CCP has posted a new developer blog which goes into detail about the major upgrades to NPC AI for wormhole NPCs in Apocrypha, the next expansion for EVE Online.
First of all, what I am going to describe is going to worry a lot of people, so DON'T PANIC!
We are not going to change 80% of the NPCs in the game. Your faction-fit Navy XXXX is still going to allow you to run LV 4 missions solo. We haven't changed the NPCs that spawn in belts, nor in any of the classic dungeons, but that may change in future iterations (post-Apocrypha).
So again DON'T PANIC!
One of goals we have worked towards is making PvE combat more like PvP combat. This has a few benefits. First, new players get a taste of what PvP is like while still doing PvE encounters. Second, they will have ship fittings that are more suited towards PvP, which means that when the victi... um, player gets jumped by another player he has a fitting that will allow him to fight back effectively, or at least run away. Lastly, it will make for more engaging combat that is both dynamic and feels alive.
Wormhole NPCs are meant to be scary and, as such, needed an AI that could demonstrate that. Without going into hard numbers, the new NPCs have very high damage output and incredible resists. That alone makes them harder but it wasn't enough...