CCP Fozzie has posted his latest round of rebalancing work on the Features and Ideas subforum. These changes affect freighters, which will be gaining a lot more EHP in a similar way to mining barges and tier one industrials did when they were balanced. The alterations have been criticised by the majority of Eve players, with freighter owners saying the changes don't go far enough and gankers the opposite.
Freighters will receive an increase in hitpoints - taking their average EHP up to around 300k. In addition, each race will receive a special fitting attribute that will come in the form of a module or drone bay. The Caldari freighter, the Charon, will have a turret slot along with 100 PG and 40 CPU, which is designed to be used for a Heavy Assault Missile launcher. The Amarrian Providence will acquire the fittings for a Cap Recharger II, while the Fenrir will gain two module slots - a high and a low. However it will get just 10 CPU and 2PG, along with a CPU bonus to salvaging modules; it seems this new Fenrir is designed as a spacious ninja-salvager. Finally, the Gallente's Obelisk will receive no modules but will gain a 10m3 dronebay along with 5mbit/sec of bandwidth.
The reasoning behind the move was stated as being 'to bring the EHP of freighters in-line with other capital ships', but some are speculating it was done to nerf freighter ganking. With the number of freighter ganks on the rise, particularly in Burn Jita, ice interdictions and other emergent gameplay events, CCP has sought to end the departure of many freighter pilots affected by suicide ganking. Their plan seems to have worked, with many people considering resubscribing. One former freighter pilot posted "I stopped playing because Burn Jita made me paranoid about flying freighters - I lost three Nomads over two days. With these new changes hopefully I'll be able to fly safely in highsec without being attacked by Darius JOHNSON's SOLODRAKBANSOLODRAKBANSO's or whatever they call themselves these days."
It's also been hailed as the 'death of nullsec emergent gameplay' by some. One inarticulate highsec carebear named Gevlon Goblin commented on the changes. "lol now those gewny faggots won't be able to killed me. i already UBER-TROLLED them in my proccruer, imagine how much fun im going to had with these new freiughters. I might just load up my fenrir with officer modules and take it through VFK!!"
James 315, Saviour of Highsec, has urged his subjects not to panic. He said he will point out why this will make no difference to freighter ganking when he finishes his 15,000 word TMC article on the topic. The CFC have announced they will try to award bounties for freighters killed in a similar way to how they are offered for exhumers killed at the moment. This has gone down well with line members, one of whom pointed out that "renter pubbies are funding the deaths of non-renter pubbies. It's the circle of life."
While EFT warriors will be relentlessly crafting new fits for these beasts, it remains to be seen whether this will stop freighter ganking or just cause more expensive but infrequent losses. With rumours of asteroid doomsdaying Orca on the horizon, carebears around the world can sleep soundly tonight.