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Monday, December 17, 2012

Wormhole Lessons: How to Safely Mine

One of the great things about living in a wormhole is you can be nearly self-sufficient in terms of things you use every day. Most of the resources you need for POS fuel are available in many wormholes. There are also resources available for producing ammunition and even ships and modules. In fact, in many wormholes, if you want a ship beyond a certain size you have to build it inside. The mass restrictions of many wormholes will prevent you from flying it in.

But there is a catch. Wormhole space is dangerous space. It is very hard to gather the needed resources when hostiles lurk. There is no CONCORD. There is no one to tell you who is in system with you. You are completely on your own to try and determine this information for yourself. There is no sure way to be 100% certain there are no hostile ships in the hole with you. And all ships not of your corporation are assumed hostile.

There are things you can do to greatly mitigate the danger though. The first step is to be familiar with your wormhole. What has the recent activity been like in it? is a great resource for this. It will show detailed activity in your hole for the past 48 hours. It will give you generalized information for longer trend lines too now. This coupled with your own observations will give you a really good insight to the comings and goings of your hole.

When you reach certainty that you have no lurkers in the hole, you can think about step two. This step is something you should do every day regardless. Scan every square cubic kilometer of your space. Determine where every single Cosmic Signature is in your hole. You should already be an expert on your hole. You should know how many possible random wormholes can connect yours to other locations as well as were your static leads in general. Another element of being an expert on your hole is to know the relative scan strength of all your possible signatures. Start here.

As you scan the signatures down, keep track of their signal strength when you first detected them. This should be done with your probes centered on the star in your system while in their standard formation whether that is five, seven or some other number of probes. This is so you can sort out the K162s from the rest of the signatures. This is important. None of the other holes, including your static, will open until you warp to them. K162s are opened from the other side. You have no control over them. The others you can leave closed by not warping to them, but you must deal with the K162s. There are two ways of dealing with K162s.

The first way is to forget mining that day and try again another day. This may be your only real choice if the K162 is really fat (has a large mass allowance) and you have a small corporation or are the only one online. There is no safe mining with a K162 open.

The second way to deal with it is to collapse it yourself. This procedure is known to all who live in a hole. It is mastered by some. In fact, our mining last night was brought to an end because a K162 opened up. I quickly located it and got to watch a masterful collapse operation.
Once you are certain there are no open connections to your wormhole, you are ready to safely mine. There is one last MANDATORY requirement to mine safely. You must continue scanning. I'll say that again. YOU MUST KEEP PROBES OUT AND CONTINUE TO SCAN. Here's how it works. When you have all Cosmic Signatures identified (100% scan resolution) set them to ignored - all of them. Place fresh probes so your entire system is covered. Our hole is 61 AU across. One scan probe set at a 32 AU radius will cover it. I use two probes to be certain. Then, just like you would spam d-scan, spam the analyze button. If any new Cosmic Signatures appear a K162 just opened. That is all that it can be. Return to the POS immediately, your whole is no longer safe.

While the scan is clear, you can mine for as long as you like.
The new Venture, with its one utility high, is custom made for doing this while mining. We mined for over four hours last night with as much assurance of safety as you can ever have in a wormhole. It was bliss. BTW, I did not come up with this on my own. I learned it from other Wormholers as it's been mentioned in the comments on this blog. I'm just passing it on to any who might not have read the comments. It's a very effective tactic.

Fly Careful


  1. Judging from the talk yall don't have a hictor in your home. You need to own one, living in a wh without a hictor is almost as silly as living in one without cloaky ships.

    When a hictor activates its bubble the mass of the ship drops. You can put 4 bubbles on a hictor (useless for pvp) but they will reduce it's mass to less than a shuttle. If you fit enough fitting modules you can also have a 100mn AB. Go through one way with less than a shuttle mass, come back the other way as 60million.

    Amazing for closing holes that you've crit with your big ships inside.

    Not having a pufferfish hictor is a huge liability, it means if you're invaded and playing for hole control you can't close crit holes without risking closing someone out every time.

    1. Through Newb Eyes had part 2 of his wormhole guide today and also discusses the pufferfish HIC. Thanks to the two of you, it's now on my list.

  2. Heh I was just about to write that.
    Also keeps you from being embarrassed and stuck on the wrong side with a mining fit battleship.
    I had quiet some fun getting that out of low sec 2 days ago :D then i sold all the crappy mining stuff on it and made it a proper collapser. Bob only knows who bought that fitting for it and brought it in.

    Pufferfish, i like that, nice name for it. I must learn to fly one.
    Mabrick, as someone who is also just a couple of months in a wh i always enjoy reading your storys.

  3. Damn I thought you knew about using a hictor to close the wh, can't be 100 Pct successful without one


  4. I agree the Pufferfish is definately a ship-n-fit we are giong to look hard at but... we have been successfully mass closing holes with very few ships lost for going on 2 years. As a matter of fact, the main reason I write it up when we do have someone trapped on the wring side is because it is rare, when compared to the number of holes we have closed over the years... and NO ONE I know can say they never get it wrong...

    Once in the ol C2, we cycled the holes like 6 or 8 times one day looking for good raids... not one lost ship.

    The right combo of Orca + Plated/MWD T1 BSes + doing the math right... will close as hole effectively. That said I am very intrigued by the Pufferfish concept... thanx for the infoshare.

  5. @Tur: the primary use is when someone else has massed the hole, and you do not know how much. Especially when you're being invaded or have invaders in a hole and you need to keep as many people inside as possible and don't want to risk orcas.

  6. It is indeed a ship needed most when you need it. Worst time will make you happy to have one.

    I know closing a wh is usually easy, but sometimes it gets tricky. If someone went thru it and you don't know with what. And then there's the rare time the damn wh will have 10% more or less mass.

    I have only been trapped once, and done it for 4 months now. But on that day 2 of our guys got trapped, i got trapped and 2 other corps managed also to trap 2 BS. It just happens.

    Additionally the HIC can be a scary ship for others to see. I usually assume they want me really dead and gone if i see one. We usually use it to trap you and send your butt back to hs...

  7. quick note on scanning while mining (or running sites for that matter, helps to prevent getting jumped) - you can use deep space probes. They will not tell you what you are looking at but alert you when "anything" spawned. the nice thing is that you can park them far from the holes and away from d-scan. Their scan range still covers them. means, anyone coming into the hole may not even know that the place has probes.

    I personally do not do that. We generally have a CovOps sitting duty when site running (with a code breaker, analyzer maybe). 7 combat probes out cover the system. When a new sig appears it can quickly be resolved.

    The danger are folks who logged off in the hole with a cloaky ship. They may log in / cloak between scan cycles and pound you out of nowhere. They too will have BMs for every sig in the system and likely for perches for the grav / ladar sites prepared. D-scan still remains your best friends.


Be civil, be responsible and most of all be kind. I will not tolerate poor form. There will be no James Hooks here. We are all better than that.