Gear up.. continued:
A viable alternative to the Orca is a jump drive capable ship like a tech 2 freighter. While jump drives don't function inside the wormhole system and can't be used to get back inside, they make the trip to and from wormholes a lot safer. A jump freighter could jump into a system with a wormhole leading where you want and enter it. More importantly, when it exits a wormhole it doesn't need to be somewhere entirely safe as it can use its jump drive to get back to a safer location. The main down side of using a freighter or jump freighter for this kind of work is that it can't access its cargo hold in space unless it's inside a friendly POS. The only exception is that it can deploy POS modules from its cargo hold, meaning your freighter will be vulnerable until your POS is online and the cargo will be inaccessible should the POS be destroyed.
The best combat ships to bring into a wormhole will be primarily tech 2 cruisers and battlecruisers. Battleships may be a lot more useful but their high mass means you'll get fewer pilots in battleships through a wormhole than you'll get tech 2 cruisers through. Heavy Assault Ships are ideal due to their high tank and damage potential, offering possibly the highest power to weight ratio of any ship type. Logistics ships may also be useful for defending against player attackers and the tougher NPCs in the new systems. These ships have the added bonus of being small enough to transport in an Orca. Some pilots are even determined to bring carriers and dreadnoughts into wormhole systems but more details are needed on how exactly wormholes will work before the viability of this idea can be established.
Establishing and maintaining a presence within a wormhole system sounds like a lot of bother and a big logistical headache but the rewards promise to be well worth it. Not only are these systems rated security level 0.0 with rich asteroid belts but they're also the site for the harvesting of materials used to make Tech 3 ships. Within these new wormhole systems lie tough ships belonging to the ancient races of EVE. So far devblogs on wormholes have mentioned the Sleeper race but there's a very good chance we'll also see the Takmahl, Talocan and Yan Jung at some stage. These ships will be armed to the teeth and imbued with a new more advanced AI system than the common NPCs we've fought up until now. They are apparently going to take gang co-ordination to defeat and will drop tech 3 components and materials as loot.
While we're still waiting on more devblogs from CCP wormholes and Tech 3, it sounds like the new systems actively support a nomadic fleet lifestyle and corporate level ownership of systems. With the increased possibilities for roaming nomadic fleets and small scale PvP in the new systems, I for one am very excited about the free expansion that goes live in only one month. For those that can't wait that long, an early test of some features in the massive Apocrapha expansion can be play-tested on the test server right now and early patch notes are available!
Brendan "Nyphur" Drain is an early veteran of EVE Online and writer of the weekly EVE Evolved column here at massively.com. The column covers anything and everything relating to EVE Online, from in-depth guides to speculative opinion pieces. If you want to message him, send him an e-mail at brendan.drain AT weblogsinc DOT com.