Category Archives: Wormholes
I’ve been in Wormhole Space for a little under 2 years of playtime. About time we get down to having a look into those two years!
I left RvB in 2011 to join up with the Wormhole Engineers – a corp I had been recommended by someone or other. I was coming in from 6 months of solid PvP, with basic scan skills and little to no knowledge of wormhole space mechanics. Fortunately, my new corpmates and the internet had my back covered. What followed was one of the most intense learning periods I’ve undertaken in a video game.
The learning of wormhole space
Scanning. Signature sizes. Wormhole effects. Mass limits. Anomalies and sleepers. Hunting & directional scan. It was all a bit much. The twitch reactions and FC’ing skills I had gained in RvB were nothing compared to the game mechanics I had to learn. Add in needing to adjust to POS life (which at the time included copying bookmarks every time I logged in) and my mind almost imploded.
I never really covered the learning period in my blog at the time, choosing to focus on the hunting and killing aspects. Fortunately, the learning process never actually ended. Every other day I learn something new about wormhole space mechanics, or have to re-learn what was finely tuned thanks to CCP making changes to the probing systems in Odyssey. In order to help better my understanding, I actually started a wormhole guide (which is, for various reasons, on an indefinite hiatus). The writing of the first two parts of the guide allowed me to research further into some of the more confusing mechanics in order to lay them out in a way which was, hopefully, easier to understand for the newer explorers.
So the learning process was all well and good, but little compares to actually using the knowledge you have attained. For example, my first major test of using my d-scan knowledge came when trying to jump a pair of miners. I am fortunate to report it went well, and was my first actual application of probing from d-scan usage. Likewise, a similar event had me manage an industrial kill. These kills are not shiny, nor an example of elite piloting, but the two events were my first kills in wormhole space using the new mechanics and skills available to me and for this reason they’ll always be important.
The growing into wormhole space
As time goes on, your skills improve. This is not just true of your actual pilot skill (although some people are an exception to this rule) but also true of your character skills. As a result after 3 months of wspace I was soon in the Covert Ops Tengu which vastly increased my operational abilities during normal scouting. In addition, my corp was growing with their combat experience and willingness to engage. A push from me had us finally adopt voice communications (Ventrilo) which gave us much better reactions in combat. I was also able to start running C4 anomalies in our static, thanks to a second Tengu I had purchased, which allowed me to build a small buffer in ISK. My knowledge of mechanics had finally grown to a point where I no longer needed to ask in corp chat “how do I check a system effect” but as always, there was room for improvement.
The good news is my corpmates (and the alliance) were getting easier to fly with by the day. Constant banter, jokes and impromptu duels were cementing my faith in Wormhole Engineers and living in wormholes in general. Some new recruits had joined us as well, a couple of which would stay with us in the long haul (hello Firefly). The addition of Corp Bookmarks made our lives a lot easier to boot.
So it was all looking good. We were scoring kills and I was generally having a blast. My fun peaked after the Winter patch replaced the fuel for POS towers with the new Fuel Blocks. Many of you will have seen this story – Within hours after the new patch went live, I logged on and checked out our new wormhole chain. The resulting find netted me a carrier kill and a few billion in general loot. Easily one of the highlights of my EVE career.
Shortly after this though, my EVE life came to an abrupt pause. I moved country and with it my ability to play spaceships disappeared. I was off the grid for close to 6 months.
Ramping up the kills
After managing to return to Wormhole Engineers after my break, I found myself promoted from the evaluation corp into the main corp. Score. I now had access to the corp bookmarks which made my life a lot easier too.
The usual wormhole stuff continues, with my first few months back giving us some very interesting kills. It was time to amp the PvP skills up a bit. Killing 2 industrials in a group of three, with no ability to warp scramble them. We counter-baited a hostile gang in their home system, netting a Rattlesnake kill. A whole bunch of kills and other oddities occurred in August, including finding our Sister Wormhole (A Class 4 with several corpmates living there). We even opened a wormhole behind a hostile pilot we were trying to hunt. To add to this, we finally killed our first Capital ship in wormhole space.
Following the month of excitement, I finally got myself an upgrade in ships, trading my covops Tengu for a covops Proteus. Whilst much shorter range, it traded speed for a massively improved Tank with more DPS at 3km, which is where I would be when cloaked anyway. A flight of drones provided me with ECM capabilities which has, to date, saved my Proteus 3 times in the face of danger.
Later in the year, our shenanigans upped a notch by claiming a nullsec system (I think it lasted a week). We also fought off our first couple of attempted corp thefts, but our security was more than enough to stop anything more than a couple of ships being stolen. More notable kills came in the form of managing to decloak a Drake in nullsec and scoring another capital kill – this time in saving our own carrier, tackled when rolling a wormhole. One of my favourite fights in wormhole space to date!
My own skills were to a point where I was now satisfied. I knew the wormhole mechanics inside out. My probing was more than adequate, and we even popped a 10mn Slicer thanks to my probing.
Then it gets a bit worse.
The slow decline
It’s no secret that Wormhole Engineers has been suffering a slight activity issue. Most of our members had been struck by various real-life issues (myself included, hence the lack of posts here) so our EU timezone was looking a bit grim. We fired up recruitment and got a couple of new members along with our veteran members returning slowly, so our EU timezone is now up to what it was last August. So thank god for that.
However, there have been two very major changes to wormhole space that has caused me to start to fall out with it. Both brought on by CCP. You probably know what these are.
First off, CCP changed probing. They made it a lot easier, whilst removing some of the skill and the fidelity needed previously. Now this one is a bit of a mixed bag – I like the extra abilities (default formations, launch several probes at once) but simultaneously dislike other things. The reduced launch time makes it nigh-on impossible to catch ships when launching probes, for example. To be honest, I’m neither happy nor unhappy at the changes, but did prefer the older system.
Secondly, we have the new scanning overlay thing. I love it… in k-space. In wormhole space it’s a goddamn pain in the arse. Gone are the days when you could catch a ratting fleet unawares with a new wormhole. Before they had to have a probe up, with someone hitting “probe” and checking it for new signatures. You get lazy and forget to probe, you possibly die. Now the game does it for you, you just have to keep the window open. We have not had a single kill against a sleeper-ratting ship from a new wormhole since the expansion. We’ve jumped others of course, but those situations are independent of this change. There’s a lot more that annoys me with this auto-scanner in wormhole space, and my corpmate Penny has a brilliant post here which sums it up nicely.
So all of that brings us to today. I’ve had a blas so far and hope to continue doing so. I feel I’ve reached the peak in my actual wormhole knowledge, but still plenty to improve on in combat (don’t warp to bubbled gates in a Guardian, dammit). My interest in w-space has declined lately thanks to the issues above, but it’s turning around. My overall playtime has dropped like a rock thanks to recent events out of game, but there’s not a lot I can do there.
So that’s 2 years. Onto the next one.
It’s patch day for the Odyssey expansion. You know what that means? Bugs. It also means new probing mechanics. Time to put them to the test!
First up, the new sensor overlay.
Fortunately, as much as I dislike some of the simplification of probing, being able to launch all 8 probes at once speeds up my scanning significantly. Add in the fact that all probes move together, rendering my shift key redundant, I’m able to probe my way through the chain with ease.
And what a chain it is.
There’s wormholes everywhere, and almost every system has probes somewhere. Wormhole space is the busiest I’ve seen it for weeks!
Whilst still doing the initial mapping of the chain, I finally nab one of the interlopers. I jump into C2a from the Lowsec. I drop probes and start probing. My first hit is a wormhole. I’m landing in less than 90 seconds from my initial jumpin. As I land, the wormhole flares.
Time to wait.
Meanwhile, Van has logged on and is inquiring about two Drakes on scan in our home system. There were no wormholes in home when I set off, so perhaps there’s a new inbound. We don’t even need probes to check, and we’re able to see a new signature. The two Drakes are in our
Rada Relic site. Those bastards!
We warp in to find two Drakes of Hard Knocks hacking the site, spewing cans everywhere. ST logs in to join us as we spring our trap, but only catch one Drake who ejects his pod anyway. Oh well. Still got one kill. I scan the inbound C5 as they jump an Arazu into us. We’ve long vacated the site, so he’ll find nothing to catch right now.
I jump into their C5 to find a lone Talos waiting. I engage it, tanking it easily. It tries to break range but we jump an Enyo through to hold tackle and knock it out. Score one. Meanwhile, d-scan just lit up with a bunch of Taloses and a Tengu. Probably a boosting Tengu, too. We jump a Cane in and engage with our 3 ships as we prepare more. We kill a second Talos but any others we primary just jump away. Our Enyo pulls out, as do I but our Hurricane (still full of the Relic loot) goes down. Bugger.
Whilst I reship to an Absolution, we warp in a Thanatos, Orca, and a second Abso. Van’s Proteus shows up too. They jump in as I warp back, but a misstep and poor luck gets our Orca killed out of jump range. Hell. They’ve deployed more ships, a Sabre, Drake, Gnosis and two Scimitars to boot. We jump in our 2 Absos, the Proteus and warp an Armageddon in as the fight escalates. Pop goes the next Talos. We get the Gnosis to structure in seconds but he jumps away. Damn it.
Next Talos falls just as easy, but a Falcon decloaks and jams the carrier, forcing our Amargeddon to jump away. Not out of the fight yet, we kill a fifth Talos as our Thanatos manages to relock us. A Myrm has landed, but both our Absos keep getting jammed and unable to chase it down. The Thanatos gets jammed again and our other Absolution explodes into the void as a result.
The hostile Drake explodes as a Naga and Tornado pop up, along with an Oracle. The Tornado is next.
The Tornado marks our last kill as the jams on our 3 ships are getting quite constant.
Finally, a Moros lands and starts tearing our Thanatos a new hole, so we simply jump away and roll the wormhole, ending the fight as quickly as it had started. Cheers for the fun fight, Hard Knocks!
Battle Report – missing their Scimitars, Falcon and Moros.
A quick tale for you people who bother to read.
Last night, we attempted to launch an assault on some site runners in a Class 4 wormhole, only to have the critical-mass wormhole collapse with a token force inside. No big deal, so I decided to scan out today, link up with them and we could continue the assault. Easy.
Our C4 static leads me to an end-of-life C4b, which leads to… an end of life C4c. No big deal. I scan that to find… an end of life C6a. This looks more promising but gives me 2 end of life Nullsecs, an EOL C5a static and an inbound C4d. I decide to head home and await for the wormholes to die naturally, only to find C4b -> C4c has collapsed.
The C5a leads to another C6 and, quite frankly, “fuck that”. I decide to check out the C4d inbound. Maybe there’s an inbound there?
The good news is I find a C2a inbound. The better news is that there’s a highsec static there! The utterly fantastic news is that there’s sleeper wrecks on scan. There’s also a Thrasher.
Launch probes out of range. Use Directional-scan to locate the site. Probes dropped at 1 au. Thrasher hit. Warp drive active.
I decloak and burn at the Thrasher, popping drones ready.
Then the Thrasher warps and a new contact appears on overview. A Manticore bomber has decloaked 15km from me and… I’m pointed. Shit.
D-scan lights up with a host of ships, so I lock and burn at the Manticore. He starts moving away but at afterburner speeds, and it’s moments before my drones, scram and guns are on him. Within seconds, he pops. As my drones return, the hostiles land on grid. I cloak and hit warp to a random Custom’s Office at range. Better luck next time gents.
There’s activity on scan as I log in. I’m alone in the alliance channel, yet an Ares and combat probes light my directional scan. Interesting. There’s an inbound C5 a few hours old, so I kick the warp drive into gear and head over to check it out. I’m met with a fight.
Two other alliances are currently engaged in combat. In my home! The cheeky gits. It looks like Sleeper Social Club are engaging another force of ships belonging to The Laughing Men. Unable to intervene in any meaningful way, I sit and watch for a few minutes. I do not know the source of either fleet, but my playtime is limited and I am content to watch them fight. I see just one ship (of Laughing Men) die during my time here before a larger SSC force jumps through and they all warp off. A few SSC ships return to loot the wrecks and drones before departing, leaving my home as quiet as before. I choose this moment to safe up and log out.
Some hours later, Silent Terror and Firefly log in. Upon seeing the inbound, they decide to be done with it. I’m told Firefly asked “ST, help me roll this wormhole”.
A quick scout revealed nothing unusual, and they began the rolling process, dropping a Thanatos to close the wormhole for good, leading to a nice quiet system.
Or so we thought.
As our Thanatos jumped home, a new contact appeared on d-scan. A Vigilant had just landed on grid with our Carrier. ST promptly found himself pointed. As it turns out, we had missed an inbound. This mistake could cost us dearly.
As ST begins maneuvering and applying ECM drones, multiple hostile ships land on grid. It’s The Laughing Men, and they fully intend to do away with their prey. A trio of Guardians with various Tech 3 and Recon support lands and completes the ambush. The battle is on.
Not content to watch his friend die, Firefly commits a Loki and a Tengu into the fight, using the Carrier’s remote repairs to try to pressure the opposition away from the Carrier. Meanwhile, ST is busy gathering our forces. I get a message. It has two words. “PvP. Now”
Dropping the PS3 controller (Battlefield 3, yo) I log in alongside Mick, Splut, Lykwidian and Barrak. Our initial plan involves ECM. Lots of ECM. We’re going to jam out the hostile tackle and extract the carrier – we have no eyes or scan of the enemy wormhole and their fleet is increasing by a ship a minute, so we’d like to avoid losing it. We launch 4 Falcons into warp and await a good opportunity to strike. Unfortunately, a Mistake Was Made and 2 of the Falcons miswarped, decloaking early. One Falcon goes down whilst the others bail off field. Plan A is marked as a failure.
Fortunately, we have a plan B – we commit a second Thanatos onto the field and hit them with armour dps, using a Scorpion as an ECM platform to try and break the Guardian chain. Lacking my Absolution (I lost another one) I grab an old Myrmidon for myself. We gear up and send in the second Thanatos first, with our fleet not far behind.
First up? The Curse. We landed about 14km away and promptly blow it up before his repairs land. The pod escapes, likely to reship, and we choose a Guardian as the next primary. Our own Scorpion is primaried and explodes before we can repair it. The Guardian dips into low armour before repairs catch on. Dammit. Our two Carriers are keeping ourselves up nicely now, but the enemy have made no move to disengage. They must have an ace up their sleeve. Disregarding the first Guardian, we swap targets to the Oneiros only to get it to 75% structure before the reps land. Moving quick, we swap all DPS to the original Guardian. The swap catches them off guard (hah) and the first Guardian explodes. We burn down the second Guardian and take it down too. The third Guardian warps off as the Oneiros meets his end.
A silence falls over Mumble as we move towards the next target. A new hostile has landed. “Dreadnaught on grid”. A Phoenix has just landed and began his Siege cycle. This is their ace.
As we start plinking at the Tempest Fleet Issue, a lone Guardian also lands on grid. D-Scan reveals three more. We burn our guns to finish the Tempest and the Loki as the Guardians land. 2 of them burn to range but 2 remain close and we pull the same trick as before, alternating targets to catch one out. We succeed in killing the first. As we start on the second new Guardian, the other remaining two warp, as does the Bhaalgorn – some ECM drones successfully allowing it to evade.
The last Guardian dies and we start clearing up the remaining subcaps. Our first Thanatos is now dipping into structure, but the remaining enemy subcaps no longer have it pointed, so it simply warps away. Op success?
Only a few enemy ships remain and the Phoenix is firmly in Siege, so we eliminate the remaining Proteus and Onyx. Our remaining Carrier is starting to buckle and the tank is failing, so we warp it out too.
Finally, only the Phoenix remains. He exits Siege and tries to warp but is pointed, so he re-sieges. Confident he is not going anywhere, we warp a few people out to prepare some new ships. I grab my Proteus and start scanning for that possible inbound as we ready *our* ace in the hole. Our ace is 4 of our own Dreadnaughts.
The EVE-Kill Battle Report is here but does not include our original Falcons, nor 2 of the hostile Guardians we killed (because they were the same pilots). You can check our alliance kills and losses for a better picture.
All in all, a really fun fight. I’ve never been prouder of our alliance. I honestly thought we were going to end the night down a Carrier. Props to The Laughing Men as well for having the balls to commit such a fleet into an enemy-controlled system.
My corpmates have been busy – they managed to secure a few kills earlier in the afternoon whilst I was at work, the gits. I’ve logged on to reports that the Tengu gang have reformed with a Tornado gang plus a HIC in support. They also have a Probe frigate in our home scanning away.
We know they’ve reshipped to Tornados because one of our own tried to snipe one and met his end in the process. They’re in our C4 static, sat on another C4 wormhole. Well, they’re actually about 30km off, so we assemble a fleet to hit them. We pile up a fleet on the C4 wormhole only to hear that the enemy fleet has warped away from their position, along with their Deimos. Curses. There’s another C4 in there, which is probably their home.
Imagine our surprise when this sniping Tornado gang lands on the other side of our wormhole and jumps in.
They realize their mistake immediately and jump everything back. What does this do? Polarise them.
Their Tornados sport no tank whatsoever and are practically volley’d into their Capsules.
We clear the field with no trouble and head home. Their Probe pilot smacks us a bit in local, but no to real avail. Battle Report.
It’s time for this week’s Ganked Roam. I pod myself to kspace and grab a Hookbill. The theme today is “Faction Frigates & Cruisers”
We decide to hit Lowsec first and promptly run straight into Fweddit who drop 40 Thrashers on us.
The brave Fweddit gang were, however, outgunned somewhat. We wiped their fleet with no losses.
We moved on, killing Poetic Stanziel again in another system.
Finally, we killed a smartbombing Typhoon and his Slave Pod. Sadly, I had to bail at this point and was not able to follow into Nullsec. Hence this only being a short summary.
Overall, not a bad night!