Well, so our Icelandic friends dropped a little surprise on us. The upcoming patch “Hyperion” will contain some rather significant changes for us wormhole dwellers. The associated Dev Blog can be found here, a decent description is found here and Rhavas summarized his analysis here.
Lets start with the tl/dr – the changes are not really what the community wanted or needed but they’ll do and most of the changes will contribute to more activity in Wormhole space. This is a good thing.
Considering that I agree with much of what Rhavas wrote, let me just add a couple of comments from my point of view.
C4s are getting a second static wormhole
Rhavas explained why C4s are not as popular as they should be, getting in/out is a total b****. Our corp used to live in a C4/C4 and we gave up, the logistics is just too much. Basically, we rolled the hole, got 2 holes into the C4-C4-C5-C5-C4… chain and re-rolled it in the hope of finding a C4/C3 (all C3s have a static to k-space) In the end, our esteemed leader decided to sell “Shirley” and move into “Tim” which already contained a corp of our alliance. Tim is a C4/C3 which makes re-supply a breeze.
I just wanted to set the frame – yes everyone complains about C4s and how few people live there. But we do and the addition of a second static to our hole raises significant questions. For us, logistics isn’t the main issue any more, so an additional static will just get in the way. With a second static connecting to us, running sites would get more dangerous without increasing the reward. I can see how that leads to an exodus of our resident dedicated carebears.
For me, I can’t remember the last time I ran a site. As far as I know, I don’t even have a PvE ship in the hole and need to borrow something when its time to shoot sleepers. An additional Wormhole will just make my life easier to scout. And while I am there, if I had a choice of connecting hole, I’d choose a C2 – they are busy, have a route to k-space and another route to WH space. But with my rotten luck we pull a C5 or C6. Teams who live there tend to be PvP-centric, organized and much bigger than us. If we get a route to them, may as well log off for the day. Fair fights? Oh please. For every ship we bring, they bring 10 – they have to get their folks onto killmails or risk boredom and mutiny.
By the way, I wrote about Wormhole generators before - they were supposed to give more control to us – the players – over our routes. CCP didn’t do it, likely it was a summer break and copy-pasting the mechanics from C2s into C4s was easier than actually doing development :effort:
So, verdict – additional static: I didnt ask for it, it makes C4/C4 holes livable but as long as the sleeper sites are not balanced, I can’t really see an uptick in C4 residency. For me personally, its interesting, for our corp as a whole likely a bad change.
A new hole class is being introduced with the next patch, W-space->W-space or W-Space-NS. They will have very low jump mass allowing only Frigates, Destroyers and double-bubbled HICs through. But they will have tons of mass so large fleets can fit and -crucial – the mass regenerates. This is a huge change, meaning, these holes can not be reliable collapsed as a defensive measure.
So, for me, the holes are great. I love the thought of terrorizing nullsec denizens with a Stealthbomber fleet. And since I fly solo 90% of the time and Frigates are cheap, I can see myself using these holes a lot. I imagine myself ticking off the locals so they send a Frigate fleet after me and within the safety of my hole I swap into a pair of smart-bombing Dominixes and park them close to the bubbled hole. Outside my smart-bomb range, I will park sentry drones. Oh, the nullsec tears will be so pretty.
I also like these mini holes as means to swiftly export sleeper loot, gather Intel or even dive with a Covops to run some data sites. Basically, these holes will annoy the crap out of whoever is on the receiving end.
Including us. The lack of effective total mass allows hundreds of Bombers who enter our system and overwhelm any defenses we have. A well-organized Nullsec blob now gains the ability to swarm our system, scout our other routes in great numbers and safety and bring in whatever they need to destroy our towers. The normal counter measures – rolling the hole – won’t work and the “smart-bomb-defense” as described above will only work when the defense team is online and has control over the other 2 chains. Highly unlikely for our corp.
So, verdict, the new holes are fun but very dangerous and can easily lead to evictions.
Jump distance based on ship mass.
Well, all that needs to be said, has been said. Its dumb and needs to be rolled back.
Well, it the old days, signatures would not be visible at all unless one actively scanned. Now they are on the overview just like anomalies. Site runners had to have the system blanketed with probes and keep an eye on it all the time. This created a very important job for a junior pilot who could not fly doctrine PvE ships. After the last patch, signatures are immediately visible on the scanner. A new wormhole exit to me for example spawns as soon as someone warps to their entrance. The K162 on my side lights up giving me quite some time to get my site runners out of the way.
The proposed change is to spawn the K162 hole when the first ship jumps through. This reduces the available reaction time of the site runners to a few seconds, especially when the opposing team comes in with a swarm of interceptors. I’d say, the defense team has 10-15seconds now to get their team to safety – thats about the time a Battleship needs to align and initiate warp. In other words, the decision to bail needs to be done at the exact time when the opposing team jumps in. For our dedicated site runners, this change is terrible and I expect them to tally this against their ISK/Hour and Risk /Reward calculations and leave the corp / hole. For us PvP-ers (I count myself as one despite being terrible at it) its great!
I personally think this is too PvP-centric. It gives the hunter all the advantage and the hunted no time to react of defend against. In that view, its just too much to be balanced.
There are a few more changes to Wormhole Space but none of them really raise my temperature. But overall, this patch boils down to: more holes, easier to find targets, risk goes up, reward stays, PvE-rs please leave WH space. Someone is trying very hard to turn Wormhole space into the “small gank nullsec” that everyone has been dreaming about…