Zombie, zombie Nation
Well, the Sansha are coming. Admittedly their operational security leaves a lot to be desired and they’ve rather lost the element of surprise but double agent CCP Ytterbium leaves no doubt that these new comers will be some tough hombres in his latest dev blog.
The Sansha invasion essentially could emerge almost anywhere and at any time and their arrival will cause wide spread disruption as CCP Ytterbium states:
“……systems invaded by Sanshas will receive certain system wide effects that affect all players inside them:
· Reduction of all shield/armor resistances
· Reduction of turret, missile, drone and smartbomb damage
· Jamming of cynosural fields throughout the system
· Reduction of 50% on all NPC bounties”
Now those are some significant effects and it’s worthwhile considering how some of these might effect our average EVE player. High Sec mission runners are a staple and widespread example – with 50% less damage dealt this means completing those level 4’s will take that much longer and with reduced armour/shield be a degree more difficult, and all for less ISK.
Next up “celestial pirate NPCs you would normally encounter at star gates and asteroid belts will be replaced by new ones tied with the incursion, and they will demonstrate updated attributes and Sleeper-like AI” – a potentially major issue for the “AFK miner”.
Just consider those two factors alone – and that’s before we even consider the ramifications for Low Sec gate camps, or the cyno jamming effects in Null Sec. The question that remains wholly unanswered though is if the typical inhabitants of these regions will rally to remove the invading NPCs. And rally they will need to do, if reports from the SISI test server of Battleships being melted to slag in a few Sansha volleys are to be believed. Players who think they’ll be able to solo against these invaders may well be in for a nasty shock.
Clearly we can predict at least some of the possible responses from the ‘local population’. Many will undoubtedly take up arms to repel the Sansha – most likely in High Sec where the risk of getting a unwelcome visit from nearby pirates is much reduced. The second response is that players will simply abandon those invaded areas where they cannot muster a coordinated response; this is more likely in underpopulated low sec and high sec systems. And finally some will wail in despair and write letters of complaint – “Yours disgusted from Tunbridge Wells…” to CCP HQ.
Of course one potential out come is that some groups will actively seek out these invasion ‘hot spots’. Its not immediately clear what the full range of rewards will be, although the example from Ytterbium’s blog suggests something in the 25mil ISK range for a mid range encounter. Is that worth it? Well that’s harder to judge – we don’t know yet how widespread or common these invasion hot spots will be, or how easily organised groups will find them to complete. We can say, with reasonable certainty, that at least some players will take the Sansha on if only for novelty value.
Whilst I don’t find the feature immediately appealing myself I do find the potential consequences and ramifications of interest and for that reason I am quite content to see it come to fruition. Or at least at the moment I am – quite how my perspective will change if and when I become a victim of the Sansha’s influence is yet to be seen, and my gut says that will be the case pretty much across New Eden.
CCP are treading a thin line between a ‘cool feature’ and what might turn into an ‘irritating annoyance’ especially when the ‘invasion’ drags on and on and on. Will we be excited to see Sansha’s minions arrive in our home systems the first time? What about the umpteenth time?
Without a doubt CCP will have stuck a stick into a hornets nest in some places – especially null sec where the Alliances are fiercely protective of their ‘player generated content’ and independence from the PVE crowd of Empire. Once Alliance’s own invasion and defensive plans become hampered by the Sansha we could well see sentiment turn against this feature and demands for it to be shoved back into Empire begin.
Personally I give it until the first Rorqual gets whumped at a belt.