Friday, June 30, 2023

How Square Enix Will Celebrate 10 Years Of Final Fantasy XIV

When playing MMORPGs, six is a magic number. I started playing EVE Online, which launched in 2003, in 2009. Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn (we don't talk about 1.0) launched in 2013 and I started playing in 2019. So while EVE celebrated its 20th anniversary on 6 May, FFXIV will officially celebrate 10 years of operation on 27 August. Having travelled to Iceland for EVE's 10-year celebration, I'm interested in how Square Enix will celebrate 10 years of operation in its second MMORPG.

We received a hint Tuesday when SE launched the 10th year anniversary site. Instead of concentrating on a short period of time, events are planned for throughout the year. Here is what we know so far.

28-29 July - North American Fan Festival in Las Vegas. The celebration starts early with the first of three player conventions spread thoughout the world.

29 July - Crystalline Conflict Tournament for North America. What is a convention without a PvP tournament? Wait, is that the EVE player in me coming out? Anyway, if I had to guess based on what I've seen so far, we may see a global PvP championship held somewhere down the line.

30 July - Eorzean Symphony in the Theater at Virgin Hotels Las Vegas. What is it about having video game music performed by a symphony orchestra? CCP set up a performance of EVE Online music at the HARPA back in 2013. Square Enix will have two performances of FFXIV music in Las Vegas.

Release of patch 6.45 - Limited-time Group Pose Frames & Stickers. I'm not sure what "limited-time" means for this promotion. Does it mean that players will only have a limited time to acquire the frames and stickers to show the world they were playing during the 10th anniversary? Or does it mean the frames and stickers will only be available to use for a limited time. Either way, I expect the glam set to jump on the opportunity for more gpose goodness.

26 August - Fireworks and music display in Osaka, Japan. The first of two fireworks displays Square Enix will hold in Japan to celebrate the 10th anniversary. According to the advertisements, the company is holding two separate fireworks sessions on the night of the 26th.

27 August - The Rising. The annual short event where Yoshi-P enters the game to give players a message. The event lasted 2 weeks last year. A must attend event to start out the year.

27 August - Moogle Treasure Trove. The Moogle Treausre Trove is usually an event that runs one month before the launch of a patch and offers players a chance at in-game items that usually takes a lot more effort. I expect the event to have some possibly discontinued items going back through history offered up in August and September.

21-22 October - European Fanfest in London. The second of three Fanfests held around the world, the event is not anniversary specific and will probably focus on the game going forward as much or more than looking back at the past. 

22 October - Crystalline Conflict Tournament for Europe. I'm penciling in the second day of the European Fanfest for the PvP tournament.

23 October - Eorzean Symphony at Eventim Apollo, London. Once again, Square Enix will have music performed the day after Fanfest, this time in London.

November 2023 - Fireworks and music display in Kanto, Japan. The second of two fireworks, this one in the region around Tokoyo and Yokohama. With the name of the region, instead of a city, on the site, I'm guessing the location as well as the exact date of the display is still up in the air.

7-8 January, 2024 - Japanese Fanfest in Tokoyo. The final Fanfests held around the world, the event is not anniversary specific and historically focuses on the next expansion.

8 January, 2024 - Crystalline Conflict Tournament for Japan. I'm penciling in the second day of the Japanese Fanfest for the PvP tournament.

Spring 2024 - 10th Anniversary 14-hour Broadcast. In Yoshi-P's neverending effort to convince people he doesn't sleep, he will host another one of his 14-hour streams, this one focusing on the past 10 years of FFXIV. I imagine he will also do an extensive stream covering the next expansion around that time as well.

That is the schedule of in-game and real world events known at the time of the publishing of this article. The company is stepping up its game this year with fireworks displays and symphony orchestras. I'll be interested to see if more events are added to the website, of if the only additions over the next year are filling in the missing dates.

Wednesday, June 28, 2023

Best In Slot Feels Good

Over the weekend I decided to go ahead and catch up on acquiring my end of expansion crafting and gathering gear in Final Fantasy XIV. I started with the Indagator's crafting set. The 10 pieces of equipment/accessories and the 5 gathering tools are item level 620. More importantly, the set will allow me to gather the top resource nodes coming in patch 6.5.

In many games going though the effort and expense of getting best in slot (BiS) gear isn't worth the trouble. But as I discovered in Endwalker, fully pentamelded top end crafting and gathering sets are useful until the end of the base of the next expansion. My end of Shadowbringers set is what I used to craft until I reached the level cap of Endwalker. Which is good, because I put a lot of time, effort, and millions of gil in order to get that. At the current pace of development, my new Indagator's gathering set should last six to seven months.

My old gathering set was a combination of Pactmaker's gear on the left side and tools (item level 590) with Ophiotauroskin accessories (item level 560). Some of the Ophiotauroskin items also didn't have 5 melds, resulting in stats without food of:

  • Gathering: 3723
  • Perception: 3612
  • Gathering Points: 900

With my new set of Indagaor's gear and accessories fully pentamelded and my tools with 2 out of 5 melds, my stats currently are:

  • Gathering: 3998
  • Perception: 3992
  • Gathering Points: 903

Higher numbers are always good but do they matter? In FFXIV, gathering has certain breakpoints to trigger bonuses. In patch 6.4, the new breakpoints are:

  • [+2 Bountiful yield/harvest 2] : 3713 Gathering
  • [+3 Bountiful yield/harvest 2] : 4538 Gathering
  • [Required Perception] : 3850 Perception
  • [+1 Yield Node Bonus] : 3900 Gathering
  • [+2 Yield Node Bonus] : 4000 Gathering(Hidden)
  • [+3 Yield Node Bonus] : 4100 Gathering(Hidden)
  • [+30% Boon bonus] : 4000 Perception
  • [+1 Attempts Node Bonus] : 900GP
  • [+2 Attempts Node Bonus] : 950GP(Hidden)
By eating Carrot Nibbles (max 76 gathering/39 perception), I can reach all the breakpoints except the +3 bountiful yield/harvest 2, +3 yield node bonus and the +2 attempts node bonus. When I finish melding my tools, I'll reach the +3 yield bonus with Carrot Nibbles.

Speaking about pentamelding, my strategy of saving up my seafarer's cowries for gathering materia paid off. I spent some 150,000 seafarer's cowries on the specific ones I needed. A rough estimate is I saved a few million gil. I have the gil to spend, but watching a stack of 20-30 materia die to the RNG gods with no effect doesn't feel good if I just spent 500,000 gil on them.

Needless to say, my bags filling faster with materials feels really good. And I'll need that, as my next task is to craft the Indagator's crafting set. Plus, I'll need to pentameld 16 crafting tools instead of 5 gathering tools, so if I want to save some gil, the increased gathering output will come in handy. I tend to spend gil to save on time. Less time required to gather means I spend less gil.

I probably need to go into more detail on crafting and gathering in FFXIV. I hear a lot of disbelief that anyone who had played EVE would like an "anime weeb game" from Square Enix. The two games have a lot of similarities, at least where manufacturing items is concerned. Which is another reason why running around whacking trees and breaking rocks in my best in slot gear feels so good.

Friday, June 23, 2023

Thinking About Economies While Watching Final Fantasy XVI

Over the last few days I've watched streamers play Final Fantasy XVI, the new single player game in the Final Fantasy series. I don't plan on playing the game anytime soon, and not just because I don't own a Playstation 5. At this point in my life, I don't want to lock myself away for tens of hours at a time with no human interaction at all. The biggest reason is a game's economy. Interacting with real people is so much more interesting than a generated script that allows one to buy and sell certain things at certain times.

A single player game by definition can't provide the human touch in the economy. Buying and selling items to and from NPCs isn't the same as knowing someone living hundreds if not thousands of miles away was affected by my gameplay. If someone uses a batch of ammunition I manufactured to blow someone else up in EVE or uses some high quality food I made in Final Fantasy XIV to help complete a raid, I made a difference. Perhaps a small difference, but a difference all the same.

The competition angle also comes into play. Play an MMO long enough and rivalries can occur. FFXIV tries to hide that a bit by making players sell items through retainers. In EVE Online, most of the serious industrialists have alt characters to allow them to sell more on the market. But I do remember in Everquest 2 the market war my guild engaged in with a rival guild whose guild leader liked to smack talk one of our leading members. The activity led to a lot of unintended gameplay.

I know some players hate the fact that other players can have an effect on prices and availability of items on the market. The dislike leads to systems in games like Black Desert Online in which players can only sell items within a pre-defined price range. Sorry, but if players think an item is only worth 10 silver and the devs think the appropriate minimum price is 50 silver, players will need to pay the 50 silver or go acquire the item through farming.

For me, give me games like EVE Online and Final Fantasy XIV where players have a greater impact on the economy. A game can have a great story like I see on streams of FFXVI, but a good player-run economy like EVE or player influenced economy like FFXIV is what I prefer. A single-player game just can't offer that.

Wednesday, June 21, 2023

A Look At EVE Online's Federation Day Cash Shop Promotion

Cloud Imperium Games is not the only game studio that uses in-game holidays as an excuse to sell digital goods. CCP announced a sale themed around the annual Federation Day holiday held by the Gallente. When I started playing back in 2009, Federation Day was an event run by Gallente role players celebrating the formation of the Federation. Now, I didn't see any posts for player celebrations, but I do see a news article advertising sales in the cash shop. Looks like another holiday has been commercialized and stripped of meaning.

CCP is advertising two bundles this year, the Luminaire Ascending Pack and Luminaire Exalted Pack. For those who don't know, the system of Luminaire is the home of Gallente Prime, the cultural and spiritual home of the Gallente. The system is also the home of Caldari Prime, which helped lead to the current conflict between the two NPC empires.

The first bundle, the Luminaire Ascending Pack, seems aimed at luring Alpha players and/or accounts to temporarily convert to Omega accounts. The $6.49 package consists of:

  • 10 days of Omega
  • 20 PLEX
  • 100,000 Skill Points 
  • Basic 'Boost' Cerebral Accelerator
  • Catalyst Navy Issue and Maulus Luminaire Rising SKINs

Just looking at the amount of game time included in the package, I will guess the sale will last 10 days. The 20 PLEX probably comes out to netting a player 90 million ISK based on the 4.8 million median price of PLEX yesterday and after deducting taxes and fees. The 100,000 skill points avoid the loss of skill points experienced when using skill injectors while the cerebral accelerator adds +2 to all learning attributes for 2 days. And finally the package includes nice skins for a faction navy destroyer and a regular Tech 1 cruiser.

The more expensive bundle, the Luminaire Exalted Pack, costs $17.49, or $2.50 less than one month of game time. For that price, players receive:

  • 400 PLEX
  • Standard 'Boost' Cerebral Accelerator
  • 250,000 Skill Points
  • Catalyst Navy Issue, Maulus Navy Issue, Nemesis, Brutix Navy Issue, Megathron Navy Issue, and Hubris Luminaire Rising SKINs

The 400 PLEX is interesting. At current Jita prices, 400 PLEX sold on the market will bring in 1.8 billion ISK. If a player already has 100 PLEX, that turns into one month of game time. And one month of multiple character training only costs 350 PLEX in the New Eden Store.

On the training front, the cerebral accelerator adds +4 to all learning attributes for a base time of 4 days. The 250,000 skill points probably goes some way to starting training for the new skills introduced in Viridian. And the six SKINs probably will have value if sold on the market.

The sale of ship packs in EVE has a large element of FOMO, especially for those looking to purchase their skill points with their credit cards. Not only did CCP not announce when the sale would end, but players can only purchase a pack once. Which means for the credit card warriors out there who have purchased all the existing bundles, their only opportunity to purchase skill points straight from CCP comes in these events.

Hopefully the quick look at the bundles will help, as the cash shop doesn't make telling what a player is purchasing exactly friendly.

Tuesday, June 20, 2023

A Downtime Interruption

Over the Juneteenth weekend I decided to catch up on upgrading my gathering gear in Final Fantasy XIV. With the help of 106 million gil in my purse, I was able to purchase all of the missing materials I needed to craft all 10 items of the Indagator's Set, the current best-in-slot set for gathering. But I didn't have time to craft the 5 gathering tools I needed to equip my mining, gathering, and fishing classes. Why? Downtime for a patch.

I really was spoiled by CCP's efforts to minimize downtime over the years. Yes, EVE Online still experiences a daily period of downtime of around 10 minutes, which is much better than the daily 60 minute downtime when I started playing in 2009. And if the devs manage to eliminate the daily downtime in their quest to build Project Awakening, so much the better. Because these 4-5 hour downtimes to install point patches in FFXIV gets old. And if I remember correctly, CCP didn't need 24 hours to deploy Viridian like Square Enix does to deploy expansions like Shadowbringers and Endwalker. Then again, FFXIV doesn't require daily downtimes either.

I've worked around tech long enough to know that when deploying new software kicking all the users off the system is useful to get everyone using the same version of the software. But I would like to see game developers try to take the visible steps CCP has in shrinking downtime to a minimum.

Monday, June 19, 2023

Viridian - TTT Update, The Final Shipcaster, And Microsoft Excel

The news today is kind of quiet and I didn't do anything interesting in any of the video games I played. Fortunately for me, enough little things occurred (plus a holiday) to fill out a blog post. So without any further ado, here's a brief update on the Tranquility Trade Tower, the Gallente militia, and the Microsoft Excel plug-in for EVE Online.

I spent some time on Saturday watching the INN Twitch feed of the Imperium's structure batch of the TTT's armor timer in Perimeter. War dec mechanics are hard and the Imperium succeeded in demolishing the second of the three Keepstar timers. The hull timer becomes vulnerable on Thursday night in the North American time zone (early morning in the EU). I might watch a little of the fight on Twitch. For a lot more detail from one of the participants, Wilhelm published another post on this weekend's events.

In factional warfare news, the Gallente have finished building their shipcaster. When I posted Friday, the Gallente were only 0.7% away from completing their research. CCP patched in the final stage of the effort at downtime and as of 1600 EVE time the Frontlines display showed the construction effort at 100%. With the last shipcaster complete, I wonder if the Shadow War name is retired.

Finally players will get to play with the new EVE Online plug-in for Microsoft Excel starting 20 June 2023. That's tomorrow for those not reading this post too far in the future. The plug-in is free and available from the Microsoft store, unless you are reading the post the day it was published.

Accessing in-game data effortlessly and seamlessly integrating with Excel, this powerful add-in empowers decision-making and ensures accessibility for everyone, without requiring any programming knowledge. Import your in-game data across all accounts and characters as well as your corporation data directly into Excel using the EVE API. Once your data is imported, unlock Excel's full potential with robust analysis and visualization tools. Create custom reports, graphs, and charts to gain deep insights into your in-game activities, track your progress, and strategize your next steps. Gain insights into asset location, item value, market orders, item prices, wallet transactions, skills, and corporation finances (with required roles), enabling informed decision-making.

I'm not sure if players can access the market API. But I imagine the Excel plug-in will come in handy when trying to keep track of the new corporation opportunities.

Hopefully I'll have something meatier to write about for tomorrow. But this should help keep up with events in EVE a little bit.

Friday, June 16, 2023

The Tranquility Trading Tower And Shadow War Update

On Wednesday CCP added the effective removal of extra-large Upwell structures in high security space to the patch notes for EVE: Viridian. On Thursday, the owners of the Tranquility Trading Tower began the process of removing the keepstar from Perimeter. Wilhelm has an excellent write-up of the events surrounding the event, so I won't try to duplicate the effort. I'll just add that the breakup of the Tranquility Trading Consortium may yet result in fireworks as The Imperium's operations in Domain still exist. The Goonwarm-led coalition issued a statement on the EVE sub-Reddit:

Due to recent leaks and other unsubstantiated allegations, Imperium leadership has found ourselves unwilling to further engage in the existing TTC discord. Nonetheless, a statement about certain matters seems appropriate.

  1. The Imperium has followed the both the letter and spirit of the TTC agreement in full, intends to make final disbursements from the wallets we control at 00.00 EVE, and expects to receive our final disbursement in turn, as the treaty stipulates.

  2. The Imperium is not the original creator of the TTC partnership ca. 2019, but rather was offered a smaller initial share, after Test and Horde wished to bring in and/or pay off the only other power thought capable of independently threatening a keepstar in highsec.

  3. As part of the TTC agreement, the Imperium brought a pre-existing operation in Ashab (consisting of a Sotiyo and Tatara) into the TTC, and proceeds from those taxes have been distributed accordingly since that time.

  4. The TTC operation did not pay the Imperium to acquire these pre-existing assets, and upon our departure from the agreement, they will revert to being solely ours, as the remainder of the TTC's structures and assets (which include more than the Keepstar) also remain under the control of our former partners & their management team.

  5. As a public service, the Imperium has discounted all industrial and refining tax rates in the Ashab structures to 0.00% while we decide whether to make it our war HQ (the best current suggestion) or figure out something else funnier.

In factional warfare news, the Minmatar Republic completed their Shadow War research goals and may now build shipcasters. The patch notes gave the details.

  • The Republic Interstellar Shipcaster is located in the Minmatar FW HQ system of Amo, Near Planet III, Close to the Republic Fleet Anchorage Station.
  • To power the activation of the shipcaster, a new Republic Stellar Transmuter has been brought online in the nearby Barkrik system.
  • The Minmatar Republic will begin automatically placing Republic Shipcaster Beacon Constructors in warzone systems to enable the construction of Republic Shipcaster Beacons.
    • To construct the Shipcaster Beacons in the target systems, Capsuleers can deposit Nanotransistors, Smartfab Units, Nanomechanical Microprocessors, and Self-Harmonizing Power Cores to the Beacon Constructors. Capsuleers who deposit construction resources will be rewarded with Tribal Liberation Front loyalty points.
  • When at least one Shipcaster Beacon is connected to the Shipcaster, it will become possible for capsuleers enlisted with the Minmatar to jump through the shipcaster.
The last remaining faction without the ability to build shipcasters, the Gallente, is 99.3% of the way to completing the Transport Relay Development portion of the research. I don't know if CCP will attempt to deploy a patch on a Saturday in order to allow Gallente players to begin construction of their own shipcaster this weekend.

Status of factional warfare on 16 June 2023 @ 1330 UTC

Thursday, June 15, 2023

EVE: Viridian - Patch 21.05 - Keepstars, Shadow War, And Homefront Operations Updates

My original plan for last night was to hop into a mining ship, take some screenshots, and earn some Evermarks. I still did that, but today's post will cover the changes in yesterday's patch. I think a couple of the changes are pretty significant.

Structures & Deployables: While the category isn't the sexiest, I think the biggest news concerned Keepstars and Sotiyos.

  • Keepstars and Sotiyos, can no longer be anchored in High-Security space.
  • Existing XL Structures will be fully functional, however once they have been unanchored or destroyed they will not be able to be replaced.

I have heard so many complaints over the years about keepstars in high sec, mostly inspired by the presence of the Tranquility Trade Tower in Perimeter. Now, will we see a major battle in Perimeter soon?

Shadow War: I'm pretty sure CCP thought the construction of Interstellar Shipcasters would finish before the launch of Viridian. But two factions, the Amarr and Minmatar, reached milestones requiring entries in patch notes:

Thanks to the efforts of loyalist Capsuleers, the Amarr Empire has completed construction of the second Interstellar Shipcaster.

  • To power the activation of the shipcaster, a new Imperial Stellar Transmuter has been brought online in the nearby Ohide system.
  • The Amarr Empire will begin automatically placing Imperial Shipcaster Beacon Constructors in warzone systems to enable the construction of Imperial Shipcaster Beacons.
    • To construct the Shipcaster Beacons in the target systems, capsuleers can deposit Nanotransistors, Smartfab Units, Nanoelectrical Microprocessors, and Self-Harmonizing Power Cores to the Beacon Constructors. Capsuleers who deposit construction resources will be rewarded with loyalty points.
  • When at least one Shipcaster Beacon is connected to the Shipcaster, it will become possible for capsuleers enlisted with the Amarr to jump through the shipcaster.

The Minmatar Republic has completed the research phase of their shadow war effort, and can now begin work on the construction of an Interstellar Shipcaster.

  • The Republic will reward capsuleers who bring Mutadaptive Construction Components to their component deposit yards located in the Republic Shipcaster Construction Site in Amo, and the Republic Stellar Construction Site in Barkrik.

Homefront Operations: Apparently CCP saw some activity they didn't like and made some changes.

  • Hauler wrecks within Raid sites can no longer by tractor beamed or destroyed.
  • Updated the Dread Assault info panel UI for clarity by removing unnecessary details.
  • The array objects listed in Suspicious Signal sites will now be ordered alphabetically.
  • The Dreadnoughts within Dread Assault sites will now use their AOE neutralizing effect.

Universe: Now I need to fly around and look at certain objects around stations.

  • We have updated the in-game billboards with recently submitted player advertisements.

Miscellaneous: I have the feeling we'll see changes involving EverMarks for a couple of months.

  • EverMarks can now be awarded when Daily Challenges are completed for various activities. Three can be completed a day and they can also include Skill Points as rewards as they did previously.

Defect Fixes: Along with the changes CCP slipped in 20 bug fixes.


  • Items purchased with Corporation LP are now delivered to the Corporation Deliveries hangar.


  • Mac client: Various graphical effects have been restored that were previously not being displayed for example turrets, smartbombs and wormhole effects.

Corporation Projects and AIR Opportunities:

  • While creating a Corporation Project, searching for a wormhole in the solar system bar now yields results as intended.
  • The AIR Opportunities window will now update automatically when a new Project is created.
  • The AIR Opportunities window will now update correctly when speaking with a Career Agent.
  • Opportunities will now be sorted correctly by closest distance in the Opportunities browsing window.
  • The contribution notification between "your own" and "overall" progress will show the same result when using multiple missiles or drones
  • Progress is now counting when the Militia is entered into the Damage Capsuleers project for Corporation Projects.

Homefront Operations:

  • Selecting a Homefront Operations site in the current system in the Agency window will now stop popping up an error message.
  • Homefront Operations' Warp to Site button in the info panel will now work even if the Opportunities window is closed.
  • When setting a destination to a solar system with available Homefront Operations, the Homefront Operations list in the Opportunities window will now immediately populate with those operations. Clearing a destination will immediately remove those operations from the list.
  • Objective counter now updates correctly in the Gallente Raid site.
  • The 'Narcotics Lab' structure in the Gallente Raid site now has a type icon.
  • Reduced the time it takes for the Minmatar target to uncloak in the Suspicious Signal site.
  • NPCs should no longer switch targets in Dread Assault site.
  • Fixed some typos in the Homefront Operation sites.
  • Info Panel now functioning in Homefront Operation dungeons.
  • Fixed an issue with the 'Metaliminal Meteroid - Mining' sites sometimes paying out multiple times.

User Interface:

  • Loyalty Point are now formatted correctly in the wallet.
  • Selecting 'Read Details' will now correctly progress the Career Agent introduction during the AIR NPE.

Tuesday, June 13, 2023

EVE: Viridian Patch Notes - Graphics

EVE Online's Viridian expansion, set to launch today, is the game's second full expansion since the return of the content format in November 2022. The patch notes are fairly extensive. Instead of just composing a surface-level single post giving my thoughts, I thought I'd do a little experiment. Are people interested in perhaps a little deeper coverage? I'm about to find out, as this post covers the new graphics introduced in Viridian.

Graphics - For a game entering its third decade of operation, EVE Online is a very pretty game. To complete with modern games today, CCP is constantly updating the graphics. The latest updates are:

  • Volumetric clouds have been introduced in the Homefront Operation sites. These clouds have a three-dimensional appearance, adding depth and realism to the environment.

  • Missile impacts have received updates across all warhead size classes. 

    • The missile will now explode outwards in the opposite direction of the impact vector. 
    • Missile impacts will illuminate nearby surfaces. 
    • The visual effects (VFX) of the impact will be slightly smaller when viewed from closer camera distances, decided on impact spawn ranging from 30km to 10km. 
    • Flare brightness has been adjusted based on camera distance to avoid overwhelming players when viewed up close. 
    • Improved gameplay readability has been achieved using shape language and differentiation. 

  • 68 Frigates of the empire-based factions have received FX (special effects) and lighting updates. This includes the addition of lights and effects to enhance their visual appearance.

  • Marauders have received FX and lighting updates. Lights and effects have been added to improve their visual representation.

  • Upwell Citadels, namely Astrahus, Fortizar, and Keepstar, have undergone an FX and lighting pass. Lights and effects have been added to enhance the visual appeal of these structures. 

  • Planets have been added as shadow casters. This means that the planets now contribute to casting shadows in the game, further enhancing the visual fidelity of the environment. 

This is the last of 8 posts I've composed and published based on the patch notes of the Viridian expansion. Not because I don't appreciate the efforts of CCP's art department, but because players will notice as long as they can press the undock button.  Hopefully people will find the little additions I've made to the patch notes, if not useful, then interesting.

EVE: Viridian Patch Notes - Corporation Loyalty Points And SKINR

EVE Online's Viridian expansion, set to launch today, is the game's second full expansion since the return of the content format in November 2022. The patch notes are fairly extensive. Instead of just composing a surface-level single post giving my thoughts, I thought I'd do a little experiment. Are people interested in perhaps a little deeper coverage? I'm about to find out, as this post covers corporate loyalty points and the SKINR.

Corporate Loyalty Points - No, corporations do not have the ability to generate and distribute their own loyalty points. 

  • Corporation Taxes which previously were only contributed by members via NPC bounties will now also automatically levy Loyalty Point payouts at the same rates as set by the corporation. Loyalty Points are contributed for all Loyalty Point payouts such as those granted through Factional Warfare, Incursions or mission rewards. 

    • EverMarks are excluded from this as they are granted to corporations at a 1 to 1 ratio when a corporation’s member receives EverMarks by any means.

  • Corporations now have their own Loyalty Point wallet to account for their Loyalty Points. Loyalty Points can be spent in Loyalty Point stores by either the CEO or Directors and works in the same way as normal Loyalty Point Store purchases except the Loyalty Points and any required ISK are deducted from the Corporation Loyalty Point wallet or Corporation ISK Wallet respectively. Where an LP store purchase being made by a corporation requires the provision of an item in addition to an LP payment, that item must be located in the personal Item Hangar of the character making the transaction.

  • Loyalty Points in corporation Loyalty Point wallets can be donated to any other corporation. 

    • EverMarks are excluded from being traded between corporations.

As CCP explained last week:

To further enhance corporations and the experience of members, the Viridian expansion will allow corporations to receive income from Loyalty Points (LP). The rate set by the corp for the percentage of ISK it receives from members’ earnings will now also be applicable to all activities generating LP. This will be another source of revenue for corporations, as the LP can be exchanged for items in LP stores and then traded for ISK. As a result, corps will have more resources and better infrastructure, leading to more opportunities for members to do more activities. Corporations of all sizes can also now take advantage of LP income and incentivize members to carry out activities in New Eden that reward LP and directly benefit the organization.

SKINR - Super-Kerr Induced Nanocoating Resequencer - The SKINR is the next step in the evolution of the Heraldry feature in EVE Online. Instead of ships, player may now customize the look of Upwell structures.

  • A new in game customization tool, the Super-Kerr Induced Nanocoating Resequencer allows CEO’s, Directors, and the newly created role of Brand Managers to create Nanocoating designs by applying Nanocoating's of their choosing to different areas of Upwell Structures. Nanocoating designs can then be applied to any of the Upwell Structure that the corporation owns in exchange for EverMarks for a limited duration. 

  • Once the purchase is complete, Nanocoating Designs are then applied to all selected structures for all capsuleers to enjoy, or not. 

  • The Brand Manager role has access to all corporation customization options, for now that is SKINR and the ability to spend EverMarks through those options. 

  • Starting in the week of the expansion there will be a new way to acquire EverMarks through the Daily Challenges which use a similar cyclical fashion of various activities you are used where those previously only rewarded Skill Points. This adds a more passive but less direct yielding way than Paragon Missions to acquire them.

The news article linked to above went into more detail on the use of the SKINR.

In SKINR, brand managers will start their customization journey by choosing which structure to base their design on from any of the 11 standard Upwell structures, then create and apply custom nanocoating designs to their corporation Upwell structures in exchange for EverMarks that corps have been acquiring through player contributions since the release of Uprising last year. 

Nanocoating designs will be created by choosing a combination of nanocoatings to apply to different areas of the structure. There will be over 90 nanocoatings to choose from at launch, so corporations should all be able to find a combination that fits their branding. At any point during the design creation, it will be possible to preview a design of any of the other Upwell structure types, as these nanocoating designs will not be specific to a given Upwell structure, but applicable to all. 

Once the brand manager is satisfied with their design, they may proceed to the straightforward application process. They will simply choose which of their corporation-owned structures they want to purchase a nanocoating induction license for and for how long (there will be a choice of 30, 90, and 180 days), and then pay using their corporation EverMarks. Once the purchase is complete, nanocoating designs are then automatically applied to all selected structures for all corp members to enjoy!

Hopefully this post has helped explained what CCP hopes are very important changes to the way players manage player groups in EVE. Corporations and alliances often provide services to their members and struggle with ways to collect enough resources. The taxation of loyalty points provides a new income source. In addition, the Heraldry system is designed to show corporate and alliance pride. The SKINR feature is designed to reinforce that feeling of togetherness and unity. Social interactions can keep people playing a video game long after they tire of the game itself. With the launch of Viridian hopefully we will see the player counts rise as people want to remain playing with their friends.

Monday, June 12, 2023

EVE: Viridian Patch Notes - Corporation Projects And AIR Opportunities

EVE Online's Viridian expansion, set to launch on 13 June 2023, is the game's second full expansion since the return of the content format in November 2022. The patch notes are fairly extensive. Instead of just composing a surface-level single post giving my thoughts, I thought I'd do a little experiment. Are people interested in perhaps a little deeper coverage? I'm about to find out, as this post covers Corporation Projects and AIR Opportunities.

Corporate Projects - CCP has made strengthening corporations a priority and in Viridian the main system to accomplish the goal is Corporate Projects. Last week CCP introduced the idea to players in a news article.

At the heart of the improvements to the corporation experience in Viridian are Corporation Projects, a tool that enables leaders of corporations to create new projects that become visible to every member, allowing large and small corporations to be managed more easily. Player corporations significantly enhance capsuleers’ experience of belonging, achievement, and purpose in EVE Online, while also providing a source of pride and direction for many in New Eden. Corporation Projects will enable player corps to set goals for their members to contribute to, as well as providing them with the means to monitor member progress against those goals without having to leave the game. 

The patch notes went into further detail.

  • The following projects are available: 

    • Manual - A free form type project that is an empty canvas; it is flexible and can be used for any purpose, with the caveat that the tracking of progress is manual. 
    • Deliver Item - Members can be mobilized to deliver items to the corporation, for the purpose of anything from buyback programs to the corporation acquiring materials for large manufacturing jobs. 
    • Destroy Non-Capsuleers - Contributions to this type of project are made by destroying Non-Capsuleers, optionally in a specific solar system. 
    • Damage Capsuleers - In a PVP fight, a member can contribute to this project by dealing damage to another player; thus being recognized and rewarded for their effort without having to strike the final blow. 
    • Mine Ore - A project that can be used to incentivize mining in a specific solar system to for example raise its Industrial Index. 

  • Corporation CEO’s and Directors have access to the Project Creation Tool which they can use to create up to 100 active projects. They also have access to a special tab for each project that displays each member's individual progress towards the goal of an active project and how much they contributed when the project is completed.

  • Corporations with an office in either a Station or an Upwell Structure will have a new hangar called Projects. This hangar can have items dropped into it that are required to progress the Deliver Items project. Unlike other corporation hangars, this one does not have configurable access and is only accessible to either the corporation’s CEO or Directors. Other members have drop access only. 

  • Projects can be linked in chat and other text fields by dragging and dropping. 

AIR Opportunities - Once the Corporate Projects are created, players need to know they exist.

  • The Projects Tab and the AIR Opportunities window are inherently linked. Clicking a Project within the Projects tab brings a member to the Project’s entry in the AIR Opportunities window. 

  • For a corporation member simply looking for a Project to work on, the AIR Opportunities window will be their primary means of accessing Corp Projects.

This is a new interface which replaces the old Journal and is intended to be a counterpart to The Agency. Where The Agency is a catalog of content, Opportunities is the presentation of content available now and could be of interest to you.

Last week's news article explained the end goal of AIR Opportunities in greater detail:

AIR Opportunities (and Corporation Projects) will assist players with being aware of what matters to their corporation and accessing activities that directly contribute to achieving those goals. This reduces the need for new players to check in various locations for things to do, as this will be the hub – or heart – where players can decide what they want to take part in today. 

When a player makes progress against one of their AIR Opportunities or chooses to opt in to or track an AIR Opportunity, it will be represented in the active tab of the interface. This active tab will take on all the functionality of the current journal but will expand it by tracking any content that is represented as an AIR Opportunity. The opportunities can be shared by linking them in chat channels and EVE mails (drag and drop to create a link to specific opportunity). 

Hopefully this post has helped explained what CCP hopes are very important changes to the way players manage player groups in EVE. For a long time corporations and alliances have relied on outside services to manage their members. The largest and most successful often have an IT group that rivals those of many businesses. If systems like Corporation Projects and AIR Opportunities can help move some of that effort inside the game client, then the developers will have accomplished their goals.

EVE: Viridian Patch Notes - Homefront Operations

EVE Online's Viridian expansion, set to launch on 13 June 2023, is the game's second full expansion since the return of the content format in November 2022. The patch notes are fairly extensive. Instead of just composing a surface-level single post giving my thoughts, I thought I'd do a little experiment. Are people interested in perhaps a little deeper coverage? I'm about to find out, as this post covers some of EVE's new PvE group content, Homefront Operations.

Homefront Operations are viewed by CCP as the next step for players hesitant to make the jump to more dangerous space and wish to stay in high sec longer. At the same time, though, the devs hinted last week that the effects of factional warfare may creep into high security space.

However, Highsec may not always remain the oasis of peace as it has been in the past. The rising tensions between the empires will spread to highsec as the consequences of war will start being felt beyond the battlefield and behind the frontlines. These Homefront Operations sites will be populated by NPCs including forces from their opposing faction, pirates, and rebel groups. While flying around in highsec, you will also see new billboards and posters, as well as propaganda and in-station announcements that will communicate the atmosphere of rising tension in empire space.  

At launch, Homefront Operations will consist of six types of adventure, optimized for about 4 to 5 players. Experienced capsuleers will be able to select newer capsuleers to join them for a variety of specific opportunities to play in a small group. Players can test out different roles in content that will take about 15 minutes to complete, meet other new players, and start flying in a fleet. New players can expect to get rewards from participating in these fleets that are more lucrative than doing anything else solo in highsec. This provides experienced players with another avenue to teach new players the ropes, get them up to speed and to a point where their skills and experience can be valuable to the organizations they wish to recruit for, all while having an adventure together.

The patch notes went into further detail, identifying 6 types of objectives. They are:

Abyssal Artifact Recovery: Valuable artifacts buried within asteroids have emerged from Abyssal rifts. However, they aren't all that has made its way to the cluster. Break apart the asteroids and grab whatever you can before the dwellers of the Abyss overwhelm you. 

Suspicious Signal: Your target is protected by an array of specialized emitters. While they're active, it is invulnerable. Hack the array to temporarily disable these defenses and give yourself a chance to take out the target. 

Dread Assault: An allied Dreadnought was dispatched to eliminate a target. Unfortunately, hostile forces are neutralizing its capacitor and preventing it from firing. Boost its charge, keep the enemy at bay, and the dread will take care of the rest. 

Raid: An enemy base has been found containing items your empire would like recovered. Tackle and destroy any hostile haulers that attempt to escape. Bring a hauler of your own to aid in retrieving the items from their smoldering wrecks. 

Emergency Aid: Hostiles are attempting to destroy an allied target. Repair any damage and keep the enemy at bay long enough to secure the site. The hostile forces cannot be allowed to complete their objective. 

Metaliminal Meteoroid: An asteroid comprised of ore valuable to the war effort has slipped into Empire space. Your goal is to mine it out before it plunges back to Abyssal Deadspace. Be careful; hostile forces in the area will attempt to disrupt and delay your efforts. 

Perhaps the most exciting feature, coming from a long time PvE player, is improvements to the UI.

Improved Objective System - We have vastly improved the objective system for agent missions and sites. The new objectives have modernized visuals, contain dynamic information, and include helpful interaction states. 

These new objectives are featured in the Homefront Operations and we have also implemented them for all the Career Agent missions, making them much clearer and more accessible. 

Hopefully this post has helped explained a welcome addition to EVE's player vs environment gameplay. Not only is the system designed as the next step after the career agents for new players, but promises short duration (15-20 minutes) content for 4-5 players comparable to dungeons in industry-leading MMORPGs like Final Fantasy XIV. In addition, the content may satisfy multi-boxing players with 4-5 accounts without resulting in an extremely high ISK faucet. But CCP has introduced potentially interesting group play in high sec before, so we will need to see how the latest content is received by players.

EVE: Viridian Patch Notes - Lancer Dreadnoughts

EVE Online's Viridian expansion, set to launch on 13 June 2023, is the game's second full expansion since the return of the content format in November 2022. The patch notes are fairly extensive. Instead of just composing a surface-level single post giving my thoughts, I thought I'd do a little experiment. Are people interested in perhaps a little deeper coverage? I'm about to find out, as this post covers the introduction of the first ships in EVE's third decade, the Lancer-class tech 2 dreadnought.

I think the new ship class deserves a bigger introduction to the game than is provided in the patch notes. Back in May, CCP provided this description:

Lancers represent the first foray into the advanced Tech II arena for capital ships in EVE since jump freighters were introduced in 2007, and there will be one for each of the four main empires. These ships will be equipped with new area-of-effect disruptive lance beam weapons derived from titans’ lance doomsdays that are designed to disrupt and manipulate the battlefield. This includes temporarily preventing a target from warping, tethering, using their jump drive, while also causing a 50% reduction in remote repair.

This will be the first step in an ongoing evolution of the capital ecosystem where new roles, new tools, and new dimensions of combat will be introduced to keep capital warfare dynamic in all its forms, with strong strategic depth. Dreadnoughts have some of the most clear and well-defined roles in the capital ecosystem currently and that provides a good foundation to work from before attention is turned to expanding on other ship classes.

First, though, the most important change every player in EVE, even those who mainly play in high sec, should take advantage of.

  • Lancer Dreadnoughts have been added to the default overview settings, those who are using a custom overview will have to add Lancer Dreadnoughts to their overview settings.

With that important public service announcement out of the way, let's look at the traits and slot layout of the four new ships. For those looking for fitting, attribute, and capital attribute information, I recommend going to the expansion's patch notes

Bane (Faction: Amarr)

Amarr Dreadnought 

    • 5% to XL Torpedo, XL Cruise and Torpedo Damage 
    • 5% Reduction to XL Torpedo, XL Cruise and Torpedo Explosion Radius 

Lancer Dreadnought 

    • 10% Bonus to Disruptive Lance damage 
    • 20% Bonus to Disruptive Lance maximum range 

Role Bonus: 

    • Can fit a Siege Module 
    • Can fit a Disruption Lance 
    • 5.0x penalty to Entosis Link cycle time

Slot Layout: 

    • High - 6 
    • Medium - 4 
    • Low - 8 
    • Launchers - 3 
    • Turrets - 0 

Karura (Faction: Caldari)

Caldari Dreadnought: 

    • 5.0% bonus to Capital Hybrid Turret tracking speed 
    • 10.0% bonus to Capital Hybrid Turret Optimal Range 

Lancer Dreadnought: 

    • 10% bonus to Disruptive Lance damage 
    • 20% bonus to Disruptive Lance maximum range 

Role Bonus: 

    • Can fit a Siege Module 
    • Can fit a Disruption Lance 
    • 5.0x penalty to Entosis Link cycle time

Slot Layout:  

    • High - 6 
    • Medium - 7 
    • Low - 5 
    • Launchers - 0 
    • Turrets - 3 

Hubris (Faction: Gallente)

Gallente Dreadnought: 

    • 5.0% bonus to Capital Hybrid Turret rate of fire 
    • 5.0% reduction in Armor Repairer Cycle Time 
    • 5.0% bonus to all hull resistances 

Lancer Dreadnought: 

    • 10% bonus to Disruptive Lance damage
    • 20% bonus to Disruption Lance maximum range 

Role Bonus: 

    • Can fit a Siege Module 
    • Can fit a Disruption Lance 
    • 5.0x penalty to Entosis Link cycle time

Slot Layout:

    • High - 6 
    • Medium - 4 
    • Low - 8 
    • Launchers - 0 
    • Turrets - 3

Valravn (Faction: Minmatar)

Minmatar Dreadnought:

    • 10.0% bonus to Capital Projectile Turret falloff range 
    • 5.0% bonus to Shield Booster and Armor Repairer cycle time 

Lancer Dreadnought: 

    • 10% bonus to Disruptive Lance damage 
    • 20% bonus to Disruption Lance maximum range

Role Bonus: 

    • Can fit a Siege Module 
    • Can fit a Disruption Lance 
    • 5.0x penalty to Entosis Link cycle time 

Slot Layout:

    • High - 6 
    • Medium - 6 
    • Low - 6 
    • Launchers - 0 
    • Turrets - 3

Lances: What makes the Lancer-class dreadnoughts special are their ability to mount the disruptive lance. CCP went into great detail around their ideas surrounding the new weapon.

So, although the Bane, Karura, Hubris, and Valravn will be less efficient at single target damage than a Tech I dreadnought, they will instead gain the ability to deal more damage and apply debuffs to multiple targets caught within the beam of their new disruptive lance weapon.

The lance energy neutralizes the area around it when it fires, and given that it requires capacitor to fire, this makes firing them en masse from a single ball of ships difficult (plus, you're likely to hit friendlies in such an arrangement). This area-of-effect energy neutralization has the potential to encourage more thoughtful placement of capital ships on a battlefield, rewarding the side which is best able to make use of them. Ships struck by the disruptive lance beam will have their warp/jump drives disabled, tether/docking disabled, and experience a 50% reduction to incoming remote repair, all for 60 seconds.

Disruptive lance weapons also have the benefit of great existing design in their spool up time before firing and the fact that the damage they apply is based on the signature radius of their target. This lets them be tuned to be more interesting as anti-capital weapons than something that can be used as a means of punching down at subcapital fleets.

According to the patch notes, the disruptive lances will have the ability to inflict 1/3rd the base damage as the titan lance. The disruptive lance does bring some unique effects to the game.

  • Disruptive Lances apply a suite of debuffs to any ship that it hits, including:
    • Not being able to tether.
    • Not being able to warp out, dock, jump, or use a stargate.
    • Receiving only 50% of incoming remote repairs. 

  • Disruptive Lances will do a 10km AoE energy neutralize around the lancer ship that activates it, like Titan lances.

  • Disruptive Lances will provide a similar set of debuffs to the lancer, such as not being able to tether, cloak, dock or jump for 5 minutes after firing.

  • Disruptive Lances can only be fired while in Siege mode and ships with this module fitted are unable to activate cloaking devices.

CCP introduced three new skills associated with the new ship class.

  • Lancer Dreadnoughts [x16]: 2,500,000,000 ISK at all empire school stations 
  • Disruptive Lance Operation [x14]: 500,000,000 ISK at all empire school stations 
  • Advanced Capital Ship Construction [x16]: 500,000,000 ISK at all empire school stations. 

Empire schools are found in high and low security space and are not faction specific. For players interested in knowing the names of the 12 empire schools in order to use the agent finder feature to identify the closest stataion, they are:


    • Hedion University
    • Royal Amarr Institute
    • Imperial Academy


    • School of Applied Knowledge
    • Science and Trade Institute
    • State War Academy


    • Center for Advanced Studies
    • Federal Navy Academy
    • University of Caille


    • Republic University
    • Republic Military School
    • Pator Tech School

The skills also have the associated benefits:

  • The Lancer Dreadnoughts skill book will be required to fly the Dreadnoughts. In addition to the racial Dreadnought skill at level V. 
  • Disruptive Lance Operation is needed to use the new lances, each level of this will reduce capacitor consumption of the lances by 5% 
  • Advanced Capital Ship Construction is required to build Lancer Dreadnoughts. Each level will reduce the manufacturing time by 1%. 

Industry - Let's start out with the tech 1 item first, the disruptive lance. Blueprint originals are available for sale for 500 million ISK at the appropriate empire school for the respective racial lance. Check the list of empire schools provided above to determine where to purchase the BPO. 

Lance Blueprint Material:

    • Zydrine: 20,000 
    • Megacyte: 25,000 
    • Isogen: 20,000 
    • Nocxium: 25,000 
    • Mexallon: 40,000 
    • Pyerite: 1,000,000 
    • Tritanium: 1,500,000

Players cannot purchase Lancer-class BPOs as the ships are tech II.

  • Blueprints to build the Lancer dreadnoughts, are acquired from running invention jobs on existing Tech 1 Dreadnought BPCs. 

T2 Dreadnought Material Requirements:

    • T1 Dread - 1
    • [Factional] Capital Reactor Unit - 1,700 
    • [Factional] Capital Microprocessor - 1,500 
    • [Factional] Capital Capacitor Unit - 1,500 
    • [Factional] Capital Sensor Cluster - 900 
    • [Factional] Capital Thruster - 900 
    • [Factional] Capital Armor Plate - 400 
    • [Factional] Capital Shield Emitter - 400 
    • Morphite - 4000 
    • Construction Blocks - 2000 
    • R.A.M.- Starship Tech - 100

In addition, two additional items that affect manufacturing the Lancer-class ships were noted.

  • Lancer Dreadnoughts will have the same restrictions for Upwell Structures docking as regular Dreadnoughts do. 

  • Lancer Dreadnoughts will only be able to be manufactured in Low Security, Null Security in an NPC stations or with an Upwell Capital Manufacturing Service online in Low Security, Null Security or Wormhole space. The same as existing Dreadnoughts.

Finally, building the new ships in Upwell structures does have the advantage of the effects from rigs.

Large Structure Rigs 

    • Standup L-Set Capital Ship Manufacturing Efficiency I 
    • Standup L-Set Capital Ship Manufacturing Efficiency II 

XL Structure Rigs 

    • Standup XL-Set Ship Manufacturing Efficiency I 
    • Standup XL-Set Ship Manufacturing Efficiency II 

Hopefully this post has helped explained a very important change to EVE Online, namely the introduction of a new class of tech 2 capital ships. A long awaited feature, these ships are part of the big hype surrounding the Viridian expansion. While the ships are not available on day one of the expansion, the race to build the first one began upon the announcement of the ships coming to New Eden. So while not available to fly on Tuesday, the ships will provide industrial gameplay on launch day while other players obtain the skills required to fly the tech 2 dreadnoughts. And thus the introduction of new ships into EVE's third decade begins.

EVE: Viridian Patch Notes - Ecosystem and Industry Changes

EVE Online's Viridian expansion, set to launch on 13 June 2023, is the game's second full expansion since the return of the content format in November 2022. The patch notes are fairly extensive. Instead of just composing a surface-level single post giving my thoughts, I thought I'd do a little experiment. Are people interested in perhaps a little deeper coverage? I'm about to find out, as this post covers ecosystem and industry changes.

We are making a lot of quality-of-life changes to various aspects of the economy, as well as reducing some of the bottlenecks that currently exist, especially for capital production. 

The changes in the ecosystem and industry are subjects I would normally ignore when reading patch notes. But with the new format, I have to pay attention to some of the more esoteric changes. Doing so led to finding out the changes will also effect those engaged in planetary interaction, mining, factional warfare, and even high sec gankers. With that teaser in place, let's dig into the patch notes.

Blueprint Changes: The first involve blueprints involved in capital production:

The changes to the Capital Core Temperature Regulators and Neurolink Enhancers will lower the cost of all Capital Ships. We are also changing the PI consumed by the Life Support Backup Units and Auto-Integrity Preservation Seals from P1 to P2 planetary interaction commodities. This will make hauling the build materials for them much easier. 

Capital Core Temperature Regulator Blueprint 

  • Integrity Response Drones: Decreased from 100 to 25 
  • Self-Harmonizing Power Core: Decreased from 100 to 25
  • Core Temperature Regulator: Decreased from 70 to 50 

Meta-Operant Neurolink Enhancer Blueprint 

  • Hypnagogic Neurolink Enhancers: Decreased from 160 to 80 
  • Axosomatic Neurolink Enhancer: Decreased from 160 to 80 
  • Cogni-Emotive Neurolink Enhancer: Decreased from 160 to 80 
  • Sense-Heuristic Neurolink Enhancer Decreased from 160 to 80 

Life Support Backup Unit: 

  • Removed Water: 150 → 0 
  • Removed Oxygen: 200 → 0 
  • Added Test Cultures: 8 
  • Added Viral Agent: 8 

Auto-Integrity Preservation Seal 

  • Removed Bacteria: 80 → 0 
  • Removed Proteins: 40 → 0
  • Added Nanites x 4 
  • Added Supertensile Plastics x 4 

Jump Freighters already required certain input materials when building the Tech 1 Freighters. We are removing them to both lower the cost of Jump Freighters and lower the demand for these items so that they are more available for other capital ships. 

Ark Blueprint:

  • Removed U-C Trigger Neurolink Conduit: 32 → 0 
  • Removed Radar-FTL Interlink Communicator: 2 → 0 
  • Removed Auto-Integrity Preservation Seal: 400 → 0 
  • Removed Life Support Backup Unit 200 → 0 
  • Removed Capital Core Temperature Regulator 1 → 0 

Rhea Blueprint: 

  • Removed R-O Trigger Neurolink Conduit: 32 → 0 
  • Removed Gravimetric-FTL Interlink Communicator: 2 → 0 
  • Removed Auto-Integrity Preservation Seal: 400 → 0 
  • Removed Life Support Backup Unit: 200 → 0 
  • Removed Capital Core Temperature Regulator: 1 → 0 

Anshar Blueprint:

  • Removed S-R Trigger Neurolink Conduit: 32 → 0 
  • Removed Magnetometric-FTL Interlink Communicator: 2 → 0 
  • Removed Auto-Integrity Preservation Seal: 400 → 0 
  • Removed Life Support Backup Unit: 200 → 0 
  • Removed Capital Core Temperature Regulator: 1 → 0 

Nomad Blueprint:

  • Removed G-O Trigger Neurolink Conduit: 32 → 0 
  • Removed Ladar-FTL Interlink Communicator: 2 → 0 
  • Removed Auto-Integrity Preservation Seal: 400 → 0 
  • Removed Life Support Backup Unit: 200 → 0 
  • Removed Capital Core Temperature Regulator: 1 → 0 

Ecosystem Changes: Major changes to the game like the ability to build Tech 2 dreadnaughts will result in changes to the ecosystem in order to allow players to build the ships. Since the blueprint change section ended with jump freighter blueprint changes, let's start the ecosystem changes with the final jump freighter change.

  • Jump Freighter wrecks now have an access difficulty of -10 to match all other T2 Ships.

The developers also chose to make the logistics of creating the new capital ships easier.

  • Reduced Volume of Capital Ship Components from 10,000 m3 to 2,000 m3
  • Volume of all PI commodities reduced by 50%

The patch notes included the following description of the PI size change:

We are making it much easier to haul PI commodities as well as it now requires fewer active inputs to manage since the space of all storage facilities and spaceports is effectively doubled.

PvE content is also involved in the creation of capital ships, with CCP "increasing the availability of the content that drops the Capital Ship control items."

  • Increased spawn chance by 100% for the following sites: AEGIS Captial Ship Security Facility, AEGIS Secure Transfer Facility, AEGIS Captial Construction Forge, Overmind Nursery Grove.

CCP's changes require a heck of a lot of isogen, which led to the following change:

  • Ytirium asteroid count increased by 900%

We are adjusting the asteroid belts that we added earlier this year, these are the asteroid belts which can be found in blue A0 star systems in Null Security and Wormhole space. As well as in 0.5 security High Security systems which border Low Security and Null Security systems which border Low Security systems.

Ytirium is an asteroid which reprocesses into Isogen exclusively. We are increasing the value of these mining sites and increasing the supply of Isogen.

Finally, factional warfare will have a role in the new industry changes with the addition of Molecular Condensers to factional warfare loyalty point store. The developers see the addition putting a price ceiling on the item.

  • Price: 1 Million ISK and 600 FW LP.  
  • LM-Composite Molecular Condensers can be purchased in the 24th Imperial Crusade LP Store 
  • AG-Composite Molecular Condenser can be purchased in the State Protectorate LP Store 
  • CV-Composite Molecular Condenser can be purchased in the Federal Defense Union LP Store 
  • AV-Composite Molecular Condenser can be purchased in the Tribal Liberation Force LP Store 

Hopefully this post has helped explained some very important changes to the EVE economy. The changes to existing blueprints, while perhaps just changing some values and formulas in a database, will impact the ability of New Eden's industrialists to produce the new flavor of the month, the Tech 2 dreadnought. Changes to the ecosystem, ranging from item sizes to the frequency of site spawns, has the potential to affect every player attempting to make ISK in EVE. And where significant economic activity occurs, the possibility of exploding spaceships follows.

EVE: Viridian Patch Notes - Broker And Job Installation Fees

EVE Online's Viridian expansion, set to launch on 13 June 2023, is the game's second full expansion since the return of the content format in November 2022. The patch notes are fairly extensive. Instead of just composing a surface-level single post giving my thoughts, I thought I'd do a little experiment. Are people interested in perhaps a little deeper coverage? I'm about to find out, as this post covers changes to broker fees in Upwell Structures and the new job installation fee formulas. 

But before I continue, what perhaps is the most important change for the non-industrialist player is a temporary tax holiday.

The previously mentioned changes will have an impact where in the short term the installation cost to manufacture will be out of balance. To counter this impact, we are temporarily lowering the Sales Tax for all market transactions.

The developers "Reduced Sales Tax for all market transactions by 50% from 8% to 4%." Now to explain what the previously mentioned changes are.

Previously, CCP gave the following rationale for these broker and job installation fee changes:

Empowering and strengthening corporations is a major part of the Viridian expansion, and there are also changes coming to broker’s fees and industry job fees that will create a more equitable environment for industrialists, leveling the playing field and creating more opportunities for groups to increase profits by utilizing observable knowledge.

The developers are making changes in the way taxes are calculated in an effort to increase the value of corporation infrastructure as an income source. I read that as an effort to increase passive corporate and alliance income. Or maybe perhaps give the rest of the game a taste of the income generated by the Tranquility Trading Tower in Perimeter. The changes affect three areas:

  1. Broker’s fee in Upwell Structures. Instead of a percentage cut, a fixed rate will be taken by the SCC, providing more ISK for facility owners.

  2. Industry Job Installation Fee. Taxes will be applied directly on the estimated item value, allowing facility owners to have a meaningful income stream even in low indexed systems. 

  3. NPC Stations / Monuments: Manufacturing and Research factors removal. Leveling the field and encouraging industry spread across systems.

Broker's fee in Upwell Structures - CCP explained in the patch notes that the purpose of this change is "to give more control, increase the value of income sources to corporations and to increase the competitiveness of facility owners with the market."

The broker's fee charged prior to Viridian was a flat 50% cut of the fee. So if the owner of the structure set the fee to 10%, the owner would get 5% and the Secure Commerce Commission would receive the other 5%. This is changing to the owner receiving the entire amount of the broker's fee charged, with the SCC receiving a flat 0.5% fee on top of any transaction.

CCP provided the following example in the patch notes.

Example: if you were to make an order of a cost at 100,000 ISK in a structure, where the owner has set the broker’s fee at 10%, the following amounts would be going to the following wallets:

Industry Job Installation Fee - "All taxes for industry jobs will be applied directly to the Estimated Item Value instead of the System Cost Index adjusted Estimated Item Value."

CCP explained in the patch notes the purpose of the changes.

Investing in industrial infrastructure is very expensive, this is felt especially by new corporations that are starting to make their mark on New Eden. Established groups have little incentive to grant access to their very costly infrastructure due to the income from such a bargain being mostly meaningless to them.

The goal of this change is to address both of those problems, to create options for newer corporations to access infrastructure without having to fork out for it fully and to give incentive to those that decide to do so. 

This change means that facility owners in a low indexed system can set their taxes to a very low value but still gain a meaningful income while still staying competitive. 

The tax changes are:

  • Adjusted industry facility tax in NPC stations to 0.25% from 10%. 
  • Adjusted Alpha clone tax to 0.25% from 2%. 
  • Added a 0.25% tax that goes to the SCC. 
  • The maximum tax that can be set for industry services will be capped at 10%. 
  • You can now adjust your fees to 2 decimal places rather than being limited to 1. 
  • We will be setting all current Player Ownership Tax profiles to 0.25%. This will need to be adjusted by facility owners as they see fit. [!!!!!]
According to the developers, the changes "will vastly increase competitiveness for facility owners. Even with it set at 0.25% the fee will earn the facility owner substantially more ISK."

Now for what most people have come to the post for, the new Total Installation Fee formula.

TIF = EIV * ((SCI * bonuses) + FacilityTax + SCC + AlphaClone) 


  • TIF: Total Installation Fee 
  • EIV: Estimated Item Value, the value upon which the fees are calculated 
  • SCI: System Cost Index 
  • Bonuses: Any bonuses that are applicable 
  • Facility Tax: Fixed tax for NPC stations set to 0.25% or tax rate set by facility owner.
  • SCC: SCC surcharge, this is a fixed value and cannot be affected by anything 
  • AlphaClone: Tax applicable to alpha clones, set at 0.25%
CCP provided the following tables in the patch notes to represent the ISK flow in both Upwell and NPC structures.

NPC Stations & Monuments - "Removed all System Index Cost modifiers. This includes removing the bonuses that extra stations provided to a system, and the Upwell Support facility bonuses which were present in Null Security systems that had an Outpost prior to being converted to a faction Fortizar in 2016."

On 5 June 2018 CCP converted all the original player-built Outposts and Conquerable Stations in null security space into faction fortizars, with monuments placed in each system recording that era of EVE history. They also, among other things, provided modifiers to system index costs. CCP explained the change in the patch notes.
System Index Cost modifiers have existed since the creation of the Industry index system, but they are difficult to understand and identify through in-game means. Every NPC station capable of industry reduces the System Cost Index by a percent, while Sov Null Security Outposts granted their system a large permanent reduction depending on their type.

This powerful bonus invisibly shaped player behavior, while largely remaining out of sight for those not familiar with the System Cost Index modifiers. Our goal with this change is to create more opportunities for aspiring industrialists.
Hopefully this post has helped explained some very important changes to the EVE economy. The changes to broker and job installation fees, while perhaps just changing some values and formulas in a database, will impact every player who purchases something off the market. Which means, every player of EVE Online.

Sunday, June 11, 2023

EVE: Viridian Patch Notes - Marauders and Battleships

EVE Online's Viridian expansion, set to launch on 13 June 2023, is the game's second full expansion since the return of the content format in November 2022. The patch notes are fairly extensive. Instead of just composing a surface-level single post giving my thoughts, I thought I'd do a little experiment. Are people interested in perhaps a little deeper coverage? I'm about to find out, as this post covers balance passes for marauders and battleships.

I don't really know much about the changes as I never flew marauders and perhaps these changes will ensure I never will. And while the Maelstrom is my favorite battleship, I abandoned flying the big ships once I moved to low sec so many years ago. 

Marauders - The developers feel that since the changes back in February 2021, the tech 2 battleships have become too powerful. As part of the introduction to the changes, the patch notes state:

In general Marauders have a very potent combination of:

  • High damage.
  • High tank, including allowing it to catch reps even in large scale fleet fights.
  • High mobility, even though the bastion locks them in place, it has a short duration.
  • High range.
  • High application.
  • EWAR resistance which prevents most counterplay options.

This results in them being rather good at everything and lacking in possible counterplay. Faster fleets can’t avoid their damage, smaller fleets struggle to break them, clever FCs can’t bring EWAR counters. The best counter to these ships is a capital escalation, which is not available to many groups, particularly smaller ones or all areas of the game such as wormholes or inside an ESS.

Bastion Module - The ability to go into bastion gives the ship class its identity. Pre-Viridian, the bastion module was a high slot module with a 30-second cycle time providing the following effects:

  • 50% reduction to turret and missile launcher cycle duration, i.e. doubling the rate of fire and thus DPS. This bonus is not stacking penalized.
  • +25% Missile Velocity, Turret Optimal Range, and Turret Falloff Range. This bonus is stacking penalized.
  • +100% Shield Booster and Armor Repairer amount.
  • 30% Shield, Armor, and Structure Resistance to all damage(stacking penalties with Damage Control and Reactive Armor Hardener). This results in more than 40% increase in effective tank.
  • 50% resistance to Tracking/Guidance Disruptors, Remote Sensor Dampeners and Target Painters
  • +100% Sensor Strength which can be interpreted as 50% ECM resistance. No stacking penalty.
  • -100% maximum velocity.
  • Cannot dock, tether, or enter warp.
  • Applies a 60 second weapons timer. This timer is refreshed constantly during the bastion cycle so it will last 60 seconds after the cycle ends.
  • Cannot receive remote repairs or capacitor transmission.
  • 95% reduction to friendly Remote Sensor Booster and Remote Tracking Computer effects.

The developers made two changes to the module:

  • Duration Increased from 30 seconds to 60 seconds.

  • Removed the electronic warfare resistance bonus to Sensor Dampener, Tracking Disruptor, and Target Painter resistance. 

The devs noted their goals with the change:

Our goal is to create new weaknesses and therefore opportunities for counterplay in PvP for Marauders where they currently do not have many. These changes would lean into the class identity as being strong but immobile and offer smaller ships the chance to play around a Marauder with EWAR tools that are currently often useless in the face of its EWAR resistance bonus. 

The ship continues to retain its incredible firepower, tank, range and application but will now have a few weaknesses.

Three of the four marauders received specific changes.


  • +1 Midslot, -1 Highslot
  • Increased Amor HP from 7,900 to 8,500
  • Decreased Structure HP from 9,500 to 8,900

The Kronos is currently the weakest performing of the Marauders. We are giving it an additional midslot in exchange for a highslot to give it more utility for close range brawling. We are also making a small tweak to its survivability by shifting some of the structure HP into armor HP.


  • +1 Lowslot, -1 Highslot 
  • Decreased Shield HP from 8,300 to 7,800 
  • Increased Armor HP from 7,300 to 7,800 
  • 7.5% bonus to Shield Booster amount changed to 5% bonus to Shield Booster and Armor Repair amount 

The Vargur is performing the best out of all the Marauders right now for solo and small gang use. We are making adjustments to decrease the power of triple X-Large Ancillary Shield Booster fits by lowering the shield boost bonus slightly, and moving some shield HP into armor HP. At the same time we are improving the flexibility of the Vargur by adding an Armor Repair bonus and an extra lowslot in exchange for a highslot to match the paradigm set by the Kronos. 


  • Reduced Optimal Range per level bonus from 7.5% to 5%

Currently the paladin is extremely dominant compared to other Marauders in very large scale fleet fights. We are lowering the optimal range per level bonus slightly to reduce its dominance.

Mass Changes to Marauders - As briefly mentioned before, the devs feel that the tech 2 battleships are a problem in wormholes as well as in regular space. The mass of the ships is changing as follows:

  • Kronos : 148,000,000 kg (+54,520,000 kg)  
  • Vargur : 150,000,000 kg (+53,480,000 kg) 
  • Paladin : 160,000,000 kg (+67,755,000 kg) 
  • Golem : 157,000,000 kg (+ 62,665,000 kg) 
  • Agility for all Marauders has been improved to keep align times at similar values. 

Marauders are particularly dominant in wormholes due to their high power to mass efficiency. We are increasing the mass to be closer to Black Ops battleships. This will mean that players will need to be slightly more cautious about the number of Marauders they can bring to a fight in J-space.

Battleships - The class wasn't as in as bad of shape as its tech 2 sisters. Two ships, the Rokh and Maelstrom, were singled out for special attention.


  • +1 Midslot, -1 Lowslot 
  • Increased Drone Bandwidth from 50m3 to 75m3 
  • Increased Drone Bay 50m3 to 125m3 
  • Increased CPU from 780tf to 810tf 

The Rokh Currently shares the 8/6/5 slot layout with the Maelstrom, which outperforms it as a shield brawler. By increasing it to 7 Mid slots, the goal is to give it more flexibility when Blaster brawling over the Maelstrom. At the same time, we are also giving it a bit more fitting space, and a much bigger Drone Bay, with a smaller increase to Drone Bandwidth, which will add to its utility, especially when up close.

Longer range fits will benefit from the extra utility or tank the 7th Mid slot provides, especially when combined with the Large Railgun buffs.


  • Increased Shield Boost bonus from 7,5% to 10% per level 
  • Increased Max Velocity from 94m/s to 115m/s 
  • Increased Scan Resolution from 117mm to 125mm 

We are generally happy with the Maelstrom’s identity as a Shield Boosting brawling projectile platform, it just needs a bit more power. We are improving the Maelstrom's speed, Shield Boost bonus, and Scan Resolution. Both the velocity and scan resolution were a little on the slower side for a Minmatar ship, especially when compared to the Hyperion.

Large Railguns - To go along with the idea the Rokh needed help, large railguns also received a buff in Viridian.

  • +15% bonus to Tracking Speed 
  • +15% bonus to Rate of fire. 

Large Railguns are severely underperforming compared to other battleship sized weapons. We are Improving them relative to other weapon classes to make them a more viable option and to help improve the viability of several underperforming ships - such as the Rokh and the Kronos.

The tracking increase will place Large Railguns between Large Beams and Large Artillery for tracking scores, the rate of fire increase will improve their DPS making them more attractive while not increasing their alpha strike capability for large fleet fights. 

Hopefully this post has helped explained some very important changes to ship balance in EVE Online. The changes various traits and attributes, while perhaps just changing some values in a database, will impact the gameplay of some popular and not-so-popular ships. The changes to the marauders may even impact the economy as they may alter the rate of ISK flowing into the game world's money supply. With any luck, the changes to the meta will provide a nice change of pace to players.

Friday, June 9, 2023

Taxes And Fees In EVE: Viridian

Yesterday CCP published its last preview blog post for EVE Online's Viridian expansion. While new features like Corporation Projects, AIR Opportunities and Homefront Operations are interesting, players cannot take actions for them now. What players can plan for now, however, are the changes to taxes and fees coming to the game.

Perhaps the biggest change is the corporate tax rate will now apply to loyalty points. The move was explained thus:

This will be another source of revenue for corporations, as the LP can be exchanged for items in LP stores and then traded for ISK. As a result, corps will have more resources and better infrastructure, leading to more opportunities for members to do more activities. Corporations of all sizes can also now take advantage of LP income and incentivize members to carry out activities in New Eden that reward LP and directly benefit the organization.

I imagine the loyalty point change is an effort to increase the ability of corporations to reward members for participating in corp activities created as Corporation Projects. But the loyalty point tax may also serve as an incentive for players to leave NPC corps and the 11% NPC corporate tax for player run organizations. Hopefully CCP will provide statistics about how many characters remain in NPC corps after finishing the tutorials.

The other important change comes to the ownership of facilities in Upwell structures. Apparently CCP wishes to make owning citadels a more important source of income. From the sounds of the description, individual players probably will wind up paying more ISK out of their wallets.

These changes will give more ISK to facility owners and give them more agency to leverage their citadel as an income source as a means to stay competitive. Previously, the SCC would take half of the cut taken from the broker's fee - which really ate into the ability of facility owners to earn any profit - especially if they wanted to stay competitive with a low tax rate. Now, facility owners can earn the full amount, with the SCC taking a fixed 0.5% instead. 

Similar changes are being made to industry job installation fees, giving facility owners the ability to earn more income from their structures - especially those located in low-indexed systems - and also increasing the value proposition for a corporation of owning an Upwell structure. 

I'm not sure if a part of the article was cut off during the publication process. But the one change to the industry job installation fee calculation is the removal of system bonuses.

Firstly, system bonuses are being removed. System bonuses have existed since the creation of the industry index system, but they have remained relatively obscure. Those with this knowledge, or lucky enough to live in an area to experience these benefits, would previously have had a significant competitive advantage.

No "secondly" or "next" exists, meaning any other changes are either on the Singularity test shard or a surprise waiting for players on launch day. I would say for industrialists who understand and are taking advantage of system bonuses to load all your construction slots before the expansion hits Tranquility.

I don't know how the changes in taxes and fees will play out. I do expect a measure of inflation to hit as the trend seems to favor increases in taxes and fees. I also expect to see the NPC corps shrink as players look for tax havens. I remember that happening when the NPC corp taxes were raised from 5% to 11%, and the removal of 11% of a player's loyalty points will probably see a similar migration to tax havens. Perhaps players will form even more personal corporations. We will find out in a few weeks just how the new rules affect New Eden.