Note: Some of the things I mention won't be things you need to worry about, because you're joining someone else in a wormhole that's already been settled. Fine. Don't fret; just skip that part and move on.
So, the Question:
"I'm moving into a wormhole. What do I need?"
I'm going to answer this as though talking to someone moving into a c1 or c2, aiming (mostly) to just shoot sleepers and have some fun of the type I tend to describe on this blog. I don't mine much, I don't make tech 3 cruisers, I don't make boosters, I don't run a mercenary PvP corp. You should already know this about me.
1. Reading Material
I did a lot of reading on wormhole living before I took even my preliminary test-plunge (living out of an Orca for a week), and then I re-read that material after I got into the wormhole as well. Here are the reference documents I found particularly helpful:
- A Guide to Everything Wormhole: The best possible reference I could hope for. The author assumes a larger corporation in a "deeper" wormhole, so some of his comments about battleships being a 'must have' aren't really true for me, but almost all of the general info has proven invaluable.
- Living in a Wormhole, from the Eve University Wiki. This page covers the basics, and covers them quite well.
- The Wurmhole Bible. Tongue in Cheek, but no less valuable for that.
- Killing in the Hole, a Guide to wormhole PvP. Good information on the basic mechanics of how wormholes work and how not to paint yourself into a corner when the time comes to heat the guns up.
- Tiger Ears - an online journal of a pilot in wormhole space. Penny is a PvP enthusiast, and I find the posts incredibly educational, entertaining, and interesting. Sometimes, the post shows me something I need to watch out for when dealing with potential predators in our wormhole; sometimes they give me an idea about something I can try when it comes time to blow up a vagrant in our system; and sometimes they're yet another tip about how to improve my scanning skills. In all cases, they're a bright spot in my GReader stream.
- Dude, where's my wormhole? - A post by Penny's "fearless leader", Finn, on how to manually and purposefully collapse a wormhole you'd rather not have in your system. Situational, but no less valuable for that.
- Finally, for scanning and exploration, I made heavy use of the Wormhole Systems Database to tell me about whatever system I find myself and Wormnav to give me an idea of the level of recent activity in both our wormhole and any connecting systems (it helps to know if there's been a lot of violence in a system I'm about to explore, and the direct links to EVE killboards is invaluable.
Note, this is just for your main character.
- At a minimum, have Astrometics to level 4 and Astrometric Rangefinding, Astrometric Pinpointing and Astrometric Acquisition to level 3 each.
- All the skills and support skills necessary to fly an appropriate PvE ship without getting blown up in a Sleeper site. In a C2, that means a battlecruiser, very likely shield-tanked and able to withstand AT LEAST 350dps of Omni damage (preferably 420), while still able to put out about 200 dps, minimum. If you don't want to bring a battlecruiser, bring something comparable or better.
- For even a new pilot, this means that if there is a skill - any skill at all - that affects your effectiveness in your chosen ship, the very least of those skills should be at least a 3, and many of not most should be 4 or 5. New pilots should then improve from there.
- Most if not all all the regulars should have Anchoring to level 3, which lets you anchor any POS equipment. Also, as soon as you can bear it, at least one of you should also continue to train Anchoring to 5 to get:
- Starbase Defense Management. This lets you take control of the tower guns directly, rather than letting them randomly (and stupidly) select targets.
Less-critical but good-to-have skills include:
- Salvaging, Hacking, and Archaeology, all at least 4.
- Gas Mining at 5, which will let you make great money from Ladar sites.
- Some kind of industrial ship skill at 4.
- Some skill set that lets you contribute in PvP, whether that's as a dedicated tackler, ECM, remote repair, or whatever.
- Take five days out of your training queue and train a scanning alt. Their job is to sit in a tech1 scanning frigate and to never log on... until something goes wrong and you're stranded outside your wormhole. Then you wait out whatever stranded you, log them in, and scan down the entrance that will get you back in. They need:
- Astrometics to level 4 and Astrometric Rangefinding, Astrometric Pinpointing and Astrometric Acquisition to level 3 each.
- An appropriately fitted, cloakable, tech1 scanning ship.
3. POS Tower
As I mentioned here, you're better off avoiding small and medium towers in favor of a regular sized tower, simply because it lets you mount an effective defense/discouragement. For some good albeit dated info on POSes, check out A Guide to Player-Owned Structures, and related to that, download My POS, which is both a sort of Fitting Tool for your POS, and helps you calculate how much fuel you'll need, and how much that fuel will cost to buy.
4. Tower Modules
At a minimum, that means:
- A Corporation Hangar Array
- A Ship Maintenance Bay
- Defensive POS Modules
- Shield hardeners, enough to get your shields resistances up around the mid 40s to mid 50s, with sufficient offline backups that you could online them and dial the resists up even higher if need be.
- 3 to 4 ECM modules of each of the four types online, with some offline modules ready to be brought online if needed.
- A couple Warp Scramblers (Disruptors take too much power grid and give you range you don't really need.)
- At least one Energy Neutralizing Battery, because it makes people cry.
- Offensive POS Modules
- In a C2, I think that means at least 4 medium long-range guns (meaning, for example, Artillery, not Autocannons) and 4 small long-range guns, with at least that many identical guns, also loaded, Anchored, but not online.
Note: All this necessary only if you intend to move into the system semi-permanently. If you're just doing a little short-term sleeper salvaging, you might be able to just forget the POS and use a cloaky Orca as a mini/mobile-POS.
5. Fuel for POS
In practice, try to keep at least 20 days of fuel in the tower, twice that on hand for refuels, and start talking about how and when you'll do refuels when you get within two weeks of running out on your BACKUP supply (meaning: roughly 5 weeks before you'd actually run out).
And don't forget the Strontium.
I already talked about this, but in brief:
- A PvE battlecruiser or something comparable. Drakes and Hurricanes are easy. Myrmidons are easy if you don't mind going with weird guns. Harbingers and laser-boats in general are hard. Passive-regen shield tanks are easy to make work; armor-repair tanks are REALLY DIFFICULT.
- Put a damn probe launcher on it.
- Whatever you like flying best for PvP. Probably with a backup.
- Ship Modules: mostly for making refitting tweaks for various specialized activities. These might include:
- A dozen probe launchers
- A half-dozen prototype cloaking modules
- A half-dozen remote armor and hull repair modules that you can strap on temporarily to fix up any ships or drones that get dinged up.
- A half-dozen analyzers, salvagers, and codebreakers.
- Other stuff that I've forgotten, like warp core stabilizers and cargo bay expanders.
- Scanning Ships (T1 and T2)
- Two rigs that boost your scan strength
- Probe launcher (expanded, if you can fit it) and an appropriate cloaking device.
- Whatever else you want. I usually fit mine out with an analyzer, codebreaker, and a Warp Disruptor (for emergencies).
- Mining Ships, if that's something you do.
- Gas Harvesting Ships, which I've already talked about.
- A dedicated salvaging ship, typically a destroyer. I use 3 tractor beams, 3 salvagers, a cloak, a probe launcher, as many salvaging rigs as I can fit, and a microwarpdrive to get around. Season to taste. (If you don't mind investing (and, thus, risking) more ISK, you may want to bring in a Noctis, but that's a pricey ship to risk until you feel like you have a handle on Wormhole living.)
- Something big enough to haul POS fuel in. Ideally, you want a Deep Space Transport, but a "level 4" tech1 industrial with a couple warp core stabilizers on will work if you're careful. (Put a probe launcher and cloak on the damned thing in case you get stranded somewhere.)
For the Advanced Class:
- An Orca and a Battleship, both with afterburners or MWDs on, so you can collapse wormholes when you want to and control access to your hole more effectively.
7. Skill Books
Don't go crazy here, but pick up whatever you think you're training toward now, so you can start in on it as soon as the skill opens up. Yes. Do that. But don't go crazy.
Oh yeah, while I'm thinking of it: get yourself into a cheap clone with +3 skill wires at most.
- At least 100,000 rounds of short-range, high-damage ammo of the appropriate size for your Offensive POS Modules. (Yes: long-range guns firing short range ammo -- the best combination of reach and damage for a POS.)
- 100,000 rounds of whatever ammo type(s) your PvE ship will require. Sleepers fight at either 15 kilometers, moving really fast, or 55+ kilometers, moving pretty slow. Bring appropriate ammo.
- Probably at about half that much, again, for your PvP ship. (Use logic here: a single bomber doesn't need 50 thousand torpedoes handy.)
- Small, fast drones are good, but they pop quick. Don't send them out until the sleepers are in nice and close, so you can recall them quickly. For distant targets, STRONGLY consider sentry drones, if you have the means to fly a full flight of them, but if not, Valkyries move fast and hit pretty hard. Heavy drones should be reserved for those rare solo battleship spawns.
- At least a 100 core probes and 100 combat probes, NOT COUNTING the ones already in your scanning ships and loaded into the probe launchers that are on your ships. If you want, splurge on Sisters probes in your main scanning ship -- they help.
- 10 Janitors.
9. Planetary Interaction Command Centers
Pick the ones appropriate for the planets in your system. If you manage it right (and get lucky with a system that has the right resources), you can mitigate a significant portion of your fuel costs by making everything but the "Ice-related" fuels inside the wormhole. Don't ignore this part.
10. A Willingness to Risk Losing a Lot of ISK on an Iffy Venture
You will, and I'm not joking, need to soak a LOT of cash into this endeavor to start the first one up. Go back and read my posts about our first set up. There is a lot of time and effort involved, but there is also a lot of money involved.
Our initial outlay was roughly 1.5 billion isk, not counting the 0.5 billion (at least) we spent on crap we didn't need and ships we never flew.
Fuel will run you anywhere from 200 million to 450 million a month, even with perfect PI. 200 million is probably the BEST case.
Will you make enough money to (eventually) pay for the fuel? Yes. Totally. You can do that in one or two good nights.
Will you make enough to pay back all those initial expenses?
Probably? If you're careful and rash in the appropriate ratio? Yes.
You'll just have to see.
What Did I Forget?
I have no idea; check the comments.