There are upsides and downsides to living in wormhole space but is it worth it? Obviously there is the money factor, money is easy to make in wormholes and even though players might struggle at first anyone can make it work. The other reason players like to live in wormholes is the PvP action that can be found, often the victor in a battle is decided by whoever brings the most ships, but that’s not typically true in a wormhole due to the smaller fleet fights that occur. Now that is also a mark against wormholes for some players as they prefer to not be involved in any kind of pvp, but that’s what Eve Online is all about.
Wormhole life isn’t for most players. Typically residences of wormholes log in and scan the system out to check for new sites and anomalies. All the while they have to constantly check their directional scanner to look for enemy ships, POS, and probes to know if anyone is lying in wait for them to make a mistake. If there are no new sites then there is nothing really for the residents to do other than camp a wormhole for some PvP action, so most log off. When there are sites though they begin to explore and reach for the vast riches that dot the wormhole landscape.
Mining in a wormhole is nothing like mining in high-sec and quite frankly I would advise against it. Gravimetric sites are asteroid fields that contain ores that are often rare and the higher class wormhole the site is in the more isk you can make mining. The problem is that in order to access these ores you have to bring in a mining barge to harvest the resources available. Mining barges are huge “I’m defenseless” beacons because they are very easy to kill before the player even knows what is going on. As a wormhole dweller I can say that when I spot a mining ship the first thing I do is attempt to locate it so I can get a free kill. The second problem is moving the material out of the wormhole. You can refine in in a POS with a refining array but it takes too long and the loss on material during the process is too great, which means you would ideally move it outside the wormhole. However with the ore taking up so much cargo space moving it out of the area is not feasible because it only makes you a bigger target and takes more time to manage. In the end no matter what the price of the ore you make more isk per hour mining in high-sec and you don’t need to worry about getting ganked every second.
Sleepers are the rats of wormhole space and they are found in various sites throughout the wormhole, but they are not found just milling around. The sites disappear once a player clears them and then players must wait for them to reappear which could take a few days. These can be very profitable due to their cargo and mostly the salvaged materials found on them. Similar to gravimetric sites these sites also go up in value when you are in a higher class wormhole, but they also become more difficult. In Eve Online nothing is easy and these sleepers are no different, generally you will need a few players to run a sleeper site and not because the sleepers are difficult, which they are, but because you make a good target for a passerby and there is safety in numbers. These fights can be intense and players can get distracted, once you start taking damage an enemy could warp in and kill you fairly easily because you would already be weakened from fighting several NPC’s.
That is not the only issue though, the real problem with sleepers is that they take too long to spawn in the wormhole you choose to reside in which is why players often prefer to have another static wormhole attached to their home. The static allows players to check a new wormhole each day that will have a link to their home, making retreat easier and disturbance from enemies less likely. For example a static class 3 wormhole means that every 24hours there will be a new C3 wormhole to explore. These wormholes can be cycled or intentionally closed so that players can look for a wormhole that has more sleepers to run.
Planetary Interaction is the last way for players to make money in wormholes. These do often require a bit of initial investment because you will need to have customs offices in order to fully utilize your PI facilities and these can cost a few hundred million isk. Because wormholes are considered -1.0 space their planets have the same resource value as the null-sec planets. There are tons of resources to be harvested, produced and moved back into high-sec for a decent profit. Now there is again the problem of transportation. These resources take a lot of cargo space and must be shipped out of the wormhole in regular intervals or you will run out of places to store them. Players don’t typically move the raw materials off the planet because they take up too much space, but once a higher level item is created, such as mechanical parts, the space required to haul goes down. This allows players to haul less and make more money, but it does require them to spend more time manufacturing their goods on planets.
Pvp in wormholes is unique as well. In my opinion it is what eve PvP should really be. Most fights are small scale involving less than 12 pilot’s total, and there are often skirmishes as pilots enter and leave the deadly space. The higher the class of wormhole the more likely there will be more than a small fleet, in fact some of those will consist of carrier or dreadnaught fleets. I know larger fights can occur but in most cases they are small scale especially when compared to null-sec fights. It is in these wormholes where one player can find a truly enjoyable pvp fight where skill matters more because typically there is less blobbing. With wormholes having mass limits it is difficult for larger ships to participate in most wormhole fights especially those that occur in Class 1 wormholes as no battleships or larger are allowed to go through.
One of the biggest problems with living in wormhole space is the logistical issue of fueling a POS. These stations are a must have for anyone to survive because they provide a safe haven and the ability to store items and ships. They are also the only way to indicate that the wormhole has a current resident. Players with a non-static wormhole will have to stock up at least a month of fuel in advance because they don’t know how dangerous moving through other wormholes will be or if they can even get access to fuel for the next few weeks. Moving the fuel into the wormhole is quite an endeavor even with a static high-sec. As a logistics runner you have to watch the inside of the wormhole when moving fuel in because you don’t want to get jumped by a fleet or shot down by a single bomber.
The biggest downside to wormholes is the logistical requirements of moving ships, modules, ore’s and goods in and out of a wormhole. At first it seems like this is a daunting task and those wormholes might not be worth the time and effort, but really this is what Eve Online is all about. No matter where you go, even in high-sec in order to make money you will have to move these items from place to place and wormholes are no different. There is however the potential to make more isk when living in a wormhole. Is living in wormhole space worth it? I certainly think so, but I also think that most players will find their home elsewhere in Eve Online. As I stated earlier wormhole space is not for everyone, yes it is enjoyable but so is low-sec, null-sec and high-sec but ultimately each player must decide if it is a life they are interested in taking on.
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