CCP announced in the forums today that with the September update they are planning two changes when it comes to cynosural fields, the ship mounted beacons that act as jump targets for capital ships. The announcement in full:
This September we are planning two large changes for Cynosural Fields:
- Cynosural Field Generator I can only be fit by Force Recon Ships and Black Ops Battleships (note: these classes can still fit covert cynos)
- Jump Freighters can jump to Covert Cynosural Fields
During this era of chaos we are eager to introduce new challenges for veteran pilots while working towards a deeper and more balanced capital meta. Historically, cynos have been extremely flexible. They can be used on flocks of alts at nearly no risk or used by the largest and strongest ships in the game. With few options for cyno disruption, capital response time and power has grown to the point that it’s oppressing activity. This change will make it more complex and demanding to get capitals to the field quickly and give more strategic options for those wishing to disrupt capital response.
While most of the impact from this change is on combat, we are sensitive to the effect on Jump Freighters and logistics overall. Jump Freighters will be allowed to use Covert Cynos which can be activated by cheaper hulls like Covert Ops Frigates. This may need further attention and we will be watching this area very closely.
As clarified in a follow up post, that means that only the following ships can fit a cyno:
- Force Recons
- Black Ops Battleships
- Marshall (maybe?)
If CCP carries through on this, the days of the cyno alt in a small, sacrificial ship will be over.
My hot take on this is that Malcanis will prevail yet again and the rich will get richer while the poor will be left out. Is that that goal?
A large null sec organization that can afford to throw away expensive hulls for cynos or organize protection for their cyno beacons will carry on as before. Coalition capital moves ops won’t change and you will still get dropped on by a bunch of titans if you come to Delve. You’ll just get a better kill mail if you manage to pop the cyno ship.
However, if you are trying to get your own capital ship moved around New Eden, welcome to the new expensive reality. You can only light a cyno in low and null sec, where their presence on the overview system-wide makes them an easy to find target, stuck in place for 10 minutes. The only reason not to bother is that a rookie ship doesn’t get you a kill mark.
But if suddenly every cyno has an expensive kill mail attached, people will be racing to pop them. I just did a multi-cyno trip across low sec to get a suicide dread in place a few weeks back. It cost me a bunch of fuel and a Kestrel. Would I do the same if I knew I was going to have to sacrifice a nearly 300 million ISK Falcon, the current cheapest of all the hulls listed according to EVE Appraisal, for each jump? Probably not. That would have cost me almost as much as the dreadnought itself.
And when people are burning a Falcon for every cyno, expect that price to go up.
I know that CCP wants to shake up the meta, but this feels like it will have the same result that so many past changes have, where an effort to make the larger groups hurt only ends up locking out the small time operator. I suppose at least they had a thought for the jump freighter pilots, who will now only have to burn a covert ops frigate for each jump. Expect shipping prices to go up some as well.
This change isn’t coming until September and at times CCP does listen to feedback. We shall see if this is the chaos they want. I am sure there will be lots of… ahem… discussion about this proposed change. The forum thread about this is already alight, as is the main thread on Reddit.
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