Yesterday CCP announced the first wave of planned changes to address stagnation in nullsec. There is a 220 page (and growing) threadnaught in the EVE-O forums. Whilst CCP Greyscale has to dedicate the time to read all the posts in that thread I have no desire to. Instead I restricted myself to dev posts answering valid and useful points and then I did a random sample of a handful of pages to get a more general feel for how people are reacting. Not scientific but who cares. The mood of the posters is not entirely predictable, however.
Of course there are the posts from idiots who announce they will stop playing (hint: bye bye). There are the other posts from people who say nullsec is impossible to handle without caps jumping (hint: caps haven't always been in EVE). There have been a fair few posts from people who totally don't understand the point of this change and want to know how their alliance is meant to rapidly defend territory spread far and wide across New Eden (hint: you don't). Yes it makes force projection harder but that is exactly the bloody point. Space is big yet in New Eden it has been shrunk so much by jump drives that large alliances think nothing of crossing the whole map for a fight then back home for kippers.
The other half of the posts seem to recognise this shake up for the good thing it is. Force projection for the largest alliances will be reduced. People will have to think carefully about where they live as their 'big blue doughnut' won't be as effective any more. What's the point of being in a large coalition if they can't really help you? Maybe it's better to have neutrals to shoot in close proximity to home? Hopefully super-massive alliances start to shrink back on themselves and new alliances are able to get a foothold in nullsec.
There have been valid points about Black Ops ships receiving the same penalty as Carriers and Supers. Black Ops should be fast in and out guerilla style ships as opposed to caps which are meant to be deployed in more protracted battles. Maybe CCP should link jump fatigue to ship mass? There has also been the valid point about new characters joining corps deep in nullsec and how they join their new space friends out there. These issues can all be dealt with for the good of EVE. More issues will no doubt rear their heads but either the players will figure out clever new ways to handle those or CCP will make more balancing passes if it is
With the last expansion wormholes were nerfed with what is possibly the exact opposite of the proposed changes to nullsec. We have been forced into massively large chains of systems, all of which we have to scan and map in order to find people to shoot at or go run sleeper sites to make ISK when no targets are around. We have been forced into larger space and had our ability to control our environment reduced with the hole rolling nerf. We have survived by adapting and figuring out how to do so has been more engaging than much of what I'd been doing for some time prior to these changes. Sensible people play games to be challenged. I am fairly confident that the existing nullsec alliances will adapt equally well. Some will fall by the wayside and make space for new, more enduring corps to make their mark on New Eden. I look forward to watching how these changes pan out, but in the meantime I'm also enjoying the tasty nullbear tears.