Lifestyle Review: Part II

…Both alliances and corporations need to start thinking approaching life differently from their counterparts in high-sec, low-sec and null-sec. There are aspects of all of them that apply, but there some things that need to be thought through differently.

In continuation from last week, the goals and indeed needs of an alliance and or corporation are always going to be different from group to group, but there are some things that are unique to life in wormhole space.

The first to be addressed is living out of what amounts to a caravan parked on the Gaza border. You desperately need fuel, supplies and food; however, parties on both sides of you are armed and should be considered dangerous to your well-being. You have to find ways to be self-sufficient while sharing with those also in your RV. One hopes that everyone living in the same place is courteous, thinks exactly alike and doesn’t have any body odour. If you solve this in a manner that keeps everyone happy, let me know.

The main issue is that without a station to base at, all pilots are completely dependent upon the corporation or alliance for their day-to-day support and logistics. While it might be possible for a pilot to use an Orca and manage their life out of its ship hangar and corporate cargo, the limitations quickly become apparent. Without a pilot’s own private fleet of alts or personal tower, the ship has to be parked somewhere when not using it, often leaving it open to various misdeeds. The use of alts can mitigate this somewhat, but means the alt is not being used at its optimal potential [although it could also be ganglink boosting]. The use of a personal tower still leads to reliance on the corporation [at least the leadership] not making off with your stuff.

Other issue that exists after a short amount of time is resource availability. CCP stated that they never intended wormholes to be a long-term residential solution. They’ve set it up so all your fuel and possibly everything else you use up will come from beyond the confines of your home. Couple this with the simple fact that wormholes tend to ‘dry up’ with usage and soon there are a plethora of people and paucity of provender for them. This is the main issue for people who otherwise have the correct state of mind to survive in a hostile environment making ends meet with their own wits. They just need more ‘content’ to be content.

While this is still a valid concern, the reality is that people living in wormholes are more than willing to manage resource collection through distributed locations. Fleets routinely go on roams for kills. They will hop through whatever hole that pops up and get what they can from the system next door before the wormhole either collapses under the weight of the ships going through it or dries up from exposure [closes due to time]. This makes the decision of what kind of hole you choose to live in more important as it will affect the choices that you have available. Living in a class 1 wormhole with a static connection to a high security known space will mean that when the local sites you have are exhausted, you are only guaranteed access to high sec content. This may be exactly what your group is looking for and is not meant to dissuade anyone from choosing to live in a class 1 wormhole. I have met several corporations operating “Tower Farms” in class 1 and 2 wormhole systems to build ships and modules, react gasses and process moon goo.

As a corollary to this, the more pilots that you have in a given system, the better equipped the corporation will be to deal with any of the situations that happen to come upon it. Besieged by battleships, bring it. Perplexed by pirates, pulp ‘em. Stymied by Sleepers, sic ‘em. But as above, it takes a lot of resources to provide a lot of resources and all of them chew through it rather quickly.

As a general rule, the more people who want to reside together in a wormhole, the higher the class of system needed to support them. This is a function of the isk per hour availability, the fleet size needed to process the local resources and the skill levels of the pilots involved. I am quite sure Randall Munroe could come up with a nice little equation to demonstrate this.

So we’re left with the phrase, “Lifestyle Choice” that I really think best captures what it means to be a wormhole resident. Things aren’t often grand out here, nor does it all happen with clockwork efficiency. Fleets are often best described as ad hoc and would make most dedicated FC’s cry. Logistics are always a bit of strain and a large percentage of time is dedicated to just making sure everything doesn’t come crashing down. I think it is ok to say that those of us who tend to stay out here in the wormholes are different. There’s a niche out here that we honestly feel blessed to be able to fill and wouldn’t want to live anywhere else.

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