EVE Online has been shaking up the space-faring MMO the last few years, with addressing new player concerns, increasing update frequency and trying to bring even more risk and reward back into New Eden. This latest update addresses one of the more interesting facets of gameplay: Covert Ops.
The upcoming Black Ops update is hitting the test server, Singularity, right now, giving players the chance to check out the changes to the ships and gamplay balancing coming to the Black and Covert Ops ships in EVE Online. One major change are jump groups, which will see changes to how Black Ops ships can enter the fray when getting the jump on someone, especially in a group.
A defining feature of the Black Ops ships is the ability to warp fleets to a spot using the Covert Jump Portal Generator. However, it doesn't allow the Black Ops ship to go with them. CCP notes that because of this, it has turned these ships into more of a taxi service, relegating them to simply a "support and travel tool."
"Black Ops battleships are Tech II ships with their own built-in jump drives, allowing them to launch surprise attacks on unsuspecting foes through a Covert Cynosural Field. The current design also allows them to use Covert Jump Portal Generator to bridge covert ops fleet members through instead of jumping themselves. This has had the unfortunate side effect of relegating the ultimate covert battleship to a support and travel tool."
As such, Black Ops ships will now be able to do so thanks to a new ability being built into the generator. CCP says that ships will be able to join their fleet mates acting as a "passenger" on the jump. CCP states that this will allow the Black Ops pilot to "jump onto the front lines faster to join the fleet in a covert ambush."
Ships themselves are being rebalanced as well, recieving damage buffs and more. One major boon is moving the cloak speed velocity bonus to a ship role, seeing Black Ops ships get a 650% max velocity bonus whilst cloaked. Exploration Covert Ops ships are also getting some love, seeing the class modernized to fit its role as a scouting ship for many fleets. Covert Ops ships will get a reduced capcitor draw when starting to warp, and the Helios and Cheetah will get a cloaked velocity bonus. The Anathema and Buzzard, meanwhile, will see their scanning abilities bolstered.
CCP states these changes are meant to make these expensive and often in the shadows ships more capable and intriguing to use in combat. The update has hit Singularity for testing, though no timetable was set for when players on EVE Online's live server Tranquility will see the update hit.