EVE Evolved: Untangling the mystery of the Sleepers

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EVE Evolved: Untangling the mystery of the Sleepers

When EVE Online's Apocrypha expansion was released, details on how wormholes and the 2500 new systems that came with them worked were sketchy. The advanced Sleeper AI found protecting these systems were a force to be feared, unknown and mysterious. There were no guides, no stories of encounters on the forums and anyone that had mounted a successful expedition was keeping their closely guarded secrets to themselves and raking in the ISK.

My corporation (Pillowsoft) were among the first to launch their expedition, having previously prepared an Orca with a medium POS, fuel, equipment and everything else we thought we'd need. We set up in an unknown system and explored this new frontier with a cautious optimism. Over the months that followed, we learned a great deal about EVE's new wormhole systems and the Sleepers that lived in them. After striking gold many times and making each of our expedition members over a billion ISK richer, we began telling our story and giving up those secrets we had been so careful to protect. Today, a great deal is now known about the "unknown" wormhole systems and with ever more corporations launching their own expeditions, it's now more important than ever to research the Sleeper menace before venturing into the abyss.

Join me for this extensive three-page article where I dole out the fruits of my research on wormholes and begin to untangle the mystery of the Sleepers.

Wormholes aren't random:
One of the most shocking discoveries we made in our first expedition was that wormhole formation isn't random. We discovered this pretty quickly after entering the system and setting up shop. Being insistent on finding a wormhole big enough to bring in our capital ships, we set about repeatedly collapsing our system's exit wormhole and then scanning down the new one. We were shocked to find that after 11 separate collapses, the new wormhole that opened after its collapse was always of the exact same type. At the time, we were disappointed as this wormhole type was a C247, not large enough to fit a capital ship through. In time, however, we came to know this feature as a blessing.

It turned out that C247 wormholes lead to class 3 unknown systems, which are perfect for small scale farming and are often absolutely filled with Sleeper installations and sites. Since our system, which we dubbed "New Thelan", always opened a new wormhole of that type, we would get access to a virgin, untapped class 3 system every 16 hours which was just begging to be farmed. We decided that our system must have been some kind of wormhole hub and others we spoke to agreed. When we eventually left the system, we sold the rights to live in it and all the data we had acquired on it for 10 billion ISK to another corporation. We later discovered that while our particular system was the optimum setup for a farming operation, this "hub" behaviour was actually present in all wormhole systems. It seemed wormholes weren't as random as we were led to believe.

How wormholes work:
From our experiences in sleeper space, we cobbled together a working theory of how wormholes worked. This model has conformed with every wormhole I've seen to date and I'm now confident that it's reliable. Wormholes are divided into two kinds - incoming and outgoing. While travel can occur in either direction through a wormhole, one side is the origin point and the other is the exit. The exit is clearly marked as K162, so if you find a wormhole of type K162 you can be sure it's an incoming wormhole that originated on the other side. In normal high, low or null security space, wormholes of any type can appear and lead to any system completely at random. But for those originating in one of the 2500 new Sleeper systems, the same isn't true.

Read on to part 2, where I discuss how wormholes work in Sleeper space and then go on to describe the various sites to be found there and the loot to be had.
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