It feels like it has been a long time coming, but this morning CCP announced the successful deployment of the final step in their null sec sovereignty revamp. Back in November 2014, the Phoebe expansion gave us jump fatigue and reduced structure hit points as the lead-in features to the journey to alter the face of null sec.
That put a leash on the free ranging super capital fleets while managing to make capital fleets more viable for local defense. Pandemic Legion could not longer drop a pile of supers on people anywhere in New Eden with half an hour of notice. Instead we got the Bizarro world vision of supers taking gates across space.
That change also gave rise to the whole Reavers concept, where during a war a small group could go deep into enemy territory, shoot structure, drop SBUs, set timers, siphon moons, kill ratters, and otherwise cause enough pain that the hostiles would have to choose between fighting on the main front or pulling back to secure their home turf.
There was then a second round of proposed sovereignty changes centered around the Entosis Link Module and the idea that, as somebody summed it up, constellations are to be the new regions.
This has all been summed up… if that is the right term… in a series of dev blogs and updates that have come out since March of this year:
- Politics by Other Means
- Summer 2015 Nullsec and Sov Status Report
- New Details on July Sovereignty Release Schedule Sovereignty
- Transition and Deployment
- Nullsec PVE and upgrades
But for all of those posts, the final patch notes for this between releases drop are surprisingly concise:
- Territorial Claim Units, Infrastructure Hubs, and Outposts are no longer subject to regular weapons damage. Instead an Entosis Link module is required to capture and control them.
- Ownership of Territorial Claim Units, Infrastructure Hubs, and Outposts has now been decoupled from one-another. Each different structure in a solar system can be deployed, owned, attacked and destroyed by different alliances at the same time.
- Territorial Claim Units no longer require an upkeep bill. Instead, the running costs have been moved over to bills on Infrastructure Hubs.
- Each alliance can set a Default Vulnerability Time for their sovereignty structures. This is a daily interval where structures will become vulnerable to Entosis Links. The length of this interval is based on the Activity Defense Multiplier. The ADM in turn is based on the Strategic, Military and Industrial levels of the solar system. Changes to the Default Vulnerability Time will take 48 hours to come in to effect.
- Each alliance can set a single Capital System on one solar system where they control a Territorial Claim Unit. Structures controlled by an alliance in their Capital System receive a bonus to their ADM, making them easier to defend. Changes to the Capital System will take 7 days to come in to effect.
- Destroying/capturing another alliance’s sovereignty structures requires attackers to use Entosis Links on the structure during its daily vulnerability window. If this action succeeds, the structure will become invulnerable. At some some point between 24 and 72 hours later, Command Nodes will begin spawning around the constellation. Attackers and defenders must capture these nodes using Entosis Links in a tug-of-war battle in order to destroy/secure the structure.
- Sovereignty Blockade Units are now obsolete. Any SBUs in space will automatically self-destruct, whilst SBUs in hangars can be sold back to NPC buy orders.
Yes, there is a lot of assumed information in those notes. You have to go through the dev posts to get the full picture. But that is the essence distilled down to its basic form. And apparently capsuleers in New Eden are off to the races right away.
One of the new aspects of this, freeport stations, where anybody can dock up, friend or foe, have started showing up.
You can see this over on DOTLAN as well. Somebody will have to come up with a freeport feed.
So today is one of those before/after points. The sovereignty system brought in with the Dominion expansion is finally gone. Fozzie-Sov, brought in over a number of small expansions, is now was sovereign null sec functions. We should take a look at today’s sovereignty map for comparison with what it will look like three or six months down the road. Will this lead to a big shake up in who holds space in null sec? (From the usual source.)
That is null sec space as it stands now. The Imperium is tucked up in the north. Black Legion is sitting on most of Fountain since Brave left under with the philosophy of “…we will certainly come out on top again if we succeed in being defeated!”
A lot of other areas have been carved up into smaller domains, though a lot of the long time players still remain. Against All Authorities in particular just keeps popping back up in that same spot on the map. And then there is that huge chunk or renter space in the Northeast, with Shadow of xXDEATHXx and Brothers of Tangra still providing opportunities for those who wish to sublet in null.
Are we headed for a new realignment in null, or will the status quo, having condensed in some cases and started recruiting new players en masse in a couple others, hold on to their current domains?
And, of course, who is going to lose sov because they forgot to pay the bill since that changed as part of the patch as well.