EVE Online - October balance pass
CCP finished the first summit with CSM 13 and got immediately to work. The latest dev blog talks about various balance issues with some ships and fits and how the upcoming patch will address them.
Everyone's favorite form of E-war has been due for an update for a very long time.
As a victim, watching your ship die while jammed without anything you can do about it feels bad. As an ECM user the system doesn’t feel great either when you get unlucky and miss a lot of jams. CCP aims to improve both sides of this coin by giving ECM more consistent behavior while also toning down the helplessness that comes with being jammed.
At the same time, it's important to preserve and even improve the role ECM plays as one of few disruption tactics for logistics and other forms of support.
To start us on a path towards a healthier balance for ECM, CCP is making one critical change to its mechanics: while jammed, you can always lock the ship that is jamming you.
This change will dramatically increase the feeling of agency and control for the victim. Rather than sitting helplessly while jammed, you will always have the option of fighting back. It will be up the ECM user to stay out of range, abuse tracking, or otherwise avoid retaliation.
The downside here is that in the short term, balance for ships focused on ECM may be a bit out of whack. CCP is looking at some small buffs to fitting and tank for ECM ships with this release to help them survive against return fire, and long term, hopefuly, to be able to increase jam strength to make ECM more consistent across the board.
Some short FAQ on the new mechanics:
Does this apply to drones?
Yes! And this is perfect for drones. They will still be a good option for escaping a fast tackler or disrupting the enemy fleet, but they won't be able perma-jam most targets as they will just get killed off quickly.
What happens if I'm jammed by more than one ship at a time?
You will able to target any ship that is currently jamming you.
Does a jam break my lock and I can relock the jamming ship or do I keep my lock the whole time?
You keep your lock on the jamming ship the whole time, only locks on other targets break.
Will this apply to NPCs?
Yep, take that Guristas!
Nullification was added to interceptors almost 5 years ago and for at least half the time since then the CSM has been advocating to change things back based on the idea that nullified combat interceptor fleets, like the very popular Claw doctrines, feel terrible to fight against and don't have any clear counters.
On the other hand, we saw increased overall roaming activity after the change and feel it succeeded in giving interceptors a unique and powerful role that got people out of station and into space.
During this summit CCP discussed small steps they could take to test the impact of nullification in today's EVE and also check current sentiment around the issue with the broader player base. It has been settled on the following solution: Interdiction nullification will be removed from combat interceptors (Claw, Crusader, Raptor, Taranis). It will remain a part of the bonuses for fleet interceptors (Stiletto, Malediction, Crow, Ares).
This preserves the unique role Interceptors play as scouts and tacklers while introducing more significant tradeoffs for the powerful tool of nullification.
Moving on! CCP said at Fanfest that they wanted to address bizarre behavior that is possible when you combine warp disruption field generators and 500mn Microwarpdrives and now is the time to do that.
If you don't know what we’re talking about: it is currently possible for Heavy Interdictors to achieve perfect agility and extremely high speeds with warp disruption fields active using a specific combination of modules and activation timings.
It's quite broken and has been in the game too long. In this patch CCP is planning to solve this problem by removing all navigation related penalties from the warp disruption field generator. This does mean that HICs with normal fits will go faster with active warp disruption fields than before, but this doesn’t seems to be the issue.
Unfortunately, wormholers will be unwilling collateral damage, as they often are, due to the incredible usefulness of HICs for rolling holes. This may be addressed with a specific mass manipulation module at some point in the future but CCP wants to move forward on fixing this broken behavior as fast as possible.
Force auxiliary & capital balance
Capital balance was a huge focus for this CSM and they put in a lot of work giving detailed feedback to work with. CCP is taking some more time to process that feedback and consider different approaches to improving the situation at the super large scale, but these issues are quite complex and, quick changes can easily miss the mark.
It is possible that this patch will include some very small adjustments for FAX specifically, but they aren't quite ready, so look for those updates on the forums as they become available.
Triglavians & the Damavik
Overall, CCP looks very happy with how the Triglavian line up is working out. Market prices are holding a little higher than they hoped so in the next round of Abyssal Deadspace loot balance they may look to increase resource availability slightly so that more of you can get your hands on the new hardware.
The Leshak and Vedmak seem to be in a very healthy spot and the Leshak especially is really shining lately as a monster in smaller scale fights.
The Damavik is struggling though. CCP hoped that even with only two mids it would be able to find a solid place by leveraging its high slot utility but that definitely hasn't happened. Once again, the players were right! One of its lows are going to be moved into that all important third mid slot so that a much wider range of fits are possible. This will bring it into a more competitive position in the frigate meta.