As promised, with the passing of downtime today, CCP switched the the null sec local channel from immediate to delayed mode, meaning that people only appear in the list when they speak rather than as soon as they enter the current system. The duration of this “undetermined” according to CCP.
Basically, they want to leave their options open as they see how this turns out.
Of course, there is always somebody who wants to talk.
In the run up to this various groups have been planning and trying to get their members on board with the new reality. Classes on how to use the directional scanner effectively have been running (here is a quick video if you are interested), suggestions on what to do if you are going to rat or mine (be aligned, use d-scan, watch intel channels) have been put into an infographic, and optimum gates to camp if you want to help shoot the expected deluge of hunts have been broadcast repeatedly.
Even the /r/eve Reddit community mods set the subreddit to private for a bit with a message about the change to null sec local in the hope of getting the news out as far and wide as possible.
But somebody won’t get the word, and comedy will ensue as they blithely fly around a seemingly empty null sec.
The change is imperfect. You can still go to DOTLAN EVE Maps to see kill statistics or look at the in-game map to see where things might be hot. Intel is still available. (Though ZKillboard appears to be blacked out for the blackout.)
But it is nothing like the immediate warning you get when a hostile shows up in local.
And now we wait to see what happens. Will this usher in an exciting new era of null sec? Or will people stop ratting and mining except in protected groups, leading to more complaints about how difficult it is to hunt in 0.0. space?
Meanwhile, conspiracy theories and fantasies about the change persist. My favorite so far is that this is CCP trying to hide the fact that null sec is empty and that EVE Online is dying. There should be an EVE Online version of Godwin’s Law for EVE Online. Something like:
As an EVE discussion grows longer, the probability of somebody saying that EVE Online is dying approaches 1.
And so it goes.