EVE Online's latest Apocrypha expansion has elevated the exploration profession to new heights. The addition of roughly 2500 new and uncharted solar systems, expanding the game's galaxy of New Eden to over 7500 solar systems in total, brings what can honestly be called 'true exploration' to the sci-fi MMO.
Territoriality is a major aspect of EVE and wormholes allow players to emerge in far flung regions of New Eden -- sometimes places they're not supposed to be -- leading to all sorts of unexpected near-death experiences. Players have already reported emerging from wormholes and finding themselves hunted by the local territorial powers (player alliances claiming those regions of the galaxy) or by the NPC authorities, in those cases where players are involved in factional warfare. Some pilots have found themselves deep within enemy faction territory, leading to all kinds of insane chases across the galaxy.
It's exactly this element to EVE Online that caught the attention of WarCry's Steven Croop who writes, "The unfiltered tension and excitement that comes with getting genuinely lost for the first time in EVE is unmatched by anything I've done in known space for some time. I've been trapped - first on the wrong side of the galaxy, then from the frying pan to the fire of unknown space... I haven't a clue when I'll reach home, but it will be in true ghost ship fashion - abruptly spat back into a friendly system, laden with unimaginably valuable loot from unheard-of places."
In many respects, the new addition of wormholes and the gameplay that accompanies them hearkens back to an earlier time in EVE. The fact that wormhole space combines the lawlessness of 0.0 with greater risks (since you don't know if you're alone in there) captures some of how the game used to be. No Titans, no sovereignty, just open expanses of unclaimed space there to be exploited and plenty of unpredictability. As Croop puts it: "Less is more, expect the unexpected, and we're all probably going to die - all hallmarks of EVE from a younger age." The fact that these unknown reaches of space are also commingled with high security solar systems brings the potential for anyone, even solo players and high sec dwellers, to get in on the action.
For those of you who've had a chance to explore New Eden's wormholes, would you agree that the addition of true exploration has added a needed dimension of gameplay to EVE Online?