Two weeks ago, we learned of CCP's plans to remove learning skills from EVE Online. Learning skills have always been a problem for new players, and their removal has been an issue supported by players for years. As the first part of a two-part Christmas present to players, CCP announced that the skills would be removed with the Incursion expansion's December release. Speculation on what the second part of that present could be has run wild on the forums, with many older players even wishing lost features would make a come-back.

CCP has just announced that the second part of EVE's Christmas patch will be a new ship called the Echelon. As with previous presents, Every subscribed player will have one of these ships delivered to them through the item-redeeming system. The Echelon is a unique CONCORD design aimed at fighting the oncoming Sansha menace. The ship boasts impressive hacking capabilities, with a bonus to the operation of specialised Sansha codebreakers. A limited-edition Sansha codebreaker will also be included with the ship. Until now, hacking has been restricted solely to a mini-profession for the gathering of invention materials and completion of static COSMOS missions. This announcement is the first hint we've seen that the Sansha incursions we're looking forward to in January will include an element of hacking.

This article was originally published on Massively.