The newest patch for EVE Online is up today, and it brings incremental changes to gameplay, some welcome interface tweaks, better corporation recruitment, and a continuation of the complete overhaul to skill training for ship progression.
Pilots will now need to train in race-specific skills for destroyers and battleships, but they won't need to train the skills as high to pilot them, making it easier for new pilots to get battlecruisers or destroyers but harder to fly these ship classes using multiple races. On top of this change, there are adjustments to other ship requirements as well.
(Old skill tree)
A new dueling system has been added that will allow players in high-security space to fight each other without outside interference. Any player can send a challenge to another player in the same location, and if the confronted player accepts, they have five minutes to shoot the crap out of each other without the fear of being flagged as outlaws. If another player decides to get involved with the fight, they will face the normal consequences of being flagged as suspect, which means anyone can destroy them legally.
The "user interface widgets that fight to conquer the screen real estate next to the Neocom" have been given a proper name as "info panels." I never really thought about them having a proper name, but I guess they have always just been this thing on my screen that didn't need a name. The important thing about the info panels is that they have been overhauled to all work in the same way with an easy-to-use interface.
They can be minimized, compacted, or left fully open with all information fully visible, and the cool part is that when you change what you're doing on the main screen; the configuration for the info panels will remember the last configuration on that screen and change with you. This constant and easily configurable flow of information is a huge time-saver.
Another neat little addition is showing your auto-pilot route in space. Nearby stars in your route are lit up, and a colored line connects them showing you where you'll be going. The stars in the distance have always represented actual star systems in the game, and this helps give a sense of location and place in EVE. It's easy to feel like you're just jumping from one little space bubble to another, and it's nice to have a better feeling of location and how the star systems relate to each other.
If you still want more info, you can read the full patch notes here. Keep flying, and maybe I'll see you around New Eden.
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