Thursday, 8 April 2010

Keep Rollin' Rollin'

Wormholes are shifty things. Not only do they pop out of existence after a certain amount of time but they can also pop when you jump too much ship mass through them. This quality they have can be exploited. If you wish to close a wormhole you can jump enough mass through it to make it pop.

This is dangerous business of course. Normally when you want to close a wormhole there is a specific side of it that you would like to end up on. Making sure that you end up on the right side when it closes takes a lot of knowledge, maths and every so often a pinch of good luck.

Unfortunately for us one of our pilots recently made an error with his calculations and while attempting to close a hole, managed to strand a Moros. The wormhole closed after he jumped out of our home system, leaving no way back in!

This was bad news. Really bad news. A Moros is a Gallente Dreadnought worth well over one billion isk. In other words, an asset you definitely don't want to lose. The Moros was stranded in a class six wormhole that had a static class one exit. This means that the system would always have a wormhole connecting it to a random class one system. Our first response was to bring a couple of alt characters in covert ops ships through the class one from Highsec and into to the class six system with the Moros.

So we were in a tricky situation. Although the covert ops ships had come through the class one system to reach the Moros, the Moros couldn't jump through to the class one itself. This is due to wormholes having a 'maximum jump mass limit'. Basically, some wormholes have big enough limits to fit through huge masses, such as a Moros. Most wormholes - such as the wormhole to the class one - don't.

The pilot of the Moros made a safe spot and logged off. The covert ops pilots also did the same, and for the next four days they scanned the system whenever they could, hoping to find a new wormhole spawn that would enable them to get the Moros out. The best option would be a Lowsec hole, but we would've been happy to find an incoming class five or six wormhole as well, that would at least give us the possiblity of a new class six wormhole to scan everyday. But after four days there was nothing to show for our efforts.

So yesterday we decided to do something crazy. 'Chain Rolling'!

Let me explain. When we forcibly close the wormhole to our static class six we call it 'Rolling'. The Moros was stuck in one of approximately 113 class six wormhole systems. The crazy plan was to 'roll' our static wormhole until we found the right system. This is the equivalent of rolling a 113-sided dice and looking for just one single number. Now I'm no mathematician but they are not the nicest odds possible. But we made a fleet and started the 'rolling'

My part in this fleet was to act as the scanner. To find the new static, take a peek through and note down the system number. It was largely dull and boring work apart from one wormhole system where we found a Thorax gas mining and quickly ruined his day before moving on.

But to my huge surprise we managed to find the system after merely 21 rolls of the huge, many sided dice. I couldn't beleive my eyes when I read the system number, I had to double and triple check it!

So, with a concerted team effort and a very large helping of luck, we got our Moros back! And we all celebrated by flatly refusing to 'roll' any more wormholes.

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