In an uncharacteristically early–perhaps even premature–release, CCP Falcon has published the patch notes for “Into the Abyss.” The patch itself is due on May 29. Most of the information is consistent with our previous coverage, but as a concise review, let’s take a look.
The most significant addition is, of course, the inclusion of Abyssal Deadspace instances. First announced at FanFest, these special instances are accessible only by cruisers, by activating Abyssal Filaments. Once activated, the cruiser will immediately enter an Abyssal Deadspace pocket. There they will find three “rooms” that must be cleared within 20 minutes. If the site is note cleared within 20 minutes, the player’s ship and capsule will be destroyed. Once the space is entered, it cannot be exited without completion, thus requiring a firm and total commitment to finish the site.
Abyssal deadspace has five different levels of difficulty, and the difficulty of the filament is known. Additionally, these pockets have various environmental effects, including the “Dark Matter Field” (bonus to velocity, penalty to turret range), “Plasma Firestorm” (bonus to armor HP, penalty to thermal resistance), “Exotic Particle Storm” (bonus to scan resolution, penalty to kinetic resistance), “Electrical Storm” (bonus to capacitor recharge, penalty to EM resistance), and Gamma-Ray Afterglow (bonus to shield HP, penalty to explosive resistance). Unlike wormhole environments, these environments affect both player and NPC ships. The only source of loot within the pocket is the Triglavian Bioadaptive Cache, which can contain filaments, blueprints, mutaplasmids, and other drops.
Activated abyssal filaments leave behind a beacon which can be scanned down using a combat scanner probe. When the site is completed, the player is returned to the beacon. In addition, players exiting level four and five pockets will receive a suspect flag from CONCORD, making them legal targets in empire space.
Mutaplasmids and New Weapons
Mutaplasmids will be introduced which can be activated to permanently affect the performance of specific modules. Both the mutaplasmid and the original module are consumed, replacing them irreversibly with a new, altered item. These mutaplasmids come in three varieties, which affect how extreme the ranges of potential outcomes are, from decayed mutaplasmids with relatively modest ranges, to unstable ones with wide ranges. In the middle, there is the gravid mutaplasmid, which has on average the best effects. The output of the affected stats can fall anywhere within the range.
Mutaplasmids can only be used with specific module groups, meaning mutaplasmids are specific for the kinds of things they can be used to modify. There are mutaplasmids which can affect warp scramblers and disruptors, webifiers, armor repairers and armor plating, shield boosters and extenders, neuts, microwarpdrives, and afterburners. The quality of the starting module does affect the ranges affected, but the affects are unpredictable: it is entirely possible to get objectively worse modules.
While mutaplasmids themselves can be traded on the market, modified modules will have to be traded via contract.
The new weapon class for Triglavian ships is the entropic disintegrator. These weapons scale up in damage which each cycle they continue firing on a single target, up to 250% of the base damage. There are T1, T2, and meta variations for each, in “light” (small), “heavy” (medium), and “supratidal” (large) sizes. These will need to be loaded with “exotic plasma” charges in short-range high-damage, middle-range middle-damage, and long-range low-damage T1 variants, and short-range and long range T2 versions.
Triglavian Ships and Skills
These have already been covered in some small detail elsewhere, but complete statistics are available with the patch notes for the frigate, cruiser, and battleship sized Triglavian ships. All come with bonuses to remote armor repairer cap usage and range, and the cap usage of neuts and smartbombs.
To use the new ships, pilots will have to train the new “Precursor” skill branch, which includes frigate, cruiser, and battleship skills, light, heavy, and supratidal weapon skills, and the T2 specialization skills for each size.
Gameplay Changes and Fixes
The biggest and most important gameplay change for capital ship pilots is ships can no longer refit while in warp. CCP Lebowski clarified on Reddit that this only applies to ships that have already activated their warp-drive, and not to ships which have only issued the “align to” command. Still, this is a major change that affects capital ship fleets.
Faction warfare deadspace pockets can no longer be entered by ships with warp core stabilizers equipped. The above critical changes to refitting in warp are intended to prevent workarounds where FW pilots activate the warp gate and then refit.
Planetary Interaction has undergone significant quality of life changes including improvements to the UI, simplification of the number of clicks, better notifications for what is going on, more sensible menus, and more. Additionally, a new “planetary colonies” window allows players easier access to their PI information, and tooltips have been added to inform players about their PI outputs.
Some minor adjustments were made to fix broken things.
Graphical Updates, Recommended Specs Increase, UI Improvements
Some minor graphical improvements were made with a number of optimization to rendering of certain scenes and fixing some errors in rendering of models.
Because of the graphic intensity of Abyssal Deadspace, the game’s recommended specifications have increased. CCP assures us that currently supported systems will not be obsoleted but that players should consider meeting these requirements to enjoy the highest quality settings.
A number of corrections made to the UI will improve quality of life. The most interesting to me are that shift-dragging a module in the simulator will now duplicate that module, the “Look At” button in the contextual window will now work when the tactical camera is on, and long scrolls will now not jump around so badly. There’s also a lot of overhauls to the Agency window, which apparently still exists.
There are abyssal deadspace pockets that you can go into and AFK for 20 minutes if you want to pod yourself very slowly.
You cannot refit your capship while you are in warp.
Planetary Interaction is marginally more tolerable.
The “Agency” window apparently still exists, and will work better now.
You can upgrade your modules with magic to make them worse, or maybe better?
These may be premature, and we will update with changes on the actual patch day, Tuesday May 29.