This is a collection of short in-character fiction pieces about Awakened Industries, a group of capsuleers and their crews living in the enigmatic and dangerous regions of Wormhole Space in EVE Online. None of the protagonists are actual characters or corporations in-game. All similarities with persons fictional or real are possibly coincidental and only sometimes intentional. - Emergent Patroller

For an introduction to this blog refer to this link. You may also want to check out the guide for new readers

: The stories on this blog contain mature themes involving sexuality and violence and are not suitable for minors or sensitive people.

10 Apr 2013

OOC Entry 84 - The laws of physics have changed!

Some time ago I wrote a more general piece about what I dislike about nerfs, and it has become painfully obvious that neither CCP Fozzie nor CCP Rise have read it and taken it to heart.

My heart is broken now because I really like those two guys. Tears were streaming down my face and I was wracked by sobs while I read the announcements of the battleship Tiericide changes.

Ok I admit it was not all that dramatic and actually I don't mind the changes that much for the most part. Like I outlined in my other post, I have no problem with changes as long as they make sense in-universe. If you are now going to tell me that it's just a game and not supposed to be realistic, then go back to my post I linked above. There in the beginning I explain how - even in an unrealistic game universe - things should be consistent.

That is how you encourage suspension of disbelief.

Now, I can see how some redesigns of ship models will give and take. One ship gets more drone bandwidth but also a higher sig radius. Fair enough, I guess the extra drone control system strength gives the ship a larger sensor footprint. Others have one slot removed here to add another there. Well why not? After all who says the hardpoints of a modular construction can't be changed.

But then, while I sat there thinking it all through something kept nagging at me like a splinter in my mind (Thank you, writers of The Matrix, for that wonderful phrase), and then I realized what it was: The laws of physics have changed.

Yes indeed, dear readers!

Engineering principles that were up until recently capable of reinforcing a ship's armor and shield suddenly appear to be less effective. For reasons unknown, because nobody changed anything about the way how two very different ships are constructed. Both Amarrian and Caldari engineers are looking for explanations why the blueprints for the Rokh and the Abaddon suddenly result in ships with lower shield and armor resistance respectively.

The mystery is greater still as the designers of battleships in shipyards all over those two nations fail to explain why the same engineering principles have had no similar effect on sister designs.

Has Khanid Innovations bribed the suppliers of Karthum Conglomerate to deliver low grade material for armor plating? Have Lai Dai infiltrators insinuated flaws into the shield generator designs of Kaalakiota?

Industrial espionage agents of the Empire and the Caldari Megacorporations could not provide answers either, as it seemed that neither the Gallente nor the Minmatar have suffered similar inexplicable setbacks. In long nights experts pored over design schematics for Federation ships and Matari vessels to find out what the secret is. Why are the ships of those opposing nations not plagued by the same problems?

It is an enigma that can only be explained by crackpot theories of localized changes in quantum states only manifesting in certain structures.

Actually, it is rather unnecessary and arbitrary.

What's the point of reducing those resistances by 1 percentage point anyway?
It mostly introduces a change that has no basis in the game's universe for the sheer sake of 'rebalancing'.

Please don't do this. 


8 Apr 2013

OOC Entry 83 - Melting Golden Rules

It has been said that the Golden Rule of Wormhole Space is, that you don't evict serious PVP corps because there are not so many of them and to kick one out would degrade the playing experience. Others have described that principle with such words as "It's OK if I beat my little brother, but if someone else does it, I'll come to help him."

Another often stated principle of wormhole dwellers is, that they wont form permanent coalitions like the ones we see in nullsec these days

Of course such rules are made by those who are on the top of the wormhole foodchain, and they are only applied as strictly or as leniently as those most powerful alliances see fit.

If one looks at this mindset critically, it actually amounts to the formation of a sort of coalition with Shadoo style NIP Wargames. Contrary to common belief, CFC and HBC do not live in a peaceful romance with eachother. Goons are camping TEST ratting systems, some HBC members hate the CFC with a vengeance and will attack them with gusto whenever possible (just look at the battle of Asakai) and so on. They are - right now - fighting amongst eachother more than they are fighting against others because there are few others to fight against.

If you look at it in a certain way, Wormhole Space does not work out so differently, even though it has a number of significant aspects setting it apart from nullsec K-Space.

W-Space it is much more empty. Even finding someone to fight means work. You might have to collapse your wormhole exit multiple times. You will have to scan several systems for exits and search them for enemies. In nullsec, you might have to fly ten jumps before you see someone. In Wormhole space you don't even have the luxury of gates with fixed routes where you can at least be sure to meet someone in a chokepoint system, nor will the starmap tell you how many pilots are active there or how many jumps have occurred recently. You will have to scan signatures for a random draw out of scores of possible systems, most of which will be empty.

So, while the coalitions of nullsec might agree to not purge eachother from their space because it would take months of tedious structure grinding while they could just as well get on eachother's nerves in different ways (and have fun doing so), wormhole dwellers have come to a similar arrangement. For them it is not so much the endless structure grind, but the days of rolling the dice until they find a worthy target to fight, and then even more days sneaking in a significant force to even stand a chance against defenders on their home turf.

Some of those operations take weeks and even up to a month in preparation.

The effect is more or less the same: An agreement to leave eachother be in terms of structural assets for the sake of having something to fight. That is the rationale behind the Golden Rule.

Recently, however, that Golden Rule was broken.

Once there was a great Wormhole Space power called Transmission Lost, but some time ago they broke apart. It was a very large alliance as far as Wormhole Space is concerned, and they were spread across several systems. Being part of an organisation which is also spread across several wormhole systems, I know how difficult it is to maintain a common culture, especially when you consider the defiantly individualistic and self-confident attitude of wormhole pilots. I guess breaking up was only a question of time.

It seems like things were not that simple, though.

Something must have happened during that breakup which ended up creating a lot of bad blood and unresolved grudges, because when the time came to make a choice, the remainder of Transmission Lost was evicted from wormhole space by their former alliance mates and a rather sizable force of allies.

There is a claim that they initially were attacked just because of the GoodFights(tm). So far so good. That has happened more often and ended with billions of ships destroyed, but then everyone was allowed to go home (or stay home) to lick their wounds after the event. This time, it ended up being a raze on a scale that could be compared to the purge of White Noise from the north, Against All Authorities from their territories, or Intrepid Crossing from Cobalt Edge ... comparatively speaking, of course, because W-Space Alliances are not that big.

So what does that tell us?

My answer would be, that Golden Rules are not necessarily broken, but they are bent and melted whenever their minters are serious enough about wanting to do so. That in the end principles and rules mean nothing when things are pushed too far.

I don't know any of the people behind this major devastation well enough to know their motivations, but I wish I knew what it took for them to go so far.

... and what it would take to get nullsec coalitions to break with their principles to such a degree, and go for the utter destruction approach despite the tedium that would mean.

Maybe you can tell me?