Duration: 1 hour
Location: Any, no need to undock. However, 101/102 are likely to follow directly after, which would depart from Aldrat and will require scanning-equipped ships.
- What is a Wormhole
- How W-Space is different from K-Space (and what those terms mean)
- How wormholes form and collapse
- Things you find in W-Space
- How wormholes are profitable
- The dangers of W-Space
- How you can make your experiences safer
- Mumble registration and access - make sure you have Mumble sorted out and operational well before the class begins. Use this guide for set-up: http://wiki.eveuniversity.org/Mumble
- Access to the Class.E-UNI in-game chat channel
Additional information: The class will be a lecture with a Q&A afterwards. There is no practical element, so you are free to attend wherever you happen to be docked. However Wormholes 101 will immediately follow this class, which is a practical fleet in a wormhole near Aldrat - for this you would need to be in/near Aldrat
Notes for the teacher
- Class.E-UNI chat channel, to receive questions and post relevant links
- This wiki page
- Class slideshow: http://bit.ly/wormholes_101. Note the slideshow does not include every single piece of information on this wiki page - it is meant as a complement to listening to the class, not a replacement.
If you notice any errors on the slideshow, or out-to-date information, or have an idea about something that should be added, please forum-PM Kivena.
- Covert ops pilots to scout for a class 2 wormhole near Aldrat to facilitate Wormholes 101 directly after Wormholes 100 completes.
Teachers should not just recite this wiki page. Make sure to read it thoroughly, use its structure as a guide for the structure of your class, but also make sure to be aware of the finer details of exploration. If you plan on teaching this class repeatedly, please make a note of the frequently asked questions and add them, including the answer, to the end of this document.
What is a Wormhole?
A wormhole is a portal between two solar systems, very similar to a stargate. However, unlike stargates which are constructed by NPCs or Players, wormholes are spontaneously occurring phenomena. Even though it is often said that a player goes into a wormhole, you are actually passing through a wormhole to a new star system (known collectively as wormhole space or w-space). Wormholes are advanced game play opportunities.
Where do they spawn?
Wormholes can spawn in any system in EVE! Like other cosmic signatures, they will spawn somewhere in space within 4 AU of a celestial object such as the star, a planet, or moon.
Where do they go?
Wormholes can bring you nearly anywhere, either to the next system over, or straight into the staging point for a 0.0 sovereignty fight. Most notably, they are the only way to access wormhole space.
How to find them.
Wormholes are found via exploration, where they will appear as cosmic signatures with type "Unknown". When the signal is strong enough, the subtype will be listed as "Unstable Wormhole".
Each wormhole link has an end point in each of the two systems it links. Plural/singular get a bit confused here, because although it's a single wormhole, it will be named differently in each system. The entrance name will be one from the list of wormholes, available below:
This information is available in more detail from many websites. The name will tell you the lifetime, mass limit, jump limit, and what class w-space or security level k-space the exit will be in. However, it will not tell you exactly how much those values have degraded since it was first spawned. You can check an approximation at the info panel through your overview.
The exit from a wormhole is always named K162, and is spawned when a player initiates warp to the entrance wormhole. Therefore, you always know that if you find a K162, someone else has found the other side. The K162 will give more approximate information about the entrance system by using 'show info', but it's impossible to determine original mass/time limits at this side.
Players will refer to these as stage 1, stage 2 (also called "first shrink"), and critical. When a mass stage is passed, the wormhole will display an animation, play a sound, and visibly shrink. Thus, they can also be referred to as first shrink for stage 2, and second shrink for critical.
Every wormhole has at least two mass values associated with it. These are the maximum mass allowed per jump, and total transfer mass. The max per jump determines what class of ship can be brought through the wormhole. For example, a 300m limit wormhole would easily allow any battleship, but a 20m limit would allow only battle cruisers, heavy assault cruisers, or strategic cruisers as a maximum size. The total transfer mass determines at what point a wormhole will collapse from over use. Each jump made through the wormhole will subtract that ship's mass from the beginning mass allowance. When the transfer exceeds the allowance, the wormhole will collapse. Even a single kilogram of mass remaining will allow any ship up to the max per jump to travel through the wormhole. A third, very uncommon mass property is regeneration. This is an amount of mass that will regenerate over time, up to when the time limit expires.
Knowing your limits enables pilots to be mostly safe about not collapsing a hole they don't intend to. However, original WH mass can vary by up to 10% therefore you cannot be certain exactly how much mass it will take to collapse the wormhole.
Some modules will increase a ship's mass, notable armor plates and propulsion modules. Afterburners and Microwarpdrives, when active, can add as much as 50m kg for a battleship 100mn size. Armor plates will also increase mass, and must be put fully offline to eliminate the effect. After jumping, the plates can be onlined again once 95% capacitor is available.
Every wormhole has a fixed lifetime, usually 16 or 24 hours, when first spawned, that will eventually run out. At that point, the wormhole will collapse without notice. Show Info will inform when it is less than 25% of time remaining, however these values can have some variation. Downtime seems to not count toward a wormhole's lifetime.
Collapsing and respawning
Once a wormhole's lifetime has expired, or its mass limit reached, it will collapse. In k-space, this is the end of the story, but in w-space this may trigger a new wormhole to spawn. All w-systems must always have a wormhole present to prevent capsuleers from being stranded, although there can be several minutes delay for a respawn. To help with this, all w-systems have static links, where a certain named wormhole is always present. When a wormhole of that name collapses, a new one of same name will spawn, although this will (usually to benefit) lead to a new system.
How are they different from stargates?
- Unlike stargates, which are fixed and can be counted on to remain where they are, wormholes constantly spawn and expire, only to respawn in other places, or with different exit systems.
- Like a stargate, jumping through one will give you a 10 second session change timer, however it will only give you a 30 seconds 'gate cloak' timer instead of the 1 minute that the stargate gives you. See Timers.
- Unlike gates, you can be as much as 5000m away to jump.
- You will almost always be within jump range when you emerge, although the session change must expire before jumping back. Murphy's Law dictates that the one time you need to jump back instantly, you will be out of range; and that the one time you need to cloak up instantly, you will be too close to the wormhole to be able to cloak.
- However, each wormhole can only be jumped once every five minutes. Thus, if you were to jump X702 to K162, then 1 minute later jump back through the K162 to X702, then you would have to wait four more minutes prior to make another jump from X702 to K162. Some people call this the four minute timer - from the days when the session change timer was 30 seconds, and you had to wait for two of those in order to jump though a wormhole in the same direction again.
What is w-space?
W-space, Wormhole Space, is the collection of 2500 star systems reachable only through wormholes. This space is all described as "unknown", as it does not appear on any map. The true security level is always -1.0 (however the EVE client tells you its 0.0). In addition, its sovereignty is "unclaimable", meaning that players are unable to claim space, build stations, upgrade, or any other benefits of typical 0.0 space.
General system layout
Although in general w-space has the same appearance as k-space, note that there are no NPC agents, no stations, no place to dock up to repair or log off safely. Many w-systems are very large, sometimes over 100 AU across, so care should be taken when using D-scan to survey a system, and when making long warps.
When learning about being safe in high-security, low-security and null-security space, one of the most touted tactics is to watch local. The local channel contains a list of all the pilots in system, and will alert you the moment someone enters system. In w-space, that's all gone. There is still a local channel, but it will only display pilots that speak! A new w-space system could be entirely deserted, or contain a large fleet, but local would remain the same. Unless a pilot must do so as a last resort, nobody ever talks in local in w-space - you reveal yourself, and you learn nothing.
As K-space is ranked by security level, w-space is ranked by class. Class 1 wormholes provide only a moderate challenge for a player with mediocre skills, while a Class 6 will require multiple ships, many T2 or T3, and experienced pilots to survive cosmic signatures and anomalies. It is difficult to describe how challenging each class is, but eve-survival.org will provide exact ships in each sleeper pocket for reference. Before moving into a higher class wormhole, attempt to trigger extra waves and ensure you are still able to sustain your tank and deal sufficient damage.
W-Space Links (Down the Rabbit Hole)
If you find yourself going deeper in, make sure you don't lose track of which system you are in, and remember that any link behind you could collapse either due to time or mass without your knowledge.
Some wormholes have special effects such as reducing shield boosting, or decreasing velocity. There are many environments, each with multiple effects. The environments are: Black Hole, Cataclysmic Variable, Magnetar, Pulsar, Red Giant, and Wolf-Rayet. Each environment pairs with the class of wormhole to determine the effects. See more here . Note that these effects do not have any impact on POSes or NPCs. See the comment by CCP Rust .
Each system in w-space has at least one 'static wormhole', leading to k-space if it's a C1 or C3, or to w-space if it's a C4, C5 or C6. C2 systems have both a static to k-space and another to w-space. This wormhole doesn't always lead to the same system, but it always leads to the same class of system -- for example, a class 4 w-space system might have a static wormhole that leads to a class 6. Once the wormhole closes, the signature for a new one will appear usually within a minute and a new wormhole will appear (once probed down and warped to), connected to a different system of the same class. This means you cannot be trapped inside a wormhole system with no way out (unless of course you neglected to bring a probe launcher & probes).
Other wormholes may appear in the system, but the static wormhole will always be present.
What's in w-space?
The only NPC occupants of w-space are the Sleeper drones. Although called drones, these ships are frigates, cruisers, and battleships which act similar to players, hit hard, and require massive damage to take down. What happened to the Sleeper peoples is the subject of an ongoing EVE storyline, as they were highly advanced in their technologies.
Basic sleeper properties
Sleeper drones are deadly because they are very strong, and act more intelligently than most NPCs. They lack shields, but instead have heavy armor with even resists of 70/70/70/70. They attack with both beams and missiles, which combined will deal all types of damage as well. Depending on the class of wormhole, they will web, scram, nos, and remote repair. In addition, they will not hold aggro to a single target, but instead will switch to whichever target within range they feel is the greatest threat or the easiest picking.
Cosmic anomalies and signatures
Combat sites focus on - you guessed it - combat, with the only resources being the wrecks or the sleepers found there. These sites contain three waves typically, and are easier to clear than Data or Relic sites, but much more difficult than Gas or Ore sites. Most of your ISK will come from Combat sites. Anomalies up to 64AU away can be found using a ship's On Board Scanner.
Ore sites are asteroid belts. Since w-space is null security, you will find all kinds of ore present, although higher class and more advanced sites will yield greater quantities of rare ore such as Arkonor and Mercoxit. There will be sleepers present, but only a single wave. However, they are not present on first warp in, instead spawning 15-30 minutes after a player has first initiated warp to the site. The sleeper spawn timer will start even if the player cancels warp and never actually arrives at the site. This is a good way to "activate" all Ore sites in the system and come back later to clear the sleepers. The asteroids are often very, very large, and even a modest Arkonor roid will be 5,000 units. At 16m^3 per unit, that's 80,000 m^3 in a single asteroid.
The following three sites are Cosmic Signatures and must be probed down to access.
Gas sites contain one or more gas clouds, that can be harvested using gas cloud harvesters, also referred to Gas Cloud Mining or "huffing". Unlike k-space gas, which is used in the manufacture of mostly illegal boosters, w-space gas is used in Tech 3 Production to manufacture Strategic Cruisers and sub systems. Like Ore sites, they are guarded by a single wave of sleepers, but sometimes have turrets as well. Also similar to Ore sites, the sleepers are not present on first warp in, instead spawning ~20 minutes after a player has first initiated warp to the site. The sleeper spawn timer will start even if the player cancels warp and never actually arrives at the site. This is a good way to "activate" all Gas sites in the system and come back later to clear the sleepers.
Sometimes when no or not enough combat ships are available, Gas sites can be "ninja huffed" (still for decent profit of up to about 25mil ISK depending on your skill, especially in sites containing the most expensive C320 or C540 gas) by harvesting and warping off as soon as the sleepers arrive - this can be done with great success in the Venture mining frigate for example. Information on Gas in W-space. Note: The Ordinary Perimeter Reservoir Gas sites contain 5 Sentries on initial warp-in so "ninja huffing" is not really possible in these particular sites.
Data sites have multiple containers, often in a grid or array of some kind, that can be accessed using the Data Analyzer module. They will contain SubSystem Datacores, RAMs, or other production/invention components. However, they will be guarded by usually four waves of sleepers.
Relic sites are similiar to Data sites, except that they require the Relic Analyzer module to access the containers. Relic loot will be components from which T3 blueprints can be Reverse Engineered. These components will be wrecked, malfunctioning, or intact; the qualities will produce either 1, 2, or 3 run blueprint copies. Relic sites are also guarded by usually four waves of sleepers.
Risk vs. Reward
Sleeper loot and salvage
Salvage, on the other hand, is used by players. To be specific, it is used in Tech 3 Production, and can be difficult to salvage. Wrecks may require a salvaging skill of 4 or higher, although a salvage tackle may be used in place of a rank in the skill. One item of salvage in particular, Melted Nanoribbons, far exceeds the ISK value of all others with an average price of over 5.5m ISK.
Strategic Cruiser, Tech Level 3 ships, are the fully assembled loot that you extract from w-space. They have very high resistances, are modular and customizable, are the only ship that can fit an interdiction nullifier, but still fit in a package the size of a cruiser. As such, they are tailor made for w-space, being able to adapt to new situations while having great survivability, firepower, and low mass as to not destabilize wormholes. However, beware the price tag. The hull alone will run you over 100 million ISK, and each of the five subsytems will cost you anywhere from 20 to 100 million, or more, making for a very expensive ship once fitted out. A T3 ship must have all subsystems filled to undock but subsystems can now also be swapped in space.
Because there is no list of those in local like in K-Space, players are always at great risk of being attacked without provocation. The terms of an engagement are almost always set by the aggressing party, and thus it's not a fight, but a gank. Players are ganked for profit, fun, or control of space. Despite the seemingly vast stretches of empty w-space, a happenstance connecting wormhole can link an empty system to a highly active, aggressive, residential wormhole corporation.
Unfortunately, there is little that can be done to prevent getting ganked. Instead, do what you can to mitigate any potential losses. "Only fly what you can afford to lose." Although daytripping in w-space is usually undertaken as a PvE venture, you cannot choose to avoid PvP. If you fly a faction ship with deadspace mods for racing through level four missions, keep it docked. If you deal with w-space enough, you will be ganked, but don't worry, it's still worth it. Most w-space corps love PvP and will jump at a chance to kill you and your pod.
How to be (somewhat) safe in w-space
The Directional Scanner is often your primary source of intelligence regarding what else is in system with you. When jumping into a w-space system, you should always, always, always check your D-Scan while holding your jump cloak. No matter how recently you were in the same system, or if you have a friend in system, check your D-Scan. Things can change very quickly, and any warning at all will help.
Many pilots will use certain overview filters to aid them in determining what is in system with them. These filters are often personalized, and can be added gradually as a user becomes adept at using D-Scan.
Ship Naming Convention
Some w-space corporations have their own ship naming conventions. This helps them to quickly identify neutral/hostile ships because they can easily tell if a ship on d-scan is friendly or possibly not. Should you take a fleet into w-space, it is recommended that you do the same. Having a naming convention that is unique can in many cases alert you to the presence of possible hostiles in the system - that is if you catch them on d-scan and they aren't clever enough to adopt your convention in order to fool you into thinking that their ship is part of your fleet.
Unless you happen to want to go to a moon or planet, you will always need a bookmark to go somewhere in w-space. Every time you warp somewhere new, you must book mark it to be able to return without aid or doing work all over again. Nota bene: If a wormhole is bookmarked from the scan result window, it will be inaccurate up to approximately 5km. Instead, a bookmark should be made from the overview once on grid with the wormhole.
In addition, although it is impossible to warp to a wormhole via the right click contextual menu, you can bookmark it, then warp to the bookmark.
In addition to the basic bookmarks such as an entrance or exit wormhole, other points such as a hostile control tower, observation points, group safe spots, or bombing points can be very useful. Thankfully, with the Crucible Expansion in Winter 2011, CCP introduced Corp Locations (aka : Corp Bookmarks). This has been a great update for W-Space since prior to that the only way to share bookmarks was through the use of a jet-can. While any corporate member may create corp bookmarks, and edit/delete his own bookmarks, only those that have the Corp role "Communication Officer" may edit/delete corp bookmarks that are not his own. In EVE University that role is assigned to the Sophomore title. Copying Bookmarks is still required however if you are part of a group that is not all in the same corp (no, there are no Alliance Bookmarks). Corp locations are limited to 250 per corp.
System Occupancy and POS Intel
One easy way of getting an idea of who occupies the system it to check the ownership of the system's POCOs (Player Owned Customs Offices). POCOs can be seen on your Pod Saver tab as long as you have it set up correctly (Setting Up a Pod Saver Preset) and by showing info on them, you can see who owns them. Once you have the corporation/alliance name, you can search for it on a site such as https://zkillboard.com/ to find out their combat trends. This can give you an idea of whose home you are playing around in.
The exact procedure of gathering intel on POSes might be beyond the scope of this class. It is, however, worth mentioning that any excursion into w-space should always have some time set aside to gather intel on the resident's POSes - if any are present, before starting your intended activities. This should include:
- the POS locations (Planet/Moon)
- ships inside the POS shield (piloted/unpiloted)
- location/alignment of bubbles - if any - around the POS (are they "dirty" bubbles - cans or other stuff around that is meant to de-cloak you)
Having the POS locations will allow cloaky scouts to keep an eye on the POSes and relay any pertinent information to the rest of the fleet - such as when pilots log in/out, what kind of ships they are flying and if/when someone warps away, what direction they went. Without POS intel, any ships appearing on d-scan are harder to pinpoint...is it just someone passing through or are the residents logging in and possibly getting ready to ambush your site-running fleet, for example.
With the local channel in delayed mode, once a person is cloaked there is no way to detect them. Therefore, with very rare exception, as long as you are cloaked you are safe. There are tactics to try to decloak possible covops or recons, such as anchoring containers near drag bubbles, especially on approaches to POSes. If you have a cloak, keep it up as much as possible. There is nothing to gain by being visible, and safety comes in being invisible.
Anomolies vs. Signatures
Although everything has to be scanned down, not everything needs probes to find. While in a cosmic signature you have reasonable expectation that there will be probes in space before any unfriendlies arrive, although they may only be out for under a minute before company arrives. Also be aware that hostiles may have visited your system earlier and already have bookmarks for all the signatures, making it unnecessary to launch probes.
In an anomaly, hostiles can enter through a wormhole out of D-Scan range, cloak, warp to your nearby planet, on board scan, d-scan to narrow down your anomaly, warp in at range, and position themselves next to you.... and there's no way you can see them coming. The only way to detect this intrusion is to be constantly probing for new signatures... and to remember that every ship can find your site while you're in an anomaly.
Expecting the Unexpected.. which actually makes it expected
If you hang out in w-space long enough, someone WILL try to gank you. Know it's coming, have a plan, and keep your chin up when you lose a ship. So long as you're a pessimist, all surprises will be happy ones.
W-Space is an advanced area of EVE Online, meant for more experienced players. It takes many aspects of EVE such as teamwork, research, information gathering, negotiation, resource management, and yes combat, and distills them into relatively small, intense encounters. Even within the vast reaches of EVE space, w-space is the frontier, a place that is still unmapped. If you rush into these areas, you can be overwhelmed. If you feel ready, you may find them rewarding. Whatever you do, do it wholeheartedly, no reservations, and may Bob the Wormhole God smile upon you.
- Bubble: A warp disruption sphere, either mobile, projected by a Heavy Interdictor, or dropped by a Interdictor.
- Critical: Less than 10% mass remaining.
- EOL: End of life, an indicator that a wormhole has 4 or less hours of lifetime reamining.
- Gank: A surprise attack.
- K-space: The 5,000 systems that appear on your world map.
- K162: A generic exit, which is only spawned when the other side has been found and a player initates warp to the entrance.
- Locus Signature: The number J###### that appears in place of the usual information when in w-space, used for reference.
- Stage 1: The first dialog of a wormhole's mass limit; greater than 45% remaining.
- Stage 2: The second dialog of a wormhole's mass limit; between 10% and 45% remaining. Also sometimes called "first shrink".
- W-space: 2,500 systems that can only be accessed through wormholes, indexed by Locus Signature, and ranked by Class from 1 to 6.
- Directional Scanner Guide
- Wormholes 101
- http://www.eveonline.com/ingameboard.asp?a=topic&threadID=1314015 (significant musings on the backstory of sleepers/talocan/wormholes)
- http://eve-survival.org/wikka.php?wakka=WormholeSpace (encounter types in wormholes, and what to expect there)
- For auditory learners and commuters: Lost in Eve podcast – Season 3 – Episode 7 answering a half hour long list of wormhole beginner questions in the segment starting at 1:24:00 (hours:minutes:seconds)
- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hXiqpglBw_s "Introduction to Wormholes" video on youtube, by Seamus Donohue