A new threat has entered the EVE Online metagame today, but it’s not coming from any of the game’s stupidly powerful player alliances. Instead, an EVE Online NPC invasion is taking place, throwing the players into an uproar and threatening alliances, ships, and stations all across the game map.
CCP Games, the developers for EVE Online, have been suspiciously silent so far about exactly what is happening in the game. While at least one member of the team has said that it is an intended event and not a bug, reactions among players are varying across the world.
A big part of the EVE system is the player alliances, large goups of players working together for profit and territory. Alliance conflicts have often drawn in so many ships that the game takes a steep dive in performance, and has cost thousands or millions of real-world dollars of damage in terms of ships lost.
The culprits of the EVE Online NPC invasion are an in-game race known as the Drifters, who were before this a group of random NPC ships that first arrived in the setting back in 2015. Before then they’d been used to guard various rare treasures, and sometimes prowled the space lanes to catch unwary players in ambushes.
Now, however, groups of 20 or 30 Drifter ships at a time are rampaging through EVE Online’s space, attacking anything in their way. To make things worse for many people, the Drifter ships are also destroying capsuleer escape pods, meaning that players are actually losing their characters and all of their hard-ground skills in addition to expensive ships and stations.
This is notable in that normally NPCs are not supposed to be capable of shooting down escape pods, and there’s still been no explanation yet for the change in the Drifters’ behavior. So, if you play EVE Online and have found yourself caught up in the EVE Online NPC invasion, be sure to not get shot down, or have yourself cloned.