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Drifters: An Emergent Threat

Well, it took four years but the Drifters are finally here! The last day or so has seen Apollo Tyrannos and friends hitting up nullsec and lighting it hotter than a 19-year-old using the :fire: emoji. They’re currently hitting carriers, dreads, Joe the average salvager, and everyone else in between on their way to bash structures. To me, this is one of the most exciting events in years and I’m hyped to see where this goes.

Word on the street is that they’re also ignoring damage cap on structures. With any luck, this Drifter invasion means that mom is finally coming to scoop up the toys in the nullsec playpen. No Mittens, you can only have one Keepstar to play with today. Maybe the kids will fight back, but that just gives Mrs Tyrannos more chance to recycle the old toys that they probably shouldn’t have bought in the first place. Check out some footage from The Discourse:

A Weapon to Surpass Triglavians

Sexy, aren’t they? Almost makes you wish this was some introduction to Drifter ships being made available for players. I don’t have any special info proving that to be the case, but it’d be a damn good reward. A shiny new toy to replace the lost structures and prove that New Eden is an exciting, evolving universe.

There’s certainly a lot of flavour to be had in a potential player-owned Drifter ship and I don’t think I can do much better of a job than Uriel Paradisi Anteovnuecci on the EVE Forums. I did have one particular idea for the superweapon, though. What I envisage is a ramp-up mechanic similar to Triglavians, but instead loaded onto the end of a long cycle; think Spartan Laser from Halo. Obviously, DPS should be relatively low but should remain competitive for general use.

On a Scylla cruiser, for example, the superweapon may have a charge time of 20 seconds in which a pilot must keep the target locked and within a short-range. At the end of the timer it would deliver a cool 10k alpha shot all at once. With the frigate and battleship scaling accordingly, this would create some real potential for a direct counter when brawling Triglavians. Do you want eventual overwhelming DPS or do you want to go all in and try for a critical-mass alpha strike? Yeah, sure, enough of them might delete a carrier, but so do bombers if you do it right!

It’s not a perfect idea, but it’s one that I’d love to see integrated into a Drifter design for players. Perhaps there could be mods that modify cycle time vs alpha vs supplementary weapons. You’d never be 100% sure how much the opponent relies on alpha. More counterplay and ways around the N+1 problem are what EVE needs at the endgame level. Well, that and a cleanup of the citadel mess that the kids made everywhere.

An Emergent Threat

Did you know that this was actually featured in the 2015 Fanfest trailer? It’s where I got the title for the article, after all.

“Hey guys, we forgot to action the point last meeting Fanfest, maybe this year?”

All I have to say is better late than never and I hope that CCP keeps their balls out and goes hard on this event. It’s exactly what we need, right now and always. There’s massive lore potential and so much opportunity for Capsuleers to get stuck right in. The Drifters need to collect those corpses from somewhere anyway so let’s see what happens next. Until then I’ll be busy enjoying Goon tears:

PACK YOUR SHIT AND PREPARE TO WITHDRAW TO DELVE: This is stupid as hell but upon further discussion, we will take CCP at their word.
This is not a drill, we do not want to do this, this is a boot.Ini/monocle level fuckup and we must secure our line’s assets in delve and wait out the storm

-Goonswarm Command (Paraphrased)

That’s all folks, I’ve prepared a Gallery below of our new Drifter overlords so you know who to bow down to. I’m personally quite a fan of Orion Tyrannos, he can steal my body any day~

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