Tag Archives: EVE Updates

EVE Online Gets Heavy Missile Buffs, Shield Slaves, and a New Event

CCP was keeping us in the dark.  They announced a new “Quadrants” plan, which sounded like quarterly releases, and which was said to start with something called “Fight or Flight,” but then did not go into much detail.  They even took the test server down to keep people from being able to see what was coming.  This did not pass without comment after the “Chaos Era” summer of “surprises.”

This image was not without information

It turns out that there were some hints… like what is the Drake spewing in that picture?  Yeah, Heavy missiles.  So today the update is live and the top item on the list is:

  • +5% to damage and explosion velocity of all Heavy Missiles

This is to encourage the use of heavy missiles, especially in PvP.  Heavy missiles ruled the roost for a while, early in the last decade, with the Drake being the platform of choice, before firewall tactics and nerfs combined to put the Drake and its weapon system on the shelf for fleet doctrines.

But that is not all.

Once again there is a Drake up front

In addition, the long asked for “shield slaves” implant sets have finally been added to the game.  I mean, the requests/demands for “shield slaves” have been a meme for years now. Naturally, they are not actually called “shield slaves,” but the set the armor versions are no longer called “slaves” either, but once something gets a name it tends to stick.

So we have the new Nirvana implant set, and I must admit that is a pretty good name choice.  Shield super pilots are no doubt soon to be in Nirvana.

The mid grade set looks like this:

  • Mid-grade Nirvana Alpha +3 Perception 1% Bonus to shield hitpoints with 10% set bonus
  • Mid-grade Nirvana Beta +3 Memory 2% Bonus to shield hitpoints with 10% set bonus
  • Mid-grade Nirvana Gamma +3 Willpower 3% Bonus to shield hitpoints with 10% set bonus
  • Mid-grade Nirvana Delta +3 Intelligence 4% Bonus to shield hitpoints with 10% set bonus
  • Mid-grade Nirvana Epsilon +3 Charisma 5% Bonus to shield hitpoints with 10% set bonus
  • Mid-grade Nirvana Omega 25% set bonus

And the high grade set looks like this:

  • High-grade Nirvana Alpha +4 Perception 1% Bonus to shield hitpoints with 15% set bonus
  • High-grade Nirvana Beta +4 Memory 2% Bonus to shield hitpoints with 15% set bonus
  • High-grade Nirvana Gamma +4 Willpower 3% Bonus to shield hitpoints with 15% set bonus
  • High-grade Nirvana Delta +4 Intelligence 4% Bonus to shield hitpoints with 15% set bonus
  • High-grade Nirvana Epsilon +4 Charisma 5% Bonus to shield hitpoints with 15% set bonus
  • High-grade Nirvana Omega 50% set bonus

A low grade set is promised for the future, but for now it is just those two.

The next question is, naturally enough, how do we get these new implants?

There is an event for that.

Dragonaur Blitz Event

Between now and January 27th there will be sites in low sec that will drop blueprint copies for the various Nirvana implants.

The catch is that the site are only accessible in ships that have a bonus to heavy missiles, so you have to be flying one of the ships from this list.

  • Bellicose
  • Caracal
  • Caracal Navy Issue
  • Gila
  • Orthrus
  • Osprey Navy Issue
  • Scythe Fleet Issue
  • Cerberus
  • Sacrilege
  • Vangel
  • Enforcer
  • Rapier
  • Chameleon
  • Rook
  • Onyx
  • Cyclone
  • Drake
  • Drake Navy Issue
  • Gnosis
  • Claymore
  • Nighthawk
  • Damnation
  • Barghest
  • Praxis
  • Rattlesnake
  • Raven
  • Raven State Issue
  • Scorpion Navy Issue
  • Typhoon
  • Typhoon Fleet Issue
  • Marshal
  • Widow
  • Golem

That gives you 33 choices… mostly Caldari… to pick from.  But if you plan to use one of the remaining Raven State Issue ships, be sure let us all know!  I want to be on that kill mail.

Those are the big items on the list for the update, though there are some lesser items of note.

The first is a tiericide pass… color me surprised that they’re still working on this as I had thought CCP gave up ages ago… on shield boosters.  This means that shield boosters everywhere will have new names and such.  Be aware.  The patch notes have a list.

And the filaments from the Yoiul Holiday Festival have all been converted to calm abyssal filaments.  No more jumping fleets into random null sec locations for fun.  The conversions were:

  • DSHR-01 Filament migrated to Calm Dark Filament
  • DNCR-02 Filament migrated to Calm Dark Filament
  • PRNCR-03 Filament migrated to Calm Gamma Filament
  • VXN-04 Filament migrated to Calm Firestorm Filament
  • CMT-05 Filament migrated to Calm Gamma Filament
  • CPD-06 Filament migrated to Calm Electrical Filament
  • DNNR-07 Filament migrated to Calm Electrical Filament
  • BLTZN-08 Filament migrated to Calm Electrical Filament
  • RDLF-09 Filament migrated to Calm Exotic Filament

If you hadn’t even opened up the appropriate Yoiul crates, you will find that they now contain abyssal filaments.

And, in an ongoing series of nerfs for carriers, Siren fighters have had their microwarp drives replaced with afterburners, so their new speed boosts are:

  • Tech I Siren now has 200% speed bonus from Afterburner
  • Tech II Siren now has 250% speed bonus from Afterburner

There are, of course, a bunch of other changes and fixes, most of which are detailed in the patch notes for the January 2020 release.

The January update has been reported as successfully deployed.

Also, as a reminder, CCP also has a limited time PLEX For Good event running to raise funds to help victims of the wildfires in Australia.

PLEX for Good

The event runs through January 26th.  The cash value of PLEX submitted by players (instructions at the link) will be donated to Icelandic Red Cross for distribution to the Australian Red Cross.

The December Update Brings Gambling and Structure Changes to EVE Online

The December update for EVE Online has gone live after an extended downtime and brings with it an array of changes for New Eden.

Called the “Free Market” release, the headline item for the update is the HyperNet Relay gambling interface that will allow player to pay CCP to allow them to run raffles in the game.

The New Face of Gambling in New Eden

I covered this return to gambling in New Eden in a previous post.  CCP received a lot of feedback on this feature, responded to none of it, and shipped it as announced.  We shall see how it plays out.

There is also a new wallet UI being added with the update.

The New Wallet UI

My enthusiasm for this is fairly small as well.  As usual, being used to one awkward UI makes the next one seem difficult.  I suppose they are trying to get rid of yet another rows and columns grid that helps keep the “spreadsheets in space” theme alive, but I still think they need to fill that senior UX designer position sooner rather than later.

There are also some changes to the player trading interface that is supposed to make what is being traded more obvious by, for example, displaying the type of ship being traded rather than the name the other player has given the item, closing a loophole for some scams.

Also coming with today’s update is another of the Team Talos projects, Kicking over Castles.

Team Talos strikes again

This project has its own dev blog, but in short it is an attempt to address some of the ways that people have been using the mechanics of Upwell Structures to the detriment of the game.  The changes are:

  • Defenders can no longer choose a day of the week for exiting the hull reinforcement cycle. Structures will exit reinforcement at the next available hour of the defenders choosing (+/- 3 hours) after the following durations:
    • Wormhole space: 1.5 days
    • Low and Null security space: 2.5 days
    • High security space: 4.5 days
  • Updated vulnerability windows now takes 30 days to take effect (instead of 7).
  • In a solar system where the Activity Defense Multiplier is above 4.0 and where an Infrastructure Hub is held by an alliance, pilots that are NOT members of that alliance will be unable to deploy medium Upwell structures (Astrahus, Athanor and Raitaru).
  • The random jitter range on reinforcement exit times is increased from +/- 2 hours to +/- 3 hours.

These changes will give attackers a chance to get a timer that isn’t both mid-week and 180 degrees off their own on time zone as well as keeping down the ability for hostiles to drop staging structures in your home system.

But the biggest change coming as part of this, to my mind at least, is related to Faction Warfare, where the ability to ignore the NPC stations by bringing your own structures has been somewhat game breaking.

New FW Tethering Rules

Basically, if you’re in FW space held by the other faction, you can no longer happily tether up and feel safe on any old structure you come across.

While that falls short of simply not allowing Upwell structures in FW space, which probably should have been the default mode back when they were introduced, it at least makes attackers in FW a little less safe.

Also, the time limit is up on Ansiblex Jump Gate and Tenebrex Cyno Jammer structures that are anchored within 500km of a structure.  Any that have not been moved out of that range will now be offline until they are moved.

Finally, in another blow to fans of Player Owned Starbases, blueprints for many POS modules have been converted to be blueprints for Upwell structure modules.  They are not gone yet, but there isn’t much left of the once mighty POS.

There are also the usual array of minor fixes and adjustments.  These are covered in the patch notes for the December update.  The release has been reported as successfully deployed, so all the changes are there waiting for people to log in.

EVE Online Gets Rapid Fire and Triglavians in its Third November Update

I thought EVE Online going to updates every five weeks was a bit of a fast pace, but now we’re into our third update for November.  We had the new player login campaign update first, a tiny update yes, but it got its own release notes, so I covered it.  Then we got the Beat Around the Boosh update two weeks back.  And now we’re getting an update to the Triglavian event and the Team Talos Rapid Fire update, which was mentioned back at EVE Vegas.

The invasion continues

On the Triglavian front, the event has been updated, with CONCORD observatories being deployed around New Eden to study the Triglavian stellar accelerators.  But, as always, CONCORD needs your help.  In this case, they want you to defend these observatories from Triglavian attack.

Also coming with this update is the Triglavian dreadnought, the Zirnitra, which was previewed at EVE Vegas.

Very big Triglavian ships arrive

With it comes a new capital ship class entropic disintigrator weapon along with the X-large ammo to go with it and the skills you’ll need to train up in order to use the ship and its weapons.  And, of course, there are BPCs out there.  This dreadnought is supposed to be less expensive to build than past faction dreads have been.  CCP wants people flying this beast.

Then there is the Team Talos project, the Rapid Fire update, which brings good news to a number of Minmatar hulls and auto cannons.

Stabber Fleet Issue, Tempest Fleet Issue, Typhoon, Bellicose and Rifter are all getting a bit of a buff, while medium autocannons are getting a bit of stat increase as well.

On the flip side, the over-used Muninn is getting a bit of a nerf (no wonder Elo Knight is taking a break now) as are Angel Cartel ships.

Then there is Team Five-0 and the shareable bookmarks update.  This brings the long sought after Alliance Bookmarks feature by creating a way that bookmarks can be shared via the Access Control List interface.  There is a cost however, in that there are limits to the number of bookmarks than can be saved.  There are 102 individuals that currently exceed the 20,000 bookmark hard cap that the system will enforce, but with 248 million saved locations in New Eden, some effort to keep system performance viable had to be made.

There is a dev blog that covers this in detail and the forum thread where problems with the change are brought up.  No matter what CCP does at this point, somebody will be unhappy.  Of course, I only have a few hundred bookmarks, so I am nowhere close to the problem zone.  And I know people who are very happy with the change as well.  I’ll personally be glad to have wormhole bookmarks that can be set to expire and go away on their own.

Then there is the Black Friday login campaign which will reward capsuleers who login daily between Nov 27th (tomorrow) and Dec 3rd.

Further details for these changes are in the updated November patch notes, with some additional information on the updates page. The update has been reported live, so it is our reality now.

In addition, as part of EVE London CCP released a new trailer for items coming to the game this winter.

However, a good portion of them are available as part of today’s update, which is dropping nearly a month ahead of the calendar maker determined first day of winter in the northern hemisphere.  But I’ve always maintained that seasons are more a state of mind… though November still feels like autumn in my book.

Addendum: Probes are now optional in Thera thanks to the bookmarks change.

Beat Around the Boosh Arrives in New Eden

The next of the Team Talos updates mentioned at EVE Vegas landed in New Eden today. (Team Talos overview and details were in this presentation.)

Team Talos Presents…

This is another set of changes aimed at upsetting the current combat meta in order to make things more interesting.  The specific items changed by Team Talos are:

  • Micro Jump Field Generator reworked to move a maximum of 25 capsuleer ships. All fighters, drones, probes and bombs will always be moved
  • Bosonic Field Generator signature resolution increased to 10,000 (was 2000)
  • Dromi I and Standup Dromi I web amount reduced to 10% (was 15%)
  • Dromi II and Standup Dromi II web amount reduced to 15% (was 20%)
  • Ansiblex Jump Gate and Tenebrex Cyno Jammer must now be anchored at least 500km from other Upwell Structures

The first item on the list is a bit of a fix for the invulnerable booshing Raven fleet popularized by The Initiative that could essentially shoot a Keepstar without taking much damage.

The jump effect forming before a Raven fleet

The next three are attempts to make subcaps less vulnerable to supers and titans, while the final change basically keeps people from anchoring either of those structures effectively under the guns of a Keepstar.  CCP was going to grandfather currently situated structures, but rightly decided to apply it universally after some time elapsed.  It is a null sec alliance thing, and null sec alliances can afford to make the change.

So we get those changes today, but we also get a few more items.

Today is the launch of the Korean language version of the EVE Online client.  If you get bought by a Korean company you might as well use their resources.  This is alleged to be getting a pretty big marketing campaign to go with it, so there might be a few more players about during the often quiet time frame between when the US goes to bed and Europe gets home from work.

There are also some updates in the new user experience and the UI, which will no doubt help along the surge of new players the company no doubt expects.

And there are even a rash of fixes.  It sort of makes you wonder why they did such a small update last week.  You can go through the patch notes to see everything they felt worth mentioning.

EVE Online Gets a Very Small November Update

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

Velator rookie ships as the patch theme

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

Patch Notes For November 2019 – 2019-11-05

Released On Tuesday, November 5th 2019

New Player Experience:

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

More updates to come as the month rolls on.

That is it.

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

How many new players log back in as time passes

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

So that is apparently what today’s update brings.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

No more of this frigate cyno stuff

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

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

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

And so the chaos continues.

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

Crucial/Red if:

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

Warning/Yellow if:

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

Info/White if:

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

Skill warning if:

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

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

Dual tanked Raven as an example

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

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

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

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

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

The before and after look

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

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

The EVE Online August Update brings Community Ship Fittings

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

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

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

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

Not shown, defender light missiles

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

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

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

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

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

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

Triglavian Recon vessels have been sighted outside of Invasion zones

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

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