Interested in wormhole space?
Of course you are, otherwise you would not be reading this blog.
I get the question from the new guys all the time. What kind of things do I need to bring into a wormhole?
My answer is always complicated.
In reality, it depends on the corp, your skills and the role you wish to play in the wormhole. However, in general, I can recommend the following skills: (those of you adequately skilled can skip this part)
If you are just starting, the first recommendation that anyone makes is the learning skills. My suggestion is the base learning skills to 4 and the advanced learning to 3. If you know your going to be playing the character and training a lot, I would suggest advanced to 4. Training any learning skill to 5 takes years to see any benefit from wasting the time to learn that particular skill.
Next you want good fitting skills. Hammer's Blog did a short blurb about this that is very helpful. Anything that allows you to fit more on your ship and get more bang for the buck is pretty key.
Now comes the scanning skills. If you don't know how to scan, go back to the starting tutorial guys and do the scanning set of missions. It is very helpful and will give you the knowledge you need to succeed in a wormhole. As far as scanning skill levels go, you need at the bare minimum Astrometrics 4, Astrometric Rangefinding 3, Astrometric Pinpointing 3, and Astrometric Acquisition 2, maybe 3. Advanced users and those of you wishing for combat probing will need all those support to at least 4 and should all be 5.
After that it really depends on what kind of activity you/your corp wish to do in a wormhole. If you want to build/research/etc you need those appropriate skills. If blowing up sleepers is more your thing, a heavy dose of combat skills is necessary. Looking to strike it rich with ABC ore? There is plenty in WH space but you need the skills to extract it from the rocks.
Ideally, don't expect to just create a new character and jump right into a wormhole. You need a significant amount of training to be functional as well as helpful. And the game experience you learn along the way getting said training will be invaluable.
What kind of ships should you bring into the hole? Well that is complicated too but easier to narrow down. First and foremost, anyone serious about living in WH space needs a scan ship.
Follow along the checklist:
- Scan Skills (see above)
- Whatever race you fly Frigate 5
- Juryrigging 3
- A set of Sister's Probes
- A Sister's Launcher
Got all that? Great. Get whatever race you fly's scan ship (Amarr – Magnate, Caldari – Heron, Gallente – Imicus, Minmatar – Probe) and fit it with an Expanded Sister's Probe Launcher, two Small Gravity Capacitor Upgrade rigs, a cloak, MWD, and some nanofiber internal structures (nanos) or fitting mods if you don't quite have the skills. If you have room, toss in a cap battery or some cap rechargers. Throw the sisters probes in the cargohold and your good to go. In general you need at least 5 of the core scanning probes and as many combat probes as you can use based on your astrometrics. Why cap battery? Because MWDs reduce your cap and some WH systems are abnormally large, meaning if the WH's are on opposite sides of the sytem you might have to jump multiple times to get there. A medium cap battery (if you can fit it) will help alleviate that problem by giving you more cap to jump with. Even a small cap battery will help. But if the MWD drops your overall cap, why do you want to fit it? Because this is WH space, and bubbles can and will mess you up. The faster you can get out of the bubble to warp out, the better. Remember, this isn't a combat/mining/analyzing/hacking/whatever ship. Its a scanning/scout ship. Get in, get out, get better.
This will be your base scanning ship. You should work on getting covert ops 4 as soon as possible to get into the race's covert ops scan ship (5 again, is better), which allows you to use covert ops cloaks; this allows you to warp when cloaked which is really important when scouting other wormholes.
Don't blink about the price of the sisters launcher and probes. They give a passive scan bonus that will help you far more then the small price to pay. If you start in a regular frig you can transfer them over to the covert ops once you've attained the training to use it. Also, a quick note about probe launchers. They come in two flavors, regular flavored probe and expanded flavor probe. Regular probe launchers are easier to fit on ships but can only use core scanning probes. Expanded can fit more probes and can use all three types (core, combat, and deep space) but at the cost of higher fitting requirements, in this case, more cpu. On a scan ship you should have the cpu to make it all fit, so go with the one that allows more versatility.
After this first initial important ship, bring in whatever helps the corp. If the corp does mining, then you'll need ships for that. Corps taking down sleepers will need appropriate team tanked BC, BS or T3 depending on how your corp does business. PVP corps require some different ships. Remember, fly what you are good at, don't try to be a jack-of-all trades. Pick a ship to focus on and get it down, then learn the next one. In the next coming weeks I will talk about ship setups for PVP and for PVE operations.
Now get out there and practice scanning!