The recent jump drive changes announced by CCP have caused a furor not seen in Eve for years. The drama and discussion from all sides has breathed new life into a section of the community that, for the last year at least, seemed stale and stagnant. But what does this really mean for nullsec and its lifestyle?
Renting as we now know it will cease to exist. No more gated communities for the landlord alliances to keep the filthy, unwashed tenants away. Renters will not be able to sit in their own private regions to toil the land quietly; if you are going to rent out space, it will have to be space you and your member base already use, much like Against ALL Authorities did with Catch. Managing multiple regions is no longer feasible with the jump drive nerfs because it would take way too long and way too much effort to install upgrades for tenants. And that’s only on the side of the people collecting money hand over fist, not to mention the poor fools who would continue to rent post-nerf.
This is the jump route to the Cobalt Edge area after the patch. Anyone who wants to live in what we call the remote fringes of nullsec today is going to find a barren wasteland tomorrow. With an economy that is centered around major trading hubs in empire space, importing is the only real feasible means of getting supplies to areas like this. One could argue that a smaller group could make do with the supply of low-end minerals currently in nullsec, that they could live off the land, but nobody is going to live in nullsec and deal with the hassle of getting out there and back to empire to sell their product if there’s more money in doing the same thing in highsec. And if a moderately sized group wants to carve their own home in such an area, they’d quickly get sick and tired of dealing with the hamstring to logistics alongside the infertile land they live in.
But enough about renters, what about the independent squatters, constantly a thorn in the big coalition’s side? Well, here’s a route from Jita to NPC Fountain, home of Gang Bang Team, G0dfathers and bitter ex TEST girlfriends, and here’s a route from Jita to NPC Delve, where Love Squad makes themselves known. What seems to be the problem with these routes, aside from the absolutely godawful number of midpoints needed? Well, they pass through sov nullsec, which is something current Jump Drive Calibration 5 Jump Freighters are fully capable of avoiding, looping through nearby lowsec before the final leg of the journey. Critics of the NPC nullsec lifestyle will tell the squatters to suck it up and escort the cargo through the dangerous, likely camped sov null systems, but the sheer number and doctrine disparity between sovholding entities and their unwelcome guests is pretty staggering. Most squatters simply cannot go toe-to-toe in a brawl versus the people they harry, and thus adjust their tactics and weapons accordingly to play to their strengths of being a small and wily pain in the ass; and when they do fight straight up, they have to call friends to help even out the odds, much like the relationship between PASTA and Black Legion. To tell these people who rely on importing to simply continue existing to do the impossible isn’t good for the health of the game.
What about the good from these changes then? For starters, as mentioned earlier, massive sprawling space empires are going to be forced to compress and become leaner, but only partially because of logistical issues. The jump drive changes affect jump bridges as well as jump drives on ships. So say goodbye to the Eye of Terror and the ability to traverse 4 or 5 regions in 15 minutes with your subcapital fleet. If RAZOR Alliance is attacked in Tenal, the folks in Delve are not going to be showing up, and the folks in Deklein are going to have one hell of a time making it there if they decide to help out. This will effectively “Balkanize” nullsec, something that a large number of sov null leaders expressed a desire to see.
The changes will also benefit lowsec! For better or worse, you can say goodbye to Pandemic Legion supercapital gangs hotdropping on your gatecamp… probably. If you know what is within 5 to 10 lightyears of you, you can know with a degree of certainty what you can expect to see showing up on your lowsec capital fight’s doorstep, because anything further away simply cannot cover distance fast enough via jump drive to not be noticed. That being said, capitals will now be able to take gates, and capitals with hyperspatial mods and rigs will warp at the speed of battleships or better, so the threat of outside interference isn’t completely mitigated – a good thing, for sure.
CCP have done well with this announcement, all things considered. What they have to do now is make sure to nurture nullsec in a timely fashion, lest there is nobody actually living in nullsec to enjoy the following phases of changes. If they can do that, they’ll have made nullsec a vibrant, interesting place again, something not seen for many years.
Tags: dirk, force projection, logistics, nullsec, renters, trade
As a member of Sniggerdly corporation in Pandemic Legion, Dirk enjoys a fine view from atop the highest peak in Eve. When he isn't collecting free money from numerous personal R64 moons, he enjoys Paradox titles, droney noisy music, anime, fighting games and shitposting. Lots of shitposting.