Tag Archives: EVE Updates

Friday Red Dot Bullet Points about EVE Online

It is time for another Friday bullet points blog post, this time to pull together some bits of EVE Online news that have popped up in the last week or so.

  • The Red Dot Option

The Red Dot has been a hot topic for some since its introduction.  I wouldn’t mind it so much if it just worked consistently.  But it doesn’t.  I can be in my ship, in space, sitting still, and the damn red dot will pop up on my inventory icon over and over, even when I have done nothing.  And I am one of those people who cannot leave an alert like that alone.  I must make it go away, and when it keeps coming back for no reason I want to scream.

This week there was a small patch update that had this item.

Added a toggle to general settings in-game allowing UI Inventory Badging (Red Dot) to be enabled or disabled.

You can now turn off the Red Dot!  Just go to the general settings tab and look for the Inventory Badging option.

Banish the Red Dot here

I can already see Brisc Rubal running for another CSM term on the slogan “We Banished the Red Dot for you!”

  • EVE in a Browser

CCP has started beta testing EVE Anywhere, the option to run EVE Online in a web browser.

EVE Anywhere except in my Firefox browser

One of the goals of any online game is to reduce the effort required to get players into the game.  Free to play takes away the credit card barrier, allowing players to start without a financial commitment.  But the dream has always been to avoid the client altogether and to let players jump right into playing without a long download and install.  Several MMORPGs have worked on this in the past… Runes of Magic tried this for a while… but it hasn’t really become an option.  Now CCP is giving it a run.

The beta is open to Omega accounts in the US.  I tried it for a bit and it mostly seems to work, though the security settings in Firefox seemed to prevent their site from even giving me to option to try it.

Going to Microsoft Edge the big yellow “Play in a Browser” button was displayed and I was able to get into the game.  The resolution is limited to 1080p and has to run full screen.  Also, every setting saved locally by the regular client is missing from the browser, which quickly becomes annoying.  But if you needed to log in to update your skill queue or do some market updates, it would be viable.

  • Federation Grand Prix

If you haven’t started collecting login rewards for the Federation Grand Prix event, it is too late to grab them all now, as the event ends early next week.  But, there is easily time left to actually run the event and collect a bunch of special SKINs as rewards.

Federation Grand Prix 2021

You just have to fly to the Luminaire system and warp to the start line to get your first detestation.  Be wary though, especially during prime time hours.  You have to fly through low sec, and even some NPC null sec, space and the route is known, so smart bombing ships and gate camps will be out trying to zap you.  An interdiction nullified interceptor will get you past most gate camps, but you should avoid warping directly to gates if you want to bypass smart bombers.

  • Skill Rentals Now with Ships and PLEX

CCP has already launched a new round of Expert Systems, the rent a skill program introduced earlier this month.

The new Mindstorm Experience packs include an exploration package that comes with a fully fit T1 exploration ship and a mining package that comes with 50 PLEX that the player can sell to help them buy their first mining barge.  Expert Systems persist through death, but ships do not, so I wonder how new players who buy the pack will feel when things inevitably go awry.

There is a deeper look at these new packs over at The Nosy Gamer.

  • Coming Quality of Life Improvements

CCP announced a series of quality of life improvements coming to EVE Online next week, which include changes to clones, ECM burst modules, and wormhole mass limits.

The clone change is huge, allowing players to store multiple clones in the same citadel.  As somebody who has several clones with specific implant sets stashed in 1DQ1-A, this is kind of a big deal even for me.  I’m a little sad about the ECM burst changes, as I enjoy doing that and, given the number of ships I have lost doing it, it is clearly a counterable play style.  But players in general hate ECM and CCP has a history of nerfing it into uselessness.


The March Update Brings Fleet Formations and Skill Rentals to EVE Online

CCP has pushed out their first big update for the month and it brings with it two features that CCP has mentioned before, fleet formations and the new player skill rental program called Expert Systems.

Fleet Formations

They are here at last.

  • Fleet formation settings can be accessed via a new tab in the fleet window.
  • Fleet warp will use a default point formation which behaves the same as fleet warps have until now.
  • Available formations include Plane, Wall, Sphere, Arrow, and Relative.
  • Fleet formations are respected for Fleet, Wing, and Squad warps.

Formations have been up on the test server for a while, so I suspect that some fleet commanders will be using this feature right out of the gate… provided that they have Leadership V trained up already so they can train up the new skills that go with the feature.  There are two:

  • Fleet Formations
  • Fleet Coordination

The first skill gives access to various pre-set formations (Plane, Wall, Sphere, Arrow, and Relative) with each level trained.

The second, which requires Fleet Formations be trained up to level I, impacts the size and scaling options for the custom formation, which allows an FC to set their fleet up and save the relative spacing and location so they can warp their fleet in and remain spread out.  Fleet Coordination affects the size and spread of formations allowed as well as unlocking unlocking additional scaling options with each level trained.

So to get full access to all of the fleet formation options a dedicated FC will need two skills trained up to level V.  But skill injectors have been around for five years now, so I expect any FC who really wants the skills will have them as soon as they want.

As part of fleet formations CCP has also introduce a new deployable, the Mobile Cyno Beacon.

The new cyno reality

Detail from the patch notes:

  • Disallowed in: Wormhole, Pochven, Abyssal Space
  • Restricted to Security systems below: 0.5
  • Activation Delay: 2 minutes
  • Maximum lifetime: 1 hour
  • Volume: 400
  • Skill Requirement: Anchoring 3
  • Blueprints can be found in NPC stations where other mobile deployables are seeded.

Developer Comment: This deployable item will bind to the fleet of the deploying character upon launch. Once activation completes, it will act as a regular cyno beacon for that fleet for the lifetime of the deployable, regardless of any fleet changes of the deploying character.

After making cynos available only on force recon and black ops battleships back in September 2019, CCP has decided that maybe some new twist was needed in the cyno dynamic.  Now a fleet can bring beacons along to setup to summon in reinforcements without the need to take up a fitting slot and carry around a bunch of fuel.

I do like that “Min distance from Control Tower,” the main element of the old POS structures, is listed in the parameters.  A sign that they are probably not going away any time soon.

Anyway, I am sure people will be warping around to shoot these soon enough.

Expert Systems

First mentioned about two weeks ago as a way to help new players, the idea was met by some skepticism by some in the player base.  Those who could get past the “real world money to rent skills” cash grab aspect of the idea were not convinced that this would be a mechanism that would help, or appeal to, new players in EVE Online.

But CCP was adamant, with EVE Online Program Director CCP Rattati saying that the move was considered because CCP definitely did not want to sell skill points… two days before CCP began selling skill points.

So now Expert Systems are here.  They are accessible from a new tab on your character sheet that shows you the offerings currently available and what they get you for your seven day rental.

Expert Systems tab

The offerings now are:

  • Amarr HS Space Exploration – $1.99
  • Caldari HS Space Exploration – $1.99
  • Gallenta HS Space Exploration – $1.99
  • Minmatar HS Space Exploration – $1.99
  • Core Ship Operations – $3.99
  • Mining Barge Operations – $3.99

At the bottom of the window is a “View in Store” button which opens up the Expert Systems page in the secure web store in a browser outside of the game, where you can purchase your rental.

Expert Systems Web Store Page

It mentions in the patch notes that the rentals can be extended from 7 to 30 days for a price, but that pricing is not immediately visible and I wasn’t keen to pay for one just to find out.  But i would guess that four times the duration would end up costing four times the price.

CCP lists the benefits of this new system as:

  • Experience and discover new gameplay and activities for limited time periods.
  • Highly accessible pricing that opens up the possibility of new paths before full training commitment.
  • Expert System access will be retained upon ship or capsule destruction.

That is all fine and dandy, but in addition to my own doubts that this will tempt many new players… or that they will even stick around long enough to figure out that it is a thing they would want… since these can only be purchased from the secure web store, that means any new player that wants to try them out needs to fork over a credit card number.  That has traditionally been a huge barrier in games that otherwise offer a free to play option.

CCP says that they may offer these are login rewards at some point as well.  That might have a greater impact on new players, if they can figure out where they go once you redeem them and how to activate them.  The game’s UI will ever be a burden.

Other Items

There are the usual mix of minor fixes and improvements.  The game is like an old house at this point, in constant need of little fixes here and there.  Some of them seem like they might have come to light due to current events, like the Imperium issuing war bonds:

  • Fixed an issue with the wallet for entering a number into the Shares field after giving out an amount of shares once will throw an exception.

Or fixes for things that have been posted as part of the ongoing “Literally Unplayable” meme in /r/eve:

  • Fixed an issue in the fitting window where a grey line overlapped over the top bar of the ammo slots.

Or items that were no doubt found on the test server as people played with the new features:

  • Fixed issues that unintentionally allowed launching of deployables or the activation of Cynosural Field Generator modules inside of stars, planets and moons.

I am sure that somebody was prepared to abuse that last one somehow.

And then there are some updated and new monuments out in New Eden with this patch as well.

  • The “Mekhios Graveyard” landmark in the Sarum Prime system has received a major overhaul.
  • Several new landmark locations have been added to the game:
    • A new monument to the famed capsuleer Chribba can be found within the Amarr system.
    • A new memorial to the late Emperor Doriam II can be found within the Kor-Azor Prime system.
    • A new Federation Grand Prix Finish Line location can be found within the Luminaire system, in preparation for the start of the YC123 Federation Grand Prix event on Thursday 11 March.
    • A new monument celebrating the champions of the Alliance Tournaments can be found within the Manarq system.
    • A new monument honouring the capsuleers who participated in Project Discovery Phase Two can be found within the Pakhshi system.

This will no doubt give Mark726 at EVE Travel some new things to post about.

The patch has been deployed, so you can log in and see the changes.  Relevant links:

EVE Online Gets the Bastions of War Update for Marauders

CCP launched the Bastions of War update today which seeks to make marauder class battleships more powerful.

Here come the marauders

The changes for marauder class battleships are:

All Marauders class ships:

  • Lock range increased by 30%
  • Sensor strength increased by 8

Bastion Module I:

  • Bastion now increases the rate of fire for all large weapons by 50% (100% DPS increase)
  • Bastion duration reduced from 60s to 30s


  • 5% bonus to large projectile rate of fire changed to 7.5% large projectile damage


  • Amarr Battleship bonus to Capacitor Capacity changed to 10% reduction in Large Energy Turret capacitor need


  • Capacitor Capacity increased to 8000 GJ
  • Capacitor Recharge rate reduced to 17m and 30s

We will see how this changes the marauder state of play in New Eden.

In order to celebrate this update CCP would like to sell you a new pack for $35 that has marauder (and recon) SKINs and skill books as well as some Omega time.

In addition, there were the following changes to try and nerf the ubiquitous null sec heavy assault cruiser doctrines that have dominated the war.

Assault Damage Controls:

  • Duration reduced by 25%
  • Passive hull resist bonus reduced from 30% to 25% for Tech I and from 40% to 30% for Tech II

Heavy Assault Cruisers:

  • Removed the reduction in Microwarpdrive signature radius penalty

CCP also took a pass on interdictors in an attempt to make the Sabre a little less dominant in the category, buffing the other three hulls in the segment.


  • The reduction in plate mass penalty increased from 15% to 20%
  • Bonus to the rate of fire increased from 5% to 7.5%


  • Bonus to Shield HP increased from 10% to 15%


  • Bonus to Armor HP increased from 10% to 15%

In addition to that, CCP took another pass at web bubbles, an interdictor item, to try and make them more viable.  Now they web harder and further and faster.

Stasis Webification Probes:

  • Web strength increased from 30% to 40%
  • Area of effect range increased from 10km to 15km
  • Warm-up Duration reduced from 3s to 2s

The Revelation dreadnought, currently the dominant hull in the dread meta, got some changes.


  • Power Grid reduced from 780,000 MW to 700,000 MW
  • XL Beam Power need reduced by 10,000 MW
  • XL Beam CPU need reduced by 10 tf

And, finally, the Monitor fleet command hull got some buffs to help out your FC.


  • Added a Drug Bay and a Charge Bay
  • Removed Target Painter Resistance from Structures.

That second sounds more like a change to structures, but since the Monitor can only mount a target painter, the price of its durability, up until now your fleet commander has been out of luck if they wanted to get on structure kills.  Now the FC and all the Vigil and Hyena pilots can whore on citadels kills.

These changes and a couple of other minor items, can be found in the patch notes for today’s update.

The February Update Brings the Reign Quadrant to EVE Online

We had a bit of a gap in our quadrants… there should be four in a year or three months each I gather… as January went by without any news of a new one. But the February update has everybody back at work in Iceland and ready to carry on with the idea.

And so we have arrived at the Reign Quadrant, which… pays homage to the Tactical Supremacy alliance?  Better than suggesting it was about the weather I guess.

Tactical Supremacy is Victory I guess

(revised Reign logo from Reddit)

As for what this quadrant is bringing… well… not a lot I am really excited about.  The trailer feels like more fluff than usual.

There are the new fleet discovery enhancements… which I must admit, speaking from a jaded null sec perspective, seems to be a more efficient way to get spies and awoxers in your fleet.  But I am sure this will make somebody’s life better or easier… or more miserable.  We know somebody will find the exploit.  The options listed include:

  • The new Fleet Finder tool allows to register fleets for a series of different activities, such as Abyssal Deadspace, Exploration, Pirate Strongholds, Combat Anomalies and more!
  • Fleets can be publicly available, have limited discoverability to your Corporation, Alliance or restrict access to pilots with specific standings or security status.
    • Minimum standing requirements of 0.0 will include Capsuleers you have no standings towards.
  • Fleets can be marked as New Player Friendly.
  • Fleet Commanders can automatically accept all incoming join requests or require a manual approval before a new pilot can join the fleet.
  • Fleets can hide details about their composition and location in the advert.

We are also getting new travel animations for jump gates, bridging, and filaments.  They also improve something… there is a chart in the patch notes with no description or that indicates speed or duration of some sort to prove this… but they are pretty.  Some times pretty is enough, though I suspect we’ll be jaded about the new animations in a few weeks.

There are also some changes for jump clones and how you set your home station.

  • Removed the cost for setting a Home Station.
  • You can now set your Home Station without a Clone Bay service, even while in space, though the 1 year remote restriction still applies.
  • Added a new ‘Home Station’ tab to the Character section of the Character Sheet.
  • Removed the old Clone Bay Service UI as all previous functionality is now in the Character Sheet.
  • Updated the Home Stations icons in the Character Sheet and the Map.
  • Added a Home Station indicator badge in the Overview.
  • You can now choose to redeem items to your Home Station, including when in space or from the Character Selection screen.

I like the removed cost.  However, what I really need is five or ten more jump clones to juggle all my locations and implant sets.  Can we get Very Advanced Infomorph Psychology and Super Advanced Infomorph Psychology?

There are also some changes to character creation, including removing the ancestry choices.  I had heard previously that there were some changes on the way to try and make getting into the game less cumbersome.  If you create a new account you get a much reduced version of the intro and character options already, and that appears to have been applied further.  It makes some sense, as you avatar is mostly just a portrait in New Eden, so getting too hooked up in creation is probably a mistake.

Also, the company has decided that it will now be called Planetary Industry going forward, in an attempt to settle on a single term.  We’ll see if they changed all the occurrences of Planetary Production or Planetary Interaction as they claim.  I bet they missed some.

There are a bunch of other fixes and updates.  It isn’t an exciting release, but there is a bunch of smaller things in the mix that overall will make the game better.  It just doesn’t feel like much of a theme for a quadrant.

Of course, they broke a few things.  There was an emergency patch about bookmarks shortly after the update went live.  Bookmarks were huge in some cases.

Anyway, you can find more information at the links below:

Quantum Cores Now Required in Upwell Structures

Today is the day that Quantum Cores are required for all Upwell structures that provide tethering.

There is 100 billion ISK in cores

Quantum Cores were introduced in a Dev Blog back in September of 2020 and the cores themselves were seeded into the game as part of a patch that month.

The schedule for their deployment to the game was

  • Seeding – September 8, 2020
  • Required for new structures – October 13, 2020
  • Required for existing structures – January 12, 2021

Now that the final date has passed, any currently deployed Upwell structure without a Quantum Core will face the following restrictions:

  • The structure will not provide any tethering support to nearby ships.
  • The ship fitting service will be unavailable to any ships docked within the structure.
  • The ship/module repair service will be unavailable to any ships docked within the structure.

In addition, any NEW structure that is deployed as of this date without a Quantum Core installed will remain in the onlining vulnerable stage where the hull HP layer is exposed and the structure is vulnerable to destruction.

So structures already out there will still require the usual pass through the armor and hull timers.  My mention of a possible new “happy time” of destruction yesterday was incorrect.

The idea behind Quantum Cores was to curtail some of the structure spam in New Eden… again… by making Upwell structures more expensive and awkward to deploy as well as providing an incentive for people to blow them up.

The first two come with the price and size of the cores, which have to be purchased and transported to the structure being deployed.

The Quantum Core Menu

Those prices inflate the cost of deploying structures significantly.  An Astrahus can be had for about 800 million ISK in Jita and a Raitaru just under 400 million.  And the high end, a Sotiyo is about 22 billion ISK in Jita (nobody sells Keepstars it seems) and the core adds another 10 billion on top of that.

The need to buy cores was part of the reason why the Imperium issued war bonds at the end of last year; there was a spike in our liquid ISK requirements.  Likewise, I mentioned that TEST was pulling down some structures in order to avoid having to spend the ISK to core them.  So they are having an impact of sorts.

As for the incentive, when you kill a structure the core drops 100% of the time and can be sold back to the NPC vendor for the full price it cost to buy, so there is a 600 million ISK incentive to blow up an Astrahus and 30 billion ISK incentive for a Keepstar.

A tidy sum if you can collect.

As for whether things will go as CCP plans, we shall see.  I am pretty sure people blow up structures already just for the joy and the kill mail.  And I know that making deploying a structure more expensive and awkward to deploy will keep some people from bothering.

But when I looked out on the array of structures in 1DQ1-A this morning on the main Keepstar grid and didn’t see a single one with the “CORE ABSENT” status, so if somebody was hoping the Imperium would be unanchoring structures they might be a bit disappointed.

CCP Reverts EVE Online Drone Aggression Nerf and Other Items

CCP Paradox announced in the forums yesterday that CCP would be rolling back the change to drone behavior that was introduced with Tuesday’s game update based on feedback they received… and because the change totally broke drone assist.

The statement says drone assist breaks in “certain scenarios,” but so far as I can tell, having  experimented with it a bit, the main scenario is “player is logged in and trying to assist drones to another player.”  You can make the call as to whether you believe feedback or dysfunction was the prime motivator for the roll back.

The statement in the forums said CCP would update us today with timing for the change, but the patch notes update for December 11th say:

  • The change to drone behavior made on 8 December has been reverted. This means that drone functionality will be exactly the same as before the patch with ‘Aggressive’ setting once again automatically attacking NPCs. More information can be found on EVE Online forums.

So you may once again let your drones fly free to attack any aggressive NPCs that come your way as you mine or rat or whatever while AFK.

Drones will once again sort out this mess on their own

Also in the patch notes was a change to the Winter Nexus Wightstorm event sites which were inadvertently dropping Nightmare Blueprint Originals rather than single use Blueprint Copies.  The former would be game breaking and extremely valuable.  That has been corrected.

  • The Wightstorm data sites from the Winter Nexus event are now properly dropping single-use Nightmare BPCs.

CCP asked players not to copy or try to sell the Nightmare BPOs, which should have all been reverted to BPCs with the update as well.

And, since we’re on the topic of things CCP has been fixing, yesterday they fixed the issue that was preventing people from setting stations without clone services as their home station (or death clone location in game parlance, the place where you come back when you have been podded) .  When this broke it was noticed almost immediately because Jita 4-4, the main trade hub and most popular NPC station in the game does not have clone services, so suddenly nobody could set their death clone there.  This led me to ask on Twitter:

Now that CCP has reverted the medical clone issue, my question is why didn’t Jita 4-4 get clone services with the big renovation? They had budget for a space elevator but not some clone bays?

Seriously, why doesn’t this station have clone services?  The mysteries of New Eden.

Drone Aggression Nerf and Tech II Salvage Drones Arrive in EVE Online

It is patch day in New Eden again and the big item is the drone behavior change CCP mentioned in the forums two weeks back.  From the Patch Notes:

  • The ‘Aggressive’ behavior setting of drones will now only cause drones to respond to direct offensive actions taken by another Capsuleer (player) or their controlled drones. Drones will no longer automatically attack NPCs when their behavior is set to aggressive.

This means you can no longer belt rat, rub Abyssal pockets, defend your mining ship, run missions, or clear null sec anomalies by setting your drones to “aggressive” and letting them do their thing.  Drones will still attack live players, but you will have to target NPCs and send your drones to attack them one by one.  Learn to unironically press F.

That last, null sec anomalies, is the obvious target of the change and is the latest is a long round of nerfs to sov null space. The stated objective is to make ratting a game play style that requires attention.  But that seems to miss the point people have made in the past, which was that if it were interesting game play people would pay attention in the first place.

Players who just ran anomalies while AFK will stop while botting scripts will get updated to target and carry on.  In the end this cunning plan will likely allow CCP to ban anybody caught running anomalies because they will almost assuredly be bots.

Meanwhile, the joy of last month’s Dynamic Bounty System has now spread:

  • The Dynamic Bounty System (DBS) is now active across all Low Security solar systems.

That might actually be a net benefit to the few people who collect bounties in Low Sec on a regular basis.

There have also been some tweaks to CCP’s mineral starvation plan.

  • Added a guaranteed anomaly containing Arkonor and Bistot to all Null Sec systems.
  • Added an extra guaranteed anomaly containing Arkonor and Bistot for systems with true sec between 0.0 and -0.5.
  • Added guaranteed anomaly containing Jaspet to all Low Sec systems.
  • Updated rules governing the distribution of ice anomalies. After an ice anomaly is cleared it will now be reseeded randomly in any of the systems where ice is known to spawn. More than one ice anomaly may exist in the same system.

So there might be a bit more ore in a system near you.  Low sec still seems like a dubious mining destination as I would expect anomalies, if not camped, to be checked regularly by passing PvP players looking for easy kills.

Then there is the big gimme of the patch, CCP has introduced Tech II salvage drones, much to the joy of Dunk Dinkle who has been asking for them for ages.  I am reasonably certain he ran for CSM previously just so he could lobby CCP for them in person.  And now he has his drones.

Image stolen from his Twitter feed

We actually get TWO new types of salvage drones, Tech II and faction, the latter in obvious recognition of somebody.

  • The Salvage Drone II Blueprint can be invented from the Salvage Drone I Blueprint.
  • ‘The Dunk’ Salvage Drone Blueprint can be purchased from the ORE LP store.

With a Tech II drone that means there is now a Salvage Drone Specialization skill that you will have to train up to go with them.  Fortunately, unlike a lot of such skills, you won’t need to get it via LP, you can buy it straight from the character sheet.

CCP also tweaked the Active Defense Multiplier (ADM) system which dictates vulnerability and entosis duration when you are attacking a system.

  • Increased Activity Defense Multiplier (ADM) Industry modifier to make it easier to increase and sustain high industry ADM.
  • Increased ADM Military modifier to increase the delta between where the ADM drops to level 4 and the value where the Dynamic Bounty System reduces the output of the system.

For years the message from null sec has been that Fozzie Sov favors the attacker and, now, in the middle of a war, they decided to change it.  I’ll be interested to see who each faction thinks this will favor.  Does it favor Goons, who are on the defensive?  Or does it favor PAPI as they now hold so many ihubs in Delve that will more difficult to take back.  I’ll let them fight that out on /r/eve and the forums.

The Patch Notes also indicate that full Japanese localization is now live in the client.  I wish I could read enough Japanese to follow the forum thread that will point out the unfortunate errors.

Finally, the award for most cryptic entry in the Patch Notes goes to:

  • Updated Daily Login Rewards to make getting Skillpoints more visceral and understandable.

I don’t know what it means, but I guess I’ll find out when I hit the 30 day login reward.  But my gut says that giving people something for just logging in is never going to be “visceral” in any sense of the word.

Otherwise, there are the usual range of fixes that go into any update.  That patch has gone live and the information is at the usual locations below:

The Explosive Velocity Update Lands in EVE Online

Here in the shadow of the Shadowlands launch CCP dropped an update of their own.  The Explosive Velocity update takes aim at torpedoes and a few neglected hulls.

Is this the work of Team Talos?

Torpedoes will see the following changes that will make them more effective.

  • All XL Torpedoes:
    • Explosion Velocity increased by 20%
    • Missile Velocity increased by 20%
    • Damage increased by 10%
  • All Torpedoes:
    • Explosion Radius reduced by 10%
    • Explosion Velocity increased by 10%
    • Missile Velocity increased by 20%
    • Maximum Flight Time increased by 20%
  • Torpedo Launcher:
    • CPU usage and Powergrid usage reduced by 7%

That will make ships that can use torpedoes a little more effective and give them a little more power grid to play with when launchers are mounted.

One set of torpedo using hulls did get a bit of a nerf.  Stealth bombers were already pretty powerful out in the wild and remain quite popular, so they took a hit to keep them from being too OP.

  • Bonus to Torpedo Maximum Velocity lowered from 20% to 15% per level
  • Racial Frigate Bonus to Explosion Velocity / Explosion Radius was removed

That offsets some of the torpedo buffs, but still leaves them better post-patch.

Two dreadnoughts also got changes today to help them be more competitive.

  • Phoenix:
    • CPU increased from 965 to 990
    • Power Grid increased from 500000 to 550000
  • Moros:
    • Low slots increased from 7 to 8
    • Mid slots decreased from 5 to 4

The Phoenix, the platform for XL torpedoes, also benefits from the above changes, which might help break it out of its very specialized applications.  We shall see if the slot changes helps the currently unloved Moros.

Then there is the Griffin Navy Issue, which is neither a dread nor a torpedo platform.  It just needed some help in its role as a short range ECM drone boat it seems, as CCP made the following changes:

  • Caldari Frigate bonuses (per skill level):
    • 10% bonus to ECM Drone jam duration
    • 20% bonus to Small Hybrid Turret damage
  • Misc. Bonus:
    • 85% penalty to drone damage
    • 50% penalty to drone hitpoints and drone control range
  • Attribute changes:
    • Drone Bandwidth increased from 5 to 25
    • Drone Capacity increased from 5 to 35

It got a bigger drone bay and the ability to launch more drones, but that 85% nerf to drone damage clearly means CCP doesn’t want people running it with combat drones.  ECM only please.  We’ll see if anybody ends up using the hull now.

And, finally, today’s patch slips in what I will call the “YZ9-F6 boson fix.”  Back in October the Imperium set a trap to slaughter PAPI caps and supers, and executed it correctly… only to have CCP’s code fail to deliver the damage it should have.  CCP acknowledged the issue, though there was little they could do after the fact.  But this line in the patch notes seems to indicate they have tried to remedy the issue for future fights.

Improved the stability of damage-over-time superweapons to make them more reliable at applying their full damage under heavy server loads.

Of course, somebody will have to trust CCP enough to try it before we’ll know if the fix was effective.  Who is going to gamble some titans on that?

Anyway, the patch notes are available and the update has been deployed.

The November Update brings Null Sec Nerfs and Supercarrier Clone Bays to EVE Online

The November update for EVE Online dropped this morning, bringing with it the one-two punch of promised null sec nerfs related to NPC bounties.

But first, a screen shot of the newly finished station at Jita 4-4.

The Trade Capital of New Eden

When people refer to “Jita” they usually mean the Caldari Navy Assembly Plant at Jita planet 4 moon 4, the main trade hub of the game.  After 17 years CCP decided to upgrade the long used station model to something befitting its stature in New Eden.

Like any commercial property in a prime location, the station is now plastered with more advertisements that Times Square in New York.  But once in a while it tells you where you are.

The place to be

To celebrate this CCP has launched a new login campaign, because of course they have.  But you’ll have to re-do your insta-dock bookmarks as the new structure has changed all of that.

But back to nerfs.

Dynmaic Bounties

First up is the new Dynamic Bounty System that was announced a couple weeks back in a dev blog.

The plan is to reduce the NPC bounties in null sec systems that see lots of PvE activity, while raising it in systems that see PvP activity.  Bounties will range between 30% and 150% or normal depending on activity.

The stated idea is to drive conflict by forcing alliances to expand and compete over more fertile ratting grounds.  Not only is it unlikely to do that, but that seems to be a reverse tack from the reasons for Fozzie Sov, which sought to end the era of three giant empires controlling most of null sec in order to make people live in their own space.  The whole ADM system encourages ratting at home to build up defenses.

We’ll see if this has any impact or is players will just figure out how to game the system.  The   This certainly won’t have any impact on botting, which will just take the payout nerfs in stride, since ISK obtained with unattended play is all upside.

Encounter Surveillance System

This is a rework of a previously option, and widely rejected mechanic that would boost bounty payout in exchange for putting some of your payout at risk.  These were banned in Imperium space due to the huge amount of drama they brought with them.  A dev blog announced an updated version of the ESS that is now mandatory in all null sec systems.

The new ESS now takes a big percentage of your bounty payouts (I think they said a third in the live stream about it) and holds it in a bank that will pay out in regular three hour intervals.  You can go and collect it yourself, but you have to go through an acceleration gate and motor 75km to the bank.  But anybody else can show up and do the same, stealing your bounties.  There are restrictions to make this a bit of work:

  • Warping is disabled
  • MJDs are disabled
  • MWDs are disabled
  • Cloaking is disabled
  • No cynos may be lit
  • No filaments may be activated

However, somebody in a PvP fit ship is going to have an advantage over anybody rolling in to the bank in a ratting ship.  I expect small gangs will take the gate and just sit at the warp in and kill ratters while taking their bounties.

This will probably have an impact on ratting as it will make it considerably less attractive to people who are not botting.  It also seems likely has the reverse effect of the Dynamic Bounties as it will encourage people to clump up for defense, ratting in fewer systems.  It will also favor groups that can form defense fleets.

We shall see what the MER says about these two changes, but the Imperium response has been to promote other ways its members can make ISK.

Those are the two big nerfs hitting null sec.

Supercarrier Upgrades

The Vat out of Hel idea is also being implemented today in an attempt to give supers their own roll.  This comes in three parts.  First there are some changes to the various hull bonuses:

  • Wyvern and Aeon Fighter damage bonus increased from 5% to 7.5%
  • Heavy Fighter Hit Points increased by 10%
  • Light Fighter Speed reduced by 10%
  • Light Fighter Signature increased by 10%
  • Increase Supercarrier Ship Maintenance Bay capacity from 2,500,000 m³ to 5,000,000 m³

The increased bay size is key here, as that is where supers store fitted subcaps.

Then there is a new module, the Tactical Capsuleer Recloner:

  • New module which allows fleet-mates to reclone directly in space in the event of capsule destruction
  • Can be fit to Supercarriers only
  • Requires different fuel types depending on which Supercarrier type fits the module. Each reclone event consumes 10 units of fuel. Fuel will be consumed from the fleet hangar and the cargo bay.
    • Wyvern: Nitrogen Fuel Block
    • Hel: Hydrogen Fuel Block
    • Aeon, Revenant: Helium Fuel Block
    • Nyx, Vendetta: Oxygen Fuel Block
  • Blueprints for the module can be found at the same stations that provide Clone Vat Bay blueprints

And then there is the Nanoheuristic Clone Mapper implant:

  • This new implant must be injected prior to capsule-destruction in order to enable recloning
  • Implant last for 6 hours (with duration further extended by the Biology skill) and will survive across capsule deaths
  • Blueprint sourced from Navy LP stores

All of this adds up to the ability for capsuleers to temporarily set their death clone to a supercarrier with the idea that, if they are podded, they come back at the super where they can grab a fresh ship to rejoin the fight.  The mechanics are:

  • Recloning allows fleet-mates to reclone directly in space in the event of capsule destruction, instead of waking up in a new medical clone at a station.
  • Recloning requires the the capsule pilot have a “Nanoheuristic Clone Mapper” implant injected, and that a fleet-mate Super Carrier pilot provides a recloning site with a active Tactical Capsuleer Recloner module.
  • On Capsule destruction, the Capsuleer will automatically reclone with a new capsule at the fleet’s closest active Tactical Capsuleer Recloner within the same solar system. The new capsule will spawn with 60 seconds of temporary invulnerability.
  • Added a new tab “Active Recloners” to the fleet window that will show all fleet-mates providing recloning facilities

An interesting idea.  CCP has struggled to make clone bays in capital ships useful in any way up until now.  I suspect that this won’t be a feature used in big battles, like the ones we have seen over Keepstars recently.  The level of coordination is high, and under severe tidi it is probably much quicker to death clone out of the battle, reship and fly back with no tidi, and just jump back into the system when you’re ready.  But for a small group operation, like a hot drop fleet deep in hostile space, this could be used to get pilots back in the fight quickly.

Other Items

There are a lot of small fixes and updates as is usual with these patches.  One I want to highlight is:

It is now possible to cancel an in-progress target lock

I am not sure when I would have time for that in combat.  It is generally just easier to wait for the lock and then remove it, except in high tidi situation, in which case another command is just going to sit in the queue for however long it takes, which is probably longer in many cases than it will take the actual lock to happen.  But I am sure somebody wanted this.

Anyway, the update has been successfully deployed.  Posts and other links related to it:

The Howling Interdictors Update comes to EVE Online

Last year Team Talos brought us the Howling Interceptors update around Halloween.  This year we get Howling Interdictors.

Howling for you

Interdictors are a popular ship in null sec, deploying as they do the warp disruption probes with generate a 20km diameter radius warp disruption sphere or bubble.   Bubbles are generally a part of any null sec fight as they can keep a hostile fleet from warping off, keeping them from getting away allowing you to shoot them.  Or sometimes you’re in the bubble.  Either way, they are not an option in empire space.

Bubble, bubbles everywhere

The big change is the addition of a new type of probe that can be used by interdictors, the web stasis probe.

Stasis webification probe

Like the modules of the same name, the stasis webification probe will reduce the maximum velocity of any ships within its sphere.  That sphere is half the size of a warp disruption probe, only 10km in diameter radius, and it has a short warm up duration.

Now to see how it will get used.  I know at least one capsuleer who has wanted this sort of probe, and I guess it might be used as a counter to “kitey bullshit” and other “trash tier tactics,” but we will have to wait an see.

In addition, three of the four interdictor hulls received updates.

The Sabre was passed over, being null sec’s default interdictor.  I know FCs who just call for Sabres rather than interdictors, since that is what you get most of the time anyway.

The Sabre is even endorsed by Permaband

The Eris, a rare sight on the field, received the most changes, most in an effort to make it a bit more nimble.

  • CPU increased to 250 tf (was 210)
  • Power Grid increased to 71 MW (was 64)
  • Max velocity to 316 m/s (was 305)
  • Signature radius to 78 m (was 85)
  • Mass reduced to 1,100,000 t (was 1,200,000)
  • Gallente Destroyer bonus changed to “5% bonus to small hybrid turret rate of fire per level” (was 10% bonus to small hybrid turret optimal range)
  • Interdictor bonus changed to “15% reduced mass penalty from armor plates per level” (was 5% bonus to small hybrid turret rate of fire)

The Flycatcher, which you do see out now and again, got a little more CPU and a little more tank, but stays with its damage bonus locked to kinetic.

  • CPU increased to 290 tf (was 280)
  • Caldari Destroyer bonus changes to “10% bonus to missile kinetic damage” (was 10% bonus to missile explosion radius)
  • Interdictors bonus changed to “10% increased shield HP per level” (was 10% bonus to missile kinetic damage)

And the Heretic, which can be a feature on armor fleets, though you still get Sabres because Sabres, got a little more CPU, Power Grid, and tank.

  • CPU increased to 270 tf (was 240)
  • PG increased to 70 MW (was 60)
  • Amarr Destroyer bonus changed to “10% increased armor HP per level” (was 10% bonus to light missile and rocket max velocity)

In addition to all of that combat interceptors, which were part of the Howling Interceptors changes, were revisited againthis year, getting a 100% boost to the effects of overheating on afterbruners and microwarp drives.  They will go very fast.  CCP is even holding a contest to see how fast people can make them go.

Also along for the ride with this patch are some fixes to improve the viability of the new Triglavian region in New Eden:

  • Significantly increased the Standings values gained from killing NPCs related to Triglavian Space
  • Corrected Standings incorrectly gained from Rogue Drone content unrelated to Triglavian Space
  • Reworked the Triglavian Wormhole site distribution rules
  • It is now possible to warp to 0 in Triglavian Wormhole sites
  • Increased the time between NPC spawns around Triglavian wormholes
  • Increased the drop availability and variety of Triglavian Space Filaments

There are a few other small fixes, but that is the primary content of today’s update.  They have all been appended to the October patch notes.