Into the known unknowns
The doldrums of summer have just been shattered. Yesterday I had plans to post about how quiet things have been both in corp and in game but now there is too much to talk about. As a very small wormhole group, there is a significant impact to us from many of these changes. Even more so because we've expanded to occupying two wormholes, one of which will never be the same after Hyperion.
First, wormhole effects are being modified. This is a minor blip in general for us as these effects are simply something, generally, to be dealt with unless they are in your home system. Our class 2 wormhole is a Magnetar which has a damage boost currently but a heavy nerf to tracking for most weapons. It makes for some nice PvE while having interesting effects on PvP. The changes here are mostly minor with a new nerf to target painting and a change to the missile effect. I'm not a huge numbers guy so I will leave it up to others to crunch the changes and how it affects things in game. Overall I'm fine with these changes, especially the change to black holes which make then not a horrible place to live.
The other changes though are far more interesting to us and I'd like to discuss each in turn.
Class 4 dual statics
On the surface, this is the change I probably fear the most. Our new second hole is a C4 which we picked specifically for its C3 static. We are admittedly a mostly PvE group. By adding a second static, our hole will have a bit more risk but because we have experience living in a dual static C2, that in itself is not an issue. The real issue simply boils down to: We don't know what kind of static we will get.
A C2 static would be our ideal situation. A C3 static for farming harder to solo sites and a C2 static for the newbros plus the wealth of k-space and w-space connections both would offer. It would likely mean we would consider moving the entire corp into the C4 instead of the split we have now.
A C1 static would be ok but would be a PITA again when it comes to hole security. We already deal with this in the C2 and it has to do entirely with the difficulty in rolling a C1 due to the mass restrictions.
A C4 static would be interesting but now starts to be more of a detriment to us. If C4 holes become more popular, this would be a superhighway of sorts making our system perhaps too active for us to use properly for ourselves.
A C5 or C6 static would simply be disastrous to our occupation. Too much risk for no reward.
Mass determines distance from hole, changes to spawn dynamics
This is, by far, the most contentious part of the changes.
It seems that everyone in a C5 or C6 is raging against it because it does two things. First, it makes jumping capital fleets into a neighboring C5 or C6 insane due to the possible spread of ships, namely carriers. Second, it makes "rage rolling" looking for content both more time consuming and risky.
As someone who doesn't live in a C5 or a C6, I may be too dismissive of these changes. It seems from the other changes to wormholes such as the introduction of low mass, high mass limit, regenerating mass wormholes that CCP is promoting a smaller ship gameplay here. By allowing frigates, destroyers and HICs near permanent access to wormholes, they are fostering smaller fleets in favor of the capital fleets that C5 or C6 inhabitants perhaps use more frequently now. In addition, the more frequent spawning of wormholes should result in a deeper wormhole chain than you find today. Rage rolling is a mechanism to find content in your shallow static. If deep wormhole chains exist, there should be significantly less reason to want to roll your static if you are a PvP group looking for content. Instead, small scout gangs would fan out through the chain looking for targets for the main fleet. This not only fosters more bodies in space, but it also potentially opens up wormhole space to younger players who cannot fly capitals or T3s but can get into frigate gangs looking for fights.
Overall I see this as a good change even though it may be very difficult for us as a smaller entity to deal with an influx of hostile pilots.
K162 appear on jump, not warp
Quite simply, this is an interesting change to counteract the discovery scanner but the K162s need to appear eventually on some kind of timer or else the increased activity of the other changes will be drastically counteracted by a massive decrease in connectivity. Many people will simply not instantiate their K162s exiting their wormhole as well as k-space residents warping to and not entering wormholes when they find them.
Overall, I'm very positive on these changes, even moreso if we get one of the beneficial statics in our C4. What concerns me is something that has been echoed on the forum comments. The increased risk from rolling, additional wormhole spawns, low-mass wormholes and the K162 appearance is not being offset with any increased rewards on the PvE side of the equation. This imbalance will significantly hurt the PvE activity of wormhole space which is a significant source of targets for PvP activity. I have asked and sincerely hope that CCP has plans for a future PvE enhancement that includes wormhole space. It is desperately needed to keep all areas of EVE exciting and is where many many players interact with EVE. It is a shame that missions, sleepers, and most other PvE areas have gone untouched for so long.