Welcome to Jester's Trek.
I'm your host, Jester. I've been an EVE Online player for about six years. One of my four mains is Ripard Teg, pictured at left. Sadly, I've succumbed to "bittervet" disease, but I'm wandering the New Eden landscape (and from time to time, the MMO landscape) in search of a cure.
You can follow along, if you want...

Friday, May 30, 2014

It's only rock 'n' roll (but I like it)

The patch notes are out for Kronos and as is my custom, I'd like to go through them and point at things I like and don't like. And as I go through the list, it's rather interesting how nearly everything the least bit contentious has been pushed back to Crius. Kronos turns out to be an unassuming little release, full of lots of fun little items that will make just about anyone smile.

Let's touch on the major stuff.

Audio customization. This one's a big win, and lets you pick and choose those sounds that you wish to hear and those you don't. I'm a bit of a mutant in that I play EVE with sounds on. I find that it helps both immersion and situational awareness, particularly if I'm flying something small and fast (which is most of the time). That said, the jump tunnel sound effect is overwhelmingly loud and annoying for me. In addition, most FCs are issuing orders as you're going through a jump gate or a titan bridge into a battle and this particular sound effect makes those orders tough or impossible to hear. So it will be great to be able to turn this off without that impacting everything else.

Pirate ship rebalance! Yes, please! My particular favorites, in rough order: Ashimmu, Gila, Nightmare (for PvE), Rattlesnake, Bhaalgorn, Succubus, Machariel, Cruor. My least favorites, in rough order: Vigilant, Cynabal. The rest, I'm pretty much neutral on. So way more good than bad in this group, for my money. Can't wait to get busy refitting and trying them out!

Freighter and jump freighter low slots. The change is more boring than rigs, but I guess I can live with it. I don't see it doing much to jump freighters, but it will make freighter fitting more interesting.

Deep space transports and Blockade runners. DSTs? Don't care. I'll buy a couple, but it will be for a stupid reason: so I can put them into my travel carriers and in so doing have the option of carrying another 50-60k of cargo in my carriers or Rorqual. But actually fly the thing? No, not very likely. The blockade runner changes, though? Thumbs way up! There wasn't much wrong with these ships and the little tweaks plus the additional high slot make them more fun and useful. That warp speed change is just flat nifty even though I now have to train Transport Ships to more than Level II.

EDIT (30/May/2014): And now I'm told in comments that DST fleet hangars full of mods won't be able to be stored in carriers after all... charges only. Which means I don't have to buy any DSTs. I'll stick to a couple of Hoarders in my carriers which do the same exact thing and are T1.

Mining barges and exhumers. Don't much care. I don't see it making a lot of difference. Maybe CODE will leave Skiffs alone, maybe they'll gank more of them just to make a point.

Phoenix and Citadel missiles. Don't much care. It'll sell a few of these dreads to Caldari and missile fan-boys but I just can't see these changes making that much of a difference. Phoenix will still be the worst dread for most applications except hysterical shield tanking. That's becoming a thing, I guess.

Various exploration fixes. The big one is the death of the lootsplosion. Thank Heaven!

Mid-grade pirate implants. I'm not quite sure I see the point to this, but it does mean I won't worry quite so much when Ripard is in his one low-grade Snake set. I'm usually in a hurry to get out of that implant set as soon as I can because it feels like he's training slow. ;-)

Medium micro jump drives. OK, this is the one feature in Kronos that I just don't care for. I think they're going to be over-powered on command ships, both in mid-grade fleet doctrines and in the upcoming Alliance Tournament. More modules that make tackling and destroying ships harder is just not a good thing in EVE, in my opinion. They were introduced into the game for DSTs but they're not very useful at all in that application: why would you wait out a 12 second MMJD cycle when you can just do a 10-second MWD-align-and-warp cycle? I suspect I recognize what's being done here: CCP Fozzie wants to encourage more BC use. But this is the wrong way to go about it, I think.

Hyperspatial accelerators. My opinion of these is going to depend heavily on drop rate. Hopefully they will be common enough that you can fit them to freighters pretty routinely. We'll know more about this in a few months. I really really like the idea! It's going to be the implementation that decides this one.

Hull rigs. These should have been stripped when freighter rig slots were. But they're not objectionable in and of themselves. Just mostly useless.

Drone changes. All in all, I'm positive on these changes! I still say drone assist on sentries should have been murdered in its bed, but I was quite literally outvoted. So we'll see what 50-drone assist does. I do like the faster medium and heavy drone MWD speeds, I like drone skills being adjusted to be more new player friendly, and I can even live with the new drone skill. I'm not sure I'm as big of a fan of fighters and FBs receiving the benefit of drone modules: I think this is mostly going to be a buff to super-powers and ratting, two areas that didn't exactly need a buff. But the rest, I like!

New Eden Store. Call me neutral on this one, waiting to see where it goes. I'm positive about the concept but again this is going to come down to implementation and more importantly, follow-through.

Factional warfare changes. I don't know enough about FW to know whether these are good or bad things.

Mordu's Legion ships. Again, this is going to come down to spawn rate, and ultimately, price. If they settle in at the same price as the Angel ships, say, then call me very positive on this one. But if an Orthrus ultimately costs the same as a Vigilant, then I'll be much less enthused. As I've mentioned, these ships dropped right into a pretty crowded niche. I'm enthusiastic about a kiting missile ship, don't get me wrong. But at a high price-point, player enthusiasm for these ships is going to wear down pretty quickly. And I'm still not a fan of the Garmur.

Prospect. Yeah, it's OK, I guess. I'm not thrilled at the additional skill book, for no other reason than it means I'll almost certainly never fly this ship.

Upgraded graphics and some new ship skins. I'm a big fan of the new Moa and Condor models! Very very pretty! The Typhoon is OK. Unfortunately, I feel like the pirate BC/destroyer skins are going to be nothing but hangar queens, which is an enormous shame because some of those ships are gorgeous.

UI changes. And finally, I love pretty much every single thing that CCP karkur and CCP Punkturis have planned for Kronos. My particular favorite is the reload timer for modules, with color-coding broadcasts in second place, and weirdly (since I don't mine any more), the lock indicator on the survey scanner being third. I also like the repair progress bar for nanite repair paste though I have this suspicion that most of the time I won't notice it. ;-)

And that's pretty much it! Lots and lots of interesting stuff in here, and I like nearly all of it! Bring on Kronos!

51 comments:

  1. you forgot "The Armor Resistance Phasing skill, which modifies the behavior of Reactive Armor Hardeners, now reduces cap need by 10% instead of 5%."

    now we can train this skill past lvl III without turning the Phasing plates into a self neut!

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  2. You may not be excited about the DST changes, but we are very excited for their use in Wormhole logistics.

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    Replies
    1. DSTs will remain useless.

      Fozzie has never flown these ships (who does?), so he doesn't have any idea about what to do with them. The ship may be tanky, but it always dies when it gets caught... and it always gets caught. This won't change in Kronos.

      To be fair, though, no one has ever come up with a good idea on how to make these ships viable, given the other options available for hauling.

      Delete
    2. With the tank buff, DST might get back to the gate after tackle. With the MJD, it might get away before explosion, if the tackle is not a 2-pt scram. New options, right?

      Asking the "DST useless" crowd: how do you make DST "useful," without making it either uncatchable or indestructible?

      Delete
    3. @Anon1828 - The DST is way too slow to align and accelerate, even fit with overheated propulsion mods and nanos or istabs. And a scram will shutdown the MJD. The warp speed is miserable, too, so tacklers have no problem catching up, even if it manages to get to a gate.

      Without making the DST uncatchable or indestructible, the only things I can think of would be (a) massive DPS, or (b) massive EW. The ship needs to be able to seriously f**k up any opponents while it slowly plods it way along through the gauntlet of attackers it is going to attract.

      They do make good bait ships, though....

      Delete
    4. how to make the DST useful? replace velocity bonus (useless really) for an agility bonus.

      After that... hmm.. add an SMA for friggies only?

      Delete
  3. DST fleet hangars will get the "charges only" treatment. Ammo is cargo, but the text reads a bit like you missed this detail.

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    Replies
    1. Yeah, Fozzie thought that the fleet hangars were not affected by the rule, but after more inspection it turned out that that was fixed back in 2012.

      So no extra 60km3 in my carrier :,(

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    2. Waah. Was also hoping for new carrier module (DST) to optionally increase cargo capacity. Tested on SISI... charges only.

      Delete
  4. "Maybe CODE will leave Skiffs alone..."

    Not likely. All T2 exhumers are worth killing, even the Skiff with its uber-tank.

    A tanked Proc, on the other hand, is cheap and costs more to kill than it is worth.

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  5. And, unfortunately, no signficant changes which benefit new players... only older players.

    When are we going to see new T1 ships, which don't require race cross-training?

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    Replies
    1. True enough. Why can't CCP learn from experience? The Venture became one of the most popular new ships because everyone can fly it.

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    2. The Venture's role is pretty pointless anyway:

      "Man I sure would like to spend an hour travelling into hostile space to mine 6 mill worth of nullsec ore (meaning I have to spend half an hour uncloaked while I do it) and then an hour travelling back" said no one ever.

      I asked Fozzie the question in these exact words: "So this ship is intended for RPers who are bad at maths?"

      The reply was 'Basically, yes'

      Delete
    3. I can see using the prospect to ninja mine cytoserocin in low sec.

      Delete
    4. Thats exactly the one purpose I used it for when I got urge to mine something. Takes ages tho so I after mining out one site I'm satisfied...for like 6 months. Pity it does not have ice bonus too, would make me try that.

      Delete
  6. "More modules that make tackling and destroying ships harder is just not a good thing in EVE, in my opinion."

    This is the greatest sentence that you have ever written, Ripard. I am copying it into my bio.

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  7. Actually, what I want to see is MJDs available right down to frigate level -- along with modified and short-range cynosural system jammers.

    And as an idle thought recalling a post long ago, what then if ECCM countered CSJs? Perhaps there might finally be a reason to carry it regularly?

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    Replies
    1. Nope, and I forgot that scrams shut them down. Still want them at frigate level. (But I'm both a noob and odd.)

      Delete
  8. You just forget the latest, hottest new content, Jester: lowsec exploration sites whose rewards can only be redeemed for LP in the depths of Goonspace, or alternatively can be sold to the Goons for whatever price they graciously set on those items once they control the access to the one and only Mordus LP store.

    It all is so briliantly retarded that probably CCP Affinity and CCP RedDawn spent a month plastered in absynthe before coming up with it. Your sub money at hard work, dudes! Enjoy!

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    Replies
    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
    2. If only there was a quick-aligning, fast warping bubble-immune ship that could make the 7 jumps from hisec "deep" into goon space to dock at an npc station.

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    3. "If only there was a quick-aligning, fast warping bubble-immune ship that could make the 7 jumps from hisec "deep" into goon space to dock at an npc station."

      Burn, baby, burn:

      http://youtu.be/zHtoXSjXDZo

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    4. @Anon 4:05. I think the more relevant question is WHY we should have to?
      Why would CCP give one null sec cartel an advantage over everyone else in the game for something that supposedly supposedly is generic?

      When the designers created this farce, did they think "you know, it would be really cool if we created something to do for the goons, and they can camp some of their null sec chokepoints, and get kills plus hand them another LP-ISK machine with the station surrounded by their turf", or did they not look at a bloody map?

      One answer displays their bias towards goons, the other answer displays gross incompetence and disconnect from the game. It has to be one or the other.

      Delete
    5. Just put a character in one of the Goon renter corps and use that character to turn in the rewards. Problem solved.

      Delete
    6. According to Jester, apparently the first answer is the correct one :)

      Delete
    7. "Just put a character in one of the Goon renter corps and use that character to turn in the rewards. Problem solved."

      Well, at least that will help stopping the continuous exile of nullsec players, which is dragging down server population and subscription numbers. It also will improve the retention of new players, as they just need to sign in from the SA forums to access the new content right from the beginning of their EVE career; never urderestimate the power of a noob in a tackler!

      Delete
  9. MJD on DST is useful for get out of bubbles in nullsec and especially WH space where you can't use JFs to haul goods.

    Hull rigs will not only be useful, but mandatory for Orcas and mining barges with DCII. It will also have niche uses like making a bait Thanatos/Nidhoggur survive a doomsday by a full rack of Reinforced Bulkheads and 3x hull rigs and shield tank. Same for bait amarr DST "it's already in hull"

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    Replies
    1. By the time you spool up the MJD, you'll be scrammed.

      Delete
    2. Assuming the bubble is manned by hostiles! Anchored bubbles last for weeks, which is about as long as it takes to slowboat out of a large bubble in a DST.

      an earlier comment on w-space logistics touched on this: this gives us an 80k hauler that you don't need to un-bubble the entrance to let in. That is at least creating options. DSTs are still better than BRs for PI runs, since pocos uncloak you: the baked-un warp stabs are life savers against the small fast moving ganks that get past your scouts.

      Delete
    3. A blockade runner can be cloaked within transfer range of the POCO (decloak range 2000m, transfer range 2500m). You have to drop cloak to actually do the transfer but if you work your position so you can align without going within 2000 or outside 2500 then it's pretty hard for someone to catch you.

      This does require some mucking about with bookmarks (or less ideally warp to 10km) and a little cloaked slow boating.

      Delete
  10. Let's get real... the audio "enhancements" are going to be buggy as hell. If there was even a slim chance it *might* work then I could probably manage a little excitement and enthusiasm for the audio changes. But we both know that's not going to happen. CCP doesn't do audio very well and especially not the music (or EVE Voice for that matter); there's a reason why "EVE has sound?" is a thing, and that's not about to change any time soon.

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  11. BraverthananyoneelseMay 31, 2014 at 2:31 AM

    So, the only chance to get the full rewards of your Mordu Legion s reward is going to ONE null Sec Station? WTF ? ? ? Whos Sov space is the closest? Because they will permacamp it. It like that CCP doesn't want the market to be swarmed by the new skins or modules xD

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    Replies
    1. Goon space, ofc.

      Delete
    2. Mordus Angels live there, its a good place to roam to farm them

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    3. Meanwhile, PCU for Tranquility is at -4,000 players relative to 2013, which likely means that there's 12% less subscribers than last year.

      But hey: Goon-Mordus exploration sites will do great to improve those numbers!

      Delete
    4. BraverthananyoneelseMay 31, 2014 at 8:12 AM

      Perhaps it really gets time to skill these Interceptors :-P But still, a single system where you can get your reward o.O That is not very sandboxy that is the etablishement of a perma gatecamp xD
      Oh an grrr Goons :-P

      Delete
    5. See above. Put a character that can fly inties into one of the Goon renter corps. Problem solved.

      Delete
    6. BraverthananyoneelseMay 31, 2014 at 9:47 AM

      Ah, the standart answers of eve bittervets: more alts -.-

      Delete
    7. So, when some intrepid rookie explorer loads up his or her ship with Mordu loot and inevitably gets blown up a jump or two in... Are we gonna get more blog posts about griefers and bullies in the game?

      Delete
    8. "So, when some intrepid rookie explorer loads up his or her ship with Mordu loot and inevitably gets blown up a jump or two in... Are we gonna get more blog posts about griefers and bullies in the game?"

      No, as he will just buy another account and subscribe it for a year.

      Delete
    9. Just join a Goon corp. That is the whole point of the game, anyways.

      Delete
  12. The "meh" Kronos expansion, to be followed by the predictably disastrous industry changes of Crius. Considering that the Titans in mythology were ultimately losers, I guess that these expansions are appropriately named.

    Yeah, this is going to be a great summer for CCP sub numbers. Too bad CCP won't have the balls to release those numbers. They already added the China numbers and the DUST numbers (which aren't even subs) to their totals, to cover the drop in real subs. No place left for them to get new bulls**t numbers, unless they decide to include unsubbed accounts... lol.

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    Replies
    1. I haven't read such a tear sodden post in long time. Tell me, what did CCP do to you to cause such intense butthurt?

      Delete
    2. Who cares? If CCP goes down the toilet, then a new game - probably F2P - will arise to take its place.

      Delete
    3. "Tell me, what did CCP do to you to cause such intense butthurt?"

      Let's see, if I were a high-sec industrialist, I'd probably be upset about the following changes which are going to be in Crius:

      1) Standings reqs for setting up high-sec POS are going away

      2) BPOs which have ME10/PE10 will be just as good as BPOs with much higher ME/PE - and no reimbursement plan for those higher ME/PE BPOs

      3) Using a POS for BPO reseach means that you have to put the BPO in the POS

      4) ME/PE skills and hardwirings will become useless for ME/PE research - and no reimbursement plan for SP or hardwirings

      Effectively, Greyscale is going to wipe out the advantages of every high-sec industrialist, which they spent years of game time building up - and give all of the advantages to the null-sec alliances. The high-sec industrialists will be on equal playing field with everyone who spent the last 2 months researching up a bunch of BPOs to ME10/PE10 or bought them off the contract market. They won't be able to use POSes to gain any advantage, because they are more likely to get wardec'ced than the big alliances, due to the wardec mechanism. Null sec alliances can throw up as many POSes in high sec as they want - no standings required. The work teams that Soniclover is building will benefit the large alliances only - small industrialists have no chance to win the bids to get any teams. And so on and so on....

      Imagine the butthurt that the null alliance players would feel if CCP decided to reset sov, move all of the tech moons to high-sec, and make all supercaps equivalent to battleships. That is pretty much what they are planning to do to the high-sec industrialists in Crius.

      Fortunately, I'm not a high-sec industrialist, otherwise, I'd probably quit the game, too.

      Delete
    4. Q: Tell me, what did CCP do to you to cause such intense butthurt?

      A: Nothing. But maybe some others are butthurt about the industry overhaul.

      Hmmm ok anon, Thanks for the reply.

      Delete
  13. The hull rigs won't be useless, they will allow you to rig your Orca to an massive tank.

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    Replies
    1. Useless - the rigs also nerf your cargo space. As will the Reinforced Bulkheads, after Kronos.

      Delete
  14. What I don't like about these shorter expansion cycles is that Fozzie et al are likely to keep adding more new skills to train, every couple of months, and we only get one remap per year.

    I don't see why they can't just reuse the existing skills, many of which are one-trick ponies anyways.

    ReplyDelete

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