Art by Quendan Comari
Eve Online Community Developer CCP Convict recently posed an important question to Capsuleers: How are you feeling about EVE right now? Convict is inquiring about how CCP has performed over the last year, and in particular the last three months. CCP’s interest in the past quarter is undoubtedly connected with the introduction of the veteran-focused developer team, Team Talos.
Team Talos and their two-week development cycle debuted with the October 15 Warp Drive Active update. The nascent development team has produced a total of seven updates since their inception:
Warp Drive Active – The initial offering on October 15 brought a straight-up warp speed buff for cruiser, battlecruisers and battleships. It should be noted that the Angel Cartel ship line role bonus to Warp Speed and Warp Acceleration was decreased from 50% to 25% a month-and-a-half later in the Rapid Fire update.
Howling Interceptors – The October 30 release intended to give pilots a reason to use the overlooked Combat Interceptor hull. The class received a 5% damage bonus on top of its existing bonuses. The Crusader and Taranis also received a slight CPU increase. This buff went live alongside a nerf to Assault Frigates speed with a 10% reduction in velocity across the board. Ramjags were specifically targeted with a reduction of powergrid and CPU. Critics of this update note that the tandem changes aren’t enough to convince Capsuleers to ditch their AF’s.
Trick or Treat Event – Released on the same day as Howling Interceptors this event showered pilots with skill points and SKINs with a week long login bonus. Along with that PvP pilots were awarded a 100% drop rate for modules and cargo on ship kills. CCP notes that next time they will probably go with a 99% drop rate to dissuade blatant killboard padding.
Beat Around The Boosh – The November 12 update nerfed Stuka Fleets, limiting the maximum amount of ships booshed with the Micro Jump Field Generator. Bosonic Field Generators got hit with an effective 80% damage nerf against targets smaller than capitals, reducing Titan’s ability to PvE as well as blap hapless subcaps. Jumpgates and Cyno Jammers got banished 500km or more from other structures, putting them beyond lock range of all citadels. This has been lauded as a great change for PvP, forcing defenders to fight outside the range of their powerful structures.
Rapid Fire – Deployed alongside the Invasion Chapter 2 expansion on November 26, Rapid Fire provided a buff to a handful of Minmatar subcap hulls, as well as Medium Autocannons. An attempt was made to tone down the prevalence of the Muninn in bloc warfare with a reduction in velocity and optimal range. CCP notes that they will be watching the Muninn and Eagle as both vessels are still a strong presence as a premiere fleet doctrine.
Kicking Over Castles – An initial step to counter the proliferation of Citadels was released December 10. CCP took aim at timezone tanking by adding a ‘jitter’ of four hours to structure vulnerability periods. Changes to tethering mechanics were introduced to counter the leverage that structures provide Faction Warfare space. CCP notes they have a plan for low power structures but didn’t have time to include it in 2019. Additionally, CCP states they want to make structures more rewarding to destroy and will continue to improve timers.
Naughty or Nice – Another login bonus with skill points and skins was initiated on December 12. Overwhelmingly popular among the free gifts was reindeer named filaments. Once activated, the filaments whisk a small gang across the universe into nullsec and have been dubbed immediate action buttons. CCP states almost 10K of such trips have been taken and assures Capsuleers that this mechanic will be returning at a future date.
New Mechanics and Policy
CCP unveiled a few new tricks that weren’t attributed to Team Talos.
Shared Bookmarks – Released with the Invasion Chapter 2 expansion, the new bookmark system has been widely praised, with a few caveats, primarily the limitations on how many bookmarks can be in a subfolder, and said subfolders being cumbersome to get to.
Hypernet Relay – Space ‘gambling’ makes its return with CCP’s version of SOMER Blink. The now sanctioned raffle system has drawn criticism for enabling and promoting potentially dangerous behaviors with real life consequences. HyperCores are purchased with PLEX, and PLEX is purchased with legal tender. But despite those loud concerns, it’s undeniable that Capsuleers are using and enjoying chancing their ISK to win expensive prizes.
Devs Play Eve CCP Policy Change – Potentially the most beneficial for the health of the game, Eve devs are now able to play without aliases. CCP loosening the rules governing developer play has been well received by literally everyone. No longer must the devs hide behind fake names and risk their character, should they be outed.
War, War Sometimes Changes – An attempt to prevent oppressive and annoying war decs against player groups in highsec, CCP made rolled out a road map of planned changes in December 2018. Corps must now have a structure in space to be considered “war eligible.” Intent on making conflict have defined goals for defenders, War Headquarters were introduced. Attackers must choose a War HQ from their various structures, giving defenders something to shoot instead of only defending.
Drifter Invasion – Reports came in on June 26 from major nullsec blocs that large NPC Drifter fleets were attacking structures and camping gates. The assault disrupted normal operations, forcing members away from routine duties to counter the NPC aggression. An entire war campaign was called off to deal with Drifters reinforcing structures across null space.
Update to Sales Tax and Broker Fees – Flipping items on the market got trickier with the July 29 change. The combined maximum taxation increased increased from 5% to 10%. With skills and standings, the combined minimum taxation increased from 3% to 5.25%. Player owned structures saw an increased minimum from 1% to 2.25%.
Blackout – Nullsec local went dark on July 12, emulating the chat mechanics of Wormhole space. The controversial change polarized the community with proponents in love with the opportune chaos versus passionate critics. Capsuleers resubbed in droves to enjoy the fertile hunting grounds Blackout yielded. Conversely, pilots across null opted out of participating entirely by simply docking up or not logging in. Blackout ended as abruptly as it began, leaving some wanting more unpredictability and others upset over the whole ordeal.
Cyno Update – Invested in the “Era of Chaos,” CCP announced changes to Cynosural Field Generators on August 7. Standard cynos were limited to Force Recon ships, rendering the ownership of multiple cyno alts an expense of skills and ISK. An outcry from the community citing logistics concerns and cyno vigils promoted the creation of the Industrial Cyno.