Tag Archives: EVE Updates

Citadel Changes Feature in February EVE Online Update

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

Love is in the air… or space… or whatever

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

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

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

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

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

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

How to explode a citadel

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

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

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

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

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

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

Guardians Gala Comes Again

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The January Update and the Death of the Agent Finder

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

-January 2018 Patch Notes, early draft

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

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

You shall put nothing before The Agency

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

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

  • Factional Warfare Sites
  • Incursions
  • Expeditions

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The August 2017 EVE Online Update brings the Lucky Clash Event

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

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

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

I want to say Lucky Cash… or LSMFT

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And so it goes.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

The July 2017 Update Brings Revamped Strategic Cruisers to EVE Online

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

Yes, I made this myself since CCP failed me…

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

Strategic Cruisers

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

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

Strategic Cruisers… now with skins

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

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

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

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

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

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

Project Discovery

Previously Project Discovery helped the Human Protein Atlas project.

We’re talking exoplanets now

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

Other Items

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

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

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

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

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.