As any wormholer worth their salt has heard, CCP is making changes to core wormhole mechanics for the first time since its inception. These include changes to how ships spawn after jumping through wormholes, increased random wormhole connections, additional static wormholes in C4 space and new low mass regenerating wormholes. As individual changes, each has generated its share of consternation among the community. As a whole, they start to paint an interesting picture of what wormhole space could be in their wake.
Life in wormhole space now often has pilots encountering the roadblock of a shallow wormhole chain. As a resident of both Class 2 and Class 4 wormholes, we see this in both levels of wormhole space, partly because of the static wormholes we have chosen to live with. However, the art of ragerolling a static by the higher level entities goes to prove a point that wormhole space is generally shallow or it is viewed as such by the active players. If your static does not contain what you desire, roll it and find another one. There certainly are exceptions to this rule with solo and small gang PvPers that roam the chains jumping in and out of k-space looking for more and more targets. We've encountered enough of them ourselves to know they exist but by and large, I do not see them as the people being shaken up by these changes. If anything, they will enjoy even more benefits to their playstyle.
I have to imagine that a shallow view of wormhole space is not the vision that CCP wishes by nature of their game design. I suspect that they desire a space that has a dynamic set of connections running through larger portions of the 2500 or so wormhole systems, connecting more wormhole systems to each other and thus, potentially, generating content for all those in the chain. Rage rolling is directly targeted by the change in hole spawn mechanics. The argument from the side opposing the change is that this will force people to move from wormhole space due to their inability to close holes for protection, or in the case of rage rolling, from finding content in a expedited fashion. While wormhole space does not have many good analogies to k-space, the idea that you can sit in your home system and open up attack avenues into a target of your choice through rage rolling your connection point is in direct conflict with the idea of ships in space. A far better environment is one where pilots are out roaming, as they do in low-sec or some areas of null-sec, looking for content through the natural organic connections the universe provides. Wormhole space should be the pinnacle of roaming with an ever changing landscape offering contact through every wormhole connection. Today it doesn't because wormhole space is more empty than it is populated. People are adverse to setting up shop in a wormhole and with the limited depth chains, either you find someone home, or you find no one.
A deeper wormhole chain environment changes this. Small mass, regenerating wormholes and new connections popping up left and right changes this. It offers k-space dwellers and PvP oriented w-space dwellers more chances to meet somewhere in the chain, to find a fight somewhere in space and win or lose with what you have with you. It doesn't have to be in your home, but in the dark corners of space where you cross paths. It is small gang PvP perhaps at its purest with no reinforcements, no reshipping, just a fight and the best team wins. And because of mass and exit spawn randomness, the bigger your fleet, the more challenges you have to face while a small nimble force can act more cohesively. Is this not perhaps the ultimate goal?
On the surface, these proposed changes look like a threat to the way of life of some of the larger and higher end wormhole entities. I think that is exactly what it is. The adaptation, however, could be exactly what wormhole space needs. Even with these changes, I think there are more considerations CCP could make that could further enhance this nimble wormhole environment.
- Wormhole to Wormhole cynos between disconnected wormhole chains could make for fascinating interactions between organizations that developed a system of scouts, cynos, and bridges allowing people to draw in comrades between formerly disconnected portions of wormhole space. It would also add more value to certain ship types which are never used.
- Clone swapping and installation at POS modules or Rorquals in wormholes would significantly improve the ability for capsulers to be nimble in their wormhole adventures. Combat down the chain would not mean being locked out of your space but instead allow you to return to the fight after navigating a dangerous serious of connections to return to the fight or find new enemies.
- T3 frigates providing a wormhole enhanced platform for small ship combat beyond what is already available. Introduction of these ships could also allow for additional income resources to be added to wormhole space increasing the rewards found there.
It will be interesting both as a resident and as a CEO to see how these changes affect our corp and the other corporations living in wormhole space. I am glad to be living in interesting times...