It’s been barely a month since Eve Echoes has been released and the game has already found itself in controversy with a recent bug fix which has left players using offline autopilot vulnerable to gate camps in low and null security space. For those who are not familiar with offline autopilot, it is a feature unique to Echoes designed for mobile users who do not want to stare at their screen for long travel distances. This means you can set a course and exit the game while your ship flies to your selected destination. Prior to the bug fix, this meant your ship was practically invulnerable, making it almost impossible for a gate camp to pin you down using warp disruptors.
However, many players assumed this was a feature and not something that wasn’t working as intended, which meant there was significant backlash when players started losing ships in low and null sec while AFK piloting. Furthermore, the safety of gate guns in low security is not as guaranteed as EVE Online given that players have found an exploit which makes it so the turrets will target one ship at a time even when the player moves out of range. Some like myself feel like that low and null sec are supposed to be areas of risk, compared high sec which is a no PvP zone where players who do not want to lose their ship can stay. Others have stated that Echoes is supposed to be more casual and high sec does not have enough content to keep people satisfied long-term. After a couple weeks of heated back and forth amongst the community, the developers at Netease have released a poll with the following options:
- Retain the current setup as it exists. Players should expect risks when venturing into low and null sec systems.
- Enhance the firepower of the gate guns. (Most battleships can withstand up to 5 attacks only) and offer anti warp capability on stargates. These changes will enable campers to take victim selection into consideration before attacking – only targets that yield profitable returns are worth killing.
- Enhance security in proximity to stargates (including high, low, and null sec) These changes will enable the surrounding areas around stargates to become safe zones. However, gate guns near null sec systems require the sovereign’s installation after sovereignty is implemented.
It seems like Netease has recognized the player base has conflicting opinions on this issue and wants to gather feedback before making any final decision.