As time goes on, the game world seems to get smaller and smaller. Entities rise to power, claim space for the sake of putting their name on the map, and simply endure. Social constructs arise as a necessity to maintain power and legitimize their existence. Rules are instituted, and statements that start with “You have to…” become incredibly familiar. If that was ever offered to me, I must simply say, no thank you. Give me the black and empty. Push me into the unknown. Put a veil over my eyes so I can’t see who is about to destroy me. Send me home to the vast wormhole chain.
Wormholes embrace the explorer spirit unlike any other type of space in the game. Their properties make them the most distinctive type of space to live and play in. Today we will go over some of these attributes to help you determine if wormhole space is right for your group.
All Roads Lead to K162
Unlike known space (K-space) where systems are connected to each other in a static manner via star gates, wormhole systems have no permanent connection to K-space or other wormhole systems. They are reachable via two types of wormhole connection: static, and random. For example, a system with a static connection to highsec and class 2 (C2) wormholes will always have a connection to a system of that type, but which particular system this is will vary from day to day. These connections have a life span and maximum mass limit that can pass through them before they collapse, whereupon a new connection immediately opens to another system in the same type of space. Random wormholes, on the other hand, do not appear immediately, so a single system may have several, or none. These can also connect to a wider variety of different types of space.
No Local? No Problem.
Local chat is not populated with the characters arriving in a wormhole system. This is the most unique quality of this type of space. From an intelligence gathering perspective, this adds a very challenging facet to this gameplay style. Having no local makes wormholes seem incredibly dangerous to players who are not accustomed to using directional scan as a way to determine who is in system with you.
The ability to use scanners, probes, and cloaks is non-negotiable. It is so important, in fact, that you will not be able to find wormholes on your own without the ability to probe them down. Before joining your corpmates in wormhole excursions, please ensure you have the ability to use these, just in case you get separated and have to find a way back home. The only alternative is self-destructing your pod so that you clone at your medical facility in K-space – this is commonly known as the Pod Express.
With the exception of Thera, a unique wormhole system with NPC stations, all other wormhole systems have no stations. In order to have a stable base of operations, you must install and live out of a player-owned starbase (POS). This will be the most expensive capital investment of any operation, apart from any expensive ratting ships. Living in a POS may also leave you vulnerable to corp theft, so you need to be aware of how to properly manage roles in order to prevent this.
The necessity of a POS will also give you the opportunity to do structure-based industry, such as reactions and production, using the various assembly arrays and laboratories.
Strangely, customs offices in worm hole space are first owned by Interbus. However, they can be destroyed and replaced with player-owned ones. Similar to those in null sec, POCOs in worm holes are not subject to the base tax levied by Concord in Empire space. Once you have installed a POCO here, you could potentially set it to zero tax for the benefit of your corporation.
NPCs in wormhole space are called Sleeper Drones, or Sleepers for short. They are generally stronger than normal rats and have far more effective EWAR compared to their K-space counterparts. They are omni-tanked, meaning that no particular damage type is advantageous. The quality of Sleepers escalates as you progress through the different classes of wormholes (C1 to C6). When dealing with these rats in more challenging space, you will notice that their capability to energy neutralize you is almost game-breaking. They do this so well that it is common to bring remote repair modules or dedicated RR ships as part of the ratting fleet in the more advanced worm hole systems.
There are no asteroid belts in wormhole space. Instead, you can mine in ore anomalies similar to the ones you see on your onboard scanner in K-space. Be careful when mining in these; intruders can simply warp to the anomaly and find you there.
Now that we have discussed the types of activities you can do in wormhole space, let’s go over the types of players that will gain the most benefit from living here.
You don’t need a lot of SP to be successful. Personally I live in a C2 with high sec and C3 static. I use cruisers to farm the C2 and can join my corp’s Battlecruiser fleet to farm our static. As long as you have the necessary skills to probe-scan, use Tech 1 Industrials, and potentially anchor POS and related modules, you will have the basic skill set to get started.
The very nature of wormhole space is random. You need to be ready to react quickly to opportunities and threats. If you can prepare yourself for an attack, and have the ability to respond quickly, you will have ample time to ward off enemies, or at least get your gear back to Empire.
As a corp, you absolutely need some form of voice communication. Without it, it will be near-impossible to organize effective PvE fleets as well as PvP fleets against potential aggressors.
For the purpose of safety, it would be a good idea if you have the ability to log on several times a week. Since you will be living out of a POS, you need to ensure that it is not attacked by potential evictors. The most sure way to do this is to literally log in and see if your POS is safe.
From a financial viewpoint, you need to play actively enough in the worm hole to actually pay for the fuel you will need to keep your POS running. Otherwise, you will have to dedicate funds you earn from other parts of the game to maintain your operation. If for some reason, you are still not able to pay for your fuel even with active play, then consider scaling down to lower-class wormholes, or maybe just farming the random wormholes you come across in K-space.
This subject is simply too broad to be described in great detail in this format; there are a hundred finer points to consider regarding each of the areas touched on in this article. You’ll need to do your homework and seek out more knowledge before you jump headlong into the grand adventure.
Hm? No, don’t bother d-scanning. That wasn’t a Proteus you just saw fading away. I was just saying hello… 🙂