes for everybody else in null sec as well, we just have to handle them more efficiently than our foes.

Controversies aside, there are some other things in today’s update.

There is a new Rogue Swarm event going on from now through the 27th of the month.  Akin to past such events, rogue drone sites will be all over New Eden and will drop a variety of prizes including skill training accelerators and PLEX.

The defenders of the Blood Raiders Shipyards have been changed, presumably to plug the hole in their defense exposed by a force of T1 Punisher frigates. (Also exploitable by fighters, which are frigate sized.)

In addition, the drops from a destroyed Blood Raiders Shipyard will now come in an armored cache that will require an industrial ship to haul off to a station or citadel before it can be opened.  This will keep unstoppable interceptors from dashing in at the kill and stealing the loot.  The tale of this is over at INN.

There is a new color blind mode that allows players to adjust the UI to make things more visible relative to their own needs.

The Sin black ops battleship along with the Vexor and Ishtar are getting graphical updates.

The Vexor doesn’t actually look that different to me…

How fleets can be structured has changed.  While the same total cap applies, squads and wings are now flexible in size.  Additionally, who gets to be fleet boss when the FC dies should now be more consistent.  The watchlist will now show ship icons and double-clicking on people in your watchlist will no longer bring up their character info screen.

There are some additional update along with the usual array of tweaks and bug fixes, most of which can be found in the Patch Notes and on the Updates page.  Otherwise the update has been deployed.

One thing that is missing from this update however is music.  The tradition of a song to accompany ever single expansion or update has been broken.  If you want to be outraged and start an angry thread on Reddit and shoot the monument in Jita, do it because you want more music!

We will have to make due with the sound track from the Birth of a Capsuleer video instead.

 

The EVE Online YC119.5 Update Brings PLEX Changes and More

First, I have to get on my soap box about CCP and its naming scheme for patches.  Last year I assumed that the number after the decimal point (the 5 in the title of this post) indicated the month of the year.  And then the YC118.7 update came out in August and I was told that the number only indicated which patch number for the year, something that CCP kept up consistently through YC118.

Now we are in YC119 and we are getting the fourth patch of the year, but it is called YC119.5, no doubt because it is May, the fifth month of the year.  Make up yer freakin’ minds CCP!

That aside, today’s patch brings the big changes to PLEX which CCP announced a while back.

Some sort of PLEX graphic, also you can see my alliance logo next to Brave’s

After downtime today old PLEX, along with the Aurum currency, will be gone, replaced with new PLEX.  All PLEX listings will be removed from the market.  Then…

  • Any old PLEX you have will be converted to 500 new PLEX.
  • If you have Aurum in excess of 1,000 units, it will be converted to new PLEX at a ratio of 1 PLEX for every 7 Aurum.
  • If you have less than 1,000 Aurum, likely the 300 free Aurum that CCP gave you at some point, that will be converted at a later date.

Items in the New Eden Store will be priced in new PLEX.  There will be a new thing called the PLEX Vault that means you will never have to fly around with PLEX in your cargo hold… but you know people will do it anyway.  And your estimated total wealth might drop considerably because the historical value for new PLEX will zero when the game comes back up.

Old PLEX was running at about 1.3 billion ISK each when I last looked, so new PLEX should have a valuation of about 2.6 million ISK each.  But with the transition, some chaos and comedy will no doubt ensue.  Look for some individual units of new PLEX to be listed in Jita at the old PLEX as people try to take advantage of those not paying attention.

The original and follow up dev blogs cover these changes in detail.

Meanwhile, I am going to have to find a new generic PLEX graphic, as my old one will finally be totally out of date.

And old price for old PLEX… PLEX that couldn’t even leave the station!

Also showing up with today’s update is the addition of Blood Raider’s ship yards.

Look for the Blood Raiders logo of quality

This new NPC complex (there will only ever be one active at a time) will drop capital ship blue print copies for the Dagon force auxiliary, the Chemosh dreadnought, and the Molok titan.  The new NPC AI that comes with the ship yards will respond to attacks with forces in measure to make any assault difficult.  Here are the bullet points from the patch notes:

  • Blood Raider Shipyards are Sotyios, built and owned by the Blood Raider faction. Only one can exist at a time.
  • They can be found in Blood Raider 0.0 Space (Delve, Querious, Period Basis).
  • They Blood Raider Sotyio does not show up on the tactical overlay, nor can it be probed down. The best way to find them is to try following a Blood Raider hauler (Bestower or Impel), coming to pick up minerals from a mining operation. There will always be a mining operation in the system with the Blood Raiders Shipyard.
  • The Blood Raiders will viciously defend their Shipyards. They use advanced fleet tactics (Tactical Warps, Logistics, Electronic Warfare Support) with powerful ships, including Dreadnoughts.
  • The Blood Raider Sotyio only has a single 24hr reinforce cycle. Once into reinforce, it can be seen as per any other Upwell structure.
  • Destroying the Sotyio will leave a wreck, which has standard Sotyio loot (salvage and minerals), and may also drop rare modules and capital blueprint copies for the Dagon, Chemosh and Molok.
  • It takes some time for the Blood Raiders to build their first Sotyio. You can find it on Thursday (2017/05/11)

Given the tales I’ve heard comping from practice runs on the test server (400 cruisers dropped on a battleship force and effective dread bombs dropped on super capitals) I am not sure if this is a gift to null sec or just a clever way for CCP Larrikin to fulfill his wish to see more dead capital ships.  Anyway, I expect comedy to ensue until we figure it out.

Also on the list is new stars.

One of the new star models and a Keepstar

CCP has redone the graphics for stars so they are now colorful balls of rippling plasma that come in 15 eye watering flavors.

CCP is also killing off the legacy scanning UI.  From this release forward you only have the new UI to work with.  Since I actually prefer the new UI, this sounds fine to me, but I imagine this will cause some pain to others.  Sorry man.

The YC119.5 update also includes:

  • Maximum duration of contracts changed from 3 to 4 weeks
  • Color coding of fighter health bars
  • Alliance and Corp logos on citadels, along with the leader’s portrait (pictures of The Mittani everywhere in Delve now)
  • Ship hangar lighting improvements
  • Promotional CONCORD ships Pacifier and Enforcer added to the game (but not yet distributed to Fanfest attendees)
  • Removal of ability to manufacture starbase (POS) compression, reprocessing, and assembly arrays along with labs as part of the transition to citadels and engineering complexes
  • New cinematic intro, which you can compare to past efforts at The Nosy Gamer
  • Lots more fixes and tweaks

Details for all of this can be found in the YC119.5 patch notes and the updates page.  The patch itself has gone live and is ready to explore.  There was an issue reported with single sign on, but that seems to have been fixed.

Finally, no update for EVE Online goes live without a new music track, so we have YC119.5’s theme, The Luminous Eye.

 

YC119.3 Update Brings Rorqual Nerfs and Bubble Decay to New Eden

This month’s update for EVE Online, YC119.3, brings some significant changes to New Eden.

I am once again content to use CCP’s logo for the update

The Rorqual and its capabilities are once again in the sights of CCPs nerf gun.  The industrial capital ship, which long languished in POSes across low and null sec space as an AFK booster for mining ops, was given a serious boost of its own with the Ascension expansion back in November.  Suddenly its new mining drones were the path to wealth in null sec.  Even after the previous nerf to mining yields, Rorquals from Delve to Cobalt Edge were still out making bank according to the February economic report.

February 2017 report mining value by region

This was bringing down mineral prices thus, according to Dinsdale Pirannah, who I am going to troll on this front (“Trolling Detected” tag deployed), depriving high sec miners their inalienable right to grown rich by mining veldspar two jumps out of Jita. (Note the mining value of the high sec regions around Jita, Lonetrek and The Forge, on that chart.)

So, despite the likely overall net benefit of making production cheaper and lowering prices for all (plus the insane nearly 103 trillion ISK negative trade balance Delve, the mining capital of New Eden, was running on that report, which means that ISK was likely enriching high sec, not impoverishing it) that had to be fixed!

Okay, the Rorqual has been too much of a money printing machine of late, but I wanted to point out that the economics aren’t as simple as “high sec loses.”  So now the billion ISK mining drones that Rorquals use (which will also now provide kill mails) will have higher skill requirements to get tech II benefits, while a change to spread out the asteroids in mining belts and anoms means that drone round trip time will effectively reduce yield.  This will reduce overall productivity of the Rorqual by an estimated 25%.

High sec has been protected from belt spread by having the lock ranges of mining barges increased proportional to the change.

Meanwhile, the invulnerable PANIC jump hictor usage of the Rorqual has been curtailed a bit, as the ship now needs to have an asteroid locked in order to activate its PANIC module.  So long as Jay can keep his super carriers out of asteroid belts, this should improve his quality of life.

Also on the null sec nerf parade is carrier ratting, likely the greatest source of individual null sec wealth.  (If CCP is controlled by Goons, how come they can’t stop this?)  Fighter signature radii are being increased and NPCs will view them as more threatening, thus making fighters both easier to hit and more likely to be targeted in the first place.  The range of responses I have seen to this change have gone from “carrier ratting is dead” to “no big deal if you pay attention.”

Since I haven’t mined in ages and still rat in an Ishtar, neither of these changes make a difference to me personally, but the drama around the changes has been mildly entertaining.  And fighters are getting a UI pass as well, so maybe I’ll figure out how to use them properly some day.

Another big change coming up for null sec relates to mobile warp disruptors, or anchorable bubbles as I generally hear them called. (I love when player terminology deviates from the official terminology.)  Up until today, these things lasted forever once you dropped them, were a pain to shoot, had enough passive regen to make them somewhat proof against solo attacks, and after all that work didn’t even provide a freakin’ kill mail.  Each of these items has been addressed in some way.

The biggest deal is that bubbles will die of their own accord when left in space.  The timers are:

  • Two days for all T1 bubbles
  • One week for all T2 bubbles
  • Two weeks for all Syndicate bubbles

Meanwhile, hit points have been reduced, regen has been toned down, and they now provide kill mails.  Let the bubble holocaust begin!  Also, the updates entry for these changes uses a screen shot I took at 319 station in Delve back in 2012.

319 Station, Many Bubbles Ago

Then there is a great big change to scanners and probes and that interface.  That has really been a work in progress since I started player, but maybe this time for sure!  I will have to see it in action to see if it makes any difference to my own indifferent scanning skills.

I mentioned the change to the Caldari Cormorant destroyer in a post last week, but the Caldari Chimera carrier is also getting a new look.  We will see how the former sits with me once it is live in space.  The latter… well the old model always looked like some sort of amphibian life that was trying to wade ashore, so I suppose it couldn’t get much worse… could it?

Those are what I think are the big items coming with today’s update, which has been deployed.  For further details the patch notes and updates page are both available.  And, as always, it isn’t an EVE Online release/update without another music track to go with it.

The YC119.2 Update Brings Insurance to Citadels

It is time for the monthly update patch for EVE Online, which this month falls on St. Valentine’s Day.  I wonder if I should read any meaning into that or not?

CCP continues making TAGN quality graphics for updates!

CCP continues making TAGN quality graphics for updates!

The update brings a number of things to the table.  It heralds the opening of the Guardian’s Gala event in New Eden, which runs from today through the end of the month and includes SKINs for Gallente hulls as drops. (A video from The Scope to bring up up to speed on the lore around the event.)

Running in a system near you this month

Running in a system near you this month

It also brings some fixes for recent performance issues that have been bothersome since the troubled YC119.1 patch went live last month, along with updates for the New Player Experience, new SKINs, UI fixes, and improvements to the much loved multi-buy window.

There are many additional small fixes in this month’s patch.  But the one item that will likely have the most impact on me… as noted in the headline… is the ability to insure your ships in a citadel.

Live from the Thetastar, insurance!

Live from the Thetastar, insurance!

Citadels are supposed to eventually replace the no-longer-deployable as of the December update null sec stations eventually, with the latter slated to go away completely at some future date. (EN24 had a good retrospective on stations.)  However, while we have had citadels around since last April and the Citadel expansion, getting them up to par with stations has taken some time.  This brings CCP one step closer to that goal… and I should no longer have to go find a station to insure my ship.

That aside, I do like this line item from the patch notes:

An underlying and far reaching EVE code issue has been identified and fixed. This should resolve various issues across New Eden, including the drone window becoming unresponsive, overview entries not updating/removing, ship HUD issues (including a ship’s speed not updating correctly) and more.

I have run into all of those situations over the years, to the point that they have become “oh yeah, that happens sometimes” sorts of events in fleets, especially when time dilation is in play.  If true, this fix might be the second best thing in the update. [Addendum: A Dev Blog about it here.]

So those are the items of note for me.  You can read the patch notes and the updates page to see if there is something else hidden in there for you.  There was also a development update video that went out yesterday, and Neville Smit returned to blogging with a summary of all sorts of things going on, but mostly the CSM and the video.

And, as with every update, there is some music attached.

YC119.1 Update Deployed Successfully

Changes were made and the update was deployed and the world kept on turning.

This time for sure!

This time for sure!

That last bit is quite literally so, as you will find this item in the patch notes:

Astro-Oil has been diligently applied to the rotational axes of temperate planets, allowing them to once again rotate freely.

No doubt some new religious sect has spawned somewhere in Amarr space based on this and some new tract will include a passage similar to Joshua 10:13.

As I noted on Tuesday when the patch had to be rolled back, there isn’t much in the way of new features in the drop.  It is mostly fixes and adjustments, which is fine.  I doubt anybody is going to claim there are not things in New Eden that need fixing or adjustment.  The updates page adds in a couple of SKIN lines that will be available in the New Eden Store at a later date, including the Nova SKINs for Mordu’s Legion ships.

Hot Surface Warning Markings on Mordu's Frying Pan

Hot Surface Warning Markings on Mordu’s Frying Pan

And then there is a song, because there is always a song.

YC119.1 Update Recalled, YC118.10 Rolled Back to New Eden

Today was patch day for EVE Online, and we were supposed to get the first update of 2017, or YC119 as it is styled in the distant future of internet spaceships.

The actual official patch graphic

The actual official patch graphic

However, according to an update from CCP, the code deployed with the update was problematic.

Due to an issue with the 119.1 release which resulted in server stability issues after its deployment, we will be re-deploying the 118.10 release while we work on a fix.

This led to an extended downtime as 118.10 was restored to Tranquility.  TQ was initially taken down just before 12:00 UTC when problems were first noticed, with the roll back being completed, with the server cluster eventually back online for players as of 13:15 UTC according to the forum update.

CCP did not say exactly what caused the instability and nothing in the YC119.1 patch notes jumps out at me as a likely suspect, the update seeming to be mostly adjustments to current features as opposed to anything new.  Maybe is was those Mordu’s Legion SKINs listed on the updates page.  We haven’t had a patch day failure in ages.

So the patch has been pushed back while CCP figures out what went awry.  We can still listen to the launch theme, which carries the now mildly ironic title, “The Ones We Left Behind.”

 

The Last EVE Online Update for YC118

After the big Ascension expansion in EVE Online last month, we’re back to smaller updates with just fixes and a few features showing up for a while.

But this update, called YC118.10, also heralds the end of an era in null sec.  Starting today, players may no longer deploy outposts or outpost upgrades in sovereign null sec.  Outposts are the official term for what we generally call stations, which is where most people make their homes.

Station bubbled

No more bubbles on the station undock to camp people once they’re gone

In the age of citadels though the plan is to remove outposts, stationary permanent structures that can be captured but never destroyed.  Out in the wilds of null we shall eventually all live in and work and produce and sell in structures that can be blown up.  It will be like wormhole space, only with gates and local.  And player owned star bases, POSes, will go the same way as well some day.  Though not any day soon, as mining/drilling platforms seem to be at least a year away at this point. (A statement from CCP on structure parity.)

Of course, this change has long been on CCP’s road map, so you have to wonder what sort of people would even bother with the expense of a new outpost these days.

Oh, yeah...

Oh, yeah…

Actually, that latest one pushed another GSF deployment off the list.  But we still need outposts for now.  You still cannot insure your ship in a citadel yet, finding assets in them is still imperfect, and transactions in them seem to make EVEMon crash for me.

Addendum: EN24 has a good piece up about the end of outposts.

As for features with this release, the big one seems to revolve around defender missiles.  As revealed at EVE Vegas, defender missiles are finally getting a rework in order to make them useful, so those skill points I put into them back in 2007 may now pay off!

A CCP graphic that is supposed to be a defender missile battery

A CCP graphic that is supposed to be a defender missile battery

Defender missiles have been pretending to be useful since I started playing EVE Online over a decade back.  Now, finally, they will have a place in the combat meta, at least in null sec, destroying incoming bombs launched from stealth bombers.  Null sec battleship fleets, long the primary victim of such bombing runs, can now defend themselves.

According to the details in the forums, defender missiles will also require a special defender launcher which can only be fitted on destroyer class vessels.  To make sure they are not completely over powered, the launchers will have a two minute cycle time (one minute when fit to command destroyers) and will randomly target bombs in flight, so launching for maximum fleet defense effect may take some finesse.

Other than that, there are some new reasonably priced SKINs for the Yoiul Festival and another set just for Sisters of EVE ships.

Everything else seems to be fixes or tuning.  Excavator drone yields have been reduced 32%, probably because, according to the November economic report, we’re strip mining Delve half to death.  The new player experience is getting some tuning, and NPC mining fleets got some changes.

Stations, which got citadel-like traffic lanes previously, are getting more of the same along with billboards running the same ads you see at gates or when docked.  Probably the most real-life change in this update, more pervasive advertising.

There are other items in the Patch Notes and on the EVE Updates page, but that is meat of the update for me.  The update is already live, so it is all there to see.

Of course, there has to be a theme song for every update.  This time we get the thumping theme “Into the Light.”