Blog Archives

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!

Blog Banter 31 – EVE is what the player makes of it

Welcome to the thirty-first EVE Blog Banter, a community conversation between anyone and everyone with an interest in discussing EVE Online. For more information on how this works, check out this link or for details of this edition’s topic, read on.

As any games journalist would probably tell you, a true and complete review of a Massively Multiplayer Online game is impossible. MMOs are vast, forever evolving entities with too much content for a single reviewer to produce a fair and accurate review. However, a collection of dedicated bloggers and EVE players (past and present) with a wide range of experience in various aspects of the game might be able to pull it off.

This special ‘End of Year’ Blog Banter edition aims to be a crowd-sourced game review. Using your gaming knowledge and experience, join the community in writing a fair and qualified review of EVE Online: Crucible. This can be presented in any manner of your choosing, but will ideally include some kind of scoring system. 

With each Blog Banter participant reviewing the areas of EVE Online in which they specialise, the result should be a Metacritic-esque and accurate review by the people who know best. 

The first thing many note upon entering EVE is that piloting your spaceship is not done via WASD or arrow keys, nor are guns activated by hitting a mousebutton or the space bar. This sets the tone for the game – EVE is not a normal MMO.

EVE is not a “twitch shooter”, and it’s vital anyone contemplating to try this game gets such a notion out of their head.

The second thing many people note is that there is a lot to do. EVE Online is a sandbox, in one of its many forms – it’s a player driven sandbox. Almost anything can happen in EVE and a majority of the stories that you hear in EVE are completely player driven – massive battles, espionage and market manipulation are all daily occurrences in this space universe.

Fortunately, the tutorial is a lot easier on new players thanks to a revamp last Summer with the Incarna expansion. Players are helped given some direction to make ISK (the in-game currency) through a “career funnel” of NPC agents which teach the basics of combat, manufacturing and more.

In order to “protect” newer players, new pilots start in a region known as “High-Security” space, as opposed to “Low-Security” and “Null-security”. This simply means that another player who fires on your ship unlawfully (i.e. without being at war with your Corporation (EVE’s equivalent of a guild)) will have their own ship blown up by an NPC Police faction known as CONCORD.

This is where it gets interesting – CONCORD may not always arrive in time and you may still lose your ship first. This presents the most exciting aspect of EVE’s sandbox – nowhere is truly safe. If you fly a ridiculously expensive ship all day, someone is going to take their time and effort to try and make it space dust. EVE is a PvP game, whether people want it or not. (The trick is not to fly a ludicrously costly ship all day)

The PvP aspect extends beyond mere combat – the entire market and economy is player driven, which means that every trader and manufacturer is vying for the best prices and deals. Millions of ISK can be made and lost within mere seconds. It’s terrifying and glorious at the same time.

Sadly, this PvP-centric format is both what makes the game worth playing and what turns a majority of new players away – that and the grinding.

Making ISK in EVE can be done a massive number of ways, but the most reliable and arguably the safest is done via NPC missions. This is the path most new players will end up. For myself, however, it is also the most dull. This is what turns away quite a few players, and even I stopped playing my trial account because missions just seemed boring to me.

I made a new trial, and tried another way of making ISK – scamming.

Here we get to see another example of EVE’s sandbox nature. Scamming for ISK and Assets is allowed, even encouraged, and can be an excellent way to make some cash from those too greedy to double check that Item trade. Within a day I had scammed enough ISK to buy myself 3 or 4 basic Frigates with the items to fit onto them – and that’s awesome. It’s not a reliable source of income, at least on the scale I was doing it, but it was more exciting than missions and that mattered more.

Combat PvP itself in EVE can vary wildly – many thousands of pilots fly in massive battles in “Null Security space” where player alliances hold control of dozens of systems, whilst many more fly in much smaller fights across the whole Universe. No two fights are ever the same and no two experiences ever mirror each other.

It’s sometimes said that EVE is 90% waiting, 10% combat and this is a bizarre thing. The bizarre thing is that it works. Many EVE Players, particularly those new to PvP Combat, experience “the shakes” – essentially an adrenaline rush. All the 90% waiting does is enhance your nerves for the 10% of combat. Putting (potential) hours of your missioning ISK into one ship then potentially losing it in 5 minutes is one of the most exciting things I’ve ever experienced in a game, especially in a MMO. It doesn’t make a loss any easier, but the more losses you experience, the easier it gets (mostly).

Now, this obviously might not appeal to a variety of people and that’s fair enough. The greatest thing about EVE is that this doesn’t matter. It is a player-driven sandbox, and that means you can go and do whatever the hell you like. Just be careful it doesn’t cross with someone else’s path unless you have the bigger guns.

I’ve heard many a reviewer call EVE boring – if you find EVE boring, make something up to do. Go shoot someone. Go scam. Go scan down and salvage people’s missions. Go mine. Build a ship. Explore a wormhole. Infiltrate a corp and steal everything. Make EVE exciting. This game is only as good as you make it.

I would love to give EVE a unbiased number rating – the graphics are excellent and the in-game jukebox has an excellent music score, but the gameplay varies so wildly from player to player it’s impossible to do so. Go make your own number rating.

On a personal gameplay level, I’d give it the following:

Graphics – 9/10
Sound – 7/10
Gameplay – 9/10
Lifespan – 10/10