This was announced back in Eve Vegas: Upwell 2.0 is coming with a load of changes to try and balance the Upwell family. And today, Team Five-O gave us this huge dev blog with loads more details about the major changes coming on February 13th – yes, less than a month to go!
The devblog is constructed around the four major ‘pillars’ of Upwell Structures:
- “Full power” and “low power” modes for structures
- A new vulnerability and reinforcement system
- A major structure combat overhaul
- Moon mining in Wormhole space and some Highsec systems
This is a monster dev blog, so fasten your seatbelts. If you just want a quick summary, take a quick look at the last section of this article.
Pillar #1: “Full power” and “low power” modes
Which is quite self-explanatory: service modules can either be active and consume fuel, and provide services… or not. A structure having at least one active service module is at “Full Power”. If not then the structure is, you probably guessed it, in a “Low Power” state.
The difference is that any Low Power structure will see its defences significantly reduced compared to the Full power mode. This means less shield and more importantly, no armor (yep, you read it correctly: no armor, which means you shoot the shields and skip armor timer to go right to structure).
The Low Power state is, in addition, visible through the structure’s label, as shown on this picture:
Pillar #2: New Vulnerability and Reinforcement System
The system will work as follow:
- Shields can be attacked at any time, chosen by the attacker. In other words, structure shields are always vulnerable.
- Armor can then be attacked only during a timezone chosen by the defenders but on the day chosen by the attackers. This is quite similar to Upwell 1.0.
- The final timer (structure) is fully controlled by the defender (time and day).
So this means that instead of setting a number of vulnerability windows for the structures, defenders will now set an armor vulnerability time window and choose a structure reinforcement day.
Further more, the attacker can get the information about the chosen timezone and day by scanning the structure using a relic or data analyzer module and solving a hacking puzzle , with the difficulty being linked to structure class (M, L, XL).
The 15 minute repair timer and damage cap are untouched.
Remember that if the structure is in low power state, the first reinforcement timer (armor) is skipped!
Depending on when the structure was attacked compared to it’s armor vulnerability time, the reinforcement cycle will last at least 22 hours, and up to 50 hours. A random factor is also added to this, which consists of taking the first vulnerability period that is at least 24 hours later and randomly adding (or subtracting) between zero and two hours.
This means that the attacker can pinpoint the armor vulnerability with a precision of four hours maximum before hitting the shields.
The armor timer itself is the 15 minute repair we all know.
The last timer is taken similarly by looking for the next structure vulnerability occurring X days after the armor is destroyed and adding/subtracting 0-2 hours, where X depends on the location (0.5 days, for WH, 2.5 for Low- and Null-sec and 5.5 days for Highsec).
So here, the defender chooses the exact date and a four hour time window.
The maximum duration for an attack considering the longest possible timers is 14 days in High-, 11 days in Low- and Nullsec and 9 in W-space.
The shortest duration for perfectly timed attacks would be 7 days in High-, 4 in Null- and Lowsec and 2 in W-space.
Let us summarize all of this with this nice chart given to us by CCP:
Pillar #3: Structure Combat Overhaul
This will cover how structures actually behave in combat, and how to (hopefully) make them more enjoyable for everyone.
Similar to those of supercarriers, they include: AoE target painter, weapon disruptor, energy neutralization, ECM jammer, sensor dampening, stasis webification, and warp disruption bubble effects. All these AoE burst have in-space effects showing off before being effective, allowing alert capsuleers to evade their devastating effects.
Along with those, the Titan’s Gravitational Transportation Field Oscillator superweapon is also given a Standup version. This weapon basically teleports all subcapital ships in the targeted area to a random spot in the same system. This module will be limited to Large and X-Large structures. Note that they can be used in all space!
You might have noticed that the energy neutralization burst projector is pretty similar in effects to the Standup Void Guided Bomb. As the Neutralization Burst Projector is more skill intensive and requires more combat awareness (compared to a guided bomb), it will completely replace the Standup Void Guided Bomb. All the remaining Standup Void Guided bombs and their blueprints on patch day will be converted to Standup AS Guided bombs and their blueprints.
A new family of fighters designed for structures will be created. These variants of the current fighter will be far more powerful but will only be available for Structures. For the industrialists amongst you, building these new Standup fighters will require a standard fighter plus approximately 25% more material value. As per usual with Standup modules, the blueprints for these will be seeded on the market from any Upwell Consortium station.
All fighters are getting a Standup variant, including the Sansha’s Nation Shadow heavy fighter, that will be purchased in BPC form from Sansha’s Nation LP stores. No skills are required for these fighters, and they will not be bonused by anything. Please note that Upwell Structures will not be able to use carrier-type fighters anymore!
As fighters get a more central place in structure gameplay, leaving the gunner seat will not abandon them anymore. Instead, they will gently disengage and try returning home.
To give more flexibility and options, CCP will add T2 variants to Standup modules. Along with that, more of the classic categories we know from ship fittings are brought over, such as capacitor power relays, capacitor batteries, and armor reinforcement modules.
This will be accompanied by a balance pass to fitting requirements: “Expect CPU and Powergrid decisions to matter much more after this release, especially if you wish to take advantage of the new T2 modules.”
As Structures will now be vulnerable 24/7, the Standup warp scrambler and Standup stasis webifier will have a 30 second active duration, followed by a 1 minute reactivation delay. This cycle time is currently unconfirmed, but should prevent a structure from perma-tackling a target. A limit on the number of fitted tackle modules will also be added, at one per module type.
To give better engagement at long range, Structures will also see their lock range extended to 400km, giving a maximum possible range of 490km after rigs and module bonuses.
Pillar #4: Moon Mining in W-Space and Highsec
This was also announced at EVE Vegas, and is an addition to the Lifeblood feature set – the Moon Mining mechanics will be available in every part of Eve.
WH and Highsec moons will provide higher-yield mineral ore variants, as well as low quantities of the most common varieties of moongoo ores.
Other (smaller) changes
Some smaller change are added, and by smaller we just mean that they are not pillars, but remain worth noting, as you will see!
- A new invulnerability state, called “fitting invulnerability”, will be given to structures after the 24 hour anchoring period but before the structure’s onlining repair timer. This is meant to give better fights over freshly onlined structures.
- The damage notification you receive when shooting a structure will now display your damage even if you are hitting over the damage cap. You will see your potential damage and the damage really applied after the damage cap.
- Controlling fighters in space will be considered as an aggression with regard to tethering. Any Carrier/Super pilot with fighter out will be out of tether as long as they are alive and outside the bay.
- Asset safety will cost more. The value of assets will see it’s algorithm improved to avoid “o isk value” items.
Furthermore, the minimum tax for asset safety will now be 0.5% of assets value, even in the same system.
The idea of putting the value of asset safety on the killmail is also considered, as a small reward for the aggressor. This is still under consideration, and will not be deployed with Upwell 2.0.
- To avoid rig removal before the structure’s destruction, rigs will not be destroyable after the Upwell structure has taken damage.
- The structure bracket in the overview gets a new icon, showing if you can or not dock in the structure.
- It will now be possible to add NPC corps to access lists.
- Unanchoring structures will now display the progress of their unanchoring timer in the structure browser to Station Manager characters.
- Unfitting a clone bay service module will now show you how many clones you will destroy, and ask you if you are sure (of course I am, biomass everything!).
- Structures with cloning bay will (finally) allow you to self destruct your pod without undocking, just like stations.
Some further addition that should come later this year:
- Locking Blueprints in Upwell Structures.
- Allowing more characters in a structure’s name (such as $,% and ~).
Wrap-up and Things to Remember
First of all, before patch day, pre-set the reinforcement hour and day for your active structures.
This is done through the structure browser.
All changes should hit the Singularity test server, AKA Sisi, in the near future. Have a look and give feedback on the forums. If you already have questions or feedback, you can speak up in this thread.
To summarize the biggest changes:
- Structures will be weaker if they have no active service module, and will loose their armor timer in this case.
- The attacker chooses when the shields go down. The defender chooses the armor timer with a 4 hours window coming 22-50 hours after shields die. Structure timers date and hour (again, 4 hour window) are chosen by the defender. This last timer will happen faster after the armor is down in WH than in Low- or Nullsec system, and later in Highsec.
- Structures get Burst modules, new structure-specific fighters and increased fitting options, with T2 modules.
- Moon mining comes to Highsec and WH, but only gives basic moongoo.
And for the smaller ones:
- After the 24h anchoring timer, but before the structure’s “onlining repair”, the defender will get a 15 minute fitting invulnerability.
- You will now see how much damage you hit after the damage cap.
- Carriers and supercarriers with fighter squadrons in space will remain untethered.
- Asset safety will never be free, and will be more accurate on value estimation.
- Structure rigs cannot be removed after taking damage.
- The overview will show you if you can or not dock in a structure.
- NPC corps will be available for access lists.
- The unanchoring timer will be available to Structure Managers through the structure browser.
- Unfitting a clone bay will ask a confirmation for killing all these poor clones.
- Pod self-destruct will become available inside clone bay equipped structures.