Monday, December 29, 2014

What the Heck is Going On in WH Space?

Every year, one of our awesome Repercussus pilots put on the “12 Ganks of Christmas”, a holiday event that actively encourages RP pilots to go into WH space, find targets, and arrange for their abrupt return to kspace.  A successful catch nets the prober an isk bounty, and the acclaim of his corporation.

As you could expect, this gives a PvP corp like Repercussus some focus to our murdering ways.  We base out of Tamo, a low-sec system that affords excellent wormhole connection opportunities.  Plus, our pilots have been very eager to explore those WH connections this year.  When I’ve personally logged in, I find that most of the connections are already scouted.  So, we’re definitely exploring our chains very well.

And yet, we’re struggling to fill those twelve ganks (instances, not ships).  It’s definitely not from a lack of effort, but rather a dearth of WH residency, at least among those we’ve found.  And it’s not a matter of the enemy seeing us and safing up.  Rather, we aren’t finding any ships or wrecks on dscan.  If space had tumbleweeds, we’d have quite the collection.  We even joked about starting a WH corp so we could farm it for kills every so often.

So, my question to the community is… is this normal now for WH space?  I remember WHs being filled with pilots, but is this no longer the case?  Or did we just get very unlucky?

Is it perhaps our time zone?  We play in USTZ primarily, but we bridge the end of EUTZ as well, and we stretch into AUTZ.  Now, Turamarth Elrandir wrote a post over at A Carbon Based Life that revealed a general lull over this time, but also some action this past week.  So obviously, some things are still happening.

But I still wonder… could folks be changing their perceptions of WHs?  Does it seem not to be worth it anymore?  And if so, what effect will the recon changes have on this issue.

I don’t have answers, but I do wonder, based on the experience we’ve had over the last couple weeks, whether this experience is a snapshot of a trend that has been happening for a time, or simply bad luck during a period of time when a lot of players are simply doing family things instead of space things.

I really hope it’s the latter!


  1. I think the waning population of whs is really due to two factors; exploration rework and mobile depots. To the first point; I think a lot of younger/pve oriented players still use whs, but only as a means to get in and out of null. These are the same type of people who once might have daytripped in c3s to make some extra isk. Second, mobile depots allow semi-nomadic individuals to reside w/o much evidence, cutting down on the number of single player corps (w/ alts) seen due to towers. Compounding this is the existing wh groups, either stomping or absorbing anyone they find.

    1. I wonder about those mobile depots... it's basically a small POS with the same reinforcement timer without a high-value killmail to be had. I see a lot of validity to that point.

      As far as larger groups stomping smaller groups... I wonder why this is only happening now, many years after WHs were implemented. I feel like there has to be something else going on. WH space tends to be much more honorable than null-sec, for instance, with tolerating the little guy so you can farm him.

    2. You don't even need to leave the depot anchored. Safe up, anchor, refit, pull depot in. If you have a alt with a hauler it can haul your gear and loot and just jet can it out at the depot. You can live unnoticed for months.

  2. You're coming very late to the repercussions of something that happened last year or the year before when the bigger w-space groups decided that carebearing in w-space was against the rules and burned out a lot of folks. And then many of those same large w-space pvp groups imploded for lack of activity after 'cleansing' w-space.

    Coupled with that was a relative small number of new groups coming in to w-space and you have the current situation. W-space is still incredibly profitable in the bigger holes (C5-6) for large groups, but the main source of income for the smaller holes (C1-3), namely melted nano ribbons, suffered a crash, so that didn't help attracting new folks or keeping the current ones.

    The larger groups got burned out on w-space and/or got really too big and either left or broke up and left. And since there's never really been that many new people coming in who want to stay and deal with w-space logistics, there's been a relative downward trend in numbers.

    Oh, and, plus, Christmas :)

    1. It's a difficult balance... recruiting people to PvP, yet still having a culture that allows you to rat to make it "worth it". GSF seems to be fine with that, but they have tens of thousands of players, more than enough for everyone to glut themselves while still filling the PvP fleets. Hardly a model that can scale down to the lowest levels.

      Is there a solution that allows PvE, while still keeping the focus on PvP? Worth some thought.

    2. In w-space there should be no problem making enough isk to cover living expenses (POS upkeep) plus ship replacement. The key problem I've run in to is that, in w-space, not running sites and not doing PI is not an option; living in w-space really is all about exploiting your home to its maximum potential and there's too many that don't want to. Just doing PI can save 300-400 mil/month on fuel costs, and if you're living in a lower class hole (or even a higher class hole) that ain't nothing :)

      The problem is that in w-space everything is manual - there are no bounties, no markets, etc. Plus no local, no stable entrances and exits. That kind of intensity isn't for everyone.

      I like it, though, which is why I prefer living in w-space :)

  3. Too early to be sure if it is a repercussion of the latest patch, or just a coincidence, but lately I (as a solo WH hunter) have found more targets than usual. After Apocrypha, I dove straight in and got loads of kills. Then as WH living became more of a "thing", the targets got more savvy and harder to kill. After that, even finding someone to hunt at all became more and more scarce to the point where I practically gave it up. Last few weeks it has picked up again. Could be just a temporary influx of day-trippers now that WH's are in the news again, but we'll see.

  4. Having lived almost exclusively in Anoikis (to use its proper and my preferred name) for the better part of 4 years, in holes from C1 to C3 as a small corp and inna C6 as part of one of the, at the time, largest of the Wormhole Alliances, SYJ (Surely You're Joking)... I can tell you that Anoikis was at one time fairly well inhabited in at least 50% if not more of the available decent systems... IE C1 thru C6 systems with good PI and not a Black Hole (weather in Blk Holes was terrinbad for a long time).

    What Heretic speaks of was a part of what happened to lower the population in W-space... but there were other factors, the nano-nerf for one did have an impact but IMHO and experience it was the changes to ice mining which bore the potential to have very negatively affected POS fuels (people were pulling POSes down all over New Eden not just in Anoiks if you remember), that one change alone, IMHO caused more people pulling out initially than any other single factor...

    A huge number of people left Anoikis to wait out the changes and see what the outcome for POS fuels and costs was... and while in the end it was not as bad as predicted by then a huge number of corps had left, and add to that there were a couple of major failscades of a few of the larger Anoikis Alliances (SYJ not among them) all of which which kinda became a snowball rolling downhill...

    SYJ and those that were left were actively as usual seeking fights and such and as more of the larger groups left, well, what was left were smaller groups and... well... some of em kinda just got tired of 30 or so guys rolling into them, or finding them on our pipe out and... you know... PvP. So even more of them left...

    Then SYJ and some other larger entities also left and many of those who had left thinking to come back, had by then settled and built new lives elsewhere... and so we have the situation today. Anoikis is still inhabited, just not as densely as before...

    TBPH I like it this way… Anoikis is once again the vast open frontier… the forest and plains out of sight of the edge of civilization… the open prairie full of huge herds of shaggy ISK rich Sleepalow… I and mine make our ISK in C5’s now even though we live inna C3… and DAMN is the ISK good!! It’s still as dangerous as before… mebbe even more so as one gets complacent when you don’t see people in the sky for days on end… but it also means the fights are sharper and more fun for all involved.

    Plus, there is so much happening in Empire with the new faster roll out pace, and add in that the new N-space systems and Thera, while drawing an eye to wormholes, are not necessarily drawing people into Anoikis to LIVE so much… we now see a lot more day tripping Sleepalow hunters, miners and gas suckers, passers-by and explorers… just seems to me like no one is pitching tents or putting up forts… at least, not yet…

    Oh and... Christmass man. =]

    1. That's really good insight. It sounds almost as if CCP ass-backed into the model they wanted - lots of day-trips but few residents.

      Still, I haven't seen the T3 market spike sharpy in price, so, someone's getting all that loot from somewhere.

      Based on what I've seen, it sounds like your theory is a pretty good one.

    2. From what I'd been hearing, a lot of people bought up huge amounts of loot in anticipation of a jump in demand for T3s that never really materialized, so there's still massive stockpiles of loot. The thing is that the main loot - melted nanoribbons - is still at a reduced price from where it was 2 years ago and that really hurts the C1-C3 folks.

      Tur also has a point with the changes to ice; I'd forgotten that, actually, as it had exactly zero effect on my group. We just shrugged our shoulders and carried on. But I know a LOT of groups started packing up and moving out as soon as that blog came out, and I agree with Tur's assesment that, once out, they stayed out.

      Moving in or out of w-space is logistics intensive :)

      Also, T3s are simply not the end all and be all they once were. In fact, I'm not certain they ever really were, it was just that's what people thought. I've seen non-T3 ships do just as good or better than T3s in many cases. But it's still a bit of a status symbol to own a T3, especially if one lives in w-space :)

      Not that T3s are crap, it's just that I've seen people 'get by' using non-T3s :)

    3. The ting as I saw it was T3's was (1) cloaky and (2) interdiction nullified... those are 2 very very real advantages in Anoikis.. add to that they can be tanky and have decent DPS... and scan OK... and you have a recipe for a win in W-space... and I still own and use both Loki's and Tengus... (not as 'spensivly fit now though... I do sometimes miss the C6 Capitol escalations... THAT was just stoopid amounts of ISK...)