This entry is written ‘out of character’ to discuss EVE development.
Every few days at the moment CCP are pulling out one more cool thing for us all to get excited about in the as yet unnamed winter expansion. Maybe the next cool thing will actually be its name, who knows?
What strikes me most about this new expansion is not so much the new ships (tier 3 Battlecruisers) or the new shiny graphics (New nebulae backgrounds! Better shadows! Engine trails! New cyno effect!). Although all these things will I think be cool and striking.
What really hits me is the sheer quantity and range of re-balancing that is going on. Hybrid turret changes are not just stopping at the turrets themselves, but is reaching into changing the speed and agility of blaster boats and out into Tech 2 ammo. And in the process, we are getting changes to T2 ammo used in other weapons systems and seeing the underwhelming ammo types boosted such as Quake ammo for projectiles.
Of course the new tier 3 BC’s with their battleship sized guns are going to shake up established fleet doctrines, but it doesn’t stop there. We are going to see a resurgence in Gallente ships and in Caldari turret based ships such as the Rokh, But it doesn’t even stop there.
Capital ships are about to see the largest changes to happen since Dominion 2 years ago. The oversized swiss army knife of EVE, the Super Carrier, is about to lose some of its accessories turning it into a less flexible and therefore more focused tool. It also going to be a more fragile class of ship taking a rather significant EHP cut across the board. I am very much in favour of SC’s having their options reduced although it might be that the EHP cut is a little too severe, particularly as it is, last I heard, going to be applied across all four races; there is an opportunity here to buff the underutilised racial SC’s (hi to the Hel) by cutting them back less than the vastly more popular choices (hello Nyx).
An interesting repercussion to the changes is that Titan prices are reportedly soaring and I hear have already doubled in the wake of the announced changes a few weeks ago. The community it seems firmly believe that the hey day of the SC is swiftly drawing to a close and that the future is very much Titan-shaped. Although Titan’s are getting their Doomsday weapons clipped back to only be targeted on Capital ships, their XL turrets are not yet being addressed leaving them sitting pretty with the ability to brutalise enemy sub-capitals, particularly if remote-tracking boosted. The super carrier pilots are now looking to trade up in an attempt to remain king of the hill.
But, it doesn’t end there. Assault frigates are getting boosted. Destroyers are getting boosted. In fact, indirectly speaking so is every other frigate with the arrival of new tech 2 modules. A T2 Micro Auxiliary Power Core might not sound like much but a little extra powergrid goes a long way on a frigate, allowing for a whole new range of potential fittings.
Those new modules are going to become significant. Come winter we all be pouring over our old fittings which have likely changed little in the past 2 years looking for new options and optimisations. There is a new video blog up talking to CCP Soundwave about the feature teams, in which he passes the comment that CCP have done more rebalancing in the past month than in the previous couple of years put together.
They really have done that, and I think this winter is set to be one hell of a shake up to both EVE’s PvP and PvE dynamics and give the EFT warriors a huge amount of fresh possibilities to sink their teeth into.
That video also mentions changes to boosters, making them more widely used rather than a niche item. It also mentions starbase fuel pellets to replace the ‘bazillion types of fuel’ currently used. What does that mean for PI producers? Will we need to combine the current items to make one fuel pellet? How will that affect the markets when combined with player owned and destructible Customs offices?
Plus, I really do want to see those new nebula’s. 😉