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EVE Evolved: Wormhole piracy 101, part 2


The Wormhole Engineer:
As I've discussed in previous articles, wormholes are stable until a certain amount of time has passed or a certain amount of mass passes through them. Since each system's static wormhole is always of the exact same type, you can look up the limits on your system's static wormhole and use it to your advantage. Rather than waiting the full 16 hours or longer for the wormhole to collapse, you can collapse it manually by flying a ship back and forth through it roughly once every four to five minutes. It takes careful calculation to ensure that the wormhole will collapse on the return trip so that the wormhole engineer isn't left stranded on the other side. Accidents and miscalculations do happen though, especially if you don't carefully record the mass of every ship using the wormhole.

In our experience, a dedicated wormhole engineer character trained to fly a tier 1 battleship is the best tool for the job. When fitted with 1600mm Steel Plates and a 100mn afterburner, the mass of a battleship increases significantly. The plates add 6.25 million kg each to the battleship's starting mass of over 100 million and the 100mn afterburner also adds another 50 million kg when activated before a jump. Depending on the mass limit of your static wormholes, it's possible to collapse them in as little as 10 minutes with one wormhole engineer. This gives you a new system roughly every 15 minutes to enter and quickly scan for targets. The ability to cycle your wormhole reliably and quickly is one of the dirty little secrets of wormhole piracy and having a good wormhole engineer is crucial to your success.

Tactics and targets: Miners
Whether you hunt in 0.0 systems or deep in Sleeper space, you're likely to run into miners occasionally. In our hunting efforts, we've found everything from individual mining barges to full scale mining ops with Hulks and Orcas. These targets may be mining very far apart, necessitating multiple warp-in points. The covert ops pilot will find it useful to bookmark each ship group separately and give the bookmarks to separate tacklers. One particularly good trick we found was to bookmark the cargo containers miners are using to hold their ore or bookmarking a nearby asteroid. In wormhole systems, asteroid belts tend to be large enough that it's even possible to warp to a far away asteroid and back again to another target. This tricky maneuver requires quick thinking and action but can seriously pay off, as I found myself when it landed our expedition an expensive Orca kill.

Tactics and targets: Sleeper hunters
Pilots in wormhole systems farming the sleepers are prime targets for attack as the sleepers are already dealing damage to them. These targets are typically battleships, Drakes, command ships and heavy assault ships. Be careful if going after these targets as the Sleepers will often target the newcomers to the fight and those in tougher sites will warp scramble. ECM is a very effective way of keeping the Sleepers at bay while the attack is in progress. Additionally, if the target gets spooked they may warp to the wormhole and attempt to escape. A warp disruption field on the wormhole will force them out of warp before they're close enough to jump, at which point a few stasis webs will stop them dead in their tracks.

Tactics and targets: POS
POS are an unlikely but potentially lucrative target. Attacking an active POS with its shield up is a very time-consuming business, with small or medium POS usually taking over a day to destroy due to the reinforced timer. Be warned that while you can unanchor and steal all the POS modules when the tower is destroyed, doing so destroys their contents. It's highly reccomended that you blow up corporate hangers and ship arrays, which will then launch their loot into space. Actually laying siege to a POS for hours is a boring process and so the best possible targets are those POS whose shield is offline. If you're lucky enough to find a POS that has run out of fuel and gone offline, the hangers can be attacked immediately and they can drop a lot of loot. To find offline POS, add control towers and force fields to your overview and then use the directional scanner to find control towers with no force field active. Our expedition recently used an incoming wormhole from 0.0 to attack an offline POS in the drone regions, which dropped almost a billion ISK's worth of drone minerals. We also caught a corp in a wormhole unanchoring their control tower and swiped it at the last minute for an easy 200 million ISK profit.

Wormhole piracy and setting up pirate waystations in wormhole systems are further examples of the emergent gameplay that typifies EVE. With a good wormhole engineer and a dedicated military presence, a corp could make a name for themselves as unseen pirates that appear out of thin air to attack and disappear without a trace afterward. Does your corp have what it takes to maintain their own little pirate empire with a secret hidden wormhole base?

Brendan "Nyphur" Drain is an early veteran of EVE Online and writer of the weekly EVE Evolved column here at 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. WOOOOOOOOORRMMHOOOOOOOOOOLLLLES!

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