Dis gon b gud

During the debut episode of CCP Games' new show, broadcast on Twitch, aptly titled o7 (the universal EVE Online player's salute in chat), CCP Greyscale and CCP Nullarbor hinted about coming changes to 0.0 space:

The major coalitions have basically solved the game and figured out how to win... and it’s kind of boring.
— CCP Greyscale, on the inaugural o7 show

Today, CCP Greyscale made good on the promise to shake up null-sec by publishing the first of what will no doubt be a series of controversial and far-reaching dev blogs. This first set of changes cover force projection and jump drive ranges in very profound ways, much to the chagrin of many 0.0-based capital ship pilots.

Essentially, the ability to traverse vast distances in New Eden with jump drives is being curtailed, which means that capital ships and their support fleets will take much longer to travel to a far destination, compared to what is possible today. Long-distance travel that would take only a few minutes under the current game mechanics will now take much longer periods of time - potentially, hours or even days. (Thanks to Pallidum for the example.)

This is a result of two principal changes:

  • Jump-capable ships get their maximum jump range reduced to five light-years (except for Black Ops ships), assuming fully trained skills
  • Pilots are now susceptible to a new mechanic, called "jump fatigue", which is essentially a cool-down timer between jumps that increases at a significantly (some might say over-dramatically) increasing rate for each successive jump. This timer reduces at a constant, relatively small rate per minute. So, in general, the more frequent and distant the successive jumps, the longer period of time that a jump-capable ship pilot must wait to jump again.

To balance this, capital ships will be able to use gates in null-sec and low-sec, which compared to the longer jump travel times, could be more efficient for shorter distance travel.

Jump Freighters and Rorquals will get a new ship role bonus that reduces jump fatigue by 90 percent, enabling them to do multiple jumps much faster and keep the flow of goods running in 0.0 and low-sec space.

CCP Games anticipates that these changes will begin to be implemented in the next expansion scheduled for November, called Phoebe, with additional adjustments to be rolled out in the subsequent expansion, called Rhea, scheduled for December.

Player reaction to these changes has been decidedly mixed, with many capital ship pilots expressing their dismay at the radical limitation to their operational range. In theory, these new limits should increase the importance of localized territory control and raise the number of smaller-scale skirmishes and fights, without escalating them into giant brawls like the "Bloodbath of B-R5RB". However, even CCP Greyscale admits that further adjustments to these proposed changes will likely be necessary before they are pronounced final.

In the meantime, this first dev blog announcing the beginning of change to null-sec space has energized the player base, and is a harbinger of even more shake-ups that will reverberate through all of New Eden over the next few expansions. As one apt observer said on Twitter after reading the dev blog: "Whoa, Nelly!"

Hold on to your butts, folks. EVE Online players are in for some very interesting times.

Fly safe! o7