By the end of the weekend the patterns of the Drifter attacks in null sec had been pretty well documented. There were a set group of systems they were hitting and a regular, if erratic, behavior that had them bouncing around those systems shooting structures, including gates, as well as anybody who happened to wander into range.
But there was very much a feeling that once Wednesday rolled around, the seeming weekly inflection point for Invasion expansion events, that we would see a change.
And, sure enough, we did see a change.
A new set of systems appeared to be targeted as the new day dawned.
But, more important, the behavior of the Drifters changed up as well. In addition to warping to structures they began warping into combat and mining anomalies to shoot up anybody they happened to run into. The high sec dream of Drifters shooting null sec players appears to have come to pass. You can watch the Vigilant Tyrannos corporation kill board on Zkill to see what they are blowing up.
While it still seems to be mostly defense fleets and people caught on gates, Vexor Navy Issues, the ratting ship of choice, are starting to appear more frequently.
None of our Rorquals are on the kill board yet, though there were some close calls.
But the Drifters did manage to get one earlier down south.
And they did managed to join in on an Athanor kill, though it was anchoring and under attack by players, so it was probably going down regardless.
So the Drifter menace got a bit more real. And longer as well. Rather than being a limited hours attack, things seem to be running all the way to downtime now, so I hope you have around the clock coverage in your region. Oh, and it is a holiday today in the US, and a four day weekend for many, so lots of people will be away. Nice timing.
The drifters do still appear to be sticking to a select, if expanded, set of systems, so as long as you move out of a system where the Drifters are hanging out to return to the usual amount of risk. Intel channels are your friend. But if you have to defend against them, then it is just non-stop now. And if you go through those systems… well, the kill rate for Drifters went from a few an hour to something like two a minute last night, including pods, across null sec.
CCP has not, as of my writing this, commented on the Drifter invasion save for a video from The Scope that was posted last Friday. We will have to wait and see if The Scope will have any further comment and when, if ever, the Triglavian invasion of high sec and the Drifter invasion of null sec come together as an event.
So CCP continues to beset null sec with even more tedious, unrewarding game play, which seems odd from a company that is also fretting publicly about new player retention.