Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Wormhole Speculations

After 974 posts and 33 pages, the vocal minority has had their say on the wormholes devblog along with a handful of good dev responses.

There appears to be two camps among the forum whores of the thread: those who think this new space will be occupied by large alliances with a POS on every valuable resource, and those who think logistics will be nigh impossible to be able to maintain more than one POS at a time.

(There are also two other camps on the topic of whether the new space is Carebear Heaven or Yet-Another-Pirate-Total-Hell-Death-Gate-Camp from Hell. Yes, I said Hell twice. Sue me.)

* * * * *

First off, let's define some terms that the devs annouced in the thread for simplification.

K-Space = Known Space, the current High sec/Low sec/Null sec that we know and love in our regions with their constant stargates and borders. Approximately 5200 systems.

W-Space = Wormhole Space, the new null security space that is accessible only by a shifting network of wormholes that connect K-Space systems to W-Space systems and W-Space systems to other W-Space systems. Approximately 2500 systems.

K-W = K-space to W-Space wormhole jump. Wormholes are stable for a set time OR an amount of ship mass that passes through it. The inverse is W-K as all wormholes are bidirectional.

W-W = W-space to W-Space wormhole jump. Operate the same as K-W.

* * * * *
We know that all W-space is null sec like current 0.0 space. We also know that jump drive capable ships cannot jump into or out of a W-space system, although a capital ship could use a big enough wormhole to enter W-Space.

We know that wormholes will be found anywhere in K-Space. We also know that the W-Space has "true security" values like 0.0 so that some of them will be more dangerous (and thus more lucrative) than others. For our purposes, assume the safest W-space systems are ranked -0.01 and the most dangerous ranked -1.00 just like in 0.0 K-Space.

We also know that the high sec K-W wormholes will lead to W-space on the -0.01 end of the scale, low sec K-W to the -0.50 part of the scale, and 0.0 to the -1.00 part of the scale. Most of the time. Sometimes, you might end up in total-hell-death W-Space from Jita.

What we don't know is the exact mechanics and associated probabilities involved. That's important so I bolded it. Let me say it again in another way: the devs have given us the high level view but not the nuts and bolts view and how this new space is exploited depends very much on the devils in the details.

Also, consider this: if each region is about 100 systems, they are adding the equivalent of 25 regions. In the past two years, they've added only 9 regions (Black Rise and the drone lands). There are all told 42 null sec regions in K-space so in effect the W-space increases the size of null sec space by about 60%.

Since we don't know how often W-space system Alpha will connect to give W-Space system Beta... not to mention we don't know if there is factors determining which part of K-space Alpha may connect to beyond security status probabilities (and we don't even know how much that weighs on the randomness)... its impossible to say right now how easy or difficult it is going to be for anyone, large or small, to maintain a POS presence in W-space.

Or it might be possible but require so much effort in terms of manpower and time that all K-space null sec holding entities don't bother. On the other hand, if some Dyprosium moons are found they might be worth the effort. Alternatively, if tech III farming is highly profitable compared to 0.0 ratting for bounties, it might lure an alliance or two in.

TL; DR - We don't know enough to speculate on how W-Space will be exploited in the long term. To say end game will be large alliances holding all valuables is vastly premature. Likewise to say no one can do it is equally foolhardy.

Regardless, I'm very exicted to try out this new content and I'm even considering setting up a client to get on the test server.


  1. I'm of the opinion that frequency and wormhole matter transfer rates will be a little wonky at first, but like everything else in EVE they'll quickly analyze usage and feedback to adjust the "nuts and bolts" so more players will be happy.

    It will be a challenge for players to learn how to capitalize on this new system at first, but I'm sure CCP isn't creating a system that only large corps can use.

  2. Good summary, Kirith. I skimmed the first 19 pages of that threadnaught, reading only the Dev responses. I'm very curious about how limiting the volume restrictions for each wormhole will be. My impression (and hope) is that they will favor fleets of smaller ships...I would hope so, as this would make getting goodies out of W-space more challenging, as it should be.

    The unstable wormhole idea is just brilliant in its purported randomness. Uncertainty is my favorite feature of New Eden.

  3. I believe individuals are missing the point. The question isn't what will happen but what the devs WANT!

    If they intended this new null sec to be easily controlled, it will be. There is nothing more to it than that. Once their intentions are revealed we will know.

  4. Anonymous1:48 pm

    @ Mugen you will never EVER know their intensions bro...stop trying. ONe of the things recently mentioned in my blog is how little credibleinfo there is about EvE from "the devs want this" Point of view.

  5. I am also very curious about the new NPCs that will reside in W-space. They are supposed to be more intelligent and more difficult than we have seen before.

  6. I just know that no matter how careful I am, I'm gonna get stuck in a W-system with no probes left, logging in from time to time to see if anyone has found me yet...

  7. If the wormhole collapses whilst you are still in wormhole space, when a new one appears back to known space, by the sounds of it, it will be back to a similar level security system. So jumping back into empire space might not be harmfull at all by the sounds of it. Just dont go looking for one in lowsec or null sec and the return even to a different system will be ok. Although have the devs said if the destination of the wormhole is known.

  8. @ CJ
    The destination of the wormhole is random, but biased based on the difficulty of the W-space or sec status of the K-space.
    It is possible to enter W-space from a .8 sec system and come out in 0.0, but it won't be common.

  9. Anonymous5:09 am

    Some more excellent information about wormholes. Thanks for keeping everyone up-to-date!