Friday, August 29, 2014

Hyperion First Impressions

Hyperion has been out a few days now.  I have played now three nights, although last night was short for EVE and me.  Still, I think I have enough experience to talk about it sensibly.  So here are some impressions.

Wormhole Jumping with Impunity

I tried to warn them.

I roam wspace in a stealth bomber.  Before Hyperion, this was always a bit dangerous because when you jumped into a new system you could appear within decloak distance of a wormhole.  Now, that is impossible.  All ships, even the smallest, appear at least 6500m from the center of the wormhole, or 2500m from its edge.  (Wormholes are 4000m in radius.)  So now I can always cloak immediately after jumping.  This makes it nearly impossible to catch anyone with a covert ops cloak.

No matter how fast you lock, you cannot lock something that cloaks in the first tick after you see it.  So, I warp to some celestial and cloak.  Easy.  Your only hope is that netlag hits as I try to cloak, or I screw up the command.

If you bubble, I turn, cloak and microwarp.  Good luck catching that.  (It is at least theoretically possible.)  Or I jump back.

The only realistic chance would be to use a smart bombing battleship, and even that now has drastically reduced chances (relative to pre-Hyperion) due to the distance.  Smart bomb radius is 6000m; maximum frigate distance is 10500m from the wormhole.  (5500m to jump range.)  A smart-bomber therefore cannot get most of the landing area for the wormhole within its area of effect.  Previously, you would appear at around 2500m-6500m from the wormhole (my estimates).  Just by sitting at zero to the wormhole, a smartbomber would have a 78% chance to have you in range.  Now, a smartbomber's best chance is probably to sit at around 4500m to the wormhole.  This is harder to figure out -- requires calculus! -- but my guess is your chance to have a frigate jumper in range are perhaps 10%.

In any case, I am taking advantage of the new uncatchability of my Manticore.  I have no fear of being polarized any more.  No more five minute waits in highsec or anywhere else.  If I want to go back, I go back, and I defy anyone to catch me.

Wormhole Jump Range

I know all the C5 and C6 people are in a tizzy, but that's above my level.

Other than the effect on my bomber, this new jump range does not affect me much.  We certainly noticed it when popping wormholes in battleships.  But since they already have prop-mods on for their extra mass, it was not a huge big deal.  We did leave our Orca at home, so that's a small change.  (It means two battleship passes: hardly a challenge.)

We will adapt.  We have some plans to get in ships to web down and kill battleships, so that we can do that in our home system if someone tries it.  And I also think we might adapt our hole-popping fleet a little bit to deal with the possibility of other people trying to kill us.

High Connectivity

On the first night of Hyperion we noticed the proliferation of wormholes.  I live in a C4, formerly with C4 static.  We got a new C5 static.  So, I anticipated more connectivity.  I did not anticipate the volume, though.  Nor did I reckon that the new "small" wormholes (frigate-only) would be so common.  On Tuesday we had four wormholes, one of which was small.  Four wormhole is very rare for us; five is almost unheard of.  On Wednesday, we had six wormholes, two small.  Yesterday was more sane, just our two statics.

Because of the small wormholes, and of course the new static for every C4 in the game (which means 505 new static connections), and also perhaps because of new non-static wormholes, the connectivity of wspace has increased.  For the first two days because of the small wormholes, I would say it had increased a lot.  With small wormholes dialed down (see below), it has increased some, but it is less noticeable.

This high connectivity is going to make it hard to run sites for my corp.  Not impossible, just harder.  We did in fact run sites on Tuesday.  Using battleships, we popped all three of the holes we could pop, while picketing the small wormhole.  A fair amount of work and danger to run eight sites.  In times past, we would usually not have to pop a single wormhole to run our own local sites.

Too Many Small Wormholes

I admit that going into Hyperion, I had thought the small wormholes would be relatively rare.  I.e., that you might get one or two a week, say.  This rate seems about right to me.  The problem with them, of course, is that you can't close them.  So not only do you have to picket them to do anything risky.  It is also that their mere existence -- like that of any open wormhole -- means you cannot be sure your static(s) are closed unless you have been watching all open wormholes.  Thus, if there is one at all when you log in each night, you have to roll your static(s) to be safe.  This is painful compared to the way things were pre-Hyperion.  Thus, I felt, it should be rare.

Evidently, CCP did not think about it that way.  They put in enough small holes such that most systems had one on average.  That is, there were apparently thousands of the damned things.  People complained about this in the feedback threads.  And evidently CCP did dial it down, which explains our lack of small wormhole last night.  This is good.  So far my sample size is one for the new rate, so I cannot opine on whether it is too high.

I will state again my belief that a rate of about 1 or 2 small wormhole connections per system per week is about right.  This gives small corps the other 5-6 days to zip up and run sites or do PI.

New Trick K162s

One other aspect of the small wormholes that is still a problem is that you cannot distinguish their K162 side from any other wormhole; as a consequence, it is quite possible to think you can jump when you can't.  We ran into this on the first night, when we brought our hole-popping battleship fleet to a K162 to eliminate it only to find out we could not jump through.  (Yes, we had scouted the other side, but just did not realize what it was.)  We didn't lose anything, so it was funny.  I would not want to lose a T3 because of this though.  My suggestion: give small wormholes a distinct wormhole name on the "K162" side, except not K162.  Perhaps K002, to resemble their names on their originating side.  (The small wormhole names have the pattern "Letter00Number".  Here is a forum post with all of them.)

My System is Screwed by Mismatched Dual Statics

I was a little excited about getting a C5 static -- before I got one.  I like being able to access C5.  (Jeedmo and I ninjaed two core gas sites last night.)  What I do not like, not at all, is having a 16 hour static wormhole and a 24 hour static wormhole.

Now, one thing I dislike about this situation is simply that we have a 24 hour wormhole.  This is undesirable, at least for a small corp, a point I explained in comments a few days back.   The problem is that 24 hours really means 24-25, and that therefore you cannot easily synchronize a daily playing schedule with it.  By contrast, with 16 hour wormholes it is easy to sync it to a 24 hour clock, simply by leaving it unopened for 7-8 hours out of 24.  In any case, I thought the 24 hour static would be a bit annoying but that we could deal with it.

I had not considered what a 24 hour static means in combination with our old static, which is a 16 hour C4.  Their timeout schedules will practically never be synchronized, and if they are, it is unknown from my local point of view, because it means someone instantiated one when my corp was not around.  99% of the time, after one has timed out, the other has not.  And thus our system is always unzipped.  And people can get in and search down, and instantiate, all outgoing wormholes.

In practice, what this means is that we can never be sure we are zipped up without having to pop all wormholes by massing them.  Massing them is dangerous and takes time.

By contrast, prior to Hyperion we might have had a K162 wormhole perhaps 50% of the time, and therefore could not assume our static was closed.  But the other half we would just have our one wormhole which we had instantiated the night before, and therefore we could be highly confident it was uninstantiated when we logged on.  That is, we could be zipped a good fraction of the time without rolling wormholes.  We are a small corp, and we relied on this.  We would do PI right after logging in, or run local sites.  No more.

It would be really nice if CCP would change all statics in C4 to 16 hours.  That is, change H900 and U574 wormholes to 16 hours.  (I also would prefer it, though less, if CCP would change both statics in C4/C4+C5 and C4/C4+C6 systems to 24 hours; but this would probably require a new C4 static type, and I do not think that likely.)  I say this selfishly, of course.  But I also feel that my current system is not really viable for anything less than a large corp that can easily roll holes any time.  My corp is small.  So there is a "good for wspace" motive here too.

Right now, my feeling is I would prefer a C4/C3+C4.  I don't know.  I hate moving and I want to explore the possibilities of C5 sites.  But I am unhappy with my unchosen new situation.  Perhaps I will take my chances moving to C5.  I do not like the potential for bigger corps (which is most of them) to bring capitals to burn me out.  But on the other hand, I see enough small corps and farming corps in C5 that it seems they don't get burned out that often.

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