In our first wormhole, we flat-out brought too many ships, most of which were backup hulls that got assembled but which were never fit or (worse) which were assembled and fit with modules, but then never (or rarely) flown.
Part that over-preparedness came from the fact that we expected to lose more ships than we did. All told, we lost five -- only one of which was a combat ship and none of which went down as part of the Sleeper combat that we engaged in 90% of the time.
I'm pretty sure that every pilot in the wormhole had at least three PvE ships ready to go, which in most cases was two more than most of us ever needed. In any case, if you do lose a PvE ship, it's unlikely that your next move is going to be to get into another one and race back into the fight; you probably got mugged by another player (or players) while shooting sleepers, and would therefore want to reship into something made for PvP. And if you got blown up by the sleepers, odds are good you were already in your 'best' ship, so reshipping into a backup is a good way to lose two ships in quick succession, right?
Conclusion: one PvE ship. Maybe one backup PvE ship per 2 pilots. Maybe.
My main problem with PvP isn't that I don't know what to do, it's that I don't know what I like to do. Consequently, I tend to want a bunch of different kinds of ships to try different stuff out and experiment. Eventually, when I've put as much time into PvP as I have PvE, I'm sure there will be some particular ship I prefer to fly over all others, but that hasn't happened yet. So: more than a few ships needed here, because you never quite know what you'll need.
Still, no reason they can't be smaller ships...
Conclusion: Think small, or at least think cheap. Arbitrary restriction: All your PvP ships should be able to fit inside an Orca at the same time. No more than one battlecruiser, a cruiser, some fun frigates, and 'utility' or role stuff like stealth bombers and electronic warfare.
Man... we had... a dozen mining barges in the tower. At least. Probably more. Add to that at least a couple mining cruisers for the guys that can't fly the barges. Something like 50 or a 100 mining drones that were in there just as replacements.
In two months, I can count the number of times ANYONE did any mining on one hand, and I don't think that we ever went mining as a group operation. There's almost always some more productive way to spend your time.
Conclusion: Until we're in some kind of situation where an organized, multi-pilot mining op is going to happen, mining in a wormhole just isn't worth it the player-time. In fact, even if an op like that is going to happen, it probably still isn't worth it. I'd have more fun playing bodyguard or flying the ore hauler back and forth from the tower and watching d-scan. Leave the mining ships home.
This, on the other hand, is actually kinda fun. There's no designated gas harvesting ship, so you can kind of fly whatever trips your fancy. Also, getting your skills up to maximum effectiveness is relatively quick and easy even for a bonehead like Ty.
Still, with all that said, there's no reason to bring more than one of these ships; if you're even half-awake you should be able to keep out of trouble -- it's not like the mining modules require a lot of attention: you run em til the hold is full, fly back to the tower, unload, repeat. What else are you going to do in there except watch d-scan?
Conclusion: One ship per pilot.
If you lose one of these, it's because you got attacked by someone. In that situation, there is no sane reason to get right back into another one and try again. When the coast is clear, you can fly your dumb ass back out to known space and buy a new one. Call it the Flight of Shame.
And that's it. In the first wormhole, we had almost two full hangars worth of ships. On this go-round, we're aiming for one quarter of that. Per pilot, the list includes:
- One covert ops ship or at least a scanning frigate. Most important ship on the list, bar none.
- One PvE ship that you know can tank most everything you'll fight.
- Maybe a backup PvE ship. Maybe.
- No more than one Orca-load of PvP options.
- A gas harvester.
- Some kind of industrial hauling ship
Finally, round things off a few utility ships like salvagers and some backup scanning frigates for just-in-case, and throw in one scary-looking battleship whose only real purpose it to help your Orca collapse a wormhole.
I wrap up my list and find I'm pretty happy with it. What I'm even happier about is that my wormhole sales agent has found me a buyer who's offering over 30% more than what I'd hoped to get for the location of our old wormhole. We finalize the deal, with the agent acting as a neutral third part trusted with the money until the deal completes. Tira scans the new exit from the old wormhole, gives the information to the buyer, who races over to claim his prize. He's happy with what he sees, and I'm more than satisfied with the isk dropping into our corporation wallet, so that chapter of our wormhole adventures is well and truly done.
I'd like to turn around and hand the wormhole sales money out as pure profit to our pilots, but we have some shopping to do first. In addition to some unnecessary ships, we selected a fairly non-optimal tower last time -- one that gave us bonuses to modules we never ended up using -- so we need a new tower, and the specialized fuel to keep it running.
I head to Dodixie in my Mammoth-class industrial hauler to do the shopping, and while I'm poking through the market I get channel invite from the pilots who are already living in the wormhole we'll be moving to. They're happy to learn we've decided to make the move, and want to know how they can help.
I take a look at my list, make note of who's online, and decide to spread the Move-In over as many days as I can to avoid fatigue. Right now, thanks to just getting done with the take-down, Berke's Orca and Bre's Iteron IV have pretty much everything we need to set up a basic tower with a few defenses. All I need to do is scout the way and ask our new flatmates for some bodyguard duty when we get close. (The new system has a persistent connection to lowsec, rather than highsec, which will cut down on traffic, but which creates some interesting logistics challenges, due to the added risk.)
"We're on the way with the basics," I tell them. "Give me an hour." It's getting late, and I'm already tired, but I have no intention of setting up anything this evening -- I just want to get stuff on-site, so I can start putting the walls up tomorrow.
My Cheetah cov-ops, an Iteron hauler, and an Orca industrial command ship makes for an odd looking convoy, but we make good time, and in less than an hour I'm looking at the red sun of our new home.
"Do you guys want to park the ships in our tower for the night?" Dirk, the CEO of the other corp asks.
My cov-ops Shufti is already hidden, and a few seconds later both Bre's Magic Wand and Berke's Monolith activate cloaks and fade from view.
"No need," I answer, "but thanks."
"No problem. You need anything else?"
I grin. "It's just good to be here."