Friday, 15 May 2009

Wormhole shenanigans

Several weeks ago my corp decided to move into a wormhole system and live there for some time. We had a POS somewhere in Providence we wanted to move out anyway and the alliance we had joined was beginning to break apart. We planned to move several remote repping battleships, some pvp fit ships, haulers, and POS structures in, set up base at a random moon within the wormhole system, and see how things evolved.

After some hours of probing we finally found a suitable class 3 wormhole in Kheram in Domain, hauled all ships and huge loads of equipment in, and set up the POS. The system was relatively small and there weren't any competitors but several sites promised good loot.

Pew pew!

How is w-space PVE compared to missions or 0.0 ratting? First of all the sleepers we found are not as predictable as those NPC you engage in missions. Sleepers change targets often, depending (as far as I can say) on how much of a threat an individual attacker is or whether or not his tank is holding. That said, the sites we tried usually had several waves of some frigates, cruisers, sentries, and one or two battleships and didn't pose a risk to a gang of 5 or so battleships with remote repairing modules. Two or three reps on a ship seem to be enough to keep up with the incoming damage. Some of the targets spawned at a range of 70+ km though so I was happy I picked a long range Typhoon.

Once a site has been cleared some guys hopped into their salvage ships and with the POS close by it took only a few minutes to loot and salvage everything. Half an hour of shooting at sleepers at two sites yielded roughly 60 to 80 mil ISK in total.

The sites inside a wormhole are limited though, and I think they do not respawn on a daily basis. When doing missions or ratting there is an unlimited supply of targets. Once you set up a POS in a wormhole system however, you are bound to stay there for a while. Targets will respawn eventually, but it might take some time.

With no sleepers to shoot at, we soon began to look for other victims. As soon as the entry wormhole collapsed, a new one spawned so we hopped through and had a look.

A cruise around the world

I have been on two cruises IRL so far, on the Nile in Egypt, and through the fjords of Norway. Usually I do not like ships because the space is so limited and you never have a nice quite spot for yourself. The good part is you don’t need to make long trips to see all the exciting places. The ship is docking at a port and if you want to, you can enjoy a few hours of shore leave to take some pictures or to buy a souvenir. Once you are done you board the ship again, hang out at the bar or go to bed. In the next morning the ship has usually moved on and the next port is within sight.

Having a POS in a wormhole system is almost exactly the same. Granted, you neither have a bar nor a pool, but there will be a new wormhole exit to some random part of New Eden every day with ample opportunity to take pictures or pick up souvenirs.
You shoot some stuff, go to bed, and the next morning the wormhole has docked at another port with new local folk to harass.

For some people in my corp this is so tempting they don’t want to leave the wormhole anymore. Miners are happy because there are often juicy belts in the system, the PVE lovers are having a blast killing sleepers, industrialists are starting their T3 production thingy and those looking for PVP always have a lowsec wormhole close by. But there are some major flaws in this idea also, the main reason why I eventually left w-space and set up my own base:

-You never know when a wormhole is going to collapse. You get some vague idea about the remaining time by looking at the hole’s info, but “reaching the end of it’s natural lifespan” could mean anything from a few hours to a second. Are you going to jump through in your shiny recon or expensive battlecruiser when there is a risk you won’t be able to go back? The people still in w-space could probe down a new entry for you, but it might be dozens of jumps away, maybe in a region you cannot access with your sec status.

-Supply is even more of a problem than it is for a normal pirate. You have a hauler alt in Jita? Too bad the new entry is 40 jumps away. And where do you set up your medical clone?

-You’ll always be a stranger. Information about the local systems usually is a big advantage, but when living in w-space you often have no clue about local corps, mission hubs, trade routes, and so on.

I am sure I’ll go and visit my friends in case an entry is close to my hunting grounds, and I like reading their daily reports, but in the meantime I’ll stick to my fixed base of operations.

1 comment:

  1. If you think you're going to go into W-space, fit a Core Probe Launcher, especially if you don't want to lose something expensive like say, a carrier :))