Saturday, 5 January 2013

Eve: conquering a wormhole

Having left nullsec I'm having a blast in RvB but it's not generating the income I've grown accustomed to. While it's not actually cost very much (I've lost 3 frigates so far worth about 40 million total), I have accounts to plex and besides I just like being rich.

I need to get my PI going again. Preferably in a wormhole.

I have a few friends who are also interested so I've been thinking about taking one by conquest. My last hole was an unfashionable C1 with a null static - maybe we can do better this time. And since the good ones are nearly all taken we'll have to kill a POS.

A great many POSes are defended by gun batteries that simply don't reach far enough. A sniper ship can shoot from over 200 km and generally speaking the battery versions of close range guns (autocannons, pulse lasers and blasters) don't reach anywhere near that far. So there's a fair chance of finding a POS that we can kill with range in comparative safety.

Here are my designs for sniping POS killers. First the king of long range sniping ships: the Raven. Using cruise missiles which do their full damage at any range and which can be adjusted to suit the resistance hole this ship comfortably shoots the full 250 km which is the cap on how far a ship can target in Eve. The ship is designed to operate without enemy ships being present, if it gets tackled though there's a heavy neut. It's also designed to operate while being neuted and to tank against EM damage. Most artillery batteries will use EMP ammo and lasers also do EM damage. Tank against kinetic for rails. Cruise missiles have the advantage of being able to use FoF against POSes with damps.

For people who can't use missiles the other options are weaker. None of the guns operate comfortably at 250 km. Here's a Naga fit that comes close, also tanked against EM:

It's not possible to operate a Naga continuously while being neuted so this one will have to warp out from time to time if neuts are in place. Fortunately warp disruption batteries only reach out 150 km.

Anyone who can't fly either of these should bring pvp ships or simply fly around the pos in a noobship at 200 km to draw off neuts and damps.

One of the oddities of POS warfare is that the guns measure distance from the centre of the control tower. So if you place your bookmark right (ie so that ship to gun to tower is a straight line) then a ship 290km from the tower will be 250km from the gun. It may be necessary to prepare several bookmarks to get good angles from which to shoot guns placed at different spots. The extra distance will reduce damage from batteries that are shooting in their falloff range.

The Eve University site on POS warfare is excellent.

As always wormhole intel is crucial. By using Show Intel on the tower (or a poco) you get the corp from which you can get a list of members, add them to watch list and start your op when they aren't online.

Ultimately you're almost impossible to stop. You reinforce the tower when they're asleep. You get an appointment to kill the tower. You arrive at that appointment a couple of days later and check the watch list to see how many they are. Too many? Go to bed and let them repair their tower and put everything back. Wake up and reinforce it again. Rinse and repeat until you like the odds then bring a few friends and shoot the tower. They could hire mercenaries or bring in people you don't know about but if so just add those people to watch list too and go again when everyone is offline.


  1. Hmm... "Ultimately you're almost impossible to stop." OK, having taken down an unarmed lrg POS once inna small fleet, I await your outcome posts with... anticipation.

  2. Evicting a wormhole corp is a bit tougher than you'd think, but you'll have a few alternatives.

    1) You might want to just contact a wormhole broker and buy a hole. Sometimes you can get a deal where you are transfered a POS and all POCOs. People rarely consider the POCOs as part of the expense since they can't bring 'em along.

    2) find the hole you're looking for. When you've found a sweet setup, contact a wormhole merc corp like "Surely You're Joking". They'll come in and clear it out for you.

    The wormhole corp will bring dozens of Tech3 ships to clear out the threat. Then they'll work on clearing out all the PCs in the zone over the course of a few days. Only folks not logged on will escape.

    In both cases, you're looking at a relatively low cost for what you're getting. And, it won't take you forever to clear the hole.

    Most holes C3 and under are a pain to assault. Many of the POSs are armed with huge amounts of neuts, warp disruptors, and hardeners all around with no guns at all. You'll be there several days clearing the thing out.


    1. Yeah, that's why the Cruise fit. It does dps from outside warp disruptor and short range gun battery range, even with tower bonuses to, say, autocannons. So it's Ravens vs whatever neuts and artillery batteries there are.

      I don't know how many Ravens we'll be able to bring but they have an ok-ish semi-passive shield tank, decent dps and the incredible range.

      Hardeners don't boost the batteries placed outside the shields do they? So the test of whether the Ravens can kill the POS is whether they can kill one non-hardened neut or artillery with a dps for a bit, warp off when shields are low, come back dps for a bit more strategy.

      In the longer term doing this is a test run for other planned POS bashes. I found a low sec Tech moon today with all short range guns. If I'm right about the vulnerability of such POSes to Ravens then that's potentially easy pickings if the owning alliance should find itself in a situation where it is no longer able to bring titans or whatever to defend it.

      All long range stuff but I'm one of the few people in Eve who quite likes POS bashing.

      Also not all POSes are large POSes, some holes are guarded by small or mediums.

      I'm actually expecting the op to take several weeks. I have an alt who needs training to fly Ravens, we haven't discussed as a group whether we want to take these guys on and face repercussions (war decs etc), I'm anticipating reffing the pos, seeing a big gang come to the timer, cloaking and watching them rep it then reffing it again when they go to bed a few times. If mercs come to the timer I'd definitely wait them out several times.

      And of course when we put up our own tower I'd assume they would have cloaky alts and that they would be hunting us so we're looking at bait ops bubble traps etc.

      I think all that stuff is great fun.

    2. I usually used small towers for junk I didn't care about, and didn't put anything to defend it on.

      Mediums for industry.

      Large for living.

      The only exception to this is if I were in a small pvp crew (3-4 people)... then i'd just fit a small tower and put a bunch of hardeners on it. We'd probably leave the ships open and fit out of cans / orca.

      If you're staging this over the course of weeks, you can bring any number of ravens. The thing is, You're pretty vulnerable flying torp ravens in a wormhole. Since we're talking battleships and lower, I'm pretty sure you're entering a C3 or lower hole. In fact, I'd recommend sticking to C3 or lower since you can do the sites when you're bored, and can't be picked on by caps.

      Battleship won't fit in a C1. I'm not sure about C2, but possibly not. C3 is your best bet for that kind of attention.

      In a C3, without a local dred, you're talking a really long time to drop the POS. If you log out and leave it non-reinforced, someone will likely just recharge the shields.

      Without a serious fleet, you're left open for attack. given the amount of time we're talking, the chance of attack is almost certain. Probably from cloak tengu/loki fleet. I'm not even talking about the system's owner. Just pvpers looking for a good time. We used to spend hours scouting systems in cloaky ships for 'good fights'. I know if I saw two dozen ravens pounding on a POS, i'd call in the calvary for some quick kills. Some of the better wormhole corps can stage enough crew to kill that fleet in under an hour.

      That aside, some setups involve just hardeners inside the shields. They push up the defense very high~ to the point of absurdity. Then when they get a notice of attack, they can just respond at their leisure; assuming they don't buy system defense from a merc corp.
      The reason you'd stick to just hardeners because most of the time your guns are just a deterrent... and sometimes people will pop them just for kicks.
      hardeners are quick to turn off. You leave on just enough to be silly, then max it out when you're under attack.

      Most wormhole residents go through periods of harassment. Anyone who has owned a system for a few months will know how to respond with appropriate force.

      Of course, this game is about making your own fun. There are tons of stupid people in Eve, especially in wormholes. Fucking with them has a certain amount of charm.

      If i were still subbed, I'd scout out some holes for you.

      That aside, I had an alt in a empty C3 with static nullsec. There weren't even any vacant POSes up. It even had a great system effect (though I forgot what it was).

      To find the right hole, my recommendation is to hunt down a system with a static C3. Then use that to find the system you want by killing the static, and checking the new entrance for fun.

    3. Oh, secondary idea. Just put up your own POS and hardeners. Don't even fit anything else.

      Let the dudes come to you, and then uncloak and kill them.
      Eventually they'll give up and possibly leave the hole for good. They'll move out and eventually their POS will die. During this time, you can do all the PI you want ;-)

  3. Yea... I had started a longer response, but, well I dint want to be negative. I have spent years in W-space and seen many MANY POSes and many possible setups... I have helped take down a POS that for some reason had no defenses at all even anchored. So, well, we shipped up, piled on and took it down and even when a few of the owners showed they were unable to mount any kind of real defense.

    This is the ONLY time I have ever know a POS to go down 'easy'... easy but damned boring and took forever, and we were never under any real threat. It was weird TBH...

    Seriously Stabs, unless yer in it for the LULZ and the experience, buying a hole or just spending a week or three scouting around in W-space looking for a a nice empty hole to claim will be far less costly and you will get your PI up and running and get that RvB ISK flowing sooner than trying to forcibly take one...

    However, if you ARE in it for the LULZ and the 'experience'... have at it and good luck to you (unless it's our hole!) and I will eagerly await your posts... I'm already has popcorn. =]

  4. LOL... well, I thank you for that but I full well accept the risks inherent in simply undocking (or in our case, loggin in)... it is EvE after all. =]

    But, now that I have a better understanding of your goals and the whyfor of your wherefor, I will admit to a very great interest in your new undertaking and I will look forward to your posts even more than usual now. Good luck my friend! and Good Hunting!