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...

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Win on points

With the features that I don't care for as much out of the way, let's look at all the other features in the Odyssey 1.1 point release.

Navy mindlinks: I love these.  What a terrific idea!  One of the big reasons I wanted the Advanced Infomorph Psychology skill is because if you're heavily Leadership-trained like I am, you pretty much automatically have a Armor Mindlink clone, a Shield Mindlink clone, and a Skirmish Mindlink clone.  That's three of your six clones right off, and frequently it's useful to have more than one mindlink clone (if you want one in high-sec and one in null, say).  With these combination mind-links, common combinations (notably armor-skirmish and shield-skirmish) become possible and should reduce the amount of jump-cloning needed by link pilots a bit.

NOSes: previously, NOSes checked your cap percentage against your enemy's cap percentage.  If yours was lower, you drew cap from the target.  Easy to remember, but a bit silly; it rendered NOSes all but useless except for small tacklers and PvE.  The new mechanic now checks the capacitor amount: if you have less cap, you draw from the target.  I'm assured that their function in PvE remains unchanged.  The change will make NOSes somewhat more useful, particularly in more PvP tackling applications, heavy cruiser-sized tacklers against battleships and capitals most of all.  It should also introduce some interesting Geddon and Bhaalgorn variants.  Downside?  CCP removing utility highs from the ships that could have taken advantage of the change, notably the Eagle and Deimos.  Sigh.  CCP giveth with one hand, taketh away with the other...

Medium long-range weapon changes: generally, a thumbs up from me.  I'm a bit concerned about reduction in medium railgun tracking, but am only just starting to play around with it.  CCP Fozzie would no doubt remind me here that I know nothing about tracking.

No more warfare links inside a force field?  Warfare link grid reduced by 100?  Both excellent changes, thumbs up!

Buffs to local shield and armor reppers: also all getting a big thumbs up from me.  This will be particularly valuable to newer players of the game, including early career missioners.  It also does a bit to help stave off the increasing pressure ultra-small gang and solo PvPers are under.

Custom probe formations and the other scanning changes: huge thumbs up from me.  If you want to yell at me about the game being further dumbed down, go ahead.  One interesting caution, though: I wonder how long it will take people to design a series of custom probe formations that allow them to scan down "safed" ships very very quickly?  I'd be surprised if this hasn't happened already to some extent so practice your skills at bouncing safes.  You may only get one glimpse of that probe formation around you before the tacklers start to land...

Command ship balancing, HAC balancing, industrial balancing: I have a few quibbles that I'll talk about as I cover each group in FOTW posts over the next couple of months.  In particular, I remain unconvinced about the Eagle, Nighthawk, and Absolution, in that order (the Abso is generally pretty darn nifty but I wish it had longer combat range as a BC).  The Eos, Ishtar, and Sacrilege come away as winners, in that order, with a few others close behind.  I covered the industrial balancing live as it was happening.  I'm reasonably happy with the results but will start part two of that argument when it comes time to balance T2 industrials.

Advanced Infomorph Psychology: I asked for this, players asked for this, I love it.  I've already trained it a collective seven or eight levels across Ripard and my alts with more levels sure to come in the coming months.

Skill renaming: I'm a big fan of this.  Yes, it'll take a little getting used to where things are (I spent three or four minutes the other night looking for the Cynosural Field Theory skill on one of my alts before reasoning that it must be under Navigation).  But yes, it'll be nice once we all learn where the skills are.

User Interface: there are a number of these, but the one I have my eye on right now is the Assist and Guard mechanics now have "Watchlist" as an option.  I feel like sentry drone assist tactics are already wildly over-used in this game and anything that makes this easier is -- in general -- a bad thing.  Assisted sentry drones reduce the typical line fleet member from an "F1 pusher" to not even doing that.  You could fight whole fleet battles by simply assisting your sentries to your FC and then walking away from the keyboard to make a sandwich.  This is not how we're supposed to be playing EVE Online...

Best bug fix of the expansion:
An issue where other players' weapon effects would originate from your ship has been fixed.
Heavens, that was annoying.

Most amusing change of the expansion: renaming energy transfers to capacitor transmitters.  I have this mental picture of a little pile of capacitors appearing in the ship's transporter room...

And I think that's it!  All in all, a quite satisfying little point release!


  1. I've been thinking about the OP of Assisting drones to other members in your fleet.

    My suggestion is that every ship has a default assisted by value of 1,

    Those wishing to employ mass sentry drone assisting are then required to fly and field a command ship which will have a bonus per level of command ship at rank 1 you get +1 assited by, and for every level after that you get +2 allowing for a maximum of 9.

  2. I'm fairly certain you haven't used those scanning changes you are praising. They look nice to me, but the point release has almost totally broken scanning with CCP Paradox taking to reddit to confirm the problems. A fix may be incoming Monday. So the changes may be great, but it seems a tad early to start the standing ovation.

  3. More jump clones is very nice. It would also have been nice if CCP had, along with this new skill, finally added an API call to give us information about our jump clones. Right now you can't get any information whatsoever through the API that tells you how many you have, where they are, or what implants they have in. It's way past time for CCP to get serious about the API. CCP Seagull was all gung-ho about making the API really useful back at Fanfest 2012 (last year). Fail. You still can't get really useful information out of it the way it is, never mind making it awesome.

  4. Maybe use your CSM powers to convince CCP to reduce the cyno timer from 600 seconds to 300 seconds. Ten minutes is a little excessive. Especially for people that jump freighter around on their own ... the pilot and the cyno alt. Having to dick around for 10 minutes at every location is a pain in the ass. (And yeah, I could just self-destruct everytime ... but that's a bother too ... means I have to also carry more cyno ships than normal in the JF on every trip.)

    Anyhow ... 10 minute timer is excessive and I don't see the point. 5 minute timer is excessive too ... a but whole sight better than 10 minutes.


  5. Apropos skill renaming - the implant renaming had brought the implant names in line with the skill names and the skill renaming broke this pattern.

    e.g. old Electronics skill gave 5% to CPU output per level, so the hardwirings giving +CPU% were renamed to Zainou 'Gypsy' Electronics EE-60X. It sucked having to learn new implant names but it was justified through the increased consistency and ease of use.

    Now the skill is called CPU Management but the implants are still called Zainou 'Gypsy' Electronics EE-60X.

    So in order to find the right implant quickly a player has to know that back in the day CPU Management used to be called Electronics and search for the implant with "Electronics" in its name.
    Whereas if he is looking for the CPU use reduction he has
    to be aware that Electronics Upgrades is still Electronics Upgrades and thus Zainou 'Gypsy' Electronics Upgrades EU-60X is what he is looking for.

    In effect CCP renamed all hardwirings in order to increase consistency and a few months later we are left with a system that is even more inconistent and misleading than the old one. GG.

  6. when they gonna fix the switch to alt account issue?

    1. Right after DUST and Valkyrie have their 5-year anniversaries.

  7. "Custom probe formations and the other scanning changes: huge thumbs up from me. If you want to yell at me about the game being further dumbed down, go ahead." Nope, Ima not take yer bait.

    And actually this (by itself) is not a nerf, it's something you could expect from an advanced system. However, the overall nerfing of probing is still a sucjob... however, I, having joined the largest and in extant ONLY remaining serious Anoikis Alliance have been able to avoid probing to a degree as we have a largish number of guys who like it and most of the time all holes are known and BMed by the time I log on anyway... so =PPPPPPPP =]

  8. (Not sure what happened to my previous comments)

    I think the skill renaming went too far, specifically in the case of Electronics and Engineering.

    (1) They are "key skills" for their categories. Take a look - almost every category has a base skill with the same name as the category. A better solution might have been to sort the categories in some sort of precedence order.

    (2) If you look at the "required for" tab, you will notice that they are tied into a mass of items and skills that have nothing to do with CPU or PG. CCP seems to have run with the idea of "must make skill name match bonus" and completely forgotten that skills *also* unlock stuff, especially the key skills. The "flavour" names for the older skills aren't just flavour.

    Also, I would really like to see Spaceship Command turned into a two-level hierarchy, with the core Spaceship Command skills (Spaceship Command, Advanced Spaceship Command, Capital Ships) alone at the top, and then separate sections for each of the races and for "Advanced Ships" (ie T2).

  9. Ripard, I agree that the whole assist thing might be unbalanced. However, making things easier or harder to do in the UI should NEVER be used to balance it with its utility. Things are hard enough to do in this game, I support any effort to make the UI easier to use.


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