Hello, fellow Alphas! I’ve recently been doing a stint in wormhole space, and I thought I’d share this with you to help you out.
TL;DR - grab a Venture, fit it out with a probe scanner, gas cloud harvesters, and analyzers, and go into wormhole space and harvest gas and run down data and relic sites until your cargohold is full or you get bored. Come home and sell the results for profit.
Wormholes can be quite scary for people who aren’t used to them. Anybody you see is likely an enemy, and there’s no intel in local chat that you can use to try and make a plan. However, if you take care, wormholes can be - not perfectly safe, but at least relatively safe. They are also home to some really lucrative loot, so I’ll go in to how you can make money from wormholes. Just to give you an idea of how much you can make - I visited three wormholes and went home, and I cleared over 70 million ISK, just from those three wormholes.
Stick to the rules and get home safe. No guarantees, you’re always in danger (it is EVE Online, after all), but you’ll stand a better chance than you would otherwise.
- Spam your D-Scan. Keep running your D-Scan - as soon as one scan is done, start another. If you see another ship coming up, or if you see Combat Scanner Probes, you need to go.
- Always have a safe spot set up. If you don’t know about safe spots, you need to look up “how to create safe spots in EVE Online”. You should always have at least one and preferably more safe spots in every wormhole system you visit. As soon as you enter, set up a safe spot.
- Don’t use the local chat. In wormhole space, you don’t show up in local until after you’ve sent your first message, so if you don’t say anything, nobody is going to know that you’re there.
- Always have an escape strategy. Place a bookmark at the wormhole when you came in so you can warp back to it in a crisis. If your entrance wormhole has collasped, scan down and bookmark a new one to exit through.
- Never warp to zero. You don’t know what’s waiting for you. Warp to sites at 100km, in case they have Sleepers, and if they do, don’t hang around - turn around and warp out immediately! Warp to wormholes and space stations at a random distance; gankers know about the “warp to 100km” trick, so if they’re organised, they will camp both 0km and 100km to try and catch people out.
Classes of wormholes
Wormhole systems have different classes. Higher classes are harder to reach and contain more dangerous rats, but they also have more valuable loot in them. Classes go from C1, the safest class, to C6, the most dangerous. Some systems also have special effects; these effects are stronger in higher-class systems.
You can tell a lot about a wormhole by looking at it and reading its info box. These are the most important points:
- Look at the colour of the flare areound the wormhole (the wispy cloud-like bits). These tell you how big of a ship can pass through. Royal blue means small ships (frigates and destroyers), teal means small and medium ships (industrials, crusiers, battlecruisers and smaller), grey means small, medium and large ships (battleships and smaller) and amber means subcapital and capital ships (everything except Titans and supercarriers).
- If the flare is strongly coloured, it means the wormhole has at least four hours of life left. If it’s faded and barely visible, it means that the wormhole will collapse within the next four hours, and after that yiu will need to find a new way home.
- Check the info box for the line “this wormhole leads to …”. Leads to unknown space means it goes to a C1, C2 or C3 wormhole system. Dangerous unknown means it goes to a C4 or C5 system, and deadly unknown means it goes to a C6 system. Thera means it goes specifically to the Thera system, a unique system in wormhole space.
- Also look for the line with the word “stability” in it. Wormholes slowly destabilise as they transmit mass over their lifetime, and once they’ve transmitted a certain amount, they collapse. You need to look out for the phrase stability critically disrupted - this means that it is on the verge of collapse, and if you go through it, especially if you go through more than once, you could collapse the wormhole.
Fitting a ship
If you’re not going in as part of a fleet to do PvE against the Sleepers, the best loot in wormhole space comes from gas sites and from data and relic sites. You need to fit out a ship to take advantage of both of these. Here’s my recommendation:
High slots - Core Probe Launcher, Gas Cloud Harvester, Gas Cloud Harvester
Mid slots - 1MN Afterburner I, Data Analyzer I, Relic Analyzer I
Low slot - Inertial Stabilizers I
Rigs - Small Memetic Algorithm Bank, Small Emission Scope Sharpener
You need to train the Gas Cloud Harvesting skill to level II, and train all the Scanning skills as high as they can go.
If you have good fitting skills and you can afford one, you can overfit your Venture with a 10MN Y-S8 Compact Afterburner (the regular 10MN Afterburner won’t fit), which gives it the speed boost of fitting a Microwarpdrive, but without the increased signature radius.
Inertial Stabilizers I in the low slot decreases the time it takes you to enter warp. I decided to go with this over a Damage Control I as this fit isn’t intended for combat, and even with a tank you’d probably still get taken out straight away (this is also why it doesn’t have any drones).
Since it is a frigate, a Venture is small enough that it can pass through any wormhole, without having to worry about size restrictions.
Know your sites
To increase survivability, know which sites you should and shouldn’t warp to.
- Central data sites and Ruined relic sites are safe to warp to. Other data and relic sites are guarded by Sleepers, although if you warp to 100km you should have enough time to turn around and warp out again before they shoot at you.
- Ordinary Perimeter Reservoirs are a type of gas site. You should NEVER warp to one of these; they have Sleeper sentry guns already in place. Even if you warp to 100km, you can’t warp out again before being destroyed.
Gas sites and ninja harvesting
When you warp to a gas site, it starts a timer before the Sleepers arrive. You need to start harvesting, and keep an eye on your overview. The INSTANT the Sleepers appear, warp out, or you’ll get destroyed. This technique is known as ninja harvesting. I usually get around a quarter to a third of a hold full of gas when ninja harvesting for each gas site I visit.
When harvesting gas in wormhole space, you need to pick your targets. Not all gases are of equal value. Here’s a rundown of the different sites and gases, and what they’re worth:
- “Perimeter reservoir” sites spawn in C1-C4 class wormhole sites. These contain C50, C60, C70, C72 and C84 types of fullerite gas. These are only really worth it if you’re strapped for time, or if you don’t want to go any deeper into wormhole space. Of these, C50, C60 and C70 each take up 1 m3 per unit, so you can fit 5000 units of them in a Venture. C72 and C84 both take up 2 m3 per unit, so you can only get 2500 units of them. Prices do fluctuate a bit; C60 is worth the least, C84 is worth more per unit but you can only harvest half as much of it so it’s not worth much. Even so, a full hold of C60 or C84 will net you around 13 million ISK. C50 and C72 are the best ones to harvest, they will get you around 25-30 million ISK for a full hold. REMEMBER - never warp to an Ordinary Perimeter Reservoir!
- “Frontier reservoir” sites spawn in C3-C6 class wormhole sites. These contain C28 and C32 types of fullerite gas. C28 is worth less per unit but it only takes up 2 m3 per unit in your cargohold; C32 is worth more per unit but it takes up 5 m3. Overall, C28 is worth more for a full hold, around 30 million ISK.
- “Core reservoir” sites only spawn in C5 and C6 class wormholes, the most dangerous wormhole classes. These contain C320 and C540 fullerite gases. C540 is more valuable per unit, but it takes up twice as much space in the cargohold (10 m3 per unti) as C320 (5 m3 per unit). C320 is more valuable in bulk; a full hold is worth around 50 million ISK.