With the July Aegis Sovereignty release, an unexpected change was made to the way jump clones are installed in NPC owned stations. Previously, only raising your standings with a NPC corporation to +8.0 would grant access to jump clone installation facilities at that corporation’s stations. As of July 14, players can now install jump clones in any NPC owned station without appropriate standings given they are docked in the corresponding station as before. This ‘stealth-change’ to EVE by CCP comes alongside another stealth game change making anchoring towers not notify system sovereignty holders.
Before this change, one could ‘create’ a jump clone in any NPC station (without standings) by jumping to another jump clone they already had while docked at the NPC station. Although, if the player jumped back to that jump clone they wouldn’t easily be able to make a new one in the area. Re-installing the jump clone took time since it required you to wait for the cooldown and for you to jump to a different available clone. Additionally, the mechanic was bypassed using freeported 0.0 stations, rorquals, and estel aradors’ corp services, although these mechanics are not necessarily available to every player. In essence, this game change removes a barrier to entry and limits required completion of NPC missions, and therefore ‘grind’, to do so.
Since the change was not clarified in the patch notes it was assumed by some that this change would not be permanent, and would be rolled back in a hotfix, maybe? However, earlier this week CCP Falcon clarified the stance on this change, indicating that it would be permanent.
To swich between jump clones requires a significant skill-dependent wait time before reuse. Likewise, the total number of jump clones allotted to each capsuleer is also skill-dependent. However, jump clones allow for a rapid form of transportation and allow for capsuleers to strategically reposition around the galaxy. Given that strategic repositioning could alter a multitude of EVE content scenarios, being able to easily place jump clones and relocate instantly (albeit with a cooldown) has the potential to alter the future of EVE as a whole.
For example, participants of sovereignty warfare can now keep ships deployed in a variety of NPC-owned stations to synchronize relocations. Similarly, small gang deployments for farming kill reports in hostile space allows players to easily maintain several home bases by jump clone installation for ‘adaptive content generation.’ Fortuitous high sec ganking alts will feel a significant buff now being able to maintain a swathe of jump clone locations with ease. However, all of these cases are just made easier by the change and were obtainable before.
Does this change really make that much of an impact though for seasoned players? “I don’t do much JC’ing. I dislike the mechanics of it. I will JC then suddenly need to be somewhere else. I just pod or use a taxiceptor.” said Arianna Melauex of Merch Industrial when discussing the recent jump clone change. Possibly this change only really helps out younger players (or low skillpoint alts) that do not have the skills or willpower to grind +8.0 standing and may not yet have access to taxiceptors, covert ops, or other advanced transport or jump clone storage mechanics.
In any event it is peculiar that this change arose without prior notification, given the other recent stealth change, was it really an accident? What future stealth-changes does CCP have in store for EVE?