This is a collection of short in-character fiction pieces about Awakened Industries, a group of capsuleers and their crews living in the enigmatic and dangerous regions of Wormhole Space in EVE Online. None of the protagonists are actual characters or corporations in-game. All similarities with persons fictional or real are possibly coincidental and only sometimes intentional. - Emergent Patroller

For an introduction to this blog refer to this link. You may also want to check out the guide for new readers

: The stories on this blog contain mature themes involving sexuality and violence and are not suitable for minors or sensitive people.

1 Feb 2013

OOC Entry 71 - What makes a wormhole pilot Part 2

In the first part I have dealt mostly with the skills and character traits that one should ideally have as the basis for a career in Wormhole Space. In this part I want to go into the specifics about wormhole systems and how to decide which sort of home would be suitable for you.

Let me make one thing clear in the beginning though: This is not a technical guide to life in Wormhole Space - such documents exist and are much better than anything I could produce. I will introduce you to some at the end of this article.

What this piece here intends to do is to make it more clear to prospective wormhole settlers what they can expect in terms of gameplay and what will be expected of them in turn.

So let's get on with it.

Choosing your home in Anoikis

Getting in and out

You will most likely have heard that wormhole systems come in different classes ranging from 1 to 6. If not, then you know now ;)

The wormhole class is both an indicator of the difficulty level of the PVE sites you will find there but also determines which sort of connections you will have with the outside world.

Wormhole systems of classes 1 to 3 always have a static exit to Known Space (KSpace)

Having a static exit means that you are guaranteed to have a wormhole which always leads to a specific region of space. So in the case of C1-C3  you will have an exit to somewhere in highsec, lowsec or nullsec at any given time. Many also have a second static exit that will lead into another wormhole system. C1 and C3 wormholes are more likely to have only one static exit while C2 wormholes generally have two.

Of course you will have to find that exit first by scanning for it with probes. It does not appear on your overview like a gate. Once you scanned it you will have to bookmark it to be able to come back to it.  

Never forget that.

So if you are the kind of player who likes to get out and interact with KSpace a lot, you are best off in one of those lower class systems. Maybe you like to go rat in KSpace, or you are with a mining corp and you need regular trips to the market, or you want to have the opportunity to pop out of nowhere for PvP in lowsec or nullsec. There are wormholes with static KSpace exits for every taste.

Classes 4 to 6 always connect to other wormhole systems with their static exits.

This is the territory of the fully dedicated wormhole residents. If you want a way out to KSpace, count on having to scan several wormhole systems along the way. You can take it easy by living in a C4 wormhole that has a static C2 and therefore a high chance of a way out, or you can live in a C6 wormhole with a C5 static which means at least another three systems before you might have a chance to find an exit to KSpace. Sometimes you wont find one at all. You can find a route that is a dead end, or it keeps looping through Anoikis back onto itself.

Other than your static exit, wormhole systems can also have non-static entrances opening into them. Let's say you live in a C3 system with a static lowsec exit, but somewhere out there is a C5 system with a static C3. One day that C3 exit can lead to your home.

That means you can get visitors from unexpected corners of the galaxy, but on the other hand it also means a new route where you can find new opportunities.

What that implies is, that you regularly need to scan your home system to see whether a new opening has appeared. Failing to do so will possibly expose you to nasty surprises from neighbours you didn't know you had.

The last crucial thing to know is, that wormholes all have a limited lifetime. That can be as short as 16, 24 or 48 hours but has a variation of +/- 4 hours built in (if I remember it correctly). You can find more information about those time limits in the list linked at the end of this post here. If a wormhole expires and it was a static exit, a new one of the same kind will appear in your system, but again, it will remain unknown to you until you scan it down.

Boons and Banes

Living in a wormhole that has a static connection to the outside also means the outside always has a connection to you. Many people are sort-of apprehensive (not to say scared) when it comes to flying into Wormhole Space, but some lowsec and nullsec PvP corps are quite familiar with the territory and can make life difficult or exciting for you on a random basis.

It depends on you whether you find that a good thing or a potential threat. Choose your home accordingly.

In C4 wormholes and up, you will be facing other wormhole dwellers as your immediate potential neighbours. Like I outlined in my first part, they come in different flavours. Some of them are just autistic and risk averse PvE types, but the dedicated PvP players are among the most cunning and skilled ones you will encounter anywhere in EVE. Be prepared to meet them.

Mass limits - On the Verge of Collapse

Depending on a wormhole class, there is both a limit to the maximum mass a ship can have to jump through and a limit to the total mass of ships that can be jumped in.[1]

For example, a C1 wormhole is too small to even jump a Battleship in and it will take only a handful of battlecruiser jumps before it collapses. C6 wormholes, on the other end of the spectrum, have mass limits that allow capital ships and you can even jump a few of them through. C5 wormholes are the lowest class that can admit a capital ship, normally only two of them and then some support ships. To make things more complicated, the maximum total mass can vary by 20% though. So you might find a C5 that allows you to jump three capital ships through.

What that means is, that the class of wormhole you live in determines what kind of opposition you might face from outside forces. In a C1 your opponents can bring cruisers and battlecruisers. In C2 space an attack fleet can already include battleships and in C3 to C4 they can come in significant numbers. In C5 and C6 space your attackers can field capital ships against you.

Of course that door swings both ways. If you live in a higher class wormhole that connects to another one of similar class, you can bring more and heavier ships to a fight next door.

If you bring ship construction arrays for your POS, you can build ships in your wormhole (apart from supercaps which require sovereignty to build). That means you can potentially build capital ships inside a wormhole system, no matter which class. The residents of C1-C4 wormholes can give themselves quite an advantage in terms of defence that way. It means, though, that those ships will be there to stay or until they are destroyed. There is no way to ever get a capital ship out of a C1-C4 except as a salvaged wreck.

You may understand now why many wormhole players like to fly Tech3 ships a lot: Strategic Cruisers can be composed into pretty devastating fleets, and - being cruisers - they actually have really low mass.  So that makes it possible to bring powerful low-mass ships into an engagement anywhere in wormhole space without too much risk of collapsing your wormhole route back home.

Of course, this whole dynamic offers a nice extra option: You can intentionally collapse any wormhole you like. By jumping ships back and forth, you reduce their mass until they are gone. If it is a static wormhole you collapsed, another will turn up in the same system right away. So if you don't like a route, you can replace it with a new one. Collapsing non-static entrances, on the other hand, can rid you of pesky neighbours.

I will go into detail about this in a follow-up post which will be about strategy and tactics in wormhole operations.

System Effects - Pulsars Magnetars and more

A wormhole system can also have a specific environmental effect.[2] Not all wormholes have those, but the ones that do, influence the workings of your ship in ways that scale with the wormhole class. In lower class wormholes they will be rather minor, while in higher class wormholes they can amount to a very significant boost or turn out to be crippling for your ship.

Living in a wormhole with a system effect can be a double-edged sword: On one side it gives you an edge. Invaders will be forced to fight on your terms, and you can specialise your ship fittings to take advantage of the effect. On the other side you might have difficulties operating in other systems if you don't keep a set of ships around which are dedicated for roaming fleets.

Especially wormhole effects that influence the tanking abilities of ships like the Cataclysmic Variable, the Pulsar or the Wolf-Rayet may give rise to specialised home defence fleets which become rather less effective in any other environment. 

Generally speaking, all wormhole systems with special environmental effects have something going for them. The possible exception is the Black Hole. Those should be avoided as a home, and if you look at the effects you will see why. In more than two years time I have seen only one Black Hole system with a POS in it, and that was a pure mining operation. In a way it does have that one advantage: Nobody wants to live in a Black Hole and they are horrible to have fights in. Even PVE is painful. If you see a way to make this work for you, good luck.

So what's next

Originally I naively thought I can get this done in two parts, but after filling more than three pages with this post here already, I came to the conclusion that I will have to make that article into a multi-part essay. The good news is, the next part is already half written, so you wont have to wait that long for it.

What I will address in that next part is how to set up your POS and which ships you can need in your new home. Also I want to address some wormhole specific tactics in more detail, most importantly hole closing and how wormhole exits work in a PVP context.

If I think about it, that may actually become a fourth instalment.

In any case, if you are still with me, I hope I was able to offer something for you as a prospective wormhole explorer, and if I still haven't detracted you from ever coming to live in the Anoikis cluster, I hope you will return to this blog for the next part.


[1] You can find a list of wormholes, their lifetimes and their mass limits on this very helpful list
[2] There is a comprehensive list of wormhole system effects on Evelopedia


  1. Note that you can't jump a battleship into a C1

    1. Oops, sorry for that.

      I have never been in a C1 except with a scanning frigate or scanning T3. I thought they could take a battleship or two. I stand corrected.

      Thanks for pointing that out. I updated the text accordingly.