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CCP announces new jump and sovereignty changes for March release

CCP EVE Online

CCP is about to shakeup New Eden in a big way. EVE players seem pretty excited about these changes, and they should be, they’re very helpful for increasing player engagement in crucial game mechanics.

Currently in EVE Online, the movement of jump-capable ships (ships with a jump drive that can move between systems without Stargates), is a big pain. The biggest issue is that Jump Fatigue accrues with each successive jump, and the more Fatigue you have, the longer you have to wait between jumps. This ha led to a lot of stagnation among player groups that were hesitant to bring out the big guns in various engagements in part because it was so difficult to move Capitals around.

CCP heard your cries EVE players, and with a new Dev Blog, they’ve got an answer:

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

This reduction means that it’s no longer a serious worry with moving Capitals around that the players get stuck in some far away system for days on end. Fleets can now move around New Eden much easier than before come the March release. This is seriously a good change, and assuming the political tensions building in various regions come to a head, we may actually see a large scale battle involving Caps like what we hoped for in 9-4RP2.

But a massive change to Jump Fatigue isn’t the only thing CCP is doing to make moving Capitals easier. The Tethering mechanics used by Upwell structures like Citadels is also being tweaked. Tethering works similarly to a POS bubble, and CCP are increasing the protection tethering offers to ships by changing the delay between coming out of a Jump and landing on grid with the structure.

An active tether is indicated by a tethering beam extending from the structure to the tethered ship and conveys the following benefits to the tethered ship:

  • Can not be targeted
  • Can not take damage
  • Structure, Armor and Shields will be repaired as well as weapons, burnt out and/or damaged by heat, that are currently equipped on the ship

Alongside the jump fatigue reductions above, we are also looking at making changes to another commonly discussed issue with jump travel. 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 change means that capitals can be moved around with a significant amount of protection assuming certain conditions are met.

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Say a player alliance wants to move from one side of New Eden to the other, a sufficiently coordinated alliance could easily drop Citadels on their route between the two systems. Calculating jump ranges is really easy, so all they would need to do is drop temporary Astrahus Citadels in the midpoint system(s) and jump from one to the next in a single day. Of course, this kind of tactic is a massive sign-post to anyone paying attention that points out where a capital fleet is going to land. All an enemy alliance would have to do is stake out one of the later Citadels in the chain and have a fleet ready to drop on it when the Capitals land. I sense that a few more ambushes of move operations are on the horizon for EVE Online.

For those that are wondering, aggression and other mechanics will still delay the tethering, the tether will kick in 30 seconds after you lose invulnerability from undocking or taking another action.

The final big set of changes mentioned in the Dev Blog centers around some quite interesting adjustments to the way players capture Sovereignty.

The biggest of these changes revolve around the Entosis Link module itself. We are currently planning on the following changes to the Entosis Link:

  • 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

We are also looking at some tweaks to the node spawning in sov capture events:

  • 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%

Overall, I’d say that these changes will make node capture events more balanced overall. The reduced ranges is compensated for by the ability to receive remote reps, and the expediting of finding a node to capture should speed up the process overall. It’s hard to say for sure whether this will give another advantage to the defenders in these events though.

The range changes make grid control even more important now. No more kiting Entosis ships that buzz around a grid like flies opposing an Entosis attempt. You either have grid control or you don’t, good on CCP for forcing the issue.

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