Prior to a few days ago, the two corporations in our Anoiki had been struggling a little bit. Living in a wormhole system is a constant battle in the first place: no stations, hostile neighbors, supply run logistics, bizarre/broken player-owned starbase mechanics, and constantly-shifting routes conspire to raise a high bar for casual gamers to surmount. And the past week had seen the sudden disappearance of all our local anomalies in our system — likely due to neighbors warping to them uncloaked to set the 3-day despawn timer as token revenge for the fact that we really enjoy blowing away the neighbors‘ ships at every opportunity — removing local Sleeper battleship escalations from our profit pipeline. Aggression, however, has a cost, and several of our pilots were hurting for decent battlecruisers and the ISK to afford them.
Then out of the blue, a war declaration from a tiny eight-man corporation forced us to reset our expectations yet again. Although the “wardec” posed no credible threat to our primary w-space activities, it presented some new logistical challenges to moving our goods into trade hubs. Based on their killboard, the war-declaring corporation had a pretty simple strategy: station neutral alts at trade hubs, wait for war targets to arrive, determine their likely course using those same alts, then log in the wardec characters to pop the unwitting victim as they exit the trade hub system.
Their system was simple, effective, and — based upon the killboard — enormously profitable for them.
A wardec from a high-security corporation or alliance typically has one real motivation: finances. It costs ISK to declare a war, and the war itself is just another job, whether taken on contract or prospecting for potential profits from rich haulers spied in trade hubs. Denying any financial reward for a war-declaring corporation is the most-common response strategy, typically accomplished by keeping war-decced characters in a station.
However, a W-Space corporation doesn’t really have a station into which we want to retreat. Our isolated starbases are bastion enough for most of our needs, and the center of our PvE and PvP activities, Our alliance’s usual response to a wardec is to stockpile some starbase fuel, ammunition, and PvP ships, line up neutral NPC corporation characters for hauling, then continue mostly with business as usual using dropoff stations and contracts on a given day’s route until those declaring the war get bored with the lack of targets near the station they are camping. In the few short wars of our alliance, this approach has proven largely successful.
And in truth, we don’t even need the neutral haulers. Public contracts are pretty much equally effective for hauling to trade hubs, and involve little risk or logistical work on our end.
Curiously, for most corporations, target denial for their wardeccers means financial denial for their own corporation. Keeping characters in the station means they are not out earning ISK in whatever fashion is usual (except for station traders).
However, for a w-space corporation, it means the exact opposite. W-space profits often increase during a wardec!
Here’s the basic reason why. If not wardecced, a w-space corporation has a lot of characters engaged in non-w-space activities: hauling or buying supplies, some few players in Incursions, mining ice in k-space for POS fuel, etc. This is pretty natural: a solo player logs on, finds no corp-mates in or near the home system, sees a decent route to k-space, and decides it’s a good time to pick up a new ship, run some goods to a trade hub, or whatever. This decentralization of supply chain has a snowball effect: when a good route exists, everybody gets engaged in running supplies in and out of the hole instead of engaging in profit-making activities.
During a wardec, most everybody stays near the home system. When k-space routes are discovered, supply runs are limited usually to the k-space station immediately outside the wormhole chain. Players will haul their goods as far as the closest station, then contract the time-consuming trade hub haul out to a neutral alt or public contract, then return to the home system.
In our home C5 system, we have a one-billion-ton mass-limited static Class 3 connection which provides most of our K-space routes. During a wardec, bored players roll the hole looking for PvP or PvE, leading to rapid-raid squads clearing out sites in neighboring systems (or attempting to clear out the neighbors) and earning an enormous amount of Sleeper loot as a result.
That’s the way it went this past weekend. So from where I sit, thank you Pod Repo for declaring war. Your war led to surplus billions in profits because our players stayed near home, ran w-space sites, killed the neighbors, and in general ignored your k-space Jita-hugging playground. Our corporations made billions upon billions of ISK in PvE and PvP profits over the past several days because rather than be preoccupied by k-space logistical concerns, we kept focused on our core W-Space business and PvP activities.