Two capsuleer wormholers took the stage on day three of EVE Vegas. Their presentation, ‘Killing in the Name of Bob,’ aimed to introduce the EVE community to the basics of wormhole combat.

Keskara Yaari and Eveline Vos are CEO and FC of POS Party in the Ember Sands alliance. Ember Sands has only three hundred members, and its relatively solid performance on the Rolling Holes report shows monthly kills and losses in the 80-100bn range. Wormhole life is a fairly niche side of the game, but considering that a raiding fleet could drop out of any wormhole at any time, it’s constantly relevant.

Yaari and Vos skimmed through the unique conditions that make wormhole space such a challenge: heavy reliance on mapping software and visual intelligence, wormhole mass loads, and a constantly shifting landscape. The meat of their presentation delved into the tactics and meta that arise from these conditions. Many of those tactics are reminiscent of ju-jitsu or aikido. A skilled wormhole corp can bait you into being your own worst enemy through poor choices in position and timing. Intentionally collapsed wormholes, forgotten polarization timers, and any number of other tricks can split fleets or cut them off from reinforcements. It’s clear that Yaari and Vos operate from a detailed playbook that they hold fairly close to their chests.

That said, some elements are pretty straightforward. Interdictors and heavy interdictors play a powerful role, as a single bubble can cover an entire wormhole’s reversion area. The constant threat of a capital ship dropping by – efficient in pilot numbers but not in mass – has a strong influence on doctrines. Bhaalgorns, for example, are very common, as are tanky ships that can stay on the field with a rogue capital. Since your average wormhole alliance comes well-equipped with neuts, the meta has shifted toward armor tanks and cap-stable weapons like artillery and missiles. And, of course, cloaks are indispensable. Yaari and Vos must have mentioned cloaks a dozen times in a variety of contexts. I once heard that the best way to operate in a wormhole is to act as if a stealth bomber is looking over your shoulder – and it’s frequently true.

For all its unpredictable risks, though, J-space offers a community that other parts of New Eden are hard-pressed to match. Yaari and Vos spoke fondly of the few thousand people who routinely destroy each other’s wormhole empires and buy each other drinks afterward. For all that wormhole space has no blue donut and no lasting treaties, it’s unusually tight-knit and friendly on an IRL level. The harder they fight, the more they respect each other. Yaari offered this summary of the politics and atmosphere you’ll find if you step into a wormhole: “If you fight, you’re cool. If you don’t fight, if you dock up, you’re not cool, you’re not contributing, and you’re not one of us.” That attitude certainly puts a spin on griping after a wormhole eviction. According to Yaari, there’s a direct link between willingness to fight, respect, and the likelihood of getting evicted or besieged. In wormhole space, cowardice earns you the short end of the stick, and living with risk is a prerequisite.

The full presentation is available on CCP’s Twitch channel from roughly 42:00 to 1:02:00.

Jenne Exupery is a low-wattage independent who dabbles in shipping, salvage, trade, exploration, and nearly victimless heists. He can usually be found bumming around Derelik and Domain under one name or another. Preferred contact method: in-game mail to Jenne Exupery of Manticore-Horizon Shipping [MANHO].