Situation Awareness – Why bother?

The first installment of my quick series how to live in EVE’s wormhole space.  It is not really a guide, more a personal journal.  Comments are very welcome.   

Most EVE players live in empire space – only small minority only is part of the elusive Wormhole Club. And the first few days in our space quickly show recruits why we are so few.  If you are not paranoid, you are dead and if you are dead, people laugh at you and you can’t make ISK.  So, paranoia is a valid strategy.  I must admit, I take this to a different level compared to other guides and a lot of what I will be writing about won’t be necessary to lead a healthy, fat life in Wormhole space.  But some of it may become useful – and if only even to deride me for timidness…

First rule, you are never alone…. The absence of the local channel is noted by recruits on Day 1 = Wreck 1 when they linger on the Customs office planning their future PI riches.  They had no idea someone else was there until their armor alarm goes off.  Similarly, recruits with industrial aspirations will inevitably warp to an ore site and go slack-jawed by the size of the asteroids – oh, the wealth if they could only get it to Jita.  And with a whistle on their lips they uncrate the prized Hulk, put on their hard hat and train lasers onto those rocks, dreaming about the amazing things they will buy next.  But before the first cycle is done, they wake up in a brand new clone, the mail icon sarcastically blinking.

So, shamelessly changing the words of Colonel Quaritch:

You are not in Kansas anymore. You are [in a wormhole], ladies and gentlemen. Respect that fact every second of every day. If there is a Hell, you might wanna go there for some R & R after a tour [in this C2]. Out there beyond that [bubble] every living thing that crawls, flies, or squats in the mud wants to kill you and eat your eyes for jujubes.

Secondly on the list of big wonders to the recruits is just how hard it is to get around.  Forget that everything out there wants to kill you, in empire space your routes don’t change, there are belts, rats, agents, missions and Concord.  We don’t have any of this of course and our sleepers hit harder than anything in empire space and offer neither escalations, nor bounty nor officer loot.  You want it, you have to scan it down yourself.

While some recruits fail at this point and run back to the security of null security space, most do not.  The no-holds barred, zero-politics and zero-forgiveness environment of Wormhole space has its appeal. Freed from CTAs, the sea of blue fish and stifling corp doctrine rookie explorers set out to make their own mistakes, learn their own lessons and learn to move around in this dark world with the confidence of a woman walking the aisles of her favorite supermarket (*).  All they have to do is to develop that sixth sense that keeps their ships intact and their wallets full.

The next few short chapters will describe my approach to some of the issues wormholers face when left alone.  Or maybe alone.  That is after all the big question….

_________

(*) I have been dying to get a sexist joke into this blog.  But there was never an opportunity. Women don’t play computer games.  Or read game blogs.  Or read anything but their husband’s secret desires.  And that’s the way we like them.  Oh yes.

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4 responses to “Situation Awareness – Why bother?

  1. I have many favorite sayings and such about the Tao of Holes… but among them are these from:

    http://eve-survival.org/wikka.php?wakka=WormholeSpace

    Disclaimer and warning time: In the following sections I will detail observations, opinions and some humorous examples. Due to the random nature of w-space I make no guarantee as to how accurate any of this information is, even if it has been verified a hundred times over. Consider yourself warned.

    And this is my fav all time quote as re W-space…

    W-space systems fall into one of six classes:

    Unknown Space – Class 1-3
    Dangerous Unknown Space – Class 4 and 5
    Deadly Unknown Space – Class 6

    Class 1 and 2 systems can be soloed.
    Class 3 you want some friends with RR.
    Class 4 you want lots of friends with RR.
    Class 5 you definitely want lots of friends with RR and probably a capital.
    Class 6 you definitely want a capital or two and lots of friends with RR.

    I must say I am enjoying your ‘take’ on life on the other side of the sky… Now that HBHI has moved up from our training days in the C1, to our year plus spemnt in a shared C2… our months in the C3 on our own… and now that we are part SYJ in a C6… well, your blog harks to a simpler time for us… a time when we were still learning the Tao of Holes… not, as we are now… Kings of Anoikis… =]

    Keep up the good work man!

    • I must say I am enjoying your ‘take’ on life on the other side of the sky… Now that HBHI has moved up from our training days in the C1, to our year plus spemnt in a shared C2… our months in the C3 on our own… and now that we are part SYJ in a C6… well, your blog harks to a simpler time for us… a time when we were still learning the Tao of Holes… not, as we are now… Kings of Anoikis… =]

      Thanks Tur, much appreciated. I am not sure that life in a C2 is simpler than in a C6. Different, yes, sure. Simpler? We are smaller, more vulnerable and certainly average training is lower. Our training hole has – by design – a much higher turnover and we discourage folks from making it their “home” to keep inventory low to discourage theft or evictions. This makes fleet compositions harder, changing fits often need a trip to Empire space. And yes, everyone scouts, everyone hauls, everyone shoots, sits guard, salvages and fights.

      I would compare wormhole life with a frontier settlement. We have a little blockhouse and lock the doors at night so that the wolves can’t come in. You have a town, likely with Sheriff, judge and hardware store. Both models are possible, neither is “simpler” than the other overall. But I would wager that it is easier to be a grunt in a C6 where leadership tells you what to fly and when to press F1. Director level? Much harder in C6 than C2, I’d imagine, you pile in an ungodly number of neckbeards into a few small systems, there must be a ton of drama to deal with. And you guys surely have contracts, Blues, NIP, NAP…, geez. I already have a job, I am glad I dont have to deal with that nullsec stuff 🙂

      As for you being the Kings of Anoikis – good for you, glad that you found happiness.

      • OOoops… Please understand I was very tounge-in-cheek with the ‘Kings’ thing… (and also kinda riding the ego boost of having actually won one of our ATXI matches…) I really and truly did not mean that in any realistic way… (I hate how the written word does not convey my exact meaning sometimes..) I ask your forgiveness, I really and truly meant it as a joke.

        But, yes, for us life back in the C1,2 & 3 was a simpler time, not “easier” but yes, simpler… You see HBHI has never had a growth policy. We do not actively recruit and we aren’t looking to. So as a very small corp we had to be very self sufficient, so the POS was always packed with shared corp mods etc. and even shared ‘corp’ ships too, we knew well the guys we flew with, and as now, the Directors are family and can actually be trusted… fewer guys, less drama, less internal risk.

        I too have often compared Life in Anoikis to life on the frontier… In the C1,2 & 3 we were that lone frontier family in a sod shack eaking out a livin out on cold harsh plains…. constantly glancing over our shoulders for Injuns.

        In Bastion, SYJs C6, we are definitely more a Durango or Yuma or Tombstone… the eternal western small town… but we are a little town with Big Aspirations as twere. 30+ Lrg POSes is really more a small Anioikis city.

        And with that comes the benefits… pretty much a permanent ‘awake’ presence in the hole 23/7 and during our main TZ an amazing number of active pilots, so security is simply better due to :numbers: and this extends to mining & sites ops, more guys online means more eyes on local means higher levels of security. Our real internal risks are mostly hauler runs up and down the pipe, but not really inside Bas itself.

        And with that also comes the costs of the effect of those :numbers: … I was loath to admit it to myself… when I started this part of this comment I tried several ways to say, “Nope, no ‘leadership tells you what to fly and when to press F1’ for us!” … but truth be told… yea, there is some of that. But really only in bigger fleet ups and only on bigger ops. The rest of the time we are all pretty much each doing his own thing at the personal or corp level.

        Drama… yea, a bit… but as you said, “…pile in an ungodly number of neckbeards into a… …small system…” Hell, you can’t put three normal people inna small room and not have some drama… LOL. And yes, in the political nose-bleed seats there are ‘maneuverings’ and Blues and SPAIS, etc., etc. … but it is my understanding we still have no NIPs and NAPs… that is still (AFAIK) a Null thing.

        Pell (SYJ Exec) said it very well during the “Pell Hour” (http://downthepipe-wh.com/?p=115; worth a listen if you are curious about SYJ…) when he talked about how if things went south during some combined Alliances Op, we would grin and turn on each other as soon as do anything else… =]

        Simpler” Personally your posts do remind me a simpler time in my Anoikis life… fewer guys, fewer expectations, more free time, more autonomy… or maybe it’s just the tinted lenses of time that has me looking back on those days with a bit of nostalgia. =]

        • Thanks – yeah, I listened to that Podcast – (1 1/2 h commute ftw) it was fun to hear that perspective and I would have loved to be part of some of the large fights – never been in a WH fight with >8 pilots on my side for example.

          But for each fight and “story” there must be hours of CTAs, pos bashes, political maneuvering and general asshattery. It is human nature. I do all of that work (ok, I don’t bash POSes but my conference calls clearly are CTAs).

          In my game, I want to log in, chat with my friends, have a good time and create a few fun memories before I fall asleep. Maybe my aspirations are lower now but that’s why I don’t think I would fit into a big EVE organization. I would very much love the opportunity to experience that game-style though but this summer has been RL busy. Winter is coming 🙂

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