One of the presentations at EVE Fanfest this past weekend that attracted my attention was the structures talk. (INN has a summary of the presentation, or you can watch the recording which is at about the 5 hour 27 minute mark on the Fanfest Day 2 video on Twitch. Addendum: Summarized by CCP in this forum post as well.)
Upwell structures, which first showed up with the Citadel expansion last April have blossomed in New Eden, with citadels and engineering complexes being deployed in large numbers.
The presentation went over some of the statistics about such structures, repeating some of what was in the keynote presentation and the going into some additional detail. There was also some further information about the coming refineries that will, among other things, replace player owned starbases in the moon mining role.
But for me, one of the most interesting bits of the presentation was regarding the removal of outposts from null sec. Outposts are the conquerable stations in null sec space that have, over the years, change the shape of space and have been the focal point of conflicts.
CCP removed the ability to anchor new outposts in null sec space with the last update in YC118. The final outpost was anchored just before the deadline by Fraternity, and event covered by EN24 which includes a retrospective about outposts including links to Dev Blogs about them going back to 2005.
With this presentation CCP gave us a look at their plan for removing outposts. The plan is for them to become “faction” citadels to be put in place of the current 68 null sec outpost structures. The current sovereignty owner will get a special Fortizar sized citadel which they can leave in place or move elsewhere.
Interestingly, these will be very much limited edition citadels that nobody will be able to build. This will no doubt both inflate their value as unique items in New Eden and make them more desirable targets for destruction.
While packing them up and selling them might be the plan for some, there will be an incentive to leave them in place. At the time of the transition each outpost-come-citadel will get a special rig that will approximate all of the outpost upgrades in a single rig slot (leaving room for additions), making these citadels very powerful indeed.
As with the citadel itself, these will be one-off rigs, never to be seen again in New Eden. And just to make the choice of what to do with the citadel “interesting,” the rig will be destroyed if you fold up the citadel to move it or sell it, creating a strong incentive to leave it where it is.
The actual date for this transition was stated as “Winter” which, given that we’ve just entered Spring, means there is a while to go before we see this transition. I suspect that this is something that will easily fall into 2018/YC120.
When it does, however, there will be one interesting side effect. When you leave something in an outpost and you no longer have access to that outpost, your asset is pretty much stuck unless you left a jump clone behind.
Citadels are different. They have asset recovery. So once all of the outposts have been converted to citadels, any assets in the outposts will also be moved.
And with that, all of the assets that have been locked away in lost outposts will suddenly become recoverable. There is a price, 10% of the assessed value, but paying that will put the items in a low sec station where the capsuleer can recover it.
Suddenly everything from bits of veldspar to capital ships left behind by people after various wars will suddenly be accessible. While I have been pretty good about not leaving stuff behind in null sec (low and high sec if a very different story), I still have items left behind in a few outposts. (Mostly in Fade)
I wonder what sort of impact that will have on the game and the economy. I wonder how much wealth in assets has been locked away, sometimes for years, in inaccessible outposts.