Tag Archive: Online


What if – Skill revamp (part two)


The reason why I published my old skill revamp post was partially because I have 6 more things on my draft board (duh!) and partially because CCP is finally at it – doing real work in skill maps.

And also because I found a nice post that fits in with my previous idea quite nicely so read these lines in this order:

  1. My old skill revamp post: https://lifeofzenith.wordpress.com/2013/07/06/what-if-part-two-skill-revamp/
  2. CCP’ idea of a redo: https://forums.eveonline.com/default.aspx?g=posts&m=3294790#post3294790
  3. This post: https://forums.eveonline.com/default.aspx?g=posts&m=3299772#post3299772 (wait, I’ll copy-paste it in here!)
Quote: tasman devil 

"I know I will be probably ignored but I just cannot let this go past without me saying my mind about it.The whole refurbishing of the skill groups sounds nice, but...
BUT!
Let us have a look at what my problems with this reorganisation is:
 Armours
 Shields
 Electronic Systems
 Engineering
 Ship Modifications
 Targeting
 Scanning
 Are all related to ships and ship fitting one way or another.
 Plus PI has already its own group, but now they will be a part of another skill group –read: they just dump PI into another group while at the same time clearly stating that they want every one of those groups to have a ground of their own – sounds either hypocrite or not really thought out for me, you’ll be the judge on that! :P
So what SHOULD we do?
 If you dig deep, really deep down there are three core elements of the skill sets:
 1: Productions one way or another (production/invention/exploration, etc)
 2: Ship commands one way or another (pvp/pve)
 3: Character managements one way or another (implants, leadership, /corp/ally management, etc.)
 So how can we benefit from this? - By enabling sub-categories to emerge!
 It is really not a difficult thing but would enable to have a logical build-up of skills:
Spaceship Command ALL T1 ship command skills
 ├ Advanced Spaceship Command (Tech 2 ship command skills)
 ├ Armour Management (Armour skills)
 ├ Drone Management (Drone skills)
 ├ Electronic Systems Management (CPU skills)
 ├ Electronic Warfare Management (EW / Anti-EW skills)
 ├ Engineering Management (PG skills)
 ├ Gunnery Management (Gunnery skills)
 ├ Missiles Management (Missile skills)
 ├ Navigation Management (Navigation skills)
 ├ Shield Management (Shield skills)
 ├ Ship Modifications (Rigs and T3 subsystems skills)
Pilot Enhancement (Clone skills)
 ├ Corporation Management (Corporation stuff (NO POS!))
 ├ Neural Enhancement (Implants and boosters)
 ├ Leadership Enhancement (Leadership skills)
 ├ Social Relations (Social skills)
Science (Generic Science skills)
 ├ Production (Manufacturing skills)
 ├ Research (Invention, hacking, salvaging)
 ├ Planetary and Personal Production (PI and POS skills)
 ├ Resource Processing (Reprocess)
 ├ Resource Harvesting (Mining)
 ├ Trade Management (Trade skills)
I try to clear the dust a little:
Ship Commands: Everything related to ships (read: skills that affect ship properties when trained), basic command and module enabling skills go into here (odd one out for example: bubbles as they require anchoring which will be in Science in this new order)
Pilot Enhancements: Everything related to having a better performing character and cross-character relations. Implants, boosters, corporations skills, social standing. (read everything that affects the CHARACTER and/or the player – and the player relations)
Science: Here goes everything related to acquiring stuff. (read: building stuff, erecting stuff (POS, Station), mining stuff, looting stuff, trading stuff etc).

This idea of breaking up the traditions and going with sub-categories like we have in pretty much everything else in EVE pretty much nails it for me. This would be a logical, clear and intuitive alternative to the jungle we have today.

Because I believe that EVE is complex enough in and of itself, we do not need to make it unnecessarily complex in areas that are because EVE’s real complexity comes from player-player interaction and not  old legacy stuff that was and is in the game because ‘it was always like this’.

Fly safe!

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Disclaimer: This post has been on the drawing board for a loooooong time, so I guess I'll 
just clean house now. Consider this wayback-machine, pre-sping cleaning 2012/06/14...
 and some more of this sort are on the way too.

With the DevBlog of rebalancing one ship at a time I had a bathroom idea last night:

Let’s rebalance the whole skill requirement-environment!

Right now a LOT of Tech 2 ships require exorbitant (in my opinion) amount of training, Heavy Interdictors and Command ships come into my mind as two stellar examples, just look at the Damnation:

Bloody hell!

I count no less than six (6) skills that have to be trained to LEVEL 5 in order to get into the bloody ship at the first place! Never mind piloting the damn thing!

Also the Tech 2 equipment requirements are pretty hard (anyone who wanted to train for Tech 2 large weapons will know what I mean), just take a look at the Tachyon Beam Laser II for reference and look at the large list of requirements.

So why is it like this? I mean: think about it, why train level 5 of any skill unless you want to maximise your potential?

With this question in my mind one clear goal emerges in front of my eyes: All Tech 2 items and advanced skills should have their requirements reduced to level 4.

This way, the layout would be simple, almost elegant. The barrier of entry would be lowered and people could get into ships faster than before (Bittervets crying? Shut up, its more meat for the grinder, isn’t it!?).

The overlaying theme then would mould into something like this:

  • Level 1: you know the skill, but you are a rookie (read Basic knowledge)
  • Level 2: you can now use most of the cheaper modules
  • Level 3: now we are getting somewhere (read Standard knowledge)
  • Level 4: you know your stuff (you are Advanced as you have train more than the average)
  • Level 5: you are adept (you are Elite if you will)

This should come across at the meta levels too:

  • Stuff that is meta level 2 or lower should have base requirements in skill: level 1
    -> No explanation needed I think, meta 0 stuff -> civilian stuff and therefore no skill is needed
  • Meta level 3 should need base skill level 2
    -> Meta 3 is a nice balance, between requirements and skills
  • Meta level 4 should have base skill level 3 needed
    -> you can basically fly and use every Tech 1 item, also Pirate/Faction ships and modules
  • Meta level 5 should have base skill level 4
    -> now you can use Tech 2 modules and ships
  • and consequently officer modules need base skill level5
    -> If you have the bucks to buy them you should have the skills to use them, period.

Certificates should mirror this change, by rearranging the basic, standard, advanced, elite for skill levels 1-3-4-5.

What would these changes enable?

This would enable a logical smooth sailing, instead of arbitraty WuT? and WeR? I mean:

EVE is a complex game in and of itself. And I love that. But the complexity of EVE does not need to be in the ‘book keeping’ section of the game (read: name convention, skills, etc.), it should be out there, between Player vs Player interaction.

Just my 2 cents.

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Fly safe, as always!

Asakai – A different perspective


UPDATE: Dev blogs are up about the event so please do scroll down and read below!

While reading about the battle that was fought I thought: Finally!  I always wanted to write something in or near layman’s terms so please bear with me, also this event is such a nice opportunity so I wanted to write a post about both. I know I am so yesterday.

But being ‘late‘ to write about things has its merits too: the dust settled; the smoke cleared; the killboards finally managed to take a deep breath and people have come down from the state of mind I call ‘bloodrage’. No, no WoW connection there for you, you opportunist little… 🙂

Speaking of opportunist, Riverini already has a T-shirt that goes with this:

Riverini's take on these matters, you opportunist little F... :-)

War is good for business I suppose.

The prelude for this battle was the long building tension between the two most powerful alliances in the game: Goonswarm and Test Alliance Please Ignore. Each holding up to and above 10.000 characters and that is not counting affiliates / allies. These two are the powerhouses of EVE right now. To understand how this came to be involves diving into the politics of 0.0 which are pretty similar to this:

Yep, that is about as accurate as it can get. 🙂

Joking aside, the Goonswarm Federation was born not in EVE but outside of it: somethingawful.com. I believe most of my readers know this site, they are among the older alliance in the game right now. With their old arch-enemy the BoB/IT flushed down the toilet (sorry), and a seemingly limitless potential of new recruits pouring into the game from the site they slowly came to be an entity that now holds more than a 100 systems and has influence through and through the game (look at picture, remember cinema, look back). Somewhere along the line TEST came to be in similar fashion but from a totally different site: reddit.com.

As luck would have it, these two entities became friends although the original sites hold some animosities against each other. By the end of 2012, together and with the help of Pandemic Legion they became the most influential groups, commanding somewhere around 25.000+ troops and still not counting allies. They began to manipulate the markets, bullied, bribed, stole and spied and did pretty much everything you don’t get banned right away. In the process the pissed off a lot of people.

Then came the OTEC and stagnation. With the majority of the most valuable moons firmly under their control they began to amass wealth unheard of (this pissed off even more people, mind you). While forcing every other alliance into submission by the numbers game known as The Blob. The Blob was dropped onto pretty much everything float (flew) and one by one territories and entities once hold like fortresses of old succumbed to this juggernaut.

And for a time it was good – for Goons actually. But money came into the picture. Eventually TEST wanted a bigger piece of the pie (hmm where have I seen that before?) and wanted more. Goons would not want them too and so tensions rose almost to the breaking point. In the last minute, the clash was averted, but the guns were only put below the table  not away.

So basically the table was set for something like this to come:

A still from the show:

More videos related:
http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=eve+online+asakai&oq=eve+online+asakai&gs_l=youtube.3…3953.20436.0.20644.27.21.5.1.1.0.402.3028.5j14j1j0j1.21.0…0.0…1ac.1.gc3vNIATGZ0

As the dust settled, and the smoke cleared, some things crossed my mind:

  • The scale – and therefore the still slumbering potential – of EVE is massive. No, really it is MASSIVE!
    Just think about it: most games tap themselves on the shoulder if they can get a 64vs64 battle together. In Eve Online 64vs64 is a SMALL engagement, not really newsworthy even. Even though I play this game for years it still amazes me.
  • War IS good for business, with stagnation and ‘blue-ball’ rampant in null-sec, this was a welcome refreshment for all parties involved.
  • EVE-Online’s back-end and staff are finally up to the task. Usually, fights like this happen on a reinforced node that has to be requested 24h prior to the engagement. And while this was just a regular node CCP’s employees jumped on to pull all the stops they could – and the node prevailed.
  • The amount (and the quality/price) of assets in player hands is staggering, which brings me to this picture:

  • Given current prices, my guesstimate is that about 487B ISK worth of assets were lost in this ONE fight. To make that clear to a (any) non-eve human: 487B ISK can easily buy you about 903 (and a half) PLEXes. A PLEX is 30 days of game time which has a direct relation to real money. Namely 2 PLEX is worth 35$ (34,9$ to be precise) So therefore:

This fight tallies at ~15.750$

Plus change.

  • This fight happened by a freak accident. While there are some reports of preparations on both sides, none of this would have made it to the front pages unless the recipe for the perfect storm was not ready. And it was ready:
  1. The titan fail-bridged – this stuff can happen as the label ‘jump’ and ‘bridge’ are right below each other, I’m told. This video demonstrates this fairly accurately (at 01:30) the sudden and unexpected turn this can have on battles. Sh*t happens, apparently.
  2. Some reinforcements were ‘on the ready’. While their firepower was not enough to pop the enemy fast (and allow both sides to call it a day, writing off losses) it was enough that given enough time this Titan would have died.  Therefore reinforcements were called in on both sides: one side to kill, the other to save the titan.
  3. Dabigredboat changed the mission to ‘rescue me!’ to ‘kill sh*t’ right in the middle of battle – balls of steel, eh? (Kudos on him for doing this, actually)
  4. With most of 0.0 in a strange state of stagnation (relatively speaking), ships and assets have been at the ready and plenty, with most major powerblock-players bored by the small skirmishes and having itchy fingers for something more, they were actually praying for something like this to happen.
  5. With the almost neutered tension between the two largest alliances in game that almost brought a virtual civil war – and many were hoping for that it did –  people were eager to settle old grudges.
  6. While the system was not in null, but in low security space it was in the perfect position. It is an easy to reach destination with only 9 jumps away for Jita, THE trade hub of EVE-Online.
  7. The activity low combined with both side’s grudges and allies standing by (and also eager for some blood) enabled that everyone  could throw in whatever they wanted.  And they did… 🙂

The rest is well documented history. Go browse through some of the links I’ve added below if you want to get a blurred picture of the clear view. 🙂

After everything is done and done for, one question remains:
Where is EVE heading?

With Goons an TEST quite nearly crashing into something pretty much similar to a civil war and EVE itself nearing a state (it is more a feeling than anything else I could point to) of pre-World War I, I only wonder where this will head. The current state of 0.0 with the dominance of CFC is only good for a few and while they get richer the barrier of entry of other entities to enter null rises with it. I hate to say it, but it this virtual world where stagnation is death  WAR. IS. GOOD. FOR BUSINESS.

I do hope some good will come out of this all

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UPDATE: official post about the undertaking: http://community.eveonline.com/devblog.asp?a=blog&nbid=74227

UPDATE #2: another official post about http://community.eveonline.com/devblog.asp?a=blog&nbid=74226

To read / References / Pictures taken from:

Reinforcement Request Forum post:
http://community.eveonline.com/ingameboard.asp?a=topic&threadID=940053

DOTLAN’s Asakai map stats of the fight:
http://evemaps.dotlan.net/system/Asakai/stats/2013-01-26:2013-01-28

Players blogging about the war that did not happened:
http://mabricksmumblings.blogspot.hu/2013/01/what-hell-happened-to-goonswarm.html
http://poeticstanziel.blogspot.ca/2013/01/test-alliance-vs-goonswarm-taming-of.html

The fight:
http://evenews24.com/2013/01/28/battle-report-video-super-sunday-kicks-off-a-week-earlier-as-the-biggest-eve-fight-in-years-explodes-in-asakai/
http://www.tor.com/blogs/2013/01/eve-online-2800-spaceships-clash-costing-over-thousands-of-dollars
http://jestertrek.blogspot.hu/2013/01/kill-of-week-overly-aggressive.html
http://mabricksmumblings.blogspot.hu/2013/01/my-question-is-answered.html

The fight in somewhat layman’s terms:
http://www.reddit.com/r/gaming/comments/17d2lv/massive_2800_player_battle_in_eve_online_took/c84hbfo

Fly safe!


Just a quick idea I wanted to get lose before posting something more interesting…

0.0 Sec is broken, the idea that CCP had was a good start but they did not reiterate on it, so its almost as good as the good old POS fights (remember those?) I just had a light-bulb light up in my head, so beware.

So what is (or better, what should be) 0.0? Quick re-cap:

  • A place where players can call their own
  • A place where players can organise themselves in whatever social structures they desire
  • A place where players can cultivate / form they surrounding to their own liking
  • A place where players can build their own empires
  • A place to hide out when needed

Let us expand these:

  1. A place where players can call their own
    Pretty straight forward or is it?
  2. A place where players can organise themselves into whatever social structures they desire
    Social structures… Today the de-facto standard is that alliances are the way to go. Coalitions are just there on a word-to-word basis. Let us say we add that fourth player to the mix: Player, Corporation, Alliance and Coalition!
    Make that a fully in-game supported feature not just ‘I tag you blue, you tag me blue’ – because that is not what those tags are for
  3. A place where players can cultivate / form they surrounding to their own liking
    I am not just talking about POS and stations. Planets! Terraforming! Dust514! Multiple stations in one system!
  4. A place where players can build their own empires
    The iHUBs will become not just a focal point for system control, but become part of the alliance control too!
  5. A place to hide out when needed
    Heavily fortified, one system can become like a fortress of old, where massive armies have to employ battering rams the size of a titan to get through

Let us expand this even more (this is where you should scream 🙂 ):

  1. You possession (territory) is only so big as the space you can hold on a day-to-day basis. You can set up POS wherever you like, use them for ‘ninja-planet-mining’, for staging areas, for home away from home, etc. Setting up a POS is not something you need to ask for allowance. If someone doesn’t like it he can still shoot it.
  2. Stations
    Will behave like a POS (as they are player owned structures too), they can be set up, and even be destroyed (to move a stations around is a neat idea too, that would really be worthy of a half-god capsuleer’s imagination).
    The items stored in these stations will drop if station or a station’s component is destroyed (read: if you destroy/disable a manufacturing component of a station, the items currently in production will fall out in a container – some of them fully manufactured, while others in raw form – depending on the status the run(s) had at the time of destruction).
    Similarly if a station is destroyed, the items stored will drop too – now an emergency evacuation under fire gets a whole new meaning!
    Station owner change WILL invoke a free loot! Take what you can, give nothing back!
  3. You own systems by doing the things below:
    a: you cultivate the iHUB, raise the sov levels
    b: by building structures in system (Customs Office, POS, Stations – this will be in relations to the full space available (# of planets + # of moons vs. # of COs + # of POS + # stations)
    b/2: by defending your possessions!
    c: run missions FOR the current owner (if it is a friendly corporation or NPC)
    d: enforcing system security (read: clearing belts of rats, running sites, etc.)
    e: by destroying ships not affiliated  with your entity (read: Coalition)
    f: by defending the planets
  4. If you do not run stuff in that system the influence rate (read: owner) will change back to contested and then into not owned in 2-1 weeks time respectively
  5. You can hasten this demise in enemy territories by
    a: going in and running sites of your own
    b: destroying enemy possessions (customs offices, POSes, Station components, Stations themselves)
    c: destroying enemy ships
  6. Coalitions are formed by alliances bounding together.
    Standing are derived by this and overrule every set up (read: you Corporation has red with it, but you Coalition has blue ->it is blue!)
  7. System levels are the following:
    Sov level weeks days
    level 5 7 49
    level 4 6 42
    level 3 5 35
    level 2 4 28
    level 1 3 21
    contested 2 14
    not owned 1 7

    Note: the days needed for the level are for the minimum days needed – they can take longer if your corporations are less-than-active or your enemy is busy at work, hindering your progress!

  8. System fortifications will kick in:
    level 1: Stations will be able to lock out non-blue members if it is wished (if they are owned),  Clone vats in stations are accessible now. Every friendly POS in system will receive a 1%bonus to hit points, and 1% bonus to fuel consumption
    level 2: Notification will go out if non-aligned POS is achored. Manufacturing and repair costs are reduced by 5%. Every friendly POS in system will receive additional 2%bonus to hit points, and 1% bonus to fuel consumption
    level 3: Jump Portals are live. Manufacturing and repair costs are reduced by an additinal 10%. Every friendly POS in system will receive additional 3%bonus to hit points, and 1% bonus to fuel consumption
    level 4: Cyno jammers are live, iHUBs become indestructible. Every friendly POS in system will receive additional 4%bonus to hit points, and 1% bonus to fuel consumption
    level 5: Only real, living Headquarters will reach this point! Station components are indestructible. Orbital strikes recieve a 50% donus to spread (read: larger area will be hit). Every friendly POS in system will receive additional 1% bonus to fuel consumption
  9. Constellation Sovereignty will yield and additional 5% bonus to hit points and fuel consumption of POSes
  10. Region Sovereigntywill yield and additional 10% bonus to hit points of POSes
  11. NPC staging areas (Serpentis Prime, etc.) and NPC controlled systems Cannot be switched in owners, but can be affiliated with by doing errands (like running missions) for them.
    Affiliation will unlock similar bonuses like sovereignty level, and will count into Constellation and regional ownership (POS bonuses, cyno jammers, etc.).
    Destroying faction’s assets anywhere in region (read: running sites against them) will reduce affiliation level.
    If players lose the affiliation, every station erected during that time in NPC systems will go to the respective faction and will be accessible to everyone (but no free loot!)

Again the credo of : You possession is only so big as the space you can hold   holds true. This will have a very competitive and interesting landscape.

Just my 5 cents (and not fifty!)

Fly safe!


pre-edit: this post has been dragging on now for more than a month. Geez! Sorry for the delay it is just that stuff has been happening to me in real life (you know the one without a clone and no ‘save game’ feature) that has sucked up all my time and all my energy, so there was none left when I wanted to do something for this blog.

This post was written before the release of the patch. But I think is still relevant as I am not content with this ‘role’ stuff that is just happening right now in the game. As much as I would like to see ship roles, I’d like to see progressive advance as I move from one ship to another – you can clearly see that at my Tech2 miners.

So here it is, unedited, and raw (just refine it in your neural cortex and you’ll be fine)!

Given that another patch is in the doorstep I really wanted to revisit the DEV Blog (http://community.eveonline.com/devblog.asp?a=blog&nbid=72890 – written by CCP Ytterbium) made.

As it turns out some prayers are heard by CCP. It is just not all of them are considered even worthy of considering… 😛

Figures.

But since this blog came out I wondered whether or not to continue on the whole Industrial rebalance thing. Seeing how CCP toys with the ships on SISI I just lost my temper, so here it is!

The current layout is this:

ORE Starships

Mining Barges T1 • Procurer • Retriever • Covetor
Exhumers T2 • Skiff • Mackinaw • Hulk
Capitals Capital Industrial • Orca • Rorqual
Salvaging T1 • Noctis

So Let us re-consider the whole would-be ORE ship tree:

[INSERT NEW ORE TREE HERE]

A couple of notes to all this (before you write a rage post):
  • First of all, what you are about to read will assume that the Rebalancing EVE one ship at the time (http://community.eveonline.com/devblog.asp?a=blog&nbid=9129) is already over and that the skill requirements are set in a way as to encourage leveling while lowering the barrier of entry significantly. Read: Mining barge I requirement should be Industry level 4, not the current level 5 similarly for Tech II ships Mining Barge level 4 is required  instead of level 5, etc.
  • like whole numbers. That is why I buffed the Shield/Armor/Hull HPs accordingly. Also I cannot make up any honest excuse as to why come up with arbitrary not even numbers, like 2531 for the original hull of the Hulk – we are not balancing one ship against another here in a way we would balance Amarr vs. Minmatar comparisons. So sorry guys, anyone who begins to argue about that just misses the whole point.
  • CPU and PG buffs are there as to allow a ship to finally fit a full flight of Tech 2 modules with a decent balance between tank and mining performance.
  • On this last note, if you think about it this way, it will help: you just bought a custom Brabus modified Mercedes SL  for 10x the money – which is in fact pretty much like a Tech II or Faction equivalent of the original SL – but when you want a sunroof you have to go with that pile of plastic 70’s meta 3 LADA NIVA’s because of fitting restraints… seriously?? – you will go WTF?! Am I rite? And with all the right reason.
  • The boosts I propose here are a little bit different than in my original post but times change and so does one’s opinion about some things. Deal with it.
  • Note that CCP’s mantra of ‘what you could fly before, you can fly after‘ is not applied here because it is useless. It needlessly binds the design opportunities without adding any real benefits. For one: people will be compensated; second: note that the changes I installed skill-wise can be re-trained within 1-3 days.
  • Not to mention that anyone REALLY interested in mining and its related professions WILL go for level 4-5 from the get go – so he/she will probably not be affected by these changes in any ways.

ORE FRIGATE (SMALL)

First there will be (hopefully) the ORE Frigate. Tech level 1 I assume. What would this frigate look like?

ORE Frigate

The ship layout should look something like this:
 High slots  2  CPU  200 TF
 Med slots  1  PG  25 MW
 Low slots  1  Shield HP  250
 Rig slots  3  Armor HP  250
 Rig Bandwidth  400  Structure HP  500
 Drone Bandwidth  25 Mbit / s
 Drone hold  25 m^3  Turret Slots  2
 Cargohold  400 m^3  Missile Slots  2
Basic requirement should be:
Mining BargeMining Barge I (added)
And the additional skill boosts:
  • +20% mining yield bonus per level
  • +10% drone damage and mining yield bonus per level
  • +10% cargohold bonus per level
While these are not significant boosts the package as a whole should be something worthy of considering as it outperforms the mining frigates currently in the game. What does this enable? The removal of the Tormentor’s, Bantam’s, Navitas”s and the Burst’s role as a tech 1 entry mining frigate!  Honestly I see no point in even keeping those ships in the game any more.
The ship comes with default Tech 1 resists so it’s tank is not enough to say the least.
ORE MINERS (MEDIUM)
This is the ‘Old Guard’ of the ORE ship line. Some tweaking here and there can help a lot, so let us take a look:
PROCURER (Tech I)

Procurer

This is the entry-level into the world of the _real_ mining barges. It should be noted that in order for the frigate to fit in (and I really don’t think CCP will introduce a new skill, just to make that boat – the frigate – float) the basic skill requirement is now raised a level (level 1 -> level 2). The tweaking is introduced to amp up the capabilities of this ship (also to make room for the frigate). The cargo hold retracts to 300m^3 while it receives an additional Ore hold of a not insignificant 2.000m^3.
 High slots  1  CPU  170 TF (up from 120)
 Med slots  2 (up from 1)  PG  50 MW
 Low slots  2  Shield HP  1,000 (up from 195)
 Rig slots  3  Armor HP  500 (up from 313)
 Rig Bandwidth  300 (down from 400)  Structure HP  1,000 (up from 469)
 Drone Bandwidth  25 Mbit / s
 Drone hold  25 m^3  Turret Slots  1 (up from 0)
 Ore cargohold  2,000 m^3 (up from 1,000)  Missile Slots  0
Basic requirement should be:
Mining BargeMining Barge II (increased from level 1)
And the additional skill boosts:
  • +5% mining yield bonus per level (up from +3%) for Strip Miners and Mining Lasers
Role bonus:
  • Able to equip Strip Miners and Ice Harvesters
RETRIEVER (Tech I)

RetrieverThis ship a step up from the Procurer. It receives some small boosts but as a whole it should still be the ‘man in the middle’ between the two sister ships in regards to mining.

As for the tank, the boosts and tweaks help the tank a lot. You won’t have trouble fitting tank on this one! The cargo hold retracts to 400m^3 while it receives an additional Ore hold of a not insignificant 4.000m^3.
 High slots  2  CPU  235 TF (up from 125)
 Med slots  2 (up from 1)  PG  55 MW (up from 35)
 Low slots  2  Shield HP  3,000 (up from 489)
 Rig slots  3  Armor HP  500 (down from 625)
 Rig Bandwidth  300 (down from 400)  Structure HP  2,000 (up from 938)
 Drone Bandwidth  50 Mbit / s (up from 25)
 Drone hold  50 m^3 (up from 25)  Turret Slots  0
 Ore cargohold  4,000 m^3 (up from 2,000)  Missile Slots  0
Basic requirement should be:
Mining BargeMining Barge III
And the additional skill boosts:
  • +5% mining yield bonus per level for Strip Miners and Ice Harvesters  (up from +3%)
Role bonus:
  • Able to equip Strip Miners and Ice Harvesters
COVETOR (Tech I)

Covetor

The Covetor represents the best of Tech I Mining barges. Boasting an impressive cargo hold and good mining performance. It really is the best that (cheap) money can buy at a Tech I level. The cargo hold retracts to 500m^3 while it receives an additional Ore hold of a gigantic 8.000m^3.
 High slots  3  CPU  290 TF (up from 200)
 Med slots  2 (up from 1)  PG  65 MW (up from 35)
 Low slots  2  Shield HP  5,000 (up from 781)
 Rig slots  3  Armor HP  500 (down from 911)
 Rig Bandwidth  300 (down from 400)  Structure HP  3,000 (up from 1,875)
 Drone Bandwidth  50 Mbit / s
 Drone hold  50 m^3  Turret Slots  0
 Ore cargohold  8,000 m^3 (up from 4,000)  Missile Slots  0
Basic requirement should be:
Mining BargeMining Barge IV (decreased from level 5)

And the additional skill boosts:

  • +5% mining yield bonus per level for Strip Miners (up from +3%)
  • +5% drone damage and mining yield bonus per level
Role bonus:
  • Able to equip Strip Miners and Ice Harvesters
Tech II
Now onto the upgraded versions: basic guideline on the Tech II line is that each ship specialises in something different while inheriting much of the design and benefits of its Tech I ancestor. These ships are designed to operate in low and zero security space so they field added resists and some bonuses that are related to their speciality.
SKIFF (Tech II)

Skiff

This ship specialises in Mercoxit mining. The base added +2 warp strength remains. As for the rest, I’ll just quote my old blog post:
“Increase in drone bay might encourage people to use [also] drones for mining mercoxit and therefore the chance of gas cloud forming bonus would finally be put to great use – right now Skiffs just park outside of gas cloud range and therefore the bonus is not really used.”
The cargohold retracts to 200 m^3, while receiving an added cargohold specially designed for ores. Especially to handle that nasty explosive-happy material, called Mercoxit.
 High slots  1  CPU  270 TF (up from 188)
 Med slots  4  PG  65 MW (up from 35)
 Low slots  3 (up from 2)  Shield HP  7,000 (up from 675)
 Rig slots  2  Armor HP  1,000 (up from 450)
 Rig Bandwidth  300  Structure HP  4,000 (up from 633)
 Drone Bandwidth  25 Mbit / s
 Drone hold  50 m^3 (up from 25)  Turret Slots  0
 Ore cargohold  16,000 m^3 (up from 4,500)  Missile Slots  0
Basic requirement should be:
Mining BargeMining Barge IV (reduced)
Exhumers
Exhumers II (increased from level 1)

And the additional skill boosts (Mining Barge skill):

  • +5% mining yield bonus per level for Strip Miners (up from +3%)
  • +7,5% bonus to all shield resistances per level
Role bonus:
  • Able to equip Strip Miners and Ice Harvesters
  • +2 warp strength
The additional skill boosts tied to Exhumers skill:
  • +50% bonus to Mercoxit Mining Crystal yield multiplier per level (down from 60%)
  • -15% reduced chance of Mercoxit gas cloud forming per level (down from 20%)
Note: while a the reductions may come off as a nerf, the Skiff will still be the best Mercoxit miner out there.
MACKINAW (Tech II)

Mackinaw

This ship is the best for mining Ice, period. As such it will receive the best bonuses for that. It also receives an added warp strength so nasty situations can be handled (after a fashion). Its cargohold diminishes to 400 m^3 but this creates room for the added cargohold (for all those big ice blocks to fit in).
 High slots  2  CPU  330 TF (up from 198)
 Med slots  4  PG  70 MW (up from 35)
 Low slots  3 (up from 2)  Shield HP  9,000 (up from 1,181)
 Rig slots  2  Armor HP  1,000 (up from 788)
 Rig Bandwidth  300  Structure HP  5,000 (up from 1,266)
 Drone Bandwidth  50 Mbit / s
 Drone hold  50 m^3  Turret Slots  0
 Ore cargohold  18,000 m^3 (up from 6,000)  Missile Slots  0
Basic requirement should be:
Mining BargeMining Barge IV (reduced)
ExhumersExhumers III (increased from level 2)

And the additional skill boosts (Mining Barge skill):

  • +5% mining yield per level for Strip Miners (up from +3%)
  • +7,5% bonus to all shield resistances per level
Role bonus:
  • Able to equip Ice Harvesters and Strip Miners
  • +1 warp strength
  • +100% bonus to ice mining yield
The additional skill boosts tied to Exhumers skill:
  • -5% reduction of Ice Harvesters cycle duration per level.
Note: Ice Harvesters receive the bonus from the Exhumer skill only! Also note that the penalty regarding Ice Harvesters cycle is now replaced by a bonus for basic cycle reduction.
HULK (Tech II)

Hulk

This is the final instalment of the mining line for the ORE. As such it boast a large shield HP able to withstand most NPCs in null sec. For this the engineers had to forgo the added warp strength of its smaller siblings.
 High slots  3  CPU  385 TF (up from 300)
 Med slots  4  PG  80 MW (up from 35)
 Low slots  3 (up from 2)  Shield HP  11,000 (up from 1519)
 Rig slots  2  Armor HP  1,000 (up from 1013)
 Rig Bandwidth  300  Structure HP  6,000 (up from 2531)
 Drone Bandwidth  50 Mbit / s
 Drone hold  50 m^3  Turret Slots  0
 Ore cargohold  20,000 m^3 (up from 8,000)  Missile Slots  0
Basic requirement should be:
Mining BargeMining Barge IV (reduced)
ExhumersExhumers IV (increased from level 3)

And the additional skill boosts (Mining Barge skill):

  • +5% mining yield per level for Strip Miners (up from +3%)
  • +7,5% bonus to all shield resistances per level
Role bonus:
  • Able to equip Strip Miners and Ice Harvesters
  • -50% reduction of Mercoxit mining yield
The additional skill boosts tied to Exhumers skill:
  • +5% mining yield per level for Strip Miners (up from +3%, Ice Harvesters excluded)
  • +5% drone damage and mining yield bonus per level
Note: this is the only ship receiving a double-boost for strip miners, and an added drone yield. As such it will be the most effective – although the most easily caught – Exhumer out there.
ORE HAULERS (LARGE)
Now this is where the tricky parts come in. This is a group that was none-existent but if you look at them from a different angle, the question arises: why not?
PRIMAE (Tech I) 
Primae
While this was a limited issue ship I think it would really deserve it’s place in the ORE line as the de facto (almost) best PI hauler out there. For this to happen, CCP would have to modify the ship accordingly (adding blueprints, etc). With added slots and a boosted cargo hold it could be a viable option and could finally reclaim the throne as the first choice of PI ship out there (note: Blockade runners will still be a viable option – warp while cloaked and other extra features the Primae doesn’t have). Also note that in order for this ship to fit into EVE cannon it is now re-classified as a large vessel and uses large modules!
 High slots  2 (added)  CPU  300 TF (up form 100)
 Med slots  5 (added)  PG  3,000 MW (up from 175)
 Low slots  4 (no modification)  Shield HP  2,000 (up from 1,000)
 Rig slots  3 (added)  Armor HP  2,000 (up from 1,000)
 Rig Bandwidth  400 (added)  Structure HP  2,000 (up from 1,000)
 Cargohold  400 m^3 (up from 100)
 PI commodities hold  10,000 m^3 (up from 1,600)  Turret Slots  0
 Command Centre hold  2,000 m^3 (up from 1,000)  Missile Slots  0

Basic requirement should be:
ORE Industrial

ORE Industrial I (added)
NOCTIS (Tech II)
Noctis
This ship will be moved to the Tech 2 branch. As a direct descendant of the Primae (hell! it even shares the same ship form!) it would inherit Tech 2 resists while at the same time retain the original fitting and layout. With a little tweak here and there (losing the third rig slot like all Tech II ships – but gaining access difficulty bonus by the skill level) it should be even more formidable than before. Note that in order for this ship to fit into EVE cannon it is now re-classified as a large vessel and uses large modules!
 High slots  8 (no modification)  CPU  330 TF (up from 300)
 Med slots  2 (no modification)  PG  3,000 MW (up from 250)
 Low slots  3 (no modification)  Shield HP  1,000 (down from 1,700)
 Rig slots  2 (down from 3)  Armor HP  2,500 (up from 2,200)
 Rig Bandwidth  300  Structure HP  3,500 (up from 3,200)
 Cargohold  4,000 m^3 (up from 1,460)
 Turret Slots  8
 Missile Slots  0
Basic requirement should be:
ORE IndustrialORE Industrial IV (up from level 1)

And the additional skill boosts:

  • 5% reduction of tractor beam and salvager cycle per level
  • +50% bonus to tractor beam range and velocity per level
  • +3% added salvaging access difficulty bonus per level
Note: This means that with the training to level 4 you will get a +12% access difficulty bonus (better than a Tech I salvage tackle rig). And at level 5 you will be on par with the Tech II Salvage tackle rig – for free! This will fully compensate for the loss of one rig slot. The greatly increased Cargohold would enable for 0.0 dwellers to salvage more sanctums at a time – although with those minimal defences this ship is a giant target practice.
ORE CAPITALS (CAPITAL)
ORCA (Tech I)

Orca

The  Orca serves as a ‘small Rorqual’. Providing bonuses in high sec or in areas where fielding a Rorqual might be too risky. Note: in order to fit in with canon this ship is now classified as Capital. Therefore appropriate modules should be used! Power Grid and CPU are adjusted accordingly. The skill requirement remains  the same though.
 High slots  4 (up from 3)  CPU  550 TF (up from 430)
 Med slots  6 (up from 4)  PG  155,000 MW (up from 960)
 Low slots  4 (up from 2)  Shield HP  22,000 (up from 17,500)
 Rig slots  3 (no modification)  Armor HP  4,000 (down from 6,900)
 Rig Bandwidth  400  Structure HP  50,000 (up from 46,000)
 Cargohold  30,000 m^3 (no change)  Corporate cargo hold  40,000 (no modification)
 Ore Hold  60,000 m^3 (up from 50,000)  Drone hold  100 m^3 (up from 75)
 Ship maintenance bay  800,000 m^3 (up from 400,000)  Drone bandwidth  50 Mbit / s (no change)
Basic requirement should be:
Industrial Command ShipsIndustrial Command Ships I

And the additional skill boosts:

  • +5% bonus to cargo and ore hold capacity per level
  • +5% bonus to the effectiveness of mining foreman Gang Links per level
  • +10% bonus to drone damage, hit points and mining amount per level (new)
Role bonus:
  • +500% bonus to range of Survey Scanners
  • Can use 3 Gang Links simultaneously
  • -99% reduction for CPU need of Gang Link modules
 Note: it will lose its tractor beam bonuses because it will use the capital version. Ore hold receives a per level  bonus is cargohold too! Also the doubled ship maintenance bay will help to accommodate more than two fully fitted hulks at a time.
RORQUAL (Tech I)

Rorqual

The very pinnacle of ORE’s ship line. This ship is a home away from home. The changes I suggest for this ship are minuscule and really only tweaks here and there. One big change is the buffed ship maintenance bay and the boost from 3 to 5 on fielding Gang Links (also, boosts now apply not just for Mining Gang Links when in deployed mode).
 High slots  6 (no change)  CPU  1,000 TF (up from 920)
 Med slots  7 (no change)  PG  350,000 MW (up from 305,000)
 Low slots  2 (down from 3)  Shield HP  100,000 (up from 90,000)
 Rig slots  3 (no modification)  Armor HP  20,000 (down from 30,000)
 Rig Bandwidth  400  Structure HP  200,000 (up from 160,000)
 Cargohold  50,000 m^3 (up from 50,000)  Corporate Hangar  40,000 m^3 (up from 30,000)
 Ore Hold  250,000 m^3 (no change)  Drone hold  500 m^3 (up from 300)
 Ship maintenance bay  1,600,000 (up from 1,000,000)  Drone bandwidth  125 Mbit / s (no change)
Basic requirement should be:
Industrial Command ShipsIndustrial Command Ships IV (added)
Capital Industrial ShipsCapital Industrial Ships I

And the additional skill boosts:

  • +5% bonus to cargo and ore hold capacity per level
  • -5% reduction in fuel consumption for Industrial Cores per level
  • +10% bonus to Gang Links effectiveness per level (not just for Mining Links) when in deployed mode
  • +50% bonus to range of Capital Shield Transporters per level
  • +20% bonus to drone damage hit points and mining amount per level
Role bonus:
  • +900% bonus to the range of Survey Scanners
  • +200% bonus to the range of Cargo Scanners
  • -99% reduction of CPU need for Gang Links
  • Can use 5 Gang Link modules simultaneously (up from 3)
  • Can fit Clone Vat Bay
That’s it!
Links to look at:

My rumbling about ORE ships: https://lifeofzenith.wordpress.com/2012/04/25/ore-ships-rebalance/
DEV Blog about the rebalance: http://community.eveonline.com/devblog.asp?a=blog&nbid=9129
DEV blog about ORE’s rebalance: http://community.eveonline.com/devblog.asp?a=blog&nbid=72890

Mine safe!

Being quoted by Jester …


Yesterday, as I was browsing through the infinite horizons of the world wide web, I happened to stumble upon (read: I look at that blog daily) on a blog entry ( http://jestertrek.blogspot.hu/2012/07/you-win-some-you-lose-some.html) done by Jester (Ripard Teg – a fine pilot, flying for Rote Kapelle during ATX) and voiced my opinion about him doing (to be precise I asked him if he could do) a post about HUN’s signature fleet composition.

To be honest deep down I had hope he would really do an article about this but being a somewhat newcomer to the blog scene (hell! My first blog post ever is a little over 3 months old now) and being a fairly new chick in commenting his posts I really didn’t expected a reply to me personally.

As it turned out nature conspired with faith (I hope you get the reference for the old EVE intro) and my comment couldn’t have come at a better time, for Jester quoted me in the very next post, at the top of the page!

BAM!

I was surprised – to say the least! 🙂 In a good way: while this being my thirteenth post (and 5 more are on the drawing board) my blog is not the most viewed of all times (it does get hits from all around the world) and I was really thinking whether or not I am just writing to amuse myself.

Funny thing is, I didn’t know I would be so happy just being quoted by another person… a little happiness in my everyday life …

Links:
Jester’s first post (where I made my comment): http://jestertrek.blogspot.hu/2012/07/you-win-some-you-lose-some.html

Jester’s post about the HUN composition: http://jestertrek.blogspot.hu/2012/07/about-that-hun-reloaded-comp.html

Old EVE-Online intro (God! I miss this one!): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mjbwsyhJjUs

Fly safe!

ATX – congrats!


This post will probably be a short (and euphoric) one, but nonetheless I wanted to write about it.

From my perspective Alliance Tournament Ten ( Short: ATX – I love this form-factor :))  was a resounding success both for CCP  and teams involved in it.

Some thoughts one a side-note:

  • Whoever came up with that E-WAR bar in the middle should receive a medal! This added such a joy and easy-to-read info for what is actually happening on screen that even people not involved in EVE could (almost) understand what was going on.
  • If we take the technical issues out of the view the whole tournament was the most pro I have seen to date. If I had to sum it up in one sentence it would be: Alliance Tournament is now worthy to be called e-sports.
  • Kil2 was older than I expected him to be 🙂
  • The commentators really tried to explain (in layman’s terms) what was going on screen. Even if they did slipped out of this here and there the notion was there and I really hope CCP will endorse this mentality in AT-XI even further (makes my job easier to recruit, hehe).
  • I’d really love to see the fits on those Vargurs on every match! I am pretty sure HUN tailored them prior to every match but everyone was just looking at the hulls and forgot the fitting.
  • On this note: HUN won the meta game of ATX hands down. They played chicken with every bloody team they went up against. And won (except the last one – but I’ll write about that in a post later on). PL brought a brutal counter-setup that even had me convinced it will work. At the beginning of the match it looked like it could go both ways then HUN took a deep breath and just bulldozered PL over. One if not the best match in ATX.
  • That moustache had to go …
  • And it did! Kudos on Michael Bolton III for actually having the balls to place a bet like that. (I don’t know about how voluntarily that cut was though. He seemed quite pissed when that facial hair got lost – I do think he looks better this way though 🙂

Verdict: 10/10
(I’d give it a 8.9/10, but that moustache-loss on the last day really tipped the scale for me!)

Useful links:
ATX home site: http://at.eve-ic.net/10/index.php?view=home
This picture: http://www.eve-online.hu/gallery/pictures/20120723173120_3556.jpg
The associated killmail: http://kepfeltoltes.hu/120723/594090623michael_bolton_www.kepfeltoltes.hu_.png
E-sport’s recap: http://www.d-esports.com/11023/eve-alliance-tournament-x-finals-day-recap/

Fly safe – as always!

ORE ships rebalance


Hand on heart: imagine you are the most bloodthirsty PvP master in EVE (or not) what is that comes to your mind when someone mentions you the name Hulk or Mackinaw or Noctis? Something like: food, easy prey.

To me the image of some 20th century whale hunts come in my mind:
This sh*t happens to miners all the time...

A big slow easy and unsuspecting prey. In my eyes they are actually not really worth being called targets, and the people who love killing them are like the school bully, robbing gorging themselves on a kid that doesn’t have a real chance in a million years.

So when the question rises: how come ORE ships suck like this? People give a fairly blanket answer:

They were designed for industry, not fighting.

Yep. You got that Sherlock. But this still doesn’t give the right answer to the question: time has gone by on [over?] them. What can we do about it? CCP obviously had their focus somewhere else and while it may be easy to point fingers [at them] and call people by names. I leave that to those who have happy happy times doing this.

So what can we do to amend this situation?

  1. I have heard an idea from someone that putting guns on these ships would be a good idea.
  2. Another idea I have heard from someone is that they should be cheaper, hence the loss of one fully fitted ship would not leave such a large hole in the wallet.
  3. Yet another idea- or in this case proposal I have heard was that they should be escorted by a swarm of other ships (players) whose sole jobs should be to offer immediate boost to the industrial pilots in case of a gank.
  4. Last but not least one suggestion proposed that in order to solve this situation we need to make ORE ships more resilient to their increasingly hostile environment by boosting their health and resist.

First let us look at these suggestions:

  1. Putting guns on a ship like the Hulk will look funny in an odd way and would not solve the whole problem besides having yet another ship that you can pew-pew in even though it was not designed for that purpose. (Think about ancient armed merchant sailors and their ships – the idea is good but that was a different “game”). This would create some laughs but in the end only pvp-oriented people flying Hulks (?huh?) would benefit from this.
  2. Lowering the price tag might stop some tears but it would still not solve the problem in the long run. People would be more careless and the problem would rise again although then on a much larger scale with much more volume than previously.
  3. Having people around you that can lend a hand is always useful but I think most people are bored to death watching floating rocks disappear into the belly of their ship. And people would be even more bored doing nothing but looking out for these ships, making floating rocks disappear.

So we ask ourselves again: what can we do to amend this situation? And the answer is

4. Making ships more resilient

This might sound like the obvious choice. But it is not. It is by far the most painless change that can be implemented with the minimum risk of breaking the game as a whole.

Here is a basic Tech 2 shield buffer fit for a Hulk:

Basic T2 Shield Buffered Hulk Fit

[Hulk, PvE – Tank]
Damage Control II
Micro Auxiliary Power Core II

Medium F-S9 Regolith Shield Induction
Adaptive Invulnerability Field II
Adaptive Invulnerability Field II
Limited Adaptive Invulnerability Field I

Modulated Strip Miner II, Veldspar Mining Crystal II
Modulated Strip Miner II, Veldspar Mining Crystal II
Modulated Strip Miner II, Veldspar Mining Crystal II

Medium Core Defense Field Extender I
Medium Core Defense Field Extender I

This is just one way to fit it, but it is pretty much what you can achieve in tanking while trying not to gimp the mining part too much. Notice anything? Right I’ll help you: It is a medium sized tech2 spaceship with a tech1 cruiser class passive defence. And a bad one at that! Even a Moa can tank better (with double the buffer amount).

What should be done (I am now posting Exhumers only, tech1 parts will be done later but should receive a similar change):

HULK:
CPU = 350 (up from 300 – should be now around 435 @ full skills)
PG = 70 (up from 35 – should be now around 87 @ full skills)
+1 low slot (up from 2 to 3)
300 Calibration points (down from 400 points – didn’t want those calibration points anyway!)
Drone bay = 75 m^3 (up from 50m^3)
Base hull amount = 2500 (down from 2531 – who comes up with these kind of  numbers anyway!?)
Cargohold amount = 12000 (up from 8000)
Base armour amount =  1000 (down from 1013)
Base shield amount =  5000~7500 (up from 1519)
Resists for shield =  40/50/60/65 (from 37,5/50/62,5/65)
Resists for armour = 60/40/30/15 (from 70/35/25/10)
Optional: losing ability to field Ice Miners

Benefits:
Major boost for the survivability of this prominent ship with a couple of tweeks here and there. The ability loss is there to usher people into a single-use format. While this may go against the sandbox nature of the game I think that mining is not the area where fitting-meta-games should be had.

Risks:
Possible whining about boosting a ship that was easily ganked by ships at 1/30th of the price tag of a fully fitted Hulk. While not realising it still can be killed quite easily, although at  a higher investment.

MACKINAW:
CPU = 340 (up from 198 – should be now around 425 @ full skills)
PG = 58 (up from 35 – should be now around 72,5 @ full skills)
+1 low slot (up from 2 to 3)
300 Calibration points (down from 400 points – didn’t want those calibration points anyway!)
Drone bay = 75 m^3 (up from 50m^3)
Cargohold amount = 8000 (up from 6000)
Base hull amount = 1250 (down from 1266)
Base armour amount =  800 (up from 788)
Base shield amount =  5000 (up from 1181)
Resists for shield =  40/50/60/65 (from 37,5/50/62,5/65)
Resists for armour = 60/40/30/15 (from 70/35/25/10)
Optional: losing ability to field Strip Miners but gains +1 warp strength

Benefits:
Major boost for the survivability of this prominent ship with a couple of tweeks here and there. The ability loss is mandatory and will help [force] the people to use the proper ship. The +1 warp strength is really just a last minute idea and therefore should be handled as such.

Risks:
Same as with the Hulk: whine about not being able to kill the ship with a squad of destroyers. The increased ‘slipperiness’ of the ship with the added warp point could receive some flaming.

SKIFF:
CPU = 246 (up from 188 – should be now around 340 @ full skills)
PG = 51 (up from 35 – should be now around 65 @ full skills)
+1 low slot (up from 2 to 3)
300 Calibration points (down from 400 points – didn’t want those calibration points anyway!)
Drone bay = 50m^3 (up from 15m^3 – bandwidth also should be boosted to 50)
Cargohold amount = 6000 (up from 4500)
Base hull amount = 700 (down from 633)
Base armour amount =  500 (up from 450)
Base shield amount =  1200 (up from 675)
Resists for shield =  40/50/60/65 (from 37,5/50/62,5/65)
Resists for armour = 60/40/30/15 (from 70/35/25/10)
Optional: losing ability to field Ice Miners

Benefits:
Major boost for the survivability of this prominent ship with a couple of tweeks here and there. Increase in drone bay might encourage people to use drones for mining and therefore the chance of gas cloud forming bonus would finally be put to great use – right now Skiffs just park outside of gas cloud range and therefore the bonus is not really used.

Risks:
Same as with the Hulk: whine about not being able to kill the ship with a squad of destroyers

So the basic [MY basic] idea revolves around the idea of adding resilience to this  (Exhumers) ship class while streamlining them for better use (added PG, CPU and cargohold) and getting rid of unused bonuses (calibration they cannot use and/or fielding tools not suited for that particular ship). I know this will receive some flaming from the community but I think this is probably the best way to go.

Fly safe!

UPDATE 2012/04/25! 
Freshly from CCP press here is a new DevBlog about the rebalance: http://community.eveonline.com/devblog.asp?a=blog&nbid=72890 . Sounds like they are making real progress there. As for the  frigates, that we will see how that will turn out.
As for the ORE ships, any change is welcome. Not sure about the frigate though. If they really release an ORE mining frigate then we could get rid of the mining bonuses for frigates and cruisers in the racial line (looked funny to begin with imho).