EVE Online’s newest expansion, Lifeblood, launches October 24th. The patch notes for the expansion were published today in advance of the release.
Major highlights in Lifeblood include a complete redistribution of moon minerals, a complete overhaul of moon mining and reactions, the mining ledger feature, the new Refineries structures and associated modules for moon mining and reactions, substantial new PvE content, Faction Capital Ships for Guristas Pirates, a balance pass focused at ships used by Alpha Clones, and a host of other smaller changes and bug fixes. We’ve summed up the most important of the changes for you here, and the full patch notes are available directly from CCP.
Moon Mining Overhauled
Moon minerals have been completely redistributed, and the POS modules formerly used to conduct moon mining operations have permanently ceased to function as CCP continues the long process of replacing and retiring Player Owned Starbases and Outposts. Instead of conducting moon mining passively from a POS, it’s now an active process, in which a new structure, the Refinery, takes centre stage. Each moon has a designated anchoring point, and a Refinery placed at that designated point has the exclusive ability to control the moon mining process via a drilling module. A massive chunk of minerals is first carved out by the drill, then tractored closer to the Refinery before finally being fractured into an asteroid field, a process where the total duration can be closely controlled by the Refinery’s operator. Once fractured into an asteroid field, the moon minerals are mined in the same fashion as any other asteroid belt.
Reactions have also been completely redesigned and will be operated from the industry screen of a suitably equipped refinery. They can no longer be conducted in a POS or other structure. This opens up the reactions process to virtually anyone, instead of it being the exclusive domain of larger groups, and brings the process in line with other forms of industry.
Reprocessing rigs have been unfit and returned to Corp Delivery hangars of structures where they were fitted, since Refineries now have exclusive bonuses to refining. The ore and ice variations of these rigs have been merged into a single variation, and a new version for moon goo has been added. XL and Large reprocessing rigs now have the same build cost and bonuses. XL reprocessing rigs and their blueprints will be duplicated as compensation for their change in value, with the duplicates placed in the player’s home station, or corp deliveries hangar of the corporation’s HQ.
A new “mining ledger” feature now allows individuals and corporations to accurately track mining activities. This paves the way for effective taxation of mining in the future at the corporate level.
Initial Vulnerability before Structure Anchoring
Upwell Structures will now get a 15-minute vulnerability window as soon as they are launched and before the 24 hour anchoring period begins. This is largely driven by the designated Refinery anchoring location on moons, and prevents abuse of throwaway structures and the 24 hour anchoring period to deny access to a moon indefinitely.
This new vulnerability period allows a chance to respond immediately to the placement of a structure, increasing the risk when dropping a structure, and preventing the losing side in a structure fight from simply dropping another in its place in the face of their attackers. While this new mechanic primarily comes into play in contesting moon control, it also means that attentive locals will be able to do something right away about unwanted structures in a few cases.
New PVE Opportunities
Several new pieces of PVE content are making their way into the New Eden universe this expansion. The Guristas pirate faction, perhaps inspired by the success of the Blood Raiders, have opened up their own capital shipyards. These employ similar mechanics to that of the Blood Raider sites – high-end fleet PVE that must first be tracked down by careful observation and probing, before being engaged over the course of multiple sittings by a large fleet. One significant difference, though, is that not one, but three of these shipyards can be active at any time: two in nullsec and one in lowsec. These shipyards drop the blueprints for the new Guristas capital ships, which are discussed further below (the titan BPCs will not drop in lowsec). Resource Wars are also new, a highsec-exclusive content type in which you aid one of the four empires in gathering minerals and protecting mining fleets from pirates. Speaking of Pirates, all of the pirate factions have increased the pressure on the empires, setting up Forward Operating Bases across high-security space – clearing them out is new content which is perfect for small groups of players.
In another major change, for the first time, the skins available from Resource Wars are not tradable and are destroyed if the ship that they are applied to is destroyed.
The Guristas are using stolen technology to produce their own capital ships in clandestine shipyards. These capital ships include the Loggerhead Force Auxiliary, Caiman Dreadnought, and Komodo Titan. With generous bonuses that align with the Guristas theme, these new capitals are likely to be in high demand, and the only way to build them will be to find and destroy a Guristas shipyard for a chance to loot a blueprint copy.
Alpha Ships Balance Pass
A number of Frigates, Destroyers, and Cruisers have gotten a small balance pass in an effort to fine-tune the ships available to free-to-play accounts. The Arbitrator and Bellicose are big winners here, with buffs to lock range and fitting room, and the Arbitrator gaining a launcher slot to make the only missile cruiser in the Amarr line-up just a little more capable. The Stabber also wins big with a new rate of fire bonus per Minmatar Cruiser level, while the Omen gets not only more fitting room, but also more capacitor capacity and recharge. The Rifter and Dragoon get small slot layout changes, the Corax sheds some weight and gains some shield HP. The Tristan takes a bit of a hit here, with a small weight increase to slow it down, but the Vexor is the big loser here, taking a massive hit to power grid that will make fitting extremely tight and perhaps curtail the use of oversized propulsion mods entirely.
Wagers on Duels
Players can set an ISK wager when starting a duel, which will automatically be paid out on destruction of ship.
Isotopes are now half the volume they used to be, 0.05m3 instead of 0.1m3
A number of small quality of life changes have also made it into Lifeblood via the “Little Things” initiative. These changes include:
- Most number edit fields in the game will now show a descriptive tooltip for values of 10000 or larger, so that it’s easier to confirm correct amounts have been entered and avoid missing or extra zeros.
- A new radial menu for broadcasting has been added, which can be bound to a keyboard shortcut from the settings.
- Alliances can now be autolinked in chat windows.
- Fleet invitation dialogs will now include a link to the pilots’s info window.
- Items can now be dragged into the Market Search field and the filter in inventory windows.
- The selected item info window for a stargate now indicates the security status of the destination system.
- A character’s employment history will now clearly show the number of days in corporation.