Fresh from the ground at G-Fleet comes some breaking news: the Nullsec Blackout is ending on Monday. That’s right folks, all your issues with local chat and the intel it provides will be no more by downtime on Monday, September 16. This was announced in an almost-throwaway comment from CCP Cognac, who said that in Iceland, if you don’t like the weather, simply wait five minutes and it will change. Certainly, players who have disliked the blackout weather will be rewarded for waiting it out.
What has caused this?
One theory is that all of the major blocs – The Imperium, Legacy, PanFam, DeadCo, and WinterCo – have placed restrictions on which ships their members can rat in, largely as a result of the new cyno changes. Most of the blocs severely regulated supercarrier and titan ratting for a short period following the September 10 release, which has had huge impact on players not being in space. This lack of targets in space certainly reduces the number of targets available for hunting or ‘whaling’ groups to attack and potentially kill, resulting in an all-round bad experience for all users, and absolutely contributing to the continuing Peak Concurrent User (PCU) Decline.
Is this CCP backing down from their mistakes? It bears remembering that we are still in the so-called ‘Era of Chaos’, a period of time where CCP “talks less and acts more”. However, this announcement sees CCP take a step back and remove the primary ‘Chaos Era’ change. Hopefully, this is CCP’s first step out of the darkness and back into the light of developing a game with a long-term view in mind. Either way, this walkback should see more players return to playing EVE Online, as they can rat, mine and find potential PvP engagements without having to work so hard and worry about the hunters so much, with a potential further impact of resetting the cycle of destruction. We look forward to seeing how this policy reversal actually impacts EVE Online.