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Drifters begin new phase of warfare in EVE Online, attack player structures

EVE Online Drifters

The landscape of EVE Online has been boiling with tension for months now, and it’s not the typical geopolitical or interpersonal drama that fans of the space opera crave. This latest round of conflict comes courtesy of developer CCP pushing a new kind of PvE content into the game.

This is of course the long-teased Triglavian Collective, itself an extension of the mysterious Drifter faction which burst onto the scene some time ago. From a lore standpoint, both of these new factions appear to be new and alien threats which seem hellbent on destroying humanity and anything else in their path. From a game mechanics perspective, these factions represent the impetus of CCP to revamp a wide array of mechanics from AI and player-owned structures, to the way in which players claim star systems and wage war.

And now, with the launch of the Invasion patch series, things appear to be kicking into overdrive with a full-scale invasion of player-controlled space.

And with all this hubbub, players are not happy. The Mittani, the boisterous leader of Goonswarm Federation (GSF), let fans and the internet at large know his personal thoughts on this new PvE content very clearly and concisely.

I’ll let his words speak for themselves:

“The Imperium was in the midst of prosecuting a war involving tens of thousands of real players. We are annoyed that we have had to stop our player vs player warfare and grind through what amounts to World of Warcraft-style raid content, but we have already broken down how the Drifter AI works and have successfully defended all of our structures thus far – I look forward to going back to real player vs player content, which is why I quit WoW for Eve in the first place.”

This comes around the same time that a mass ping (Alliance-wide notice) went out to the members of the GSF potentially calling an end to the current war that GSF and allies are engaged with against rival alliances of Pandemic Legion, Northern Coalition., and others. Multiple Alliances are reporting their major assets, such as Keepstar-class Citadels, being attacked by these AI.

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Here’s a snippet of the released ping:

:frogsiren: :frogsiren: THIS IS NOT A DRILL, WE DO NOT WANT TO DO THIS, THIS IS A BOOT.INI/MONOCLE LEVEL F*CKUP AND WE MUST SECURE OUR LINE’S ASSETS IN DELVE AND WAIT OUT THE STORM :frogsiren: :frogsiren:

let’s take ccp at their word for now and that this is an invasion feature
bad news: we must go home (but we were planning on that anyway as sh1 is done)
good news: this will absolutely ruin 50%+ of the structures in null, but especially those of our enemies who can’t defend and have had their willpower drained by our attacks
i wanted to purge malpais but if mr tyrannos will do the work for us, f*ck it

Also, as evidence of other alliances having to do the same, here’s a video of a Keepstar belonging to Chinese-dominated Alliance Fraternity. being hit.

So it seems unclear what the actual goal here is, and that’s a problem to many EVE players. Players across New Eden didn’t sign up for EVE for more PvE. OK, some of them did, but CCP’s marketing strategy for years has been defined by player-versus-player conflict. The biggest battles in recent memory all saw huge spikes in player numbers because of this approach.

And with EVE consistently having trouble retaining new players, they need something to pull in fresh blood and keep them around. And as most players will tell you, PvE and mining is not that something.

So while I don’t think this is going to convince a lot of players to renew paying their subscriptions, it will at least generate some press for the game. Question is, is any press good press for CCP?

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