Tuesday, February 2, 2010

How to Close a Wormhole, especially 2Bkg ones

Given that I now have closed probably over 100 wormholes, and almost all have been of the 2Bkg variety (specificially B274, A239 and especially D382), I would like to try to provide a somewhat step by step guide.

First and foremost, we all know the dangers.  If you don't feel free to read this this adventure or this one in closing wormholes gone wrong.

So the basics.

For a 2Bkg wormhole, the true mass allocation will be roughly 1.8Bkg to 2.2Bkg.  I have pretty well seen both of these extremes.  The first "mass tick" from "Has not had" to "Has Had" on the show info appears to be right at 50%.  The last "tick" from "Had Had" to "Critical", I am still not sure of.  Until a recent experience with a 3Bkg hole, I thought for sure it was 5%.  But when my Orca (250Mkg) failed to close a critical 3Bkg hole that had just been made critical by a retreiver (20Mkg), I have had to rethink this number.  So for best guess this number is between 5% and 10%.  I would hate to think that CCP has also added variability to thios number as well.  For what I do, I have always assumed it is 5% to be safe.

In general.

In general, to close a hole you want to get a big ass ship on the "away" side with the total mass used as close to but not over (The Prices is Right) the Minimum Mass Allocation.  This ship should be at least 10% of the Maximum Mass Allocation of the hole.  Then simply drive small ships, with twice their mass under 5% of the Minimum Mass Allocation, through and back ONE AT A TIME until the hole is critical.  Then return teh big ass ship to the "Home" side and hole shold close.

What you need for a 2Bkg Wormhole Closing:
  1. 1 big ass ship.  Need mass of at least 220Mkg.  Orca works great, but so will Battleships with armor plates, 100mn AB, or 100mn MWD.  
  2. Medium Sized ships of any size
  3. Multiple small ships.  Key here is two passes must not close hole if it is not yet critical.  So I have always been very safe and assumed 5% of the 1.8Bkg "smallest hole possible" and gotten 90Mkg.  So a 45Mkg ship would be perfect.  The Hulk and Covetor at 40Mkg do very nicely.
Specifics for a 2Bkg wormhole.

If you know you just opened it and you have all the mass allowed then start with big ship passes and try to get the mass to right at .8Bkg.  The key here is you want to see the mass tick over when a smaller ship passes.  This will allow you to confirm the hole has not been used.

I do this with 2 Orca passes (away and back home) and two Abby passes (away and back home).  Mass used 706Mkg.

I now pass the Abby back through to Away side.  Mass used 809Mkg.  And then back through.  Mass 912Mkg.  If the mass ticks here I know I have either a small massed hole or someone has used it.

So based on that I pass the Orca through and back.  Total mass 1309Mkg.

At this point, I swap the Abby for a Hulk/Covetor.

Wait 4 minutes, and jump the Orca back through to the away side.  Mass 1559Mkg.

If the Critical message is 10% then the hole will show critical at 1.62 to 1.98Bkg.

At this point I call every Hulk and Covetor available (and retriever and hauler for that matter) to the wormhole and ONE AT A TIME have them move "Away and Back" until the mass ticks over to Critical.  Could take as little as one pass, or as many as 5 or more.  Once everyone is on the "home" side the Orca returns and closes the hole.

Thats the "quicker" way.  If you have more big ships the feel free to eliminate the 4 minute wait times that are in my system.  Mine is based on using the three accounts I have.

Also I can not imagine trying to close a wormhole solo.  To variable and would be very difficult.

Once we, have two orcas and two pilots and multiple BS's also, I might tweak the process.  But for now I am pretty certain on the method and the only time it takes long is the very big holes where multiple small ship passes are needed and I am the only one on.  Usually we can marshal 4-5 small ships and that defiently makes it go faster.

Note: For high sec Orca runs, I use solely the Orca and as long as the mass ticks at 4th and 7th pass, I am confident the hole will close.  If mass does not go critical on 7th pass, then a few Hulk passes will usually do the trick.

Hope this helps.

Fly Safe,

1) get big ship on away side with mass just under 90% total allowed mass
2) repeatedly fly small ships (2 x Mass < 5% Wormhole mass) one at a time away and back till mass goes critical
3) fly back big ship


  1. How many freighters would it take to change a light... err, I mean, close a wormhole? :)

  2. Well, since most of the holes I have dealt with are 300Mkg single pass limited, none.

    But on a serious note, yesterday I saw a Freighter at a POS in a Class 2 wormhole. Two questions, How and Why?


  3. This is what I am curious about. I am on the cusp of living in a wormhole (in no small part due to your blog) and my plan was to bring an Indy followed by a freighter through the wormhole and have it close behind me. I would then have all my ships, the POS + all the bits and everything I need to stay in a wormhole for a couple of months ;)

    If a freighter won't go through then my plan is a little flawed ;) But I thought that you could go through (in less than capital) and that this would cause the WH to close behyind me.

    Very exciting, but will it work? :)

  4. My understanding is that an Orca is about as big of a ship as will fit into the Wormholes into a Class 2 or 3 system. I ahev heard some people say that occasionally there are Capital ship sized holes into Class 4, but I have never seen one.

    I have heard people building capital ships in WH's, but can not understand that investment in a Class 2.

    But to answer your question, if you are looking at a Class 2 or 3 I am pretty sure you are not going to get a freighter in.


  5. Pretty sure Class 4 will a Capital. Certain that Class 5 fits many Capitals and is suitable for their construction and retrofitting. 6 are big and scary as sh

  6. Since this seems to be one of the most read posts on my blog I figured I would take a second to update it a little bit.

    C1's suck for hole control, as there is no way to quickly close them since the single pass mass to total mass is such a low fraction. If you live in a C1 just expect a lot of traffic, put your POS in plain site (since a ton of noobs will find you from High Sec), and make sure you have great defenses.

    For 2Bkg holes I no longer use the BS part of the equation. I simply use the Orca with a retriever on standby. If the hole is fresh and the 4th pass does not trigger the first change in message then I know I will probably need the retriever, since the 7th pass will usually not cause the second mass message trip. In this case run the retriever through and back until the mass goes critical, then jump the Orca back. In any case make sure the Orca has a cloak and a probe launcher. Cheap insurance for a 400M isk ship.

    Now if the hole has been used and mass is unknown, but has not had the mass message change yet, I run the Orca through till i see the first mass change, if it changes on a trip back to the "home side" then I will run the Orca to the away side and back, then I will use a cruiser with plates and AB. Turn them off for the trip away, and on for the trip home. Do this with a pilot you dont mind stranding (and remember the cloak and probes). Odds are you will end up on the right side but not assured. And losing a cruiser is a heck of a lot cheaper then an Orca.

    If the mass changes going to the away side, its a lot more touchy. I would continue as if it has not been used a lot and hope that you are good, but this is by far the hardest to be certain on.

    Good Luck with that hole control.