How to be useful in w-space

11th May 2010 – 7.37 pm

People are always asking me1 how they can make a useful contribution to an established w-space corporation. There appear to be concerns about knowledge, experience, and skills that all need to be improved before feeling ready to leave empire space behind. Knowledge can best be imparted by closer connections with the corporation, experience can only be gained whilst in w-space, and waiting for skill training to be optimal is like chasing your tail. In my view, there are two simple skills that can ensure a capsuleer is a valuable member of a w-space corporation: scanning and salvaging.

Nothing can happen in w-space without scanning. Combat and mining sites need to be scanned locally, and wormholes need to be scanned to be able to move between systems. Without scanning, everyone would just warp between celestial objects and marvel at the emptiness of space. There are a few key skills to improve scanning and they don't take too long to learn, making it quick enough to train. Experience at scanning can be gained with practice safely in high-sec, finding exploration sites or maybe the occasional wormhole. Only a basic frigate needs to be piloted to scan successfully, as long as the capsuleer understands the importance of and how to make safe-spots.

Whilst nothing can be done without scanning, profit cannot be made without salvaging. There are no bounties on Sleeper ships, and whilst most of the salvage from the wrecks is not particularly valuable there are some gems. And it would be churlish to go to the trouble of looting the wrecks without salvaging them. Although we occasionally fly with a combat salvaging boat, this is normally done because we lack numbers and don't want to leave our loot to be collected later in a system that has active connections. But with a dedicated salvaging boat following behind us we wouldn't need to. The combat fleet warps to the site, clears out the Sleepers, and calls in the salvager. As the salvager collects all our loot, the rest of the fleet moves to the next site. It is quite efficient. And every active participant in an operation, regardless of their involvement, gets a full share of the profits. Basic salvaging skills and the ability to pilot destroyers is all that is required to help a fleet become more efficient.

It is true that more and improved skills will prove valuable, but the above skills are all that is needed to begin to contribute. Once out in w-space and scanning and salvaging, other skills can be trained. Archaeology and hacking can help a dedicated salvager collect loot from the Sleeper artefacts and databanks. Covert operation boats will increase scanning speed and accuracy, and covert operation cloaks will allow moving and warping freely whilst cloaked. And after that, training for battlecruisers, battleships, logistic ships, and all the weapon, electronic, and engineering support skills can be improved. A battlecruiser pilot with good core and appropriate support skills can start to contribute to Sleeper combat, whilst training inexorably progresses towards the next goal.

And it's not just Sleeper operations that can benefit from an extra pilot. Combat against other pilots always benefits from greater numbers, and there is an important role that a scanner can play. Even without combat experience or skills, a capsuleer in covert operations boat with an equivalent cloaking device can monitor and relay intelligence about enemy movements. It may not seem like much, but it is vital in order to remain in control of the battlespace.

I had a brief stint in a corporation that roamed low-sec. I wasn't terribly successful, missing out on most action and not being comfortable enough with the new environment to feel I could contribute. That corporation was offered an opportunity in null-sec and they took it, at which point I said I wasn't ready and went back to the safety of high-sec space. The corporation's boss said that a capsuleer will never be ready unless they make the move, and I understand now what he meant. I felt the same way about the null-sec move then as I did when my corporation wanted to set up a station in w-space, nervous and timid. But the corporation seemed good and I wanted to belong, so I suppressed my anxieties and volunteered. If I had done that with the previous corporation I may be living in null-sec now, but I have no regrets and w-space life suits me well. The jump just needed to be made.

Moving from empire space to w-space is a change, and one that you probably can't quite prepare for. But it doesn't mean you can't feel or be useful. With only a couple of key skills trained it is possible to become an asset to a w-space corporation quickly, and experience will be gained to improve the trained skills. Whilst performing the more fundamental tasks, skill training can progress to different ends whilst further knowledge and experience accumulates. Before you know it, you'll be calling w-space your home and wondering what the fuss was originally all about.

1. One person asked someone else, who then forwarded me the message.
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  1. 2 Responses to “How to be useful in w-space”

  2. /emote shudders at the thought of Penny in null-sec.

    Ok, I'm actually more threatened by the idea of you not being with us in the wormhole. For all the pieces that fell into place and conspiracies that made it possible - I am grateful.

    I would suggest Hull Upgrades V. It is just so useful - even for us shield tanking low-lifes.

    By Kename Fin on May 12, 2010

  3. Yay :)

    By Azyrie on May 12, 2010

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