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Sunday, February 23, 2014

A [Very] Biased View on Wormholes

Originally published on 6/17/2013 on our alliance forums

The title of this blog will no doubt give insight to my thoughts on wormhole space. I have done it. I have failed at it.

Once upon a time in my more “rookie” years, I decided to try wormhole exploration. I scanned down a wormhole (it was a class III or IV) and not thinking about the wormhole mechanics, reshipped into a Maelstrom, went back in and ran some a site. I had myself a good old time fighting sleepers. They were not easy (even in a DPS battleship). After I had all my fun and scooped about 1/10 of the loot I made, I warped back to the wormhole bookmark and, you guess it, I found I had collapsed it with my battleship on the way in. That was a costly mistake and as it turned out, my least costly one.

Later in my career (maybe a year or so), as a CEO of In Tergo Nostra, I was “talked into” entering a wormhole temporarily (with a POS). A friend of mine had been a wormhole corp, taking a break from PVP to make some ISK. He talked to his CEO who had been living in the wormhole for quite some time and we formed a [short-lived] alliance. Spending half a billion ISK to form the alliance (yet another mistake), we stayed in the wormhole for about 2 months. It was an epic failure. Chops (one of my surly directors warned me against it. I should have listened. Even after considering all the bullshit we went through, I still find it a very valuable lesson in corporation management. One of the most informative lessons was role/POS management/security. In EVE, every corporation has had to deal with infiltration/spies/subversion, but the damage that can be done in a WH to the corporation turns out to be monumental rather than a nuisance. The WH alliance found that out very quickly. Once again, I made a costly mistake, however the other corporation in the alliance paid the price for that one.

We recruited a member (and I can't even remember his name now) who talked the talk and he told me of his concerns about keeping his ships in the member hanger for it to be stolen. I made special provisions to give him access to an unused hanger (not one that was full of corporate assets or anything like that. I would have regular voice communications with him on Vent or Mumble (whatever we had for voice comms at the time) and he was a pretty nice guy. Wanted to be active. Brought in fuel from Highsec (not asking for any ISK in return). All was well. Kasigi (another director of mine), a few other people (long since gone from EVE) and myself ran PI and did some mining. We didn't make the ISK that we were led to believe we could. We were on our last breath in the WH but I decided to give it another month regardless. What was supposed to have happened is that we were to have control of the Grav sites (and that was all) because the occupying corporation didn't utilize them. The WH promptly dried up for a good 4-5 weeks without any Grav sites. We were hemorrhaging ISK and I really had all I could afford, but still I tried to soldier on. When week 6 rolled around, the WH started producing Grav sites again. I had my orca, a hulk and another mining barge out their munching rocks. I had a PVP ship in the orca just for back up (it was a 2bil Proteus). You have no doubt inferred the theme. If you haven’t been paying attention, it was about costly mistakes. I will break it down, Barney-style.
One: Mining alone, not in a QRF fleet (Quick Reactionary Force) of the alliance.
Two: Triple boxing in a WH
Three: Not constantly checking the D-Scan
Four: Shit-Fit Orca (this is where my industrial fitting OCD comes into play)
Five: Panic-Induced paralysis

So if you add up 1-5 you don’t get 6 you get a nearly 4 billion ISK lost (that was probably my most costly mistake in EVE. Ever. After all that, I was done. We made preparations to move out, post-haste. Sadly, that was not my final WH loss. I had the POS almost done (I had one or two weapon batteries left). My orca was outside the POS spike and I was jumped by a (ironically) Proteus. I made every possible attempt to make it back to the POS shield. My efforts were in vain. If anyone ever asks me why I don't want anything to do with wormholes, the answer is pretty clear. I still have nightmares about them. We ended up staying in the alliance for a few more months before the other corporation decided to leave it for a larger WH alliance. We followed suite until a massive amount of wardecs killed the corporation. Our alliance leadership (without a vote or any mention of intentions) decided to make the war mutual. Mind you, they lived in WH's. Rarely did they ever appear in highsec. It turned out that the corp the alliance deced entered into DecShield before all the wardec revamps. In Tergo Nostra is still in a perma-war to this day. We had to bail and start FDA. It was a very unfortunate end to a free-fall of bad choices.

Getting back to the security issue. After chatting with the guy in Vent or whatever, one day he says to me. Hey Vexed, the other corp in the alliance is more in my time zone and they do combat sites which I am more interested in. Do you mind if I change corps? Being the eminent politician I am I said as long as it was cool with the other CEO, I don’t mind. He then told me he had all but worked that out which was kind of off-putting, but whatever. I would rather someone have fun then be somewhere they don’t want to be. As it turned out, a few days later this guy ejected all the ships out of their corporate hanger/ship maintenance bay (it was the rookie pos, so they didn’t loose a lot of shiny stuff, but it was still a low blow. He then spouted off how he and his friends were coming to roffle-stomp the system and kick us out. It was an eye-opening experience for sure. So to me, WH are to be steered well away from. Anyway, that’s my two ISK