Victim of Popularity

The more successful your corp is in its ventures then participation should swell.  Mining corps with access to 0.0 ore can expect more and more members to fleet up the more ore they bring to the market.  PVP corps utilize the killboard as a measuring stick to compare themselves to others.  A high ratio of kills to deaths attracts new recruits and even gives existing members further reason to X up for a fleet, more kills provide the attraction to some and others may want to build up a PVP resume’ and eventually toss in their hats with some larger force.

Wormhole corporations too face the same benefits.  Successful operations bring in a flood of new recruits.  Existing members stave off Bitter Vet status when they see their wallets expanding exponentially and make it a point to log in more often.  However, as participation swells, you then have to participate in the most frustrating mini-games ever invented by CCP, wormhole mass management. 

Each wormhole has a certain amount ship mass that it will allow through before it collapses.  Total mass of the wormhole varies depending on the size, type and location it leads to and from.  A high security wormhole into a class 1 system will allow fewer ships than a low security entry way into a class 2 system, and that all pales in comparison to the ship mass allowed through a class six system into an adjoining class six.

The problem is further exacerbated by wormhole site spawn mechanics, in which spatial anomolies slowly respawn over time.  Thus the system that your group is using as its home base will still produce sites to farm, but at such a slow rate that you are forced to farm adjoining space systems, which change every day or so.  At least for these in system sites you can safely bring in capital ships for capital escalations (rats that spawn once a capital ship is brought into the anomaly), without worrying about literally burning half your wormhole mass on that one ship’s round trip.

So what can corporations do to avoid problems with both wormhole mass and a swelling roster and increased participation? 

First and foremost you need to cut down on the logistics that will be run through the wormhole that you will be running your op through.  Sure you might do the math and your 20 man gang might easily squeeze through, but some other corp member might have other plans.  Several industrial haulers running ore out through a system to an adjoining system with a decent Empire exit can rapidly deplete available mass.  Not to even mention others bringing in replacement ships of all shapes and sizes. 

Secondly you will need to cut down on the amount of back and forth jumps that your fleet members do, especially in larger mass ships.  A “quick AFK” should find the player parked in an in system safe spot or being baby sat by a logistics pilot watching for any damage from the sleepers. Having him fly back to the POS and then later rejoin the fleet is just needlessly burning available mass.

This also means that if you are running tight on fleet size that the slots for the larger mass ships, DPS battleships, should be reserved for those that have both the most time to be available for the op and the highest DPS available.  If a corporation member is just an alt who needs to log back to his main for a fleet op in 45 minutes, then this person should be made to fly a small salvager or asked to sit out in favor of someone with more time available.

The final solution for the mass problem ends up being the most logical choice for long term wormhole dwellers, but provides a barrier to entry for newer players who may be lacking skill points and/or a fat wallet.  Tech III ships.  These ships have the mass and speed of cruisers with damage and tanking ability approaching (surpassing in many setups) that of a much larger battle ship. 

Obviously this seems like a match made in heaven right?  Well sure, unless your 1/3 of the way through Minmatar Battleship 5 and working on a carrier skill plan. =(


~ by Centuri on April 14, 2010.

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