CCP continued their major patch streak on April 5, with patch 20.04. This patch brings considerable changes to Upwell Structures offensive capability, as well as offering more convenience for nullsec and lowsec miners. The daily reward system also saw considerable changes. CCP also teased further changes in their dev blog titled “Road to Fanfest – Full Throttle” as well.
Upwell Structure Nerfs
Upwell structures have been a constant source of feedback for CCP. In this patch, CCP added considerable changes that will affect how players engage with them. These are welcome changes to those who work to destroy sandcastles, but are a functional blow to small groups trying to defend their sandcastles.
Point Defense System (PDS)
The AoE weapon called the Standup Point Defense Battery received a considerable nerf. It will now do 50% less damage than it did before. Using this weapon will soon require a new ammo called the “Standup Flak Rounds I” in a patch coming later this month (scheduled for April 19th), according to CCP. This change will give additional time for fleets of small ships to attack untethered ships such as those with a lit cyno, and greatly increase the risks of becoming untethered.
Structure bombs have been notoriously annoying to deal with while attacking Upwell Structures in small groups, and the AoE weapon called the Standup Guided Bomb Launcher also saw nerfs. It can now only be fitted to large (Fortizar, Azbel, Tatara) and extra-large (Sotiyo, Keepstar) Upwell Structures.
The DPS of the bomb launcher has also been nerfed considerably. Its total DPS has been cut down by 25% for Tech I launchers and 20% for the Tech II launchers. The damage radius of the bombs has also been reduced by 1/3, moving from 30 km to 20 km.
One of the changes that will affect prominent and important players, such as Fleet Commanders or Logistics Anchors (or Brisc Rubal), is the change to the allowed targets of the Standup Arcing Vorton Projector I. The glowing blue death beam will no longer be able to target subcapital ships as of this patch. This is a giant blow to the defender strategy of “headshotting” enemy fleet leaders during a Keeptstar fight.
A welcome change for those who use capitals for structure clearing, the damage of the anti-capital missiles has been reduced by 50% for long range anti-capital cruise missiles and 30% for the short-range anti-capital torpedoes.
Upwell Structure Buffs
Only one buff has been made this patch to Upwell Structures. The speed at which all the missiles travel from upwell structures have been increased by 50%. This shortens the window in which you can warp off before damage is applied with standup missile weapons.
Tech III Cruisers: Proteus Buffs
The under-utilized Proteus saw considerable buffs that will give it more room for better fits. The offensive subsystem “Hybrid Encoding Platform” now offers about 35% more powergrid that will allow for more breathing room when it comes to fitting blaster and rail Proteii.
The Gallente defensive subsystem called “Augmented Plating” received a buff. The subsystem now offers a 25% reduction in Armor Plate Mass. This brings more agility to the cumbersome Proteus using this subsystem.
Further to this is a change long-requested by some in the community; the unique drone boat version of the Proteus with the offensive subsystem called “Drone Synthesis Projector” saw considerable buffs. The bonus CPU granted from the subsystem has been increased by 50% to 60 CPU from 40 CPU. The drone bandwidth has been increased by 25% to 125 mbit/s up from 100 mbit/s. And the dronebay’s capacity has been increased by 25% for 300 m3 up from 250 m3. All of these changes will allow more room for more powerful drone Proteus fits and hopefully bring a little more diversity to the Tech III Cruiser meta.
Arguably the most anticipated change for nullsec and lowsec miners is the new “Industrial Jump Portal Generator I”. This new module can be fitted to a Rorqual and allows them to bridge subcapital mining ships, just like a Titan. The list of allowed ship types are Mining Barges, Exhumers, Mining Frigates, Expedition Frigates, and the Porpoise. Orcas and haulers sadly are not allowed to take this bridge.
This new module can also “fleet jump”, much like a Black Ops Battleship, taking 30 ships that the Rorqual is able to bridge along for a ride. This function sees considerably reduced fuel costs, which will be a boon for small groups in this Era of Plexperity. The range of this, and the bridge, is the same as the Rorqual’s standared jump drive, with a 5 lightyear base range and up to 10 lightyears if you have maximum Jump Drive Calibration skills. This change, coupled with the jump bridge, offers subcapital miners greater safety and convenience when traveling great distances for ventures, such as moon mining, in nullsec and lowsec.
The daily reward system has also been changed. Skins granted through the Daily Rewards are now permanent, and CCP have released powerful new ‘Halcyon’ boosters through the system. The list of the new boosters and their effects can be found here in a forum post from CCP Fozzie.
The UI has been simplified for the daily rewards. How skill points are rewarded in this system has changed.
Instead of accruing 5,000 skill points for Omega Pilots each day and the skill points can be redeemed every 30 days, the system has changed to a reward that can be claimed every few days. CCP claims that “The average amount of skill points received over time is the same as before for Omegas and is slightly higher than before for Alphas.”
CCP Fozzie further clarified:
“The total amount of SP that each account receives over time from the new version of the system is the same as the old system (average of 150k every 30 login days for Omegas and 50k for Alphas), but you’ll get smaller chunks of SP every few days instead of getting the bigger chunks once a month..CCP Fozzie, Eve Online Forums, https://forums.eveonline.com/t/revamped-daily-rewards-system/355971
It should be noted that skill point rewards have been somewhat obfuscated. I can tell you my Alpha account was awarded 6,000 skill-points with a white quality reward and my Omega account was award 22,000 skill-points with a green quality reward. How often these are awarded and what exactly the colors mean for the quality have yet to be determined. This has yet to either be discovered by the community or clarified by CCP.
On the Horizon
CCP also released a devblog today to accompany the patch. When it comes to bombers versus battleships, CCP claims “Small adjustments will continue to be made as the meta unfolds to ensure that one playstyle doesn’t become too dominant, and players can continue to enjoy more options and diversity.”
CCP also invited players to participate in Feature Preview System, which is currently being used to test the new Photon UI. It should be noted that several bugs have been reported by the community for this new UI, so we advise that if you wish to use this new UI, do so with caution. The details on this new system can be found here.
Capital and faction ship production have been a source of many complaints from the community due to the insane production requirements introduced a year ago. A quick synopsis of the original changes can be found here, and the changes were discussed at length by Goonswarm Federation’s Angry Mustache and Kazanir on the Meta Show here.
It would seem that CCP have been listening. CCP teased new blueprint changes to faction and capital ships today. CCP claim they “will be sharing the details of these updates mid-April, just before Fanfest.” While CCP have not released any details pertaining to this, we remain hopeful that these changes will promote a healthier nullsec and lowsec capital meta, and decrease the frustration in gathering and moving the materials required for capital production.
Another Welcome Patch
CCP have continued their goodwill patches focusing on community concerns and complaints with this patch. This patch bring considerable nerfs to the frustrating Upwell Structure fights and buffs the under used Proteus. The changes to the daily rewards see a sleeker UI, but is more obfuscated since it is difficult to ascertain what you are going to get in the future. It is our hope that CCP will continue making changes to EVE Online to promote a healthier combat meta, and continue making changes to income generation that reduce frustration.
The complete patch notes can be found here.