It has been a long-time dream of mine and many other players in EVE to carve out my own little haven in one of the lucrative systems in New Eden. This may have been possible when EVE was new but a year or so ago I found out the hard way that it's not really feasible any more. A corporation trying to lay claim to any of the 0.0 systems today will soon find themselves steamrolled by massive alliance fleets. With the advent of wormholes, however, it has become possible for a small corporation to live in its own lucrative star system relatively peacefully and that's a very exciting prospect for corporations that have ever wanted their own space.
Although it's not possible to claim sovereignty in the new wormhole systems or set up permanent outposts, it is possible to set up your own base there and unofficially lay claim to the system. A control tower can be anchored at any moon and various services such as ship hangers, ore refineries, factories and corp hangers can be anchored to it. In addition to providing a safe haven inside its massive protective shield, it can be used to store loot and ships for an entire corporation or alliance.
Since wormholes have mass limits and their entry points shift randomly throughout space, a large fleet would find it difficult or impossible to invade your chosen wormhole system. Most importantly, most wormholes are not big enough to allow capital ships through. This means that the POS guns will remain a sizeable risk to any fleet attempting to engage it and it will take an extremely long time to destroy it.
The area of EVE that has most greatly benefited from wormholes is of course exploration. The addition of 2500 new unexplored solar systems harks back to the early days of EVE when 0.0 was unexplored and unsettled. Unlike the addition of the rogue drone regions, however, these new systems cannot be carved up among the biggest megacorps and alliances or fought over with massive fleets. Since these systems are only accessible through wormholes, holding on to a system isn't something that's achievable with brute force and superiority of numbers.
The exploration adventure doesn't end with just colonisation of new systems. There's a whole slew of new combat encounters, anomalies and complexes full of sleeper ships to be found within these new wormhole systems. The challenges are immense but the rewards even more so There was even an unconfirmed report of players finding the wreck of an ancient Talocan battleship and salvaging it for hundreds of expensive salvage components.
The effect of wormholes being released in EVE has been far-reaching. Piracy and exploration have been massively re-invigorated. Corporate level system ownership is finally possible and the opportunity for small gang PvP is significantly higher in wormholes than in ordinary 0.0 systems. Even trade is being affected to a small degree as wormholes open up linking 0.0 systems with highsec or linking two highsec systems together. With over five years of playing EVE under my belt, I would go as far as to say that wormholes are the single greatest addition ever made to EVE's gameplay. This is a very exciting time to be a fan of EVE Online.
Brendan "Nyphur" Drain is an early veteran of EVE Online and writer of the weekly EVE Evolved column here at massively.com. The column covers anything and everything relating to EVE Online, from in-depth guides to speculative opinion pieces. If you want to message him, send him an e-mail at brendan.drain AT weblogsinc DOT com. I am way too excited about EVE at the moment!