Saturday, March 12, 2011

The Art of Closing Wormholes

Pst. Hey Shadai.

Sorry folks.

Shadai, dude, wake up.

He'll be right along. See, he sat down to play Dragon Age 2 on Tuesday and he's been in this comatose state ever since.


Wha...? what? What day is it? Shit, Saturday? Already? Well damn. Last thing I remember is sitting down to try Dragon Age 2 and.... oh my, I don't really remember what happened after that. I certainly don't remember drinking.

Um right. Wormholes!

Today I'm going to cover the art of closing wormholes. Those of you who get a terrible exit and log off thinking, “Well, maybe tomorrow will be better” pay attention. The great thing about WH space is if you don't like your exit or the neighboring system, you can close it and get a new system. Generally there are a few easy ways to do this.

Step 1. Get a Capital Ship
Step 2. Jump said Capital Ship through the hole twice, once out, once in.
Step 3. Start scanning for a new hole.

See? Simple.

Unfortunately, not everyone is Cap trained. Capitals take a long, long time to train for, and usually need level 5 skills that take a long time to train. Like Race Specific Battleship. Or Drone Interfacing. And the above is generally an oversimplification. Depending on the hole, sometimes it takes a few extra.

So what do we need to close holes?

First and foremost, we need information. We need to know what kind of hole we are closing. Closing a class 1 WH is going to require a completely different ship then what we need to close a class 5. We need to know the maximum amount of mass the hole has.

Starting with what kind of hole, a quick WH primer for those of you who don't know or don't remember from the 10 Things to Know. Any hole in WH space can be closed. Presumably, you want to close the hole that is in your space. Remember that any hole in your system that is designated k162 is an opening from elsewhere. Meaning if you close it, you avoid the neighbors from raiding your system, but it doesn't mean another hole opens in your system. If you want a new exit, you'll need to locate your static hole. A wormhole can have more than one static, and as long as one of those static's is open, a new one will not spawn. A static hole is one that has a signature other then k162. Check Static Mapper and look up your system number to see what your static is. Just remember if you are going to close a k162 in your system you need to get the signature from the other side to know what kind of hole it is.

Found it? Great. You can now look up the signature in Static mapper to determine how much mass a wormhole can take before collapsing. I prefer to use Daopa's, however. It lists the same information, but also the mass at the various points so you don't have to do the math.

Next, get yourself a hole raping battleship. Battleships are generally easy to train up for (for alts!) and are cheap in case you lose one. The bonus is aside from a carrier, there isn't anything bigger you can use. I prefer the Armageddon (insert your own joke here). The Armageddon is the best to use for three reasons. 1. Its cheap and easy to train for (only requires Amarr Battleship 1). 2. It has 8 low slots. 3. It has the most starting mass of the three Amarr Battleships at 105,200,000 kg.

Now fit it for maximum mass (girth? Lol). Get yourself 8 meta 0 1600mm Reinforced Steel Plate I. Why meta 0? First of all they are really cheap. Secondly, meta 0 add more mass to the ship then any others. T2 Plates (meta 5) add the same mass as meta 0 but at a huge cost in isk. Higher meta variations like the ever popular for pvp Rolled Tungsten Plates (meta 4) still cost more then meta 0, but don't nearly add the mass we are looking for, in fact, they add less. In the mid slots, put a 100MN MWD or AB. Whatever meta 0 you have laying around will do just fine. The rest of the slots are up to you, you can just leave them empty if the ship's only purpose is to close holes. Tossing a probe launcher and a few Cap Boosters can't hurt, however. Whatever you put on after the plate and prop isn't going to matter to the overall mass; for whatever reason even if the mod has a mass it doesn't actually add to the ship's total.

The MWD or AB is unique as they are mods that add mass to the ship when they are active. “Going through hot” often indicates the pilot is going through the hole with the mod activated. Each level of mod adds a certain amount of mass, with 100MN understandably adding the most.

Fitted as such, the Raping Armageddon has an impressive 185,200,000 kg of mass when the AB/MWD is active. Without the prop mod active, it still has an impressive 135,200,000. That's right, it gets an additional 30 mil from just the meta 0 plate.

Just sitting under 200 million kg gives a bit of wiggle room. Now it becomes simple mathematics. Take the max stable mass of the hole you want to close (the information you got from the websites) and divide it by 185,200,000. It will give you exactly how many jumps you need to make to close the hole. This is not necessarily the correct answer however. Unless you found the hole and have been watching it the entire time, its impossible to tell how much has already gone through. It takes a bit of finesse from this point on.

For example, closing a class 5 WH H296. The H296 has a maximum mass of 3,000,000,000 kg. Throwing those numbers into a calculator will tell you that this style of Armageddon will take 16.19 jumps to close. Let's assume for the moment the show info on the hole says “This wormhole has not yet had its stability significantly disrupted by ships passing through it.” That means it has more then ½ its total mass, or in this case of H296, > 1,500,000,000. Since we don't know if that means the hole has 1,500,000,001 or the full 3 billion we do a bit of trial and error.

Jump the ship back and forth and watch the show information after each jump. As soon as the information changes from “..not yet had its stability significantly disrupted..” to “This wormhole has had its stability reduced by ships passing through it, but not to a critical degree yet” you've hit the halfway marker. Make a note and know that you are halfway there.

In this case of the H296, I know I have about 8 more jumps to make in the battleship. If I'm on the wrong side of the hole I then jump 6 more times and have someone else bring a smaller mass battleship (one without plates online or prop on) through twice. On your 7th jump you should close it. If I'm on my side of the hole, I could try the full 8 which theoretically should close it with me on the right side but be careful. Before the 7th jump (if I was doing it by myself) I would probably offline the plate and go in cold, then spend some time using the cap booster to online all the plate then go through hot.

You should probably never close a hole by yourself, but in case you have to, that's generally how its done.

Eventually it's bound to happen. The hole goes critical and you squeeze the Geddon through and.... nothing. The hole stays. Now you need some greater skills. As in you need a Heavy Interdictor. As long as you can deploy the bubble, a HIC can go into a critical hole and not collapse it (most of the time). This is because HIC bubbles reduce the mass of the HIC by 80%. And since its a cruiser its starts around 15 million kg; Bubbled it should be around 3 million mass. Simply bubble, cross fingers, jump from your side to the other. Load grid, wait out session change, then go back through hot. Hopefully it closes. If not, try again. But be sure you have a scanner or at the very least the exit marks before you start jumping with the more expensive HIC.


  1. Just because a WH is not a K162 does not mean it's a static.

  2. For purposes of wormhole dwellers, k162 is most always the exit. But yes, technically the named side is the probed side, and k162 is the exit.

  3. Great post mate! I think I will fit an armageddon for just such a purpose.

  4. No, what I mean is that it's entirely possible to have a non K162 wormhole in w-space that is not a static

  5. @belamar You are correct sir. I thought I had made that clear but (reading it over) apparently I had not. This is why I encouraged everyone to check their system in Static Mapper to determine the static hole.

    For example a C5 system can have a direct opening to HS courtesy of a D792 hole. However chances are that is not its "static" hole. Checking the system in Static Mapper will most likely tell you the static is an H296 (in the case of a C5 that links to a C5). In this case, closing the H296 will open another H296 in the system. Closing that D792 will do nothing, other then close that sweet easy route to HS.