Art by Major Sniper
When you hear about wormholes in the news or on YouTube, you typically see C5 systems taking the spotlight. Most large wormhole PVP corps live in C5-C5 systems; large brawls take place in C5 space, along with pretty good ratting ISK per hour; and a massive amount of systems fall under the C5 category. I have been questioned in the past why the big groups don’t live in C6 space, fight in C6 space, etc. If they are the largest groups they can take systems fairly easy, so why stop at C5? Why not go for C6?
After the eviction of Rage this question was brought up again. Why not just live in C6 space? There are a few reasons why you wouldn’t want a C6 over a C5 as a large group, especially if most players in these corps have played the game for multiple years and have their own income sources.
What makes C6 systems so desirable to wormholers is the fact that they are much easier to farm than C5. The sites are just about as easy as C5 sites, but they are worth a bit more, and they respawn much, much quicker. Since site spawns are spread across the entire region/class, it takes much longer for sites to respawn into a farmable state after you have cleaned the system. C5 space consist of about 560 wormhole systems, versus about 120 in C6 space, meaning that the sites respawn up to 4 times faster.
Most C6 players can run these sites quickly, and they usually can make ~2bil per hour (keep in mind that the sites take days to respawn, and it’s not a constant farm like nullsec), and up to a rumored 4bil per hour in a Magnetar with its 100% damage bonus. If they clear out the sites multiple times a week, these players are making 20-plus billion a week if they stay consistent.
Who are These People?
I said before that large groups don’t live in C6 space, and that was partially incorrect. I meant that the corp itself does not live in C6 systems. There is no point really. Hard Knocks, LazerHawks, and No Vacancies own most of the wormholes in C6 space, and use them to fund their PVP activities in other classes of wormholes. There is a very small number of holes that are not owned by massive corps, and the number is shrinking. These solo or group farmholes have enough structures, alts, and ships that it can rival most small/medium sized corp systems.
These systems are not only hard to evict by themselves, but most threats to the farmhole would be defended against by the corp itself. This means that once the system comes under HK, LZHKS, or NVCA control then it will most likely stay under control until they don’t want it anymore. On top of this, small C6 corps can get evicted fairly easy by big groups, then there is no recovering the hole.
Why is This Bad?
When you have three main groups holding all of the cards then there is no conflict. EVE Online is a conflict-fueled game and without it the game becomes boring. No one is currently at war with another in C6 space, and if you look at the zkillboard then it looks dead compared to other lower-classed holes. Also, if anyone tries to gank C6 ratting fleets or dreads that belong to a big group, over time it would build a bad reputation and the corp would probably get evicted. It is insanely hard to live in C6 space under the current conditions.
When you make it too risky to attack a few enemy ships without having the risk of a eviction then why would they bother with C6 space? This leaves an entire region, 120 systems strong, with little to no PVP activity.
There is a spectrum in EVE that determines the health of a region. There is too little of a population/power and there is too much of a population/power. Both result in extreme lack of PVP. We can see the left end with the drone regions and parts of lowsec where there are little to no players leading to a lack of PVP. We can see the right extreme with C6 space and places like Delve (Delve is pretty healthy right now, but the example is there is so many people that surviving is very hard in a small/solo PVP environment for someone who is roaming in the region). There is no room for small groups to do anything if it requires a blob to kill stuff, whether it be a 20-man remote rep Nestor gang or 12 Rorqs with supers in a belt, and this is bad.
I have a view that this may be inevitable in nullsec, and maybe even wormhole space. As groups get bigger, richer, and better at what they do, smaller groups won’t be able to survive; there just isn’t enough food to go around. More people will need to make ISK to fund their goals, so more space will be needed to accommodate. EVE Online players are greedy, and I like this game because of it. If you have the will, the ISK, and the power to take over multiple systems and extract hundreds of billions a month, you should be able to. It is the nature of the game that CCP created, and this may eventually lead to its death, but not anytime soon. The only way to slow down its demise is to stick in between the gaps and widen them. Eventually you fight, get crushed, or you might merge with a bigger group, but it’s worth a try.
I was playing through another game when I thought about this one. I was playing Rockstar’s Red Dead Redemption 2 when I realized that this happened in real life too. In the past it was a lot easier for people to make a name for themselves, and for the small guy to carve out a piece of the pie. It was a lot more violent back then, and like New Eden is now. Slowly as the population increases, there are more laws, rules, and people to enforce them. There will be less pie to go around, and instead of leading your own story adventures, you are working for someone else. I didn’t like feeling small in goons, which was a reason I left. Not everyone in goons feels that way, and a lot of people like it there, that’s why there are so many of them. Some people like to be more civilized; they like rules. I believe EVE Online in a lot of ways is like the wild west. The entire premise of the game is “No Rules.” But slowly, as more people move west, civilization comes with it.