Thursday, July 18, 2019

EVE Online's NPC News Update For Mid-July 2019

CCP published another news post on the ongoing NPC activity in EVE Online Monday. As CCP intends to surprise players with changes here and there, the patch notes are not always complete. The empire storylines hopefully will fill in the blanks. The main focus of Monday's news: "... the Secure Commerce Commission takes extraordinary measures in response to pressure from Drifter assaults and the continuing Triglavian invasions."

SCC Confirms Limits on Nullsec Bandwidth to be "Maintained Indefinitely" Despite Fall in Drifter Assaults

The SCC has reiterated that its primary concern is to maintain the "integrity and sustainability of the fluid router network for strategic and essential communications" and noted QE 4-He resupply logistics have been put under serious and continuous strain by the Triglavian invasions. Sources within the SCC have revealed that the Triglavian attacks began to seriously affect resupply missions once the so-called "major conduits" phase of the invasion campaign began. Since the Triglavian World Arks began to spearhead the assaults, there have even been attacks on stockpiles of QE 4-Helium.

"The Drifter attacks in nullsec came close to being the tipping point for the imposition of bandwidth limits but it wasn't until we lost an entire QE 4-He production facility to a Triglavian assault that the SCC decided to act. We've since lost some other stockpiles but the DED have stepped up fleet presence at all the critical locations," said one source in conversation with Ret Gloriaxx of the Scope's Galactic Hour with Ret Gloriaxx.
So the Drifters were not the cause of the downgrading of the communications network in null security space. They just pushed the issue to the brink. The real cause are those damned Triglavians. Capsuleers need to go after those guys. If there were only some way to encourage players to participate.

AEGIS Estimates Fatalities from Triglavian Planetary and Station Raiding at "Several Hundred Thousands"

Yulai, Genesis — AEGIS Provost Marshal Kasiha Valkanir released estimates of fatal casualties running into "several hundred thousands" due to Triglavian raiding of planets, stations and other orbital bodies, at a press conference held this morning at DED Headquarters in Yulai. Collated in the course of AEGIS operations supporting, and in some cases providing, defense of stations and orbital bodies, the figures reflect the relatively successful outcomes of most orbital defensive efforts.

Questioned on the remarkably low fatality figures, Provost Marshal Valkanir conceded that "Triglavian assaults on static targets are typically aimed at specific objectives and not at inflicting high levels of casualties." Provost Valkanir went on to say, "The best assessment of AEGIS, and indeed the DED as a whole, is that Triglavian operations on planets, moons, stations, and other orbitals, are primarily focused on intelligence-gathering efforts. This does include some degree of seizing property and personnel, presumably for analysis and, in the latter case, interrogation." The Provost Marshal also confirmed that Triglavian forces attacking orbitals have included so-called "rogue drones" apparently operating under their command.

Wait, I thought the Triglavians hated the Rogue Drones. The Drone Regions, introduced in Revelations, contain no NPC-owned space but are populated by the Rogue Drones. If the Triglavians pop up in null sec in general, and the Drone Regions in particular, the environmental factors null sec residents have to face just got a lot smarter.

CONCORD Revises Casualty Estimates of Drifter Attacks in Outer Regions After SAR Missions

Drifter attacks on non-capsuleer installations appear to have preferentially targeted resource extraction colonies and facilities of various types, while secondarily mounting attacks on communications and logistics infrastructure. CONCORD has noted that it appears Drifter assaults on nullsec colonies generally stripped all resources from the target before entirely destroying the associated installations. In most cases, fatalities were total, resulting in the high numbers of dead. CONCORD has not confirmed or denied reports that in some cases there is a near total absence of corpses or biomass residue remaining amidst the destroyed infrastructure.

While there will be some relief that the death toll was not so high as first thought, the grim reality is that there has been a vast loss of life due to the Drifter attacks. While CONCORD refuses to comment or speculate beyond the facts, it has not been lost on some commentators, the Scope's Galactic Hour with Ret Gloriaxx among them, that the Triglavians have been comparatively restrained in contrast to the inhuman ruthlessness displayed by the Drifters.

The casualty count was reduced from over 10 billion dead to just over 1 billion. Still, if players are going to deal with either invading faction, the Triglavians are the most likely bet.

The other items in the news update were:

  • Confusion and Disputes Arise Over Arrests of Mikramurka Defense Officials by Matar Planetary Security
  • Federal Intelligence Office Refuses to Discuss Semiki Intrusion in Open Senate Session; Requests Closed Meeting
  • Lord Ardishapur Hails Defeat of Triglavians and Blood Raider Assaults in Mandate by Ammatar Fleet and Capsuleers
  • Caille Rogue Drone Cultural Exchange Society Vows to Continue Outreach Efforts Despite Firebombing and Intimidation
  • Intaki Syndicate to Hold Summit Meeting Discussing Nullsec FTL Comms with ORE, Thukker Tribe and "Strategic Partners"
  • Calsif Shadekior Breaks Speed Record for Solo Warp Flight from Pator to Lustrevik; Vherokior Tribe Celebrates

Of these news items, I think the most significant is the meeting between ORE, Thukker Tribe, and "Strategic Partners". I'm pretty sure this is a reference to the null sec regions "controlled" by NPC factions. The list includes:

Will we see different rules for local in sovereignty null sec vs NPC null? And might those rules extend to NPC corporations that do not own full regions like Blood Raiders, The Society of Conscious Thought, and The Sisters of EVE? And if the NPC groups manage to hang onto their communications, will CCP make the technology available to players?

The next story of interest concerns the Semiki incident. That is the system the Arataka Research Consortium operates from. The system has turned into somewhat of a test bed, so I'm interested to see what happens next, if anything.

The next story has me puzzled. What is going on with the Caille Rogue Drone Cultural Exchange Society? I have the feeling the Rogue Drones will take on at least a supporting role in the main Triglavian storyline. Or is this another player group getting props from CCP, like ARC?

Finally, Calsif Shadekior breaking a warp speed record is nice as someone who plays Mimatar from the Vherokior Tribe. But are we perhaps seeing a hint of a new, speedy shuttle or a special rig or module? I'd suggest a new type of implant, but I think that is wishful thinking.

Actually, I expect a lot of this post is wishful thinking. But from everything I've heard his year, CCP wants players to speculate. No more perfect knowledge of what's about to happen next.

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