Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Wormholes - a day trip

With all the chaos around old Darkness Of Despair systems, a shortcut to High Sec was in order.
John jumped in his Stratios and set off. One system over there were two cosmic signatures to scan down.
Even though there was no one else in the system, a safe would be needed.

Safe Spots
To me this is a bookmark in the system that is reasonably safe from any hostiles warping straight to you. You can still be combat probed but if you have an eye on local and Dscan you get ample warning.

I opted for a simple safe spot, as I had a cloak.
A quick look at the map gave me the furthest celestial from the gate I was at. Warp to it and drop a book mark roughly half way. Its not a big system so everywhere is in Dscan range. Warp back to the book mark. On landing drop probes, pick a random direction, engage drive and switch on cloak. Now being next to impossible to find, switch over to the scanning map and hunt down the signatures. A more complicated safe spot would be to the pick another target and warp, dropping a bookmark on the way. This gives you a spot that is not on a direct route between any point.
Sisters Probes, Launcher and the Stratios all give a massive bonus to my meager skills, some at 3 and some at 4.
Turned out to be a wormhole and a combat site. I ignored the combat site, and did not even fully scan it down. Recall the probes and decloak and load the launcher. (Always best to do before entering the hole as 10 seconds is a long time to sit around in wormhole space.)
Still no one in system so warped to the wormhole at 10k to look. Appeared to be visually a C4, and had a full life span and mass limit.

Checklist for wormholes
Probe Launcher

These are the minimum you should have. If the wormhole shuts for any reason and you are inside with no probes, the only way out is to self destruct. Not a good idea. Cloak as everyone in a wormhole is going to try and shoot you, so hide. and insurance because sometimes you are too slow or cannot hide.

Bookmarked the Null side of the hole and jumped through.
First task was to Dscan at max range and 360 degrees. A Tengu and a Carrier on scan with several towers and wrecks. So there have been people active in last two hours, and capitals in system.
Second task is to bookmark this side of the hole so you can get out.
You still at this point have the jump cloak. Look at the map, pick a celestial that will give you max Dscan coverage and warp at range. As soon as the warp starts hit the cloak.

Always assume that the inhabitants of the hole are paranoid, and have someone cloaked up watching all the entrances. Most times they do not, but several times I have been invited to conversation while in warp. Personally if this happens I turn straight around and run for the exit.

Normally however you land and Dscan again. Personally I want to find every tower and any ships before I drop probes. Probes can be seen, and if they have not noticed you up to now they will as soon as probes are dropped.

A quick look at Statticmapper told me that this was a C4 with a C5 static connection. I found all the towers, and none had any force field up. Narrowing down Dscan in both range and arc lead me to each tower. I warped to each at 50 just to check they were truly dead and not on or off lining. They were all dead. So the Tengu and Carrier were ratting.... Where are they now?
Dscanning the anomalies, gave me one with wrecks, so I warped to it at range. Still cloaked. Hordes of sleepers still up and hostile. so someone knew I was here and stopped ratting to assess (or hunt me). Either way this is sensible and meant there was at least one competent pilot in system. Also it was not their home system, and a C5 static.
Discretion being the best route sometimes, warped back to the in hole and jumped through.. Out of interest I microwarped at random and cloaked to watch. Less than a minute later a Tengu pops through the hole. thirty seconds later a carrier jumped in and then straight back putting the hole out of service.

A lucky escape. They clearly wanted peace to rat, but if I had not run, then I would be still in and have to scan out a route. Not good.

Two systems over found another wormhole, this one a C2 (you can tell by colour, google it). C2's have two statics, so a high chance of a High or Low sec exit. Following the same procedure, jumped in. Big system was the first thing I noticed. Nothing in Dscan range. Only three planets, each more than 30 AU from each. Long old warp to each, but no towers and no ships. Made a safe spot out of Dscan range, dropped probes and started scanning. Mostly Gas sites but found the statics, a C1 and a Low sec. Bookmarked and popped through. Molden Heath. Not brilliant, but not bad. 4 jumps to a system selling the skill books I wanted, off I went.
Let the rest of the corp know that there was a reasonable exit. Low sec has its own dangers, but gate to gate in a small ship, you are reasonably safe.
Arrived, spent a small fortune on skill books and headed back.
On the second gate saw a warrior II abandoned 18k from the gate. Immediate thought was bait. Tempted but no, as I approached the gate a purifier decloaks 8k away. Jumped anyway, and held the cloak. As soon as I saw the gate flash I warped to the next gate, and was followed. A single bomber did not worry me, the drones and lasers could take him, but his friends... within a minute there were 4 extra in local with the same corp ticker.
Call me risk adverse but a stratios is not a ship to lose vs a small gang, so again I ran to the next gate and then to the WH. They followed to the last system, but could not follow to the hole. Effectively a deep safe. They would have to probe to find me. Once I saw combat probes I slipped back into wormhole space and then home.

Mapping wormholes, if done right can be very safe, but takes time for no isk return. I do not do wormhole sites, mainly because I suspect that the sleepers would eat me alive. I keep on meaning to do a C1 site, but never get around to it. So my whole evening play time used up to get some skill books. I had fun, but then I suspect that I am easy to please.

As ever comments appreciated. I try to write things assuming a very new person is reading this. I probably do not do things the same way as most of you, but I do hope that my ramblings help somebody out or at least prompt some thought on how do do it. ....


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