Life in a Wormhole: Lose Some, Win Some #eveonline

Bre logs in and reports that the 850 million isk wormhole… is now occupied. So entrenched have the locals become in the last 20 hours that they’re apparently already running mining operations, as Bre has a Retriever mining barge and Osprey cruiser on scan.

That’s a bit odd, though, since Bre’s combat probes don’t pick up the gravitational signature of an asteroid belt anywhere nearby. She runs a quick scan on the two ships, locating them easily, and warps to their location at range to find the two ships floating in empty space, piloted, and over 80 kilometers from one another.

The whole thing seems decidedly odd. Either one of the ships is a potential victim for Bre’s launcher-equipped Anathema, but the whole thing has the stink of rotten bait about it. She scans for the current exit to high sec while she turns her options over and locates the new tower in the process — goodness but they got that thing up quickly.

Once she has the exit bookmarked, she warps back to the two miners just in time to see a tengu strategic cruiser uncloak about 160 kilometers away from both ships, after which the lot of them warp back to their tower.

Bre’s instincts serve her well, and she heads out of the system and back home with an intact ship, although still annoyed and disappointed that the sale fell through because the buyer couldn’t be arsed to get online and close the deal in less than four days.

Meanwhile, we’ve scanned down our lowsec exit to give our wayward real estate agent a way back in. The system we find ourselves connected to is somewhat terrible, as it connects to the more useful areas of known space only through the infamously gank-tastic system of Old Man Star. This presents no problems for Bre getting home, but it’s not very useful for fitting out our shiny new Tornados. Ah well. What’s in the other direction?

Our other static connection opens into a class two wormhole system with no less than thirty-five anomalies immediately visible on scan, three good-looking radar signatures to sweeten the pot, and home to only a single poorly defended tower that the owners have all but abandoned.

In short, our neighbors have left bales of money laying around in their back yard.

We fire up a flare, pilots assemble, cargo holds are filled to the rim with ammunition, and a fleet forms, consisting of CB, Em, Ichi, Tweed, Shan, and me. Our goal: to hit every possible Sleeper enclave in the system. We pause only once, when the local tower’s forcefield goes offline without warning. It looks like the locals really were leaving, and decided not to take the tower with them, though they did make off with all the gear therein. So strange. You’d think that if you were going to move out of a wormhole, you’d take the 250 million isk tower with you. Apparently not.

Whatever. We don’t have time to ponder the eccentricities of unknown pilots, as there’s money to made and even at 5 to 7 minutes per site, 38 anomalies and signatures still take quite a lot of time to blast to flinders — it’s the most extensive single-session Sleeper flensing any of us have ever undertaken, and we spend the time chatting on voice comms, getting acquainted with our new alliance mate, and staving off boredom.

CB in particular seems to need some kind of adrenaline infusion, as the ‘sit back and let the drones do the work’ style of the Gila cruiser he’s currently trying out really doesn’t seem to suit him. He warps back to our tower for a few minutes and returns with his PvP-equipped Talos battlecruiser. The ship’s oversized guns are a bit too big to reliably track the small sleeper frigates, the capacitor is far too unstable for typical PvE work, and the tank is entirely insufficient when compared to the punishment that Sleepers dish out.

It is, in CB’s own words, “the most fun I’ve had in PvE since I ran that very first sleeper site in a Brutix.” He blazes across the battlefield, microwarpdrive flaring, charging at Sleeper battleships as if he hopes to stave in their hull with the prow of his ship (which, to be fair, seems custom-built for such a tactic), and he only almost dies one time. Maybe twice.

[Image by Tweed. Click to embiggen.]

All in all, it’s a good night, and time profitably-spent; the final tally puts our net profit at just over 1.2 billion isk.


  1. How much do you actually end up with per hour per pilot when you run sleeper ops?

  2. This was 6-7 people (no alts counted) and it was 2+ hours not counting prep time. Like 60-80mil an hour something like that (im not one to keep count of such things actualy). We also runa a tight ship when it comes to overwatch/security so keep that in mind. Like Doycet said, this is not the norm for us, but it can be done when the WH gods allow.

  3. The loot drops are variable, so it gets a little tricky to figure out. The night in question we got a big haul, split six ways (we split by player, not by pilot, so while some guys might dualbox, there’s no monetary benefit to that, except for the fact that they’re helping us move faster/safer and thus increasing our overall income/hour), and it worked out somewhere between 60 and 70 Misk an hour, per player.

    Such long-haul sessions aren’t terribly common. More typical would be last night: just three of us going for about an hour and a half (maybe close to two hours, counting salvage and hacking time), while we “only” collected about 280 million worth of loot, since we’re only dividing it 3 ways it worked out to 93 million a piece, which I suppose works out to somewhere between 50 and 60 million an hour. Class 3s are slightly better (nanoribbon drops are about the same, but the ‘blue book’ loot off the sleepers gets better), and so on.

    One of the most profitable, least skill-intensive ways to make isk in a lower-end wormhole is gas harvesting. As seen on the Motherfucking Gas Spreadsheet (, c-50 gas (fairly common in small amounts) has the best isk/hour ratio of the lot, and a even a class five gas site can be cleared of it’s c50 gas by two pilots with Gas Harvesting 5 (easy train) in <15 minutes, before the sleepers in the site even wake up. A class 2 site can be done in half that time, since there's less gas. I don't like mining, but Gas Harvesting in small amounts really pleases me -- it's quick, well-built gas mining cruisers are cheap and effective, and it gives you closure on the task in about the same time it takes you to clear a sleeper anomaly or two. (Unlike mining, where you're ALWAYS leaving some money laying on the ground.)

    The only problem with any of this is that some nights there's no gas to mine, and no sleepers to shoot. It's a problem with an easy solution, however, as that's when you go looking for someONE to shoot, instead of someTHING.

    Actually, if the opportunity for PvP presents itself, pretty much any other activities get put on hold or ignored entirely. Pretty much any of us would opt for PvP, given the choice -- the sleeper shooting just facilitates that.

    The other benefit is that, for us, sleeper sites are rarely run solo. They certainly could be, but it's stressful work being the DPS, the lookout, and (later) the salvager (when it's REALLY hard to be the lookout as well). With even one additional player, the job gets both easier and far more enjoyable, as you have someone to BS with while you shoot. We are lucky in that we're all (now) pretty good friends.

  4. Hah, i was just wondering how much you could earn from lower classes because i know nanoribbons mean alot down there. I’m mostly experienced with c5’s and c6’s where nanoribbons are pretty negilible and the blue loot acounts for 80%+ of your total isk. (Except radar/mag sites ofc.)

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