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Wormholing Part 2 – Wormholes opening & closing, polarisation and wormhole chains

Welcome to Part 2 of this wormhole guide. This will cover wormhole statics, mass limits, polarization and wormhole mapping.

Statics

As mentioned in Part 1, every wormhole system in the game has what we call a “static” wormhole. If this wormhole ever closes, a new one of a similar type will spawn after about 60 seconds. What do I mean by “similar type”? All statics are also assigned a Wormhole Class or K-Space. This  means that a wormhole system with a “Class 2 Static” will always have a wormhole leading to a Class 2. A “Highsec Static” wormhole will always lead to Highsec. The system the Static leads to obviously changes, but gives you an idea of where it will lead to.

If you ever get stuck in a wormhole, look for the Static. Want to know what Static your wormhole has?  You can use a site such as Wormhol.es to check! Want to know if the wormhole you found is the Static? See if the Wormhole Designation matches Wormhol.es or check this list for reference. Here’s a handy tutorial:

I’m in a wormhole. Designation J121941. I need to find the Static, since Wormhol.es tells me…

2012.12.16.22.45.4512

Highsecs are good, so I scan down the first wormhole I find. I find this.

dK9oV2

Whilst this obviously doesn’t match the static, we might be able to glean some information from this. Checking “K162” on here tells us it’s a generic Exit Wormhole. We could get more information from the wormhole itself, but it’s not what we were looking for. Best keep scanning.

The next wormhole is what we want.

HighsecS

Bingo.

Statics are not the only wormholes you can find, as we just discovered.

Inbound Wormholes & Roaming Wormholes

Say a friend jumps into wormhole. What does it look like in the system he jumped into? It’ll say “K162“. Wormholes that spawn in a system always get their unique Designation – N110 and E175 are two examples – whereas wormholes that do not originally spawn in your system are always labelled K162. That means someone found the other side. A K162 can appear at any time as wormholes shift every minute so keep an eye out!  You can also find wormholes that are neither K162 or Static.

“Roaming” or “Random” wormholes are exactly what they say on the tin. Wormholes can (and will), spawn random connections. Roaming wormholes usually lead out to K-Space, but can lead to other wormhole systems too. These tend to be rarer than K162s, depending on your wormhole Class. Class 4s, for example, do not have kspace connections and as such tend to never have Roaming Outbound wormholes.

So, to recap.

Static Outbound – A wormhole type that is always present. Will always lead to a certain class of wspace or kspace depending on your system. Spawns a new one elsewhere in your system when it closes.

Random Outbound – A wormhole that can appear anywhere, anytime. Tends to lead to High, Low or Null. Fairly uncommon.

Inbound – A K162 wormhole that has been opened from the entrance side. Will be a Static or Random on the other side. Origin system varies.

Wormhole Spawning

I’ve mentioned wormholes “opening” on the entrance side. There’s a subtle science to this. What determines when the exit K162 wormholes appears in the destination wormhole? Is it just when the wormhole spawns?

No.

When a new wormhole “spawns” it has not actually spawned. When you scan a wormhole, it still has not spawned. The K162 has not appeared and the wormhole-time limit is not ticking down. Only when someone initiates warp to a new wormhole does it spawn. At that point, the K162 appears in the end system and the wormhole time limit starts counting.

This is especially important to note because this means you can “close off” a system by closing existing wormholes (more on this in a minute)  and then scanning the new one but not warping to it. No Static wormhole. No inbound wormholes. Closed off. Mostly. K162s and Roaming wormholes could still appear and any enemy ships trapped with you could activate the Static instead. But it’s as close as you can get.

Wormhole Closing

So we know how wormholes open. They appear and you warp to it. So how do we close them?

Wormholes have two “attributes” that effect when they close. Time and Mass. This can be checked by getting the wormhole designation and checking on here again.

Time is fairly simple but not exact. It’s nothing we can change. A N110 wormhole has a 24 hour timer. Roughly 24 hours after opening, it closes. Simple. What happens if you didn’t open the wormhole and don’t have the open time? You can get an estimation, of course! Simply click “Show Info”. It will say one of three things;

  • “Life cycle has not begun” – Brand new wormhole. You’ve literally warped to it as it was spawning.
  • “Probably won’t last another day” – Normal life cycle. Means it has over 25% time left.
  • “Reaching the end of its natural lifetime” – Less than 25% of it’s time remaining

Mass is where Capsuleers come in. Like time, a wormhole starts with a mass “allowance”. As ships jump, the mass depletes. When the mass hits 0, the wormhole collapses. We can use this to our advantage. We can force wormholes to close (spawning a new static, perhaps) or get it to a point where anything jumping will collapse it, leaving them trapped. Like Time, this can be checked on that wormhole list (click the wormhole type). From here, it’s a case of “Maths”. Fortunately, there’s some awesome tricks we use to help with this. First you need a ship’s mass, which you can find in the Show Info window of your ship.

mass1Here my Proteus has 11,341,000 Mass. We’ll shorten that to 11.3. That means we’d need to jump it around 265 times through a N770 wormhole to close it, since a N770 has 3 Billion Mass (3000). That’s fine, because a Proteus is a Cruiser and has small mass. An Orca will have about 250,000,000 mass (250). That takes 12 jumps. Then you turn on a Propulsion Mod (Afterburner or Microwarpdrive). This takes the Proteus to 16.3. An Orca goes to 300 with a MWD. Down to 10 jumps with an Orca, or 5 “Return” jumps. Getting somewhere. We can’t jump constantly due to Polarisation (explained shortly), but it’s do-able. We can add Battleships to the mix as well. To make sure you don’t lose anyone, you want to jump the big ship back last to strike the “killing blow” and close the wormhole. How do you tell when to jump the big ship back? Just like Time, you can find Mass approximations in Show Info.

  • “Has not yet had its stability significantly disrupted” – Over 50% mass left.
  • “Has had its stability reduced, but not to a critical degree yet” – Known as “Halved”, the wormhole has under 50% mass remaining.
  • “This wormhole has had its stability critically disrupted by the mass of numerous ships passing through and is on the verge of collapse.” – Known as “Crit”, the wormhole has less then 10% of it’s mass.

Keeping track of the wormhole when jumping gives you clues on your progress or the mass of ships that came before. When you think you’re getting close to “Crit”, you’ll want to use smaller ships. It’s a good idea to keep an Orca (or Carrier!) on the far side of the wormhole, then jumping back when the wormhole Crits. This will normally collapse it, since the Orca’s mass is more than the 5% the wormhole has left when it Crits.

But what if you’re unsure, and the wormhole is really close to being Crit? Or what if your big ship didn’t close the wormhole so it’s really close to death? There’s an amazing trick. Amazing, I tell you. This tip is free of charge! It’s a little bit advanced, but fairly simple at the end of the day.

You need a Heavy Interdictor with 2 Warp Disruption Generators. These reduce mass when active by a lot. Here’s a Phobos normally.

MassPhobos19.2 Mass before MWD. We could jump it through an almost-collapsed wormhole, but it’d be risky. Let’s activate both bubbles.

MassPhobos2A much easier 1.1. We can jump out with little fear of collapse (though it can happen) and jump back with the MWD on, hopefully collapsing it!

To recap;

Time Limits – Cannot be changed by Capsuleers. Can be estimated based on wormhole limit and “Show Info” display.

Mass Limits – Generally limits the amount of ships that can use a wormhole. Can be manipulated to close a wormhole or leave it so close to collapse that noone jumps.

You can find even more in-depth information about collapsing wormholes on Tiger Ears here.

Polarisation

Jumping into a wormhole has a nasty little effect. Wormhole jump range is 5,000m. You tend to end up anywhere from 200 to 7000 meters from the wormhole when you load system. What then is in place to prevent constant jumping in the face of a hostile fleet? Polarisation.

If you jump the same wormhole twice within 5 minutes, you are polarised  and cannot jump that wormhole any more until 5 minutes after the initial jump. There is no onscreen timer unless you try jumping when Polarised. Be aware.

Wormhole chains & Mapping

A wormhole can lead to a wormhole system. This wormhole can then lead to another wormhole. Then another. Maybe a kspace. Maybe another wh. The link between these systems, however temporary, creates a “Wormhole Chain”. We can then use several tools to map it for easy reference. You can do it manually or use one of many tools to do so. Siggy is one such tool.

Mapping a chain depends on your corp. Some use Siggy. Some use a Google Document. Naming schemes vary too since calling every sysem by it’s actual name would get tiresome. Say your static is a Class 4. That wormhole is now C4a. The next one is a Class 3, so that’s C3b. The next is another Class 4 – C4b. So on.

Take our chain yesterday for example;

2012.12.17.00.11.41We use Siggy, so this is what you’d see if you used it. Obviously it can differ. Just for demonstration purposes, you can see this is a fairly basic chain. The C1 has not been custom named, hence it displaying as such. Chains can get a lot more complex. Take this old one from a few months ago.

constellation48This is a good example of how many wormholes you can actually find. One leads to many. There are two C3as, but that’s because one was mislabeled when I created it. Always have a way of mapping – imagine trying to navigate that chain without a guide! If you’re looking to try Siggy, check their info page here.

To recap

Chains – Refers to the current link of wormholes to your location. Can be just a couple, can be a lot!

Mapping – Refers to a diagram or list of current wormhole connections. Vital for navigation and reference.

That’s all for this post. As usual, notify me via EVE Mail or comment if you notice a mistake or have a suggestion for a future post. The next post will cover Scanning, Anomalies and Directional Scan.

Wormholing Part 1 – The Basics

This is the first post in a short series in “How to Wormhole”. To put it another way; “How to fail as bad as I do”

This initial post will cover the basics, involving wormhole types, differences between Wormhole Space and Normal Space and  How To Deal With No Local. Covers a brief explanation of most the mechanics, which will be explained in more depth in later posts. There’s even some terminology thrown in. You’re welcome.

First draft. Expect improvements as people point out any mistakes.

Introduction – The differences between here and there

In the wonderful game world of EVE, you may have heard of wormholes. You may not have. You will have heard of High Security space. Perhaps even Low Security or even Null Security if you’re really adventurous. There also exists this magical 4th dimension of EVE. It is an area without stargates. An area without local. An area that can print you ISK. An area where you can be terrible and sometimes people do not find out. This is wormhole space.

Wormhole space is commonly abbreviated as “wspace“. The rest of EVE – places like Jita, Old Man Star and UMI-KK are all classified as “Known Space” or even as “kspace“. Bear these abbreviations in mind – I use them constantly.

The differences between wspace and kspace are far more varied than that of Null -> Low -> High Security space. There are, however, 2 primary differences;

1. Wspace has no Local

All of kspace have access to the “Local” chat channel – a channel that shows you, instantly, the players in your star system. It may not show their ships, skills or exact location in system but you know they are online and in the same system. They could be AFK or docked in a station, but they are there and they know you’re there too. Wormhole space still has a Local chat channel, but it is not updated with the players in the system. This means, unless you see them, you have no idea if a pilot is there. He could be watching you. He’s watching you read this. He’s preparing his fleet. There is no escape. Oh god.

You do show in the Local channel is you type into it, however. Doing so can give other pilots hidden in the system valuable intel on you. Such as the fact you are there. Nevertheles it is still used between opposing parties – usually following a fight to show appreciation for the engagement.

The lack of local makes for perfect hunting territory whilst ensuring anyone willing to venture the depths of a wormhole needs to keep a close eye on their scanners. More on using this for combat in a later post.

2. Wspace has no Stargates

You know how you navigate between star systems? Those giant spaceship-propelling celestial stargates? Wspace doesn’t have those. Instead, travel through wormhole systems is made possible by, well, wormholes. Semi-random (more on that later) gateways to other star systems, both wspace and kspace. Wormholes open semi-randomly, in random locations in a system. Wormholes must be scanned – you cannot just warp to them from anywhere. In addition, wormholes close depending on time passed since it opening and the amount of mass pushed through. Imagine jumping a fleet of 5 Battlecruisers into a star system, only to find your way home has disappeared 30 minutes later. Not camped. Not dangerous. Gone.

Whilst every wormhole system has a wormhole, there is no telling where it might lead. Each day brings a new destination and new targets. This is a major appeal to most wspace pilots, obviously.

The fact that wormholes also close on mass prevents massive blobbing of ships. When you can only fit 15 battleships through one wormhole, it’s difficult to field fleets of 100. Wormhole fights tend to be quite small. More on wormhole travel in a later post.

———

There are many other differences between wspace and kspace including;

  • No stations – You live in a Player Owned Structure (POS Tower) or you roam. No stations to dock in.
  • Unique NPCs – Wspace plays host to the unique Sleeper NPCs – the toughest, meanest NPCs you’ll ever fight.
  • Unique loot – Wspace contains, courtesy of Sleepers, unique materials primarily used for Tech 3 production.
  • Aggression mechanics similar to Nullsec – Attack anyone, anywhere. Expect them to shoot back.
  • No Supercaps/Cyno fields – Whilst it is possible to get capitals into a wormhole through various means, supercaps (Titans, Supercarriers) cannot enter. In addition, Capital ships cannot jump to cynosural fields in wspace.
  • System wide wormhole effects – The wormhole you’re in could raise your shields, lower your gun damage or even make you overheat faster.
  • No Asteroid or Ice belts – Wspace features no traditional belts but instead has a bunch of Mining sites you can scan down.
  • Unique system names – All of wspace has a different naming designation – all of them begin with “J” and have 6 following numbers. J123456, for example.

Wormhole Classes – Site difficulty and wormhole limitations

Much like kspace, wormholes have varying levels of dificulty. There are 6 classes, Class 1 through to Class 6. Class 1 (C1) are the “easiest” whereas Class 6 (C6) are the “hardest”.

  • Class 1
    • Can only fit Battlecruisers and below into their entrance wormholes
    • Weakest sites and anomalies – usually soloable by a single pilot, resulting in the weakest loot and therefore ISK
    • Single kspace static
    • Weakest system effects
  • Class 2
    • Can only fit Orcas and below into their entrance wormholes
    • Sites and anomalies are easily soloable by a properly fit ship
    • Unique in that Class 2s have two statics – usually one kspace and one wspace
  • Class 3
    • Can only fit Orcas and below into their entrance wormholes
    • Sites and anomalies soloable by a powerful ship
    • One static – always kspace
  • Class 4
    • Can only fit Orcas and below into their entrance wormholes
    • Sites and anomalies usually require 2 or 3 man well-fit teams to clear
    • Unique in that C4’s never have kspace wormhole connections – only wspace outgoing and inbounds
    • One static – always wspace
  • Class 5
    • Can fit Carriers & Dreadnaughts through non-C4/C3/C2/C1  connections
    • Sites and anomalies require a strong fleet, preferably with Capital support
      • Warping Capital ships to these sites triggers more Sleeper ships to spawn. This can be extremely profitable but also very deadly. Known as a Cap Escalation.
    • One static – always wspace
  • Class 6
    • Can fit Carriers & Dreadnaughts through non-C4/C3/C2/C1  connections
    • Sites and anomalies require a strong fleet, preferably with Capital support
      • Warping Capital ships to these sites triggers more Sleeper ships to spawn. This can be extremely profitable but also very deadly. Known as a Cap escalation
    • One static – always wspace
    • Strongest system effects

Wormhole statics & random wormhole overview

Every wormhole system has one guaranteed wormhole – this is known as the Static wormhole. If this wormhole ever collapses (due to time or mass) then another one will spawn elsewhere in the system; to a different destination of course. In addition, each static also always leads to a certain class of wormhole. A Class 4 wormhole with a Class 2 static will always have a Class 2 entrance wormhole in it. This is often abbreviated – a C4/C2 means a Class 4 wormhole with a Class 2 static. Lower class wormholes can also have statics to kspace – C3 with a Lowsec static, for example.

There are random wormholes dotted about that spawn randomly. Known as “roaming” or “regional” wormholes, these can lead from a Highsec to a Lowsec, a C6 to a Highsec or perhaps a C2 to a C4. Almost any combination can occur, though some connections are more common to certain class wormholes. The only way to figure out if one is active in a system is to scan it and find out!

Wormhole designations

Upon finding a wormhole, you will see it has a name.

Wormholes1

This name gives a clue of what type of wormhole entrance it is. The only exception are wormholes named K162. K162 is a wormhole exit. This means the wormhole was “opened” from the other side. Jumping in will show you the actual wormhole name on the other side. For example;

Wormholes 3

In this highly instructional image, a pilot in the original system of System A sees the wormhole as E175, but a pilot in the destination system of System B will see it as K162.

Bookmark this website and study it. It lists all the types of wormholes – each type has a specific mass and time limit.

Wormhole system effects

Some wspace systems have a “system effect” which can wildly change your ship attributes. A “Pulsar” effect, for example, boosts raw Shield HP whilst reducing Armour resistances. The strength of the effect depends on the wormhole Class. C1’s have the weakest effects (+25% shields) whilst C6’s have the strongest (+100%). More on this in a later post. The full effect list can be found here.

End of Part 1.

Part 2 is “Wormholes opening & closing, polarisation and wormhole chains

If any of my details are incorrect, you have suggestions for improvements or ideas for a future post, please either EVE Mail me (tgl3) or post a comment!

Through Newb Eyes – Living in a wormhole

Wormholes are one of the strangest system types in New Eden. They are dangerous, unpredictable and random. They can also be the safest systems you ever pass through. Some of the best PvP in EVE can be found here, where Wormhole mass restrictions limit attackers and a lack of local means anything can appear (or disappear). A week of nothing happening can change with one lucky directional scan hit that spies you a Tengu.

There’s a vast difference between pillaging/roaming wormhole space and actually living there as well. Having lived  in a Wormhole for close to 2 months now, I feel it’s time for a brief TNE article on living out of a POS and my d-scan being my best friend.

Wormholes are grouped by class, with Class 1 having the easiest sites and Class 6 having the hardest. The class of a Wormhole also affects the mass restrictions leading to it – I believe Class 1 wormholes can’t even allow Battleships.

My corp/alliance lives in a Class 5 Wormhole with a Class 4 static. This means that at any one time, there will be a wormhole leading from our space to a Class 4 wormhole. Class 4s are good for running Anomalies (most can be done with 3 Tengus) and often connect to other wormholes, which is good for hunting. However, C4 wormholes are probably one of the worst for PvP since they never have a wormhole leading out to normal space (known as “K-Space”) which means there’s normally not a lot of through traffic.

That’s enough background stuff. What’s it like actually living here?

Firstly, it is important to remember we are not a big WH alliance like K162. We’re pretty average, I’d say, but we don’t go on massive null-sec killing roams.

Secondly, my alliance is primarily US based, whereas I’m EU. This means I’m usually the first around after Downtime and do a lot of the initial scanning.

To start, living out of a POS is an odd experience. We rely on each other for ammo and mods if someone runs low until we can do a market run, and we don’t have all our ships to hand. I have to open 2 separate windows to board a ship and then another two to fit. I have to go through the hassle of dragging bookmarks from my folder to my cargo before I can put them into a Bookmark can (note: corp bookmarks don’t help alliance members)

A typical day involves me checking notes to see if our current static should have died out, then launching probes at one of my many safes, and scanning down todays wormhole “constellation”. My day could easily end here. Many scan trips have revealed something constellations with not a single tower, leading out to a dead area of nullsec. However, just because the WH constellation is dead at 2pm does not mean it will be so at 5pm. Many times a new wormhole has appeared, spitting out a scout for us to shoot or follow home.

Upon finding a new wormhole, the first thing to do is hit the directional scan and look for ships and towers. Second is to bookmark the return wormhole. Only then to I break my initial decloak and recloak off the wormhole.

If there are ships on scan, my first task is to establish whether they’re at a POS and whether they’re piloted. If there is indeed a POS and forcefield on scan (the forcefield indicates the POS is online) I use d-scan to pinpoint the moon it’s at, warp to it and bookmark an observation point. These bookmarks are the only ones I save from each day.

More often than not, ships on scan are empty at a tower or piloted at a tower unmoving. It’s when there’s a ship on scan *not* at a tower or other probes are seen on scan that we actually perk up and start prepping the PvP ships. Probes on scan usually results in us plonking a scout on our new inbound wormhole to see what is being used to scout (shiny T3 scouts are fun to explode) and anything else results in further scouting to establish what we field and if we even have the numbers to field a force. There’s usually only 3 or 4 of us max in my timezone, so we have to judge our moves well.

The removal of the “Jump” API in Wormholes has changed my scouting quite a bit as well. Whilst before I could check to see if someone had jumped into or out of a Wormhole (and therefore judge a wormhole’s lifespan or the systems’ activity) now there is that little extra “unknown” factor to scouting. Whilst a pain, this makes perfect sense.

Once we’re done scouting, if the Constellation appears empty we usually take the time to run some sites in the Class 4 static wormhole, or even run Capital escalations in our home. Both make decent ISK and allow me to buy new ships to scout or PvP. If there’s no sites to run, we try to collapse the wormhole to spawn a new one. This is usually achieved relatively easily, so long as we’re on the ball. Once a new wormhole is spawned, it’s back to square one, as it were.

And then we start again.