Tuesday, October 12, 2010

W-space: The next frontier?

W-space is a great opportunity for many players.  Not only does it offer some possibities for group PVE and decent isk, but it also exposes players to small gang (and larger) PVP.  No local is a great refinement, as it forces players to really pay attention.

In the past, the Uni has tried to have a w-space presence, but the last w-space group split off and formed their own corporation.  In many ways, this was unexpected, as a full-time w-space occupation takes the entire concentration of the players involved, in some ways isolating them from the rest of the corporation community.  For the players in the wormhole, it gives them the chance to truly work together as a tightly bound group, and explore some content that they normally might not be immersed in. 

However, it isn't without its downfalls for the University as a whole.  First, the nature of wormholes lend themselves more towards higher sp players (at least higher sp in University terms).  There is little point to the University occupying a lower class wormhole, as it doesn't give much more advantage then just doing day trips to w-space, and it doesn't really support older players or groups as well.  But, these lower class wormholes are places where some of the younger players could be active.  A mid level wormhole offers older players a chance to use their skills, and really benefits group operations (they are required for most of our students to tackle the sites).  But these types of wormholes aren't easily accessible for new students,so it tends to become seen as an "elite" project for older players in the UNI. Secondly, security concerns tend to make the wormhole a closed group, not easy to penetrate.

We're kind of torn about how we should approach w-space in the future.  Should we look for a permanent presence, and what type?  How do we make it approachable for all students?  Are the types of opportunities offered by w-space (new ways to make isk, exploring other aspects of the game, different types of PVP) something we should pursue despite the risks?  How do you feel this can be accomplished without fragmenting the University community?


  1. Alot to comment on here but for this post I would only like to address one specific issue.

    The UNI should be applauded for its ongoing efforts to avoid the appearance of "elitism" or projects that are only available to elite or higher SP players. However, it is possible to take this effort too far. As someone low on the totem pole it wouldn't offend me to see projects that required certain skillsets to participate in and I would bet that many other unistas feel the same way. This would be a great way to not only create a "next level" of training for graduate level unistas but might create some additional incentive to keep a few of the older SP players around.

    Higher level WH activities would be one such example that would make sense for the UNI to pursue. I wouldn't be as concerned about fragmentation among unistas. Those that are going to get bent out of shape regarding elite/not elite are going to find something to complain about anyway...

    Just my two cents.


  2. I think this issue is a reflection of a deeper cultural issue within the Uni, namely the idea of training pilots up and seeing them out the door, that the Uni "isn't intended to be a permanent home" versus the fact that the deeper and more advanced an experience is offered, the more people are going to want to stay around.

    Certainly, speaking as a student, I had seen myself leaving eventually to pursue a permanent life in W-space but if the Uni had an ongoing presence in deep W-space there would no longer be that pressure to leave.


  3. As to a permanent presence, I think it could definitely be possible. I wasn't around when Div 6 was in place, but I think a clear understanding needs to be established and that the responsibility of WH life perhaps given to a director or liaison to make sure it's less of an "elitism" deal.
    With WHs, you do need a certain level of skills. That's unavoidable with the inherent nature of them. But, I think a learning experience is in order. A lower class presence very well could be viable, if you find a suitable one that has good static exits. A mid level, like a C3, also would be a good as they have the best work:reward ratio.
    The implementation would simply be more staggered in effect. Put a POS in place, allowing for relative safety and presence, and have students visit in cycles. This could also be the launching ground for classes, especially lower class WHs.
    Sorry for the wall of text. I love WHs and when I eventually part from the Uni, I will be living in one full time. They are a great resource and as part of the WHC, I know there are students hoping for this kind of a chance. It could be another given another shot for the leadership, but I certainly understand their apprehension. Can't please everyone all the time, but I think this would be a great education


  4. Another issue is payouts. Groups need a mechanism to get compensated for the w-space items they procure. I'd like to see a system where an industrial/manufacturing group simply buys needed components in-wormhole at fair prices to use in their own manufacturing.

  5. I think the obvious thing that will need to be done is: a Uni division will need NBSI in W-space (or at least allowed to treat all neutrals as -5). It seems to me, particularly as I know a couple of ocassions where its been used (Pos Bashing 101 and one of SB's nullsec roams), that the only thing actually keeping the Uni to NRDS in nullsec enviroments is that the Directors want to be on hand when it happens. I think the Directors have to face the fact in this instance they will need to relinquish that particular control. The WH group should be moved to a seperate corporation within the Ivy League, and it needs to be clearly labelled as NBSI in wormholes, but it has to happen. Eveyone who goes into W-space knows the risks and only the most deluded will expect people to not shoot them. Most people won't even know the Uni is NRDS, and even if they do will assume it is because of fear of a security status hit, not over abstract notions of political neutrality.

    The second thing that would need to happen is for free movement of people back and forth within the group. It sounds like D6 essentially picked their bunch and then were cut loose. That can't happen now, particuarly as its unnecassary to 'discover' how WHs work, we're seeking the experience not the mechanics. Or operating on a 'vacational' premise, so that as few people as possible are given the opportunity to feel they are 'seperated' from the Uni. Its the best compromise on giving people the experience within the Uni, and encouraging them to go to a dedicated corp when they advance beyond the Uni's purpose.

  6. First, AV - as a new Unista I'm really enjoying the blog - thanks for starting it.

    On this particular item, I've been watching for WH opportunities and they've been thin so far, I would love to see more. I think there are actually some opportunities for newer players as well - especially with UNI's replacement policy. Any noob can run a scan frigate - you could have newbies running around in cheap frigs looking for WHs - someone in ILN chat last night was looking for volunteers to go find the WT's supposed WH home. Exemption to some of the SOP for this activity in cheap ships would alleviate the pain of constant ship-spinning and maybe get us somewhere that people could have some fun.

    In my first 3-4 months I did four things relative to "helping the big guys": 1) Finding WHs, 2) Flying a hauler/Indy for the initial POS move-in, 3) Salvage destroyer, 4) PI planets. All of these are doable for a new player with a good older-player escort and some rules.

    In the upper stuff I couldn't join the pew-pew but with a good UNI WH presence we could do noob runs to C1/C2 from a C3/C4 home.

    I do agree that it's key to "share the wealth" in WH ops. It's more dangerous, more ships will be lost, and I suspect that the older players might leave in large part for the ISK. There has to be some sort of personal stake from it from the sale of nanoribbons and PI materials.

    I also agree that this could be a retention tool. Think of it as an additional campus. I for one would be up for helping to open the new facility!

  7. I actually drafted up a proposal a few weeks back on this very issue (I also am guessing that this blog post might be a response to another players proposal).

    For the most part, it echoes what TheWarpGhost said. For the Uni to have a presence in a WH, it *needs* to have a NBSI policy. This is not just in the home system with the POS (which a NBSI policy is already allowed under current rules), but for *all* w-space. Anyone who has experience in WH knows and expects NBSI from all players in it, and I don't think anyone would say the Uni is not neutral operating under NBSI for w-space.

    This is also most easily done by creating another corp withing the Ivy League, able to operate under slightly different policy, and manage itself.

    The only other problem is the elitist factor, which cannot be totally eliminated. WH are advanced places, and having requirements should not be looked down upon. However, the main issue is *time* in the WH. And so, only that aspect needs to be controlled so that people do not use the Uni as a WH corp. My best idea is to have a 2 or 3 week apprenticeship (like TRECI) So no one stays too long. Furthermore, as to prevent teacher burn out, have the apprenticeships overlap, and the older students teach the newer students the basics.

    If you would like to read my full proposal, send me a mail.

  8. A lot of recent discussion happened in this thread:

    But I suppose the blog allows you to potentially reach people who don't have access there for even more ideas.

    Aside from what I already posted there, the problem I see is reconciling the desires of older, more experienced WHers with the needs of younger players. I have yet to think of a great solution. In any of the solutions I can see that favor the new players (probably the goal), I don't see myself participating except on a "teaching alt" of some sorts.

    I also think it can definitely be hard to start going on WH ops as a fresh unista. A permanent presence you can cycle people through would make it easier for people to sign up and get going. It's not that wh ops from k-space aren't happening - they are! - it's just that it's easier to take people you're familiar with whom you know are experienced. With experience comes increased speed, profit, and fun - and if you're not planning on taking new people (for a class, say), then chances are that the new people need to reach out to you, rather than the other way around (as in pvp fleets forming in alliance).

    By cycling people through an occupied wh, most of the barrier to entry should go away. You sign up in a thread, are "new and inexperienced" for a day or two, and then can become more accepted for the rest of your stay.

    Anyways, those are my ramblings for now.

  9. Oh hey, finally got a blogger account to reply. Anyway, though I'll admit I've barely been in the Uni for any time at all, it seems like trying to work out a more permanent wormhole presence would be advantageous. It's a really interesting area, and I suspect that if there were more chances to really get stuck in there, the draining of trained-up unistas from the corp would be a far slower one.

    I will admit that I also do not understand the reasoning behind some of the above comments, saying that some kind of arbitrary timer should be set on how long someone can be part of the eve Wormhole presence. Why would we further want to drain potentially useful experience from the corp? What I might suggest is having some low but useful minimum of teaching from those that make E-Uni W-Space their home. Say, having a person you're mentoring to teach about the system more fully, or helping in or leading a set number of wormhole classes a month.

    The idea of having a set place for people to be able to still be aligned with the Uni, and having those people help cycle through and train newbies in W-Space, seems really appealing to me. I'll admit to selfishness there, in that I both enjoy the Uni and am utterly fascinated by W-Space and its PVP and PVE mix, but there it is.