So, my friend Oreamos and I mused the other day about the reason why anyone would want to live in a Wormhole. Don’t get me wrong, Anoikis is great and the risk / reward balance here is still very good. Recent buffs to sleeper loot makes running C1/C2 sites actually worthwhile – add to this the sheer number of connections in/out and its a very lucrative region of space. Non surprisingly, we see an uptick in activity especially in the lower wormholes while the higher ones (C5/C6) still seem to be mostly farming holes of nullsec alts and are fairly quiet during peak hours.
But while increased activity, good loot and many routes mean, Anoikis is a great space to be, it doesn’t mean its a great place to live.
See, in the pre Hyperion days, connections were few and far between. Our C4 hole had 1 static connection to a C3 which had 1 connection to the outside world. There were wandering holes, of course and people connected to us but it wasn’t that easy to get to us, to be honest. It was also pretty easy for us to close ourselves in, run sites, run PI and then roll the hole for better routes or content. This secluded, hard to reach situation necessitated POSes with the appropriate ship and equipment storage. Now, the number of wormhole connections is staggering. Not just between Anoikis space but also from known space to us, but also between k-space systems. You wander into null or low sec, and you can nearly be guaranteed a WH-route to anywhere in New Eden. Power projection through wormholes is now a “thing” even with the nullsec blobs. Sure they don’t allow unlimited mass (yet) but they are certainly big enough for a team of 10 or so cruisers to transit a couple of times.
And thats all you need. 10 PvE cruisers can run any C4, even C5 sites (not capital escalated, of course) and present themselves as a decent enough blob to ward off the drive-by-gank. A determined opponent of course will take them down, no question. But the entire operation can be run from High Sec in total security. Wormhole diving is back.
So, if I had to start a Wormhole corporation, I’d base it around Jita or Amarr. I’d ask that everyone sets out with a Covert Operation ship and finds a suitable hole to run. Or targets to shoot, whatever. Come the weekend / fleet night, a decision is made what to do and the nearly guaranteed route is scanned down, ships are brought in and ships or sleepers are shot. At the end of the night, exfiltrate out of the (nearly guaranteed) hole, put salvage on market and pay the fleet out. Rinse and repeat. It doesn’t even need 10 players, it really needs 3 or 4 with 2 alts each for anything up to C4.
Ok, so whats the advantage of doing that over the existing system where we live out of a POS. Well, firstly, you woudn’t have to live out of a POS. Its a pain and CCP has acknowledged for years that it is. They just never get around to fixing it. A decent – large – POS costs a ton of ISK plus fuel of 400mil / month (I need to check, I am working from memory). The logistics of bringing fuel in / out is risky and painfully slow and of course there is always the chance to get a thief into the corp. Factor all that in and you could lose a fleet a few times before a POS paid for itself. And btw, POSes are not immune to getting killed of course. On the upside, a POS allows manufacturing / invention and all that. I am no expert but I don’t know just how much advantage these POSes have over a high sec POS or even stations. I think one of the latest patches pretty much evened the playing field? But manufacturing in Wormhole space means bringing in the minerals, nobody sane mines locally anymore, its just too dangerous.
So, who cares? Well, the concept of owning space is an important one. A roving WH-diving gang will not have the satisfaction of owning space, ever. This is important in a subliminal level, not just financial, the feature of truly owning space differentiates EVE from other games where persistence is not a core feature. But that alone is not enough. The risk and cost of owning something have to be reflected somewhere in the reward, i.e. if I own a POS and occupy the hole, I should get better rewards than a day tripper. And I don’t mean just financially, I mean, better security, more chances to encounter other pilots or even have control over the number of connections or sites that spawn. It’s pretty much what nullsec has currently in the maligned sovereignty system – upgraded systems are “better” in some ways.
I think this deserves a quick discussion now while the new sov systems are designed. Maybe there are elements that can be transferred to our space as well.
Other thank ink that, CSM elections are coming up and while I am not entirely in the loop, there are two candidates that stand head and shoulders above the others and I shall give my recommendation in a separate posts.