CCP’s next balance pass in October will target ECM use and interdiction nullification, two issues that have vexed Eve Online players focused on PVP.
Jam Them First, Get Shot A Lot
In a new developer blog, CCP said ships that are jammed by ECM modules will be able to target, and attack, the jammer, instead of losing all ability to attack. When someone flying the E-war support role lands a successful jam, all targets on other ships will be broken.
“Rather than sitting helplessly while jammed, you will always have the option of fighting back. It will be up the ECM user to stay out of range, abuse tracking, or otherwise avoid retaliation,” the dev team wrote.
The new effect will also apply to NPC targets and player-controlled drones that use ECM. One thing not addressed in CCP’s FAQ but was later confirmed on Discord by CSM Suitonia is that any jammed fighters will still be able to lock and shoot at the ship or drone jamming them.
CCP said ECM modules may also be balanced to provide more consistency in their use.
“The downside here is that in the short term, balance for ships focused on ECM may be a bit out of whack,” the dev team wrote. “We are looking at some small buffs to fitting and tank for ECM ships with this release to help them survive against return fire, and long term we hope to be able to increase jam strength to make ECM more consistent across the board. Your feedback will be critical in ironing out those changes going forward.”
The days of all interceptors enjoying interdiction nullification will soon be over. CCP will remove nullification, or the ability to warp through warp disruption bubbles, from the Claw, Crusader, Raptor and Taranis.
Nullification will remain a part of the bonuses for the four fleet interceptors: Stiletto, Malediction, Crow and Ares.
Nullsec pilots have complained about insta-warp, fully nullified interdictors and their ability to harass their enemies without any clear way to stop them aside from getting a lucky smartbomb drop.
“We hope this preserves the unique role Interceptors play as scouts and tacklers while introducing more significant tradeoffs for the powerful tool of nullification,” the developers wrote.
Wormholers Get Done Again
The final major mechanic change announced here is that Heavy Interdictors will no longer have any navigation penalties or benefits when activating an unscripted Warp Disruption Field Generator. For those who are unaware, this “mechanic” utilises an over-propped (typically 500MN) Heavy Interdictor, and if modules are activated in the right order, a ship achieves almost top speed whilst also gaining near-perfect agility and a reduction in ship mass. The trick in question is described in this great video by CSM member Suitonia.
This has been in CCP’s sights ever since it was demonstrated as being hugely powerful more than a year ago in Alliance Tournament Fifteen, where it earned an almost on-the-spot rule change and a place on CCP’s “top ten most wanted bugs” list. CCP was hesitant to immediately kill it off, though, because the navigation alterations of an unscripted WDFG allow wormhole dwellers to collapse low-mass wormholes without such a high risk of being ‘rolled out’ of their home.
Apparently, more than a year later and no suitable replacement for mass alteration coming soon, CCP have finally decided enough is enough, and are squashing this bug.
This round of balance passes were discussed at the most recent Council of Stellar Management summit in Iceland, where players elected by their peers met with CCP developers and management. Other balancing changes on the way include the following:
Capitals and FAXes: CCP have launched a lengthy discussion on force auxiliary changes, and while they did not describe upcoming balances they did write on Monday that small changes to FAXes will be coming soon.
Triglavians: Higher than expected market prices will lead to CCP increasing the drop rate of required materials in Abyssal Deadspace. The Leshak battleship and Vedmak cruiser are earning their keep, CCP said, but the Damavik is struggling to find its place in combat. The next balance pass will move one low slot to a mid slot to provide more utility, meaning the Damavik will soon have a 3/3/3 slot layout.
Finally, the CSM have put together their collective thoughts on these proposed changes following what was, by all reports, a very productive summit in Reykjavik. You can read what they have to say here.