Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Quick Takes On The Arms Race Release

Today is the launch of Arms Race, the name of EVE Online's December release. I didn't do much prep on Singularity except to ensure my Arbitrator fit will work for the Arms Race event sites. Instead, I spent most of my time in New Eden scanning moons in my quest to create a resource map of all the low sec systems in the Minmatar Republic. To date, I completed scanning 41 systems with over 1800 moons. I think I miscounted the number of moons and will need to do some more mining.

Given the lack of time on Singularity (and the fact that the patch notes didn't come out until this morning), I'll just give a few quick takes on the new release based on the features found on the Updates page.

Expanded Alpha Skillset: Arms Race sees the Alpha clone concept move from an extended trial to a legitimate free-to-play option. Tech 2, Tech 3, and capital ships are still behind a paywall, but the removal of the racial ship lock along with the addition of 15 million more skill points of skills, including Tech 2 small and medium weapons will make the Alpha clone a more viable option when playing EVE. The ability to use a new type of skill injector, the Daily Alpha Injector, once a day gives Alpha players an alternative to subscribing in order to gain skill points after they reach 5 million skill points. I saw a lot of commentary saying that creating skill points "out of thin air" breaks the basic tenants of EVE. In my opinion, CCP did that when the introduced skill point extractors and injectors in February 2016 and began selling permanent power to players. Compared to that event, the introduction of the Daily Alpha Injector is, to use a technical term, a nothing-burger.

Arms Race Event: Looking at the patch notes, the Arms Race release will see two events. The first is the Arms Race, which will run from December 5-12. With such a limited time, players will race to get some pretty awesome skill injectors (+12 to all attributes instead of +10) along with augmented drone BPCs. I don't have details on the Yoiul Festival event except that it begins on 19 December. I didn't run the event last year.

Pirate Forward Operating Base Improvements: Apparently, players didn't interact with the FOBs enough as CCP posted:
Changes to Pirate Forward operating bases with the Arms Race release will see capsuleers take on an elevated threat, with more FOBs spawning after this release that are easier to find and engage with.
Expect Guristas and Blood Raiders NPCs to become more numerous and, perhaps more importantly, more annoying. I may have to take a break from moon probing to observe the new behavior.

New Empire Selection: CCP is rolling out a revamp to the New Player experience.
After extensive testing during fall of 2017, the new Empire Selection system with overhauled visuals and information will be released to all accounts with this release, with every new character created from this release forward benefitting from the changes!
I wanted to view the changes before now, but with CCP performing A/B testing, I decided to wait. Looks like I'll need to run another character through the tutorial.

Resource Wars - New Role & Balancing - I lost interest in the Resource Wars feature shortly after the launch of Lifeblood. Since I don't really have an opinion, I'll add the description found on the Updates page and the relevant entries from the patch notes.
With the Arms Race release, Resource Wars will see the introduction of a new role that allows capsuleers to fly as a support pilot, earning rewards by providing remote logistics to fellow capsuleers, and vessels from the empire that they’re supporting.

In addition to this, there’ll be some balance passes made on several aspects of Resource Wars for this release, including the addition of new rewards and some changes to their costs.
  • Logistics pilots are now eligible for Resource Wars rewards. This also applies to logistics drone users.
  • All level 5 Critical sites have been tweaked and rebalanced
  • All pirate cruisers will now target miners more often
  • Added some new reward crates to the LP stores
  • Added some new sound effects
  • Various formatting improvements made to Show Info window for Resource Wars beacons.
  • Added text feedback to Resource Wars when attempting to open a hauler that is out of range.
Jump Drive & Jump Fuel Adjustments - Honestly, the change doesn't affect me unless I resume ice mining. So instead of opining on something I know nothing about, here's the information from the patch notes.
Following on from the reductions in isotope volume and moon material volume released in Lifeblood last month, several changes have been made with the intention of increasing the economic friction associated with capital ship deployments and jump freighter hauling, stimulating the ice product markets, improving the balance of ice product consumption, facilitating the easier trade of high value reacted intermediate materials for T2 production and somewhat reducing the pain that can be caused by heavy jump drive usage and high stacked jump fatigue values. The changes are as follows:

Jump Drives:
  • +56% fuel use by Black Ops Battleships
  • +100% fuel use by other ship-based jump drives
  • Reduction of the maximum jump fatigue cap by 20%
  • Further reduction in isotope volume by 40% (to 0.03m3)
  • +20% increase in jump freighter fuel bay volumes

Fuel Blocks
  • Doubling the amount of liquid ozone required to build all four block types (from 167 to 350 per batch)
  • Small tweaks to the heavy water and isotope consumption as well primarily to round off the numbers and make math easier for people (167 -> 170 water and 444 -> 450 isotopes)
  • 80% reduction in the volume of all non-alchemy T2 intermediate materials (everything other than the “unrefined” stuff)

T2 intermediate materials
  • 80% reduction in the volume of all non-alchemy T2 intermediate materials (everything other than the “unrefined” stuff)

I do need to add a note about RMT, both the sanctioned type found on the markets and in-game cash shop as well as the black market type that gets players banned. PLEX prices rising to 3.5 million would not surprise me. A rise in PLEX price should result in lower prices on the black market. I think the black market sellers are already feeling a squeeze and some may decide to go to a game with larger profits. I am also a bit concerned about botting. From what I can tell from looking at killboards, Vexor Navy Issues are a very popular ship for botters. Now that Alphas have access to battleships, will we see a return of the Raven to botting fleets? Ravens were a staple of bot farms when I first started playing, but saw a drop in popularity in favor of Tengus when CCP became more effective in banning bots. I wonder if the meta will return to 2009.

No comments:

Post a Comment