Monday, January 26, 2009

Wormholes Unveiled

Hot off the presses: Dev Blog On Wormholes

Allow me to point out the extremely exciting parts:
Wormholes will bring us to this new frontier, appearing all over New Eden as a result of a cataclysmic event, the nature of which we'll reveal in the coming months. These wormholes are unstable and will spawn and vanish randomly throughout the known universe. A pilot who stumbles across one of these stellar phenomena can fly through it and travel to unknown space, where there are no stargates or stations, just the unexplored void of a new solar system. And when I say "new solar system" that is exactly what I mean. It will not be moving you to instanced space but rather to one of the thousands of new solar systems we will be adding to the EVE universe.
So new solar systems, not instances. That means new asteroids belts, exploration content, moons.
The wormholes themselves will be open only for a randomly determined amount of time and can only let through a certain amount of mass before they collapse. Pilots should carefully consider the information their ship's computer gives them about a wormhole before committing to travel through it. Although there will always be a way back to known space from wormhole space, you may have to search long and hard to locate it. And in that process, you may find wormholes that lead you to even more unexplored wormhole systems, launching you on a voyage of exploration the likes of which EVE has never seen before.
Not sure if the wormholes will remain stable until the mass limit is reached or collapse semi-randomly regardless. MOAR INFO REQUIRED!
Which begs the question of how you will find the wormholes. Well, we are in the process of revamping the entire scanner mechanic, making it faster and easier to use.
Followed by a bunch of vague descriptions on how the new system will work. Another dev blog required, and testing on SISI.
Why should you fly through these wormholes then? Well in the solar systems on the other side of the wormholes you will find new exploration sites patrolled by a brand new type of NPC. The salvage and loot drops from these NPC's and the exploration site rewards will provide you with the raw materials you will need to reverse engineer the technology that makes construction of the new Tech 3 ship modules possible. There will also be exploration sites with ore-rich asteroid belts just waiting to be found by an adventurous industry corp.
Few items to note here:
- Tech III technology raw materials come from salvage and loot of the new NPCs. Not sure if this includes the materials to build the tech III mods themselves but I would think so.
- Exploration content may only be these hidden belts. The normal "pirate outposts" could be absent altogether or replaced with these Wormhole NPCs
There is also the chance that you could stumble across a route through wormhole space that links two widely separated areas of known space and gives you a lucrative, fast trade route for as long as the wormholes stay open. Or perhaps the route leads into the backyard of your sworn which point you may be faced with the question of what ships to send through to maximise the potential of the mass allowance the wormholes possess.
Putting it all together, it might be such that you find a wormhole from Ordat to new space, but that you never get back to Ordat or anywhere else in Sukanan from that new system. If you get left behind in the new system and the wormhole collapses, you might find a new exit that appears in some deep 0.0 space.

Thus, long term operations like setting up a POS could be considered risky. No mention of Ice belts in the new space.
One important point needs to be made: Wormhole space will not be able to be claimed as sovereign space. This is partly due to current implementation restrictions regarding how we added 46% more solar systems to EVE but mainly because we wanted to design an area of space which, while risky to travel through, is open to all players all the time. We have not forgotten about the desirability of space for colonisation, and will be looking at ways to implement that gameplay feature in the future. In fact one of my biggest challenges will be stopping PrismX from adding ten thousand systems now that he's gotten a taste of being a deity in creative mood.
Because of the unpredictability of the wormhole connections, it seems unlikely major alliances can "claim" space in vast swathes like they do in 0.0. There could be potential for a medium sized corp to grab a nice wormhole system and defend it with a permanent presence, mining the 'roids and NPCs for profit and having a pilot always in the system to locate the wormhole out if need be.

Also, note that number 46%. There are over 5200 accessible systems in Eve today; 46% of that is around 2392 new systems. That is the sound of my jaw dropping.


  1. I am SO excited about this. It adds a whole new dimension to the "sandbox". Very glad my explo diva alt will have perfect scan-related skills in just 6 days, LOL!

  2. I too and very stoked about this. It seems like the perfect content for small to mid sized organizations.

  3. Anonymous2:28 pm

    No stations could prove a bit tough to handle; especially if you're running an op of any size at the time of collapse.

    The below is all speculative, natch, but ...

    If your exit collapses: you'll have to find a new one, right? The tricky thing is you might not know it has collapsed; you're just happily running your big ole mining/harvest op. At the same time your access collapsed another opened in low- or null-sec opens and is found by less than savory people. They enter, you warp to leave and ... find your hole collapsed. You and your Orca are now well and truly buggered.

    I wonder what happens if you get podded in the middle of nowhere?

  4. I've been following the dev's replies in the comments on the blog and if you get podded, you show up back in emppire exactly like normal.

    As for the other issue, yes you could find yourself looking for a new exit from a system, and the new wormhole may just lead you deeper into wormhole space. Hence why I might be reluctant to take an Orca into wormhole space at first. But, they indicated that wormhole space accessed from high sec will usually lead back to high sec, and low sec <-> low sec, 0.0 <-> 0.0. Also that wormhole systems (aka WH space) have different levels of difficulty much like 0.0 does. hence unlikely you will enter in high sec and come out two jumps later in Delve. Possible but unlikely.

  5. Following this one closely. Very excited about the information coming out. CCP Greyscale should be posting a blog soon on the actual mechanics of the wormholes.

  6. Very nice interpretation!

    I don't know how to feel... It's a weird tibglunh sensation of fear, excitement, and I don't know, cynical-ness?!?!

    Can't wait to hear more though.

  7. I can't read the dev blog until I get home. Has it been made clear whether Worm Hole space will go live prior to, at or after the 10March expansion?

  8. No indication either way, which I assume means available on march 10 patch day.