Header art by Redline XIII
CCP may secretly be planning to take drastic actions to nerf the Imperium’s income with a nerf of ratting activities in the Southwest of New Eden. This potential move comes as the Monthly Economic Report has once again shown Delve far outstripping other areas of the game in income generation. Delve ratting in November, in fact, exceeded the ratting income totals in all of high- and low-security space combined.
In light of this, and with clear intent to at least tighten some of the ISK faucets in the game, CCP adjusted some anomaly respawn rates in the last patch. However, the changes may be far more extensive. They may even alter a significant part of the NPC landscape.
CCP may be planning to remove the Blood Raiders completely from the regions around Amarr space.
Two months ago, as INN has previously reported, CCP began a new series of Live Events. These events, beginning with the October 8 chemical attack on the Rens 8-5 trade hub, initially seemed to be the lead-in for the annual Crimson Harvest Event. The chain of events appeared to culminate in a massive chemical weapons strike on several planets in the Khanid Kingdom system of Kahah.
These attacks sparked the beginning of a slave uprising in Kahah, one that the Khanid Kingdom responded to swiftly. The savagery and indiscriminate slaughter of the suppression campaign prompted the Gallente Federation and Minmatar Republic to implement economic sanctions against the Amarr Empire for failing to bring their client-state to heel.
Capsuleers became involved as well, from small storylines of escapees smuggled out of the conflict zone to grand gestures, like Fweddit’s self-destruction of nine freighters. The final confrontation came when Ushra’khan attempted to breach the Khanid Navy blockade, fomenting a battle between liberator and loyalist forces. At that point, the event seemed over. Now, though, it seems those thoughts were wrong.
On December 11, five more planets were hit by Deathglow-based chemical attacks. This time, the target planets were in Amarr space. Spread out among the non-Khanid Houses of the Empire, the target worlds have experienced very different outcomes. Three of the five have seen the Empire regain control swiftly, while two others show continued fighting.
Once again, the Empire’s neighbors have reacted to the Imperial counter-insurgency operations. The Republic, most notably, has deployed blockading fleets of subcapitals to border systems. All of this points to the potential for an increase in the conflict between the empires—one that lines up well with the changes to the high-security war declaration system. But that may not be the real agenda here.
What’s That Got To Do With Delve?
In a post on the in-character Intergalactic Summit forum, CCP may have let a deeper plan slip. There, posting as Sourem Itharen, Amarr Cardinal and the Capsuleer Emissary to the Court Chamberlain, CCP’s live events staff included the following statement:
“Holy Amarr has been attacked, once more, by enemies without and, perhaps, within. By signs temporal and supernatural it is clear that the evil of the Blood Raider heresy must again be exterminated. It is a profound and urgent wish of our Her Sublime Imperial Majesty that the tendrils of Blood cultism be sought out and eliminated wherever they may appear in the society of this world.”
The Blood Raiders, exterminated. Could this be the first sign of a plan to nerf Imperium income by removing ratting from Delve entirely?
Or Maybe Not The First Sign
Consider the Pirate Engineering Complexes. CCP released the first of these as the Blood Raider Sotiyo Complex. Soon after, they gave us the Guristas EC. CCP built in a much wider distribution of potential regions for that EC to spawn in, purely because the Guristas control so much more space.
Soon after, however, the Blood Raider Sotiyos suddenly pulled up roots and began appearing all over the map. When the change happened, players saw this as a way to ensure that the Blood Raider faction capitals would not all end up in the Imperium’s hands. Soon after all of that, however, Pirate Forward Operating Bases (FOBs) began appearing in highsec. This begs the question – what if it was all part of something more? Some deeper plan?
What if CCP is planning to make the Blood Raiders, and potentially all Pirate factions, nomadic? Pirate incursions would provide ways for different groups to get different faction loot. CCP could base all of it on random locations that just happen to never include Delve.
And They Don’t Even Deny It.
On December 13, CCP streamed the CCP Caravan, where the devs fleeted up and went roaming. And by all accounts, it was a great success, with a lot of fun had by all. But then, in the Q&A session at the end of the stream, the possibility of this very strategy came up multiple times. In each case, streamer Bjorn Bee, CCP Guard, and CCP Karkur completely failed to deny the theory!
Is CCP planning to pull the ratting rug out from under the Imperium? Do the CSM know? Does Aryth know? And if so, how is he planning to reap insanely massive profits from it?
What more have they not told us? Inquiring minds are inquiring and stuff! THE TRUTH IS OUT THERE. ACCEPT NO IMITATIONS! TRUST NO ONE!!
[Note: The author has been given sedatives and strict orders to stay away from all sources of tinfoil in the future.]
[Editor’s Note: This article is satire, born from an amusing and intentionally alarmist reading of several developments. There is no apparent grand, nefarious plan from CCP to remove the Blood Raiders from the game, or from Delve. And if there was, CCP would totally never tell us anyway, would they?]