CCP released the latest Dev Blog on April 24, prompting another wave of praise from players. The Dev Blog, Forsaken Fortress, lists this upcoming change as the follow-up to the Kicking Over Castles update last year. In this update, which is scheduled for May 26, stations will have a third status level: Vulnerable, Low Power, and now Abandoned.
The introduction of citadels brought a wave of fantastic tactical and operational options to everyone, from small corporations to major coalitions. However, like all things man made, they were not perfect. The nature of gaming, in that player levels act like ocean waves, means that numbers constantly rise and fall. This fact is what birthed one of the issues plaguing EVE online’s beautiful nebula backdrops: space garbage. Abandoned stations litter the systems of EVE from corps and owners that have long since forgotten them. But under the current mechanics these stations are still a headache to bulldoze despite them being “low power” with no fuel. On top of that, “low power” stations can still create tethering beams for friendly ships and maintain a structure reinforcement timer. This new system aims to remove that problem.
The Abandoned state “will apply to both standard structures and FLEX structures,” according to CCP. Structures that “have not consumed any fuel from service modules for 7 days” will enter this state and will have the following abilities removed.
- No Reinforcement Phases – The structure will have no reinforcement phases, meaning it can be destroyed in one session (Damage caps will still be in effect. If a structure is currently in a reinforced state at the moment the abandonment timer expires, then that reinforce timer will operate as normal but no new reinforcement phases will be allowed).
- No Tethering – The structure will not provide any tethering assistance.
- No Asset Safety – Items will not be put into asset safety when the structure is destroyed (Structures in wormholes will continue to operate with no asset safety for all states).
Like the low power status, the abandoned status can be exited by onlining a service module, thus putting the station into Full Power and “restoring its abilities, provided that the structure is not damaged, as service modules cannot be onlined for a damaged structure.” The blog continues, “If a structure survives through a hull Vulnerable repair cycle and transitions back to the shield Vulnerable phase, then the service modules will automatically attempt to re-online themselves, provided there is fuel available to do so. This is important in order to ensure that a Full Power structure with sufficient fuel cannot be prematurely forced into the Abandoned state by pushing it through a hull reinforcement and then allowing it to repair.”
On the surface this change is almost exactly what everyone has been craving, however some players have raised concerns over the FLEX structure (Ansiblex Gates, Cyno Jammers, Cyno Beacons) mechanics. See this link for an in depth explanation on the different types of Upwell structures.
The change that has caught many people’s eyes is the removal of the Armor Reinforcement timer for FLEX structures. The only timer available is the Hull, which ranges from 0.5 to 25.5 hours. This means that these structures will be dying very quickly. In as short as a few days, if one were lucky, a dedicated bashing party can roll over an entire system, depending on Hull timers and the number of stations being damage capped at a time.
However the loss of Asset Safety for abandoned structures has garnered just as much split attention, if not more. CCP Aurora confirmed on the discussion thread that the drop rate would be set at the “standard drop rate.” However the larger issue under the Asset Safety topic was that of players who, for whatever reason, are unable to log on to manage their structures. Players in the discussion thread have raised concerns about those who cannot login for one reason or another between now and early June. Examples include service members who are forward-deployed, or individuals without EVE access where they’re sheltering-in-place, and other who have simply run into an unexpected difficulty. Remedies have been suggested ranging from increasing the ‘abandoned’ delay from seven days to 30, or allowing affected players to submit petitions to get their possessions moved to Asset Safety in advance, or restored afterwards. At this time, CCP has not indicated whether or not any measures will be taken for these players. However, there has been a quick response to similar concerns raised over cyno changes and other issues in the last six months. With that in mind, there is cause to hope that these worries will not fall on deaf ears.