People can talk about the declining Summer server numbers, the protracted boringness of the latest null war (yawn), or countless other indicators of doom for Eve Online all they want. And yes, all those things are concerning. But in my opinion nothing showcases concern for the state of our game better than the plague of empty hulls and swarms of bots choking space.
How did we get to the point where undocking a completely unfitted spaceship is legit game-play!?!
And before you start believing that these are bots, let me simply say this - there are well-known militia players who are certainly NOT bots - who have been caught in ships without fittings. So no, these are not all bots. Although some may be. Who knows?
That is a bot. One that at least had the decency to fit stuff.
I know it was a bot because bots perform in predictable ways. Right now there seem to be 3-4 scripts running from different sources. There are some rather sophisticated new bots that leave system the moment another player enters local. This script was new to me, but I ran into it multiple times yesterday. I managed to watch it in action over and over again with the three same Coercer bots in multiple systems. I was using my cloaky Astero, because sometimes the cloak throws off the bots. Like in the example above. There are other scripts running, the ones that warp to something in system and then return to the plex. The ones that just leave system and start over next door. I will say this, they have gotten better over the last year. They are improving.
This is a problem. A problem with an extremely easy solution. Let us kill these bots and eliminate the empty hull game play. Number Two on my Faction Warfare Roadmap would effectively end empty hull game-play and ensure that any bots would be trapped inside a faction war plex until the timer runs out. Which would give other FW players and friendly neighborhood Pirates a chance to eliminate them the old-fashioned way.
It's a simple solution, that in conjunction with other measures in my roadmap, would go a long way to returning some sanity to space. We are literally watching Eve come apart at the edges here. We can cry about Structures, or Resources, or Pochven all day long, but there are fundamental game-play issues that need to be addressed. And that can be addressed relatively easily. Which was the entire reason I ran for CSM this year.
And based on the results of that attempt, perhaps I am the only one who actually gives a damn about it.
Although I bet the over-worked bot banners at CCP would agree with me.