Tag Archives: EVE Updates

Friday Bullet Points about EVE Online in the Wet New Year

Did I mention that it is raining here in California?  We don’t have hurricanes out here because… they call them cyclones or typhoons in the Pacific.  Anyway, it has been wet with a dose of high winds out here.  But hurricanes, cyclones, typhoons, and tempests are all ships in EVE Online as well, so maybe I’ll just go there.

  • A New Rifter for a New Decade

We’ll enter the third decade of EVE Online come May and CCP has chosen this moment to update what is arguably the signature ship of the game, the Rifter. From the patch notes:

The Rifter, as well as it‘s variants: Wolf, Jaguar, Freki and the upcoming Geri have been completely rebuilt featuring texture updates, high polygon count, warp animation and added visual effects.

That made me a little antsy.  CCP’s touch had not always been deft or light. (I miss the old Cormorant and Badger models frankly.)  But CCP went very conservative on the rework, so it feels like the Rifter still.

1v1 at the sun!

There are some extra frills, and the warp animation is a bit odd, but don’t worry, even if those changes are too much they’ve painted its name on the side of the hull so you’ll know what it is.

R1F73R is online

  • New SKINs for 1 PLEX Each

In the New Eden Store in-game there is currently a selection of new SKINs for just 1 PLEX each.  Theses are SKINs for some of the old, classic destroyer hulls.

Some of the SKIN options

I bought the lot, because I like SKINs.  If you want yours, grab them soon as I am sure the offer won’t be around forever.  The SKINs can only be purchased once per account and are locked (but not injected immediately) to the character that buys them.

  • A New Patch for a New Year

We also received the first patch update for the year.  In addition to the two bullet points note above, there are a whole rash of fixes, adjustments, and updates listed in the patch notes.

  • The Capsuleer Chronicles in Hardcover

More graphic novelizations of the lives of New Eden came from Dark Horse late last year, which they described as:

Explore never-before-seen stories from the world-record breaking EVE Online game, featuring fictional accounts of real in-game space battles, deep personal stories, death, and being reborn–again and again and again!

Those are now available as a hardcover volume for those who like tales that can be held in the hand.

  • Goons as Pokemon Cards

Meanwhile, on a lighter note, a post up on r/eve announced the creation of a set of Pokemon cards using Imperium leaders and luminaries as the characters.  Made with an online Pokemon card creator, if you know the cast, then you’ll probably get the joke.

And that is all I have.  Today another “atmospheric river” is passing through my part of the state.  So far we’ve only had the power out for half a day due to a power line that fell across the road around the corner from us.

The October EVE Online Update has the New Photon UI Enabled by Default

CCP has been talking about their new Photo UI update for a while now.  It was on the test server for a while, then came to the main server as an opt-in beta option back in April.

I looked into it initially on the test server and… I was convinced I should let CCP work on it for a while before I gave it a try on main.  There were a lot of odd issues, plus the usual CCP UI sin of thinking players want lots of wasted, empty space in their UI or bigger windows that convey the same amount of information as smaller originals.

And, if you have been watching their news feed, they have been working on these sort of things.  I haven’t been tempted to try it up to this point.  And then, yesterday, I ended up not having a choice as CCP changed their “opt-in” beta into an “opt-out” beta.  You can turn it off in the settings, but you have to know it is there to know you can turn it off.

The Photo UI option in the settings

I logged in with one of my alts on my account first, just to see what it was about… and it isn’t bad.

I mean, if you were expecting CCP to rework the UI into something easily comprehensible by mere mortals, you’re out of luck.  This project has always been about making a more consistent, unified, and slightly updated version of the old UI, so if you hated that you won’t hate this any less.

But as a rework that is hopefully more easy to maintain and keep consistent over time, it seems okay.  This are a little different in size or shape, but it seems legible and not full of wasted empty space.  I was good… until I logged in with my main and found my Neocom bar was empty.

The Neocom is the task-bar-like interface on the left side of the screen with buttons for things like your ship fitting window and inventory and wallet and the market and all sorts of things I click on every single time I log in.

Well, I figured I would just opt-out of the everybody-be-a-guinea-pig beta… only whatever it did to my Neocom didn’t go away when I went to the old UI.

I didn’t have anything on the Neocom save my character and skills button, which you can’t remove and I couldn’t get anything back on the Neocom.  Eventually I found the option to reset the Neocom.

Just right-click on the Neocom

That fixed the issue, in that it put the default buttons back on it.  However, I have a series of buttons on my Neocom that aren’t there by default.  I dragged some back on, and ditched a few of the ones it put there, but I am sure I’ll be running across something I missed every so often for the next month or two.

So, not really ready for prime time, but in your face all the same.

(Yes, you can actually disable the Photo UI from the character select, but how many people will think to do that or even know about the Photo UI change before it is too late?)

On the plus side for this update, a long standing annoyance has been changed at last.  From the patch notes:

Ship Maintenance Array restrictions have been adjusted and relaxed to improve quality of life.

  • Players can now store ships which contain deployables, modules, rigs and mobile warp disruptors.
    • This change also applies to the Frigate Escape Bay of Battleships.
    • Your escape frigate can now have items like mobile depots, cloaks, probe launchers, and other options inside!
  • All Battleships that had an assembled volume above 470,000m3 have been reduced to 470,000m3.
    • This means that Carriers, Dreadnoughts and FAXs can always hold 2 Battleships, and 2 Frigates in the bay.

When moving assembled ships around with doctrine fittings we have always had to remove any modules or other items that were not allowed, which is a pain to keep track of with multiple ships and, if you’re flying an Asher Elias doctrine, you might not have space for all the modules in another ship if you pull them out to have somebody carry a ship for you in their SMA.

This is a simple quality of life fix.

That isn’t all we got with this update, but it is all I am in the mood to comment on this time around.


Faction Warfare Updates are Kicking Off in EVE Online

Promised at Fanfest back in early May and occasionally hinted at over the summer, the beginning of the Faction Warfare updates have finally landed in New Eden.

Faction Warfare, within the scope of EVE Online, is probably most akin to realm v realm in other MMOs.  But, with one server, you can’t fight other realms, as there are none.  Instead players align with one of the four major NPC empires (Amarr, Caldari, Gallente, or Minmatar), which battle over four regions of low security space, the Amarr facing the Minmata and the Caldari facing the Gallente.

That sounds exciting, but as a feature of the game it has often been neglected, been the subject of exploits, and felt the pain of collateral damage as features roll out for other aspects of the game.  So it was kind of a big deal to have CCP say they were going to focus on Faction Warfare at Fanfest.  Even groups with their own lists of long standing issues felt it was long past time for FW to get some attention.

So today’s patch notes include a big update about Faction Warfare.  There was a news item posted about the militaries of the empires going on alert with an accompanying dev blog, while in The Agency there is now a headline about the new Faction Campiagns.

Faction Warfare – Does it live yet?

There are two campaigns available, one for the Amarr/Minmatar side of the house and one for the Caldari/Gallente conflict.

The two campaigns

For the Gallente/Caldari conflict the copy says:

The Gallente Federation and Caldari State have placed utmost importance on controlling the Athounon system, and are attempting to build stargates leading back to Amygnon and Samanuni respectively, Capsuleers can assist either faction by occupying Athounon through factional warfare, and mining unique ore in the Serthoulde constellation.

And for the Amarr/Minmatar war the copy says:

The Amarr Empire and the Minmatar Republic are both attempting to develop new technology derived from Triglavian Stellar Transmuters. To advance this research they are fighting over control of prototype Stellar Transmuters that the Amarr has constructed within the warzone, as well as data collected from remote observation facilities spread throughout the local constellations.

Helping with the efforts of the empires will reward players with Loyalty Tokens… not to be confused with Loyalty Points, the usual currency of FW… where they can be used to purchase early access to the new faction hulls that are coming to the game.

The new hulls are:

  • Navy Issue Battlecruisers
    • Cyclone Fleet Issue
    • Ferox Navy Issue
    • Myrmidon Navy Issue
    • Prophecy Navy Issue
  • Navy Issue Frigates
    • Probe Fleet Issue
    • Heron Navy Issue
    • Imicus Navy Issue
    • Magnate Navy Issue

Attributes of the new hulls are available in the patch notes linked below, but my guess is that these must be good hulls because people have been complaining about them on r/eve since they showed up on the test server.

One thing that is not clear to me with the update is who is able to participate.  One of the pitfalls of FW has long been the need to join a corporation that has pledged itself to one of the factions in order to participate fully.  So it wasn’t something you could do casually on your main, like Abyssals, because it required your organization to commit.  If they didn’t, it might be something you did on an alt.

It was at least implied back at Fanfest that CCP planned to break down that barrier to FW, but the patch notes, while one might infer something like this, does not call it out explicitly.  So, as usual, your mileage may vary.


The June Update Brings DirectX 12 Support to EVE Online

Summer is upon us and the usual warm weather player slump has shown up… if that is all it is… and before CCP effectively shuts down due to staff going on vacation they gave us an end of month update with some big changes.

June 2022 update

The big item on the list for me is DirectX 12 and what it brings to the table.  You can throw a lot of crap at EVE Online for its various failings, but CCP has always put in the effort to make sure space looks good.  That is one of the pillars of the game and the art team makes few mistakes. (They fixed the frills on the Stabber, didn’t they?)

The changes with DirectX 12 were:

  • Updated the texture compression format and removed the old texture packing system.
    • Increased the graphical fidelity of assets.
    • Reduced texture corruption and artifacting.
  • Cameras are now more performant as they have to render fewer objects when they are not in view.
  • Doubled the resolution of every background nebula
    • Rebalanced the color of all background nebula.
    • Significantly decreased seaming of the background nebula.
  • Overhauled the Level of Detail system, which allows assets to have a more accurate representation of how they should look when changing the zoom level.
  • Revamped every Career Agent mission site.
    • Added new decorative asteroids.
    • Added many new space assets.
    • Overhauled all existing assets.
    • Added new environment templates for these sites.
  • Updated and reactivated the Cloud Cover effects which can now be found in the Career Agent mission sites.

You can still roll back to DirectX 11 if there are issues, but the game just got a little be better looking.

In addition to that, the long neglected career agents… they’ve been barely attended to for more than a decade… finally got some attention with a new AIR Career Program that has a slate of careers, goals, and activities.

  • 4 Careers:
    • Explorer – navigation, scanning, hacking, Project Discovery
    • Industrialist – mining, manufacturing, salvaging, trading
    • Enforcer – PvE combat, missions, Abyssal Deadspace
    • Soldier of Fortune – PvP combat and support, Faction Warfare
  • 10 Activities per Career
  • 3-10 Goals per Activity
  • 188 goals in total

There is also a host of new rewards for completing the new activities, with skill points, expert systems, SKINs, and boosters being a part of the mix along with the usual ISK reward for each goal you complete.

That helps extend out the new player experience, as the old career agents were letting the team down.  However, as I have said before, the new player experience can only take new players so far.  There still has to be a way for players to go from training wheels to the various player organizations that collect around the myriad of activities the game has to offer.

There were also some audio updates… EVE has sound… as well as some additions to the still in beta Photon UI, the latter finally acknowledging that maybe not everybody plays on giant screens with so much real estate that lots of dead space won’t be noticed.

Also, an interesting note towards the end of the patch notes:

The Gallente Federation has constructed two new stations to house key government offices. The new Parchanier IV – President Bureau and Bereye III – Supreme Court Tribunal stations will serve as relocated headquarters for their respective government branches, moving these key Federal facilities into high security space. Capsuleer available industrial facilities and office slots will be added to these stations in the near future as the final construction work is completed on the remaining station areas.

I am not sure what prompted that, but I suspect we’ll find out.

There is a lot more detail in the patch notes, but that was what got my attention.

Anyway, the update went out yesterday and, after some teething issues, seemed to be finally set and settled by the time evening rolled into USTZ.


The Siege Green Update Arrives in EVE Online

Today CCP deployed the Siege Green update to EVE Online, bringing at least some much needed changes to the game.  The term “siege green” is a reference to dreadnoughts on a fleet being allowed to go into siege mode, which greatly increases their damage output at the cost of becoming stationary and being unable to receive remote repair.  While there is an alliance with the name Siege Green, the term long predates the alliance.

Dreadnoughts doing what they do

And dreadnoughts play into this update significantly.

The most significant part of today’s update is something of a roll back of some of the blueprint changes that CCP inflicted on industrialist last April which made capital ship production prohibitively expensive.  And attempt to reign in capital ship proliferation that effectively assured capital ship dominance for some and locked newer players out of the option as the prices of hulls jumped more than 4x.

So today’s patch sees an adjustment to blueprints to make dreadnoughts and other capital ships more viable by reducing their cost of production, with the goals previously stated as:

  • Reduce low level PI demand (less damn water)
  • Reduce Faction and Pirate ship manufacturing costs
  • Greatly reduce Dreadnaught manufacturing costs
  • Reduce other capital and supercapital ship manufacturing costs
  • Reduce logistics requirements for capital and supercapital ships

I’ll be interested to see the April MER as I imagine we might seen an anticipatory dip in production as anybody who was even thinking about building a capital ship will surely have had the sense to put it off until this update.

The specific blueprint changes related to this are in the patch notes for the update, which are linked at the end of this post.

In addition, the update will also give the suddenly more affordable dreadnoughts some targets as changes are going in around Upwell structures in order to make them a bit easier to blow up.  This is something dreads are quite useful for.

The base changes are:

  • All Upwell structures will have their shield damage cap effectively removed. (Armor and hull damage caps remain in place)
  • Medium structures will have their hull reinforcement timer removed.
  • +100% to medium structure shield hitpoints.
  • +25% to large and extra-large structure shield hitpoints.
  • -75% hull hitpoints for medium structures.

The specific values for each structure are in the patch notes linked at the end of this post.

The removal of the damage cap… or the increase in the cap such that it has effectively been removed… from the shield timer means that there will be less time spent hanging around shooting a structure when it is unlikely anybody is going to show up to defend it.  The shield timer attack is generally a surprise (unless you have spies) and can come at any time, so the defenders often don’t bother contesting it.  It merely sets the armor timer in motion, which is when the real defense is likely to take place.

As something of a compensation, structures are getting a boost to their shield hit points.

Medium structures, which are the Astrahus, Raitaru, and Athanor, and getting a much bigger change.

These structures are often viewed as being expendable by larger organizations and can be used offensively, as you can drop them in systems where the active defense multiplier is high enough to prohibit large structures from being dropped.

In order to make them less viable once they are in place, their hull reinforcement timer is being removed, which means after shooting the shield, the timer will just be a gate to the armor and hull, which can both be taken in one pass, destroying the structure. (And the hull hit points have been reduced, so that final attack won’t even last as long.)

So medium structures will now be much more vulnerable to destruction and any defense will have to be at the armor timer.

With the removal of the hull timer, the armor timer for medium structures will now go as follows:

  • Highsec: 4.5 days ± 1.5 hours
  • Lowsec & Nullsec: 3.5 days ± 1.5 hours
  • Wormholes & Pochven: 3.5 days ± 1.5 hours
  • War HQ: 24 hours

The hour variation is based on the defender’s chosen defense time, so it will always be in the time zone the defender has chosen with some small variability for the exact hour.

Large structures are also getting their armor and hull timers revised, as indicated in the patch notes.

I don’t think this is going to lead to a massive boost in structure shoots in high sec, but wormhole space, where there is no asset safety, has already seen groups evacing their stuff out of medium structures.  If a larger group shows up and reinforces your medium structure there, you basically have three and a half days to get out or lose all of your stuff.

Another example of trying to tune things for one area of the game impacting another negatively.

Those were the big items that came with the update, though there were still a range of smaller things on the list.

I am kind of interested in this one and why it was changed.

Increased the minimum distance away from a Control Tower that a CONCORD Rogue Analysis Beacon must be deployed at to 30,000 km (from 2,000 km)

I suspect there was some unexpected benefit from being that close to a POS tower.

Anyway, the update has been deployed and has gone live so this is the version of New Eden we now play in.


The April Update Brings Rorqual Conduit Jumps and Citadel Nerfs to EVE Online

The first big patch of April landed on Tuesday and brought with it some of the items that CCP had been promising in their run up to EVE Fanfest in May.

Some patch notes

The first item of note represents another step in the long and strange journey of the Rorqual, the capital mining ship that started off life as a mining booster and ore compressing platform that usually just sat in a POS, then was transformed by CCP into a voracious mining platform with the introduction of exhumer drones, a change that CCP subsequently spent ages walking back with repeated and eventually profound nerfs, until the ship was back to being mostly a mining booster and ore compressing platform, though on grid with the mining barges this time.

A dramatic rise and painfully long fall for the ship.

CCP has, however, relented a bit on the hull and it trying to find a reason for people to undock them and use them rather than the cheaper boosting alternatives.  Enter the conduit jump.

The conduit jump idea was introduced to Black Ops battleships last June with the Enter the Portal update and allowed those hulls to jump to a cyno directly, taking up to 25 black ops capable ships in its fleet along for the ride, an efficient alternative to traditional bridging.

The Rorqual now has the ability through use of the newly introduced Industrial Jump Portal Generator module to bridge and also conduit jump.

  • It can Conduit Jump up to 30 ships in its fleet.
  • Eligible ships to conduit jump portal/conduit jump are: Mining Exhumers, Barges, Mining Frigates (Venture, Endurance, Prospect), and the Porpoise.

The idea is that Mama Rorqual and her ducklings will be able to jump around going on harvesting expeditions, something hopefully useful enough to get people to undock their very expensive capital mining ships.

Blueprints for the new module have been seeded… for reals this time… and can be researched and used for production.  We shall see how this works out.

Also on the list for the update were the promised changes to Upwell citadels to make them a little less defensible.

The changes are:

  • The Standup Point Defense Battery I has received a damage reduction, and in the future it will require ammunition to cycle:
    • The module itself has had its damage per cycle reduced by 50% (250 damage of each type from 500)
    • In a future patch this month (scheduled April 19th) it will require ammunition to fire, from now until then you will be able to build and acquire the necessary ammunition for the module.
    • The new ammunition is “Standup Flak Rounds I”.
  • The Standup Guided Bomb Launcher modules have received a balancing pass:
    • The guided bomb launcher modules can now only be fit to Large and Extra Large Upwell Structures.
    • Tech I module has had its capacity reduced to 300m3 from 1000m3 (now holds 3 bombs).
    • Tech II module has had its capacity reduced to 400m3 from 1300m3 (now holds 4 bombs).
    • Reload time for both Tech I and II has been increased to 60s (was 10 seconds).
    • Standup Heavy and Light Guided Bombs have had their bomb radius reduced to 20km (was 30km)
  • All standup missile velocities have been increased by 50%
  • Standup XL Cruise Missile, Standup Super-Heavy Torpedo, Standup Cruise Missile, Standup Heavy Missile, Standup Light Missile
  • Standup Anti-Capital Missiles have been balanced:
    • Standup XL Cruise Missile damage has been reduced by 50%
    • Standup Super-Heavy Torpedo damage has been reduced by 30%
  • The Standup Arcing Vorton Projector I is longer capable of being activated against subcapital ships.

That last one stings a bit because, while the Arcing Voltron Projector was a devastating subcap killer, it looked great and was often hilarious to see who got hit and who got spared its RNG electric wrath.

The Arcing Voltron Projector lances out! Ride the lightning!

On the flip side, I am very happy to see the PDS requiring ammo in the future rather than being an infinite running death scythe when I am trying to get on a Fortizar kill mail with an Ibis for yucks.

Will that be enough to change the structure meta?  I guess we’ll have to have a war to find out.  PAPI going to assemble again to test it?

In other updates, strategic cruisers are at kind of a low ebb of late, but the Proteus more than the rest, so it go a bit of a boost with the following:

    • Hybrid Encoding Platform Subsystem: 430 PG from 330 PG
    • Augmented Plating Subsystem: 25% reduction in Armor Plate Mass Penalty
    • Drone Synthesis Projector Subsystem CPU 60 from 40
    • Drone Synthesis Projector Subsystem Bandwidth to 125 from 100
    • Drone Synthesis Dronebay Capacity to 300 from 250

And then, in the last big announcement in the patch notes, SKINs handed out with daily login rewards are not going to suck nearly as much as they have since… well, forever.

Out are the 30 day temporary SKINs, half of which are for hulls I never fly and the other half are dupes of SKINs I already own.

Instead, SKINs rewarded for daily logins will per permanent SKINs, and they will be drawn from a whole new set of SKINs, so you won’t have them already, and the algorithm is even supposed to avoid sending you dupes or deleting your boot.ini file.  And no, we never forget anything around here.

That is actually a big enough deal to get me to log in daily.

Gone from login rewards will be BPCs, which were probably not being redeemed very often or, in my case, redeemed and then left to sit in a hangar clogging up database space.

The skillpoint rewards for logging in are going to be handed out in smaller increment over a shorter cycle rather than the current every 30 days plan.

Seems like a winning set of changes to me.  See, we can be happy about some changes.

There are of course a host of other small changes and fixes, but those are the big ticket items in my book.

Addendum:  Also, The Hunt event has kicked off today, so implants are dropping from kills once more.


EVE Online Gets Battleship Buffs and a Mining Event for March, Plus CCP Starts Selling Ships

Yesterday saw the March update patch that included some of the items announced as part of their Road to Fanfest dev blog last month.

We’re on a road to somewhere…

One of the big items on the list was a role bonus for battleships boosting the effectiveness of armor plates and shield extenders.  Battleships were already in a bit of a bind out in the field any time there were bombers about, but when last April’s industry changes inflated battleship hull prices dramatically, they became even more scarce.

CCP declined to reduce the cost to build battleships, vowing instead to make them more effective.  So we got the following role bonuses for battleships, except the Praxis, because screw the Praxis I guess.

  • 50% bonus to HP from all Armor Plates
  • 100% bonus to HP from all Shield Extenders
  • 5% additive bonus to all Reinforced Bulkhead modules

That will make battleships more survivable in the field.  My Bhaalgorn now has 222K EHP unboosted.

In addition, Large Micro Jump Drive fitting costs were reduced as follows:

  • PG need reduced to 800 MW, previously 1375 MW.
  • CPU need reduced to 54 tf, previously 77 tf.

More mobility will help with survivability as well.  I do wonder how this will affect PvE missions.  That can be a lot more EHP depending on how you fit.

CCP’s second run at resource compression… the first awful attempt died on the test server, being so bad that many wondered if CCP ever tried playing their own game… also arrive with the patch, allowing compression of ice, gas, mercoxit, moon, ore, and asteroid ore.

The new mechanics require a Rorqual, Orca, or Porpise to be running a compression module which will allow fleet members within 200km of the support ship.  When that is happening, you can just compress resources in your cargo hold.  The Rorqual and the Orca have modules that allow you to compress all of the resource types, while the Porpise is limited to just gas and asteroid ore.

The blueprints for the modules have been seeded into the game along with the accompanying skills, so so compression will be a thing for all of these resources.  More details in the patch notes linked at the bottom of the post. (Or they will be seeded soon, as among the known issues with the update is that the blueprints didn’t make it on the first pass and you cannot inject the skills.)

Also, as part of the update, which gave all the ships additional bays, the Epithal got a special command center bay that allows it to carry 6 command centers, so you don’t have to use another hauler to deploy command centers, then go back and and get your Epithal to haul your PI output.

Also on the list was Player Owned Customs Offices, which had their gantry shield hit points reduced from 10 million to 500 thousand to make them less defensible.  We shall see if that puts more POCOs in play as conflict generators.

Likewise, CRAB beacon BPCs have had their cost in the CONCORD LP store reduced and the rewards for using them increased in order to tempt players to commit the required capital ships to run them.  They did not, however, make any changes to capital ship blueprints, so it still costs 9 billion ISK to build a dreadnought hull, so only those to with a cache of such hulls are likely to risk them

Finally, there is a new AIR tutorial for mining available to newly created characters and “another graphical update” that will make your shiny ships… looking at you Amarr… reflect structures and events.

Not in the update was any mention of addressing Upwell structures or revisiting the blueprint changes from last April that, among other things, made dreadnought hulls cost 9 billion ISK to produce.  Maybe some day.

The update went live yesterday and we all hope with today’s follow on patch the initial issues like missing blueprints have been resolved.

In addition, to promote the mining changes, CCP is also launching a mining focused event today called the Prospector’s Path.

Making Mining Fun Again?

This includes login rewards, daily challenges, special items in the store, and a special Venture abyssal proving grounds event.  The event runs until downtime on March 16th.  Details at the link below.

One fly in the ointment in all of this is a pack that CCP is offering as part of the event which straight up sells you a fully fit mining ship.

Not player produced – also, no rigs included, because CCP wouldn’t cross the Rubicon completely?

This represents another step towards the inevitable “everything is for sale in the cash shop” destiny the game has been moving to for the last few years.

Some will be outraged at this, while CCP apologists will point out that it is just one ship and temporary, forgetting the actual slippery slope of the last decade where CCP went from promising that skill points not earned in game would never be sold to straight up selling skill point packs for cash in the store.  The cost of doing business is that business must come first in all things.

So it goes.  I said that last year’s Destroyer Pack was moving CCP towards this, and now we’re there.  Completely predictable.


CCP Begins Inflicting the New Dawn Austerity Plan on EVE Online

But this long run is a misleading guide to current affairs. In the long run we are all dead. Economists set themselves too easy, too useless a task, if in tempestuous seasons they can only tell us, that when the storm is long past, the ocean is flat again.

-John Maynard Keynes, A Tract on Monetary Reform (1923)

When CCP announced the New Dawn quadrant for EVE Online, the promise was of “The Age of Prosperity.”  It said so right there in the graphic for the quadrant.

Prosperity Promised

The dev blog for New Dawn opened with some big news, like the doubling of harvestable resources in New Eden before delving into less popular topics.  The devil was in the details and, upon examining the what CCP was proposing it looked much less like prosperity and more like an attempt to institutionalize the past two years to the starvation economy in the name of preserving the game for the “long term.”

For every minor buff to something there was a corresponding nerf to offset it, and even the touted “doubling of resources,” something CCP keeps repeating because it sounds good, doesn’t hold up under scrutiny.  After denuding resources by 90%, including removing all asteroid belts from null sec, doubling what remained still leaves the game far behind what it once was.  Those belts in null sec are still empty.

Prosperity was a lie.  People were angry.  The forums received plenty of feedback.  There were thousands of protestors in Jita shooting the monument.

In response, CCP said they were listening to the feedback and said they would rework some of the more oppressive mechanics they had put up on the test server, like the in-space ore compression, which was similar to a mechanic they removed almost a decade back for being incredibly unfun.

And CCP did rework some items.  Mining barges and exhumers got some adjustments, though their EHP remains lower than before, making them easier targets.  But the plan was being tweaked, not changed.  CCP’s goal remains to keep the economy at starvation levels.  Prosperity, the word CCP chose, the word CCP keeps using, the word that CCP declined to define until it was crystal clear what they really meant, remains elusive.

Not all the changes in the New Dawn plan are bad.  The rationalization of mining crystals was probably long overdue.  The new simplified crystal list looks like this now:

  • Simple Ores – Veldspar, Scordite, Pyroxeres, Plagioclase
  • Coherent Ores – Omber, Kernite, Jaspet, Hemorphite, Hedbergite
  • Variegated Ores – Gneiss, Ochre, Crokite
  • Complex Ores – Bistot, Arkonor, Spodumain
  • Abyssal Ores – Talassonite, Rakovene, Bezdnacine
  • Mercoxit – Mercoxit

Unfortunately, CCP couldn’t stop with six types in tech I and tech II variations.  They remain wedded to the waste mechanic, now renamed “residue,” though to describe what residue means they have to constantly use the word “waste.” Why not just stick with what they mean instead of trying to hide it so badly?  Anyway, there are three grades of crystrals:

  • Type A is low yield, low waste
  • Type B is high yield, higher waste
  • Type C is very low yield, very high waste

The Type C crystals remains a point of proof that CCP doesn’t play or understand its game.  They continue to harbor the delusion that null sec groups are going to fly barges into each other’s space and lay waste to their mining anomalies, and act that is both impractical and would actually help raise the active defense multiplier of the space being mined.

My guess is that the most likely use of the Type C crystals will be to grief high sec mining operations.

Anyway, my ability to care about the details of mining is limited.  Somebody else will have to do the before/after picture in detail.  My days of mining in New Eden are more than a decade in the past and I have never owned a Rorqual so I can’t really get mad about them being nerfed back to a support role (unless I am missing out on shooting them since they’ll be rare on the field now).  The biggest thing for me out of this update is some skill points being refunded from back in the day when I was using a Hulk to mine with tech II crystals.

My main concern remains the economy overall.  CCP was interviewed this week and was bragging about how they hold the levers of the economy.  But an economy where capital ships are too expensive to build, where the null sec meta is now just heavy assault cruisers and battlecruisers, where there is a less than subtle assumption that Rorqual pilots are going to happily spin up multiple accounts for exhumers to make up for the nerf of their main ship, that is an economy that makes me a bit nervous.  They claim that they need these changes, that they have to make the game more onerous in order to secure it for future players.  The focus is on some idealized long term and not what makes the game fun in there here and now.

So new blueprints and skills for the updated mining arrangements are in game, the update has been pushed, and we will have to see what the monthly economic report says about how this plays out as the months go on.


The Crimson Harvest Returns to EVE Online

Halloween festivities have arrived in New Eden as CCP with the return of the Crimson Havest event.  Regarded by some as one of the better annual events, it is arriving a bit late this year, possibly due to the data center upgrades being performed by CCP earlier this week.

The Return of the Crimson Harvest

The Crimson Harvest comes along with other treats, all of which are included under the Halloween Horrors banner.

This year players will be able to choose which side of the event they wish to support.

EVE’s premiere Blood Raider seasonal event has begun once again, starting today and running until 9 November! This year, Capsuleers will be met in battle by the forces of the Order of St. Tetrimon, an Amarr religious order dedicated to the preservation of the scriptures of the faith. Join the Order in their campaign to drown this sanguine spectacle in laserfire, or for the first time ever take the side of the Blood Raiders, venerating the Harvest and painting New Eden in crimson!

Somebody will side with the Blood Raiders I am sure.  You get to pick which side in The Agency.

Sites for the event show up throughout New Eden, but some locations are better than others according to the patch notes.  Here are the details:

  • Crimson Gauntlet and Tetrimon Base combat sites can be found in most areas of space. These sites should be approached with caution, and capsuleers are advised to fly a battlecruiser, battleship, heavy assault cruiser, or even more powerful vessels if they wish to investigate these locations. Rewards for looting the battleship NPCs found at the end of the sites include items that can be traded for isk, skins, boosters, clothing and more!
  • Crimson Harvest Network Node and Tetrimon Network Node data sites are also appearing across New Eden. These hacking sites contain network node structures that can be accessed for more great rewards!
  • Advanced versions of the combat and hacking sites can be found within the areas containing the most heated fighting between Blood Raider and Tetrimon forces: the Blood Raider controlled systems within the Delve region and the low security systems within the Derelik region. These advanced sites are rarer and more challenging than the standard versions of the sites but they provide much greater rewards. Bringing a friend or two helps reduce the risk immensely, but beware of other capsuleers who may be searching for the same loot!
  • The most elusive and valuable strongholds of the Blood Raiders and Order of Tetrimon can only be found by obtaining a rare escalation from the advanced combat sites.

In addition there are the now traditional login rewards running during the event.

Crimson Harvest Rewards

The prizes include skill points, training accelerators, SKINs, and some fireworks.  As usual, Omega accounts get all the prizes, while Alpha accounts only get the top row.  Be sure to log in every day if you want to collect them all.

In addition, the popular Trick or Treat PvP flag has been set for the event, which boosts the drop rate for items for ships destroyed in PvP, with the dial being set to 90%.

More loot on the field

This will no doubt make some pilots quite happy.  Be extra careful flying your freighter through Uedama, the suicide gank capital of New Eden.

There are also various discounts on upgrading to Omega which include SKINs as well as some event theme SKINs returning to the in-game store.  There is also a a destroyer focused Proving Grounds event running that features boosts to Stasis Webifier range, Nosferatu and Energy Neutralizer strength, and Laser turret damage just to maintain the Blood Raider theme.

In addition to all of that, the patch notes also show that CCP is still adjusting the CRAB beacons introduced with last week’s update, with rewards and the requirements to build the beacons being changed up.

There was also an exploit notification posted about CRAB beacons.  Don’t get caught doing that trick now.  CCP is watching.  (Also, another reminder that players will find every flaw in CCP’s plans.)


The Summon the Swarm Update brings CRABs and Tax Changes to EVE Online

The previously announced capital ship ratting enhancement has finally arrived in New Eden.  With the Summon the Swarm update the CONCORD Rogue Analysis Beacons (CRAB) can now be built and deployed in the game. (“Crab” is the in-game vernacular for somebody who rats or mines or otherwise focuses on gaining wealth, with “crabbing” being the verb, though it is often rendered as “Krab” because the term came from our Russian friends in New Eden.)

Calling all CRABs

According to the patch notes these new deployables, which can only be activated from capital ships, have four phases of operation:

  • 1 – Deployment
    • Anchoring III required to deploy, with restrictions in deployment locations.
    • Limited to Null and Low Security space.
    • Activation delay: 20 seconds
    • Maximum lifetime: 1 hour
    • Shield / Armor / Structure: 50,000 HP / 50,000 HP / 50,000 HP
  • 2 -Linking
    • Once deployed, it will be globally visible via the Overview for anyone to warp to.
    • After its initial Activation phase, it can then be Linked to by pilots in the following ships: Carrier, Dreadnought, Supercarrier, Titan.
    • For the ship that begins the linking phase, it will be locked in place in space for a duration of four minutes.
    • While linking, the following will be in effect: Tether Blocked (Debuff), Cloaking Disrupted (Debuff), Warp Drive Disabled (Debuff), Resistance Bonus of 10% (Buff to all resistance profiles, Shield/Armor/Structure).
    • After linking the above four statuses will clear after a duration of 60 seconds.
  • 3 – Scanning

    • After Linking, the CRAB will begin to broadcast a signal in the solar system that will attract the attention of Rogue Drone NPCs.
    • When Rogue Drones are in proximity of the CRAB, they will block the scanning progress and attack hostile threats in proximity to the CRAB.
    • The Rogue Drones must be destroyed to clear the perimeter so that the CRAB can continue its Scanning.
    • After 10 minutes of uninterrupted scanning, the CRAB will complete its analysis of the Rogue Drones and will have salvaged enough technology to reward players with new Mutaplasmids.
  • 4 – Reward

    • After successful scanning, the CRAB will have mutaplasmids from Rogue Drones inside of its cargohold .
    • For two minutes after scanning, the ship that initiated the CRAB during its linking phase will have exclusive access to the cargo hold of the CRAB.
    • After these two minutes pass, the CRAB will self-destruct with the generated mutaplasmids always safely being found in the wreckage (it will be a 100% chance to drop its contents when it self-destructs).

In order to keep these new modules under control so they don’t get run constantly and lead to some sort of economic overload, CCP has added the following items to limit their use.

  • Solar systems have a new property, “Signal Interference”.
    • Using the new CONCORD Rogue Analysis Beacon repeatedly in the same solar system will saturate a system with interference preventing the CRAB from being able to broadcast a signal that can be isolated. In practical terms, the CRAB will not be able to be linked to if interference is too high as the Rogue Drones cannot locate it.
    • Over time, Signal Interference will decay back down to a quiescent state. This state of decay is always ongoing and not attached to server downtime.
    • The time for a full recovery of a solar system with maximum signal interference is approximately 25 hours.
    • The User Interface has been updated to show Signal Interference in locations where appropriate.
  • Capsuleers now have a reserve of Complex Encryption Qubits (CEQs).
    • CEQs are used when initiating a link to the CONCORD Rogue Analysis Beacon.
    • Over time CEQs will regenerate back to their full reserve, and the regeneration is always ongoing and not attached to server downtime.
    • The time for a full regeneration of CEQs is approximately 22 hours.
    • As CEQs are only required by the CRAB, your current reserves will be visible in a tooltip on mouse-over of the CRAB in your inventory.

Blueprints for the new modules are now available from CONCORD and DED LP Stores.  A 5-Run BPC costs 20,000,000 ISK & 20,000 LP.

These rewards from CRABs include new Rogue Drone Mutaplasmid technology.  These ew Mutaplasmids come in four variations (Durability, Firepower, Navigation, Projection). Each variation will favor positively one attribute, with all other attributes having unknown results.

They also are sorted out by drone type, with heavy, medium, light, and sentry drone variations.  In addition, there are two wildcard modifiers, radical variations, for drones and fighters.

In order to use modified drones players will need to train up the new drone skill introduced with last week’s patch. CCP changed the skill name from ‘Rogue Drone Specialization’ to ‘Mutated Drone Specialization’ with this update.

CRABs are the headline for this patch, but there is another sizable change in the patch notes as well.  The three month tax holiday for NPC stations, which came in with The Grand Heist update back in July, has concluded.

The new base tax rates will be:

  • Sales Tax: 8%
  • Brokers Fee: 3%

The change to base, unmodified tax rates are now (holiday -> post holiday (pre-holiday):

  • Sales Tax: 2.5% -> 8.0% (Previously 5.0%)
  • Brokers Fee: 2.5% -> 3.0% (Previously 5.0%)
  • Total Taxes: 5.0% -> 11.0% (Previously 10.0%)

The minimum achievable tax rates for NPC stations, modified by skills, standings, etc, are now (holiday -> post holiday (pre-holiday):

  • Sales Tax: 1.125% -> 3.6% (Previously 2.25%)
  • Brokers Fee: 0.5% -> 1.0% (Previously 3.0%)
  • Total Taxes: 1.625% -> 4.6% (Previously 5.25%)

Buying things in NPC stations is now more expensive, and the shift to favoring Sales Tax over Broker’s fees means that player owned structures like the Tranquility Trading Tower in Perimeter will no longer be as attractive for sellers or lucrative for owners.

So those are the big changes with today’s update.  There are a few minor fixes… well, maybe not minor when it comes to the MacOS client… but nothing that changes game design.