Dear players,
We have been working on Hotfix Echo, and here are the things that you should expect to arrive to Tranquility today after the downtime (11:00 UTC). Some of them may have been less in the spotlight than others, but we believe these all reflect the will of the community and are for the greater good of the game. Many of these changes are supported by a multitude of spreadsheets made by many individual community contributors, such as; starter fittings, AV, HAV slot progression, turret statistics and so on. So let us proceed, and know that I am going to elaborate on a few topics, and end on the new vehicles, to make sure no one leaves early to yell angrily about stuff.
Detailed numbers are of course in a spreadsheet, available here.
Starter Loadouts

As part of our never-ending quest to keep our new players happy and playing, we completely revamped the Starter Fits. They have all been given 3 slots, 2/1 or 1/2 arrangements, and faction themed modules and weapons. By playing regularly in the Academy, we have specifically noticed the alarming lack of uplinks, and have therefore added them to Frontline loadouts. We have also added a repair tool to the Medic loadout as the primary equipment.
We also want new players to have counters to all threats, so have added the Shield AV fit with a plasma cannon (versus Armor AV using the swarm launcher), while both Anti-Vehicle starter fits have been given AV grenades, that by the way have been increased to 3 carried instead of 2, and nano-hives to replenish those weapons.
Finally, in a sweeping change, we are removing the Sniper loadout, and replacing it with the Recon loadout. The Sniper has proven to be far too passive as a role for new players, and we want to encourage them to get into the thick of it. The Recon loadout is focused on getting quickly and silently into position, hacking and establishing a frontal base of operations.
Basic Medium Frames

After making the Starter loadouts better, we ran into the issue of PG/CPU capacity. The situation was tricky because Militia and Standard Basic Frames were not in parity, and we wanted to simplify fitting so that all starter fits had the same PG/CPU capacity. However, we also had an old issue we could fix at the same time, Basic Medium Frames have been underpowered for a while and the solution was simple. Massively increase and equalize all Basic Medium Frame capacity, make them worth skilling up to Prototype, and give Militia Dropsuits a reduced, fixed % of Standard capacity. So that’s what we did. Coupled with the fact that we reduced the ISK cost of Basic Dropsuits in a recent hotfix, will hopefully make them viable choices for battle. To fine-tune the Starter loadouts, and increase parity of militia choices, we also made tweaks to the PG/CPU requirements of a few militia items as well.

We are going to reduce backpedal speed, to 85% of forward speed. There are three main reasons, 1) it’s silly to walk as fast backwards as forward, and not the case in common fps’s, 2) it’s too easy to kite an opponent at range, f.ex. tilting the favor to range over dps on rifles, 3) melee attacks are difficult to master, especially if you can’t catch up after your first swing.
Game Modes and Maps

As has been reported, we are changing the Research Facility socket to the Communications Outpost, for the relevant Planetary Conquest District Battles. This is a part of our mission to locate, fix and iterate on known issues for performance.
We are also removing, based on popular demand, consistency, and balance issues, all vehicles from Ambush OMS. Ambush will from now on be infantry only, a traditional Team Death Match mode.
Handheld Weapons

Heavy Machine Guns - Always a touchy subject, but by deep diving we see that the normal HMG is completely prevalent in Planetary Conquest, has a K/S ratio above what it acceptable, and renders short range rifles such as the Gallente Assault Rifle moot, something needed to be done. So we are reducing range on the HMG and Burst while keeping the the Assault HMG the highest range. We will also be reducing the ROF and increasing the damage on the Assault HMG, to make it a sort of an auto-cannon (with 75% efficiency against vehicles), that is able to interrupt shield recharge on LAVs, which is in turn being reduced from 102 to 40.
Assault Scrambler Rifles - Increased damage quite massively, it’s simply a weapon that is not performing adequately, anywhere. The reasoning for “breaking” the range vs dps curve, is the heat factor, which is a downside shared with the scrambler rifle, and likewise, with a downside, we warrant the upside in damage. Let’s see how it performs now.
Plasma Cannons - These are, as demonstrated by the community, the worst AV weapon currently, and outclassed by the Swarm Launcher. Increasing reload speed, dps or flight speed, would make it too good against infantry, so we just went with a solid 13% increase in damage across all tiers. This will be good for those Anti-Shield Starter loadouts.

Deployables - Simple, we have increased the carried amount of all deployable equipment by 3, since bandwidth has reduced individual spam of equipment, allowing simpler redistribution, sort of a chain of uplinks or hives from the start of the battle. We have, however, also a need to reduce the efficiency of drop uplinks, and are reducing the spawns per uplink by 50%. We have also reduced bandwidth of Proximity Explosives from 2 to 1.
Cloak Fields - Community raised the issue of cloak fields being very hard to fit on standard and advanced dropsuits so we decreased fitting costs on the STD and ADV versions.
Dropsuit Modules - Myofibril Stimulants simply increase strength and thereby melee damage. All right, said the community, why wouldn’t it make your legs stronger as well? So we just added that functionality to them and now you can jump higher by adding them to your loadouts, opening up a whole new tactical gameplay plus allowing sentinels to jump a few of those hamster height curbs they can’t cross now.

Small Turrets - In our efforts to make the Small Blaster turret the Anti-Infantry turret it is supposed to be, we have reduced dispersion considerably, and used the same mechanic that HMG has, which is inverse dispersion, the weapon becomes more accurate over time. Utilizing some of the new Vehicle modules, our hope is that the Small Blaster becomes a real threat on the battlefield.
Large Turrets - We made tweaks to make the Missile launcher ROF a little less, and increased heat build-up on Railguns. We reduced ROF on Blaster Turrets, while keeping DPS the same by increasing damage per projectile. That also makes sure that multi-hardened shield vehicles can be engaged, especially if utilizing the two new vehicle modules. We spent quite some time with the community on discussing Turrets, and are striving for solid balance between the three.
New Vehicle Modules

We are adding the following modules to increase flavor of vehicle loadouts. They are specifically picked to support playstyles that are currently at a disadvantage.
Shield Regulators - This module decreases both the normal recharge delay and the depleted recharge delay, exactly like the Dropsuit module. It should be a viable alternative to hybrid tanking on shield vehicles.
Active Heat Sink - This module actively reduces heat build-up and is added to increase sustained AV damage from Large Blasters, and to a certain degree Railguns.
Active Dispersion Stabilizers - This module will actively reduce dispersion growth, allowing more accurate fully-automatic fire. Now we are adding this to give options to Large Blasters, increasing the effective AV engagement range and also to allow windows of opportunity when engaging infantry. These should also benefit Missile Turrets.
Current Vehicle Modules - Instead of limiting hardeners to one per fitting, to limit the current meta of stacking them, we decided to simply increase fitting costs of advanced and prototype shield hardeners. We also found that armor hardeners were not viable, so increased their hardening bonus.
Light Assault Vehicles

These vehicles have been contentious for a long time, due to the ease of which they can zoom around with passengers (HMG sentinels) and deliver deadly payloads with remote explosives. In an effort to curb some of that, we have decided to lower effective hit points of both faction LAVs, the Saga and the Methana, considerably. However, we want to reward players who do invest in LAV skills and loadouts to be effective, so we increased fitting capacity as well. As mentioned before, the shield recharge threshold has been lowered, so small blasters and Assault HMG’s will be able to destroy a LAV fairly quickly which was not possible before. The final change was that we doubled scan distance, allowing LAV’s to better at recon.
Heavy Attack Vehicles

Our primary task was threefold; 1) make the ‘Madrugar’ viable, 2) add progression to HAVs to reward skill point investment, and 3) not break the game while doing it. We are not exaggerating when we say that this initiative has been the longest and most discussed topic in years. That said, we are really happy with the process, especially with our first time of using a community developed web tool to theorycraft and test the designs before implementation. Overall, we think we have accomplished 1) and 2), and we will see about 3) once the changes are live. We hope that our small AV buffs, and new Starter AV loadouts will counter the increased power of HAVs. On to the changes:
The ‘Madrugar’ - We took our time to do this well, and used a similar process to what was done with sentinel and assault dropsuits a few hotfixes ago. We created one (the same) loadout of the new slot layout for each tier, using standard, advanced and prototype gear in each tier, all at max skills. That underlines our goal of prototype dropsuits/vehicles being able to have a “full proto” loadout with maximum skills, albeit not at every combination of prototype gear, because sometimes a player needs to make certain sacrifices. This resulted in what we believe are to be balanced hulls, the ‘Madrugar’ and the ‘Gunnlogi’.

We added the staple of G-I, G/1 and Gv.0 to make the standard, advanced and prototype progression clear to players while power progression is solely through additional fitting capacity per tier. Adding modules has been proven to add too much disparity and imbalance between tiers. However, we did add 2 slots to both faction hulls so the ‘Madrugar’ has a new slot layout of 3/4 instead of 2/3, and the ’Gunnlogi’ 5/2 from 3/2. This will further allow more loadout versatility, at the cost of native hit points that were reduced, reduced shield recharge and introducing a small native armor repair so players are not forced to fit armor repairers to replenish their armor. Another big change is that we are making small turrets mandatory on the HAV, to further underline the HAV role of main battle tank where players can jump into small turrets and utilize the firepower of the HAV.
The ‘Marduk’ and the ‘Gladius’

We are calling this version the Specialized (or more commonly the Solo) HAV. The Gallente ‘Marduk’ and Caldari ‘Gladius’ have no small turrets, and reduced fitting capacity compared to the HAV. This is primarily a balancing act to allow players that want to fit small turrets to do so properly on HAVs, and not give “free” capacity to players that simply don’t put small turrets on their HAVs. These vehicles will also have the same tiered progression and slot layout as HAVs.
That’s it for now, and we hope that you will enjoy Hotfix Echo coming to Warlords 1.0 later today, at 11:00 UTC.

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