Enter the Portal - Upcoming changes to Black Ops ships
Get ready for a new era of clandestine warfare with an update to covert gameplay in the Enter the Portal update. Each of the empires’ Black Ops battleships are receiving new bonuses and a damage buff alongside improvements to their travel capabilities both on-grid and around New Eden. Covert Ops exploration ships are also being rebalanced to help them excel in their scouting role and live to cloak another day.
The below changes will be live on Singularity today so head on over to the test server to try them out!
Black Ops group jumps
Black Ops battleships are Tech II ships with their own built-in jump drives, allowing them to launch surprise attacks on unsuspecting foes through a Covert Cynosural Field. The current design also allows them to use Covert Jump Portal Generator to bridge covert ops fleet members through instead of jumping themselves. This has had the unfortunate side effect of relegating the ultimate covert battleship to a support and travel tool.
As part of the Enter the Portal update, all Black Ops battleships will have a new ability built into the Jump Portal Generator, enabling them to perform a new Group Jump with their fleet at a much-reduced fuel cost over using a Bridge. This will help these flagships jump onto the front lines faster to join the fleet in a covert ambush.
The Group Jump mechanic will allow ships within jump range of the Black Ops battleship and in the same fleet to act as a “passenger” on the jump, travelling with the battleship. In order to do so, the passengers must fulfil the usual requirements including not being warp disrupted or in a bubble, not cloaked, and clear of Jump Fatigue. Black Ops Group Jump passengers are limited to classes which can fit a Covert Ops Cloak, so no changes to ships that can already bridge through a covert portal.
Black Ops battleship rebalancing
As Black Ops ships will now be seeing more action on the front lines, they will be receiving significant buffs to their damage and new bonuses to help them excel in their role. The current cloak speed velocity will be moved to a role bonus with all Black Ops ships receiving a 650% bonus to ship max velocity when using Cloaking Devices.
These changes are being introduced in order to help bring the Black Ops out of the shadows and into the forefront as the top of the line in covert gameplay. With a ship that costs over a billion ISK, it should be something that players are able to use confidently while also putting their ship on the line in exchange for extreme firepower.
The aim is to create more interesting gameplay with these damage buffs and the new fuel-efficient Group Jump while also ensuring that players being dropped on have a chance to fight back and potentially score a kill on an expensive ship.
Covert Ops rebalancing
Covert Ops exploration ships have long-suffered from having their bonuses split between scanning and scouting, and an off-role combat bonus. To help modernize this class of ships, they will be swapping their combat bonuses for new scouting bonuses, bolstering the foundation of covert operations in EVE.
All Covert Ops exploration ships will receive a reduction in capacitor need to initiate warp, preventing them from finding themselves out of capacitor while mid-warp. The Helios and Cheetah will then be receiving a cloaked velocity bonus. The Anathema and Buzzard will instead excel at scanning with a reduction in scan deviation.
In addition to these scouting buffs, each ship will also gain a low-slot, with the Helios instead gaining a High-Slot to make better use of the Interdiction Nullifier Module introduced during The Great Escape update.
Bundled in with the Enter the Portal update, EDENCOM vessels will be buffed with an improvement to their Vorton Projector weapon systems. All Vorton Projectors will have their max targets hit increased from 5 to 10, allowing them to reap even greater destruction against a large hostile force.