Thursday, March 11, 2010

Making The Game: Planetary Interaction In Wormhole Space

Unlike my usual 'Making the Game' posts, this particular post centers less around an idea I had for making the game more interesting, and more around my growing suspicion that the new Tyrannis expansion is going to be applied only to K-Space in terms of Planetary Interaction.

So I thought, 'well, maybe we should go over the positives and negatives of letting W-Space holders have access to Planetary Interaction'. Voila, a blog-post was born. Don't mind the squalling, newborns are cranky like that.

- Consistency of realism.
- More reason for people to explore.
- More resources in riskier locations.

- More profitability to W-Space habitation.

Now, let's discuss these points in a little more detail, shall we?

For the Positive team, we have Consistency of realism, which can be roughly explained by this question. How does it make sense that all W-Space planets and moons are completely devoid of profitable minerals? And people too? Did the sleepers strip-mine all the planets to build more of themselves and in-so-doing kill all the indigenous people? I could buy that, if there were planet-side ruins and the like, but if so, couldn't we import colonists and export archaeological finds? Maybe as a precursor to T3 Frigates? It's unrealistic and inconsistent to, in a sandbox environment, say 'you can do this stuff with planets and moons' and then say 'except the ones over there' without giving an explanation.

Next we come to, More reason for people to explore, that's right, the shiny probing interface that was installed a few expansions ago? Doesn't that suggest you WANT people to explore, find W-Space, and go searching for fun and profit? Another resource in w-space means another reason for people to want to visit. It also ties in well with my next point...

More resources in riskier locations. The key point here is RISKIER. W-Space is more dangerous than 0.0 in a lot of ways, particularly if you're at a location that isn't either a) protected by a POS bubble, or b) requiring a full set of 4 scan-probes to location. In other words, paranoia at a Mag-site, needed. Paranoia at a combat site? Really needed. Paranoia floating above a planet? Down right necessary to even the faintest hope of survival. In 0.0, you could dock up when someone comes in system, in W-Space, you have to hope you spot them as they're warping to your planet, and hope you can get into warp before they arrive. Is anyone else snickering at your odds there?

Since Risk vs Reward is what you're looking for, W-Space will have a good mix of risk to reward if PI does get implemented there. Sure, you're off the beaten path and someone has to scan down your hole to find you. But once they're in your system, you have no way of knowing if you're going to drop in on your planet safely, or if a handful of SB's are gonna decloak and fry you for your greedy ways.

Add to all that my hope that they'll design the 'launch to space' system in such a way as to give a chance (however small) for theft of your hard-earned goods, and it just sounds like a better and better idea.

For the Negatives team, I could only come up with one thing that really seemed logical to me. Call me biased, cos I probably am, but More profitability to W-Space habitation was all I could decide would hold CCP back. It's been stated that CCP didn't intend for W-Space to be colonized on a permanent basis, so maybe they won't want to give people even more reasons to want to stick around in W-Space.

But that ship has already sailed, folks. W-Space is colonized in the majority of systems that open up connecting to Our Slice of Heaven, and from what I hear, it's the same for most other colonists out there in the community. Trying to artificially coax people out with inconsistent, artificial schemes is a bit sad at best and detrimental at worst. People wouldn't do it if they weren't enjoying it, and the game you've designed is supposed to be a sandbox, and the first rule of the sandbox is that you don't kick down other people's castles just because you don't like their moat.

Anyhow, if YOU have any ideas on a good Positive or Negative on the 'PI in WH' argument, post it in the comments and lets chat. I'm sure there's plenty of arguments for both sides that I've missed!

Fly Straight,


  1. Good post. I think given the launch, WH is allowed. The interesting thing is that WH is naturally limited in that only the planet types that exist in a single system can be used effectively to form a multi-planet production chain. So you're limited to single planet p3 goods, or probably a limited set of advanced productions because of this. Depends on the number and variations of planets.