23 January 2012

Wormhole Stabilisers

So the CSM think wormhole stabilisers should be added to the game to make invading wormhole systems easier? Rather than follow my instinct to jump up and down and complain about this being a terrible idea I decided to think how this should actually work. This thinking lead to a discussion with my friend splatus over at A journey through the mind. The resulting thoughts were something like this.

Stabilising Effect
To create a stabilising effect there should be a requirement for a presence at both the entry and exit points of the wormhole. The idea being to create awareness from anyone watching d-scan that a stabilisation effort was in operation. This creates a flash point for conflict if so desired.

Achieving the effect would involve anchoring and bringing online a destroyable structure on one side of the wormhole. The time required to bring this online should not be particularly long, say three minutes. This structure then enables the other side of the wormhole to be targeted by one or more of a new high-slot ship module. It is this module which provides the actual stabilisation effect.

The stabilisation effect would be something similar to the vamp modules used to drain cap from ships. In this instance it would be draining 'mass input' from the wormhole at a set rate. Applying additional stabilisation modules to a single wormhole would increase the rate mass input was drained from the wormhole but should be subject to similar diminishing returns as stacking modules in a ship. Basically this creates an increase in the maximum mass which can travel through a wormhole, but beyond the initial mass limits there will be a time-based 'repair' effect which needs to be taken into account. Should there be a point where the total mass traversed through the hole minus the 'repair' effect is greater than the initial maximum mass supported by the wormhole then the wormhole will close.

The time a wormhole can stay open should not be increase. Possibly the stabilisation effect should have a side-effect of reducing wormhole lifetime. It should never be possible to hold a wormhole open indefinitely. Finally, when a wormhole eventually closes, the anchorable structure will be destroyed unless already removed.

Destabilising Effect
If we are to have a ship module and anchorable which can increase the stability of a wormhole then there should also be a sister module which has the opposite effect. Currently a wormhole corp will collapse a wormhole by running calculations on a spreadsheet while jumping plate-fit battleships or Orcas through. Having a module to simplify this task would be a massive improvement in the game experience while not particularly changing the actual dynamic involved.

As with the stabiliser effect, the destabiliser should be a two part process. Part one is anchoring and bringing online the structure on one side of the wormhole. This could even be the same anchorable used in the stabilising effect to keep outside parties guessing if the wormhole is being closed or held open. Part two is running one or more of another new high-slot ship module. This time the effect is to inject mass to the wormhole. Think shield transfer this time. Again there should be a stacking penalty to prevent instant closing of a wormhole.

The maths for this modules is easier than for stabilising. You add mass using this module and also by pushing ships through the wormhole if you want. Eventually the wormhole will close, destroying the anchorable if it is still in place.

Two new ship modules and a new anchorable to give capsuleer a little more control over wormhole life. The first may make invasion easier but slightly more visible to the observant occupier of a wormhole; the second will make life easier for wormhole residents but at a slightly increased risk of being noticed while closing an unwanted wormhole connection.



  1. Ha! I found your blog :)

    Anyway, I like the idea you present. I never thought of a countger-module in this context, but it makes perfect sense. The thing with the anchorable structure is a bit complicated maybe, but placing the ship running the stabilizer/destabilizer into some sort of freeze like triage/siege/cyno where it can't do much else could be an option.

  2. Hey, glad you found me. I already have a link back to you :-)

    The main function the structure servers is to allow visibility on both sides that the wormhole is being collapsed/stabilised. Any alternative that gives this same visibility is acceptable to me.