Tornado reports are coming in from New Eden

Even before Crucible was released, players had been speculating, how the new expansion is going to affect suicide ganking. This is a form of PVP, which many players flying around high sec forget about. New players quickly learn, that CONCORD does not guarantee protection – it merely discourages PVP in high sec, but does not eliminate it. New players can read more about ganking and PVP here.

Let’s have a look at two Crucible features, which affect this form of high-sec PVP:

  • SCC will not pay out insurance if ship was destroyed by CONCORD
  • Tier 3 battlecruisers, which feature unprecedented firepower at an affordable price

Insurance changes

The first feature on our list looks like a good thing for hi-sec dwellers, which is supposed to increase ganking cost. Does it really discourage gankers? Not at all. It only increases the break-even point, at which cost of the ship lost to CONCORD can be equalized by the loot from the ganked ship. So if you fly a deadspace/officer fitted Marauder class ship, you are still prone to being ganked. Same with goods-filled freighters and Orcas: as long as the value of your cargo is higher than half the total cost of ships required to destroy yours, pirates will consider you a valid target.

Of course piracy is not the only reason pilots gank each other, because some will do it for fun or any other reason that comes to their mind (boredom being also one of the possible reasons). “Never fly what you can’t afford to lose” applies not only to null and low sec, but hi sec as well.

New battlecruisers

The new Tier-3 battlecruisers seem to be a perfect tool for gankers: they are cheap, huge damage ships, that easily take out ships many times their size. Due to extremely powerful alpha (above 9100 volley damage with Republic Fleet EMP rounds), Artillery fitted Tornadoes are the best ships for this job. They are basically oversized Thrashers, capable of delivering a devastating blow to any ship in range. Three arty Tornadoes can wipe out an officer-fitted Golem.

According to @CCP Diagoras705 tier-3 battlecruisers have been lost to CONCORD and sentries so far, of which 621 were Tornados.

Ganking is easier after Crucible

With the two changes in place I can’t say high sec is a safer place, than it was pre-Crucible. It is the same, or even less safe now than it used to be. This of course is good for both the economy and to the game, so…

Fly safe!

EVE Online tier-3 battlecruisers wallpapers

…& more!

The new tier-3 battlecruisers are still not yet ready on Singularity (they are not even textured yet), but it doesn’t stop me ( 🙂 ) from creating wallpapers based on the entries to the Create a Starship contest run by the CCP and the one run by CCP together with Deviant Art.

Both ships will be coming to your hangar soon in EVE Online: Crucible, also known as “The Winter Expansion“.

EDIT: According to the forums, the new Singularity build already has Tier 3 BC textures, so expect new wallpapers really soon!

EDIT II: The official EVE Online: Crucible wallpapers have been released. Check them out if you like the new nebulae.

The first is the Minmatar Tornado:

Minmatar Tornado wallpaper
Minmatar Tornado wallpaper

The original Tornado artwork is here
(all credit goes to its creator, =dreamwa1ker)

The second is the Amarrian Oracle (original name Mentor):

Amarr Oracle wallpaper
Amarr Oracle wallpaper

Look for the Mentor original artwork here
(all credit goes to its creator, Alexey M)

New Nebulae

If you don’t feel like having a ship on your desktop, you might always like the new nebulae:


Close up on the Talos (edited)

Textured Talos model on Singularity
Textured Talos model on Singularity

I had some more free time recently, and spent most of it playing with Winter Expansion features and ships on Singularity. One of the tests involved the new gallente Tier-3 battlecruiser, the Talos. It is truly an amazing source of DPS, not only in the battlecruiser class, but also scores high in the battleship world as well. But lets get down to numbers:

Talos sports 8 high slots and 8 turret hardpoints, 4 med and 5 low slots. Ships core generates 1100 MW of power (1375 with skills included) and 360 tf of CPU (450 with skills). The bonus list allows Talos to fit battleship size turrets:

  • 5% damage to Large Hybrid turrets per level
  • 7,5% tracking to Large Hybrid turrets per level

Role bonuses:

  • 95% reduction in the PG need of Large Hybrid turrets
  • 50% reduction in the CPU need of Large Hybrid turrets
  • 50% reduction in the capacitor usage of Large Hybrids

Unfortunately the HP is rather unimpressive:

  • 2111 shield
  • 2272 armor

So this ship will either become a sniper or close-range gank damage dealer. The sniper scenario would include 8x 425mm Railgun IIs, 3x Magnetic Field Stabilizers, Damage Control Unit II and some plating. Med slots can include tracking computers and EW mods. Unfortunately even after rebalancing, rails still lack both the range and the alpha of Artillery. So a sniper Talos is not the best way to use this ship.

First thought was to make it a gank machine

Close range fit would swap rails with 8x Neutron Blaster Cannon II, 3x Mag stabs stay where they are, DCU II and 800mm rolled tungsten will complete the low slot rack. Med slots would be swapped with 10MN MWD II, Web and Point. Since my CPU was almost gone at this point, I have chosen to put a Sensor Booster with Resolution script in the last med slot. This is a typical gank fit, dishing out 855 DPS with just regular Antimatter L rounds. This is one hell of a lot for a BC. Unfortunately, this fit does not offer much in terms of protection: only 15k EHP with 3x medium trimarks. Swapping neutrons with electrons and fitting 1600mm plates will reduce the DPS output, but will also give more EHP. Still, this makes Talos a glass cannon. Swapping Mag Stabs with EANMs II is another way to improve the defense, but will also further reduce its amazing DPS potential.

EDIT: Due to Tier 3 BCs lack of tank, their PVP use would be a fast, ranged DPS

This approach requires long range cannons – in this case Railguns, which also received a 10% damage buff in Crucible.

With 8x 425mm Railgun IIs in highs, a 10MN MWD II and 3x Magnetic Field Stabilizers II in lows we have a possibility to keep the distance, while Tracking Disruptors or Sensor Dampeners keep the enemies from shooting. Adding 2x Nanofiber Internal Structure IIs allows Talos to fly 325m/s with no speed mods on! With 10MN MWD it easily tops 1900 m/s or 700 m/s with AB. It’s small signature (200 m) would suggest it’s better to use Afterburner. Distance and speed seem to be the way to go.

Talos has a 7,5% tracking bonus per level, which greatly helps its 425mm rails hitting their target. Unfortunately, it is not the best sniper:

  • Faction Antimatter L – 36 km – 700,3 DPS
  • Javelin L – 18 km – 710,4 DPS
  • Spike L – 129 km – 405,9 DPS (requires sensor booster)

Additionally, Talos can use 5 small drones (25 m3 dronebay and 25 mbit bandwidth), which can help fending off frigates.


EVE Online: Crucible Status Update

EDIT: For winter 2012 expansion, visit this post.

It seems that the words of the CEO of CCP are slowly taking shape in the form of the new Winter Expansion. Dev blogs and video dev blogs are being released almost every day, and so are the updates on Singularity. Let’s sum up what was said and what is already there:

CCP promises

Current Status

dev blogs/video dev blogs/sisi

Hybrid weapons balancing
Less CPU, less PG, less cap, 20% tracking to blasters, 10% damage to railguns, 5 seconds reload instead of 10 seconds. See dev blog here, feedback thread here
Factional warfare
LP can be used to buy Customs Office Gantry BPC, There is a discussion in the playerbase about removing Faction NPCs from high sec.
Assault ships
re-scheduled until after Crucible
Capital ship balancing
See dev blog here, feedback thread here
New T2 modules
Siege Module IISiege module II, Triage module II, Bomb Launcher II, Warp Disruption Field Generator II, Warfare links II, Expanded/Core Probe Launcher II, MAPC II, Drone upgrades II – see screenshot and a feedback thread here
Starbase logistics management

  • Fuel Blocks – four racial type of Fuel pellets instead of the current model. See dev-blog here.
  • Decreased anchor/unanchor and online/offline times for most structures.
  • Removed the need to enter password when using Jump Bridges.
New EWAR-Drones
no info yet
T2 Rigs manufacturing
Magnetometric sites value incresed, will now spawn T2 rig BPCs and more rig components
Ship spinning
New font
already on Singularity. See my post here and dev blog here.
More captains quarters
already on Singularity. See dev blog here.
Time dilation
See dev blogs here and here.
CCP_Soundwave video dev blog
  • Logistic ships (Oneiros +200 PG, -1 med +1 low)
  • Destroyers (10% to HP/25% to cap, signature reduced by 25%, RoF penalty removed)
  • Dramiel nerf – reduced scan resolution, velocity, CPU and powergrid output, gaining mass.
    “and if you fly Dramiel… train something else”
  • Bumped up value of exploration sites (but not their distribution)
  • Corp bookmarks (and possible alliance bookmarks in future)
“This is not a final list”
  • New tier-3 battlecruisers: Talos, Tornado, Naga, Oracle
  • Updated ship shaders (V3): faction/t2 corp logos
  • Updated ship models: Raven & Phobos see more Raven and Navy Raven screens in this post
     New Phobos model
  • New nebulae – my post, dev blog
  • Better shadows shader – see this dev blog
  • Crash logs auto upload
  • New Cyno effectscreenshot and video
  • New Jump Drive effect – screenshot and new video
  • Player-owned Customs Offices in low and null sec (including WH)
    • High sec CO will be owned by CONCORD,
    • low sec and null sec CO will be owned by Interbus and will be destructible (no standing loss against InterBus)

    BPC prices:

    • Faction Warfare LP store: 3000 LP + 10.000.000 ISK
    • CONCORD LP store: 6000 LP + 20.000.000 ISK
  • Implants will be listed on killmails
  • “Loot all” button
  • Missed hits now really missvideo
  • Remote “jump” and “dock”: you can now click jump or dock at any distance. Your ship will warp to 0 and do as ordered.
  • New UI for autopilot. Autopilot will warp to stations as well. – screenshot
  • SiSi launcher evolved into EVE Launcher – see this dev-blog
  • It is now possible to drag fitting from Fiting Browser window to market Quickbar
  • New map view – smoother, more readable, anti-aliased:
  • Drones will now attempt to return to drone bay automatically if EVE client gets disconnected. See feedback thread here.
  • New DED 3/10 and 4/10 complexes
  • Exploration sites will despawn automatically even if still occupied by players
  • Magnetometric sites value increased – will now spawn t2 rigs BPCs
  • Anomaly value increased: more rats, more bosses, more deadspace mods
  • Dungeon pop-ups can now be minimized for later reading
  • Session change timer shaved from 30 to 20 seconds
  • Engine trails – they made it in the winter expansion after all
  • New warp tunnel effect – cinematic grade sci-fi effect!
    “full screen procedural chromatic and geometric distortion”
  • Tier 3 ships now have shaders (Tornado is still not ready yet)
  • Nearby stars are visible on the sky now + jump gates have been aligned so they face the destination star.
  • Naga has lost its Siege Launchers – it has become a Rokh-like gunboat


  • Booster Changes Slightly weaker than before, but without the side effects.
  • Increased Player Ship Salvage 
  • More Bandwidth for PI links
  • Log Off Timer Change – logoffski is not a valid survival tactic anymore
  • Per-Ship Orbit – Orbit distances will now be stored based on ship types. Game will remember your default orbit range for each ship type!
  • Autopan on Hover Removed – Accidentally hovering over a target no longer causes the camera to automatically pan over to it.
  • Remote Unrent Office – No need to fly to a station to close a corp office.
  • Fitting List Limit Raised – Store up to 100 personal/200 corporation ship fittings
  • Blueprint type in Killmails – killmails now contain information if the destroyed blueprint was original or not.
  • Click and drag to select multiple items in inventory containers.
  • Neocom Blink Toggle – You can now disable the blinking NeoCom icons
  • Corp Chat MotD – Corp, Alliance and Fleet channels can now have a Message of the Day.
  • Scan Signature Filter – Cosmic signatures can now be filtered by type, allowing players to easily sort cosmic signatures in the scanner results.
  • Skill Training Highlight – The skill currently in training will be highlighted light blue in the Skill Queue
  • Re-arranging targets – it is now possible to rearrange the targeted items

The new ship shaders remind me of the Trinity expansion back in 2007. As long as the poly models haven’t been touched (except for Raven and Phobos), the texture quality has been improved greatly. In one of the video dev blogs, CCP Basement Ben said that ships are now being “vee-threed”, which I understand as another iteration upon Trinity (which would be the V2) and original artwork (V1 in this example). First visible difference is the detail level (thanks to new PGS shaders – textures are the same size, but their map composition is different – see my post about PGS shaders and Scorpion model evolution here). Additional effect of the new shader is the ability to place custom decals on ships – most Gallente and Caldari models now bear either a faction logo (for T1) or R&D corporation logo (T2). Screenshots say it all:

Gila with Guristas logo Arazu with Duvolle Labs logo Navy Mega with Gallente Federation badge Rattlesnake with Guristas logo Helios with CreoDron logo Ishtar with CreoDron logo Worm with Guristas badge Ares with Roden Shipyards logo Taranis with Duvolle Labs logo

The new nebulae look really cool and much more detailed, but some regions still need some work: for example Essence looks unfinished – there is only one cloud taking a quarter of the sky, and the rest is basically empty (black). Genesis is much better though:

Beautiful nebulae in Genesis region 1 Beautiful nebulae in Genesis region 2 Half-empty sky in Essence region   

New Phobos modelThere is some cosmetic changes as well: turret icons have been reverted to the custom drawn ones, which are much easier to distinguish (and take less time to load). Another change has been done to the Phobos, which now has visible large Warp Disruption Field Generators (they spin!). When we talk about HIC’s, it’s worth to mention, that WDFG has received a Tech II counterpart, which has 36km range.

I have almost forgotten about the BPOs for the new tier-3 battlecruisers: these are already available on SiSi, so all industry moguls can already start planning their mineral supply chains.

Overall impression of the development is rather good. CCP is doing lots of necessary improvements, but in a very tight timeframe (most of these changes should have been done during the past two years, not months). I am a bit afraid that pushing so many things at once will most likely result in a higher amount of bugs. Also the balance changes will surely cause a lot of discussion, especially the Supercarrier nerf.

PS. I think CCP_Soundwave summed it all up perfectly: Winter Expansion “is gonna be exciting for spaceships… If you like spaceships. If you don’t like spaceships, you’re gonna be a little disappointed”

Blueprints for the Tier 3 BCsEDIT: I have calculated the tier-3 battlecruisers build price at ME 0 (for researched BPOs it will be about 10% less). Clearly, the Talos is out of line, being almost as expensive to build as the Dominix.

BPO Build Price
Talos (ME 0) 52 747 405,11
Tornado (ME 0) 41 597 934,74
Naga (ME 0) 47 949 742,59
Oracle (ME 0) 47 386 315,47

EDIT 2: The Winter Expansion name is “Crucible” source: