Header art by Redline XIII
Anticipation had been building in the weeks leading up to EVE Vegas for the “Core Gameplay Update”. This, the first talk of the second day of EVE Vegas 2019, is on what many veteran players hinge their continued participation in EVE Online. Many players are tired of the stagnation in the game and what feels like wading through a river of oil. This summer, with the Chaos Era, has seen many veteran players being washed away and on to other games. We’ve also seen several large groups disband, citing not enough time or inclination to play the game anymore. First, I will follow point by point what CCP Rise talks about in his presentation and, at the end of this article, I’ll give you my reaction and conclusion from the talk.
CCP Rise begins his presentation by detailing what CCP learned from the Summer of Chaos. First, he details that speed and flexibility are hard and that teams work in tracks. This is what contributes to changes to things like Faction Warfare and Wormholes difficult. He continues to say that the deployment process previously has been difficult, something they want to improve over the coming months. Next, he talks about what CCP have learned about interacting with the sandbox and that big changes have many upsides. He goes into detail about some of the bullet points on his slideshow, discussing that it is extremely important to take into account how a big change will affect risk vs. reward, wealth distribution, and the like.
The cynosural change, a change that Rise was most involved in, seems to be doing the job that CCP intended. Rise goes into detail stating that they expected capital ISK generating (ratting and mining) to take a hit when the risk increased. However, the numbers of capital ISK generators actually increased to their normal amounts (to where they were prior to the addition of blackout). CCP seemingly understands that the change has a larger impact on smaller groups but gives credit to it for shaking up the meta a little bit in terms of knowing what’s coming and not preventing larger scale escalations.
Types of Changes We Can Expect
Rise shows a small clip of the kinds of changes that we should be expecting, and they seem to be more related to quality of life. His clip of a fleet of capital ships jumping into a system shows the ships coming in at further ranges from each other, reducing the amount of bumping seen on the grid. He then gives us a rundown of the changes that have been made so far with their new deployment model, with the first one being the warp speed increases on cruisers, battle cruisers, and battleships. Of course, the next change, “Howling Interceptors”, is detailed followed by the “Trick or Treat” event where 100% of loot will drop from killed ships and applicable structures. These changes have already been put into patch notes and disclosed to the EVE community.
We then begin to hear more about the update to booshers (command destroyers) and bosons (Titans). The first slide is revealed very briefly and has a date of November 12 on it. This could be when we expect this change. CCP wants to find a way to preserve the uses of booshers, such as spearfishing and stealing from enemies, but reduce the effectiveness of them on larger fleets. The proposed change is that Micro Jump Field Generators will have a maximum of how many ships they can move – the slide states 25 is the cap and that this cap ignores drones, bubbles, etc. They’re discussing bigger numbers, smaller numbers, and will likely tweak the database as needed. The Bosonic Field Generataor signature will be increased from 2,000 to 10,000, a change that will make bosons less effective against subcapitals as a larger signature against a smaller signature is less effective by default. They will also be decreasing the amount of Dromis web by 5%. In addition to this, Upwell flex structures (Ansiblex and Tenebrex) minimum anchor range will be moved to 500 kilometers. This will only affect newly anchored structures – already placed structures will remain in place. Specifics about the next scheduled change, Rapid Fire, are vague. He doesn’t go into any detail at all, and says there’s going to be maybe an upgrade, maybe one nerf. A picture of a Muninn with a red skull pops up briefly in the lower right-hand corner, indicating that it may be the next victim of CCP Rise’s nerf bat.
Rise panders to the crowd with shield slaves (again) saying that the project is half done and that they will continue to work on it but won’t announce specifically when they think it’ll be done. This part of the presentation is more speculative and details some of the areas they want to work on with Team Talos, the team spearheading the two-week changes. First, we discuss wormholes and Rise states that connectivity is the most important goal; finding more people in wormholes, getting people together more easily. They could do this by increasing the number of statics, wandering wormholes, and more spawns in K-space. They also want to work on the risk vs. reward mechanics in terms of taking out the ability to farm with an Astrahus, making the MJD battleship farming more difficult as well as the “instant local” wormholers get with immediate probe results. They’re also looking at adjusting combat in wormholes, including the strength of FAX and Triglavian ships. The last thing discussing wormholes is the value of resources. They want more material value coming out of wormholes and may accomplish it by making these materials be required for new developments.
Next, Rise stance changes slightly as he begins to talk about structures and timers. Remember, this is all speculative at this point and none of this can be considered something that’s coming. He says that things like tether and reinforcement timers are on the table in regards to low power structures. They don’t want to create more busy work for us. They also want to work on timers, possibly including a longer adjustment period, more variation on the last timer, and removing the ability for defenders to select the day of the final timer. One of the suggested options is the return of stront timers, and we talk about how difficult that might be for people with a massive number of timers to defend. Rise also wants to address spamming in enemy space and also look at the ways to reward players for killing structures (asset safety, etc.).
Following this, Rise discusses Factional Warfare and how they want to make some changes, possibly even redo the whole thing. First, they want to clean up the mess that is FW. There are a few ways they want to start cleaning this up. First, modifying mission payouts (a source of current drama in the low-security community) and changing the way structures work in factional warfare space that your faction doesn’t control. He talks about gate sliding, changing overview settings, to make sure people are still shooting (and shooting the right one). He also talks about changing the way that capturing a complex works, hinting at the possibility for different classes of ships to get into the gates.
Ships and Modules
Ships and modules are next on the slideshow, and Rise explains that they want to bring battleships further to the front of the meta as well as modifying or adding in new types of interdiction bubbles to the line of interdictors. He also talks about the potential to change command ships, navy ships, and black ops, stating that they could use an update because it’s been so long since they’ve seen one. Of course, we talk about tiericide, the system where ships and were brought in line to make sure that all ships could be used for their specific roles. He says that they will try to work on module tiericide when they have the time. Next, we see that new ships and weapons are on the table.
Rise then details a new concept that is a work in progress– a heavy bomb, meant to counter capital ships. They intend to use this to create added risk for caps without nerfing them directly. He also wants to create new roles for subcaps and encourage diversity while providing good play/counter play relationships to reward a higher mastery of the ship. The bomb would travel slower, do a ton of damage to capitals but very little to subcapitals, have a large range so that you would have to stagger them for effectiveness and give them large sig and low HP. Of course, the issues with this are numerous, as bombers are already a huge factor in the current EVE Online meta and they don’t really fit very well onto other ship classes. Adding a new type of module to use on these ship classes could lead to ships that already have roles just getting stronger in the current meta. The ideal solution, at least to Rise, is a new class of ship that’s primary role would be to use this bomb type.
Rise also details their intent to create a dynamic living universe with weather effects, adjusting geography and travel, among other things. This is the final thing that CCP Rise talks about during his presentation before the cameras shift back to our friends in the lobby to talk about the announcements. They’re also playing with 3D-printed EVE Online ships, something that they will be releasing for purchase soon.
For veteran players looking for a verdict on whether or not they should stick around, I’d say the jury is still out on this. The upcoming changes, while exciting, do very little to change the meta of EVE Online and fix a lot of the problems that we experience on a daily basis. The changes to command destroyers mean that some groups will need to try harder tactically to outmaneuver their opponents and give some much-needed room to the counter play to the fleets that use them as their primary mode of moving around on a grid (Stukas and the like). However, other changes such as the change to Upwell flex structures will do nothing except hinder those that are establishing new space. What brings me the most excitement is learning what Rise and his game play change team are looking to change and it definitely looks like CCP has empowered him to change and update the things that we really want to be changed. My only reservation is that this is entirely speculative and I’ve been hurt before. What do you think about this game play update? Let us know below.