Citadels, Engineering Complexes and other structures within EVE Online have been around a while now. Originally envisioned as a replacement to POSes and older structures, the system has been refined over the years into a sort of one-size-fits-all hybrid of industry and military force projection. Player groups have been brawling over these things consistently, but some are feeling dissatisfied. One of the common criticisms of the current version of Citadels and other structures is that it’s too easy for defenders to avoid a fight. But with the Kicking Over Castles patch, that’s changing big time.
Previously, the system for Citadels and other structures in EVE Online relied on a series of tiered timers for each of the three HP gauges. Players wishing to online a structure had to protect through three repair periods lasting at least 24 hours before it would be fully operational and repaired. With the Kicking Over Castles patch, CCP is changing one of the core mechanics, Vulnerability Timers. Vulnerability Timers would let Corporations and Alliances control when their assets could be attacked. The Vulnerability Window would vary anywhere from 3-21 hours per week, and depended on the size of the structure. Attackers had to eliminate Shields, Armor and finally Hull to destroy a structure, leading to multiple fights to beat most targets.
The process of taking down one of these structures is pretty involved. If you wanted to take a structure down, you had to attack it with sufficient force across three different cycles of states known as Repairing and Reinforced. Repairing was the process in which a structure would repair itself from damage. This state had a timer based on the size of the structure and other factors. Players could also muck about with Repair Timers by timing incoming DPS during those cycles, making Citadels and the like harder to defend against large attacks. Reinforcement basically meant the structure was immune to attack, but that sufficient DPS had been inflicted to push the timer into the next phase.
This whole system led to a tactic known as “timezone tanking” wherein player groups would place their structures and time them in such a way that it was only possible to attack them for small windows of time for most Alliances. CCP is changing that by putting a lock on the last Hull timer, making its outcome a little more predictable and less susceptible to manipulation.
Here’s how the system currently works:
- When the Shield reaches 0%, the Citadel becomes invulnerable for 24 hours.
- When the Armor reaches 0%, the Citadel becomes invulnerable for 6 days.
- Except in Wormhole Space where this duration is 24 hours.
- When the Hull reaches 0%, the Citadel is instantly destroyed.
The changes to structures coming in Kicking Over Castles are as follows:
- Defenders can no longer choose a day of the week for exiting the hull reinforcement cycle. Structures will exit reinforcement at the next available hour of the defenders choosing (+/- 3 hours) after the following durations:
- Wormhole space: 1.5 days
- Low and Null security space: 2.5 days
- High security space: 4.5 days
- Updated vulnerability windows now takes 30 days to take effect (instead of 7).
- In a solar system where the Activity Defense Multiplier is above 4.0 and where an Infrastructure Hub is held by an alliance, pilots that are NOT members of that alliance will be unable to deploy medium Upwell structures (Astrahus, Athanor and Raitaru).
- The random jitter range on reinforcement exit times is increased from +/- 2 hours to +/- 3 hours.
The final portion of the new update concerns LowSec PvP and Faction Warfare. Attackers will no longer be able to Tether to any structures in enemy systems. Structures can also no longer be used to grant Tether in enemy space.
Whatever happens with the new system, it’s going to assure plenty of chaos and explosions. This should wrap together nicely with WarDec changes to make conflict a bit more likely in EVE.
CCP also dropped some other helpful news, or maybe it’s just going to be more chaos. On December 4th, CCP will not take the server down for its usual daily maintenance. This is huge, as the periods following downtime is a usually quiet period where you have small window to do certain tasks. Having 48 hours of uninterrupted play is certain to mine some salt from within the EVE Online community. Gankers will be out in force, so you better come prepared.
Source: CCP Dev Blog