Broken Eggs

The July 2018 release is scheduled for Tuesday. Reading through the patch notes..

https://www.eveonline.com/article/pbgg7h/patch-notes-for-july-2018-release

.. and I noticed this:

“The standings penalty for podkilling a player in an NPC corp has been reduced significantly”

My immediate thought was why was CCP was making it less costly to pod players in NPC corps!?  Then I realised the penalty reduction was for NPC Corp standings, and nothing to do with Security that I had mindlessly thought.  I wasn’t aware, but if you pod a player in an NPC corp when you are not free to do so, you took a massive standings penalty against that NPC corp.  I can see it impacting the White Knights just as much as the Griefers in game, so probably a worthwhile change to I assume a very old mechanic.

I also noticed this:

“In high/low security space, scooping an unanchored structure that does not belong to your own corp is now considered a suspect act. It will require you to set your safety accordingly, and will trigger a suspect timer.”

What!?  So that was how so many people stole unanchoring structures, because whomever scooped it first was protected by the EVE security system.  What a horrible design choice.  Glad they are changing it.  (Even if I wasn’t aware of it in the first place.)

Last – there is a CCP developer video about the release.  I think it was one of their more professional and well done ones.

Oh, how long have they been signing off with “Fly Free” instead of “Fly Safe”?

Still Watching

I am still here. I’ve even been logging in a bit more than usual.

As suggested, I revisited zkillboard’s stats for structure losses in February to get an overview of the impact of CCP’s Upwell 2.0 changes. I initially tried to put this together when Burn Jita was happening, but zKillboard kept crashing.

Citadel Group stats

https://zkillboard.com/group/1657/stats/

Monthly losses
. Average in 12 months to Jan 2018 – 269
. February – 895
. March (as at 27th) – 908

Engineering Complex Group Stats

https://zkillboard.com/group/1404/stats/

Monthly losses
. Average in 12 months to Jan 2018 – 227
. February – 633
. March (as at 27th) – 697

Refinery Group Stats

https://zkillboard.com/group/1406/stats/

Monthly losses
. Average in 3 months to Jan 2018 – 166
. February – 272
. March (as at 27th) – 276

 

These figures seem to speak for themselves.  The Upwell 2.0 changes have had a substantial impact.  Success I guess for Structure Builders and Structure Destroyers.

 

We had the March update, which has quite a long list of changes in the patch notes. For the first time in quite a while CCP messed things up and Tranquillity had all sorts of performance problems and multiple outages. It used to be like that after almost every patch, so I am inclined to cut CCP some slack and wait patiently when it happens occasionally now.  Lots of people however cried and cried, and cried some more.  Apparently we will be given some free SP to compensate for our mental anguish.

 

I was alerted to a skill train completing when I logged in today. Seems I clicked over 230M SP. In the last month or two I’ve picked up

Skirmish Command Specialist V
Ice Harvesting Drone Specialization V

I am now working on Target Painting V.

 

CCP has been actively working on building up the anticipation towards Fanfest this year. They linked to a Discourse video the other day, discussing the decryption of corrupt Drifter video, showing Drifters in combat with a new as yet unseen type of vessel/s. You can see the linked video here:

There are further videos here – under “Corrupted Trinary Data Vault headings.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCLK40KD-CfvF-TuHgRhxHDA/videos

Maybe there will be new ships for players to fly, or new NPCs?

 

Speaking of Drifters – there has been a new Drifter Cruiser spotted in game called the Cassandra Tyrannos. Amongst other behaviours, it seems to protect the Autothysian Lancers, and has been observed shooting at Capsuleers on Gates without apparent provocation or standings issues. The Jove observation post models have also been updated, showing more destruction.

Some further information can be found here:

http://aurora-arcology.blogspot.com.au/2018/03/new-drifter-ships-appear-in-eystur.html

https://forums.eveonline.com/t/arc-vigilant-tyrannos-cruiser-identified-observatories-further-damaged/64679/2

I have had no real interaction with the Drifter NPCs. Their insta-kill death rays tend to require group play with purposefully fit disposable hulls, which doesn’t align with the Hermit play-style. I believe there is a somewhat small niche group in the game who target them. If there is to be an even newer sort of NPC, I hope they are a little more accessible.

 

Last of all, CCP has been spruiking a deal where if you buy 500 PLEX, you will get a unique “Sariel’s Flames” Dramiel skin. Reddit reports that buyers have also been sent a link to an EVE Chronicle, which talks about an attempted salvage mission on an ancient archaeological site hidden within the Mithra’s Gate comet. That also hints at new / old technologies. Hopefully more will be revealed at Fanfest.

I won’t provide a direct link to the document as that seems against the spirit of what CCP appears to be doing.  The detail is however on Reddit under New Chronicle Mithras Gate if you are interested.

Crystal Ball

The EVE Online Updates page seems rather barren.

https://updates.eveonline.com/

The EVE Online Forums for upcoming features is in a similar state.

https://forums.eveonline.com/c/technology-research/upcoming-features-changes

There doesn’t seem to be anything we are not already aware of in the Test Server Feedback forum either.

https://forums.eveonline.com/c/technology-research/test-server-feedback

In the pipeline we only have the Structure 2.0 updates, Heavy Assault Cruiser and Assault Frigate balancing, and the once off Faction Citadels arriving to replace Player Stations.

(As I had assumed, the Faction Citadel change is seeing Providence lose its space. I wouldn’t worry – it will be back in their hands once the wealth is taken by the already wealthy and powerful.)

Others have blogged about the bare state of the future roadmap recently, but it is not something I am particularly concerned about. We have the 15-year anniversary Fanfest coming in April, and CCP seem to understandably like the theatrics of being able to do big reveals. We should learn more then.

I expect however I wasn’t the only one to look carefully at the session list for the latest CSM summit in Iceland taking place this week.

https://community.eveonline.com/news/news-channels/eve-online-news/csm-winter-summit-week/

There wasn’t much given away, although I wonder at why they are brainstorming content for Winter 2018, when I would have thought that sort of thing should have been set long ago. It also just seemed to be talking about all the same old stuff.

I don’t like the chances for Hermit players getting a strong look in, but it would be nice to be thrown a few crumbs.  Here’s hoping.

 

They will be broken

I remarked the other day that I would not be migrating some of my old and out of date EVE tools to my new PC.  I knew there would be a point where they would stop working for good.  That point has now been announced.

May 8th, 2018 – is when the old XML API / CREST will be turned off.  Only the ESI API will be supported going forward.

https://developers.eveonline.com/blog/article/important-information-on-the-future-of-the-eve-api

Armageddon day for some of our old favourites.

New Launcher

I noticed a comment yesterday on one of the EVE news sites that the EVE Client launcher was going to be updated, and that you would have to re-log in.

I started the client up today and found that was indeed the case.

What I wasn’t aware was that the entire client settings were reset.  Completely reset.  If you hadn’t exported your overview any time recently, those have all gone to.

Annoys me to be honest – it takes me hours to get the client settings just right.

I wonder if I was just lucky, or if it was a common problem.

 

*Edit*

Lorelei Ierendi mentioned in the comments that you can click on the little gear symbol next to the account name in the launcher, and change the profile away from the default.

I’ll have to look up if the default is kept in game, and if it crosses multiple accounts.  Might be worth the pain of setting it up if it makes life easier in the long run.

Beating the old Drum

Yinmatook kindly commented on the last post and provided a link to the EVE Vegas presentation relating to PVE / the new Forward Operating Bases.

https://go.twitch.tv/videos/181166320

The more interesting bit starts at 10:42.

It wasn’t mentioned how many sites would appear in Hi-Sec at the same time.  I assume there would be lots more than Incursions / Shipyard sites.

Hi-Sec will be divided up, so one part will get Blood Raider Forward Operating Bases, the other part will get Guristas bases.

They will be a bit more common in systems with a security rating towards 0.5, a bit less common in systems with security ratings towards 1.0.  Regardless, they could turn up just about anywhere in Hi-Sec.  (I assume specific systems are excluded, like the big trade ones.)

You have to scan them down, but there will be clues they are there.  The NPC Mining Operations in that system will instead be the Pirate Faction.  You should also see special ships flying around.

If they are not addressed after a few days, they will head out and shoot players with bad standings towards them (that would be almost everyone), and attack vulnerable structures.  I didn’t hear any specific reference to gate camping, or how many people would be required to deal with these roaming ships.

The actual Forward Operating Bases are designed to be tackled by between 10 and 50.  By comparison, the Shipyards are designed for a minimum of 75 players and scale up as required.  Apparently up to 1500 have tackled one before.

There will be no capital BPC drops – as you would expect, but there will apparently be some new special drops that will occur from time to time.

Most of the reward will be in Concord bounties placed on the actual Forward Operating Base.  The Fleet doing the most damage attacking it will get the bounty, scaled and spread equally across the fleet members.  That would mean if contested, only one fleet will get paid for clearing the site, the rest get nothing.

It doesn’t sound quite as bad as suggested – but again, I need to wait for more concrete information.

While obvious and already apparent – it was made quite clear in the presentation that the goal of these sites is two fold.  First, to get Empire Players together into fleets and hopefully trigger in them a new, co-operative based passion for the game.  Second, to train players in PVP like tactics through the new NPC AI, in the hope they will then go out and fight other players.

This is apparently the only solution CCP can find for retaining players in EVE.  It seems us solo players just don’t hang around long enough..

The Witless

I found a few sources of information covering the first half of EVE Vegas, but then it all seemed to go silent. I’m not sure why.

I noticed a fair amount of gleeful zeal from the Anti Hi-Sec brigade, relating to the proposed new NPC Hi-Sec Occupations. Apparently, Blood Raiders and Guristas Forward Operating Bases will start to pop up in Hi-Sec. They should use the new NPC AI and be some lite and much less rewarding version of the Blood Raider and just announced Guristas Shipyards. To mix things up a bit, if nearby players don’t deal with a site, the NPC’s will start to roam. They will hunt players, attack structures, and camp gates. These roaming groups will require fleets of around 10 players to defeat.

I would expect if it is as dangerous as it sounds, that a small number of people already running incursions will farm these sites and everyone else will just ignore them. If the rewards don’t make sense, then they will be mostly ignored. If that results in people being randomly and without warning ganked by NPC’s when they traverse Hi-Sec systems, then there will be tears, then a proportion of those players will stop playing.

Nothing so far in this admittedly vague outline will result in more people playing EVE for longer. If CCP thinks otherwise, maybe the line of Anti Hi-Sec cohorts energetically self-stimulating their genitals will raise a warning flag. Or maybe not.

Anyway, I’ll have to wait for DEV Blogs to be released with specific details and timeframes. It seems unlikely I’ll by choice be able to interact with such PVE in my Hermit play style.

Of more interest I noticed that EVE Down Under will be an official Fanfest event in 2019. My Subscription currently gets me to February 2019. Should I set myself a goal of attending? Or will the witless have finally pushed me out of the game by then.

*Edit – Lazy blog posting from me.  Looking into it, the Forward Operating Bases will come on October 24th.  They are available to check out on Singularity.  Initial player feedback has been pretty light on, although apparently some have soloed them in a Marauder.  There are too many hours of CCP Twitch videos from EVE Vegas for me to go away and find the original quotes from.  Seems odd such game play hasn’t been announced, maybe the extra danger above was the wishful thinking for future versions of the sites.