Saturday, 4 July 2015

Terror From Beyond

Come Aegis, there is to be a change (read: reduction) in the spawning of nullsec connections into wormholes, and a reduction in lifetime. This is being played as a super-mysterious ooga-booga Lore thing by CCP Fozzie who isn't commenting on increases or decreases in wormhole lifespan or spawn rate or chance.

This is somewhat hypocritical. Some time ago CCP was quite happy to tell us they were increasing the number of N944 low-low connections to "improve connectivity" between lowsec regions, provide content, etcetera.

This may seem rather an academic change, but as comments on the Reddit thread show, the HK-PL axis has proved rather effective at exploiting the C5 superhighway to both raid out of C5's for nullbear tears and capital kills, but to come from nullsec, through wormholes, and back out to nullsec to do the same.

I am specifically including PL and HK in the same boat. They will deny they are allies, and indeed they probably aren't in the sense that HK doesn't do nullbear grinding. But neither really does PL; they just squat in NPC null or lowsec, rent out swags of the map for dank ISK, run strategic moon mining operations, and make a nuisance of themselves.

Nevertheless, Noobman from Hard Knocks has several super toons in Pandemic Legion and FC's for PL. There is ample evidence that PL and HK work together quite often, and of course, shoot each other now and then. That's HK being HK, and wormholers being wormholers, blue one day and shooting the next.

It's no great leap of conspiracy (indeed, it's not a conspiracy at all) to consider that there's a lot of information flow from HK to PL and vice versa. This probably if not almost certainly includes sharing intel about viable chains between wherever PL is, and wherever PL wants to be. In fact, let's be generous toward PL and say that they probably use other sources of intel like that, too. Either they share siggy, or we can resort to screencaps of Siggy / Tripwire chains, to share routing info. Worst case scenario, you just use Thera, and a bit of elbow grease on your own end to make chains yourself.

Taking the above reasonably presumption that PL and HK share info from time to time, and that PL isn't stuck with their head up their arse, you can see the context forming for these changes to wormhole connectivity into nullsec. Consider this comment on the Reddit post about the Aegis patch notes;

Rwol:that's silly and you know it.
we had to fight this in etherium many times. this was not new information.
let's say we know pl has a wormhole to us, and let's be generous in say we know the region it is in. which we don't because there's nearby regions as well.
do we roll each and every wormhole? do you know how fucking many that would be?
the closest actual counter i could figure would be a wormhole constellation of our own that we could contain and monitor, but again, other regions.
your way of dropping on people is incredibly asymmetric in the effort required to deal with it. you are not stupid. this should not be news to you.
"Elise Randolf: It's a mechanic that /severely/ limits the doctrines the attacker can take, can be countered with the exact same amount of effort, and scales linearly."
you say that like it matters.
  1. you don't fight people straight up. we successfully fought you off either to victory or a stalemate when it was just pl, which is why you stopped doing it in favor of ganking us when we were dispersed or in the middle of fighting someone else.
  2. in order to counter you, we have to be countering you every time we go out because it is impossible for any group to shut down a region's wormhole traffic. which in turn, makes us easier for the people we actually want to fight (not pl) to counter us. so rather than actually fight what we want to fight, we have to be ready to fight you. every single time.
  3. this requires everyone everywhere to be ready to fight a 50-100 man pl t3 fleet with maybe 5 minutes notice depending on pl's exit wormhole. this is not ok.
you aren't stupid, so do us the courtesy of not assuming we are.
pl abused this shit into the ground. your t3s killing capitals on every corner of the fucking map, while cool, is fucking horrific for anyone to deal with and has no actual goddamn counter other than "don't do anything unless you can fight a pl t3 fleet with zero notice".
you, as an alliance, are a strong part of the reason why the phoebe changes were put into eve in the first fucking place.
put aside the lies about third party bullshit when were fighting xix and realize that we, as an alliance, had to be permanently ready to fight (or blueball) pl at a moment's notice even though pl has no presence anywhere near us.
you successfully subverting phoebe jump changes is cute but you did it too well and it looks like it is going to be shut the fuck down.
  This is pure and simple a complaint that PL does exactly what Hard Knocks and many other C5-dwelling corps do - use C5's more as a stage for nullsec excursions to gank ratting carriers (and/or their support fleets). We sure as fuck try to emulate this, but we lack the numbers, concentration spans, professionalism, dedication, resources, chutzpah and decent pilots to pull off what HK does.

The frustration of Rwol is very real, because how do you deal with this threat? It arrives without much warning in your system or constellation, it is locally overwhelming, and strategically impossible to counter. It is guerilla warfare and murder via ephemeral, basically unnavigable dark crawlspaces which exit, forever mutating and shifting, underneath the firmament of nullsec (and indeed New Eden as a whole). There sre few, if any, controls you can put in place, especially if it's a frigate hole.

The nerf is allegedly coming because the presence of wormholes runs counter to the disaggregation philosophy of CCP, and goes against the Phoebe capital mobility nerfs. Rwol lays the blame for this at the feet of PL, and here I also include hard Knocks. But is it warranted?

Yes and no, maybe.

Yes, PL, HK and many others don't have their heads up their arses about wormholes like Rwol and a lot of nullsec entities do. When Phoebe dropped we did see a larger proportion of nullsec dwellers utilising wormholes to run logistics. However, that's died off recently, so it's not exactly universal that nullsec alliances manage their wormhole content properly. Most just treat it as a scary place where dragons lurk and death awaits, and don't venture in at all. That they get outflanked and outplayed by PL, HK and BL in this arena is no shock, is it? ignore it at your peril.

No, it's not strictly balanced or reasonable. There are too many nullsec to C5 connections, but very few viable S199 null-null. Therefore HK can use a C5 base to raid nullsec with impunity and make it efficient because nearly every C5 has a Z142 or K162 to nullsec. if not that C5, the C5 it's connected to. That's a fact, and it does make C5 space a kind of nullsec underground railroad.

Maybe it's warranted to reduce this, but will it stop it? Not necessarily. There's still Thera, which is an unsinkable douche-canoe stroke aircraft carrier and due to Eve Scout, everyone knows where it exits (or should). Wormholers wanting to gank carriers can do the same from a C2 with E545/N062, or C3 with K346. hell, you could even use a Z060 C1 if you wanted. HK can adapt if C5 space gets cut off. PL can adapt. What it WILL do is make the content harder to access and make carebears in nullsec more secure. Bueno?

But in the end, if this is a nerf directed at PL and HK, it's also a handout to the lazy shitheel nullsec alliance XO's who don't actively support wormhole content, who don't have an alliance Siggy / Tripwire account, who don't manage their risk, who don't prep their sheeple and aspergers-inflicted fucktard ratters and who don't respond to the threat appropriately. Yes, HK, PL and BL use wormholes. No, their dominance isn't miraculous or exploitative - it's the general cock-targetry of everyone else which is the problem.


  1. Couldn't've said it better myself.

  2. If you ever run for CSM you will have my vote


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