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.
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.
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:
- 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:
- 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:
- 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.
- 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.