It has been a wild few weeks in EVE Online. As CCP continues to nerf fun into the floor and wars continue to rage, things are only getting more interesting. So let’s talk about what’s happened over the last few weeks, and why 2021 could be pretty wild.
NullSec income nullified
The ongoing fallout from the various nerfs to NullSec by CCP is still being felt. CCP has made it clear that they want to nerf the heck out of income generation in EVE to choke off the relative power of NullSec. It’s a targeted series of nerfs that have affected every part of the game. First was the massive change to sales tax, with much more ISK being required to submit orders in-game.
Mining and Triglavian Nightmares
Mining was hit next, as the nerf to mining across the board has reduced the availability of a variety of commodities. This led directly into a major shuffling of Ore and Ice spawns, as the game had to deal with the outcome of the Triglavian Invasion storyline. The introduction of the new faction culminated in many regions being handed over entirely to Triglavian control, and thus Pochven was born, and was supposed to be the savior of New Eden’s resource problems.
For an insight into how the playerbase feels, many regard the entire region of Pochven feels dead-on-arrival. The region is supposed to be the new means to gain resources in as ore spawns there are abundant, but it’s all locked behind high Triglavian standings. This means that most players can’t even access the new region.
CCP have acknowledged the problems and plan to iterate on the feature in the future. Anyone who has played this game long enough knows the relevance of the meme SOON™ here. CCP has a notoriously bad habit of abandoning features in a half-finished or ill-conceived state when players initially reject them.
So far, CCP have increased pathways into Triglavian space via more wormholes and Filaments. The company has also announced more ratting sites inside the region, with more variance due to be added.
Not even the rats are safe
Further changes to EVE and income include a major nerf to direct ISK income through “ratting,” or the process of killing NPCs for bounties. This process used to be simple. you would get a bounty for any NPC pirate or rogue drone you killed, and then CCP announced they plan to introduce more aggressive scaling into the system with Dynamic Bounties. The essence of the idea is that systems that are too heavily ratted pay out less in ISK. A pretty direct nerf to both player wealth and the potential for bots to engage in RMT.
The DBS is a threshold-based system that reduces bounty payouts based on some value. Once ratting hits that threshold in a system, the DBS kicks in a reduces bounty payouts.
Here are the basics of the DBS according to CCP:
- Systems with the DBS active do receive a base boost to 115% of bounty value before the threshold is hit.
- The scaling value for reducing or increasing bounty values can scale, from 30% to 150%.
- Any systems that see targeted ADM boosting are likely to tip this threshold.
- According to CCP, “70% of systems will see no change or an increase in bounties”
Then CCP decided to go further. The developer has now announced that the ESS, a feature basically no one used, is now mandatory in all systems. This new version of the feature siphons off the already reduced ISK bounties and then places a second portion of the bounty into a pool. That pool physically exists within the ESS, and can be taken by anyone. CCP hopes that players will start to try and rob ESS structures, and it probably won’t work out that way.
Here are the basics of the ESS according to CCP:
- The ESS has two banks, a main and a reserve. Each bank takes a certain percentage of the bounty payment, with the main bank portion being larger.
- All the values for an ESS in a system will be publicly listed, either via an in-game mechanic (Agency) or via the out-of-game ESI readouts. This can allow hunters to target certain systems, likely via the Structure Browser.
- Players are paid out from the main bank in 3-hour intervals.
- Players can steal from the secondary bank and there’s a five-minute cooldown. About 70% of the stored value can be stolen, the rest is lost.
- Keys of some kind will be required to steal from an active ESS. No details on how the keys work yet.
- Stealing will drop an item on-grid that identifies the thief, allowing them to be hunted down.
World War Bee 2’s crescendo into chaos
Without going into too much detail, the second conflict in the saga of World War Bee rages on. The Imperium continues to wage an increasingly desperate war against its primary enemies in the form of Pandafam Alliance. Pandafam—formed by a loose coalition of NCDOT, TEST, Pandemic Legion Fraternity, and a large number of smaller groups— has been able to storm into the Imperium’s home of Delve.
The outnumbered defenders have waged a war of words and spaceships for the last few weeks, but if you pay attention to the chorus of angry cats that is the EVE Online community, the conflict looks very onesided. PAPI has the Imperium heavily outnumbered and they have been brawling over various structures across various regions. These conflicts have ranged in size, and now they seem to definitely getting bigger.
In a battle now dubbed “The Fury of FWST-8” the game has set some very impressive gaming records. The battle has now been certified as the largest battle in MMO history by the number of players involved. The two records have been confirmed by the Guinness Book of World Records as “Largest multiplayer video game PvP battle” with 8,825 players, and “Most concurrent participants in a multiplayer video game PvP battle” with a sum of 6,557 players.
All the fighting was over a vitally important logistical hub in the system. FWST-8 is an NPC-controlled system within Delve, and it acts as one of the primary chokepoints between the two distinct areas within the region. The Imperium and their PAPI adversaries where ready to throw down the gauntlet over control of the primary Keepstar in the system.
PAPI had managed to anchor the structure under the Fraternity alliance and planned to use it as a major bridghead for their wider invasion into the region. It was imperative that the Imperium take it out. After hours upon hours of bloody fighting, the Imperium managed to hold the line. The coalition burned through 1.5 trillion ISK worth of ships and assets to bring down the Keepstar.
CCP even produced a video in-universe about the conflict, which can be seen below.