Original Text by Olozim
This guide is meant to be a general overview of the organization and execution of wormhole gangs. Everything written here is my opinion on the matter and should be taken as an opinion. I welcome new ideas and tactics on how better to run these and if you have anything to add, please let me know by messaging me on the forum, in game, or on vent! I will not cover Class 1,2, or 6 wormhole’s in this guide as they can either easily be soloed and you should do your own research, or they require much more wormhole knowledge, experience and organization than I have up to and including capitals.
General preparation and organization
The first decision to be made is what type of wormhole should you farm? For most gangs, you will want to choose either a class 3 (C3), or a class 5 (C5). These are the most common wormholes (to my knowledge) and provide good ISK for what is required to survive in them. Some things to consider when making the decision to choose either a C3 or C5 are: 1) What can my corp-mates (or whoever is going to be flying with you) fly well? 2) Where does my corp live, or where am I willing to go to get a decent wormhole?
Category 3 WHs
C3 (and C2 and C4) wormholes are usually best suited to passively shield-tanked Battlecruisers. Good shield skills are required and t2 missile skills (for a Drake) are a nice addition. Class 3 wormholes (or C3) can easily be done with passively tanked Drake’s. I have seen people solo these with Drakes, but due to the low DPS and the fact that sleeper’s rep themselves, it is almost always more efficient to team up with 3-4 Drakes and a salvager. Other ships can be used, such as a shield-tanked Myrmidon, but it takes more micro-managing and there really isn’t much you can do to compete with a passive Drake when it comes to PVE. I have also seen these done solo with Battleships, but mass limitations come into effect more when you bring the larger ships in. C3 sleepers web, nos, and in general are exactly the same as other sleepers except for the DPS output and frequency of scrambling. Many C3 sleeper sites cap out at the cruiser-sized sleepers with an occasional Battleship thrown in every now and then. For a group of Drakes, a good passive tank to aim for is 450-500+. I have flown in a C3 with an 800+ DPS tanked Drake, but it was way overkill and my DPS suffered, making it take longer to kill the sleepers. If you want to solo I would go for about 600 or so DPS tanked.
Category 5 WHs
C5 (and to a much lesser extent C4) wormholes require a remote repping Battleship gang. This requires that your gang members have good armor skills including remote repair, and be able to run large energy transfers effectively. Dominix’s are usually the Battleship of choice, so good sentry drone skills are nice as well. Raven’s work nicely too, although I have not had any practical experience with larger groups of those. Planet Risk recommends the Raven setup. A Scorpion pilot who fills the low slots with an armor tank and then fills the mids with jams will be an invaluable asset in reducing the incoming damage from sleeper’s in a C5. Good jamming skills are a necessity for this role, and sleepers have no particular race or sensor type. Fitting a “rainbow” fit of jammers is the norm because only the highest jam strength of the module is applied, and it allows you to be more versatile if you do happen to get dropped on by a PVP gang.
Location Location Location
Location is also important, and/or how far you are willing to travel. C3’s are most common in low-security systems, while C5’s are more likely to turn up in 0.0 space. It IS possible for any wormhole to appear in any system, these are just the most common and if you plan on finding them elsewhere (high sec or otherwise) you may be searching for a while.
Once you have decided which class of wormhole is best for you, it’s time to schedule an operation and advertise! Once you run a few of these gangs, word gets out and you won’t have to work so hard to get people to join, especially if you schedule it on a regular basis (i.e. every Monday @ xx:xx time starting in X system). Post up on your forums, and talk about it in ventrillo (or whatever program you use) to remind people of your gang. If you don’t have people to participate you can’t really run the wormhole.
The next thing to do comes a few hours before the start of the operation. Scanning! Yay! ….. Obviously the closer to the actual time of the operation is better, as wormholes have a timer and mass limitations. I personally HATE scanning with a passion, so I offer a half share of the loot to whoever scans down the wormhole beforehand. This is obviously up to you and how you want to run your operation. You will also need bookmarks of the exit, all the anomalies in the wormhole, and the hacking and archeology sites. Also make sure that the wormhole doesn’t have any bonuses which would seriously hinder your fleet (for instance you wouldn’t want a wormhole that has major shield bonus but degrading armor bonuses for a RR BS gang). I like to use this website to check for any anomalies. Another consideration is making sure the wormhole is unoccupied and that there are enough anoms and sigs. Usually 6-10 sites will be enough to keep you busy for 3 hours.
Great job! You are well on your way to making ISK and losing your mind in the process!
Inevitably, someone will ask you how you want them to fit their ship. Obviously this depends on what they are bringing, what type of gang you are running, and what class of wormhole you are going to farm. As you run more of these gangs, you will become more familiar with the fits, their capabilities, and what you do and don’t need on each one. Here are some fits to get you started:
This Dominix fit is what I use in a C5 RR BS gang. The rigs can be switched up a little if you want (I think right now I’m using two egress port maximizers instead of the one remote repair augmentor, but that was because of price. It can run 2 remote reppers permanently, and pulse the third as needed.
[Dominix, RR C5] Damage Control II 1600mm Reinforced Rolled Tungsten Plates I 1600mm Reinforced Rolled Tungsten Plates I Energized Adaptive Nano Membrane II Armor Explosive Hardener II Armor Kinetic Hardener II Armor Thermic Hardener II Omnidirectional Tracking Link I Omnidirectional Tracking Link I Cap Recharger II Cap Recharger II Cap Recharger II Large Remote Armor Repair System II Large Remote Armor Repair System II Large 'Regard' I Power Projector Large 'Regard' I Power Projector Drone Link Augmentor I Drone Link Augmentor I Large Sentry Damage Augmentor I Large Remote Repair Augmentor I Large Egress Port Maximizer I Hobgoblin II x15 Garde II x5 Bouncer II x5
Here are some generic setups for a Scorpion, Apocalypse, Armageddon, Raven, and a Megathron for the ranged DPS role in a C5 RR gang. Be sure to bring ammo for varying ranges! I left the rig slots open on some fittings as you can fit them as you see fit, either for more DPS, or more tank with some trimarks. Other Battleships can be used obviously, but for space’s sake I will not list them.
[Scorpion, WH C5 Armor] Damage Control II 1600mm Reinforced Rolled Tungsten Plates I 1600mm Reinforced Rolled Tungsten Plates I Energized Adaptive Nano Membrane II BZ-5 Neutralizing Spatial Destabilizer ECM BZ-5 Neutralizing Spatial Destabilizer ECM Enfeebling Phase Inversion ECM I Enfeebling Phase Inversion ECM I 'Hypnos' Ion Field ECM I 'Hypnos' Ion Field ECM I 'Umbra' I White Noise ECM 'Umbra' I White Noise ECM Large Remote Armor Repair System II Auto Targeting System II XT-9000 Cruise Launcher, Paradise Cruise Missile XT-9000 Cruise Launcher, Paradise Cruise Missile XT-9000 Cruise Launcher, Paradise Cruise Missile XT-9000 Cruise Launcher, Paradise Cruise Missile Large Anti-Thermic Pump I Large Anti-Kinetic Pump I Large Anti-Explosive Pump I Hobgoblin II x5 Medium Armor Maintenance Bot I x5
[Apocalypse, WH C5] Damage Control II 1600mm Reinforced Rolled Tungsten Plates I 1600mm Reinforced Rolled Tungsten Plates I Armor Explosive Hardener II Energized Adaptive Nano Membrane II Heat Sink II Heat Sink II Tracking Computer II, Optimal Range Tracking Computer II, Optimal Range Cap Recharger II Cap Recharger II Mega Pulse Laser II, Scorch L Mega Pulse Laser II, Scorch L Mega Pulse Laser II, Scorch L Mega Pulse Laser II, Scorch L Mega Pulse Laser II, Scorch L Mega Pulse Laser II, Scorch L Mega Pulse Laser II, Scorch L Mega Pulse Laser II, Scorch L Large Anti-EM Pump I Large Anti-Kinetic Pump I Large Anti-Thermic Pump I Medium Armor Maintenance Bot I x5 Hobgoblin II x5
[Armageddon, WH C5] Damage Control II 1600mm Reinforced Rolled Tungsten Plates I 1600mm Reinforced Rolled Tungsten Plates I Armor Explosive Hardener II Energized Adaptive Nano Membrane II Heat Sink II Heat Sink II Heat Sink II Cap Recharger II Cap Recharger II Cap Recharger II Dual Heavy Beam Laser II, Multifrequency L Dual Heavy Beam Laser II, Multifrequency L Dual Heavy Beam Laser II, Multifrequency L Dual Heavy Beam Laser II, Multifrequency L Dual Heavy Beam Laser II, Multifrequency L Dual Heavy Beam Laser II, Multifrequency L Dual Heavy Beam Laser II, Multifrequency L Large Remote Armor Repair System II Large Anti-EM Pump I Large Anti-Kinetic Pump I Large Anti-Thermic Pump I Heavy Armor Maintenance Bot I x5
[Raven, WH C5 Armor] Damage Control II 1600mm Reinforced Rolled Tungsten Plates I 1600mm Reinforced Rolled Tungsten Plates I Armor Explosive Hardener II Energized Adaptive Nano Membrane II Target Painter II Sensor Booster II Cap Recharger II Cap Recharger II Cap Recharger II Cap Recharger II Cruise Missile Launcher II, Paradise Cruise Missile Cruise Missile Launcher II, Paradise Cruise Missile Cruise Missile Launcher II, Paradise Cruise Missile Cruise Missile Launcher II, Paradise Cruise Missile Cruise Missile Launcher II, Paradise Cruise Missile Cruise Missile Launcher II, Paradise Cruise Missile Large Remote Armor Repair System II Large 'Regard' I Power Projector Large Anti-EM Pump I Large Anti-Kinetic Pump I Large Anti-Thermic Pump I Medium Armor Maintenance Bot I x5 Hobgoblin II x5
[Megathron, WH C5] Damage Control II 1600mm Reinforced Rolled Tungsten Plates I 1600mm Reinforced Rolled Tungsten Plates I Armor Explosive Hardener II Energized Adaptive Nano Membrane II Magnetic Field Stabilizer II Magnetic Field Stabilizer II Cap Recharger II Cap Recharger II Cap Recharger II Cap Recharger II 350mm Railgun II, Antimatter Charge L 350mm Railgun II, Antimatter Charge L 350mm Railgun II, Antimatter Charge L 350mm Railgun II, Antimatter Charge L 350mm Railgun II, Antimatter Charge L 350mm Railgun II, Antimatter Charge L 350mm Railgun II, Antimatter Charge L Large Remote Armor Repair System II Large Anti-EM Pump I Large Anti-Kinetic Pump I Large Anti-Thermic Pump I Heavy Armor Maintenance Bot I x5
For class 3’s, this is the Drake setup I use, note that you can switch out more BCU’s or Shield Relays in the lows to go for more tank or gank depending on the situation. Note that while you aren’t tanking damage, you will need to turn off your invulnerability fields to conserve cap. I am not extremely experienced with Drakes, so any input would be appreciated.
[Drake, WH C3 Solo] Ballistic Control System II Shield Power Relay II Shield Power Relay II Shield Power Relay II Large Shield Extender II Large Shield Extender II Large Shield Extender II Invulnerability Field II Invulnerability Field II Invulnerability Field II Heavy Missile Launcher II, Scourge Fury Heavy Missile Heavy Missile Launcher II, Scourge Fury Heavy Missile Heavy Missile Launcher II, Scourge Fury Heavy Missile Heavy Missile Launcher II, Scourge Fury Heavy Missile Heavy Missile Launcher II, Scourge Fury Heavy Missile Heavy Missile Launcher II, Scourge Fury Heavy Missile Heavy Missile Launcher II, Scourge Fury Heavy Missile Core Probe Launcher I, Core Scanner Probe I Medium Core Defence Field Purger I Medium Core Defence Field Purger I Medium Core Defence Field Purger I Hobgoblin II x5
Obviously these compositions are flexible, and if you can make it work with other compositions, let me know!
For a C5 RR BS gang, I would recommend having no less than 8 remote repair modules between the members of your fleet, preferably 10+. Dominixes, and to a slightly lesser extent Typhoons, fill the role well and are usually the backbone of your logistics. Here is a fairly cookie-cutter RR BS fleet for C5’s:
4 Dominix/Typhoon 2 Ranged DPS battleships 1 Scorpion for jams 1-2 Salvager/Hacker support 1-2 CovOps support
For C3 WH gangs, three Drakes tends to be the “magic” number as it were, the balance between killing stuff fast and splitting the loot. Two or four or five Drakes will provide good results as well. If you get 6 or more ships in your gang, I would recommend splitting up. Here is a pretty cookie-cutter C3 gang:
3 Drakes (at least one fit with probe launcher) 1 Salvager/Hacker support
For a C4 gang, depending on what you want to do I would either scale a C3 gang up by a third (with heavier tanks), or scale a C5 gang down by a third. I have run C4’s before with a group of 6 Drakes and we made pretty good money, although I imagine some RR BS would perform just as well.
Down the Rabbit Hole
Congratulations! You and your trusty corp mates are sitting at a wormhole about to enter and make lots and lots of money! You can hardly wait to reap in the ISK and go buy that Tengu you’ve been saving up for for so long! But wait, go over this checklist and make sure that you do a few things right, or you could end up LOSING ISK because you were dumb and forgot to do one little thing beforehand.
For a C5 RR BS gang:
- Before you enter the wormhole, offline ALL of your armor plates. Armor plates increase the mass of your ship, further disrupting the stability of the wormhole.
- Make sure that everyone has the “tags” column enabled in their overview settings. Also make sure that NPC rats are turned on your overview as well.
- Does everyone have a cap transfer buddy? Make sure that everyone has their cap transfer buddy (or buddies) on their watch list so that they can target them as soon as you land in a new site. It’s also a good idea to have all other RR BS on your watch list as well.
- Make sure that your broadcasts are set to go to everyone, if your broadcasts are set wrong and you die because you didn’t get remote reps, it’s no ones fault but your own.
- Make sure that the wormhole entrance is bookmarked, and when you enter the wh that the exit is bookmarked by everyone. If the poop hits the fan, everyone should be able to warp back to the exit on their own.
- Do you have CovOps (or at least a probe launcher fitted to a battleship) that can get you out of the wormhole if it collapses behind you? This one should probably be done in the station BEFORE you’re sitting at the wormhole entrance.
- Are any gang bonuses that are with the fleet being properly applied?
For a C3 passive shield gang:
- Do you have CovOps (or a probe launcher fitted to a BC) that can get you out of the wormhole if it collapses behind you?
- Do you have the “tags” column enabled on your overview?
- Make sure that the entrance and exit to the wormhole is bookmarked by all members of your fleet.
- Make sure that all gang bonuses are being applied correctly
In the Wormhole
As the FC for the gang, your main responsibility is to keep the fleet alive. Making ISK is the objective of the op, but you can’t do that if your fleet is getting popped left and right. Your most time-consuming duty as FC will be tagging targets. In PVP, primary targets are called, and you can do that because everyone has different names and is usually flying a myriad of ships. Sleepers all have similar names and often spawn many of the same ship, so how do you call primaries? Tags allow you to concentrate your fleets fire with relatively little confusion (most people know their alphabet…). It is important to note that at this point you should have eve-survival guides pulled up either in your in-game browser or in an internet browser that you can alt+tab to. Eve-survival wormhole guides can be found Here.
You should already know which ship spawns (or triggers) the next wave of sleeper ships before you actually GET to that wave. That is why eve-survival is so critical. When your fleet finishes off one wave, you will be able to immediately tag the first primary and tag the trigger ship second. You may then proceed to tag the rest of the ships in the order you wish. Note: Eve-Survival is awesome, but it is not always accurate, pay attention to what you kill as some of the triggers are either marked wrong or change with each site.
Suggested tagging convention: The way I like to tag targets in a wormhole is pretty simple. I always mark the “trigger” ship with a “Z”, and mark the cruisers and above with A-Y in the order I wish them to be targeted. For frigates, I use the numbers 1-10. Most of the time battleship-sized weaponry will have a terrible time hitting frigates, so the numbers are used to indicate the targeting order in case someone has light/medium drones or something like that. If a frigate is a trigger, I will use the letter “Z” to tag it. “Z” is always the last thing that should die.
In general, a C3 gang is pretty straight-forward: warp in, tag, shoot, and repeat. However, operating in a C3 is, if anything, MORE dangerous than operating in a C5. The reason behind this is not because the sleepers hit harder or really anything to do with PVE. The difference is C3’s are the “middle ground” as it were when it comes to wormholes, and they connect to every other type of wormhole and low/high/null security space. As such C3’s are more frequently visited and PVE-fit passively tanked Drake’s are not hard to gank. All you need is 2-3 PVP-fit battlecruisers/cruisers or similar to overcome their tank and points to spread around and you will rain pretty hard on someone’s day. Keep a close eye out for scan probes, and if you see them, be extra careful with 360 and watch for hostile ships. CovOp alts are invaluable for this task as they can sit cloaked at the entrance or even in the neighboring system to keep eyes out for hostile forces.
When you are using Drakes, consider having at least two of your members fit target painters, or possibly target painting drones (sleepers like killing drones and annoying you though, so be careful). Heavy missiles will not hit cruiser-sized sleepers for full damage unless painted (especially t2 Fury missiles), so painters will significantly increase the total DPS of your gang. Don’t bother painting Battleships, as they are so freakin’ huge you hit them for full damage anyways. Obviously, frigates suffer significantly from painting, but your damage is still going to be so pitiful it will be sad.
While you are in the wormhole running sites, the main concern for the fleet will be keeping people alive. This is done through broadcasts and ventrilo. If there is a lot of chatter or commands going on, just use broadcasts. All battleships should keep their fleet window up so that they can send and receive broadcasts for repairs. Another nice trick is the watch list. If you have 11 or fewer members in your squad (including the squad commander) you can add everyone in your RR BS squad to your watch list. This allows you to see the instant someone starts to take damage as their name will begin to flash red. You can also target squad members via the watch list.
Your Scorpion pilot will be universally hated by all sleeper ships. Sleepers do a pretty decent job of concentrating fire, but there always seems to be one or two rogue sleepers who like shooting that Scorp. Not to mention the numerous times it will be primaried by ALL of the sleepers. I have run C5’s before where the DPS-oriented ships were never targeted or aggressed by sleepers during the entire op because they were too focused on the RR and the EWAR ships.
Another tip is to set your drones to passive, you don’t want them randomly shooting the trigger and spawning the next wave before your fleet is ready for it. Only have them attack what you want them to attack. You can also set them to assist one of the ranged DPS ships if you are having trouble with the micro-management.
Once your gang lands at the site, DON’T MOVE! Remote repairs and cap transfer will not work if everyone spreads out. Keep an eye out for anyone who seems to be drifting off. Separated from the group = dead. If sleepers are out of your range, either just wait for them to come into range or let whoever can shoot the sleeper kill it, but don’t power towards them. One technique I regularly employ is the “keep at range” function. When we land, I simply tell everyone to select my ship and hit “keep at range” that way we are sure we stay together.
Well that’s it, now adopt the Nike slogan and JUST DO IT! That’s the best way to learn and the ONLY way to make any ISK, so stop reading this stupidly long article and plan an op already!