During a Fireside chat on June 29, The Mittani announced that during the day, an escalation in Drifter activities in nullsec had been observed, with increased spawns from those seen the previous days. The Imperium had 170 structures attacked by these NPC forces today. This has caused them, and others in nullsec, to play a “game of whack-a-mole” using the min/max strategies developed since Wednesday. On previous days, if you defeated the fleet in the system, the fleet was gone. Today, this has changed, with cleared-out systems seeing further spawns hours later. This means that the small number of members who are on the ACLs for structures have had to run between the structures for hours on end to defend them.
This new Drifter invasion has been neither engaging and challenging PvE, nor something that requires high levels of interaction from large fleets. This has caused significant stresses within nullsec empires, as everyone has returned to their home regions in an attempt to combat this new menace. Effectively, this new world event has caused a huge stagnation of player-driven content in NullSec regions. The issues that have been created, however, are not with world events themselves, but with the nature of this particular one. The real risk posed by these NPC assaults is not to structures, but rather to burn-out among the members who are responsible for manning the structures.
On the back of recent questions about new-player retention numbers, this forced exercise in monotony brings longer-term player retention back into the limelight. After all, how long can these players – who are the logisticians, FCs, and support personnel of major content-creating player groups, in case you weren’t aware – keep up with the demands upon their time that this world event has created? It may well reach a point where these players simply decide that the game is beyond unplayable, and leave forever, exacerbating CCP’s issues with maintaining an effective playerbase.
Aryth, Goonswarm’s head financier and member of CSMs 11, 12, 13, and 14, explained that the current situation means that as the nullsec groups are unable to carry out their usual fleets, or deploy against each other, they will instead extract content from high sec. As he explained, “Shared trenches make for very good friends“. The ongoing invasions in nullsec have forced the null blocs to put aside their differences for now, and unite under a common cause.
The major power blocs will be forming a cartel to enact an embargo of raw materials into High Security space. Put simply, the NullSec power blocs will not be sending their jump freighters into Jita with the high end minerals and moongoo used by much of highsec production.
Although the regions in NullSec are not self-sufficient in terms of moongoo, the blocs can trade between each other directly, instead of coming into Jita to stock up.
What this means if you are a highsec producer of ships, Tech II modules, or other goods which use nullsec materials is that you can expect to see reduced availability. If you are someone who buys the finished goods in Jita or other trade hubs, expect to see a lower amount of them listed for sale, and at a higher price. Nullsec will be exporting finished goods, but it will take time to get their producers up and running. Much of the usage of Tech II is from nullsec, so a switch to in-house production will impact those who sell T2 goods in HS as well.
If you are a trader, this is a good time to get into speculation, and raid those stockpiles you have had sitting in some backwater system for the last 10 years (You know, the piles of Zyd you brought back in 2015 on a region buy and never picked up). Many markets have not yet responded, so it is a good time to get in early on some ISK making.
This was also discussed on the Meta Show this evening, with further information being disseminated.