Game developer CCP’s upcoming patch will introduce some changes that are widely anticipated, and others that have been announced only recently. One particular change affects the way capital, supercapital, and industrial ships travel. These changes release at downtime on September 10.
Cynos and Chaos!
As announced previously and discussed widely on INN, the Talking in Stations podcast, and elsewhere (with opinions varying to predictably extreme degrees among players – see, for example, this interpretation and also this one), CCP plans to eliminate the ability of most ships to fit the Cynosural Field Generator I module. Post-patch, only Force Recon Ships and Black Ops Battleships will be able to fit and utilize the module, significantly limiting options for moving capital and supercapital ships. Supporters of the change contend that it will allow small groups, particularly lowsec-based hunters and wormhole organizations, to engage targets in nullsec without inviting an instantaneous supercapital response. Critics warn that supercapital war – already the coin of the realm in major sovereignty challenges – is already too rare, and this change is unlikely to stimulate further engagement by the entrenched powers.
Nevertheless, CCP remains committed to its position of reinforcing difficulty for veteran players, particularly those in the established nullsec alliances, while supposedly creating an environment more welcoming to newer players. It appears the ‘Chaos Era’ championed by CCP CEO Hilmar Veigar Pétursson will create major logistical challenges for capital and supercapital warfare.
CCP intends to mitigate the logistical effects of these changes by introducing a new module called the Industrial Cyno, which can be fitted to T1 Industrial ships and which is intended for use by Jump Freighters. However, CCP announced in the September patch notes (though not the September Release article) that Black Ops Battleships will also be able to jump to the Industrial Cyno. If this is not an oversight, and Black Ops Battleships are in fact able to jump to the new Industrial Cyno, this may tip the balance of risk/reward in nullsec in favor of hunter groups which will be able to utilize cheap, disposable cyno ships such as the Nereus and Wreathe to stage black ops attacks.
(Editors Note: It is worth mentioning that at the time of publishing, the only ships able to jump to Industrial Cynos on the Singularity test server are Jump Frieghters, which suggests that there may be an issue with the patch notes as provided.)
The September release includes a set of low-slot Triglavian implants called ‘Mimesis.’ These implants will be available through the DED LP store and are believed to affect spool time for Triglavian precursor weapons, resulting in a higher potential damage output for Triglavian ships.
CCP improved the graphical effects of suns and wormholes on low- and high-shader settings, creating more attractive appearances for these features as well as adding utility to the visual appearance of wormholes. Wormholes “will now display the destination system at their center,” according to the patch notes, and will also display a gate-flare effect when players pass through, as is the case in known space. These graphical enhancements seem likely to affect the way wormhole communities interact with outsiders.
In addition to the new wormhole effects, CCP also plans to implement clearer visual cues for both the size limit of wormholes and the time remaining for each hole. Size limits will be indicated by colors, while the age of each wormhole will be suggested through the intensity of the field lines emanating from the hole.
The new player experience is a stated priority for CCP, and one area of assistance that will be offered to players beginning with the September release is a series of warnings and indications in the fitting window.
- Red warnings will indicate CPU, power grid, and cargo hold overload, as well as T3C builds that are missing a subsystem.
- Yellow warnings will include attempts to fit modules that have been removed from a ship’s capabilities through balance passes, modules that provide an irrelevant bonus (such as Magnetic Field Stabilizers on a projectile turret build), mixing turret groups and sizes, mixing launcher types, double-tanking, and offline modules.
- White alerts will indicate that the player is fitting a type of tank not normally associated with the hull (i.e. shield tanking an armor ship, and vice versa) or fitting polarized modules, which eliminate all resistances on a ship while providing massive damage potential.
- The fitting tool will alert players more clearly when missing skills will affect their ability to utilize modules.
New Warp Mechanics
Ships that remain in a “pre-warp state continuously for three minutes” without actually warping will now warp automatically. The obvious beneficiary of this change will be pilots of freighters and industrial ships who find themselves ‘bumped’ by suicide ganking communities, which is a common strategy to keep a target in place until the main ganking fleet arrives to kill it. However, CCP notes that warp scramblers will reset the timer, which may allow gankers to utilize suicide scrams to hold down a target for longer than the three minute window.
A new visual indicator called “Establishing Warp Vector” will display the time to warp. Previously, players estimated their time to warp based on the velocity bar at the bottom of the capacitor interface, with warp initiating at approximately 80% of maximum ship velocity.
Other Changes and Notes
- New sound effects and music will be introduced for wormholes and wormhole systems.
- The Venture mining frigate may no longer capture faction war complexes.
- The Triglavian ‘invasion’ will expand to lowsec.
- Black Ops Battleships will receive a 50% cyno duration bonus.
- Amusingly, kill reports will include a ‘buy all’ option to allow players to replace their losses as quickly and painlessly as possible.