Monday, January 4, 2010

When 2 is not 2

You would figure that once would be enough but I guess I am a slow learner. I got two toons stuck on the wrong side of a hole closing this weekend, and yet again my Orca was among them. To make matters worse I was in a hurry and didn't make sure that my prober was back in the ship maintennacne bay, so I was royally hosed. Disgusted I went to bed thinking of how I was going to come up with the 600M ISK to get another Orca, Abby and implants.

How I ended up in this situation (again) is by foolishly believeing the 2Bkg meant 2Bkg. The first time this happened I just assumed someone had used the wormhole before me and my mass calcs were off by a BS or two. This time I have learned the hard way that nothing in EVE is ever exact.

I closed the D382 static in an effort to find a Hi Sec entrance to bring in the Corp's Large POS. Found the new one, scanned down the WH's and found a null sec and Class 5 wormholes. No good, so started to close this hole. Thinking I had the routine down I was using Orca, Abby and Hulk to close the hole. Mass ticked over to the second mass message right on que at the 4th Orca passing. Cruising along just fine until through shear stupidity and overconfidence I ended up on "wrong side" with all three ships and a "mass critical" message. I rechecked all my calcs and was sure I was only at 1.78Bkg. I also checked my supplies and saw no prober. My thought was to jump the hulk back through (being the smallest, get my prober, jump it back through, jump the orca and find a way out with the prober and abby. Jump the Hulk through and the hole closed. Final tally put the total mass at 1.82Bkg. Well short of the 2Bkg I have always used. I guess I have proven at least a 10% variance. (In hindsight, I should have stored the Hulk in the Orca and jumped through in my pod, but in heat of the moment at 1am that thought did not enter my mind.)

So stuck and dreading a 600M ISK setback I went to bed. Got up next morning and figuring I had nothing to lose, started throwing Jet Cans and lableing the "Lost, Need Help" along with my toons contact. Well damned if it didn't work first try. I logged in again an hour later and had a message. Instantly got a PM from a guy in a probber looking for Hi Sec exit for his Class 5 corp. He had a route out and we quickly were able to come to an agreement on a fee to get me out. It was most reasonable and again I am convinced that most people in W-Space are extremely helpful.

So from now on I am assuming that 2B does not mean 2B, but most likely between 1.8 and 2.2Bkg. In addition, if the critical message is 5%, then it could mean as little as 90Mkg. Given these facts, the Hulk seems to be the safest ship to use past 1.7BKg, but how do you quickly close a hole and avoid repeated Hulk runs and the 4minute timeout, if you could have to repeat the Hulk run up to 4 or 5 times to mass critical the hole before jumping the Orca back through and closing it? I would love to hear how others are doing it as I am now gun shy about mass closing holes and I know it is something I need to be able to do.

Fly Safe,


  1. Did you take the mass of the fitted modules into account? They count towards how much mass can move through the wormhole.

  2. To the best of my knowledge I did not have mass altering modules on any of the ships.

    Do any modules besides Armor Plates, AB's and MWD's effect mass?

    Orca set up with Cloak, Mining Link, and Tractor Beam in Highs, Shield Mods in Mids and Expanders in Lows.

    Abby set with 7 Pulse Lasers and Cloak in High, Cap recharges, web and AB (offline) in mid and dual large armor repr's two EANM, DC and cap relays in lows.

    Hulk Cloak and two strip miners, ecm in mid and cargo expander and mining upgrade in low.

    Didn't think any of those effected mass.

    I really just think there is a level of variance in teh mass allocations. Wonder if others are experiencing the same results.


  3. From the experience of collapsing several dozen wormholes over the past couple of months, I can tell you without a shadow of a doubt that wormholes do vary in mass. I've observed approximately a 10% variance, so a 2 billion kg mass hole could vary from 1.8 to 2.2 billion.

    Personally, when I'm closing holes, I use a Rokh with 100mn afterburner fit (don't have the skills to fly an Orca yet). Activate the AB, observe how much mass I've pushed through when the I get the "stability disrupted but not critically" message. From that you can infer a range of possible maximum masses the hole can have, as I've observed that message appears at about 50% mass remaining (I've read 45%, but I think it's 50). Keep on shoving the Rokh through with AB activated, till I get the critically disrupted message; if the Rokh is on the opposite side of the hole, hit the AB and pop through, that usually collapses it. If I'm on my side of the hole when I get that message, fit the 100mn AB to my Drake and push it through (AB NOT active). The Drake is good because it's only 14 million kg with the AB active, but when activating the AB on the opposite side, it pushes it up to 64 million. This has always collapsed the hole for me.

    However, there's always the risk you'll end up on the wrong side - in about 60ish hole collapses, twice my Rokh and once my Drake has ended up on the wrong side of the hole. This is why I *always* have a scanning alt inside my hole when I'm collapsing a wormhole, to scan my way back in - this in addition to always knowing the location of my current low-sec hole. Caution never hurts :) There's nothing you can do to remove all the risk of collapsing holes, though just bringing them to critical is nearly foolproof.

    Best of luck to you and your corp!

    (PS: Having the ability to comment anonymously would be awesome, I wanted to comment but didn't have any of the accounts required to comment!)

  4. T - I will look to see if I have a setting wrong to allow "anom" posts.

    I have changed my approach to closing and making holes mass critical. I agree that 10% seems to be the range. At this point I will what ever is available to get the 2B life mass holes to about 1.7Bkg (really an easy number for me with 6 Orca Trips and 2 Abby assuming a new hole). If I want to close the hole, I leave the Orca on the "Away" side when I hit 1.7, if I just want it critical, I make sure it is on the "Home" side. From there I use nothing but hulks. Reason here is they are the "biggest" ship that about everyone in corp can fly that is guarenteed a "round trip". I assume 5% of the smallest hole 1.8B and get 90M. With the Hulk at 80M, I should always get two trips and still leave the hole open. With the Abby (at 103M), I run too much of a risk of not getting a round trip and the Orca.

    So on the two holes we needed to critical last night (for POS setup safety), the first took 5 hulk round trips and the 6th through triggered the "critical message". Put that mass at about 2.1 to make it critical. The second hole went critical when the hulk went through the second time. So a difference of about 320Mkg on the critical message.

    I am fairly "comfortable" now assuming 1.8 and then just adding hulk trips to make it critical. Takes longer (especially solo) but it seems a lot safer.


  5. T - Thanks for heads up on Anom comments. I have changed my settings to allow for them.