As my last remaining loyal reader (hi Mum!) may recall, I bounced around in EVE but always come back to Wormhole Space (aka Anoikis). To me, the uncertainty of connections, resources and enemies, the excitement of working in small, highly skilled teams and the slow, cat-like scouting sessions are the most thrilling aspects of the game. Wormholers in EVE are a little bit “different”, we used to have a fearsome but also slightly weird reputation. I mean, who is nuts enough to stalk an enemy for weeks in order to get a single drop on a site running fleet? We do. Oh yes, we do.
King of the Anoikis Hill has been Hard Knocks (HK), they were to Wormhole space what Goons are to K-space, unassailable, well led and funded and with a scary reputation to burn your place to the ground when they felt it would be entertaining. They were our own boogeyman and when you saw them in space you’d do what we do. You run. You run your ass off. They built Keepstars not because they needed them but because they could. They were the biggest group around, probably able to muster 200 or so pilots within short notice. For wormhole space with its mass limitations, that is actually a lot and few outfits would be able to match the numbers and skill to counter them.
And then came nullsec. Basically, this week a coalition of nullsec pilots came to “Rage”, Hard Knocks valued C5 home system and burned it to the ground. They used a combination of wormhole tactics (infiltration, hole control) and nullsec tactics (massive fleets of cheap, low skill battleships with great FCs) to which neither Hard Knocks nor any of the many rescue fleets had any counter. The most fearsome Wormhole Corporation died with a whimper to the tune of their self-destructing capitals.
Wormhole space now is taking a collective breath. If Nullsec can waltz into our domain and literally wipe the floor with our best corporation, what is stopping them to burn all of us to the ground for shits&giggles. We have no counter to this, all of a sudden we don’t feel smug, we feel like a fish about to be filleted. Reddit, Discord and Slack provide a cacophony of chestbeating “let the come, we will fight to the last Ibis” and depression “if wormhole space dies, I’ll quit EVE”. And personally, both are true for me, if our home C2 was attacked, I will fight to the last ship or until I get podded. But then we would find another C2 and do it all over again. And if Wormhole space becomes un-fun, I will quit the game. I tried the other regions but can’t see myself in K-space. Rather give No Man’s Sky another shot.
However, there is another side to this story – the burning of HK may have been good for WH space:
See, the only reason why HK was driven out was because they amassed gigantic wealth in their home system, feeding off their fearsome reputation to be unassailable. This is a mistake and has always been. Wormhole space isn’t for empire building, it is for hit&run tactics, it is for temporary camps, shifting alliances. Its not about the infrastructure, its about the 10 dudes behind you when you tackle something. Its about people, not rocks or rats. HK played Wormhole Nullsec and paid the price. Other corporations will learn from it – Lazerhawks for example is already unanchoring their Keepstar(s?) and all Wormhole corporations are taking a good look at themselves and their assets.
My hope is that wormhole space gets back to its roots (yes, yes, I know the old “CCP never intended us to live there etc”) and becomes lean and mean. Corporations like HK who have aspirations of empire building should stay in K-space. Honestly, I think Nullsec did us a favor burning down Rage. It gave us back the spine to be Wormhole corps, enjoy small fleets, ambushes and true camaraderie. And if our camp goes up in flames, heck we build another.
Oh, yes, this was last night. An awesome, textbook perfect takedown. That is what we are all about!
Edit: A couple of links for more information on HK’s keepstar. (I won’t link to Reddit, dont have the patience to wade through the morass of memes and bullshit)