I haven’t been compelled to write about the sorts of things going on with my time in-game with EVE up to this point.
Yes, I’ve written about EVE as an MMO, because I find it interesting both how different and how VERY SIMILAR it is to other MMOs, but as far as writing posts on ‘this is what I’ve done in the last week — well, it’s been a long time since I’ve felt compelled to do that in any game, let alone EVE — the fact of the matter is, I’m basically running missions, making money, buying ships, and basically breaking even without a tremendous amount of risk involved. I’m having FUN — let there be no doubt about that — but none of it felt like something I wanted to record in any kind of journal.
That changed a week ago.
A week ago, someone on our Alliance channel said “Hey, I just found this completely uninhabited Class 2 wormhole system — does anyone want access to it? It’s got a persistant exit to high security Empire space, and another persistent exit to a random Class 1 wormhole system.”
Now, I should explain. Wormhole systems are, from the point of view of the average EVE player, weird. There are no stargates connecting them to other systems. In fact, there are no empire-supported communication networks in the systems, no obvious means of either getting in or getting out… no structures associated with civilization (such as space stations) of any kind, and if you aren’t skilled with survey probes, you’ll never ever get in or out. What exits you CAN find are unstable wormholes that last less than 24 hours, connecting randomly to other systems in the universe, only to be replaced tomorrow by a new wormhole, somewhere else in the system, connecting somewhere else in the universe.
And oh yeah, these lost wormhole systems are inhabited by sentient AI ships — remnant watchdog ships that hate all human lifeforms.
They’re like living in a solar-system-sized Tardis that you don’t know how to drive, with Daleks wandering the hallways.
I kinda love em.
Perhaps it’s because of the wild rules surrounding them, or perhaps it’s because those ancient drone AI ships have components that sell for a LOT of money. Either way, one of the main reasons I learned how to use scanner probes and do exploration early on in the game was to find these wormholes and check them out.
But I’d never lived in one. Partly this was because when I found a good system to inhabit, I didn’t yet have the means to do so, and partly because since then, I’d never found one that didn’t have some corporation already set up inside; Wormhole living (based out of a player owned and operated (and constructed) tower) is quite popular with a certain subset of Eve players who are a little more independent; who don’t mind be fairly isolated from the rest of New Eden, and who are damned territorial.
So when this alliance member mentioned the unoccupied wormhole of a class that wasn’t so horrible that I could probably live there, I shouted “Me me me!”
Since our first forays into wormholes, Gor and CB and I had talked about going back in and settling one semi-permanently, but the upshot of that planning was that we’d decided we needed a certain amount (read: a lot) of money and resources to make it work, and somewhat better training in certain areas.
But that discussion had taken place months ago, and I suspected we might be close to where we could make it work. I figured it couldn’t hurt to at least get the location of the wormholes current entrance just in case.
So I contacted the alliance member, checked out the current wormhole’s entrance location… and found out was nowhere near me; not “inconveniently” far; too far..
What it was, though, was really close to a character that Kate had made up to try out the game — one that I knew had most of the skills necessary to survive in the wormhole as a stealthy forward scout — someone who could play forward recon while we decided if this wormhole thing was going to work.
So, with Kate’s permission, I got Tira over to the highsec empire entrance, sent her and her trusty cruiser “Smilin’ Jack” into the wormhole, checked to make sure it really was as empty of other player habitation as my alliance-mate had claimed, and shot a message off to Gor and CB entitled
“I think this is what I’m going to be doing this weekend.”
After that, things got a little crazy.