The Fall of Niarja and the Shape of High Sec

Surprise!  Niarja became low security space last night!

Things have changed here

I had not been paying much attention to the Triglavian invasion event.  New Eden is a big enough sandbox that I can play in my own area and not care about what was going on in high sec.  Delve is many gates from the nearest high sec system.  Also, the war.

And then Niarja became the next Triglavian target and everybody lost their minds.

Niarja is a 0.5 high sec system known primarily for two things; being a prime spot for suicide gankers and being on the direct trade route when traveling between Caldari and Amarr space in general and the trade hubs of Jita and Amarr specifically.

When the Triglavians take a system, the security status of that system drops by 0.1.  That change would drop Niarja to 0.4, making it low sec and turning it from a place to suicide gank to a place to simply gank people passing through as CONCORD responses would no longer occur.

Meanwhile, the “safe” route from Jita to Amarr would go from 10 gates to 46.  I am not sure how much trade is specifically between those two points and how much of the traffic is from Jita to points beyond Amarr, but either way Niarja looked to become another low sec danger spot on the shortest route between regions.

The forces of chaos, in which I include CCP, seemed quite eager to see Niarja fall.  Others seemed quite angry at the prospect.  At least one group was sending out mail messages in game warning people that they had better not get caught supporting the Triglavians.

Signed, a friend

I am sure that was just some fun role play.

And this was all a high sec affair… until it wasn’t

Early yesterday Legacy Coalition declared that they were going to protect high sec by siding with EDENCOM to make sure the Triglavians didn’t take the system.  Dunk Dinkle of Brave posted a truncated image from what looks to be a Discord message that said:

THE COALITION DIRECTIVE IS TO SECURE NIARJA

Addendum: The Discord message in full:

Brave ping on Niarja

[This message is apparently what set the Imperium in motion, the opportunity to harm the people attacking us.]

At some later point Vily posted elsewhere that the coalition had just decided to fight the Triglavians because the Imperium had sided with them.  World War Bee was coming to high sec.

To my knowledge, up until then, there had been no official effort by the Imperium to influence the events in Niarja either way.  Word later came out that incursion squad had gone there on the down low to push things in favor of the Triglavians.  But once Vily reacted it became an official Imperium operation.  Pings went out to get people to pile on for the Trigs. [TEST never did show up for the event despite Vily’s post.]

Once I saw that was going on, I logged in a high sec alt just to see what I could see.  The gate to Niarja was suitably adorned with the Triglavian logo.

A new sheriff is in town

Inside the system, the battle was tilted towards the Triglavian side.

77% in favor of the Triglavians

Ashterothi, who was providing status updates on Twitter, reported that the Trigs had been as high as 85% at one point, but EDENCOM had slowly worked that down into the 70s.

The fighting is done by blowing up NPCs that spawn at sites in the system.  If you want the Triglavians to win, you go to the EDENCOM sites and shoot the spawns, and if you support EDENCOM you warp to the emerging conduit sites and shoot the Trigs.

Some sites from the probe scanner window

I was not on as an Imperium character so couldn’t join their fleet, but I spotted them and watched them take down a couple of the EDENCOM sites.  (I also saw a Brave group shooting up an EDENCOM site, and I am not sure what was going on there.)

It was already late for me and I wasn’t going to be able to join in so I docked up at one of the Raitarus in the system.  The Triglavians seemed to be edging up every so slightly as time went along, but it was going to take some time.

When I work up this morning however, I logged in to check and found I was in a low sec system.

The Triglavian sky is strange

The Mittani was smugging about having cut the high sec travel route as it apparently impacts Legacy and their own ability to resupply.

Meanwhile, the battle for the system carried on and the Triglavian side hit the final luminality.

EDECOM gives up at this point

Niarja is effectively a null sec or wormhole space system now in terms of security status.  That doesn’t make much difference to haulers, as low sec status was going to keep them away in any case.

In the short term I will be interested to see what this does to trade.  Does making Jita 30+ jumps further away make Amarr more valuable?  Does it grow as a trade hub out of Jita’s shadow?  Or was its proximity to Jita what made it the second trade hub?  Does Jita shrink?  Does this help Hek, Rens, and Dodixie, the lesser trade hubs?  What happens to the market?  What happens to shipping charges?  There is a lot there to unpack.

For the longer term I am back to wondering what CCP’s end game plan is for the Triglavian invasion.  It was a happy fun PvE event for quite a while, but now with more and more high sec systems falling to the Trigs (The Agency says 16 systems are now in final luminality) what is going to happen?  Will the Trigs remain and their systems be changed for good?  Will they reach some accord with the empires and become the fifth Beatle empire?  If there is a fifth empire will Max Singularity and the Sixth Empire demand some high sec space of their own?

CCP has never run an event like this in high sec.  In the past high sec followed the rules of TV sitcoms, where things can go crazy for a bit, but at the end of the episode the status quo must be restored.  It will be interesting to see if they want to return to the way things were or have a new long term state of affairs in mind for high sec space.

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6 thoughts on “The Fall of Niarja and the Shape of High Sec

  1. anypo8

    Huh. If I were still playing EVE, I’d quit. If I were still with the Imperium and wanted to continue, I’d quit them — what an utterly obnoxious move.

    All this does as far as I can tell is turn the game even grindier and more obnoxious than it already was. I’m betting on Amarr looking like Rens and Hek within a year if this holds up, but either way you’re looking at a choice between an extra 36 grinding jumps or a high-risk traversal every time you want to get anywhere interesting.

    CCP needs to get off this “chaos” garbage ASAP. The game is already too hard to play for real when the future is predictable. Remove the predictability and it just becomes a pay-to-win dogfighting game with bad spaceship mechanics — sounds more like Black Desert than EVE. I’ma guess Blackout-level impacts on player activity and retention from this particular change. RIP whatever is left of hauling as a trade after the round of freighter nerfs.

    That’s my take, anyway.

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  2. Wilhelm Arcturus Post author

    anypo8 – I do wonder, when CCP lays this sort of event out, if they plan for what happens when players make the negative choice every time. Not that EDENCOM has failed every time, but the Trigs seems to win more often than not and it is because the players push the game that way.

    Anyway, now I want to see the August MER when it hits… once I get the July MER.

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  3. mikeazariah

    It is going to make running the Bus a shade more difficult. I will continue but just alter patterns a bit.

    m

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  4. Nogamara

    This was a bit of an odd one.

    The image Dunk posted was of course ours (BRAVE + a few folks from other Legacy alliances) and we were there, fighting for EDENCOM in the afternoon (EVE time). When I had to leave it was still at 25-30%. Some time later our USTZ folks took over and made a good push, that’s when the TEST ping went out but afaik they never showed up. And then yesterday when I finished up work around 16:00 EVE it was already too late.

    Not that I’m getting salty over Reddit but I do have to wonder what people are thinking. “Haha, BRAVE not using JFs like everyone else.” But yeah, not everyone has played for years and we’ve actually been encouring new players to haul stuff and make a profit, and we do have a lot of new people. I can’t complain about our “pro” logistics team at all, but there used to be a niche for people to import stuff without a JF (As I’ve never been with Goons I don’t know if this even makes sense there as a new player.)

    And the question if this will restore Amarr to its former “good” place as a hub, we’ll see. I personally never used Hek, Rens, or Dodixie, as I lived close to Jita for many years, but from what I read they weren’t always this dead…

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  5. Claevyan

    This was a choice between making history or maintaining the status quo. There was no good/bad split in the choice players made for Niarja, there was just choice. Players can now choose to leave because something got difficult, or they can remake space in the image of choice.

    Make new markets. Form new alliances. Brave the danger zone. Seize the opportunity and turn it into profit! There’s so much to do with this single change in geography, the positives for the shrewd player far outweigh the negatives.

    But for Bob’s Sake, the next player who looks at what happened in Niarja and says “CCP is the problem” can just biomass right now and go play world of warcraft. Eve is not for you.

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