Outbound connections are rubbish

24th October 2013 – 5.44 pm

The system lacks pilots. I don't mind too much that the hauler at the tower is empty, seeing as I just recently woke up a sleeping Procurer pilot by sending him back to a clone vat. But there's not much else for me to do here. Even the promise of a static wormhole to class 1 w-space doesn't lure me in to scanning, not when I already have other unexplored wormholes behind me in the constellation. Time's pushing on too, and with some systems scanned and two ships popped so far I am hoping for one more opportunistic kill before hitting the sack.

Back out of the class 2 system and in to high-sec, where I warp to the X702 outbound connection to class 3 w-space and jump through. Yep, this is a class 3 w-space system, I recognise the tower and lack of ships visible on my directional scanner. The tower is in the same position from a previous visit, nothing sits out of d-scan range, and perhaps only a static exit to low-sec to find. That'll do for this system too.

There are more wormholes, but as they are all in our neighbouring class 3 system and connect to empire space it seems I'll be scanning after all. At least, if there are any signatures in the connecting systems. I return to C3a, a short warp across the high-sec system in Metropolis, and warp to the high-sec K162 that obviously connects in from Lonetrek. The system on the other side of the wormhole is seven hops to Jita, but I already have a better route to get there if I wanted to, and I don't. I want more explosions.

The two extra signatures in the Lonetrek system aren't going to help my finding explosions, one being a gas site, the other a K162 from class 3 w-space at the end of its life. I'm happy to leave the dying wormhole alone, and return to C3a once more to poke through the last high-sec connection, this one the system's static exit. Again, the destination region is obvious, and I appear in Domain, the Teshi system to be precise. Maybe I go to a station to pick up some power converters.

Being two hops from Amarr is short enough that I would consider trading explosions for an opportunity to import fuel, but not through a black hole system with four k-space wormholes and two idling pilots. And with nothing to scan I jump straight back to C3a, warp across the system, and exit through the final wormhole, which takes me to a low-sec system in Molden Heath. Damn, I had guessed Metropolis again, half hoping I was actually starting to discern the two regions' colourings through wormhole distortions, and half not wanting to automatically associate low-sec with Molden Heath.

At least there are more signatures to scan, and one of the four is a wormhole. Hey, it's an R943 outbound connection to class 2 w-space, neat! Oh, actually, it's not that neat any more. This should be a really attractive wormhole, a random connection in to a system that probably doesn't know it's there, letting me sneak in and potentially ambush any oblivious active pilots. On top of that, as the wormhole leads to class 2 w-space, it will hold another static connection to w-space, perhaps itself unopened. Yes, finding wormholes like this used to be the most exciting part of exploring w-space.

Not any more. Now I already know that the discovery scanner has pinged every pilot's interface in the C2, as well as highlighting a beacon in space that clearly indicates the presence and rough position of a new signature. Any sense of surprise that was once on my side at finding this new wormhole is entirely negated by the discovery scanner, and any pilot active in the destination system is already stopping what they are doing to investigate the new signature. The sense of the unknown has vanished.

I'm a little deflated by the discover scanner, but I'm still going to see what I can find. Jumping to C2c has a tower and three ships on d-scan, the tower new since my previous visit fourteen weeks ago but easy enough to locate. The Apocalypse battleship, Caracal cruiser, and Venture mining frigate are all piloted but doing nothing. I am not surprised. Seeing the Helios covert operations boat on d-scan that I saw earlier in C3a is a little surprising, but not much. And considering how little he cared about being covert with his scanning previously I wouldn't be surprised if he further quashed any activity here by throwing around probes with abandon. A half-finished anomaly almost confirms my suspicions.

Half-finished anomaly in class 2 w-space

The Venture goes off-line. Discovery scanner or enthusiastic tourist, it doesn't matter. I won't find any action in this system, and probably none through its static wormhole either. That's not so bad, not as I've bagged two kills this evening already. But as both kills came from jumping through K162s and all I found in outbound connections were ships idling in towers, I can't help but feel frustrated with the growing evidence that the discovery scanner is destroying w-space. Unknown wormholes should be surprising capsuleers, not their own K162s.

W-space constellation schematic

  1. 9 Responses to “Outbound connections are rubbish”

  2. I've lost track how many times the new implementation of the scanner has lost me fights. So many times I've entered system only to find wrecks and people covering behind POS shields. It is the main reason I play less and less. I guess CCP is happy so long as I sub, logging in matters not in the regard if they get money from me or not. But I am losing interest and have cancelled one account. I predict that within a year I'll be out of game. Mostly because I see no understanding from either CCP or CSM what the issue even is. Frankly I think they don't get it, otherwise they should at least be a reply.

    Ah well, good news your post what's a good reads always.

    By Akely on Oct 24, 2013

  3. Putting aside the fact that you're both probably correct, could I invite you to elaborate the rationale behind your argument that "unknown rather than known wormholes" should be the source of surprises in w-space? Or are we just chalking this one up to emotivism?

    By Firstly on Oct 24, 2013

  4. That's a good point, Firstly. The statement you quote isn't entirely correct. Known wormholes can and should also be possible sources of surprise. The actual point I want to get across is that 'unknown wormholes should be sources of surprise', and that the discovery scanner, in certain but significant circumstances, negates this surprise entirely.

    I hope it is self-evident that an unknown wormhole should be a source of surprise. The problem is that there is almost no such thing as an unknown wormhole any more. As soon as a wormhole is opened, which, as I understand it, is the moment a ship enters warp to that wormhole, and not even when they jump through it, the K162 is created and the discovery scanner pings the new signature to any active pilot's scanning interface and HUD in the destination system.

    That new wormhole simply cannot be a source of surprise, because it isn't unknown. The most likely source of a new signature appearing in a system will be a newly opened wormhole. It is trivial to fully scan a system, set all signatures to be ignored, and then watch for the discovery scanner to ping a new signature the moment it appears, without any further interaction required. This makes it possible to isolate a system and maintain knowledge that the system remains isolated, trivialising home-system security.

    There will be inattentive or ignorant pilots, and they can still be surprised because of this. But limiting engagements to those pilots is, well, limiting, as well as being barely fulfilling from a hunter's point-of-view and deeply disheartening for any scout. Finding an outbound wormhole used to offer promise of opportunity, now it's not even just another link in a chain. Outbound wormholes are poison to w-space exploration. That is fundamentally wrong.

    By pjharvey on Oct 24, 2013

  5. My lot likes the new system, as it gives us a chance to reship and maybe have a decent fight (or at least bring cheap-but-fun shit if we're badly out-shipped).

    Being ganked is no fun. Losing a fight that looked slightly fair is at least /some/ fun, and valuable experience for future fighting.

    That said, the new sig system isn't reliably better than just having probes out. It doesn't always update itself, so if Bob is angry at you, you can still get an unexpected face full of cloaky Proteus.

    By killfalcon on Oct 24, 2013

  6. You're right that being ganked isn't fun, but it used to be a daily threat of w-space life. Just because someone doesn't want it to happen doesn't mean that it shouldn't happen, and the rich rewards that are available in w-space are supposed to be balanced by the additional threat of a lack of a local channel and the random nature of wormholes. Removing the threat shifts the balance to offer greater rewards for fewer losses.

    This will sound harsh, but if you can't cope with being occasionally ganked because you weren't able to field a scout who wanted to update scanning probes every ten seconds, or were too slow or casual with updating d-scan, then w-space is not where you want to be. EVE Online is not a game that actively promotes being fair.

    And, I don't know how to phrase this politely, I hate any reference to 'Bob'. Capsuleers make their own fortune, and any appeal to some bullshit quasi-deity should and will be met with scorn and derision from me.

    By pjharvey on Oct 24, 2013

  7. You can and I have, if you're awake to the new K162 being spawned, scan down the sig and be on grid and SEE the guy enter your system for the first time. Doesn't take long to scan a single sig down and if he's slightly tardy in bookmarking and entering its very easy to be there.

    Since the initial Odyssey scanning burst has subsided, I've found less and less anything anywhere in W-Space. Those that I do find are always Pos'd up and don't come out and why would they. They're not there to PVP they're there to mine or PI or harvest or what have you.

    Part of Eve is non-consensual PVP and right now, the Discovery Scanner may as well be a pop up message asking if you'd like to fight. On the old system, failure to spot a new K162 was the PLAYERS fault for not actively protecting themselves, due to not using scan probes often enough or not at all. Now it's just a failure to not look at the screen.

    Don't expect CCP to ever make this right. The only time I've ever seen Dev's in the Wormhole section of the Eve-O forums is moderators cleaning and locking threads. Right now it works "Good Enough" and is at the bottom of the list and with Chitsa and the other WH CSM barely ever talking anywhere on anything, I don't see that changing.

    Maybe I'll luck out at Eve Down Under and can yell at CCP Fozzie to fix this.

    By BayneNothos on Oct 25, 2013

  8. I agree that this is an unwarrented and unwelcome change to the nature of exploration, and, in fact, effects an outcome that contradicts what CCP intended to foster with the Odyssey expansion in general and the "Discovery Scanner" specifically; a renewed zest for exploration and a broader appreciation for the "unknown."

    At the risk of making a profoundly unsavvy and egregious statement, the obvious solution appears to be to roll back the new signature "ping" effect. I'm not giving up on the Discovery Scanner as a whole, though personally I did prefer my probing mechanics a bit more on the "fiddly" side. But the negative feedback seems to largely center around the blaring visual alarm warning even the least attentive of pilots of impending doom.

    How effective would removing this effect and this effect alone be in restoring the balance of the user-friendly and the unknown?

    By Firstly on Oct 25, 2013

  9. Rolling the 'all new sigs appear without active scan' is about the only way to fix this problem. At least how I see it.

    As for the notion that the mechanic is good I can only speak from my own experience. I've seen people ship up... two times? The reason most people do not is that since there is no local end the locals can't know how many ships they are facing they almost always take the safe, POS option. I use, well used to use this 'better safe than sorry' reasoning all the time and attack fleets that could take me if they would only have stayed on the battlefield. Most fleets of say three Battleships run from a single Proteus as they do not know if the Proteus is alone or not.

    As for Firstly's initial question I think PJ said all that needs to be said. It's a very valid question though.

    When I'm especially grumpy I see two things that really kills off my enjoyment in W-space now. The first and foremost is the before mentioned sig problem. The second is the mining/grav sites showing up as anomalies and thus not having to be scanned. It means the sites are unsafer so less people mine. But most importantly I really liked the challenge of probing miners down without them noticing. It made for a good balance between risk/reward for the miners too.

    By Akely on Oct 25, 2013

  10. I miss hunting miners in sites too. Although I have no qualms about ambushing industrial ships, being able to warp directly to them with minimal skill is unfulfilling.

    Removing the discovery scanner's automatic updating of signatures would be a step in the right direction. It would certainly make outbound connections more interesting again. I still would prefer the discovery scanner to disappear entirely from w-space, to return to having an atmosphere of entering the complete unknown compared to known space.

    And even if the ping effect were to be removed, the discovery scanner automatically runs on each session change, whether from jumping between systems or doing as little as swapping ships. Keeping a basic tally of signatures in each system then allows direct comparisons to be made when travelling through a constellation. It is too easy to know that a new threat has appeared, where previous complacency would have kept pilots oblivious to a recently opened wormhole.

    The discovery scanner is not a bad idea. It just doesn't mesh with how w-space has so far operated. As with the new planet goo haulers, I can't help but think w-space simply wasn't taken in to consideration when the update was devised. It changes the environment radically and only to its detriment.

    By pjharvey on Oct 27, 2013

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