The exploration of wormholes is a hazardous occupation. The dangers contained within are deadly and can and will kill you very quickly. If the Sleepers don’t get you, the pirates may.
There is a very good reason why w-space is so dangerous; it’s full of riches to make even the Tash Murkon family jealous. With the correct approach and equipment it is possible to make a tonne of isk in a relatively short amount of time. Here follows a guide on some of the methods that are used to make isk from harvesting w-space.
Firstly, the choice of wormhole is important. All wormholes are different; some harbour more recources than others, some have a profound effect on your ships systems, but all will be highly dangerous and will vary depending on the strength or 'flavour' of the wormhole. The Wormhole Database can show you when the wormhole may collapse as well as it's destination if you're planning on a little excursion. The higher the class rating; the deadlier the sites within, yet increased loot drops.
It's important to note what's within the system, using this database, as massive stellar mass objects such as a Black-holes or a Pulsars may be present. These interstallar objects influence entire systems and will affect varying abilities of your ship, depending on the type of object encountered and the strength of the wormhole.
In all cases never forget to field a Scan Probe Launcher and carry plenty of probes just in case you are caught inside a collapsed wormhole and need to find an exit, without committing suicide and failing the mission.
For guidance on the exploration of wormholes please read this guide:
There are many wonderful ores to be found within w-space. Unfortunately there are no surveyed asteroid belts in the local area so they will have to be scanned for. Generally this is the safest way to make isk in w-space as it requires little confrontation.
To mine in w-space you will need a mining vessel. I would only recommend using a Tech I mining vessel and not a specialised ship such as mining barges, because of the inherent risks involved, but this is ultimately up to your discretion. It’s okay to fit Tech II mining lasers as the increase in yield helps compensate for the increase in costs. Any mining operation is best conducted with at least two pilots. This minimises the risks and maximises the intel available to the operation.
You will also need storage. The best solution is to take a hauler. Fitted with a cloak this can act as a giant secure container just a little way from the main mining operation. Mine into a jet-can named after whatever asteroid you are mining and then have your hauler remain cloaked until required to recover the ore from the jet-can. The hauler should also field a tractor beam to assist the recovery of the ore.
The longer the operation can remain cloaked the better as there is no local beacon, hostiles in the area can not be determined without regularly scanning the system for ships. It is safe to assume that your ship is being sought at all times by opportunists therefore it’s wise to maintain an active scan of the system. Be aware that although no ships may show on your results, this is no guarantee that there are no ships in the area, bearing in mind that the on-board scanner only scans your local space and cannot cover an entire system.
When it’s time to leave; have the hauler exit first in-case the wormhole collapses. The loss of a Tech I mining vessel is not such a hard loss to bear but if the hauler is lost along with the ore then the whole operation will be a failure.
Wormholes are some of the best situational camping sites available to budding pirates because they are natural star-gates without rules or regulation. This means that any crime committed on the w-space side will not be considered on the normal space side allowing one to attack a target in w-space without any detrimental effect on your security status or aggravating a criminal flag.
As per usual it is good practice to have intel on the normal space side relaying information to the fleet on the w-space side about the targets imminently arriving through the wormhole. Try not to make the fleet too large as the tonnage may close the wormhole. Field ships with high DPS fittings and Remote Repair abilities but be aware that any target attempting to explore w-space will also possess a decent tank to cope with the large amounts of damage dealt by the Sleepers (enemy NPCs).
The fleet should target any incoming ship as quickly as possible and Web (Stasis) and Point (warp scramble/disrupt) to prevent the targets escape. The target is unlikely to field a WCS (warp core stabiliser) so a single point is all that should be necessary. The most important effect should be to prevent the targets retreat back through the wormhole so a strong Web is required, a minimum of two should be used, as well as the use of a Warp Scrambler to disable the targets Micro-Warpdrive, if fitted. It's also a good idea to try and 'bump' the target away from the wormhole itself further preventing escape.
The destruction of the targets ship and POD should then proceed in earnest, as well as the ransoming of the target if necessary. Remember that any crimes committed here will not be carried through to normal space, therefore anything goes.
If a particularly good haul is dropped from the victim(s) it’s wise to deliver it through the wormhole as soon as possible, because if the wormhole collapses or you become the victims of retaliation, the mission will be a failure.
It is worth remembering that wormholes by design do not attract massive traffic volumes, instead targets would consist mainly of other explorers or miners and haulers. Unless by remarkable fluke you run into a POS deployment fleet, by which chance you'd be in for a grand battle!
This is the method where-by a small fleet engages the Sleepers, and recovers the items dropped by the NPCs for sale or production of Tech III ships.
Firstly a DED site will need to be scanned using a Scan Probe Launcher. Once located warp to the site and prepare your ships for tanking the inevitable hostile fire. Sleepers like to attack in force and will concentrate their fire on your tanks lowest resistance therefore an omni-tank is preferred for this type of work. In addition to this intelligence Sleepers will use almost every type of electronic warfare to lock you down, this includes Webs, Scrams and NOS. They will also attempt to disrupt your weapons by jamming their tracking abilities or dampening range so a wide choice of ammunition is advised. Personally I use lasers as they have a broad selection of optimal ranges and require no ammunition, or sentry/combat drones as they do not require ammunition but do require careful monitoring to avoid careless destruction.
DED's regularly house turrets much like you would find in an Empire mission. The turrets are by far the most dangerous targets and should be engaged first. Order your fleet to concentrate their firepower to take them down as quickly as possible. When all the turrets have been destroyed focus the fleets firepower on the remaining Sleepers, leaving only a single enemy ship to prevent any re spawns. This will give your fleet time to recover all the wrecks on the field and give your group time to recharge their tanks/ammunition/capacitor.
When all your cargo holds are brimming with salvage it's time to leave. A bold practice is to remain within the wormhole for 24 hours where the Sleepers will re spawn so they can be 'harvested' once more. It's wise to note however, that unless the salvage returns to normal space the mission is a failure should the fleet become lost or victims of pirates.
Above all else ensure that you return from w-space alive and with your loot. And do not under any circumstances forget to field a Scan Probe Launcher, backed up by a healthy number of probes.
This concludes my guide to W-Space Harvesting. I trust you will learn much more as you practice the art of survival and prospering within a wormhole. Good luck and fly safe...