CCP announced today a sweeping series of changes to Black Ops and Covert Ops ships designed to improve the distinctiveness and usefulness of these hulls. These changes are currently available for testing on Singularity.
Black Ops: More than a Covert Jump Bridge
CCP is making changes to Black Ops battleships to encourage more active combat use of those ships as a part of covert warfare. All Black Ops are receiving significant buffs to their combat damage. In addition, they are receiving a new alternative to covert bridging called the Group Jump. When a Black Ops activates Group Jump, the Battleship itself will jump to the covert cyno and bring with it eligible fleet members that are within range–similar to how a Command Destroyer Jump Field Generator will boosh ships in proximity to itself.
To be eligible to receive a Black Ops Group Jump, a ship must be:
- In fleet with the Black Ops Battleship initiating the Group Jump
- Within range of the Battleship (presumed to be the same as the bridge range, 2,500 meters)
- Capable of fitting a CovOps cloak
- Jump eligible: No pointed or bubbled, not restricted by Jump Fatigue
Group Jumps are significantly cheaper than bridging, especially when large numbers of ships are being move. Group Jumps are currently slated to cost a flat 1000 isotopes regardless of the number of ships being jumped. This reduced fuel cost may act as a strong motivator for fleets to bring their Black Ops directly to the front line.
To support this increased exposure to combat, all of the Black Ops Battleships are receiving significant buffs to their damage bonuses. In most cases, bonuses are going from 5% to 10% per skill level.
Covert Ops: Specialized for Scouting
A second change now available for testing on Singularity is an overhaul of the four faction Covert Ops ships (Anathema, Buzzard, Cheetah, Helios) to focus their use specifically on scouting. All of them are having their combat bonuses removed entirely. The Cheetah and the Helios are having their cloaked velocity buffed to enable faster covert movement. The Buzzard and the Anathema are having their Scan Deviation buffed to enable faster scanning.
All four of them are receiving an additional slot. The Anathema, Buzzard, and Cheetah are receiving a low slot. The Helios is receiving a high list to better complement its use of the new nullification module recently added to the game.
EDENCOM Vortron Projectors Buffed
Vortron Projectors, the chain-damage weapons used by EDENCOM ships, have had the max number of ships damaged by their attacks increased from five to ten. This change is being announced a few weeks after Gobbins urged PAPI players to be training for EDENCOM ships.
These changes are live on the Singularity Test Server. That means that while they’ve taken a step toward going into the game, they’re not yet finalized. CCP has already updated the devblog once since its release, and is likely to continue to do so. Keep an eye out for future changes!