Every now and then someone posts a thread regarding ‘cloaky camping’, the act of hiding cloaked in a system for hours, days, or even months with the purpose of either trolling residents and travelers, intel gathering, or seeking a ‘perfect’ target. The behavior has been described from annoying to outright infuriating to those on the receiving end in nullsec. However, when it comes to the wormholes, the subject is often met with silence because those in the wormholes accept the behavior as another part of the game. This does not mean that the ramifications of the cloaker in k-space is the same as the cloaker in W-space because of some crucial differences in the nature of K and W-space.
The most dramatic difference is the lack of local chat intel in wormhole space. Look at the following two possible scenarios:
Player A has been hiding out in system W
Player B has been hiding in system K.
Both players are hiding in the same cloak-fit ship (let’s say for consistency’s sake they’re both interdictors with a basic cloak equipped.)
Both have been in the system for three days monitoring the behavior of the locals in the system.
Both have been watching a retriever mining solo in a belt for the past two hours, blasting arkanor away.
Both decide to attack the miner.
So what happens in this case?
Player A is in wormhole (W) space. He has no local chat so he doesn’t know if this miner is truly alone or if he has friends hiding nearby. He makes a calculated risk to attack the procurer for the killmail believing that this miner has no backup. At this point, two things will happen. The ship will either be on its own, and an easy kill, or it will be a ruse, and Player A will find himself tackled by the barge which sent the message to a fleet cloaked on grid that drops on Player A. Player A is unable to flee finding himself engulfed in a classic wormhole ambush. His ship is destroyed, and he is podded.
Player B is in K space. He has access to a local chat showing him exactly who is in the system at all times. With this knowledge he can choose to wait for the perfect moment when he’s guaranteed an easy kill. Even though the residents know he’s there, there’s nothing they can do to set up an effective trap against him since player B will see it coming miles away. Even if the miner is utilizing a tackle fit, he could tear apart the miner or burn out of scram range and warp off before the response fleet arrives.
Let’s say that both players A and B managed to get themselves killed. Player A has been knocked out of System W and he’s not coming back. By the time he can get a new ship and warp his way back to the entrance wormhole (granting he even knows where the entrance is to begin with) the residents of that wormhole have the entrance rolled, and Player A is out of luck. But what about the Player B? Well that cheeky B has bought a new ship and has snuck back into the system within the hour.
In these two examples we see the two main source of complains regarding cloaked campers in K-space, and why people aren’t bothered so much when similar nonsense happens in W-space. First, in wormhole space it’s far easier to ambush the camper and force him to fight on the defender’s terms because both defenders and attackers can use the same cloak mechanics to their advantage. It’s as even of a playing field as one can get in EVE. Second, it’s possible to kick the camper out of a wormhole system and keep them out for a very long period of time, if they ever come back at all. The same is just not possible in K-space. Even the most vigilant defenders will have to go to sleep and that’ll give the local nuisance an easy re-entry to start the whole mess all over again. Wasting all that time to keep one pilot out is not fun, and people want to play the game, not play a second job as a security guard. Unfortunately I cannot name any good way to correct the issue in K-space that won’t negatively impact the meta of W-space.
The infamous ‘cloaky camp’ is both a fiercely guarded and vilified ambush technique. Players in K-space who utilize it don’t want any changes. Players fighting it want a viable way to track such players, and everyone living in W-space just don’t care (Like me). So the question to the dear viewer is should anything be done to address this concern?