The last few weeks have been a confused flurry of anger, combat and fear as CCP has introduced a variety of updates aimed at completely changing the way their MMO is played. First it was the Triglavian Invasions, which offered a challenge even greater than the Drifters for the capsuleers of the far-flung future to tackle, but the really interesting bits came after that.
The developer then changed market taxes and fees to remove a substantial amount of currency from the game. This caused margins on many items to become even tighter for traders, all but requiring the combination of maxed out trading skills and grinding faction standings to make trading worthwhile. Then with the introduction of a major nerf to the Vexor Navy Issue, a venerable and dependable ratting ship, things only got harder for new players.
This latest change is simple, Cynosural Field Generators will now be severely restricted, and will only function on 10 ships in the game in total.
Here’s the text of the reveal from CCP:
This September we are planning two large changes for Cynosural Fields:
- Cynosural Field Generator I can only be fit by Force Recon Ships and Black Ops Battleships (note: these classes can still fit covert cynos)
- Jump Freighters can jump to Covert Cynosural Fields
During this era of chaos we are eager to introduce new challenges for veteran pilots while working towards a deeper and more balanced capital meta. Historically, cynos have been extremely flexible. They can be used on flocks of alts at nearly no risk or used by the largest and strongest ships in the game. With few options for cyno disruption, capital response time and power has grown to the point that it’s oppressing activity. This change will make it more complex and demanding to get capitals to the field quickly and give more strategic options for those wishing to disrupt capital response.
While most of the impact from this change is on combat, we are sensitive to the effect on Jump Freighters and logistics overall. Jump Freighters will be allowed to use Covert Cynos which can be activated by cheaper hulls like Covert Ops Frigates. This may need further attention and we will be watching this area very closely.
And just like the introduction of increased fees, which were designed to have a deflationary effect on ISK, these other changes removed an element of the game from the hands of lesser-skilled players, this latest change repeats the same process in a new way. The issue with this change is that it’s being heralded as a huge nerf to existing Capital and Supercapital pilots, with even more negative economic impact.
This latest change won’t severely limit new players, but if veteran players are scared off of using their Capitals more liberally because of this, it may have been a bad idea. The obvious outcome here is that Supercapital and Capital fleets will now have a handful of Force Recon ships embedded into them, and that a load of Skill Injectors will be hoarded to then be injected into Cyno alts. Prices on CovertOps, BLOPS and SKill Injectors are already going nuts on the market.
The community reaction to this seems pretty split. For every post claiming this will cause them to unsubscribe from EVE, there’s another saying this is a good thing. When combined with the hotly-contested removal of local chat from NullSec space, CCP has certainly drastically altered the state of player-owned space, and their doing it again next month.
It’s pretty clear when you look at the total picture that CCP has two goals, to inflate player numbers, and to then encourage returning players to spend money on PLEX for skills and ISK, whether this will be effective long-term is debatable.