To many, wormhole space and EVE is a love/hate kind of relationship. Wormholes were introduced to EVE in the Apocrypha expansion back in 2009. The Apocrypha expansion included a training queue, Tech 3 vessels, wormholes and sleeper NPC’s. To many, this release still is considered as the best expansion to this day.
The change of the dynamic of the game varied so much as big amounts of new space and content added was disruptive. The ability to move fleets almost instantly to the other side of new Eden when a chain got scanned was so disruptive yet beautifully balanced with the uncertainty of being able to navigate freely, and the horrific prospect of finding yourself lost in the void should you miss a wormhole exit.
A word on Chains
When speaking about wormhole navigation, it is important to note the mastery many players were forced to acquire to adapt wormhole life. “Rolling a chain” means scanning and abusing your static wormhole connections to your advantage, the goal is mostly content or ISK.
First, we need to understand that there are different classes of wormholes. C1 to C6, the higher the class of the wormhole the higher the risk is in regards to how hard the rats are and the size of the ship you can bring in. For example, you will not be able to jump anything bigger than a cruiser into a C1 wormhole, never anything larger than a battleship into a C2, C3, and C4 wormhole. C5 and C6 wormholes take everything but Super Carriers and Titans.
Wormholes can be closed in two ways, time or mass. The average life of a wormhole is about 16 hours after this the wormhole closes. Wormholes also have a maximum total mass they can take, meaning that players can force a wormhole to close by putting enough mass through it.
Now we need to understand what statics are. Let’s take a C2 wormhole with a C5 and a nullsec static for example. These statics mean that it will always have a wormhole to a C5 wormhole and nullsec. This mechanic gives you great opportunities. If you want to pvp, you go through your nullsec wormhole kill stuff and reroll your nullsec wormhole. 2 minutes later you are in a whole new region of nullsec.
If you want to make ISK, you can scout the C5 wormhole, if it is safe you can run the PVE sites there. Ratting anomalies in wormhole space do not respawn like in nullsec, as there are no sov upgrades and ihubs. When you ran all the sites, it is empty. Now you reroll your C5 static to get a new C5 full of fresh, delicious ratting anomalies.
Wormholers have mastered the art of rerolling wormholes using mostly battleships with a higs anchor rig. This rig increases the mass of the battleship but decreases speed. The ability to put more mass through the wormhole increases the capacity to reroll it faster in fewer jumps. Experienced wormhole corporations reroll a wormhole with 3-4 characters in under 2 minutes. The new signature is scanned, and new static bookmarked.
Loving the hate
Going back to the love/hate relationship commentary; it is no secret that there is a consensus among WH denizens about the neglect (or perception of) done by CCP Games. It has not received the same love as nullsec, for example, the changes in null sec PVE, NPC capital spawns and mining operations.
In some way this is understandable as I think still the vast majority of EVE players are active in nullsec. I still feel like wormholes are in need of a rework, especially the PVE side of things. In the lower and middle-class wormholes I don’t think the risk/reward ratio is on par with other activities in EVE. This neglect has resulted in a significant part of wormholes space becoming an uninhabited wasteland and wormholers seeking their content and targets in nullsec statics instead of their wormhole statics.
When a wormholer tells you they make 1.5bil per hour running sites in a C5, this can be right but mostly take this with a grain of salt; it’s not always as easy as it sounds. Securing a wormhole can take some time as you need to scan all anomalies, close all wormholes and don’t open the new statics. After doing all that there is still no guarantee, as people can roll into you using their static (keep an eye out for new signatures popping up), or people might simply have logged off in your wormhole. The ships used for this after the nerf to capital escalations are now mostly dreadnaughts and cost on average 4-6 bill to field.
A big part of wormhole space was also the trust between corp mates. Before citadels were released, players had to live out of a POS in wormhole space, meaning having to share your hangar with multiple people. This way of life resulted in a lot of corp theft and backstabbing, but in my opinion added a whole new layer to wormhole space that nullsec did not have or to a lesser extent. Now with citadels corp theft is much less common.
Wormhole PVP: a different meta, blinged out, small gang, multi-boxing
Where most nullsec groups gain the advantage with strength in numbers (or supers), wormhole pvp is a whole different ballgame. First of all, there are no supercarriers and titans. The groups in higher class wormholes will field dreadnaughts, Fax machines and sometimes combat carriers, but it’s safe to say that at least 90% of the wormhole pvp happens in sub caps. The maximum mass on wormholes makes it hard and almost impossible to move big battleship fleets, making battleships an awesome tool for home defense. As the fights are much smaller scale, fittings and individual pilot skill are critical, and that little bit more of EHP or damage can win the encounter. This style of combat, in combination with the vast riches of high-class wormhole space, results in extremely expensive doctrines, blinged out to the teeth.
In wormhole brawls, you will rarely be asked to anchor up and press F1. You are expected to know what you are doing and preferred to multi-box. A lot of the big wormhole groups are known to have some of the best pvp multi-boxers in the game.
T3 cruisers, Bhaalgorns and anything with an oversized afterburner is very popular in wormhole space. Another mechanic that changes the dynamic of wormhole brawls is the mechanics around jumping in and out of wormholes. You cannot jump a stargate when you have an aggression timer, but you can jump a wormhole. What makes wormholes different, is that you cannot jump the same wormhole more than twice within 5 minutes! Meaning if Fleet A jumps a wormhole into fleet B, starts fighting, Fleet A starts to run and jumps back and ends up in a bubble on the other side, they are stuck and will die. Being podded often results in a long trip back home, so you can’t just reship and help again.
Often during evictions, the attackers and defenders will fight over hole control. Hole control is a term used when you control all entrances/exits to the wormhole. Close any wormholes your enemies can use to bring in reinforcements.
The factions in wormhole space
I could talk for days about wormhole groups and wormhole corps as there are A LOT of them. I will however only speak of the largest ones for the moment. I apologize for the people I forget as this certainly does not mean they are any less respectable! I promise I will talk about them in my future wormhole pieces.
For the moment there is a rivalry going on between two groups in wormhole space. On one side you have Hole control / Inner hell who are often jokingly called “The wormhole CFC, ” and on the other hand, we have Hard Knocks / Lazerhawks / No Vacancies. There is a lot of bad blood between these two groups as a couple of pilots who are now in Inner hell were responsible for an eviction of No vacancies. There is still discussion of the way this went down and some “not so clean tactics” have been used by the attackers, including allegedly non-authorised access of a No Vacancies director account. I have heard both sides of the story and I can until this day not say with certainty what happened and I guess we will never know. I will try to stay as objectively as possible. The eviction of No Vacancies leads to the eviction of a corp called Hispanic enterprises by wingspan including one of the most entertaining EVE youtube series of all time (if you haven’t seen them I recommend you check them out).
The rivalry reached a climax, when one day an undisclosed member of the Hole control / Inner hell group, put a 75,000 real life dollar bounty on the eviction of Hard Knocks. Until this day it is still unclear who this Reddit poster was and if he is involved with any of the groups. The thread created a storm on Reddit and until this day nothing has become of the bounty.
This story might have you thinking there is more salt in wormhole space than in nullsec but this is not true. Plenty of corps do not take part in the drama and are just there for the love of Bob and the pvp. Some of these corps are: Hotline k162, Overload this, the New Eden Yacht Club, Absence of Light, Red Fire, The Golden Horde, The Tuskers and much, much more
One big part of residing in wormholes space is the comradery that comes with living in a tight knit group. I have many stories to tell of notable events. I will start with one that happened to me when I was running my wormhole corp. We were living in a C2 with a C4 and a Highsec static. As mentioned at the beginning of the article before citadels were here, corp theft was a big thing and very common in wormhole space.
One day my friends and I opened our C4 static and wanted to scan a new chain. When we jumped into the C4, we saw a POS with an active force field and a pod on dscan. I quickly located the POS and put eyes on it with an alt as we scouted the rest of the system.
Suddenly, I see that the pilot in the pod is active, he jumps in a Maelstrom and warps off. We didn’t drop any probes yet, so there was only a small chance he knew we were there. Unless he saw us on dscan when jumping into the wormhole. I follow the Maelstrom on my dscan, and suddenly I see a pod + maelstrom on dscan then the pod comes back to the POS, and the maelstrom was still in space. We were a bit puzzled, was this guy dropping ships in space somewhere? He jumped into a Sleipnir, warped off and came back in a pod again. We looked the pilot up, and he only was in that corp for one day, we quickly realized that we were looking at a corp thief in action! Being the CEO of a wormhole corp who was the victim of a corp thief once, I was instantly triggered, and we quickly agreed we had to stop him!
I dropped combat probes and scanned down the safe spot where he was stashing the ships. We set up a cloaked interdictor and a couple of Stratios, popped him and took all the ships! We resulted in having a Maelstrom, a Loki, and a broadsword I believe (I’m not 100% sure anymore on the exact ships). We even tried contacting the corp in question and offered to give the ships back, but they did not seem too bothered and never got back to us.
Excellent day, corp thief stopped and free ships for us!
With this I will end my first article for Evenews24, I hope you have enjoyed it and promise I will come with more wormhole content for you in the future! Feel free to eve mail me in the game with your stories or suggestions!
Arnalya Lesjnorre is a seasoned Wormhole pilot with over four years of experience living in there. A small PVP enthusiast, a student of the “tackle everything” school of thought, he will bring us his views, insights and detailed explorations on the inner workings of wormhole life.