Our announcement for a set of big balance changes coming this October sparked some strong feedback about our attitude towards wormholes and specifically the HIC as a tool for reliably collapsing wormholes. We want to respond to that discussion as well as we can and also put forward a solution for the HIC issue in October.
First of all, let us apologize for sounding dismissive of wormholers in the original blog. That was not intentional and we care greatly for our j-space residents. Mentioning that they would be ‘collateral damage’ during this change was meant to acknowledge that we are affecting wormholes even though wormholes aren’t the reason for the change. We could have used better words and gone further to explain why we would make a change knowing that it would have a negative impact on play experience, so we’ll try and do that now.
When wormholes were added to the game there was a strong and clear vision for what kind of gameplay they would provide: mystery, danger, and uncertainty would reign supreme. Only daring explorers and adrenaline junkies would be willing to venture deep into wormhole space. This is why we have mechanics like randomized connections, unstable collapse mechanics, and no local. It’s an awesome vision that we still appreciate and are still trying to work towards in several areas of EVE, but, it is definitely not the reality of how wormhole space works today.
Almost immediately, you analyzed the systems and learned to manipulate the mechanics in your favor. Wormhole space was never even meant to be habitable and now we have long-standing wormhole empires. From the beginning, players threw out the original vision for wormholes and made them their own. We love this. This a great example of what a sandbox can be.
The problem is when we run into design decisions where the reality of the wormhole environment clashes strongly with the original vision. HICs and their role as a tool for controlling wormhole connections in a safe and predictable way is a perfect example of how stark this contrast can be. If we made decisions based off the original vision for the space, we would certainly have no problem taking HICs away. Doing so would promote uncertainty, which was the aim of the system to begin with. On the other hand, if we really wanted to step into the reality of wormhole life and support safe and consistent hole control, why stop at supporting HICs. We could make mass limits explicit and visible or give remote tools for hole collapse or a number of other solutions that wouldn’t be as contrived as depending on an unrelated bonus for a specific module on one class of ship that isn’t otherwise important in wormhole space.
So, when we come to a situation like this one, where we don’t feel satisfied with taking the tool away because we know the pain it will cause, but we also don’t feel satisfied with providing new tools that go directly against the core design of the space, we often lean towards placing priority on the change we intend and understand (taking away 500mn MWD HICs in this case) and trusting wormholers to continue to adapt and define their own rules, as they have since they first left k-space behind.
But, it’s clear that asking for adaptation in this case was too much. We underestimated how critical this tool is and even though we would love to take a more holistic look at collapse mechanics, we understand that the existing behavior needs to be supported until that happens. We are now planning to introduce a new module in October specifically for ship mass reduction. This module can be fit to Heavy Interdictors and when activated it will reduce the ship’s mass by a percentage and also reduce the ship’s base velocity, which should rule out any MWD tricks. We are still working out specifics but you can count on this module being available at the same time that we make the changes to Warp Disruption Field Generators.
We hope this will take care of your concerns and we hope to continue improving our support for your unique play style.
Thanks to everyone who gave thoughtful feedback on this.