Monday, December 9, 2013

Lack of PvP in WH space

WH space needs something new. Not something that everyone does "just I do it better". What makes the situation of WH space desperate? No, not the countless posts talking about it. Not even one of its largest alliance, SYJ leaving it for the "great" opportunity to be a mediocre and irrelevant nullsec alliance. It's the lack of PvP. Lack of PvP means lack of competition, lack of interest. We so didn't want that wormhole that we didn't fight to take or keep it.

The star systems of EVE Online are collected into regions. Zkillboard has regional data, with "recent rank" telling its place among the others in ISK destroyed in the last 90 days. Here is #1, The Forge. I collected the position of all regions:

As you can see, there are no WH regions in the top 20, but they are frequent in the bottom, with the C1s being the safest regions of EVE. The average position of Empire regions is 27, nullsec has 48, while the average WH region position is 62. Seems WHs are the place to avoid PvP, which direcly conflict with the goal of their dwellers.
Ship kills is even worse. Dotlan has statistics for this November:
Shipkills Podkills
Highsec 423724 78250
Lowsec 349784 87381
Nullsec 263513 206620
WH space 42359 15428
WH space doesn't just feature 1/10 as much kills as highsec, but the same page has top 10 regions. They are all empire, and even the 10th has more kills than whole WH space.

Let me remind you about my year-old statistics, with this chart, showing the amount of ISK lost per system:
As you can see, 20x more value is destroyed in a lowsec system than in a C1, but even C6s are beaten by highsec.

Since I'm just in WHs for a few days, I see the problem with the newbie eye. All spaces lose players over time who must be replaced by new blood. I'm a new blood. And I see how hard it is to get in wormhole space without having someone vouching me in an established corp. There is no infrastructure, no market. You have to set your own POS and fill it up yourself. Compare it to "just Black Frog a bunch of stuff to an NPC null station and set your clone there"! To make it worse, I'm in the privileged position of not having to care about losses. If I lose absolutely everything I moved to WH space, it will cost less than the amount I've thrown away for charity. For an average player "throw in a couple of billions and see how it goes" isn't an option.

It's enough that one has to learn whole new mechanics and move from the safety of highsec into a space with bubbles, but without local channel. Expecting him to build a huge infrastructure, risk all his assets and pay 500M/month fuel costs is a bit harsh. New players and small corps trying to outgrow a "running missions" state will bump down hard from this wall.

To make it worse, the amount of low level wormhole systems is limited, as guaranteed highsec or lowsec connection is a must for a new player. Someone who knows what he needs can live a week without resupply, someone who just starts can always get to a "oops I need a skillbook" or "oops I need a new ship after losing it" or "oops I'm out of ammo" or "oops, I'm podded, have to go back to my hole". Everyone has to understand that "oops" is the most common word of a new player and having to wait a week for a good connection to get something that is absolutely needed to continue playing is the best way to make him spend that week packing. The holes available to such player:
  • C1 with highsec exit (N110): 215
  • C2 with highsec exit (B274): 334
  • C3 with highsec exit (D845): 105
  • C1 with lowsec exit (J244): 105
  • C2 with lowsec exit (A239): 141
  • C3 with lowsec exit (U210): 294
  • C2 with C1 exit (Z647): 128
  • C2 with C2 exit (D382): 141
  • C2 with C3 exit (O477): 104
That's 1567 systems, but only 665 has direct highsec exit, so available to those without lowsec experience. Hauling trough low needs lot of covops jumps or jump freighter. And these systems aren't easy to find. To get in, you have to scan down elusive wandering holes, or hope that someone have spawned a static of an empty system while travelling. You can spend days looking for an empty wormhole.

If you check the statistics, exactly these newbie-friendly zones see the least PvP, while in normal space, lowsec, where a newbie can PvP see more kills than sov-null. Syndicate and Providence which are places where someone new can go to try null are also on top of the nullsec PvP list. Of course there are groups, including EVE-Uni that has WH-teaching corps. But they can't teach WH PvP if there isn't anyone to fight with. Obviously such organizations can't attack C6 holders.

I see now that the key to get more new players to WH space is somehow make it possible for them to live in the limited newbie-friendly systems in an "NPC null" style, to have to care only for ship PvP, and not sov-PvP: tower bashes and risk of losing all their stuff. Having to learn ship PvP in WH space is enough for them.


Foo said...

When looking for an empty wormhole; I suggest

Foo said...

I have an observation bias; comparing the number of shipkills I have (received) in known space vs number of ship kills in wormhole space.

From my time in lowsec (as a PI farmer); we found lowsec too hard with too many lost ships.

The wormholes have all been safer than lowsec

If I recall correctly from the CSM elections, roughly 1 in 14 players live in wormholes space (making the 2 in 14 result fairly strong).

So 7% of the population living in wormhole space; but 4% of the ship kills there. The automatic discovery scanner has also reduced ship kills.

So, if you are looking for any ship kill, your chances are better elsewhere.

Siim said...

So, I am not sure what do you want to say with this post but, let me say this, no one and I think no one wants to fight someone at their home.

How much kills are there in Goons most known home system (VFK)?
What about PL-s home system?
What about any other corps home system?
Compare to systems which are not called home by some group of people.

The only exception I see in here is the BNI home system.

Now if you take it to same level with WH systems you see it is not lack of "PvP" in WH, it is just what WH is, and WH dwellers take their fights elsewhere or do you suggest, in turn for more PVP someone should make WH more accessible? More populated? Make it to nullsec?

Wormholes are what they are, and afaik people who whine about there is not enough PVP in wormhole, are the same people who whine about "big blobbing" and "tidi" and small gang pvp overwhelming odds, and suicide gankers and so on, they are people who think balance should be where he is at that moment.

GWI said...

So question, did you compare the kill numbers this time with the amount of pilots at all? I know thats a hard one to find out, but a per capita mark matters a lot more than absolute losses.

Because it could be that those c1 kills are 90% of the isk value that ever enters the system, which would make it much more dangerous.

tograh said...

I wonder if we could get these numbers adjusted by population or traffic. WH-space can still be more lethal, and it's very uncompromising to the uninitiated.

The irony is that it's safer, but new players shouldn't make the mistake of thinking it's safe. DSCAN is life.

Chris K. said...

How much kills are there in Goons most known home system (VFK)?
What about PL-s home system?
What about any other corps home system?
Compare to systems which are not called home by some group of people.

Here's the thing though, in WH space you'll be hard pressed to find alliances that control more than a handful of systems. It is quite possible for an entire alliance to live in a single C6.

Now take your above questions and change 'system' with 'region' and you'll find that the answer is "quite a lot".

You will find a lot of people ready to invade your wormhole and try to farm your pve and guess what, pvp will happen as well.

Von Keigai said...

You are implicitly making the assumption that the fights that happen in a particular space-type are between players where both sides live in that zone. This is probably true, more or less, of nullsec and highsec, and upper wspace (C5 and C6). It's probably more true than false of lowsec. But I doubt it is true of lower wspace.

People who want fights leave wspace and roam in kspace. Of course, there are also daytrippers coming the other way. But given the difficulty of finding fights in wspace, I expect that your numbers reflect net aggression coming out of wspace. As such, relative to the owning population, the fight totals for lowsec and null (to some extent) are being inflated.

If I wanted to do a frigate or cruiser roam for fun, I would never do it in wspace. There are two main reasons. First, because long-range roaming is necessary in all space types to get decent fights. But roaming in wspace is between hard and impossible. Just scanning down wspace is hard, but doable. But your entire constellation (especially at lower levels) maybe just one system (your home). Or two. In C4/C3, we often see chains of maybe 3-4 systems, and not infrequently just two (ours and our C3). You cannot fight in two systems when one is yours and nobody is home in the other. Of course you can roll wormholes (except C1) in the attempt to roam, and some PVPers in wormholes do this. But it requires 5-10 minutes, or lots of Orcas -- not exactly the stuff of small fleets or newbie fun.

The second aspect of wspace is the danger of being podded. To kspace people, being podded means a free trip home, which given that your ship is blown up is probably just as well. In kspace, being podded means a free trip to some arbitrarily distant station. We pod if we can, because that removes an enemy from the fight almost indefinitely. But this is true anywhere you go if your home is in wspace, unless you are very fussy and each and every day, remember to leave wspace before taking any real risks, and set your clone station nearby. It would help in this respect if CCP added cloning station parts for POSes. But certainly the willingness or wspace pilots to take risk must be suppressed by this factor.

Gevlon said...

@Von Keigai: If the player defines himself as "PvP-er", then he is a nullsec/lowsec player who farms ISK in WH, since his defining activity is outside of WH space.

Anonymous said...

" And I see how hard it is to get in wormhole space without having someone vouching me in an established corp."

Not really true - lots of W-space corps have open recruitment, including SSC:

The biggest hurdle you'll have is that people assume from your post history that you are an incredible arse and difficult to deal with.

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