Wednesday, February 12, 2020

EVE Online's February 2020 Patch, Guardian's Gala, And Mining Changes

The patch notes for the February 2020 release came out with the patch on Tuesday. Most of the changes won't affect my play, and I'll note the few occasions they do. While CCP didn't give much lead time for some of the changes,  the developers did publish a dev blog on Friday with information on two of the bigger features, wormhole connection changes and the Guardians' Gala.

The biggest change, teased in the dev blog, was an increase in the connections between wormholes. The patch notes spelled out the change in more details.
  • Wandering wormhole connections (excluding to Thera and Shattered) have had their presence increased
  • Wandering C5 and C6 connections to null sec have had their presence increased
  • New wandering connections between C4, C5 and C6 wormhole systems have been introduced
Wormholes are also receiving some love during the Guardians' Gals event.
This year, the Guardian's Gala - the annual get together for the Angel Cartel and Serpentis pirates to celebrate their spoils - is not only taking place in k-space, but there will also be more challenging sites with more unique rewards in wormhole space! Running from 13 to 24 February, the rewards for Capsuleers who successfully gatecrash the outlaws' celebrations will include the new Savior Angel Cartel Logistics Implant Set.

In addition to the above, there will be a limited time increase in loot drops from PvP in wormhole space to coincide with the Guardian's Gala event. This will be happening between 13 and 24 February, so make sure you're ready for it!
The wormhole changes were met with approval from at least one member of the CSM.
But that's not all. The developers continue with changes to implants. The Sansha loyalty point store will now sell Nirvana implant blueprints (I'm assuming blueprint copies) while Amulet implants move to the Blood Raider loyalty point store. The implants will also drop from their respective pirate faction NPCs.

The new Savior implant set designed for use with sub-capital repair ships will make their way to Tranquility in the Guardians' Gala event. CCP isn't fooling around and will introduct low, mid, and high grade versions of the implants.

Along with new implants comes a round of module tiericide. With the implants come wholesale changes to remote repair modules.

The February patch also introduces some PvE nerfs. Hopefully incursion runners read the patch notes.
Changes to the qualification rules for Sansha Incursion rewards have been made. In order to qualify for the rewards, pilots must be present at the site upon completion and also have a meaningful contribution to the completion of the site.
Wormhole players may receive a surprise, as not all Sleeper warp scramblers turned off a ship's microwarp drive. They will now. Players will also notice that Drifter Response Battleships will react differently. The how is left to players to discover.

Given how much I like FFXIV's Gold Saucer, I have to comment on the changes made to EVE's HyperNet. After reading them, I still have no interest in placing any bets in New Eden. Below is the list of changes CCP introduced yesterday.

  • You can now see a list of the capsuleers who own the highest number of HyperNodes in an offer when looking at the offer details view.
  • Filtering has received a number of improvements:
  1. You can now filter by item meta groups, blueprint copies vs. originals and item categories have been added to the item field.
  2. Filter settings can now be saved.
  3. You are no longer forced to select a range for the HyperNode count field, you can now filter on offers with a single specified number of HyperNodes.
  • The history view has vastly improved filtering. You can filter by all the same criteria as in the browse view along with filtering on joined/created, active/finished, public/private offers. Sorting options were also added.
  • When a filter is applied to the history view you can now see how many total offers there are and how many the filter criteria applies to.
  • You will now see a warning on offers that have a disproportionately high HyperNode price compared to the item's average price on the regional market. This warning, along with the indicator for low-priced HyperNodes, can now also be seen in the offer details view.
  • You can now see how many HyperNodes you own along with the total number of HyperNodes in an offer when it is finished and being synchronized.
  • You will now be warned if you set a very low HyperNode price compared to the regional market estimate when creating an offer.
  • Your history will now show you all the offers you've participated in or created in the last three months.
  • Offers with blueprints will now say in the title whether they are an original blueprint or a copy.

Now, a matter that impacts my play much more: mining changes. First, the amount of ore in the game is receiving a reduction.
High Sec Asteroids:
  • Pyroxeres, Omber & Kernite quantities reduced.
Low Sec Asteroids:
  • Veldspar, Scordite, Pyroxeres, Plagioclase, Jaspet, Hemorphite & Hedbergite quantities reduced.
Null Sec Asteroids:
  • Scordite, Omber, Kernite, Jaspet, Hemorphite, Hedbergite, Gneiss, Dark Ochre, Crokite & Arkonor quantities reduced.
  • Bistot quantity increased.
Ore Anomalies spawned from Sovereignty Industry Index upgrades:
  • Level 1, 2 & 3 respawn times adjusted.
  • All variations of Crokite in all levels replaced with the equivalent yield variation of Kernite.
  • Gneiss, Dark Ochre & Spodumain quantities reduced.
Later in the day, CCP published a dev blog concerning moon mining changes. I'll quote extensively from the dev blog due to not wanting to get anything wrong.
Last December, the endeavor towards a healthier mineral distribution throughout New Eden began. While this is a complex task, changes will be implemented in phases, over a period of time, to propel the project towards its ultimate goal: a dynamic mineral distribution system that will self-regulate based on inputs and outputs.

Of course, that is easier said than done, and the road to get there is long and fraught with peril. Drastic changes are being made that will be felt throughout the ecosystem, but there is confidence that they are positive changes for the long term health of EVE Online.

The plan consists of three phases:
  • Shortage phase
  • Re-distribution phase
  • Dynamic distribution phase
The shortage phase is a mandatory step in order to get the data that is needed, so that what constitutes a ‘healthy’ distribution for the current player base can be identified and understood. This step will also allow all the factors that should be considered during the creation of the dynamic system to be listed. Currently, there are three to five steps within this phase. The first step was executed last December, and the second step is going live with this patch. The next step will be going live sometime next month.
When I first read about a "re-distribution phase", I thought CCP intended another reshuffle of moons and was going to start building probes again. But the dev blogs explained further.
During the next release, a significant change in how minerals are distributed on moons is planned. You should expect the following changes:
  • Complete removal of all basic ore types from all moons
  • Adjustments on ore volume extracted per day, per moon
  • Adjustments on moon ore type yields of basic minerals
I'm assuming the next release will occur on or around 10 March as the news is too large to include with the introduction of Guardians' Gala tomorrow. The news about the "dynamic distribution phase" should definitely inspire conversation at Fanfest on the first weekend of April.

Due to real life getting in the way, I hope to log into EVE tomorrow when Guardians' Gala begins. Only then will I get to see how big a nerf I will experience. But since I've made the decision to do most of my mining in Enduring Conduits, the only change I expect is the value of the ore I mine increase in the long term. The trip to Fanfest does look to hold a little more excitement than I originally thought, though.

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