Life in a Wormhole: Gadabout #eveonline

My comms are full of annoying distractions when I log in, and they’re proving unusually difficult to tune out.

First off is alliance chatter about some kind of bounty prize contest… thing. Apparently, the goal is to get more people involved in PvP by awarding prizes to anyone who manages to tic a box on a laundry list of different kinds of kills over the next couple weekends: sort of a treasure hunt of death or a game of murder bingo.

Yeah. Pretty much this.

Now, I don’t want to dismiss the effort being put forward by whoever came up with the idea, but the whole concept carries about the same appeal, for me, as beer pong. Let me explain.

Who here has, either recently or in the distant, hazy past, played some kind of drinking game? Doesn’t matter if we’re talking about quarters, or Cardinal Puff Puff, or ‘drink when Mal is left at a loss for words’ Firefly Booze Bingo, or the aforementioned beer pong; raise your hand.

*raises hand*

Right. Now… do you still do that sort of thing with any regularity?

If you answered “yes”, you are excused. Toddle off now, you’re late for class.

If you answered “no”, it’s probably for one of two reasons:

  1. You don’t really drink that much anymore (or at all), and don’t enjoy a game whose express goal is to get you to drink more than you otherwise would.
  2. You enjoy a good drink, perhaps several, perhaps many, and you don’t need a game to help you pace yourself.
A clever idea, but ultimately I'd rather just have a beer and play on a normal sized board.

PvP is kind of like that. There is a small, small subset of people who will engage enthusiastically in any kind of killmail bingo you set up. They’re a bit like the college frat boys that cycle through an endless supply of drinking games — gung-ho now, likely to crash and burn eventually (possibly swearing off the sauce entirely).

Everyone else? Everyone else probably breaks down fairly neatly into three groups: disinterested, social drinkers, and those impressively grim bastards silently holding up the bar at the local pub. (That last group of guys might actually win the killmail bingo, but if so, they did it by accident.)

I think you can probably see where I’m going with this: you’re not going to convert anyone to an active PvPer this way any more than a game of Battleshots is going to make someone realize that binge drinking has been the one thing missing from their lives. The non-drinkers will keep non-drinking, the casual social drinkers will have a few with some of their friends if the opportunity presents, and the serious guys? Well, they don’t see the point of a drinking game to begin with; if you’re going to drink, drink.

Aside from that, the whole thing sounds needlessly complex, and I am a simple creature, so I just file it and mute that comms channel for awhile.

There’s nothing in our adjacent class two wormhole system but a high-sec exit and a connection to a class one wormhole, which is also empty except for a high-sec exit. So… high-sec or yet more high-sec; what shall I do? How about run some errands in high-sec?

Said errands include selling some loot and then a bit of shopping, as Ty has finally got off his indolent rear end and finished off the training for interceptor-class frigates, which was a subset of ships he’s thus far left in the capable hands of pilots like Bre, Em, CB, and Ichi. The Minmatar “Claw” combat interceptor has caught his eye, however, and he spends the better part of an hour fiddling together a machine that might actually be able to lay a glove on a missile-fit Crow (the Caldari combat inty). We’ll see.

Ty fwooshes back home in the new ship while Bre and Berke experiment in the empty C2 system with a project of Berke’s he’s dubbed the “porta-tower” — testing how long and how much of a pain it would be to anchor and online a temporary tower in a system where it would be worth our time to set up a lengthy bivouac. The test is informative, but it takes a bit too long, and both pilots (and the returning Ty) get cut off when the connection to our home system collapses of old age.

Ah well; its not as though we don’t have a ton of high-sec options. There’s not really even a reason to rush; with the porta-tower set up already and the hangar of Berke’s Orca filled with a buffet of ships, Bre and Ty take the time to shoot some sleepers and harvest some gas before we call it a day and head out.

Once out in the known world, we split up, with Bre and Berke heading toward Amarr space (where it is 80% likely our next connection from the Home System will be), and Ty flying the Claw in the direction of the Syndicate region for a roam the next day.

With nothing but multiple system jumps going on, the second distraction finally starts to register.

This second distraction comes in the form of some whining on comms. A pilot with an unpronounceable name (let’s call him Dolby) is looking for Cabbage, claiming that Cab is “an old, old friend” who invited him to join his corporation and move into the wormhole, and that he “owes me an invite.”

First off, Cab lives down under, and is probably asleep right now. And no, I can’t help you out, because…

Secondly, I don’t much care about your alleged past history, and…

Third: why are you on our private, password-protected comms channel?

This, unlike the previous distraction, doesn’t feel like one I can just mute and ignore until it goes away. I have, in the words of another science fiction intellectual property, a Bad Feeling About This.


  1. I prefer the name “Porca” 🙂

    Yousa thinking people hanna die?

  2. I prefer the name “Porca” 🙂

    Yousa thinking people ganna die?

  3. I’ve never actually played a drinking game. Might explain a few things.

    Out of curiosity, what sort of activities would you find yourself being interested in?

  4. You always ask the hard questions, Nate.

    Small gang roams.

    Tournaments are fun, if you can level the playing field a bit with very narrow ship restrictions and give awards for the guys who get popped first as well as last, but small gang roams are, I think, a great way to mix and mingle a bit in a larger alliance.

    Emphasis on small. FC gets the final call, obviously, but for manageability AND just making it more likely to get fights, in a region like Syndicate, 20 ships in the main fleet, not counting scouts, should be the soft limit and 40 should be the absolute hard limit. Yeah, not everyone who wants to go will be able to go every time, but if you do them often enough, everyone will get a go. I think we get 100 people signed up for LOST roams right now because they’re rare and people want a chance to do them.

    The roams teach a pile of good skills that I don’t think I need to mention, and get people comfortable with PvP and a dictated fleet doctrine. (Going with ‘themed’ roams, like “all teir1 battlecruiser hulls”, “all destroyers”, “all rifter hulls”, “all cloaky ships” is great for getting people used to fleet doctrine in a fun way.)

    The main challenge with nullsec roams is that while there are lots of skills and experiences that will translate to wormhole space, there are some things that don’t. Fights in null tend to happen at about 20 to 50km; fights in wormholes tend to happen from 0 to 5km. Trying to engage people in null at wormhole ranges is a pretty good way to lose a lot of ships — trying to use nullsec ranges in a wormhole is a good way to lose kills when guys slip away.

    More importantly, guys that might have a lot of success leading guys on that most ubiquitous type of wormhole PvP — the stealth gank — might have little to no experience or success when leading 20 guys in nanodrakes and nanocanes. It’s a different skill set, and while the command skills translate, the tactics for each type of group do not. That’s when you need to talk to those quiet guys who used to lead gangs out in Fountain and see if they’ll step up and lead the first few roams. Or you mostly do bomber roams. That works too.

    … not that I’ve given this much thought or anything.

  5. Drinking games, I don’t believe in them like I don’t believe in a warm loving interested deity.

    If you need an excuse to do something, chances are you shouldn’t be doing it.

    Now I go on RvB roams sometimes because it gives me an excuse to see places I’ve never been, fly ships I wouldn’t necessarily fly and shoot things I wouldn’t otherwise shoot (like orbiting a Moros for 15 minutes in a Tornado while shooting it).

    From what I’ve seen from RvB roams, keep it smaller (I think 40 is too big), keep it cheaper (everything from a T1 Frigate to 200 million ISK), get a competent FC, and start on time. If H-Hour is 2000, ships need to be undocking at 1950 and that first gate should see outbound flashes at 2000.

    Something like a “bait and tackle roam” would be something that applies to wormholes and can be scaled up out on a roam. Get some baitships, some cloakies, some tackle and DPS ships and see what can be grabbed.

  6. I like the bait and tackle idea. In the (single) successful roam we did with Transmission Lost, the FC sent a group of about five BCs on ahead to look like a small roaming gang. As you say, that’s an idea that can scale really well, from 1 to however many you want.

    Since whoever jumps your bait is going to weight things in their favor, it then becomes a counter-ambush situation which, again, is very wormhole-like.

    I like that idea.

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