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Thursday, 9 October 2014

Nullsec Changes - The sledgehammer begins to fall

From all accounts Nullsec has become stagnant. Not necessarily stagnant from my point of view as I have just decided to enter into this area of EvE full time so there is plenty to explore and learn! The commnity has been screaming for some significant changes to Nullsec for some time now.

From what I understand it has come to a point where basically only a few people "control" Nullsec. These people have built up such substantial empires that almost any move against one of these few entities will result in a swift and devastating show of strength. This show of strength will likely result in the aggressor being kicked out of Nullsec or if not then banished to some less useful or profitable corner of the galaxy.

The main defence against someone tacking a nip at one of the corners of the powerblocs and setting themselves up as a Nullsec entity has been force projection. This has been enabled by the use of Cynos and the ability to react very quickly and move from one end of the galaxy to another with ease.

For instance a corporation or alliance may well successfully start to engage a system and try and take control of it. They come in with a force that is sufficient to make the attack and defend against the local systems whilst they establish control. The game mechanics in their current state allow for the defence of this system by the use of EXTREME force projection. A large Nullsec alliance or coalition can easily round up 100+ pilots in the largest ships with experienced players and appear within 15 minutes of the call being made that an attack is underway. Basically the Nullsec Coalitions have become so powerful that there is little chance that anyone will be able to break out into any area that they currently have under their control.

So what is changing?
CCP have made the decision to attack this issue through the implementation of cooldowns that have an effect on a capital pilots ability to jump through space. These cooldowns are going to have a significant impact on those wishing to traverse the universe in a large ship in a short period of time. Essentially a person jumping though space will have a cooldown (Jump Activation) associated with that character that will force the player to wait out the timer before initiating another jump. In conjunction with this the pilot will have another cooldown (Jump Fatigue) that takes longer to reset and this will extend the jump activation cooldown between jumps based on how severe this level of fatigue is.

What effect does this have?
We will have to wait and see how the pilots react to these changes as there are a few obvious workarounds that may negate this change. The intention, from my understanding, is to limit force projection by making those interested in utilising this strategy commit to the battle at hand and not be able to fly around the universe quickly just smashing small groups into dust. There are corporations/alliances/coalitions in the game dedicated to this type of tactic and this will require them to rethink how they operate and support their allies when required.

Obvious Workarounds!
Eve pilots are adaptable, no doubt about it and they will adapt to this change quite quickly and efficiently.

Workaround 1 involves EvE players having multiple characters with the capability to fly the ships. In this workaround you have the characters startegically spaced around the universe to enable the player to jump to one location, pass on the capital ship to a "fresh" character with no fatigue or cooldown, and continue jumping through to your intended destination.

Workaround 2 involves Eve players having multiple ships strategically placed throughout the universe and then using a small fast ship to travel, pickup their capital and use it at the desired destination.

Work around 3 is similar to 2 but relies on the leadership of your group setting up accessible fleets of capitals in strategic locations throughout their controlled space.

Other workarounds will be identified I am sure and these may well have been posted elsewhere.

More logistics required!
The logistics required once this change is implemented will be significantly greater. Multiple Cyno toons, multiple staging points, multiple fleets stashed in various locations etc etc. Managing this component of Nullsec entities will likely require a significant amount of additional resources. Moving freight from one location to another will require additional planning and resourcing, likely also requiring protective escorts particularly at the entry points into Nullsec space. Pirates are going to love this!

So I have just touched on this scenario and there are plenty of brains trusts out there in EvE working diligently I am sure to work out a strategy to defend their space. I am looking forward to watching how this change affects the EvE universe, maybe I will even get in some good fights as part of this change as well.

CCP has responded to the requests for Nullsec to be revamped, some people think it is with a sledgehammer, I think it is all for the better.

Remember, fly dangerous, freighter pilots have yourself a snickers and GET SOME NUTS, you will need them, possibly a Valium as well!

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