The other day I was out roaming solo in a Dramiel I had just fitted up. This is a relatively new fit that I've been trying out lately, the last one managed to get about 20 killmarks before it exploded. Not heavily blinged, but faction where it needed it. I've become used to skipping the Triglavian systems, jump in warp out, over the past few weeks. There is nothing for me in those systems. I hunt people, not NPCs. Everyone has their own way to play and that's fine. I'm just not interested. But what happened next was eye-opening.
I literally exploded before I entered warp. At first I thought I must have done something wrong. Or perhaps the server response was slow and I needed to file a bug report. Ask to have my ship restored. Something seemed wrong.
Few ships in Eve can warp faster than a Dram and a Slicer. These are small, fast, agile frigs. Insta-popped by NPC guns on the gate. I've since learned to watch for the Entropic Disintegrator Werpost on my overview, but to be frank - what does seeing them gain me? If I see them it is already too late. I'm a dead man. And I'm hearing stories from other players about being podded by these things.
I'm not at all happy about this. As the leader of one of the largest solo and small gang groups remaining in Eve Online this is not good for our play-style. Intel is hard to come by when you are hunting solo or moving quickly in a gang. Last night we had 20 players in a roaming fleet and two of us died to these gate guns. It isn't a system wide thing, they appear on different gates and sometimes on stations (although I haven't personally seen that yet). It isn't a predictable thing, or something you know about ahead of time. Or can gather from the other side of a gate. Sure, that system is under Trig invasion, but does it have Entropic Disintegrator Werpost on it? Dunno, jump in and find out for yourself.
I'm not against NPC content inside of Eve. As long as you choose to engage with that content, fine. But this starts to cross the line into having that content choose to engage with me, against my will. Apparently the Edencom side has something similar? So in order to keep those guns from engaging I need to grind standings with one or the other side. So they won't shoot me. I'm sorry, but I'm not going to do that. The only time I engage with NPCs is after I chase/explode/steal from someone running a site/belt/mission/whatever in game. Sometimes I'll/We will decide to finish a site. Or we'll kill the NPCs on a gate while waiting on a target. But that's it.
So the only solution I'm left with is not jumping into Triglavian/Edencom systems at all.
I don't like it. I didn't choose to engage. I had no defense. I had no chance of escape. Just dead. What kind of sense does that make?