Sneak Peaks Part III - Needful things?
After covering the beginning of the New World Order in Sneak Peaks Part I of the upcoming content patch and COSMOS being covered in Part II, I thought it would be appropriate to talk about some of the "smaller" things which the content patch brings.
Well, first, we are sneaking in features which should be considered quite inapropriate since that means a longer QA process. Nevertheless, we decided to implement Simple Corp Taxes. It's simple in the way that you can tax bounties, agent rewards (if ISK) and market transactions from 1% - 15%. It only taxes transactions which are bigger than 35.000 ISK so our database servers wont drown in tax transaction calculations and we thought this would be an appropriate threshold after doing some data mining.
Leadership is getting overhauled, this is getting more and more important in the world of EVE and we will add the first steps of a general overhaul to gangs and groups in the next content patch. Leadership features new skills, modules and opens up for specialized command ships. It's still in development but we should see some of it in the next patch.
There are a couple of more features which might get in, but since we're loaded with work already and they might not make it, we're keeping them to ourself for a later sneak peak.
Pirate Commanders and Officers now spawn far more often in belts (up to 400%) and Officers have a remote chance of dropping limited run blueprints of faction ships. Pirate Set implants also drop from them and are available as offers from pirate faction agents. Collect the whole set to get an extra bonus. As a result, Commanders and Officers have been increased in both damage output and damage sustainance. Oh, and faction ammunition is also in there!
Convoys are getting increased in strength and given loot worth taking them down. We're also adding elite Convoys which should have some more interesting stuff in them.
NPC's now get a signature radius increase when using a MWD like players do and they are in some cases using bigger aggression groups - so watch out who you piss off, he might bring more friends after you now. Some end bosses have also gotten beefed up so you usually need a minimum of 2 players to finish him off. This is inline with our goal to make missions more challenging and some of them being an effort requiring 2 or more to finish of the last stage.
Cycle times on all towers will be increased to one hour, allowing small towers to serve as more specialised mining outposts and mediums to compete with large towers over a single simple reaction, final reaction outputs will be boosted to varying degrees, and ice consumption will be slightly lowered. Alliances with sovereignty over a system will also decrease their starbase consumption further, since sovereignty provides some of the fuel.
We also added Reprocessing to all Empire stations in addition to adding traces of Zydrine to Jaspet, Hemorphite and Hedbergite. This should increase the interest of system in 0.1-0.4. Well, and provide more mining targets for pirates ;)
Improvements and some nerfing!
We have some further client improvements in the patch, such as perfomcane improvements to LOD'ing and improvements to UI performance. The client also features better support for all the worlds character sets enabling chat in everything from Russian to Chinese. As always there are a number of optimizations done to the server.
Parts of the "new" New Player Experience project is launched in the upcoming patch. It features an introduction to the EVE Universe, some improvements to your characters skills after character creation aiming to decrease the "time-to-useability" and a new tutorial. Next part of the project will be to update the tutorial agent with a longer and more involving path, like more ship loss and further speeding up the character evolution in the first month.
We also have some necessary things which we have to do at one point, and chose to do them here. All infinite run blueprints copies will be converted to limited-run blueprints. Ship blueprints will get changed to 20X their maximum run in a copy, so infinite run ship blueprints will get 200 - 600 runs depending on ship type. All other blueprints got a 10X maximum run increase.
Secure cargo containers get their hitpoints decreased down to a mildly destroyable number. Players should look towards small Starbases for secure storage instead of using secure cans.
At this point in time, it does not look like changes to intajump bookmarks will get finalized and implemented. This was mentioned in the omgrawr.net devchat as being a possibility - and still is, but probably not in the next patch.
Wait, Jumpdrives? .. ! ... ?!?!?!?
Cruisers in general are getting some improvements, the final outcome to be decided but we are investigating various things there. It's pretty much something we are sneaking in so we don't have very much time to focus on it yet. As mentioned before, Logistic cruisers are getting a considerable boost to their defenses.
Then we have the new Capital ships. One of them, the Dreadnought, features the Jumpdrive. Yes, the jumpdrive. It's probably going to be far overpowered and all that, so expect it to be heavily pre-nerfed. This only leads to more joyful occasions where we are able to un-nerf it later on :)
It's main special capability is the siege mode to attack structures of any kind. In this mode it won't be useful for anything else than shooting structures - and I mean not for anything else. When not in siege mode it serves as quite an adequate anti-battleship machine, having the firepower of a couple itself and the defenses a bit more than a couple. Oh, we do have a nice picture of the new Amarr Dreadnought available. It's ... brutal looking isn't it? (Click on it)
The second ship - which is not Jumpdrive powered are the massive Freighters which will enable large scale logistics to the outer regions and also better populate the regional markets since they can even move unassembled ships.
Summing it up
This third sneak peak means we have now covered the NWO, COSMOS, the new Capital ships and the jumpdrive, NPC changes, some industrial improvements, missiles, lots of tech 2 stuff and of course just now the simple corp taxes and leadership overhaul. It's going to be a big content patch and our timeframe is to get it out in the end of June. It changes and adds a whole lot but we think everything in it should be a welcome addition. But we're not finished yet. There is at least one more sneak peak to come ...