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Published February 3, 2013

Everyone raise hell, they're two days later than they said they'd deliver it!

Yeah, just kidding. Instead, read the patch notes, found in full here. Alternatively, read on for highlights and commentary.

Infantry

Spamming "spot" will now place your ability on cooldown. Additionally, you have to be closer to the target at 30+ meters to spot at all, and closer to the center to actually get a nameplate. That ought to add a lot of value to having appropriate camo for an area, especially in longer range fights. Conveniently enough, SOE also introduced several new continent-specific camo patterns, along with classic decals.

The SMGs for each faction are in, usable by everyone but MAX. Several infantry weapons were tuned as well. Perhaps the most interesting change is a nice buff to all shotguns - less vertical recoil, less accuracy loss per shot, and more favorable damage falloff. They're good for full damage out to 8m now, with falloff ending at 20m, up from 5m-15m. Underbarrel grenade launchers got tuned as well - they've now got a 10m minimum range that they must travel before arming, and while the internal radius damage is higher (1250, up from 1125), the both the internal and external blast radii were reduced. All told, they're forced into more of a mid to long range pinpoint weapon role. Frag and Sticky grenades got a bit of a nerf too, with a meter chopped off their external explosion radius as well... all part of SOE's ongoing efforts to try to keep grenade spam under control, I'd assume.

The Jackhammer is the first Heavy Weapon to get some love. It got the same treatment as all the other shotguns, just moreso; vertical recoil down to 1.2 per shot and falloff range starting at 12m and extending out to 30m. Other buffs include reduced pellet spread, increased projectile speed, significant buffs to accuracy and increased iron sight movement speed. Overall it reads like SOE is trying to define its role as a heavy shotgun capable of sustained 'longer' range fire. I haven't gotten a chance to give it a try, so I can't say if it's worth using yet or not. Personally I'd like to see something to further differentiate it from regular shotguns, the way that the Lasher is definitely a different type of weapon from the normal heavy arsenal. Something like explosive or flechette rounds (penetrate the target and keep going?) would be interesting.

Finally, the long awaited invulnerability period on spawn, plus an unexpected but nice bonus: autorun for infantry.

Vehicle Tweaks

The big news here are tweaks to the MBTs, which seem like an attempt to more distinctly define their roles... or in the case of the Magrider, tone that role back some! While VS players apparently complained enough to prevent the hover height bonuses from performance upgrades from being nerfed, for now, the Magrider's hill climbing capabilities were still hit. The patch notes characterize this nerf as "adjustments so that combining strafe and forward velocity no longer provides an advantage to hill climbing." From what I hear, this manifests itself as a cap of about 25 KPH while strafing, which sounds like a bit of a nerf to survivability as well. The Saron HRB also got a nerf to its projectile speed, though it still has no drop.

As to the other factions, the Vanguard was adjusted to a more focused Anti-Tank role, with buffed side and top armor, an increased projectile speed for the HEAT and AP cannons, and buffs for the anti-tank secondary weapons. Meanwhile, the Prowler got buffs to its own HEAT and AP weapons as well as a projectile speed buff when in Anchored Mode, and the G30 Vulcan was adjusted to smooth out its damage output. It now has higher minimum damage and lower maximum (close range) damage; according to the notes, it still retains the highest close-range TTK by a large margin, so don't get cocky around it.

Topping things off, the M20 and M40 series of weapons got some buffs, while the Liberator's CAS30 Tank Buster got nerfed.

All The Rest

Alpha Squad members will be happy to know that the Alpha Squad boost is now a 50% increase to resources and XP and so actually worth using compared to the normal boosts.

A whole host of XP refinements are in. Tiered kill XP is supposed to discourage spawn camping. Sunderers are worth more XP, and XP-on-damage is now in for G2A weapons; apply "a fair amount" of damage to air vehicles while not in an air vehicle yourself, and get 20 XP.

Facilities got their updates. Spawn rooms are more defensible, and the tower layout has been adjusted to reduce its campability as well. Amp Stations and Tech Plants now have their tunnels. Additionally, all Amp Stations as well as Saurva and Andvari have faction-specific jump pads, only usable by the facility owners. All biolabs have more cover at the landing platforms, and finally, warpgate ownership on all three continents was rotated. It's not clear whether future rotations will be automatic, though.

There are a whole host of other UI updates, bug fixes, and other tweaks, so get ingame and check it all out!

Mynnna
Seven year veteran & economics guru of EVE Online as well as CSM 8 representative. On the side I play PS2, WOT and Hearthstone.

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