As of yesterday, the cat is out of the bag and pretty much the entire EVE blogging community now knows that Treenara Mazouk, more commonly known as Crazy Kinux, will now be flying for ChaosStorm Corporation. Apparently CK was looking for a new challenge after spending so much time as a pure carebear, and while W-space life is not the same as living in contested space in 0.0, or with a pure PvP-only corp, CK had a good example of the W-space lingo flying left and right as he got acquainted with what we're up to in Chaos Central. To quote him, we were speaking a special dialect of Chinese!
This leads me to the point of this post: what do you need to learn to have a comfortable life in W-space, i.e. "what the frak is CK getting himself into?!" :)
In a universe where the "gates" are constantly changing places, having good astrometric skills is a no-brainer, and it's been documented enough by various W-space bloggers like Letrange, the Planet Risk crew, etc. The general idea is 4/4/4/4 in Astrometrics, Astrometric Acquisition, Astrometric Pinpointing and Astrometric Rangefinding. Once you have that finding wormholes and exploration sites will never be an issue again. As I've said before the mechanics of scanning have been well documented before so a quick search on Google should allow anyone to find a good guide.
PvE tanking skills
Sleepers are not your usual belt or mission rats. If a ship isn't tanked properly these guys will chew it up and laugh at it; I wish they would also smack in Local but that's just me! With proper skills the normal combat sites (the ones at 100% on the first scan and/or that can be found using the on-board scanner) are doable in a battlecruiser or tanked HAC in C1 and C2 systems, and maybe a command ship or with a buddy for Radar and Mag sites. Gallente pilots like Treenara have to know that Sleepers love to snack on drones. Direct fire weapons or missiles is the way to go about dealing damage. A newcomer also has to know that Sleepers deal all kinds of damage, and usually lots of it, so active tanks with omni-resists are de rigueur. When you start going into C3 and C4 systems, this is battleship, command ship and strategic cruiser territory, in gang with remote repairs if possible, and C5-C6 is capital ship territory. So yes, my own Sleipnir is a bit overkill for C1 and C2 sites, although there's is no such thing as overkill, but sites die really fast and I switch to my salvager faster, thus more ISKies.
No, I'm not talking about the dreary bashing of towers and defences, though that can happen from time to time. W-space has no stations and the only place to live out there is the corp POS. Because there are no personnal hangars W-space life is pretty much communism to the extreme. Of course everyone makes his own ISK by looting and salvaging Sleeper wrecks but this gets put into cans named after the pilots and the contents get hauled to Hi-sec markets on a regular basis. Stuff we leave in the corp hangar can be considered common to everyone depending on roles given out by the directors. The ship maintenance array is nothing but a corp garage. Trust is VERY important and the rule of thumb is to log out in your most valuable ship; If you have an Orca that can hold multiple ships, log out in that.
Another part of POS life that I haven't yet experienced much is the use of the research and manufacture labs; I'll need to sit down with Let and a good glass of Scotch for that one! Basically, when you have a POS that has more labs and defences than a regular Hi-sec station, you just cannot have everything online at the same time. So stuff gets turned on and off depending on need. And last but far from least, my favorite part...
Let there be no mistake or misconception: W-space is 0.0. You have no idea how often people forget this little fact, even yours truly when he's tired! So as with 0.0 in K-space, The PvP will happen. Trespassers who may or may not be noob alt scouts for bigger gangs have to be snuffed out. When a bigger gang does "settle in" and harasses, it must be dealt with by a serious gang with a serious FC. When you find a mining or PvE ship "minding his own business" in a neighboring system, it must be taught a lesson. So to do all this you have to get familiar with PvP lingo and the tools of the trade like tackler frigates, interceptors, Cov Ops ships with combat probes, interdictors and mobile warp disruption bubbles, and most importantly comm discipline. OK, killing a lone T1 probing frigate may not sound very complex but when more than 2 people get involved in a fight a leader has to take the reins. And when going up against more than 2 ships primary targets have to be called and fire must be concentrated, and jams must be called.
Another aspect of W-space PvP is called Wormhole Control, or Wormhole-Fu. This is the act of closing unwanted wormholes on purpose, especially when you think that flying around in the neighboring system can be the equivalent of poking a hornet's nest. It takes a good knowledge of wormholes to make sure you do it just right and not become trapped in with the hornets. WH-Fu is also very useful when dealing with an intruder gang as it can not only deprive the gang of possible reinforcements, but it can also trap someone into an ambush with no way out if done right. This tactic is still theoretical so far but I would give good money to have the opportunity to try it. Any volunteers? >:)
Of course like anything in EVE, the best way to learn is by practice and trial and error. Living in a 0.0 environment does help because you can try all sorts of tactics and have a good idea if they work or not. The main important thing about living in W-space is to have the hability to switch from Carebear to Kodiak in the blink of an eye.
To me, W-space is one of the best places to live in EVE. It's calm enough for one to be able to do his own thing, but you have to be on high alert the majority of the time if you don't want to lose, say, a 300 million ISK ship! There are no massive blobfests because the wormholes just can't let anything that big through, but once in a while you do have gang action, and even people who put up their own POSes in your backyard. There is usually sites to run but if not there is always neighboring systems to visit, which may or may not be occupied. Yep, W-space is a fun place :))
All that said, welcome aboard CK, and may your stay in LCSC be a good one!