In a game this crazy, the patch notes are just insane!
EVE Online is one tough cookie to crack. Sure, it's a massively multiplayer online game. It's also one part space-faring strategy game, business simulator, and space-pirate dream fantasy as well. Much of the game is filled with people that developer CCP willingly allows to fly around, looting, pillaging, and just outright killing players. Despite the outcry of many in the non-pirate EVE community, CCP refuses to do much to stop it aside from protecting some of the rookie areas so new players aren't driven away.
There has always been a system for players to reward others for hunting down such criminals -- some would even call it a "bounty hunting" system. It was never utilized as such though, and became more of a ranking system for the outlaws. On Tuesday, CCP released a patch to overhaul bounty hunting, seemingly making it into a more profitable endeavor.
Now bounties can be put on single players, as well as on corporations and alliances as a whole, and can be done at any time, as opposed to just when in a station. The way it pays out has changed as well, now reflecting how damaged the target was. In addition, the game will be doing more to highlight successful bounty hunts, such as aggregating a "top hunters" list, as well as reflecting paid bounties in kill reports.
All in all, the changes seem to reflect a new notion of continuously hunting after a target, whereas before, it would be an all-or-nothing endeavor. The patch that brings these changes also introduces some updates to the targeting user interface, including a new "safety switch" for the guns on your ship. There are also tweaks for existing ships stats, as well as four new ships, and a nifty new "Wanted" banner for outlaws with bounties on them. All of the changes can be read about in the lengthy patch notes for those who are interested.
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