Like most other EVE Online expansions, the free Crucible Expansion has been followed up with a feature-rich "mini-expansion" that iterates on the concepts of the expansion or presents a delayed feature from the primary expansion. It is rare for a mini expansion to really blow players' minds, but that is what has happened. Read all about it in our EVE guide to the second part of the Crucible expansion for EVE Online.
Overall Trip Report About The Crucible 1.1 Expansion For EVE Online
This is a worthy successor to the first part of the Crucible expansion, which many players regard as the finest EVE expansion in years. It is entirely spaceship-centric, allows players to customize their user interface, and makes some changes that players have been asking for since time immemorial. Good job, CCP, we can't wait to see what you come up with in this vein, when you aren't on your back foot.
Assault Ship Rebalancing
This is huge. It's huge because players have been asking for it since forever. It's huge because it makes PvP way more accessible to new players. It's huge because the newly improved assault ships are incredibly good! Including in the changes: every assault ship now has a smaller signature radius when using a microwarpdrive, an extra fitting slot, some extra CPU, and an extra ship bonus. While you should probably head on over to CCP's patch notes to see what has happened to your favorite ship, the result here is that all of these ships are incredible, both as a newbie-friendly ship that has an incredible tank against pretty much everything, and as specialized vessels.
Some random notes about this, in no particular order:
The new Ishkur is great both for killing silly cruiser pilots, and for losing less tech II drones while running missions.
The new Retribution now has a second mid-slot (!) and receives a tracking bonus. I have a feeling it's going to end up being pretty handy at tackling, even in big fleet situations.
The Jaguar has long been one of my favorite ships since it is basically a super-Rifter that can kill the heck out of other assault frigates. This patch gives it more offensive capability, more shield hit points, and an extra low slot. I love you, CCP.
The Enyo has a double damage bonus. I love double damage bonuses! Just can't get enough of them! The enyo can now solo kill a battleship or battlecruiser, so long as that ship is also being attacked by a significant spawn of NPCs at the same time. Pretty nifty, no? Alas, the drake is still most likely out of the enyo's reach. Darn that passive shield regeneration!
The neocom is CCP's term for the user interface that appears on the side of players' screens. For the past few years, it has remained essentially unchanged, a clumsy yet ever-present part of EVE Online's user interface. This patch changed that, significantly. Suddenly we have more customization over the contents, layout, and grouping of the neocom than ever before. It's liberating, really.
Something that I have found annoying as an older EVE player is the inclusion of an ever-present chat channels button that does not allow itself to be deleted, no doubt as part of some sort of well-intentioned effort on the part of CCP to not have newbies lose track of it. Thankfully, there is a workaround: shrink your neocom so that the icons are very small, right click on it to make four or five groups, drag the chat channels button to the bottom of the neocom, then resize the neocom so that the icons are very large. There should be so many buttons that the chat channels button appears under the 'more' menu at the bottom. Open that, right-click on the chat channels button, and select 'remove'. Voila, CCP's clumsy good intentions have been bypassed.
Missile And Module Renaming
In an effort to make EVE Online far, far more newbie friendly, CCP has renamed most missile types and several named modules. The new names are more intuitive and consistent, instead of "as complicated as possible" as CCP Soundwave put it. An unfortunate side effect of these changes is that out of game literature relating to those items is suddenly out of date and in need of updating.
The gist of the naming scheme is as follows:
- EM Missiles: Mjolnir.
- Explosive Missiles: Nova.
- Kinetic Missiles: Trauma.
- Thermal Missiles: Inferno.
For example, this means that scourge fury missiles are suddenly trauma fury missiles, and juggernaut torpedoes are suddenly trauma torpedoes. Simpler? Surely. A pain in the butt for veteran EVE Online players that learned it the old way? You betcha.
The Starbase Fuel Change Goes Live
CCP's long awaited starbase fuel change has gone live, and by now starbases are happily chugging along, ignoring their old fuel types in favor of the new fuel blocks. And no towers or EVE servers went off-line, no fuel bays deleted their contents, nor did anything equally unpleasant occur. I freely admit my surprise.
Also handy is that the date that towers run out of fuel is automagically added to the in-game calendar, as well as the EVE Gate calendar. This is just fantastic for corporations with multiple towers, since otherwise we need to guesstimate, make complicated spreadsheets, or write complex web applications. The downside is that we still don't get messages when our reaction silos fill up or run out of essential ingredients. Ce la vie.
Planetary Interaction Buff
For some hare-brained reason, the storage facility structures initially introduced in planetary interaction had the same de facto requirements as launch facilities, yet stored less material. That has been fixed. I haven't quite puzzled out how this will help players with their planet-based industrial setups, but it seems very promising for low-effort setups where the player only checks in every week or two.
Most EVE Online expansions or patches are full of little changes with big ramifications. Here are a couple of the things that stick out about the most recent part of the Crucible Expansion:
Alliances can join factional warfare. Not a huge change, per se, by itself. But given that big changes to faction war are in CCP's pipe for the next year, this could become incredibly important.
A compact view of members of chat channels is now made possible by right clicking on a channel name. This new view is pretty much the best thing to happen to local chat channels since they were introduced, whether you are searching for neutral pilots in null-sec or skimming for war targets in high-sec.
There are tons of other little changes, ranging from the universally lauded to the miniscule, but these were the big ones. I hope you are joining me in hoping that the next patch is even better. Until next expansion, pilot!
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