Risk in Post-Hyperion W-Space

EVE is a game about risk. Everything players do they do while keeping in mind the risks associated with those actions. The changes CCP made to w-space in the Hyperion expansion have upset players by changing the risks associated with many aspects of wormhole life. But are the increased risks real, or are players reacting negatively to changes simply because they are changes?

Perception vs. Reality

There is a thread in the wormhole section of the forums talking about actual risk and perceived risk. There are not a lot of replies to it but I think it brings up a valid question; are players reacting to an actual increase in risk or are they just seeing added risk that isn’t there? While the goal of some of the changes was to make a few activities in wormholes riskier it is hard to completely quantify risk as it is not a tangible thing. Risk will always be there; as long as you are undocked you are at risk in EVE, but can you really feel an increase in risk? Jumping through a wormhole can now put you significantly further away from it than before, which must be accounted for when rolling. You were always at risk when rolling a wormhole, even if you scout you can never really be certain that nobody is watching you. I myself have participated in killing people who were rolling wormholes when they almost certainly thought that nobody was watching them. The point I’m trying to make is that being further from a wormhole isn’t new risk, it simply increases the amount of time that you spend at risk. Now the argument can (and likely will) be made that spending more time at risk is a direct increase in risk. That kind of argument is what sparks the threads and discussions and ultimately this article. Players are upset because they feel that changes have been made that make things more dangerous than before for what they see as no other reason than to make changes. The big question is whether or not these changes really result in more risk than before. You can still mitigate the risks the same way that you always have, that hasn’t changed. A small corp with fewer members might have difficulty in fielding the amount of alts or pilots necessary to picket the new C4 static or the small-ship wormhole that just opened, but is that increased risk, or just simply more of the same? Antioch in C4 WH

The Reactions

While I have not directly witnessed it myself, people on the Wormhole subforum have reported seeing people in the process of moving out of their home wormhole. Presumably these players feel that the increased risk isn’t worth the rewards of living in w-space any longer. Or perhaps they are just feeling jilted that CCP introduced changes that many players were so vocally against. This thread discusses people noticing far fewer sites spawning in their home wormhole, which was initially suggested to possibly be the result of a bug. One other more likely scenario is that people moving out of w-space do not run sites, and sites that do not get run (and thus removed from that wormhole) do not respawn in another wormhole later. Wormholes exist within regions just like any other area of space, and as sites get cleared out and removed from one wormhole they respawn in another wormhole within the same region. It has always been the case that you sometimes find a vacant wormhole with upwards of a couple dozen sites because nobody lives there to clear them out. The easiest solution to that is to either run them yourself if you are able, or just warp to each one, which will cause the rats to spawn and eventually the site to despawn in a few days. More people reporting fewer sites in their home wormhole could be a result of people leaving wormhole space, which could lead to even more frustrated pilots leaving. It is somewhat ironic that players leaving because they think CCP has ruined wormholes could end up inadvertently hurting it even more. Without more concrete numbers from CCP we can only speculate on these things. EVE players have a long history of reacting strongly to things they disagree with, and I think in this situation we may have another instance of that. I am definitely for voting with your wallet (and your playtime) when it comes to things you dislike about games. If you truly aren’t enjoying an area of space within the game then you should leave that area of space. If you truly aren’t enjoying the game itself then you should stop playing (and paying for) the game. However, knee-jerk reaction to change itself is bad. Many players cry out about the changes and flee before attempting to really try them out (I’ve read of some people who left w-space before the changes even went live). This is, in my opinion, a bad way to deal with change in anything, not just a computer game.

Where Do We Go From Here?

I for one am really hoping that CCP will share metrics and data with us about how w-space has been doing since the release of Hyperion. There is enough evidence to know that players have most certainly left wormhole space, but I hope that they may one day return. Unfortunately I feel that any data we get from CCP (if we ever see any) will likely be somewhat colored by the fact that so many players have left w-space before ever even really experiencing the changes themselves.
Tags: Cilvius, hyperion, wormholes

About the author

Cilvius Sanctus

Cilvius enjoys being really slow at scanning down wormholes and targets, getting trapped on the wrong side of a collapsed wormhole, stalking neutral site runners while cloaked as a fleet forms up, and badgering members of his corporation and alliance to use the wormhole mapper site.

  • Khanh’rhh

    I’ve always said WH peeps are the biggest whining carebears around, and their latest outcry just vindicates it further.
    “Waaa, when closing the WHs making it impossible to enter the system at all we have to close WHs without spawning within jump range on the other side! abloohooo!!”

    I’d gladly place a beacon in 0.0 that turned off local, and in exchange you could turn the star gates off, and when you did want to use them, you could jump through and be at 0 on the other side. Oh and if some miscreant dared try enter the system by making a connection from the outside, a single launched-probe and/or the discovery scanner would give me plenty of warning.

    WH space is the safest space to rat in, bar *none* unless you’re completely incompetent about how you go about it.

    • Khanh’rhh

      n.b. arguments that say it makes it harder to rage-roll are pretty dumb, and they’re leaning on this as the reason to avoid looking like babies for crying about the above. Re-fitting in Eve is easier than ever, so throwing some webs in a few mids / nanos in the lows to speed this up can’t really be considered a negative compromise.

  • Rhavas

    The point for most C5/6 corps at least is NOT about increased risk (that may be the issue with C4 corps in particular). Most of them are still rolling with caps, it just takes longer and wastes time. For most of the C5/6 crew the problem is that it turns a fight worth trying (especially with caps) to one that’s likely to become a slaughter. So instead you end up in a standoff, no one jumps and everyone goes home. This is a net reduction in content, and THAT is the problem. Add to that if people are really moving out (as you state, we lack reliable data right now to determine that) then it’s an even further reduction in content. Then stack that on making it harder to roll to find content (which is far more important to most C5/6 groups than rolling to farm safely – SSC LIKES to get ambushed, we farm in PVP ships) … well, hope you like being bored.

    In addition, it does a lot of damage to the unique armor-heavy brawling meta of w-space, which is very much NOT like typical k-space gate combat. This diversity is a good thing, and CCP’s decision will just make w-space combat more like k-space in the end. More lost variety is more lost content.

    I think the fact that almost all the rest of the changes (the frig hole one is the only one getting much debate still beyond the mass-ejection one) were welcomed says that this isn’t about change being the problem, it’s about CCP not getting that the mass change is one big fat reduction in content for many corps.

    • Dersen Lowery

      It’s not a concern for C2 corps, either. We ratted in other people’s C5s, so all our fleets were PVP-capable, and we never critted holes because hey, a roaming fleet meant content! We got some great fights this way.

      For us, the difficulty–not impossible, not game-breaking, just extra time, trouble and risk–is primarily in rage-rolling statics that open into holes with huge active fleets that we couldn’t hope to contest. These are C2 holes, so using caps is out of the question. We used battleships and an Orca. Our ability to close these holes was never guaranteed under the old system. Now? We’d be feeding ourselves to them, so we’d probably just leave the hole open and log off to play something else. That’s what we did when the only alternative was whelping against a fleet with more Guardians than we had ships in total. Been there, done that.

      We’re out of our hole and on hiatus for reasons that have nothing to do with the change–we were arranging our exit before any of them were announced–but we have clever enough people that, once we’re all interested again, we can figure out how to adapt. I’m not worried about that. I am, however, seriously annoyed when people complain that the only people who don’t like this change are risk-averse site farmers. (We don’t like them either: they’ve crashed the prices of nanoribbons.)

      Then again, Khanh’rrh is a member of an alliance whose preferred meta, large numbers in subcaps, works optimally under the new normal, so I’m not really surprised that he’s defending it.


      • Cilvius Sanctus

        May I ask why your corp moved out of your wormhole? I’m always interested in the reasons people leave w-space.

        I agree with you that it can be annoying when people claim only the bears dislike these changes. When they were announced my own corp came up with a few problems these could lead to and ones relating to site-running were the last ones on our list.

    • Cilvius Sanctus

      For the most part I think you are right about change not being the problem, but people in EVE have nearly always cried out against any sort of change to their game. While I think the more reasonable crowd has their own reasons for disliking the mass-ejection change there are certainly people out there who dislike any change.

      I’m curious how you see these changes making combat in w-space more like combat in k-space. In what way do you see this happening?

      • Rhavas

        It in effect makes the wormhole a mini-gate. By throwing ships further from the gat … er, hole, it expands the distances between ships. While this was FAR worse in the original Sisi version (which would have been almost exactly like a gate, necessitating a shift to kiting doctrines), it now is sort of this limbo where neither kiting nor brawling are optimal. One of the things I think a lot of people loved was both the short-range tactics and the cloak risk of “at zero”.

        • Cilvius Sanctus

          People definitely loved the short-range tactics and I am ok with anything that mixes that up a bit. I have stated before that I would like a change in the PvP meta in wormholes so anything that makes people try other setups is a plus in my book.

  • Kamar Raimo

    I listened to the latest Down the Pipe episode and there were a number of wormhole players from different corps on there + Corbexx. The main message I got about the contentious mass ejection thing was, that they said it has not changed anything, just made the existing procedures more tedious.

    If that is the final verdict then that particular change is completely unproductive. Just like changing sov-warfare to be even more of a grind would be.

    Do you agree with the statements made on that podcast?

    • Cilvius Sanctus

      I would somewhat agree with that. I don’t think the changes have had such a drastic impact on everyday life in wormholes. You still do things like rolling a wormhole the same basic way, it just takes slightly longer. I don’t really think that makes things more dangerous, but they can be seen as slightly more tedious. Though after having a little bit of time with the expansion my own corp figured out how to roll holes in basically the same amount of time as before.

  • Viince_Snetterton

    Risk went way way up, rewards stayed the same, so a percentage of the players quit wormholes, and this has created a feedback loop where secondary players (predators) are also quitting because there is not as much prey around.

    CPP, particularly the idiot Fozzie, once again, ignored reality, and implemented a change that negatively impacted the PCU and ultimately the subscription rate.

    And you write a post expressing surprise over this?

  • Björn Jansson

    There are three points I’d like to make.

    1, Metrics is what is needed to show some light on weather the increased spawn distance has had any effect. But do not that even if we would get that date it would be contaminated bu the fact that people perceive the risk as increased and have changed their rolling behavior – sometimes even opting out of rolling. Opting out of rolling would of course mean less hips destroyed than before. So in theory the metrics can in fact show less kills.

    2, As a mostly solo, well multi-boxing, player I feel there is at least one situation that I feel makes it a lot safer and easier to kill a larger ship rolling a hole. That is when you can scram and web that ship – like a Battleship or an Orca – when it de-cloaks far off the hole. That would mean I have time to shoot and preferably kill it before it exits to the other side. Should friends of that ship jump into my side I can as a last resort jump to the other side. If they follow me I can get back to my side, but they would be polarized. Perhaps not more dangerous to roll, but sure feels safer to attack.

    3; The increased distances sure makes it a lot safer for cloaky ships to get away. There is no more coming out so close to the hole that you can not instantly cloak. Frankly it’s a bit dull.

    • Cilvius Sanctus

      Your first point is very important. I worry that if we ever do get some hard metrics on the effects of this that they will be contaminated (as you put it) by people overreacting (in my opinion) to the changes. I would love to see metrics but I fear that players would point to them and say “Hah! We were right! You ruined wormholes!” without keeping in mind that many players left w-space before really even trying the changes out.