On June 23, CCP announced that EVE’s next planned update will remove skill-point loss from Tech 3 Strategic Cruisers. The update, called “Hunter’s Boon” has been released to the Singularity test server for player testing and includes a number of new features and balance changes related to the recent changes. Overall, the focus of the update is on further enhancements to covert hunting.
A Fundamental Change for Strategic Cruisers
The biggest change announced this morning is the removal of skill-point loss for Tech 3 Strategic Cruisers. This change has been requested by players for a very long time. Since their introduction in 2009, Strategic Cruisers have included skill-point loss as a feature tied to their loss. This update removes that aspect of T3C use.
At the time of their release, Strategic Cruisers were extremely powerful and quickly established a dominant position in the sub-cap meta for many purposes—including combat fleet usage. Due to their modular design, the ships were extremely flexible. Moreover, compared to many T2 ships, their skill-point requirements were quite light, especially in view of their flexibility. (As an example, T2 cruiser skills such as Heavy Assault Ships and Logistics Cruisers have a 6x training multiplier; the subsystem skills for a T3C are 1x skills. A T3C cruiser can be configured for heavy combat, recon, or a number of other roles. And Strategic Cruisers can have max subsystem skills more quickly than training one T2 cruiser skill to V.)
To counterbalance this, CCP included skill-point loss in the T3C design. Upon ship loss, a pilot will randomly lose the top level of one of their subsystem skills. At max skills, the loss is more than 200,000 skill points—several days of training. Losing several in quick succession could quickly become quite painful for a pilot.
However since 2009 several significant changes have made the skill-loss mechanic irrelevant. For one, T3Cs simply aren’t as dominant as they once were. A series of nerfs have relegated them to niche roles and infrequent use compared to the old days. Moreover, the introduction of skill injectors has made replacing lost skill points simply a question of ISK. In view of these changes, many players felt that the time had come for skill-point loss to be removed. With today’s release, CCP shows that they agree.
Boosts to the Covert Hunter Meta
The marquee change regarding T3C skill-point loss isn’t the only new change on SISI. Hunter’s Boon also introduces a series of changes and balance adjustments to the covert hunter game. These include:
- The addition of a mobile covert cyno beacon. These will function similarly to the mobile cyno beacon added in March. They will enable ships that cannot fit a Covert Cynosural Field Generator to call in a covert strike by deploying a covert beacon. This change will add more potential ships to the hunter meta.
- A booster that extends immunity to mobile observatory decloaking. Currently mobile observatories have a 40% chance every ten minutes to decloak any cloaked ship in the system where the observatory is deployed. However ships are immune from this effect for the first 15 minutes after cloaking. This booster would extend that period of immunity for pilots who need it–such as supercap pilots doing cloaked move ops, for example.
- Reducing the nullification module scan resolution penalty to fleet interceptors. This change will allow fast tacklers to target—and thus tackle—faster when nullified.
- Balance passes to the Pacifier and Enforcer. These two ships (particularly the Pacifier) were not included in the recent changes adjustments to Covert Ops ships. CCP will address that omission in this release.
As always, nothing is final until it goes live on TQ, and probably not even then. For now, though, head on over to Singularity to test the changes, and provide feedback in the forum thread.