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The wormhole nomad: living in w-space without a POS

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#1 Posted: 2012.04.26 16:27  |  Edited by: FloppieTheBanjoClown
Prior to becoming a part of The Skunkworks I spent most of my time as a solo explorer, daytripping into wormholes. It was profitable, educational, fun, and you meet a surprising number of friendly people if you know how to not be an idiot. I've made a lot of references to my days of doing this, but have never really written any sort of guide. This shiny new forum has inspired me. Disclaimer: this is a bit disorganized and probably incomplete, but I'm writing on a whim to start discussion.

I got my start just daytripping lower-class wormholes that I found in highsec. I made good isk, learned some lessons, and became quite adept at it. Then I decided I'd try living in one. Here's the problem: I didn't want to bother with a POS. For a solo player, that's just a magnet for your stuff getting blown up and/or stolen. My solution? Be a nomad. Roam from wormhole to wormhole, scouting and properly reseaching new holes before entering them.

What I'm not going to talk about: survival in w-space and fittings. If you don't know to hammer d-scan or you can't fit a Tengu for C3 solo work, you probably need to learn that first. This is about mobility and exploration. And I'll only say this part once: use safe spots, don't log off at celestials. Don't blame me if you lose expensive stuff because you couldn't bother to spend two minutes setting up a proper, hard-to-find safe.

To start with, you need the right tools. Obviously you'll need a PvE ship for shooting sleepers. T3s are hands-down the best ship for this job. I use a Legion because f*** missiles, but the Tengu is the best choice from a min/max perspective. You'll also need to salvage and loot everything. Sleeper sites can be rather expansive, and a Noctis is the obvious choice here. That covers your PVE activity. Put a probe launcher on both so that losing one means you can still get out of the hole with the other.

Now, you can get by with these two ships being flown by two different characters on the same account. Shoot sleepers with one, bookmark the wrecks, and then come back with the other and loot/salvage. This makes you more vulnerable, though, as you'll be logging in and out in ships not suited for the PVP that could fall in your lap at any moment. So I'd suggest multiboxing and having at least a second account with an orca pilot.

This is my orca's fit: a large hull repairer, a large armor repairer, a T1 cloak, a 100mn MWD for fast warps, and warp core stabilizers. I use the SMA to store a mix of ships not in use. Here's what I would suggest you enter the hole with:

  • A recon ship of some kind (I use a pilgrim). A recon showing up on d-scan in a wormhole has the nice effect of making people safe up rather than go hunting. Solo recon ships are rare in w-space and they'll assume it's part of a gang, either scouting or late on the cloak button. This is the ship I would log out in, so that I could cloak immediately upon logging in.
  • A covert ops ship. This should be something any of your pilots can fly, including the orca pilot. It would be risky, but if the worst happened and your orca were stranded in a hole with all your other alts podded out, you could wait for a quiet time and eject the frigate and scan down an exit. Alternatively, a covops alt.
  • The noctis and PvE ship, of course.

  • I multibox three accounts. One would be the orca pilot, the second would be the noctis/covert ops pilot, and the last would be my main combat pilot. I would log in the covops first, scout the hole and look for sites and wormholes. If I found that the hole was safe and profitable, I'd log in my main (flying the Pilgrim) and the orca pilot, reship from the orca and cloak it up. My noctis has a cloak as well so that I could keep it safe from scanners until needed. I would work sites and salvage them as quickly as I could, knowing I could return to the orca and reship quickly if things went bad.

    Hint on salvaging: If you're running anomalies and have a cloak on your noctis, you can verify an anomaly has collapsed before warping by attempt to warp while cloaked. If the anomaly is still there, you'll get the information window on it as well as the notice that you can't warp while cloaked. Allowing the anomaly to despawn before warping to it makes your noctis harder to find and allows you to verify that there aren't any cloaky ships hiding and waiting for your salvager. I lost my first Noctis to a bomber hanging out in a site I'd run.

    Orcas can fit through C2 holes and larger. C1s are only suitable for daytripping if you bring an orca. Scout out new wormholes, check them on wormnav for suitability, and migrate frequently. Creating a pattern of behavior in one system is a good way to attract unwanted attention. It's possible to use an Orca to close a C2 hole to get a new one, but it will take time and multiple round trips. If you're determined to do so, I'd suggest setting up a safe spot near the hole and warping the orca to it to cloak up while you wait for polarization to clear.

    I made billions of isk doing this casually. If you've been daytripping wormholes for a while and are tired of prowling for hours in k-space looking for a decent hole, try going nomad. It's fun, it's dangerous, and it's something not many other people do. There are no logistics (other than resupplying with ammo and selling off your loot), no politics, no having to share. It's just you and whatever you can find to shoot.
    Founding member of the Belligerent Undesirables movement.
    Situation: Normal
    #2 Posted: 2012.04.26 16:50
    I've thought about this, except I still don't have an Orca Pilot.
    #3 Posted: 2012.04.26 16:57
    Thank you for this information. I have an Orca alt finishing up training soon. I was intending to use her to swap ships in space during wartime, but since I'm no longer at war this looks like a fun way to make use of the character and ship.
    #4 Posted: 2012.04.26 17:04
    It's definitely a lot of fun. I wouldn't recommend diving right into it as a first foray into w-space, but if you've done low-class daytripping on C1-C3 it can make for quite a ride.

    I did it off and on for about three months, and hit hundreds of w-space systems. I made a lot of friends over the course of that adventure, making contact with any active corps I encountered. It's truly the last great frontier in Eve.
    Founding member of the Belligerent Undesirables movement.
    Minmatar Republic
    #5 Posted: 2012.04.26 17:19
    Ima spend my next few days looking for you.Pirate
    #6 Posted: 2012.04.26 17:22
    Maxine Bellorum wrote:
    Ima spend my next few days looking for you.Pirate

    Little ol' me?

    Good luck with that. Especially if you find me Twisted
    Founding member of the Belligerent Undesirables movement.
    Caldari State
    #7 Posted: 2012.04.26 17:24
    thank you very much for this. i was playing around with this idea for almost a year now and your writeup gave me some valuable hints.
    "I don't troll, I just give overly blunt responses that annoy people who are wrong but don't want to admit it. It's not my fault that people have sensitive feelings" -MXZF
    #8 Posted: 2012.04.26 17:32
    It's a style of gameplay I've never seen anyone else write about, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. The hardships of w-space, especially extended solo life, will vastly improve your overall Eve play. You'll learn to travel light, stay on your toes, and ultimately to not sweat the little things like losing ships. (Though from experience, you can get pretty attached to a ship after flying it in dangerous space for a year before losing it)

    I went in to w-space barely knowing what I was doing and came out a semi-competent pilot. More importantly, I developed skills there that let me contribute to my new corp in unique ways. When you do come out of the wild with a pile of goods to sell, an epic beard, and desperately in need of a shower, you'll have some great stories and hopefully a lot of isk.
    Founding member of the Belligerent Undesirables movement.
    Upholders
    #9 Posted: 2012.04.26 18:14
    Props for being brave enough to do something like this mate. Need more people like you doing crazy fun stuff like this.
    #10 Posted: 2012.04.26 18:23
    Bernie Nator wrote:
    Props for being brave enough to do something like this mate. Need more people like you doing crazy fun stuff like this.

    You should see my next idea. I'm planning to [redacted for reasons of not wanting other people doing it first]
    Founding member of the Belligerent Undesirables movement.
    Minmatar Republic
    #11 Posted: 2012.04.26 19:27
    Do you think the Noctis is enough better than a looting destroyer to justify the cost? Helped a corp mate a while back hit a Noctis that was cleaning up after a Tengu, we scored all his NR and he had to eat the 65mil for the ship as well.
    #12 Posted: 2012.04.26 20:02
    Great story.

    Used to do that for about 2 weeks using pair of T3's ( Proteus + TenguUgh ). Still months away till my bloody alt trains that Orca Cry

    Good luck with your future, crazy endeavours.
    Upholders
    #13 Posted: 2012.04.26 20:18
    FloppieTheBanjoClown wrote:
    Bernie Nator wrote:
    Props for being brave enough to do something like this mate. Need more people like you doing crazy fun stuff like this.

    You should see my next idea. I'm planning to [redacted for reasons of not wanting other people doing it first]

    Haha mail me then, I'll help you figure out if it's viable.
    #14 Posted: 2012.04.26 20:45
    Great article! I am too lazy to multi-box though..
    "Measure Twice, Cut Once."
    #15 Posted: 2012.04.26 20:49
    Excellent.
    Cool

    I had vague, half-formed thoughts along these lines - you've crystalized them nicely.
    Tell someone you love them today, because life is short. But scream it at them in Esperanto, because life is also terrifying and confusing.

    Didn't vote? Then you voted for NulBloc
    Minmatar Republic
    #16 Posted: 2012.04.26 20:51
    FloppieTheBanjoClown wrote:
    ...and allows you to verify that there aren't any cloaky ships hiding and waiting for your salvager...


    Wasnt this changed lately?
    I know that a cloaked ship in a radar site would not stop the despawn anymore.
    League of Infamy
    #17 Posted: 2012.04.26 21:03
    Sola Mercury wrote:
    FloppieTheBanjoClown wrote:
    ...and allows you to verify that there aren't any cloaky ships hiding and waiting for your salvager...


    Wasnt this changed lately?
    I know that a cloaked ship in a radar site would not stop the despawn anymore.

    Confirming that. Cloaked ships no longer stop a site from despawning. Was changed a few months ago.
    League of Infamy
    #18 Posted: 2012.04.26 21:08
    Donthin Starlance wrote:
    Do you think the Noctis is enough better than a looting destroyer to justify the cost? Helped a corp mate a while back hit a Noctis that was cleaning up after a Tengu, we scored all his NR and he had to eat the 65mil for the ship as well.

    If you use the Noctis correctly, you can significantly reduce the chances of being caught compared to using a destroyer. You aren't 100% safe, but much better than in a dessie. Hint... tractor range is your friend.
    #19 Posted: 2012.04.26 21:40  |  Edited by: FloppieTheBanjoClown
    Scoto Timta wrote:
    Sola Mercury wrote:
    FloppieTheBanjoClown wrote:
    ...and allows you to verify that there aren't any cloaky ships hiding and waiting for your salvager...


    Wasnt this changed lately?
    I know that a cloaked ship in a radar site would not stop the despawn anymore.

    Confirming that. Cloaked ships no longer stop a site from despawning. Was changed a few months ago.

    I sat cloaked in a site for over an hour recently. Iit didn't despawn. v0v

    edit: it's still good practice to let the site despawn so that people warping to anoms can't find your salvager that way.
    Founding member of the Belligerent Undesirables movement.
    #20 Posted: 2012.04.26 21:43
    Donthin Starlance wrote:
    Do you think the Noctis is enough better than a looting destroyer to justify the cost? Helped a corp mate a while back hit a Noctis that was cleaning up after a Tengu, we scored all his NR and he had to eat the 65mil for the ship as well.

    Given the speed with which a Noctis can clear the field over a destroyer, it is absolutely worth it. You'll pay for a full T2-fitted noctis in less than an hour in w-space. If you use it for 10 hours, its increased efficiency will pay for it. If you get the hundreds of hours I have out of one, you'll never know how you ever got by with a salvage cat.
    Founding member of the Belligerent Undesirables movement.
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