It has been a while since my last bloggy blog post. That is, a post wherein I just talk about stuff without trying to write some sort of guide. And honestly, reading this is probably the closest you’ll get to speaking with me on comms at 2AM; unless you just add me on Discord or join Foxholers, that is. Regardless, be prepared my dear reader for a smattering of opinions thrown at the wall like a drunk man who found a dartboard.
Oh and the new chibi in the header image? It’s one I had commissioned a while ago which I didn’t really like so much. I’ve been wanting to get something new made up but I’m not even so sure that people like them. I’ve certainly had some strange people on Facebook get very upset that they exist so… I dunno! If any of my readers are into drawing then get in touch and I’ll potentially commission you for a new image.
You know full well that I couldn’t get away without giving my opinions on EVE Echoes. And for the few of you living with Patrick Star, I’ll start by describing what it is. Echoes is an Android and iOS “version” of EVE. We’re talking about actual EVE here and not some sort of Candy Crush clone or the weird War of Ascension game from 2018. I will also point out that my opinions about this game are not at all influenced or sponsored by CCP but CCP Rax should hit me up. 😛
So why do I say what I do above? Well, because it’s one of the first mobile games I’ve ever seen that I can say I genuinely enjoy. EVE Online is a very special game to me and it has affected my life significantly. I don’t know where I would be right now without it or the connections I’ve made through it. Having that universe in my pocket complete with manual piloting, the industry, and the ships I’m familiar with. It’s a magical experience in all honesty.
I’ve been playing it for just a few days now and I put in one month of Omega just to see what I think about the whole thing. I mean, I know I like it, but will it stick. Am I going to keep coming back to this or is it the kind of game that I get bored of or never find the time to play? So far I have been plodding through the basic tutorials, combat encounters, and story missions as a way to at least get a start in this New New Eden. It’s also not like I’m doing these for the sake of it. As much as this is EVE Online, it’s also brand new and designed for a modern audience. We have tech level going as high as 10, new forcefield modules, a whole new race of ships and more.
Echoes feels like what EVE would be if it were designed in 2020 rather than 2003. Or perhaps what would happen if UI mods were allowed as in WoW. Seriously, just look at this armour rep. The other icons follow a similar design and are pretty sexy as far as icons go. It certainly beats reusing old assets for the sake of it. The art team has done a great job of capturing a mix of old and new with the layout while making this still viable for a touch-based interface.
As for the moment to moment gameplay, it’s pretty similar to EVE Online. I’m not yet a lowsec pirate queen so I can’t really comment on the PvP, but the PvE feels familiar with, again, some interface choices used to make life easier. You can use the full overview, for example, or you could use the easy lock all button to pick several of the targets on grid and go to town with your “cannons” as the game describes them. From there it’s the dance we all know of DPS output, capacitor, and keeping your own tank up with a shield booster or armour rep. I enjoy it as I’ve already said; it’s like being a newbro again!
As I said at the beginning of this article, I wanted to throw my thoughts at a wall and see what sticks. If I were to produce a proper Echoes review then I’d certainly want to spend more time than the paltry 3-4 hours I already have done in-game. Brendan Drain of MassivelyOP wrote up a nice piece on the beta back in December which I feel is worth a read so go check that out. Come back to me and some point and I may or may not have a full Echoes review. Schrödinger’s review, I guess?
As a sidenote, if anyone wants me to join their corp in Echoes then hit me up 😉
The State of Wormholes 2020
As a wormholer for many years I also probably should say something about the state of things in 2020. We’ve had an… interesting ride recently. As a disclaimer, I am not a member of Lazerhawks or Hard Knocks (any more) and as such I am not a part of that circlejerk club. In fact, I’m pretty sure I’m hated by most of the “elite” wormholers and that’s pretty fine with me. They even stripped my wormholer tag on the Praise Bob discord after evicting me. Talk about petty.
So starting off with the rolling changes. Players outside of wormhole space may not have been sure what the true impact of this was. What CCP did was fix a age-old bug which was allowing players to put more mass on a hole than they should. You could jump 300kT mass hole a 299kT ship then post-jump activate your MWD and put “too much” mass onto a hole. This was particularly useful in rolling frigate holes with heavy interdiction cruisers. You could time the mass entanglers to go through “small” and end up actually putting 130kT mass onto a hole which normally won’t accept anything larger than a destroyer.
Without the trick above many have said that frig holes would ruin the wormhole experience entirely, making hole control completely impossible. Oh no, the horror of someone fighting back through a frig hole! Unsurprisingly, this didn’t have a huge impact and basically what I thought would happen did happen. Frig holes can be used offensively or defensively and make for a bit of a different approach to evictions wherein either side can gather reinforcements if they have control of the connecting system. Good hole control should not be the only factor in an eviction. It’s not a fun game mechanic, it’s a question of “do you have unemployed people in EUTZ and a few Australians?”
The other major point of contention in wormhole space has been the state of brawling in general. It has just always been “a thing” in wormhole space. People show up on your doorstep and you both undock fleets to fight because it’s fun, not because there’s some objective to fight over. There has been some fear over brawling being dead and buried and well, I can’t really speak for high-class space any more but I’ve been getting plenty of fights in C4 space and below. People are still completely up for fighting if you show up with a fleet.
I think the problem here is that some people were upset about the loss of their specific meta. They had checklists, dozens of fits, the whole shebang. These days things have changed. Leshaks and Ikitursas can now ramp-up on individual targets and EHP has been reduced across the board. Whichever way you look at it, fights are a lot bloodier now than they used to be and that’s just fine. Triglavian ships can be countered with ECM, tracking disruptors, or neuts. You can get around the resist issue by not caring and flying cheap or by blinging your ships too much.
So is heavy armour brawling dead? It is if you want it to be and if you expect the meta to never change. If you work with it and update your mindset for #currentYear then everything is fine. It probably also wouldn’t help to evict PvP corps in wormhole space but what am I gonna say huh. Maybe that will bring 100 Lokis back to say hello again.
Wormhole space overall is fine. We could do with some more pilots in space and we could do with a rebalance of some PvE content, but I’m happy as is. If you want to dip your toes in then my corp, Foxholers, is an option. If not then have a read of my recent-ish article on why we live in wormhole space in the first place.
There are a few other things to say. Metaliminal Storms, for one, look amazing. They’re like a wormhole effect but fancier and available out in nullsec. I am somewhat concerned about the effect of the anti-RR weather, but I can only speculate. My thought is that we won’t get the solo PvP and we won’t get any response fleet at all. Directors will instead tell their members “there is anti-FAX weather, you need to dock up and log off” and all the poor saps in null corps will agree. That’s not a CCP problem though, it’s just human nature to be afraid of risks.
Other than that, there are some pretty interesting looking effects there. A plasma firestorm, for example, will provide higher total weapon damage while reducing application. This is exactly what people want from the most popular wormhole farms, buffing ISK/hr by about as much as the weapon damage buff. Combined with increased site spawns, this is pretty damn great as far as krabbing goes. As I’ve always said, that should be great for hunting too. Don’t let me down, krabs.
And then there’s the Edencom shipline. I dunno about these. Really. Even if the frigate is named after the Skybreakers, I can’t make them perform well. The application is shockingly bad and they seem to only be useful en masse against a balled-up fleet. And then you still need 50+ to have a significant effect. We’re going to have to wait and see if any null FCs utilise them as a mainline doctrine, but I wouldn’t hold out much hope for that. The unique benefits provided by the Vorton weapon systems could be replicated with split weapons and/or split FC target calling when you have enough alpha.
So that’s why I haven’t written about them yet. I’m waiting to see if CCP will rebalance them in some way to make them at the very least more accessible. Give me a super alpha based long cooldown weapon! That will be the exact opposite of a Triglavian fleet and makes sense in a Yin-Yang kind of way. A girl can dream at least.
To finish this article off I will share one fit that I created for the Thunderchild and it isn’t what you’d expect. I quite like the idea of using one as a fancy ECM ship in a wormhole heavy armour fight. It’s like having a Scorpion but not really as good 😛
In all seriousness, this isn’t great because the weapon is generally bad and the jams are unbonused. It’s just a unique way of using all those lovely mid slots!
[Thunderchild, ArmouryMcArmourface] Damage Control II Imperial Navy Multispectrum Energized Membrane Imperial Navy 1600mm Steel Plates Imperial Navy 1600mm Steel Plates Reactive Armor Hardener Heavy Capacitor Booster II Radar ECM II Radar ECM II Sensor Booster II Radar ECM II Radar ECM II 500MN Quad LiF Restrained Microwarpdrive Large Vorton Projector II 'Lance' Medium EMP Smartbomb I Large Explosive Armor Reinforcer I Large Explosive Armor Reinforcer I Large Kinetic Armor Reinforcer I Navy Cap Booster 800 x32
Yes I know you could use Nosferatus and gain additional mid slots.