What follows in this post is simply a train of thought I had on something perhaps not novel as a way to take the change bat to w-space in keeping with the principles outlined recently by CCP Seagull for how EVE is to move forward.
What are we fighting for?
Wormhole space is made up of individual systems occupied by one or more friendly corporations possibly in an alliance. Connections between systems offer options for PvE "farming", PvP fights, or even the solo exploration pilot to find individual rewards. There is no game mechanic as to why two connecting systems would fight other than for the fight. For some this is enough. At times corporations will "go all in" and attempt an eviction of another corporation for [reasons]. It is a multi-day operation, as all timer based conflict is in EVE, and carries with it the possible rewards of another corporations stuff but quite often it ends with self-destruction of those assets by the owner and some bragging rights for the winning side. Many people though find this activity to be tedious and generally not worth the effort as a daily or common motivation.
My proposal is one centered around a game mechanic to introduce something to fight over in w-space. All names are merely placeholders.
I can leave it to CCP to fill in the blanks of the lore specifics, but the general premise here is that Sleeper activity or capsuleer actions have resulted in the creation of, or access to hyperspatial systems. As part of this change, the following occurs
- Hyperspatial connections begin appearing in wormhole space. Hyperspatial systems have no celestial bodies such as sun, moon, and planets but instead have warpable nebulas and hyperspatial interconnections.
- New sleeper technology which caused this change in environment has allowed for the creation of an anchorable structure known as a Hyperspatial collector which can be anchored in hyperspatial systems. This could be a buildable with cost or simply a launchable unit from a new module laying claim to a system much like how PI structures are created from a command center. The frequency of destruction should be considered to not make cost a barrier to deployment which would limit the effectiveness of this proposal as a dynamic conflict generator.
- Standard warfare links cease to operate in all wormhole space (see below)
- New anchorable structure known as a Hyperspatial resonator can be built and anchored in standard wormhole space at a POS
- Hyperspatial probes or scanners of two types which detect and reveal hyperspatial connections. One type would scan for the connections themselves and introduce a delay to travel through its use. A second would chart paths to collector beacons as outlined below.
- Possible additional effect of cloaks being prohibited in h-space to promote contact between travelers
Anchored only in hyperspatial systems, this unit collects hyperspatial energy for delivery to a resonator. It also operates a hyperspatial beacon which allows the anchoring corporation to use a probe or scanner to detect not only a hyperspatial connection but the shortest path needed to return to that specific hyperspatial system. This detection method is designed to allow a corporation to defend their collectors but only after navigating through hyperspatial systems which will likely close behind them leaving them to find another w-space connection to return to their home system. This collector can be attacked by standard methods and likely would have some sort of incapacitation threshold where it would cease to operate. It would not regenerate and incapacitated collectors do not prevent other collectors from being anchored. A possible consideration here would be to allow for one collector per nebula where multiple corporations could lay claim to a single system perhaps each with diminishing rewards as a result.
This new anchorable would focus hyperspatial energy from hyperspatial collectors. This unit would operate in w-space and be required to take advantage of hyperspatial effects.
PvP effects: T3 modules
One option would be a series of T3 modules which are counterparts to existing T2 modules. Whether these be distinct drop in replacements, additional mid or low-slot modules, or rigs is left for a game designer to balance properly. The net effect is that these new modules would receive boosts to their operation, similar to overheating or warfare links but only in relation to the Hyperspatial energy a corporation has collected.
A similar effect could also be achieved through a new T3 ship or T3 warfare link modules which would focus this hyperspatial energy to boost a fleet instead of creating individual modules.
PvE effects: Hyperspatial amplifier
Much like the ESS, a hyperspatial amplifier is another anchorable structure that affects Sleepers in the local w-space system resulting in increased loot and/or salvage materials when they are destroyed while under this effect. This could also have negative drawbacks such as increased stats to the affected sleepers.
Any hyperspatial anchorable attracts Sleepers of a new breed which drop loot only when destroyed by the corporation whose collector they have engaged. These would appear both in Hyperspatial systems as well as standard w-space systems and specifically attack both the collector and amplifier. As such, if left unattended, the units will likely easily be destroyed by sleepers in a period of less than a week.
- Wormhole corporations enter hyperspace through w-space to h-space connection points. Once inside, hyperspatial probes and beacons on the collectors serve to navigate ships through the quickly changing but completely interconnected landscape. From a coding standpoint, algorithms would need to be developed to ensure that all h-space systems are accessible at any time while the connection points are changing frequently. The frequency and method of w-space and h-space connections could be an additional conflict point for corporations.
- Wormhole corporations anchor collectors in h-space systems to collect the energy needed to boost operations. The levels of boosts should work similarly to faction warfare changes with an ebb and flow to their levels with collector operations. The limited anchor points in any h-space system combined with either exclusive operation or diminished returned for contested systems would drive other w-space corporations to compete for the resources.
- Competing wormhole corporations would engage each other to destroy the other corporation's structures and claim the space for their own as well as simply to disrupt their boosting capabilities for both PvP and PvE or the rewards from attacking hyperspatial sleepers
- Multiple avenues for engagement occur both from corporations "farming" the sleepers attracted by collectors, from defending or repairing their collectors both from player and sleeper attack, and disrupting the operations of other w-space entities.
- New PvP tactics develop through the use of w-space/h-space connectivity as well as the boosting received from hyperspatial collection either through new modules or new w-space boosting options.
- New PvE opportunities develop through the amplifier boosting w-space rewards and providing targets for PvP.
Reserved for future use
I believe this proposal, while perhaps not unique since I have not researched past proposals, could be at least a starting point to that goal. We have to start somewhere and I don't think that the new space that CCP is planning will be one that specifically enhances w-space and more likely will draw players away from it in the end.