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Quick Notes; Version 19.06, Hunter’s Boon Update Live on Tranquility

Welcome to Tuesday and welcome to another helping of quick notes. This week, we’ve got the previously announced changes detailed in “Hunter’s Boon” going live as well as a handful of graphical updates and some other quality of life things that should make EVE Online just a little more tolerable (as well as taking those buffs that Marauders got and throwing them back into the trash can). You can read the entire patch notes to get all the changes and, as always, I’ll take you through the most important parts.

Hunter’s Boon

First and foremost, previously announced changes that have been live on Singularity and in testing have made their way to Tranquility through the Hunter’s Boon update. These include mobile covert cyno beacons, buffs to the Pacifier and Enforcer, making nullifier penalities less impactful on interceptors, a booster for extending the “hardened cloak” buff, and the removal of skill points from tech 3 cruisers!

The new Covert Mobile Cynosural Beacon blueprint can be found in Pirate NPC stations all around null-security space. It costs 100 million ISK and will likely be comparable in cost to its previously introduced counterpart, the Mobile Cynosural Beacon. We’ve had the ability to anchor these structures for a while now and feedback from EVE’s players has influenced a covert variant. Good job, players!

Next up, the Pacifier and Enforcer get some love with buffs to their usability. On the Pacifier, power grid has been increased from 50 > 60 MW, CPU from 200 > 240 tf and the maximum velocity has been increased from 300 > 340 m/sec. One of the most requested updates is the addition of a high slot to the ship, including another launcher & turret hardpoint. The Enforcer has similar updates with power grid increasing from 1100 > 1150, maximum velocity from 170 > 190 m/sec, and an additional high slot. The Enforcer, however, will now finally get to make use of its previously unusable (and very visible) drone bay with 25 m3 drone capacity and 25 Mbit/s drone bandwidth.

Fleet interceptors are getting some love (Ares, Crow, Malediction, and Stiletto) in the way of even more reduction to the penalties for fitting interdiction nullifiers. The reduction in reactivation delay, max lock range, and scan resolution is now at 80% meaning these ships are almost back to their full combat usefulness (minus the high slot required to fit the module). Fleet interceptors are intended to be used for scouting more than anything and it seems CCP is intent on cementing that role for these ships.

Another change has been made in the vein of mobile observatories (the decloaking structures released in patch 19.05) that increase the stabilized cloak buff’s duration. The stabilized cloak buff makes it so that mobile observatories cannot decloak a ship that was recently cloaked and, since this change was made primarily to combat AFK cloaky camping, adding in the booster means that players can be inactive for even longer now! The Strong Veilguard Booster lasts 30 minutes and increases the duration of the buff by 200%. Now get back out there and cloaky camp!

Finally, the Hunter’s Boon update brings us something that has long been requested, the removal of the skill point penalty from tech 3 cruisers. Up until now, if you lost a T3C, you also lost a level of one of the related subsystems (something about the ship being linked to your brain in such a way you just forget things). That is no longer the case. In the coming weeks, I expect to see new T3C doctrines being used in various places and will also be bringing you a more detailed comparison between other doctrines in the meta and T3Cs.

Graphic Updates

This patch also brings us some updated graphics with adjustments to shaders, lighting, and various tweaks to other assets. The art team consistently hits it out of the park so I expect nothing less than excellence here.

The Bring Out EVE's Colors update is live and introduces a range of huge visual improvements, ensuring that New Eden continues to set a standard as a visually stunning universe. The update includes:
- PBR shader adjustments, including changes to roughness calculation and visibility factor.
- Modified lighting with brightened reflection map generation and asset backlighting.
- Postprocess color improvements - tonemapping adjustments to brighten colors, extend the color range, smooth out gradients, and emphasize highlights
- Numerous tweaks to assets, environments, and effects to maintain their appearance with the new tech.
- Characters in windows are now rendered with 4x supersampling when Antialiasing is set to “High.” (DX11 only)
- Characters in windows now require substantially less video memory to render. (DX11 only)

Bastion Module Changes, Bringing Marauders Back Into Obscurity

The widely-acclaimed update to Marauders back in February brought a ship class that was underperforming and underused into the limelight by making Marauders more formidable at both PVE and PVP. Previously, you’d sometimes see Marauders running escalations or high-level missions, but these changes made them common and also broke Marauders out of the solo PVP vault as you could fly it like a dreadnaught without all the downsides.

One previously untouched part of the Bastion module was the part that made the Marauder nearly immune to most types of EWAR with 95% resistance to remote sensor dampeners and target painters as well as immunity to ECM, tracking disruptors, and guidance disruptors. Now, however, it seems as though CCP has deemed the Marauder unworthy of retaining its previous tricks.

- Target painter resistance has been reduced from -95% to -50%.
- Sensor dampener resistance has been reduced from -95% to -50%.
- Weapon disruption resistance has been reduced from -99% to -50%.
- Bonus to sensor strength has been reduced from 1,000% to 100%.
- Removed the ECM Immunity.

With these updates, your 1.5-2 billion ISK Marauder (without fittings taken into account) can be countered and gagged by one single 24 million ISK frigate. This unfortunate update means that no matter the gang, as long as it has an ECM ship that can sit out of range of the Marauder’s guns, any Marauder that is attacked during PVE (or even PVP) activities is almost guaranteed to die without backup. So, if you’ve enjoyed solo roaming in your Marauder, sorry to say but it looks like your playstyle became a little too oppressive for the folks in Reykjavik. Of course, I might be wrong (it’s happened before) but I can’t really see someone risking 2 billion ISK+ worth of ship when it can be easily countered by a 24 million ISK frigate. RIP Marauders February 2021 – July 2021.

In conclusion, I guess you truly can’t have good without bad. While the changes made through the Hunter’s Boon update really hit the mark in terms of making meaningful strides towards more enjoyment of the video game, the hit to Marauders will hurt it in the long run. I can’t find many good reasons to negate the usefulness of a ship that is already so harshly cost-gated but, hey, maybe that’s why I’m not a game developer. We’ll catch you next time for more quick notes.

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Written by Redline XIII

I am a 3-year veteran of EVE Online. Though my exploits are not legendary, I have spent time in several nullsec alliances as a fleet commander and am the self-proclaimed Hero of the North. I do graphic design on the side and sometimes write lackluster articles and am the editor-in-chief of the New Eden Post, host of Trash Talk Tuesday and Crossing the Redline.

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