Friday, 16 December 2016

Wand'rin' Star

Do I know where hell is?
Hell is in hello.
Heaven is goodbye for ever, it's time for me to go.
I was born under a wandrin' star.
A wandrin', wandrin' star.

- Lee Marvin

I've always been a wanderer in Eve. If I spend too long in any one place, I start to get itchy feet. I hate going over the same ground endlessly, which is probably why I've never made the transition to null sec. Before life forced me to quit Eve, I had been planning a long road trip around New Eden, looking for who knows what.

I don't travel for the sake of travel, though. Some players have made it their goal to visit every system in New Eden. You might think that would appeal to me, but it doesn't. I prefer to take my time, to quietly explore each system slowly, rather blaze though while ticking boxes. If I never make it to some systems, that doesn't bother me.

It's not terribly surprising, then, that I've taken to wormhole life like a fish to water. The lack of local means that you get to see the real system instead of the system that knows it is being visited. You can watch the battleships running anomalies, and the Nocti salvaging wrecks. You can see the explorers running sites. And sometimes you even get to blow them up.

It's reached the point that I avoid leaving w-space. If I'm not making a supply run, or rushing to bring dps to a Tusker fleet, I don't seem to visit k-space anymore.

Visit. Huh. I suppose that's true. K-space is just a place I visit now. It's w-space that feels like home.

I am so grateful to the Tuskers for this opportunity. I'd been interested in w-space the last time I was playing, but the logistics seemed so daunting that I doubt I would have made the transition on my own. Now, I wonder about long solo roams and whether I should consider starting a hole of my own.

As I've mentioned in a previous post, w-space forces to you to play reactively, dealing with what you are given rather than executing elaborate plans. To miss-quote Forrest Gump, "Wormhole life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're gonna get." What I fly, and what I do, depends on what connections are available that day, and I am slowly learning each unique wormhole environment.

C1-C2 wormholes, for example, are perfect for making a little bit of cash by running exploration sites (in an Astero), or earning a few kills by camping them (in an Astero). This is because the exploration sites are often undefended, so you don't need to bring a combat ship to clear them. That makes them easy to run, and it makes the people running them easy to kill. My Astero now carries a mobile depot with an array of different modules so that I can fit for scanning, exploration, and combat without returning to Chaos, as the situation requires.

At the other end of the spectrum, C5-C6 wormholes are run by groups in high end ships. Hunting in these wormholes probably means a stealth bomber looking to pick off an industrial ship making a supply run. I've not yet managed a kill of this kind, as I've been too focused on trying to make some ISK. Perhaps this weekend will give me an opportunity.

I've also learned that wormhole chains don't necessarily end just because you've hit k-space. A quick scan of the k-space system often reveals another wormhole, and so the chain continues.

All told, though, wormhole space slows everything down. A null sec roam might generate a dozen kills or more in an evening, while fleet actions in w-space are far less common. Each fight takes more preparation, and even moving from one system to another can take 15 minutes or more as you scan down the next wormhole.

But it's all part of what makes the play-style so unique. It's not for everyone, and perhaps at some point I will become bored and want to move back to the faster pace of k-space, but right now this suits me perfectly.

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