There’s a lot going on in EVE Online right now, from the insane storyline playing out right now in-game and new Triglavian ships on the horizon to long-awaited changes about to drop that will make wars and PvP in high-security space much fairer. The April release is scheduled to drop in two days on April 9th with changes to remote assistance and a series of balance changes to capital and sub-capital ships that may help curb supercapital dominance in nullsec, and there’s much more to come.I discussed in a recent column has continued at pace, with players intercepting messages from the Triglavian Collective discussing our incursions into the abyss and their search for the Drifter hive systems. More players have encountered the Triglavian shipyard site, and as the ship is being slowly completed they’ve made the startling discovery that it’s actually a lot bigger than we previously thought.
In this edition of EVE Evolved, I break down all of the major changes announced for the upcoming spring releases and beyond.
The first round of changes to EVE Online‘s war declaration system made any corp without a structure in space immune to wars, allowing players to create social and non-combatant corps without exposing themselves to war harassment for the first time. CCP will expand on this in the May 2019 release with a new War Headquarters feature that will require a corp declaring war to select one of its Upwell structures as the headquarters for each war.
If the attacker’s structure is destroyed, the war ends immediately and can’t be re-declared for two weeks. If this sounds familiar, that may be because it’s very close to a suggestion I made in an article back in May 2017 and touched on again in October 2018; I even used the name “War Headquarters” for it. I’m obviously fully in favour of this change, as it will finally give the defender a viable victory condition and prevents the aggressors in a war from simply running away when a corp actually fights back. Now if your corp gets war declared against it, you can recruit allies and go kick their sandcastle down to win rather than logging off for a week.
The most surprising change announced recently is that all logistics modules (remote armour repairers, remote shield boosters, and energy transfers) will be getting a form of stacking penalty. Each module used on a target will be decreased based on the current amount of assistance of the same type currently being received. The change will affect subcapitals but will be more impactful on capital warfare, where large fleets can stalemate opponents by piling in more Force Auxiliary ships.
An upcoming release will also finally implement one of the most highly requested (but somewhat controversial) features throughout EVE‘s history: The removal of neutral logistics. Players fighting in a highsec war can currently be surprised by an unrelated third-party using remote repairers to heal their war targets, turning the tide of the fight. The neutral third party can’t be attacked until they actually start repairing, so many war corps use them as a safety net to bail them out if things go wrong. Hiding their forces in this manner effectively allows the attacker to trick the defender into committing forces to a fight they can’t win.
This is an issue I’ve written extensively on over the years, so I’m glad it’s finally being removed. The fix being implemented is that remote repairing a target in another corp which is at war in high-security space will now result in a red criminal flag and a CONCORD response. Other remote assistance from command bursts will simply no longer affect pilots in other corps if their corp is at war. This means that now you can be 100% certain that the enemy corp is the size that it appears and that it won’t magically spring extra support ships in the middle of the fight.
Some big balance changes are on the way over the next few months, with surgical tweaks to capital ships and some subcapitals to help stop capitals dominating subcapital warfare. High-angle capital weapons (designed to shoot sub-capital ships) were intended to be used by siege Dreadnoughts in large fleets, but have instead been used oppressively by titans. CCP is cutting their base damage by 50% and then giving Dreadnought siege mode a 100% high-angle damage bonus to compensate.
The effectiveness of carriers and supercarriers against subcapital fleets is also on the chopping block, with a 15% increase in fighter explosion radius and 30% reduction in explosive velocity making it harder for them to hit small ships. It will also no longer be possible to warp while the Networked Sensor Array is active, so you’re now truly locked in place when using it. Finally, capitals will have their insurance payouts decreased by 33% to 50% to make it more of a sting to lose a whole fleet of them.
Some direct buffs to subcapitals are on the way too as part of the April 9th patch. The Beam Harbinger could become a new meta ship thanks to beam lasers gaining 10% optimal range and the Harbinger itself getting an extra 125mw power grid to let it fit beams more easily. The Abaddon is getting its damage bonus to large energy turrets increased, the Corax gets a little more power grid, the Cyclone gets 25tf more CPU, and the Caracal Navy Issue gets its drone bay increased to 25m3. These are all small changes to underused ships, and it’ll be interesting to see where they end up in power post-balance.
If you caught my recent EVE Evolved column, you’ll know that something big is starting to go down in EVE Online‘s storyline. The mysterious Triglavian race discovered in the twisted realm of abyssal deadspace hijacked billboards across New Eden to play a video that some have taken to be a declaration of war. Shortly after, players began running into a new room in abyssal deadspace filled with Leshak battleships protecting a massive structure building some kind of colossal Triglavian ship.
Players stole Triglavian communication terminals from the site and have been intercepting covert chatter from them for over a week now, with each one forming a piece of a huge puzzle players are starting to solve. I recently had my first encounter with the Triglavian Shipyard and almost didn’t make it back alive, and recent investigation has shown that it may actually be considerably bigger than previously thought. Think less Dreadnought and more “That’s no moon!” kind of big.
We can look forward to these events continuing to unfold throughout the year, but they also come with a host of new Tech 2 Triglavian ships and other content. We’re getting a new Triglavian assault frigate named the Nergal that can use assault damage controls, and a command destroyer called the Draugur that can use micro jump field generators. The ship I’m most excited for though is the Ikitursa, a Triglavian Heavy Assault Cruiser that can use assault damage controls and will have a higher maximum charge on its entropic disintegrator.
There’s a lot to look forward to over the coming months, and the features above are just the highlights. We’re also getting the 64-bit client that will let the game access more of your system memory, and a graphical overhaul to the Agency system to help new players quickly find content they’re interested in.
A new UI Pointers feature will let players create links in chat that anyone can click to highlight a specific UI element on their screen, which should help us show new players the ropes. And legendary EVE explorer Katia Sae’s monument is about to be added to the game in recognition of the pilot’s incredible 10-year journey to visit and document every single star system in New Eden. Whatever you’re into, there are some exciting plans on the horizon for EVE Online‘s spring releases and beyond.