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Guide – Wormholes
Wormholes – What are they?
Wormholes were introduced with the Apocrypha expansion on March 10th 2009. Wormholes are rifts in space connecting two separate locations. Even though they do have the same function of transporting vessels between systems much like conventional Stargates, wormholes however are an unreliable form as they randomly appear and collapse with time. Due to this reason, wormhole locations and their destinations cannot be mapped out, as they tend to not stay open for very long after they have been discovered.
Wormholes are unpredictable, their collapse can be triggered by the amount of time which has passed since they were born or once a certain amount of mass has travelled through them. The most unpredictable part of wormholes however, is where they will lead. Pilots are therefore encouraged to take upmost care when exploring wormholes and the space beyond, as there it is impossible to say what might wait on the other side.
Wormholes – Where to find them?
Wormholes can be found through the exploration system by probing them out with scan probes. The probing system has been revamped as of the Apocrypha expansion, so even seasoned explorers may be interested in reading up on the current scanning mechanics. Much like exploration sites, wormholes can be found by probing for Cosmic Signatures.
Wormholes – Where do they lead?
Even though the exact destination of each wormhole remains a mystery, there are some visual pointers which can be used to roughly determine what you might encounter on the other side of the wormhole; it is possible to see a part of the nebula the wormhole will lead to before entering through the wormhole itself. Furthermore, should the show info action be performed on the wormhole, it might give an indication of where it will lead. A wormhole leading to 0.0 space can be seen in the picture below:
When entering a wormhole located in “known space” (all Empire systems and regular 0.0 space), there are two possibilities for where your ship might be taken.
First, it is possible that the wormhole will simply lead to another area in known space. This can be a system with a different security status than the system you are in, so it pays to be careful when deciding whether to go through a wormhole or not. For example, if you enter a wormhole in a 0.8 system, you might be taken into a system deep in 0.0 space, and the same thing can apply for going through a wormhole in 0.0. Depending on your own security status, this might be a system where you are not welcome in.
Secondly, the wormhole might lead to an area of undiscovered and uncharted wormhole space. You might be able to identify a “Locus Signature”, which is sort of an ID of the system.
Wormholes – How to get out of wormhole space?
Once having traveled to uncharted systems, one of the primary concerns for most pilots will inevitably be how to get back to known space.
In some instances, the wormhole you came through will still remain, and you can return back to where you came from through the same wormhole. However, there can be instances where the wormhole will collapse behind your fleet and in those cases, you will need to probe your way out. There will always be a minimum of one wormhole in an uncharted system at a time, but there can also be multiple wormholes in any given system at any given time. These wormholes can connect back to any system in known space, but they might also take you deeper into uncharted space, often into more dangerous territory.
In the event that your ship runs out of probes and the wormhole you came through has collapsed, there is not much that can be done. You could theoretically wait around for rescue from others, but most pilots would choose to abandon their ship and self destruct their capsule to wake up in a new clone in their medical bay. Always make sure to bring many probes along on an exploration expedition into uncharted space.
As such, make sure to verify the following before jumping into uncharted space:
1. Bring enough probes to be able to scan your way out.
2. Verify that your clone is up-to-date and located within a friendly outpost or station.
3. Do not bring implants if you cannot afford to replace them.
Wormholes come in different sizes, some wormholes will not be able to support the heavy mass of the larger ship classes.
Capital ships with jump drives can go through wormholes, provided that the wormhole can support the mass of the ship. Cynosural fields however cannot be opened in uncharted space, nor can ships with jump drives lock on to cynosural fields outside of wormhole space to jump out. Supercapital ships, such as Titans and Motherships, cannot go through wormholes as they are far too large to get through even the largest wormholes. Capital ships with jump drives that normally cannot go to high security space cannot enter wormholes which lead to high security systems they would normally not be able to get to.
Wormholes and player owned structures
Starbases can be deployed in wormhole space, but the logistics involved in refueling them as well as even getting back to them should the wormhole collapse behind you can make it a daunting task. Some explorers may find it to be lucrative to set up temporary bases in uncharted space in the form of Starbases. It is not possible to claim sovereignty in uncharted space however and by proxy it is not possible to deploy outposts in these wormhole systems.
No moons in wormhole space contain moon minerals to be harvested.
As has been mentioned before, wormhole space is dangerous and very unpredictable. Beware that the environments in some wormhole systems may have adverse effects on you and your ship.
There comes a time in every wormholes life when it will collapse into the ether. Wormholes are inherently unstable, and will eventually collapse if they are left on their own. However, wormholes also come in differing varieties of stability and heavy usage of a wormhole can cause it to collapse prematurely. When a show info is done on a wormhole (refer to the picture below), there will be some indications as to how long its remaining lifespan is, as well as whether its stability has been disrupted or not due to the mass of ships travelling through it.