The Drifters are Coming

Get in Cormorants and set destination to this system. We are undocking in five.
You won’t believe what we are about to shoot at.

A Winter Co.-FC

In the night between Wednesday and Thursday fleets of cruiser and battleship class Drifters were spotted around multiple null security systems spread over all of New Eden attacking locals and reinforcing capsuleer structures. They proved hostile to vessels on grid and are able to warp scramble, webify and kill from at least 100 km, probably more. Reports speak of them being able to hit targets with very low signature equally well.

More known details:

  • The fleets appear to have no logistic vessels in their composition.
  • They anchor on a single Battleship
  • When anchored, fleets move at up to 3.500 m/s.
  • Drifters are showing very strange warping behavior as a couple of ships bounce off to seemingly random pings a couple hundred kilometers from the main fleet. Maybe they attempt to catch capsuleer vessels that way.
  • After reinforcing a structure, they have been spotted to warp to Asteroid Belts, stay there for 10-20 minutes and then warp to another structure to reinforce it.
  • Drifters were not seen to go to Cosmic Anomalies yet.
  • Citadel sized guns seem to be effective against these fleets.
  • Reports speak of a 150 man Ferox fleet from Pandemic Horde that managed to kill them. It’s not clear how big the Drifter fleet was they engaged and how many losses they may have taken in the process.
  • The smallest spotted force had around 10 cruisers and 10 battleship sized Drifters.
  • Reports speak of the battleships utilizing their “Doomsday” weapon on targets.
  • 04:07 EVE Time: The first supercarrier was lost to Drifters in Period Basis.
  • 07:37 EVE Time: An Ansiblex Jumpgate was destroyed in Geminate.
  • Pilots affiliated with the Arataka Research Consortium were seen on site collecting data.
  • Drifters are said to have no damage cap in within they can reinforce structures. However there are conflicting information about that at the moment. But this may explain why lots of Ansiblex Connections went offline during their activities last night, as those have relatively low EHP.
    UPDATE 02.07.2019: CCP Lebowsky confirmed in a tweet, Drifters are supposed to reach the damage cap of the structure they shoot. But if they ignore it, it’s a bug.
  • UPDATE 03.07.2019: CCP Lebowsky adds another tweet:

To the best of our knowledge, none of the Drifters involved in the invasion have fired a doomsday/superweapon, at a structure or otherwise. As always, please send bug reports if you see otherwise

 

Undetectable – Unless on Grid

What makes them particularly scary is the fact, that these fleets are effectively cloaked combat recon ships: They can not be seen on dscan and even Combat Probes won’t reveal their presence in the system. One will only be able to spot them when on grid with them.

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Speculations are wild reaching from a “battle royale in nullsec” where Drifters are about to push out players to reset space for re-conquering to the AI being utilized to hunt for bots.

 

Emergent Threats

Is this finally what has been teased four years ago in the Emergent Threats Trailer?

GM stating “working as intended“.
You can follow their frenzy on their faction page on zKillboard.com.

What do you think about this? Has CCP gone too far by interfering in the player driven sandbox via AI? Have you lost something to them? Have you found a way to fight them successfully yet? Any details I missed that I should add to this post? It would be awesome if you would let me know in the comments.

o7

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2 thoughts on “The Drifters are Coming”

  1. Nothing to add, nice summary! Oh wait – they shoot pods, don’t stay on grid after losing your ship! (but they did that before if you agressed them or their Seeker Drones but may now pod you on sight)

    Since Invasion started we had new stuff happening every Wednesday (roaming Triglavians -> Minor Conuits -> Major Conduits -> World Ark) but this Wednesday Invasions in Highsec didn’t change. Instead Drifters started to spread havoc in Nullsec.

    There are KR available that show VNI ratting fits – but I can’t tell if those got caught in anomalies or on undock/gates.

    Unlike Triglavians they don’t seem to have special loot or salvage. Don’t know how to feel about that. I don’t like nullsec because of politics but if players have to stay on red alert to defend structures they might as well get something out of it.

    I’m curious to find out whether or not this Drifter fleets will escalate next week.

    Oh, another thing: Drifters seem to not have a damage-cap on structures, they can reinforce them very fast! That’s one thing I definately don’t agree with. There should be time to form a defense fleet and get everyone in coms, sitting on stand-by for 23.5/7 because of PvE should not be a thing. Not exceeding dmg-cap should give enough time to fleet up and fight them. (but yes, i do enjoy seeing some nullsec-players running around like headless chickens :p )

    Liked by 1 person

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