Welcome to Jester's Trek.
I'm your host, Jester. I've been an EVE Online player for about six years. One of my four mains is Ripard Teg, pictured at left. Sadly, I've succumbed to "bittervet" disease, but I'm wandering the New Eden landscape (and from time to time, the MMO landscape) in search of a cure.
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Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Hole-hearted outrage

Not long after Apocrypha came out, the alliance that I was a member of at the time, Sturmgrenadier, decided to take control of a C2 wormhole that had static connections to Empire space and to a C4.  A group of about 15 members moved into the WH full-time to take advantage of this resource, and I decided to join them.  At the time, I had three mains.  Ripard was in faction warfare at that time with another Sturmgrenadier corp, and I decided to leave him there.  So I moved in my other two mains.  One was my PvE character, in the process of training for large-ship PvP.  The other was my jack-of-all-trades character.  Among other things, he could fly Logistics, Hulks, and Orcas.  I trained the first toon up for Tengus (and bought one as soon as I could afford it).  The other could already fly Scimitars.  So, I flew Logistics for the C4/C5 fleets until we could put together a credible Spider Tengu fleet, then I joined that.

The problem is that I live in California.  These WH ops would often begin at 0100 EVE time, about two hours before I could realistically play the game.  The WH ops would rarely last longer than three hours or so, which meant that I was forever catching the tail ends of these ops before everyone went to bed, leaving me in a wormhole by myself.

This wasn't all bad news.  The C2 routinely spat out combat sites for my entertainment which I could easily solo.  And from time to time, we got a link to a C3 which I could risk with a Tengu pair, bringing Ripard temporarily into W-space to dual box.  Or, I could explore the WH chain looking for a little solo WH PvP, which was fairly common in those days.  However, our C2 would also sometimes generate grav sites.  These were yawners as combat sites -- no more than a few frigs -- but they did have an interesting alternative option:

Between 10,000 and 30,000 arkonor, bistot, and crokite ore, contained in between three and seven smallish rocks.  This usually represented about 120 million ISK and about five hours of work, about 24 million ISK per hour.  In other words, it wasn't anything close to what I could get from a WH op (where 80-100 million per hour was the norm).  Still, it was better and less work than what L4s paid, and I could do it solo after everyone else went to bed.  At that time, the lesser ores weren't worth a thing (unlike today, where hed and hemor are trying to nudge crokite out of its slot as third-most-valuable ore).

I already had an Orca in the WH, so getting a Hulk inside wasn't much of a problem.  And it was risky; the static entrance to high-sec meant that I had to continuously spam the directional scanner and was constantly getting visitors.  So, in practice, I probably made about half of that 24 million ISK/hour between interruptions.  Though I'll be honest, most of the time, the interruption was me abandoning mining so I could try to gank the poor schmuck that came into our house.  ;-)  Sometimes, the poor schmuck was a Hulk pilot with the same idea I had; I got my first few solo Hulk kills in that C2.

Still, over time, I steadily built up a supply of ABC, which I stored in a POS CHA.  Getting the ore out of the wormhole was annoying; a wormhole will generally only abide two or three Orca round-trips before collapsing.  And an Orca -- even cargo-maxed -- couldn't hold very much ABC.  So, as I built up stock, I'd have to watch the Empire exit, waiting for a system with a station where I had high enough standing to prevent refining loss.  Run the Orca out a couple of times.  Refine the ore, put the minerals back in the Orca.  Then I'd have to pull the refined minerals back into the WH for a few days or weeks, waiting for an Empire exit near Jita or another market.  So, adding all this extra time, I probably actually made about half of that half of that 24 million ISK/hour.  My enthusiasm for this mining was fading fast.

My corp-mates found my nocturnal mining amusing: why bother with all this hard work when actual WH ops were so much more interesting and profitable?  I retorted that it was a bit difficult to put together a C5 fleet at 0400 EVE time.

But things improved markedly when Sturmgrenadier decided to build a small fleet of dreads and carriers inside our C2.  Fleets of battleships attacking C2 WH dwellers became increasingly common the longer we stayed in there, and we decided it would be prudent to have the bigger stick if we could.  We moved a cap production chain into our C2, and suddenly, my ore was in demand locally.  Before long, we were also doing a lot of our own production locally, since we had the minerals.  This reduced or eliminated most of the painful scut work.  Before long, I even started seeing a few of my corp-mates in their own Hulks.

Still, looking back over my six month WH-dwelling career, I'd be hard-pressed to say that I made more than 500 million ISK or so from ABC over that period... a period in which I made at least ten times that amount from the few WH ops that I could participate in.  It was annoying, and unfun, and something that I did because of lack of other options of things to do in the WH, and later something I did to help my corp and my alliance.  It's not like you can jump a carrier built in 0.0 into a C2 WH.

So, it was really amusing to see no fewer than three major references to WH-based ABC in the May CSM Summit Minutes.  The bulk of the CSM were apparently completely unaware that ABC was even available in WHs.  Even more amusing, the tone of those references became more negative with each repetition.  By the third reference, it was clear that the bulk of the CSM wanted WH ABC deleted entirely or limited to C5/C6 WHs.

I find this really ironic, given that Mittens repeated over and over again early in CSM6's term that he felt members of this CSM should keep their mouths shut about things that they didn't know anything about.  How about following your own rule, Mittens?


  1. This behavior by the CSM was quite funny. Another assertion that I lol'd at was two step wanting to keep ABC in C5/C6 WH's. Because he is a C6 WH dweller.

    Still, I would really like to see some numbers on daytripping miners distorting the ABC supply. Instead of making changes to WH's (which CCP is bound to mess up), why don't they just ban bots and fix the market that way?

  2. To add another 'Hear! Hear!' comment: fully agreement. People without first hand WH experience simply underestimate the logistics required to get the ore out of a WH.

    In a way it's sad that I, as high-sec/WH carebear, know more about 0-sec mechanics, than certain CSM members about carebearing.

  3. Any bets on whether CCP will collect any statistics before taking action?

    What a bunch of clueless noobs this CSM is. I am looking on in horror as they destroy our game.

  4. Uh, I don't personally care if they keep ABCs in C5s and C6s. I don't mine, and nearly nobody in AHARM mines. If they are going to have mining, just like with mag sites, the high end ores should only be available in the deeper wormholes. This seems very simple to me.

  5. No offense, two step, but that doesn't make any sense at all. Every type of 0.0 has access to ABC, either directly or through upgrades. A C1 WH is 0.0 space. C1/C2 grav sites generally suck, but they do provide C1/C2 residents with at least a little of the ABC they need to build caps.

    Why should they be the only type of 0.0 space without those resources? Are you going to argue that -0.14 truesec sov grav site upgrades should have their ABC removed, too?


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