It took a while for the word to get out about the change. CCP didn't announce it in advance so far as I can tell. It just slowly got out among the anomaly runners that they weren't getting the BPCs any longer. There was a mini threadnaught created two years ago about it. And for a month, various players bumped that thread and bumped it and bumped it, with no response. Finally, in a "Devs Answer Everything" thread created by CCP, CCP Greyscale responded to the issue thus (it's post 38 in the thread):
We're looking at adjusting the supply of these at some point in the reasonably near future, possiblyNeedless to say, this answer was kind of unsatisfying so the threadnaught slowly continued. About a month later (presumably after a few dozen bug reports), CCP Dropbear put out a much more explanatory response (it's post #204):
So...we are already aware of it. No need to file bug reports.And two years later, here we are.
Faction towers will go back in someday if we can ensure a better distribution of them. That's the issue here, and as others noted, it's exacerbated by high-sec (low-risk) POS, and so on. End of the day it's a distribution method that wasn't working as intended and needs a fix, if one is even possible (hence the "possibly" in Greyscale's reply).
I'm sorry we can't provide more details right now, but that's where this particular thing is at right now. BFF has much bigger fish to fry, I think you'd all agree, so it'll get some attention, but only once other priorities are dealt with. :)
In the time since, the number of faction towers and mods has been going down slowly month by month as some of the limited number of them have been destroyed. And of course as this has happened, the price has gone slowly up and up and up. A full size Dread Guristas POS peaked well over four billion ISK before settling down to its slightly more sane price of 3.2 billion. The others aren't that expensive, but they're pretty expensive, with mediums and smalls at comparable relative prices. And because they were none too common before the change, some types of faction POSes aren't available at any price.
So given that the removal of the BPCs was pretty much a stealth change to the game, I think it's entirely appropriate that CCP Soundwave casually mentioned yesterday, in his dev-post about the new sites, that faction towers are coming back:
Have you played it after Sisi was deployed today? We've doubled the loot in each site (to account for cans you don't get), added new types (the faction towers are back in) and cut the number of cans in half. This should be in much better shape now (if it's not, we'll continue making changes of course).Emphasis mine. The other hidden message? Loot from these sites is doubled. That has the potential to be very lucrative... but given what we saw of these sites at Fanfest, it's going to be impossible to get all the cans by yourself. Early tip? Don't expect to scoop those cans alone. Bring a friend!
Or you potentially leave what is initially going to be a multi-billion ISK BPC on the table.
For the time being, the faction tower market hasn't reacted to the stealth announcement. It'll be interesting to see how the market reacts... In the meantime, kudos to CCP for this change! It's yet another great reason to try out the new sites and the new hacking mini-game. I should write a blog post about that mini-game.