We’ve now had quite some time to see how AegisSov (I’m going
with the generic name now, as there are too many good ones to pick from,
including FozzieSov, Space Wands, and PotterSov) operates in a real-space
environment. Goons did their ProviSmash thing, demonstrating – if nothing
else – the speed a which player assets can be wiped away. The Russians protested the whole thing, which isn’t
surprising since they were buying up renter space just as everyone else was
getting rid of it.
The devs have clearly been listening to player reactions. They made some modifications to the capture
times and base capture status in Galatea
. Proof is building that the devs genuinely want AegisSov to be enjoyable, realize the limitations in this current iteration, and want to create a
balanced yet engaging experience. That’s
incredibly reassuring, and shows that they haven't slipped into old, pre-Incarna habits as some had feared.
At the same time, AegisSov is here to stay and CCP isn't pulling back from weakening the need for coalitions and
encouraging chaos in null-sec. By this time next year, I think we'll be there.
Player engagement appears to be picking up, although a lot
of the really capable PvP organizations are moving to low-sec from null. Whether that’s a temporary reset or not is up
for debate, but it’s happening. Low-sec
is booming as a result, albeit not for the reasons we’d like (the health of
low, but rather, the perceived unhealthiness of null).
Some time ago, I predicted that hunters would leave sovereignty in favor of attacking sov holders without facing retaliation. By and large, we're seeing that. Corporations, players, and whole alliances are leaving for low-sec. AegisSov makes sovereignty an isk-generating resource, with the
obligation to spend most of your time cultivating indexes and repelling
attacks. That just doesn’t suit with the
attitude of pre-Aegis null players, and they're adapting... by leaving null.
I’ve spoken before about the way tension and discomfort build up for several months before players make a change (moving to a new corp, moving an existing corp to a new area of space, or following some other paradigm). We’re thickly in the midst of that tension-building stage, but as the months roll by, I’m certain we’ll see more and more people leaving null-sec alliances to join pirate and “aggressor” corporations.
And this may all be part of the design… to undermine the
former main draw of null alliances to weaken and split them before adding in
the added benefits CCP promised. And yet, CCP still has a desire to keep those players in the
game, and has a long-stated goal of reducing hassle without reducing the
advantage of organization and player experience or increasing the safety.