These changes touch two interconnected areas of the game that are heavily discussed by many veteran players: jump travel and sovereignty. These shakeups can hopefully help provide players with new gameplay options to explore and master in their battles across lowsec and nullsec space.

This dev blogpost will serve as a quick introduction to the proposed changes for March.

Jump fatigue changes

Jump fatigue has been one of the most discussed mechanics in EVE since it was introduced at the end of 2014. It sits in a difficult spot in EVE's metagame, as it is one of the least satisfying mechanics possible but is also universally recognized as necessary in some form.

Countless hours have been spent discussing this mechanic with EVE players in person at events, on podcasts and streams, through the CSM, and on the forums over the past few years. In these discussions it's clear that although there are many opinions on the direction this feature should be taken to, everyone agrees that it needs iteration.

For the upcoming March release, CCP is aiming to make a small but extremely significant change to Jump Fatigue that will hopefully reduce the pain of the feature while avoiding a return to the thoroughly dysfunctional capital meta that existed before the Phoebe release in 2014.

The current proposed change for March is a 95% reduction in the cap on fatigue accumulation. The maximum possible jump fatigue (blue timer) would be reduced from the current 4 days to 5 hours and the maximum possible jump activation cooldown (orange timer) from 9.6 hours to 30 minutes.

In practice, this change would change the optimal jump pattern for long distance travel to jumping as soon as your orange timer expires. Capital ships will continue to have the ability to use stargates as well in addition to their jump capabilities.

Jumping and tethering changes

The introduction of Upwell Structures and tethering with the Citadel expansion opened new ways for capitals to move with extreme safety by jumping directly from one structure to another and receiving tethering at both the origin and the destination of the jump.

This is a significant increase in safety compared to the previous use of starbases and players have been raising concerns about this mechanic for the last two years.

The March update would delay tethering for a short time after a cynosural jump. This delay would not impact docking, so if a ship jumps to an Upwell Structure that is large enough for them to dock then they will still be able to dock immediately after the session change timer.

This change would mainly impact the use of medium structures as a safe travel network for combat capital ships.

Sov warfare

Sovereignty capture and entosis link changes

This upcoming March release will also include a set of tweaks to the Entosis Link module and to sov capture events. The primary goals of these changes are to shake up the sov combat metagame and give players new gameplay options to optimize and master.

An earlier form of these proposed changes have been presented to the CSM at the recent winter summit and incorporated their feedback into the design below. The biggest of these changes revolve around the Entosis Link module itself.

  • Allow remote assistance to subcapital ships with Entosis Links running (including remote reps)
  • Significantly reduced max ranges: 20km for T1 and 50km for T2
  • Significantly reduced fitting requirements for the T2 module: 20 power grid and 5 CPU
  • +100% sensor strength to any ship with an active cycling Entosis Link

Combined these changes remove the largest downside of activating an Entosis Link (the remote assistance block) while also forcing the linking ships into a much closer area around their target.

Being able to remote rep the linking ship also makes it easier to run multiple redundant links which reduces the power of alpha doctrines in sov capture events.

Some tweaks to the node spawning in sov capture events are also being considered:

  • Increase the score gained per node capture from 5% to 7%
  • Reduce the number of starting nodes from 5 to 4
  • Increase the random node spawn chance by ~14%

These changes reduce the number of node captures required to complete an uncontested event as well as concentrating the starting locations for fights somewhat.