Oreb and I had a little exchange of comments on these hallowed pages. They pertain to my assertion that no CSM member has brought anything valuable to Wormhole space over the last 2 or three years and that the changes we have indeed seen were the collateral damage of what CCP did in empire space.
I could now substantiate my claims with a tedious list of warp-stabbed PI haulers, the nonsensical scanning method and making grav sites true death traps for miners. But I won’t, this is boring. Rather, I’d like to focus on new features, new mechanics that actually add value to our little corner of the universe. And while I am not a professional game designer, I imagine it is just like any product design (which I do professionally). It starts with a vision what the feature needs to do based on the expected use of it.
Alright, lets start. And by the way: I don’t read forums. My time is too short, my nerves are too frail and my eyes are too sensitive to steep into the mucus that is EVE forum or other public venues. So if my ideas have been discussed, it would be parallel evolution but I am very happy to cross-reference if there is one.
W-space is defined as a star system that connects to neighbors using wormholes. These wormholes are temporary, spawn with random exits and have specific mass limitations. They therefore generate a new route every day which needs to be scanned down. These holes are badly named “static” holes, the only thing static about them is that they exist. A C1 system will always have a wormhole to empire space. It will be at a different location tomorrow and it will lead to a different place but there will be one. C1,2,3 systems always have a K-space exit. C2,4,5,6 holes always have an exit to another wormhole, yes, C2s always have 2 holes.
So far so good.
A C4 for example may come with a C3 “static”. Which means that this specific system always connects to a C3 hole. Not the same one, oh no. Every day a new one. But only one is guaranteed. On top of that are “wandering” holes that can randomly spawn and go from anywhere to (nearly) everywhere. You find lots of null and low sec holes connecting C5 and C6 systems which of course allows them to bring in capital ships. You even find some weird holes like Highsec-Highsec holes that allow massive shortcuts in bringing things to market or exploring far away regions or Nullsec-Nullsec which allow insertion of spies or scouts far behind enemy lines.
The genius is that the holes connect systems with a high degree of unpredictability and -of course – instability. The amazing route I have just found is guaranteed not to exist tomorrow. It may not exist in 20 minutes from now. The downside is that routes are pretty hard to find and that player interaction (read “PvP”) is far from assured. You can scan all night and not find a single soul to shoot at and for PvE players a night with a hostile neighbor can box them in and ruin their fun. More fluidity in the connection would enhance the system. C2 systems with their 2 connections for example are fantastic, always a route somewhere, always someone to shoot or watch, always a place to go and explore. Compare that to the quiet backwater of a single-hole C4 and yes, C2 life is a lot more exciting.
So, it would be easy to improve this system by any one of the following methods:
- Add static wormholes to those systems which currently only have one. Basically, copy and paste the method from C2 systems into e.g. C4. One k-space exit, one WH exit.
- Increase the total number of randomly occurring wormholes that connect, e.g. C4 with C2 or C1 or whatever. The effect is the same as listed above with the added uncertainty.
- Make hole rolling easier. I will likely write about that later. Park the thought
Is this it? Well, not quite. How about this:
Introduce a deployable module that generates a wormhole anywhere in the star system. The module could look like the maligned ESS, be a single use item, use fuel, be attached to a ship, be a POS mod. I don’t really care how it works as long as players acquire the ability to generate a hole and create a new route.
By the way, this isn’t all that novel. Cynos work just like that, of course with the exception that there is no random factor in it. Whereas a Cyno is point-to-point transport, a WH generator would literally add new signature (wormhole) to system. The hole then would have to be scanned down and bookmarked just like an ordinary one.
Still with me? Ok, lets continue.
Where shall the hole go? Well, the simplest way is to make it entirely random. I.e. destination class, mass, lifetime shall all be totally up to chance. I don’t really like that. I think each generator (or the fuel it uses…) should generate a specific hole.
Take DaOpa’s list, it contains all wormhole classes. A D382 for example always leads to a C2 system with specific mass limits and lifetime. Lets say I lived in C4 and desired this hole. I would fire up my Generator, feed it “D382 Fuel” and – voila – somewhere in my C4 a new signature would spawn that I would know it to be a C2 with juicy prey or convenient route. My existing static hole would persist so, I would now have (at least) 2 holes to chose my adventures from. If I was anywhere in K-space with the (inexplicable) urge to go to nullsec, I’d fire up one just like that. Or vice versa.
Player-generated wormholes to anywhere, from anywhere.
In product design, this would be the vision. Now the engineers and product managers come and set boundary conditions
- Mass limits are maintained. So, no spawning of holes in e.g. C1 that allows a capital ship to move through it. We can debate that point later but lets park it for now
- One WH generator / system. This is to prevent systems like Jita being riddled with wormholes.
- …. (please help with more)
Other boundary conditions need to be thought through depending on whether this is a mobile device (like a Cyno Generator) or a fixed installations. But why box ourselves in at this point?
Make them both possible. Mobile WH-generators make a single, extremely short-lived hole (10minutes) with very limited mass. Stationary make a normal hole as described above. Therefore, a roaming gang with with a WH generator can plough their path as they go along, looking for prey or routes.
A stationary generator would hugely aid in defending a hole under siege as it can generate an additional path to bring in the relief fleet. Many WH sieges are anticlimactic if the entire defending crew had been podded out and can watch the action only from the killboard. This way, a real chance is given to bring in more defenders to spawn bigger and longer fights. Same goes for the attacker of course.
Well, this is where I leave it now. I have three or four more ideas that I will drop here on my two remaining readers and hope for comments and ideas.