Wormhole exploration is perhaps the key feature that came to EVE Online with the Apocrypha expansion. Its 'true exploration' of thousands of uncharted solar systems can bring great rewards but also entails equally great risks. The Sleepers are the strongest NPCs that players can face in the game's setting of New Eden, adding to the challenge of taking them on is the fact that you may be hunted down by players at the same time. The delayed local channel in wormhole space ("w-space") means you won't know if you're really alone in the uncharted solar system until you find yourself being targeted and fired upon by a roving gang of hostiles.
Wormholes can also have tactical environments which affect how well your ship operates in that solar system, sometimes imposing penalties. Then factor in that wormholes are inherently unstable and can collapse once enough ships have passed through, and you've got a fair amount of unpredictability injected into your gameplay. Wormhole collapses have led to a number of EVE's capsuleers being stranded in unknown regions and unable to find a way back into known space ("k-space"), much less navigate their way home again. That's where "Wormhole Rescue Service" and its founder Astro Glyde can help.
She's identified the need for a new freeform profession in EVE Online and is advertising a useful service: "Prober get popped? All alone? lost? Head full of 5's? We can help. for a nominal fee WRS (Ticker: W911) can provide safe travel back to Empire for those lost and weary travelers in Sleeper space. Contact us when your hole is bust."
Seeing a growing need for this new profession, Wormhole Rescue Service is currently recruiting new pilots with the requisite exploration skills who are also seeking some adventure. "We offer *considerable* compensation packages to our members," Astro Glyde says.
This is just another example of how a game that doesn't restrict players to certain classes or professions can thrive, letting gamers define how they play. It's a safe bet that we'll be seeing more opportunities open up for EVE's capsuleers as more and more players venture through wormholes and into the unknown.
[Via EVE Online's ISD]