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?
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
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.