It turns out that some of the changes originally thought to be part of EVE Online's still-unnamed summer expansion will be arriving much sooner. The next patch is still considered to be part of the Incursion expansion, and will go live on April 6th, this week.

Included in this patch are tons of quality of life adjustments, some extra Incarna options, and a huge number of tweaks that should improve things for everybody. Some of the changes are of special interest to mission runners, explorers, and people that live in null-security space or are thinking of moving there.

Let's talk about the ten biggest changes.

10. Ship Tweaks

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style="font-style: italic;">This patch is a smorgaborg of great fixes.

A few minor changes to ships is nothing to write home about. Unless, of course, one the ships being changed happens to be your favorite. In this case, that is a bit unlikely, because the changes are so minor.

The missile bonus on the flycatcher hull has been made more intuitive, though nobody seems quite sure about whether the change is a buff or a nerf.

The primae was a special gift ship given out to all the players in EVE Online along with the introduction of planetary interaction. It has two special cargo holds in addition to a normal hold: the first can only contain planetary materials, and the second can only hold command centers. When the size of command centers was standardized to 1000m3, the extra hold's capacity of 1600m3 became sort of a non sequitur. In this patch, the command center hold will now have a capacitor of 2000m3. A niche change for a niche ship, at least for now.

The widow is a Caldari black ops battleship with a bonus to electronic warfare. It is one of the few ships to get a bonus to ECM burst modules. In theory, anyway. It seems that there was something wrong with how the bonus was applied to ladar sensor strength, meaning that it probably is not jamming Minmatar ships as often as it should. Probably not a huge problem, since ECM bursts are not likely the most commonly used module.

9. Streamlined Repackaging

As of right now, repackaging a large amount of items at once will often grind to a halt if even one item is damage or otherwise cannot be repackaged. After this patch, the process will continue, moving on to other items, and simply ignore any items that cannot be repackaged. This is a godsend to those of us with messy hangars.

8. They Moved The Ashab Gate

Most everybody rolls through the Amarr solar system at some point. It's the second most populated system, next to Jita. The gate connecting to Ashab easily sees the most traffic, being the route to Jita.

To the frustration of some PvPers and the delight of anybody that needs to undock in Amarr, the gate is being moved. Where is it being moved to? Nothing is written in stone, but the patch notes indicates that the new location will be more convenient when undocking. Since (I believe) all of the stations in Amarr undock downwards, relocating the gate downwards would allow people to align and warp to them much faster, without being bumped around on gates so much.

7. No More Empty Exploration Sites

Previously, there would be an annoying portion of explorations sites that contained absolutely nothing. Most people have probably assumed that these were sites that had been run but not despawned. Not so: they are wormhole sites that don't actually contain any wormholes. This has been removed, to the great joy of explorers everywhere and me in particular.

6. Drone AI Fix

The new Sansha found within Incursions must have had some option checked that it shouldn't have, since players' drones were treating them as friendly rather than automatically engaging them. Though this is fixed, I still feel like drone ships are a sub-optimal choice for running most of the Incursion sites.

5. Rig Invention Fix

For a little while there it was impossible to invent a Large Core Defence Field Extender II. That's a pretty handy rig, so having this fixed is going to help make them more affordable for tech two battleships and capitals (the most likely customers). I'm baffled at how CCP could have made inventing them impossible, but whatever.

4. 'Buy This' Option Always In Simple Mode

Thank God. This was aggravating me on a daily basis. Whenever right clicking and buying something off the market, the advanced market window would come up, in all its ugliness. Now, that will default to simple mode and the advanced mode will be used for setting up buy orders or selling things.

3. Easier Stripping Ship Fittings

Boarding a ship just to strip its fittings has always been a pain in the butt. In days long past it was all right to just repackage the ship in question, but nowadays we end up with expensive rigs that would be wasted. So in order to strip a ship's fittings for separate sale, use, or whatever, we need to board the ship. Not after patch day: we'll just right click and strip the fittings like that.

Two ideas occur to me, though. Firstly, will drones remain in the stripped ship's cargo bay? Secondly, will we be able to do this remotely, so as to sell the fittings off a ship trapped in an enemy's station? We'll see.

2. New Incarna Options

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style="font-style: italic;">Incarna is going to keep growing. The more ways we have to look cool, the better the final product.

When Incarna was released, there was much rejoicing. But some blue notes, too: there were some sorely wanted accessories and customizations that ended up not being included in the initial release. Fortunately, CCP is iterating on the feature and adding them in.

New options include:

  • Scars and burns
  • Piercings, studs, and various other facial modifications
  • Tattoos representing each of the various bloodlines
  • Tattoos with more general appeal
  • A new pair of sunglasses
  • New tank tops for men and women

I'm particularly interested in the burns, since I think that's the kind of thing that person who has survived multiple hull breaches ought to be sporting.

1. Anomalies To Have Quality Linked To Security Status

Cosmic anomalies are the bread and butter of most null-sec players. They are relied upon as the primary source of income, with portions taxed by their corporations to pay for upgrading stations and infrastructure hubs. The new changes will make it so that the quality (i.e. how efficiently it gives you ISK) of the extra anomalies brought by infrastructure upgrades will be dependent on how good the security status of that system is.

Contrary to many peoples' understanding, the security status of null-sec varies considerably, ranging all the way down to -1. After this patch, the actual security status will be shown (rather than just 0.0). The lower the number, the bigger the NPCs that spawn all around the system. Since bigger NPCs have bigger bounties, this is a good thing for people that spend their time hunting NPCs in asteroid belts. After this change, the sanctum and haven high-end anomalies will only be found in lower security systems. Systems of -.2 and higher will, in many peoples' view, not be worth upgrading at all.

This is a bit of a heartbreaker. Lots of people have built their alliance around living in space. This includes spending hundreds of billions of ISK on stations in systems that are suddenly not worth squat. Still, if nothing else it should shake null-sec up at least a little bit. I only hope that it doesn't push too many people back to empire.

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Last Updated: Mar 13, 2016