Large groups of EVE Online players often band together for safety, security, and shared prosperity, which eventually leads to solidified power blocs that are so deeply entrenched in their positions that the game begins to stagnate. These massive player kingdoms can amass everything they need, so there’s not a lot of reason to leave and conquer more space. A recent change to EVE Online seems to be aimed at breaking these stalemates by forcing players to venture further from their homes to gather required resources, and it heralds more changes to come.
A recent update, deployed to the game’s live servers with no warning, drastically reduced the amount of resources that can be mined from asteroids. In EVE Online’s current iteration, the lifeblood of most of the massive player-run empires is resources found inside massive asteroids. These asteroids collect into giant “anomalies” that players are able to warp to and mine in order to create the games’ ships, structures, weapons, and armor systems. By harvesting these resources to their fullest extent, players are able to reduce their empire’s reliance on the rest of the game and focus on building their own self-sufficient nation-states.
The resource composition of the ore anomalies in null security space was reduced by up to 60% in total volume. In theory, this will mean that players will spend more time maneuvering their vessels around the reduced capacity asteroids and less time mining them to extract the valuable minerals inside. Ore anomalies are not the only place to find these minerals in EVE; mineral-rich asteroids also spawn in naturally occurring asteroid belts, spread throughout almost every star system in the game. These asteroid belts were hit by the update as well, seeing two types of ore removed from them entirely.
Currently, the removal of ore from the asteroid belts is thought to be inconsequential, as a very small amount of players actually mine the minerals from them as opposed to from anomalies. However, according to a developer blog posted on December 20 by CCP Dopamine, one of EVE’s community managers, these changes are only the beginning of a larger, sweeping change to resource distribution in EVE Online.
According to Dopamine’s blog post, “This marks the beginning of the EVE resource distribution overhaul that will be taking place in the coming weeks and months.”
Resource scarcity has been a hot topic in EVE and during the 2019 EVE World Tour. Players have been asking for various changes to the distribution of resources across the entire game world, hoping that adding an amount of resource scarcity into the game would encourage more war. If players can’t be completely self-reliant, they will have to interact with their neighbors in some way to acquire the resources they needed, whether diplomatically or by the metaphorical sword.
These changes seem to be the start of breaking up EVE empires’ ability to mine anomalies for everything they need. If more and more minerals are removed from null-security regions, players in those regions will have to expand their area of influence just to bring in the same amount of ore and materials. If more changes influence, say, where certain necessary minerals appear, there’s more potential for resource-driven conflicts.
These resource distribution changes may seem small now, but they could become the catalyst for something much larger. EVE Online players are waiting for the next promised round of resource changes to see which direction the developers decide to take things.