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Dev Post: [Rubicon] Warp Speed and Acceleration


Hello everyone! We’re ready now to start posting feedback threads about some Rubicon balance changes, in preparation for the first public version of Rubicon hitting SISI next week!

This thread is going to cover our changes to warp speeds and warp acceleration, which have been rightfully getting a lot of buzz since we unveiled them in the Rubicon announcement live stream.

Previously, in EVE Online:

For anyone that’s not aware, at the moment each ship has an attribute called warpSpeedMultiplier that affects its max speed in warp. It is affected by a set of rigs and some Strategic Cruiser subsystems.
In practice this attribute is almost entirely useless because the amount of time you spend accelerating to and decelerating from your max warp speed is currently fixed. At most normal warp distances, ships spend very little (often no) time at max warp speed.
This sucks in a lot of ways. It makes those aforementioned rigs and subsystems useless, it prevents meaningful differentiation between sizes of ships, and it puts hard minimums on how fast we can make any ship warp.

We’ve wanted to redo this system for a long time, and a failed attempt was actually made back in the leadup to Retribution. For Rubicon, CCP Masterplan has finally freed us from the shackles of a crappy warp acceleration backend, and together we’re going to be revamping the balance around warp speeds.

After the Winter expansion, the same attribute that sets max warp speed will also modify the acceleration and deceleration of the ship at warp, so that a ship that warps fast will actually warp fast.

The current design has the fulcrum set on T1 Cruisers. If you’re flying a T1 Cruiser with no modifications to your warp speed you will not notice any difference warping after the patch. Every ship that warps faster than a cruiser will see their acceleration speed up (and therefore see significant reductions in overall time warping) and every ship larger than a cruiser will see their acceleration slow down (and therefore spend more time in warp). The small ships are being sped up by a larger degree than the big ships are being slowed down, so the average warp speed of an EVE ship is going to be getting faster.

It’s important to note that this change does not affect align time. This only changes the amount of time a ship spends from when they enter warp (when they become unlockable) until they exit.

We’re also creating more distinct levels of warp speed between ship groups (at the moment destroyers, cruiser, BCs and BS all warp the same speed). Most T2 ships will be slightly faster than their T1 versions (more if their role demands it) to reflect their more advanced construction.

The result of these changes will be that gangs of small ships will be able to travel across large areas of space much more quickly to find fights, people will have better decisions available to them when picking the ship to bring to a fight, and clever wings of interceptors or interdictors will be able to loop around ahead of hostile battleship fleets to cut them off.

One other note, ships fleet warping together will continue to warp at the slowest speed of any ship that is involved in the fleet warp. This includes acceleration and deceleration so if you fleet warp you’ll continue to land at the same time.

We’re strongly considering adding more ways to affect your warp speed at some point in the future, but nothing has been decided on that yet.

Here’s a chart of how long it takes for different ships to make warps of different lengths now.

And here’s the same chart showing the current design for Rubicon.

One clarification, Tech 3 cruisers will continue to be on parity with T1 cruisers by default, which means they start at 3au/s and with the Gravitation Capacitor subsystem can get as fast as 5.25 (destroyer speed).

You’ll notice that we’ve actually compressed the far sides, so freighters will have a much higher max warp speed and some interceptors are actually losing some max warp speed. In practice though every interceptor will be going much much faster for every normal length warp and we wanted to keep the travel time for freighters in a reasonable range so we’re quite confident that both those changes are the right call.

Small ships will be making warps much much faster than before, and larger ships will move with speeds more befitting their massive bulk and power.

The best way to get your heads around these changes is to try them out, so thankfully these changes will be on Singularity with the first public version scheduled for next week. We’re always interested in your feedback, but we’ll be especially interested in hearing what people think once they’ve had a chance to try the new warp system for themselves on Sisi.

We’re really excited to be able to make these changes and we think they are going to be a very significant positive step for EVE. Let us know what you think in this thread, and look to Sisi next week for your first chance to try them out for yourselves!

– CCP Fozzie

[ Feedback CCP Fozzie via this thread. ]