Monday, April 22, 2013

It is an Arms Race

On Down the Pipe podcast episode 11 they get to talking about wormhole politics and how there seems to be a growing trend of (a) corps uniting together to fight enemies and (b) larger groups kicking out smaller groups in the C5 and C6 wormholes, even if those smaller groups are PvP oriented.

At one point someone said (and forgive me, I didn't write down who as I listen to podcasts in my car) "its like an arms race" in reference to how if a group calls upon allies (i.e. batphones for help) in one fight, then the other side will think they need more pilots (or wants more pilots) because they know a bigger fight is in the offing. Thus the impetus for the the creation of larger alliances and coalitions.

Let's be clear: it is an arms race.

The arms in question are not ships or guns or technological improvements, it is simply a measure of fighting pilots. This is exactly what has happened to null sec, which I've written about before.

I think part of the problem facing wormholers is that the population of that space at the high end sites has become saturated. There are no more free C5s and C6s to move into and setup shop, you basically have to evict someone. And because some of those corporations and alliances in that space have been building up assets and defenses (including capitals) you are forced to go in hard and that means needing to be part of a larger, usually already established group to assist in the eviction... sounds terribly familiar does it not?

What's the answer? I don't know for sure. I have not lived in wormholes enough to even begin to propose solutions, but I suspect that a deathstrike class of ship to negate the powers of massed capitals is a good starting point.

Another idea I had was that perhaps its time to look at wormholes themselves and make them less predictable and manipulatable. They were supposed to be mysterious and hazardous to use... hell people weren't supposed to live in wormholes full time for that matter! It could be time to upset that apple cart and put more emphasis on the hazard of the space and less on the politics of neighbours.


  1. 1) permanent occupation - emergent gameplay for sure. CCP never expected corps to be willing to put up with horrible logistics to make settlements a reality.

    2) The top end wh's are the only ones that CAN support large corps. C1-C2 are small(tiny) corps only, as there just isn't the income to spread around to more than 5-6 folks. C3-C4 are middle ground size

    3) Part of what makes WH life what it is, IS the unpredictability of it all. However, folks that do live there have adapted to that variability. If the variability of their lives was to change, there'd be dust, then it would settle down again.

    4) I've heard many complaints that entrenched wh dwellers are hard to evict, due to the 'home field advantage' of being the guys that live there. Please bear in mind that there are a large amount of goods that must be brought into a wh to construct that home field advantage, and in the case of the smallest wh's some ships will NEVER leave the wh. This is some serious investment.

    In our C1 wh, the dread we've constructed will never leave. Its good for bashing a newly constructed POS that someone sets up, but is ungodly risky to use as its a magnet for attention. We have BSs that will similarly never leave. To invest nearly 2B in ships that have no value (can't pack them, can't leave with them, can't even reprocess them) at the end represents the profits for a calendar year of wh life.

  2. There are loads of empty C5's and C6's (plus almost every black hole is empty cos they be a PITA). Most evictions take place because someone has pissed off someone else, or they are farmers. We don't like farmers, they reduce profits, and when your focus is on PVP, you want to make the most out of all the PVE you do (look at gas prices for instance), to minimise the time spent doing it.

  3. We built carriers in our C2 and C3 that would never leave... and yer right, you can't pack em and can't jump em out... But you can SELL them and the POCOs. And that was what we did both times... like a fridge or a stove with a house. Priced with 'Amenities Included'.

    Course now we live inna C6 with 16 other corps, and yea, we aren't too worried about getting evicted and we have done some evicting on Merc Ops etc. So yes, we're seeing some of the Arms Race Effect, but I agree too that we see empty C5s and some C6s and yup, Black Holes SUCK (ROFL too funny...) and yea, we get batphoned a bit and it's usually to evict some corp and/or save some corp from eviction due to a pissing contest.

    TBH I'm personally really glad HBHI (my corp) got into SYJ [HAHA] before we were trounced and evicted and lost all our stuff too... As it was we were camped by SYJ and ended up offering ransom to save our stuff and then, well you know the old saying...

    If ya can't fight against em, fight for em!! =]

  4. I think you are wrong about the number and availability of C5 there are a lot of C5s that are empty. Sure the really good ones are taken, but there are a lot of good and so so systems. C6 are a different story there aren't that many of them which makes it a lot easier to roll a static c6 over and over to connect to a given C6. As a result if you want to have a C6 system look term you need allies. Lots of Allies. Once the C6s blued up they start pushing lower for prey which it causing C5s to blue up. Of course it's not the C6 and the like causing this. There are alliances in c1-3 as well just smaller.

    The way around this is to simply make rolling a hole much harder. If it took 10-60 minutes for a static wormhole to respawn then the tactics used by C6 alliances would become much less viable. A side effect reduce the overall number of players a wormhole system can support as many large corps make their isk not from the system they live in but from their static connection. This wouldn't effect the alliances in c1-3, but in my experience there are still a lot of small fry in the lower holes. It would also kill the folks who raid NS/LS via their static...

    1. @Surloc, not sure about your corp or Alliance, but we make our ISK from farming our sites in the homehole and from Merc Ops: evictions; rescues; bashes for lewtz and/or ransoms. We do Venture raids on gas sites in random holes mostly but we're not taking our carriers and dreads outside of Bastion just for sites... cripes, talk about unnecessary risk!

      And we are not permablued to anyone (that I know of, I'm not in Leadership so meh) and we definately aren't Blue to any of the Alliances we have had run ins with in other C6s... and we are ALWAYS looking for the GF in every hole we poke our noses in... =]

      As for making rolling holes harder, damn bro I wonder now if you even live in Anoikis... "...a lot easier to roll a static C6 over and over..." Yea, rolling the static may not be an hour long tedious process but easy? especially over and over? That's not what I or my allies would call it.

      I'm not worried though... CCP will never change things so it takes 10 to 60 mins for the static to respawn because they LIKE and WANT us to have as great a chance as possible for "Player Interaction" and "Dangerous Visitors", IE pew pew. Making players sit on their collective asses waiting on a static to spawn works directly against that primary goal.

      In my 2 and a half years in holes I agree, there are a lot of Sm and Med sized corps in C1 to C3s... and killing and raiding them and raids into Lo and Null through them are also on CCPs agenda of "Player Interaction"... so nope, increasing the respawn timer on statics will never happen.

  5. you want to make it harder for people to roll holes to find people to shoot in the face? I've heard a lot of BS about changing wormholes [mass stabilizers anyone?] but that is pretty ridiculous. You should be encouraging people to fight. One way might be to increase the random spawn rate of wormholes, plus make a connection appear at both sides the same time [instead of it being the outbound appearing but only being activated once someone is on grid with it].

    1. Lighten up I'm not claiming that making rolling a hole much harder is necessarily a great idea. As I noted it would have the side effect killing off a lot of play styles. It was response to perceived bluing up of C6s. Personally I'd like to see more random smaller holes.

  6. Anonymous6:31 pm

    Several said it - there are - plenty of empty C5 holes around. I have seen empty C6 as well, just not as common. And many, many C2-4 corps have capitals as the last defensive line.

    The real reason why WH space is becoming stable is that the few guys and gals that actually run a WH corp now really figured out how to use the crummy POS and logistics mechanics in their favor.

    Lastly, to get motion into C5/6, they need to contain something highly valued that can't really be found elsewhere. Trust me, if CCP drops just one Technetium moon into each every other C5, all hell will break loose. In a good way :)

  7. To be frank, the biggest problem with high class wormholes is the number of hydra reloaded farmers there are. I hate those guys soooooooooo much.