The consequences of this change have been well documented in this blog over the months since. As far as I'm concerned, it was a statistically significant factor in the fall of the NC. I even speculated when this change was announced that CCP might not be above directly attempting to influence the in-game politics of New Eden. Today, in Pure Blind, there are a grand total of six systems at Military Index 5, up from a low of four a couple of months after the nerf was implemented.
Give CCP this much, though: at least that change was directly announced.
Word is now coming out of the care-bear alliances living throughout the Drone regions of two significant changes that have taken place affecting the sites there:
- the amount of drone alloys per site has been greatly reduced; and,
- the drones in the site are now coming in in waves that must be killed in order before the next wave spawns.
Did I say this change wasn't announced? I guess that isn't completely fair. CCP Greyscale did mention that he was going to rebalance the anomalies. We should have remembered what Greyscale means when he uses that word. ;-)
Now that the blender is again spinning in the innards of a new set of victims, those of you who enjoy tears will find your full measure in the EVE-O thread on the subject. Many of you will even say that the tears are richly deserved. And hell, you might even be right. These are demonstrably not poor individuals being affected by this. And given the number of people that Drone region residents have driven from their virtual homes in the last two years or so, you might even say that some karmic justice is justified.
Still, it's hard for me not to have a certain amount of sympathy for those affected. It's not like it's moon goo that's being nerfed here, so like the April nerf, the people who are going to suffer most from this are the line PvPers that rely on sites to buy and build replacement ships. And to a lesser extent, the rest of us are also going to be affected by this: Drone region alloys are a major source of the minerals that all of us ultimately need.
On the positive end, though, it's going to be a lot tougher and a lot less profitable to run bots in the Drone regions now. That was almost certainly the objective.
But the question I asked back in March should again be asked: is CCP attempting to influence the politics of New Eden with in-game changes? The evidence that points to a "yes" answer is certainly piling up!
EDIT (1/Dec/2011): Addendum to this article: while initial unconfirmed reports from the Drone regions indicated that the amount of drone alloys per site had been reduced, follow-up reports from people who live there (see the comments) indicate that this is not the case. While the individual sites will have to be run more slowly, the value of the individual sites has not been reduced, and might have even been increased slightly.