Last week we got news that changes relating to warp core stabilizers and interdiction nullification were arriving on the test server. This week changes meant to address cloaky camping are on the menu.
For most cloaky campers are pilots who land in a low sec or null sec system, cloak up, and just sit there. The idea is to inspire paranoia and suppress activity like ratting and mining in a system because you never really know if the cloaked pilot is AFK or is quietly stalking you or about to cyno in some friends to blap you.
While I’ve tended to think of cloaky camping as just a cost of doing business, having been cloaky camped by various parties from random passers by to the Olmeca Gold Goon-Hate campaign, a lot of people get very upset because you cannot really “do” anything about a cloaky camper. So people have been complaining to CCP about the practice since long before I knew it was a thing.
So, 18 years into the life of the game CCP is planning to introduce a new deployable call the Mobile Observatory which, once activated, will ping the system every ten minutes with a chance to decloak anybody cloaked up in the system.
And the attributes:
The observatory, once it is correctly coded, is deployable in low and null sec space (not wormhole space) with a limit of ten per system. (Currently it can be deployed in WH space and next to stations and you can have as many as you want deployed in one system.)
In order to protect the legitimate cloaking pilot, cloaking up will give you 15 minutes of “cloak stabilization” to keep you from being decloaked.
I tinkered with one a bit on the test server with a stealth bomber and was decloaked fairly reliably once the cloak stabilization wore off.
The effect is system-wide, so proximity to the observatory presumably has no impact. I was 15 AU away for three of those four decloaks. It did not decloak me at the 19:53:03 tick, when my stabilization had worn off, but the other three times it decloaked me on the first tick after I was no longer protected.
For the last round I was close by when it decloaked me as its lifetime was nearing its end and I wanted to see how much it would take to kill it.
Five salvos of faction torps from my Purifier was sufficient.
There was no cool explosion or anything because the item doesn’t even have artwork associated with it yet.
That fact indicates to me that we’re likely not going to see this pushed into the live game quickly. As with the warp core stabilizer and interdiction nullification, I expect that CCP will take time to digest feedback and make changes for a while.
And the comment thread is getting a lot of feedback, though you have to skip down the page a bit because the first problem was that CCP announced to everybody that it was available to test… and then it wasn’t on the test server for another couple of hours.
This will clearly shake up the cloaking meta. AFK cloaky camping might even cease to be a thing. But it is the impact on other playstyles that use cloaking that might be the trick here. I’ve sat on a blops in a hostile system for 90 minutes easy waiting for a hunter in a distant system to get in position. While those waiting can stay safed up and recloak, that hunter is in a bad spot if they get decloaked.