Tag Archives: Onslaught

A New Monument in Molea

Out in the Khanid region, in the Amdimmah constellation, is the system of Molea.

On the route from Amarr to the null sec regions of Catch and Querious, many capsuleers no doubt pass through the system every day, warping from gate to gate on their journey.

But in the system, at the second planets only moon, there is a POS tower anchored.  Around it are many small secure containers within the sphere of where the force field would be, if the tower was fueled.

You might have to use the right overview setting to see them, but they are there.

Containers revealed

That is the Molea Cemetary.

Each container has an inscription, the name of a fallen capsuleer.

Some inscriptions

Some have fallen in game, others in real life.  If you wish to read them, it is probably easiest just to get on grid with the tower by warping to planet II, moon 1 and doing a minimum range directional scan.

Easier to read in the dscan window

Started by capsuleer Azia Burgi more than a decade back, it is another example of a player initiative that gained a life of its own.  The POS tower became necessary when a game update made it possible for the dead to despawn.  Being within the POS force field radius prevents that, a solution that served for many years.

And then came the Onslaught expansion in November of 2018, which moved the final remaining functions from POS modules to Upwell structures.  The days of the POS, the Player Owned Startbase, seemed numbered and there was talk of giving the troublesome code base a viking funeral.

A concern that came up, back when talk of the end of the POS was being discussed, was what would happen with Molea.  Without the POS tower in place all the markers would eventually disappear.  CCP promised to look into that.  Since then, we had not heard much, though the venerable POS remains in the game, even becoming an aspect of the current war in the southwest of null sec.

Then, earlier this week, CCP unveiled their plan.

After downtime on Tuesday a monument appeared in Molea, the Fallen Capsuleer Memorial.

Anchored below the POS tower, it features three bassalt wings centered on what appears to be a golden cyno beacon.

The new memorial in Molea

A light shines up from the beacon towards the POS tower, illuminating a capsule which features two capsuleers, freed from its embrace, yet still attached, able to gaze out upon the stars with their own eyes.

Atop the memorial

The new memorial has the effect of keeping anything within 200km of it from despawning, so even if the POS tower goes away the containers and their messages will remain floating in space so long as the servers remain up.

Related coverage:

Now Just So Many Bubbles in Space

Today is the day that player-owned starbases, the POSes of legend, lose their final utility function in New Eden.  With the Onslaught expansion two weeks back the new Upwell navigation structures, the FLEX structures, became available.

Onslaught killed the POS

Those new structures overlapped, with intent to replace, the POS functions of cyno jammer, cyno beacon, and jump bridge.

As CCP has been warning us for the last few days, the two week window when both options would co-exist has come to an end.  All of those POS based jump bridges, cyno jammers, and cyno beacons are now off-line.  Upwell structures are now in place for all of the old POS functions, from capital ship construction to moon mining to reaction farms to navigation.

A POS is now just a tower in space with a bubble around it.

You can still hole up in them, use their protective bubble as a place of safety.

Reavers in a POS in the middle of Insmother back in 2014

And the old POS still has the advantage of being quick to deploy as a forward outpost as well as being somewhat covert.  They don’t show up on everybody’s overview when you drop them, though there are a limited number of locations in any system where they could be placed.  If you didn’t have a prober handy you could always just warp to every moon to scout for them.

Gone too will be the automatic defenses.  A citadel just sits there when you shoot it, just warp scrambling you for a bit when you open up on it before lapsing into passivity unless actively gunned.

And, of course, some of us will miss that feeling of joy when, during a POS shoot, you discover that the defender failed to fuel the stront bay.  Rather than the shoot cutting off when the POS shields hit 25% you got to keep going for a kill on a single op.

My first op with the CFC back in late 2011 was a POS shoot, so the first kill mails I was on were POS towers and modules.  That was also the first time I saw a titan.

Shooting a White Noise tower with a CSAA back in 2011

Some of the aspects of POSes won’t be missed.  There were some arcane aspects to how things worked when it came to the POS, including when cyno jammers worked and when they did not and the whole password thing.  (As Google will confirm, the Goon POS password is always 420)

Others just spell out the POS password with modules

And then there was the POS code base, a source of legend and something brought up to scare young developers.  The POS code was reputed to be an unruly and undocumented monster whose influence was felt far and wide, breaking features with no apparent relation to it.

In the Imperium it was announced that, with today’s transition, GSOL would be heading out to take down all the POS towers and modules that were being used to support jump bridges and the like.  That will free up some corp bookmark space as the FLEX structures will show up on you overview… if you are on the access list and if you have gone in and updated your overview settings.  But if you have those two, they will pretty much act like jump gates… well, jump gates that you may have to pay to use.

Among the features of the new Ansiblex Jump Gate structures is the ability to charge those who use if for the fuel used for their jump.

The new Ansiblex Jump Gate is also a toll bridge of sorts

You can setup a FastPass auto-pay in your wallet, there is a new tab there for just that purpose, though remember that the price you set is the per-unit of fuel price and not the total price, so don’t set it too high lest you accidentally auto-approve payment at some outrageous price-gouging rate.

Much of that, however, is theoretical at the moment because the other joke on all of us is that two weeks was not nearly long enough to get these new structures built and deployed in order to replace the now non-functional POS modules.  Even the ever amazing GSOL says it will be weeks, if not months, before they have fully replaced every jump bridge and beacon.

But that is the way it goes in New Eden.  CCP cares not for your logistics.  In fact, they seem to delight in the suffering of capsuleers from time to time.

And once CCP figured out how to replace the forward deployment aspect of the POS, they will be removing them completely, bringing the eldritch horror of the POS code with it.  So you are on notice that the noble POS may be disappearing completely in 2019.  Go have one last look before they’re all gone.

And then there is the capsuleer cemetery in Molea, which depends on the POS shield to keep the graves from disappearing.  CCP is aware of that, but I haven’t seen any word on what they might do.

Addendum: The Starbase modules have been turned off, but may still look like they are active in the UI.

Activity Tracker is just Achievements for New Eden

Last week, before the Onslaught expansion hit EVE Online, I was all “big changes” in my summary of what we were getting.  Now, more than a week later, I am a bit more reserved.

Onslaught, the splash screen

Dirk MacGirk pinged me at one point to ask if I felt there was really an expansion’s worth of content landing, if it was really worth a name and a new splash screen.  And I had to admit that, after the fact, I wasn’t feeling it.

As I said to him, it can be tough to bring something to the table that feels like real change, like a big change, when CCP is already putting out a healthy update almost every month.  That monthly cycle means we don’t need to wait for a special named vehicle to bring us fixes, balance changes, and updates, so I wouldn’t want CCP to stop.  But, as I warned way back when CCP started down that path… back when monthly updates were getting names like Phoebe… that expansions were going to have to drop huge new features in order to differentiate themselves.

Into the Abyss manage that.  Abyssal deadspace became huge almost immediately.

Onslaught though?  We got the first iteration on Abyssal deadspace, two new ships, new structures that replaced the functionality of structures we already had, some balancing of faxes and ECM, and some pretty new graphics on jump gates throughout the game.

The only really new thing we got was the Activity Tracker.  Announced at EVE Fanfest, I had some hopes for that, but the reality doesn’t quite live up to my hopes and dreams.

It isn’t that I don’t want CCP to track my in-game data in a way in which I can see.  I love that sort of thing.  But I feel underwhelmed by what we got.

In part that is because Activity Tracker started with a clean slate.  I knew that was going to be a the way of things.  They were storing data in a new way for a new interface.  But after more than a dozen years of playing it felt more than a little disappointing to get a notification for my first gate jump.  I mean, when I first logged in and looked, everything was set to zero.

How did I even get to 1DQ?

It was essentially a fresh start.

And my feeling wasn’t helped by the fact that CCP has the data on my travel somewhere.  I only have to open up the map… the old map, not the new map, but let’s not get into that oozing sore… to see all the systems which I have visited.

Every colored dot is a system I have visited

And the map doesn’t just know where I have been, but how many times and when I last visited.

I used to live here

Yes, I do still have the map so I can see that whenever I want, and I know that combining the map data into the Activity Tracker might not have been an easy task.  But, in the end, the Activity Tracker won’t ever be close to the reality of my time in New Eden.  And I cannot imagine how it might feel for somebody like Katia Sae, who has navigated through all of the star systems in known space and is now working through all of wormhole space.  What does it feel like, after all of that, to log in and find that the Activity Tracker says you have visited no systems?

I guess there is a task out there for somebody, visit all the systems again, this time with Activity Tracker keeping count.  And it certainly didn’t take me long to start upping my system count.  That op to Geminate last weekend took care of that.

One long range op later

That also included 10 regions and put me into tier three for systems entered.

The systems entered breakdown

That five levels of achievement looks to have come straight from the certificates feature, which was something akin to achievements for skill training.  (The current form of certificates are from the Rubicon expansion, which launched five years ago yesterday.  The original version of those were really odd.)  I’m not sure how passing through 101 systems adds up to 477 points.  There isn’t a tool tip to clarify that.

That op to Geminate did not, however, yield me any tracking for combat activity.  I guess I will have to stick to zkillboard for that.  You have to get the kill mail and the kill mark for that to count it seems.  I do like how some of the support activities are counted though.  Since I usually fly logi, I’ll be logging numbers on that front.

Logi and Boost tracking

Mining should also be fun though, again, I am a bit irked at the timing.  With the Crimson Harvest event I probably did about all the mining I will end up doing this year.  But nothing before November 13, 2018 gets counted, so all of my stats remain at zero.

Mining break out

Meanwhile, I would be surprised if there were not already some Rorqual pilots out there with max’d out tracker levels for ore.  I suspect that any number CCP chose for the top of that scale would be too low.

Others I support on general principles.  Having some accounting visible for incursions or faction warfare can only help.  Faction warfare deserves every scrap it can get.

FW Plex counts included

Likewise I was happy to see some scanning related items in there as well as a nice mission running tally broken out by mission levels, though that was bitter sweet as well.  I ran a lot of missions back in the day.  For Abyssal deadspace, I was amused to see that it counts the pockets you have entered and the ones you have successfully exited as two different numbers.

And for those who think null sec gets all the attention, I want to point out that there is pretty much nothing related to sovereignty on the tracker.  Entosis ops get you nothing there.  Clearly the null sec dominated CSM isn’t doing their job right.  It is almost like that corrupt developer theory was complete nonsense.

So we now have something… or something else… akin to achievements in New Eden.  They feel somewhat robust in certain areas… I am glad mission runners and faction warfare players are getting something in that… but still a little light over all.  And there isn’t anything on the list I am going to start chasing down.  I suppose this reflects, in its way, the problem of achievements in a sandbox-ish game.  Achievements in World of Warcraft often guide you to content, or give you special ways to run it.  That isn’t so easy in EVE Online.

The EVE Online Onslaught Expansion to Bring Big Changes

The expansion arrives tomorrow, and usually I would have the post go live then, but I have a post already set for tomorrow, so you’re getting this today.  I’m busy this week and a year from now it won’t matter that I posted this a day early.

Anyway.

One of the recurring comments that came out of EVE Vegas was the lack of a named winter expansion for EVE Online.  While there are updates pretty much every month, the tradition is to have a named update twice a year, one close to the beginning of summer, the other close to the start of winter.

However, it appears that CCP was keeping the name under wraps… or didn’t present it very clearly… or realized they forgot, I don’t really know… because the news finally came along that we would be getting EVE Online: Onslaught as our next big update.

Onslaught, with frigates!

For null sec, the biggest change is the new Upwell Consortium navigation structures that will be showing up with the patch.  There is a dev blog about them here.  Those will be replacing the cyno jammer, cyno beacon, and jump bridge functionalities that were previously part of the player owned starbase (POS) mechanics.

I have already written about the impact of the jump bridge replacement.  And while the capital ship loophole has been closed, it will still mean the ability to bring subcap fleets across long stretches of territory without jump fatigue.

The new Ansiblex Jump Gate

But that isn’t all that will impact the null sect meta.  The new Tenebrex Cyno Jammer will have a big impact as well.

Tenebrex Cyno Jammer

Back in the Keepstar War over the summer, much of the battle in the Fade region was over the cyno jammer protecting the CO2 Keepstar in DW-T2I.  Cyno jammer mechanics thwarted the first Imperium assault on the Keepstar and led to a drawn out fight over ihub that took weeks to settle.

That will be all different starting tomorrow.  The POS based system was subject to dynamics that made systems vulnerable to things like dropping lots of dreads on the jammer and killing it quickly.  The new FLEX structure will have a damage cap and will take 27 minutes to kill whether you drop every titan in creation or a few dozen bombers on it.  This will change the dynamics of these sort of fights dramatically.

And, of course, with the change tomorrow the logistical arms of all null sec entities will be scrambling to get these structures in place as the current cyno jammers and jump bridge networks go away with the expansion.

Also affecting the capital meta is a rebalance of force auxiliaries… well, a nerf to faxes if we’re being honest… to reign in their effectiveness.  The changes will be:

  • All capital remote repair modules duration increased by 25%
  • All capital remote shield booster modules duration increased by 25%
  • Capital Emergency Hull Energizer duration decreased by approximately 25%
  • Capital Emergency Hull Energizer active resistance bonus reduced to 95% (was 99.9%)
  • Capital Ancillary Shield Boosters limited to 1 per ship (goes for all capital ships)
  • Apostle and Minokawa bonus to capacitor pool removed
  • Lif and Ninazu bonus to capital cap injector amount removed

We will see if this just ends up people just bringing more faxes or not.

Abyssal deadspace is also getting an expansion with the Onslaught release.  As was shown at EVE Vegas, co-op play will now be possible for Abyssal pockets as you will be able to enter them with three frigates as opposed to with just a single cruiser.

There will also be an optional PvP mode, where an extra gateway will appear offering up extra loot.  However, you will have to fight anybody else who uses that same gate from their pocket.  Only one can leave.

There will also be two more Triglavian ships.  There is the Kikimora, a destroyer, and the Drekavac, which is a battlecruiser hull.

The Kikimora destroyer

In addition there will also be updates to loot.  All of this is covered in a dev blog, which includes the spec for the new ships.

Another new feature that CCP has been talking about since EVE Fanfest is the Activity Tracker.

Activity Tracker

There is a dev blog that goes into detail about this, but essentially it will let you know what you’ve been spending your time on in New Eden.  While I applaud this idea, I have to admit that my enthusiasm is somewhat tempered by the fact that tracking was only recently turned on, so most of my twelve years playing the game is unrecorded.  Such is life.

There is also further changes to ECM following up the changes that went in with the October update.  These are detailed in a forum thread, but sum up as:

  • All ECM modules jam strength increased by 10%
  • All ECM modules optimal range increased by 20%
  • Signature Radius reduced for several ECM Bonused ships
    ** Griffin reduced to 40 (was 42)
    ** Kitsune reduced to 42 (was 47)
    ** Griffin Navy Issue reduced to 38 (was 40)
    ** Blackbird reduced to 135 (was 150)
    ** Rook reduced to 158 (was 170)
    ** Falcon reduced to 165 (was 175)
    ** Scorpion reduced to 440 (was 480)
    ** Widow reduced to 405 (was 432)
  • Fitting has been adjusted for some ECM bonused ships to allow more room for tank
    ** Griffin powergrid increased to 28 (was 24)
    ** Kitsune powergrid increased to 30 (was 26)
    ** Rook powergrid increased to 740 (was 680)
    ** Falcon powergrid increased to 760 (was 700)
    ** Scorpion powergrid increased 9500 (was 9000)
    ** Widow powergrid increased to 9800 (was 8800)
    ** Widow CPU increased to 800 (was 760)

Also on the list of new things are a new global search function, so you can find your shit scattered all over New Eden, a new compact Planetary Interaction view, and an update to the graphics on gates.  They will show details like sovereignty, some status about the connecting system, and will have the same awesome travel effects that the Ansiblex Jump Gates are getting, which means people will be gawking at them for days I expect.  I know I will.  The busy gates in Jita should be fun.

a sample of the gate information graphics

And, while there are a number of the usual bug fixes, I want to highlight one in particular:

A ship’s modules will no longer be offline after it has been contracted.

This one took me by surprise and almost got me in trouble last month.  I contracted a ship between alts and then undocked without checking, only to find everything offline.  Glad that is fixed.

The update is planned to be deployed tomorrow, November 13th, at 11:00 UTC, which is 3am for me, so I plan to be asleep.  In addition to the dev blogs I have linked to above, there are also the usual Patch Notes to go through and the EVE Updates page to explore.

Addendum: The expansion is now live and there is a two minute feature tour video to go with it.