Since EVE Online players are a fickle bunch, they tend to be pretty hard to please. You can’t swing a ship model without hitting someone who has something negative to say about CCP and their handling of the game. Economics and politics aside, the developer has made a really good announcement this week. The biggest takeaway from the new Stargate Trailblazers event is that New Eden gets new Stargates. Finally!
Included in the patch is a major rework of the Resource Wars mini-game. Players can now help mine resources to aid in the production of these gates. The general player reaction to the Resource Wars rebalance has been very sour. The four empires will pay players ISK and Loyalty Points, but players seem pretty miffed that the rewards are mostly cosmetic. To add extra insult, players can’t stop the construction of the gates, as confirmed by CCP. In a game where player agency and impact are a major selling point, this could have been an interesting conflict motivator, alas. Anyway, back to the actual changes being brought to the map.
This is something that developer CCP has been teasing for years. There has been a running joke in the EVE community that a low-sec gate to the Stain region was inevitable. No joke, this is something CCP teased all the way back in 2014 with the Prophecy trailer. Since that time, players have begged CCP for action on the front of reconfiguring the layout of space travel in-game.
And although a lot of the stuff tied into that trailer, like the now-canceled FPS module, has since been removed or canned; there is a glimmer of hope, as the scarcity might come to an end for EVE players. CCP has been on an economy shrinking tear over the last two years. First was the massive change to sales tax, with much more ISK being required to submit orders in-game. Then that was followed by a major industry nerf designed to eliminate accumulated ore stockpiles. CCP has been trying time and time again to remove ISK from player’s pockets, including the new heavy PvE nerf of Dynamic Bounties. Players really hated these changes in many ways.
This trend then led to the birth of the Triglavian-controlled region of Pochven, which cut major arteries of established trade lanes. Niarja, a popular shipping system between High and Low-security space, was taken over. And now, it seems CCP is undoing that and redrawing the maps. Each of the four major empires is setting up at least one new gate in key areas, allowing players more freedom to move around New Eden. A handful of regions and lesser trade hubs have more routes now, so that’s good. Maybe this is CCP trying to undo some of the anger.
What Systems are Getting Gates?
So far, four links have been announced. It’s mostly aimed at opening up key lanes around Jita and Amarr, but there are some knock-on effects to worry about. Players probably won’t go flooding back to Amarr with a new route, but it will allow easier flow from Low into High. This may reduce the danger of ganking for a very short time. For those prowling around Placid, there’s a new transit through Gallente space too.
And yes, the Stain Gate is actually a thing now, after CCP teased it as an April Fool’s joke.
Here’s how CCP announced the new gate layouts, and their justifications:
- Hykkota 25 (Highsec/The Forge/Caldari) ↔ Ahbazon 28 (Lowsec/Genesis/Amarr)
- This new connection creates a new shorter option for travel between Jita and Amarr that includes a lowsec system (Ahbazon).
- Kenninck 12 (Lowsec/Placid/Gallente) ↔ Eggheron 22 (Highsec/Solitude/Gallente)
- The new connection between Kenninck and Eggheron connects Solitude with Federation space while preserving Solitude’s unique nature as a region that can only be accessed through lowsec and nullsec. Solitude’s highsec areas will remain islands surrounded by lowsec, but now a new lowsec route through Placid will exist as an alternative to the existing lowsec route through Aridia.
- Irgrus 22 (Highsec/Metropolis/Minmatar) ↔ Pakhshi 20 (Highsec/Genesis/CONCORD)
- This connection opens up access to a relatively isolated section of Metropolis, and it notably increases connectivity to CONCORD space. I won’t go into two much detail at the moment, but CONCORD space is expected to become more significant in a number of ways in the future.