Evidence-based discussion of the constellation site theory

So an old topic in wormhole space that has been discussed since forever is: Can you influence how many new anomalies you will get in your home system by manipulating sites in other systems that belong to the same constellation?

There are those who say site spawns are totally random, and there are those who say sites belong to the constellation and will always respawn in a system within the same constellation. Meaning you can increase your spawns by infiltrating the other systems and regularly triggering the sites there so they despawn after 3 days.

I’ve seen claims from both sides that they tested it and proved one thing or another. Obviously not both can be true, and to me it seemed a lot more likely that the theory is wrong and spawns are random. But then I talked to a number of other smart, experienced wormhole players who still swear by this theory and are convinced it works to always trigger the anomalies in systems of the same constellation.

So I set out to test it myself and get solid evidence. Which of course only applies to how things are now - they could have been different in the past. Although I’m not aware of any announced changes by CCP, there could have been stealth changes.

I did this in a constellation of C4 systems. After a while I had scouts in all six systems of a constellation. It turned out that they were all either unoccupied or inhabited by very inactive players, and mostly had a large initial anomaly count.

Proven Facts:

  1. Despawned anomalies do NOT immediately respawn in a system within the same constellation
    When I started the test, there were around 80 anomalies across the constellation. I triggered them all and made them despawn, yet after the downtime no significant number of new anomalies had spawned in any of the six systems.

  2. They also do not respawn on any reasonable cooldown
    People could argue that maybe the anomalies do not respawn immediately, but with a delay. If so, such a delay would have to be ridiculously long and also different for every individual anomaly, which seems not plausible.
    After I had made the initial anomaly stock of the constellation disappear, only a very small number of new anomalies started to appear per day, over a period of weeks. Usually 0-3 new anomalies per day for the whole constellation. Instead of 80, there were now less than five at a time across the constellation. On several days after triggered anomalies despawned, not a single new anomaly spawned anywhere.

Unprovable assumption that is strongly supported by anecdotal evidence:

  1. An anomaly does in fact respawn in another location as soon as it despawns, there is no cooldown where the anomaly remains somewhere in limbo
    We see two kinds of spawns: After downtime, and random spawns during the day. Downtime spawns presumably happen when a site was activated but not completed, and then despawned at its previous location after the 72-hour timer ran out. Spawns during the day happen because another player has just completed the site at its previous location.
    In addition to what probably every player has seen over the years that strongly supports this theory, I’d add my observations from currently living in both a C4 system and a C6 system simultaneously. Spawns during the day are EXTREMELY rare in the C4, almost non-existent. But in a C6, they are very common. Explanation: Players do not like C4 sites, and they have very little turnover. The few sites that even move at all were just triggered, but not completed, so they only move during downtime. C6 farming on the other hand is very popular, so anomalies frequently move during the day.

Unprovable theory that has only weak evidence:

  1. It MAY be that there is a constellation cap, meaning that once there is a certain number of anomalies in a constellation, it can receive no more sites from random spawns. In this case it would be helpful and necessary to trigger the anomalies in the other systems, so your home system has at least the chance to get new sites.
    During the testing phase, before I had scouts in all the systems, there was a period of about two weeks where my system received only a total of two anomalies. So many days without a single new one. Maybe this was because there were many anomalies in the other systems and the cap had been reached. After I triggered all those accumulated anomalies in the other systems, I did not see these long periods without ANY new spawns. But this could very well be just a coincidence. To test this again I’d need to let the anomaly stock grow again until the presumed cap, which at the observed rate would take months.

Conclusion: Anomaly respawns appear to be completely random. A despawned site immediately respawns at another location, but that location can be in any eligible system. For most wormhole classes, that means it can be any one of about 500 systems.

Now why do many good players still believe in the constellation theory? My explanation is that these players usually live and crab in c6 systems. There are two factors at play here:

  1. Triggering c6 anomalies can actually have a slight effect because there are only about a hundred c6 systems in the game, so when you make a site respawn, the chance it will be in your system is five times higher than in a c5 or c4. Still pretty low, though, so it generally wouldn’t be worth the effort.
  2. Because of the much higher global crabbing activity in c6, general site turnover is massively larger here, so new sites spawn all the time no matter what. These ‘natural’ spawns can confuse players who mistake them for the fruits of their site-triggering labor.
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All I heard was “region-wise”, not “constellation-wise”. You may replicate this test with A Lot more scouts.

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If it helps, it has only happened to me once… I finished a Sansha relic site in our wormhole and as soon as it disappeared when I warped out, it immediately popped up again on my probe scanner (I had to scan it again) and yes, it was a Sansha relic site too.

The total amount of loot was different, obviously, the ID was different too, but the point is it was exactly the same type of signature and it was almost instantaneous, maybe a 2 seconds delay.

BTW, Got like 250M in 10 minutes that day… Haha

For all practical purposes, region sites would be almost the same as fully random respawns. Even if you were crazy enough to place an alt in every system of a region, the time it costs to log them all in and initiate warp to every anomaly in every system, is just not worth it for the <1% chance to get the site in your own system.

@Ivy_Niladic Yep that is the kind of anecdote I meant.

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Im only talking c5 space.
Region or random spawns does make a difference. Lets say you and two friends seed 10 dead systems each. If you also factor in the active systems, then suddently the respawnrate will increase alot. If its for all c5 regions it wont make a big difference.
If you look at r24, then you could just seed the c1 statics an shattereds to cancel out these unfarmed whs and increase the region spawnrate by alot.

New wormholer here. How in the heck did you find all the other C4s in that constellation, and how long did it take you?

I started with settling the first and when I was unhappy with the site spawn rate, I decided to find the others, to either increase my spawns or at least gather some ‘scientific knowledge’ about wormhole space :wink:

It took 27 days to get into the other 5 systems. One of them I found myself, the others were delivered to me by WiNGSPAN Delivery Service. Their service is excellent, can recommend. They will find any wormhole system for you, no questions asked.

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Interesting idea. Did you actually try it, or just a theory?

A friend of mine lives in R24.
He has his whole constellation seeded. He is pretty sure, thats spawns are not constellation based.

When he prewarps the constellation, the sitespawns seem to increase (just a feeling). This shouldnt work, if its not Region based (9/80 vs 9/500). If that is true, then the sites dont respawn instantly.

Well… let’s say it’s region-based. And your friend would be lucky because 80 systems is a small region. Even so, that means he’d have to trigger 80 sites to receive one single additional site in his own system, on average. The additional sites he gets that way would be very, very few, and not distinguishable from random spawns. So I think the feeling isn’t more than just that - wishful thinking.

It’s called “rain making” and it makes a big difference.

I bet those who do actual rain-dances are just as convinced of their efficacy. The scientific evidence is kind of lacking, though.

If region sites were real, then the C4 regions R17 and R23 should be heavens of anomaly abundance. These regions are tiny, only 25 and 28 systems, respectively.

R24 that was mentioned here earlier does not have 80 systems btw, but rather 110. So not a great testing candidate. R26 would be the best with only 68 systems. Anyone care to seed it with scouts, or has already done so? For science.

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You miss the point why seeding R24 is helpful.

R24 has a ton of ■■■■ WHs that nobody lives in and that people also dont farm, cause they are hard or impossible to roll. (Shattered WHs + C1 statics).
Anoms in those systems are dead Anoms, cause nobody will farm them. If you seed those systems you reduce the amount of dead anoms and would increase the overall spawnrate, cause they get triggered faster and will respawn faster.

Is it? I have never heard it called that before.

Shattered systems are another interesting matter. They were added many years after the rest of wormhole space. And they have an increased site spawn rate, as announced by CCP and obvious from looking at them. But do they share the same site pool as other wormhole systems? Whether thats constellation-based, regional or global. Do they siphon sites away from the regular systems? I don’t think anybody knows, but I’d find it odd if they do. Especially that they have sites from two different classes in them. How could that even work?

More likely they have their own, separate pool. Then triggering their sites wouldn’t help at all.

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Hi !

Thx for your post.

Did you do more experimentions ?
This subject interest me a lot.

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I am comparing a WR and a MAGNETAR WH in the same region (same static). Over multiple weeks the WR seems to have the much lower spawnrate, so it COULD be, that WH sites are also grouped by region and effect? Would that make shattereds its own group?
Because after i tracked the spawnrate for vanilla holes in different region, it seemed to be pretty consistent.

Not really, but I have since moved to a different system, a C5. There are vastly more new sites in C5 compared to C4, so I think it only depends on how many others are doing the same thing you want to do.

Players living in C4 are doubly punished: Their sites are less valuable, but they also get fewer of them because not many other players are doing them. Imho a flaw in the mechanics; people who specialize in unpopular niches should at least not be punished for it.

It isn’t really a flaw - CCP does not really want people living in wormholes - especially not jeans.