NPC changes on the Test Server
There have been a number of changes and improvements made to the NPC system which can be tested in a semi-primitive state on the Test Server. It's expected that some bugs and imbalance will be found, when they are found and reported, we'll drag 'em out back and shoot 'em.
Player testing and feedback is highly desired, we urge anyone who has a little free time or currently being camped to test these changes and leave feedback. It will help us finding bugs or imbalances, if there are any to be found.
NPC Distribution Mechanic
We have made a new deployment mechanic of NPC Pirates in Asteroid Belts, which will make it easier to add new NPC types in the future and modifying existing deployment logics. So it's possible that some misplacement of NPCs has occured.
New NPCs need names, but instead of just creating new ones, we have changed the existing names around and traded a few. The naming will be used to continue a ranking system based on normal/elite/commander NPC types. All the name changes and the complete "rank listing" are listed in this post.
Big ships in asteroid belts now spawn more frequently and in bigger numbers than before. As a result, the number of smaller support ships have been decreased some what (i.e. instead of 1-2 battleships & 4-6 cruisers you might find 2-3 battleships and 2-3 cruisers).
Warp Scramble Warning
Interceptor NPCs with warp scramblers have invaded Empire Space, they will now be seen in asteroid belts in up to 0.3 security.
Cap Drain the NPC
Capacitor Draining and Neutralizing NPCs will result in reduced shield boosting / armor repairing. Size matters here: a heavy nosferatu will affect frigate NPCs a lot more than battleship NPCs, while a small nosferatu won't do much to battleship NPCs.
This is currently not functional on the Test Server
Loot Tables are getting some love; removing crappy items from elite NPCs (such as basic damage control and small shield boosters from Battleship NPCs). It's still in the works however and is estimated to come to the Test Server at the end of this week or the start of next week.
Skipped/Dropped/Kaput: Remote Repairing/Boosting was listed as a feature for NPCs but won't get out in the upcoming patch.
Deadspace Complexes & Missions
Changes have also been made to existing NPCs in deadspace complexes and missions. The existing complexes and missions won't be getting a complete overhaul in Red Moon Rising. Unfortunately, we simply don't have the testing man power to get this accimplished before RMR deployment. But I promise that we will be updating them with new NPCs and tuning of amount and strengths of existing NPCs before Kali.
New Ship Types
We've have added the following NPCs: 6 New Destroyers: deal high frigate based damage but have low defence, are also bigger and easier to track than frigates. These will be seen in 0.4 security asteroid belts and below.
6 New BattleCruisers: deal better damage than cruisers and have much better defences. These will be seen in 0.3 security asteroid belts and below.
- 6 New Elite Frigates: two of the new frigates are support based (EW) and the other four are assault based (good defence). These will be seen in seen in non-Empire Space asteroid belts.
- 8 New Elite Cruisers: four of these are support based (EW) and other four are assault based (good defence). These will be seen in non-Empire Space asteroid belts.
- 2x New Cruisers: two cruisers have been added to the usual eight spawning in asteroid belts.
- 6x New Battleships: six battleships have been added to the usual four found in asteroid belts, the existing four battleships have been changed somewhat to maintain continuity with their new gang mates.
- A whole lot of Commanders: Commander types (rare spawn Dread Guristas etc.) have been added for all the new NPC types, excluding the elite versions.
- Damage Types: Angel Cartel are now focusing more on explosive/kinetic damage with turrets, few are still able to deal thermal and em damage but not as much as currently on TQ.
- Defense: shield boost/armor repair rate per second for Angel Cartel has been reduced compared to the other factions, reason is the varying damage types they have, which will stay.
- Missiles: all Angel Cartel will now only be shooting explosive damage missiles.
- Velocity: for all factions has been tuned a bit, Angel Cartel have the highest velocity of all factions.
- Target Painters: 2x frigates, 2x elite frigates, 2x cruisers, 2x elite cruisers and 2x battleships now have a chance of using target painters.
- Stasis Webify: 2x cruisers and 2x elite cruisers now have a chance to use stasis webifier (besides the "Interceptor" style elite frigates).
- Tracking Disruption: 2x frigates, 2x elite frigates, 2x cruisers and 2x elite cruisers now have a chance to use tracking disruption.
- Capacitor Drain: 2x cruisers, 4x elite cruisers and 2x battleships now have a chance to use capacitor drain.
- Resistance: secondary weakest resistance changed, they used to be most resistant to thermal damage but was causing problem for Caldari based turret boats. Thermal is now their second weakest damage type.
- Target Jamming: 2x frigates, 2x elite frigates, 4x cruisers, 4x elite cruisers and 2x battleships now have a chance to ecm target jamming. The strengths are in this order: Magnetometric > Radar > Ladar > Gravimetric, or in race ship: Gallente > Minmatar > Amarr > Caldari.
- Turrets: various Guristas ships have been changed into turret boats only, while others have been given more turret power with less missiles. Pure missile boats still exist.
- Tracking Disruption: 2x frigates, 2x elite frigates, 4x cruisers, 4x elite cruisers and 2x battleships now have a chance to use tracking disruption.
- Missiles: Sansha's rats have been given more of missile fire power to fit better with their factionality (amarr/caldari), but far from being as missile focused as Guristas are.
- Resistance: secondary weakest resistance changed, they used to be most resistant to kinetic damage but was causing problem for Gallente based turret boats. Kinetic is now their second most weakest damage type.
- Sensor Dampen: 2x frigates, 2x elite frigates, 4x cruisers, 4x elite cruisers and 2x battleships now have a chance to use sensor dampen.
- Defenders: usage of defenders for all Serpentis/Guardian has been increased.