On February 6, CCP released a new episode of In Development, where Senior QA Analyst CCP Antiquarian walked us through several of the upcoming changes in the February 13th patch. Changes include new functionality and behaviors for Upwell structures, changes to all assault frigates, and the addition of the Assault Damage Control Unit. The video also announced plans for the upcoming Guardian’s Gala event, and reviewed the progress of Project Discovery, as well as calling for player input for continued improvements in large fleet fights. Finally, CCP has called for video submissions for the 15th anniversary FanFest later this year.
Upwell structures are going through a number of changes with the new update, explained CCP Antiquarian. Most notably, there will be changes to vulnerability mechanics. All Upwell structures will now be vulnerable for an initial attack at any time, with the armor reinforcement timer opening 24 hours later. The third structure vulnerability timer will still occur at a time set by the owner of the structure. Additionally, an unfueled structure in “low power” mode will skip the armor reinforcement timer.
Structures will also lose the ability to use void bombs, but instead will have new Tech 2 standup module options including burst projectors, capacitor relays, and improved fighters. Moon mining refineries will now also be available in wormhole space as well as in certain areas of high security space. CCP Fozzie commented on upwell changes in a recent interview with INN.
Speed and capacitor stats for all assault frigates are being adjusted, with significant additional changes to the Ishkur and Retribution frigates. The Jaguar is also being overhauled entirely, becoming a missile platform functionally modeled after the T1 Breacher. Both assault frigates and heavy assault cruisers will also benefit from the addition of the Assault Damage Control Unit. The module, which gives passive resists like a normal DCU, also has an active mode which increases ship resistances across the board for a short period of time, followed by a long cool-down timer.
The Guardian’s Gala will run from February 13th to February 27th, and will feature Serpentis Rendezvous Points, which look to build and expand upon last year’s Yioul Festival “Rogue Swarm Nests.” The Rendezvous Points will feature new randomized encounters, as well as ‘boss’ NPCs that have a chance to drop an exclusive, never-before available implant. On top of this, cerebral accelerators and SKINs in the “Spirit” line can be found in sites, as well as an all-new “Eros Blossom” SKIN line available from the New Eden Store.
As CCP announced previously, millions of samples from Project Discovery data are now undergoing analysis at the University of Geneva. This data has found thousands of potential exoplanetary transit paths with a very high degree of consensus, proving invaluable for researchers searching for planets outside our solar system, and proving that Eve’s players are talented explorers of the galaxy in and out of the game.
Community Manager CCP Falcon discussed the recent battle of 9-4RP2, which has set a new record for the largest number of participants both in a battle and in a single system at one time. The previous record (5337 pilots in M-0EE8) was surpassed in 9-4 with over 6,100 pilots in system and additional 4,000 waiting in staging systems outside. CCP is continuing to strive to enable this kind of massive gameplay, despite the tremendous loads on the server caused by having to perform so many calculations for so many ships and actions. CCP Falcon reiterated CCP’s commitment to finding gameplay, software and hardware solutions to problems that result from such large engagements, and encouraged players to continue to give feedback and work with the developers on these solutions. Eve’s players have proven once again that they will continue to push the limits of what is possible in online gaming.
Finally, Lead Community Developer CCP Guard called for video submissions to be shown during the upcoming 15th anniversary FanFest, scheduled for April 12th to 14th. Past content has included advertisements and information about alliances, corporations, and other related content. Additional information and submission requirements can be found in a related recent news posting by CCP Guard.