My Love Of Wormhole Exploration
Wormhole exploration is something I enjoy doing, especially after CCP added pirate relic and data sites to C3 and lower class wormholes with no sleepers in them. There’s something enjoyable about the thrill of not knowing who you’re sharing the wormhole with, scanning wormhole connections and taking them to random locations in the vast universe of New Eden. Wormhole sites also tend to payout a few million ISK each so they’re a nice way of padding your wallet for an hour or two of work.
But this is not always the case. Here’s one such story.
The Adventure Begins
I have a shuttle in Paara which I need to move so I decide to make my way there and scan whatever systems I land in. With “less secure” set on my route settings, the trip from Amarr is 40 jumps, most of it through low sec systems.
I don’t plan to stay on this track. First wormhole I find in a low sec system, I’m taking.
The first LS system I encounter is Ami with four cosmic signatures but ten players in local. I don’t like those odds so I warp and jump through the next gate on my route. Fensi has no players in local and only one cosmic signature which I assume is a wormhole.
I quickly scan it down and jump. Time is 21:57.
Here we go.
I immediately start bashing my middle mouse button (assigned to D-Scan) and sigh with relief when I find it empty. I jump to a random planet’s moon and launch probes. There are 11 signatures here. One of them’s bound to be a pirate relic/data site, I assume, so I cloak up and start scanning.
Five minutes in the cosmic signatures result in 9 gas sites and 2 wormholes. How much gas does one wormhole need, anyway. With one of the holes being the one I just came through, I take the other, a C4 static.
This raises some problems.
The Issue With C4+ Wormholes
See, when CCP added pirate data and relic sites to wormholes, they only added them to the “easier” C1-C3 classes. C4+ wormholes do sometimes contain exploration sites, but they come with PVE enemies that will turn my no-tank Heron into melted metal in 2 seconds flat.
Still, I can take the C4 and hope to find an exit into something I can handle.
As luck, or lack thereof, would have it, this C4 has two statics, the C3 I just came through and a C5. I decided to scan it anyway and hope for the best.
It takes me ten minutes to scan the system and now I’m in the C5 wormhole.
A Wild Astero Appears
This wormhole has a C3 static, and that’s what I need to find, but as soon as I jump, an Astero appears in D-Scan. This is not good.
There is no time to sit and wait. Asteros are dangerous explorer hunters and they tend to be followed by friends in bigger ships looking to utilize the Astero’s scanning bonuses to find people like me to blow up.
The first wormhole I scan is not the C3 I’m looking for so I warp around a few planets as I wait for my cloak to recharge and continue scanning.
The Astero has now disappeared from D-Scan and I’m hoping he’s not cloaked and waiting for me on the C3 wormhole. That would not be fun for me.
I scan another wormhole and warp to it. It’s the C3 hole I’m looking for.
The Great Escape
The C3 wormhole has a Buzzard on D-Scan so I need to be careful. A few minutes into my scanning of the system, a Helios joins the fun but soon disappears again. Then the Astero appears again. He’s following me.
The system contains nothing but gas sites, one, non-pirate data site and three wormholes including the one I came in. I decide to check the holes.
One is the low sec static I knew I would find. The other is the one I came through. And the last one is a high sec connection. Crap. I’m at somewhat of a dead end.
I warp to the low sec wormhole at 50km (just in case) and start burning towards the exit while removing the four bookmarks I made for the short chain. As I’m about to jump the Astero and a Maelstrom friend pop up on my overview.
I promptly proceed to shit my pants (just a little bit), but just as the Astero begins to yellow-box me, I make it to the exit. The screen warps, and I find myself in Bourar, a 0.4 system, about 14 jumps away from my original destination.
50 Minutes And No Profit… But Who Cares?
The disappointment is real.
Precisely 1 hour in, and my cargohold is empty except for the extra 8 scanner probes I keep in there for quick reloads after launching the first set (and just in case I realize I forgot a set of probes behind me 6 systems into a chain).
But as I dock into station at my destination, the disappointment fades and leaves behind the reason why I went into wormhole exploration in the first place: the adrenaline rush, the great escapes, the thrill of being hunted and getting away with it, the chance of hitting a gold mine, and the mad instalock Trasher bros who can’t understand how I managed to get away with an MWD/cloak trick before they could lock me.
If you’re exploring for the ISK, you’re going to have a very bad time. But if you can find a way to enjoy the journey, instead of the expanding size of your wallet, then exploration will never, ever bore you.
Keep on scanning, and stay safe.