If you're only interested in following a flowchart and not learning the theory, then click here. Otherwise, keep reading.
Before we dive into the math - what is rolling? The core reason for rolling a wormhole is to manually sever a connection to the adjacent solar system; a mechanic unique to wormhole space.
Wormholes have a maximum allowable mass per transit as well as a maximum allowable mass overall before collapse (connection severed). "Rolling" is reaching the maximum mass and collapsing the hole.
There are many reasons for rolling a wormhole but the following are the most important:
- Rolling a static (link "static" to wormhole types if we have one; been SO long since I've edited a wiki -Jaxan) for a new chain.
- Rolling away a dynamic (link "dynamic" to wormhole types guide, if we have one) wormhole to cut off a threat.
- Calculating approximate remaining mass for a PvP / PvE content.
- Rage Rolling (discussed later).
- Door-stopping (discussed later).
Practical Rolling Mechanics
Ideally one should use a relatively inexpensive ship such as a T1 battleship with scanning equipment in case its destroyed and/or "rolled out," i.e., the wormhole collapses before the rolling ship can return to its system of origin. Additionally, because wormhole collapse is determined by ship mass, the ship should also be fitted to maximize its mass in any possible way.
Modules / Rigs
The primary purpose of a higgs rig in a roller is to increase mass. It has several side effects, the most notable being a 75% reduction in velocity. It increases the mass of the ship and modules by 100%. For example if a ship has a base mass of approximately 100 million kg, a higgs rig doubles its mass to ~200 million kg.
Propulsion (Prop) Mods
When a propulsion module is active it increases a ships mass further (although also slowing the ship's velocity). This mass addition feature combined with the Higgs rig allows us to take a 200m BS and increase it to 300m by turning our propulsion module from off (cold) to on (hot). For the remainder of this guide the term "prop mod" is interchangeable with an Afterburner / Microwarpdrive. A BS-sized prop mod typically adds 50m but now adds 100, taking the total up to triple the initial amount - 300m kg! Generally speaking for battleships you want the total mass with the prop mod off (cold) to be as close to 200m as possible but NOT OVER, and 300m on (hot). The reasoning behind this will be discussed later.
Types of Rollers
A ship specifically designed to roll wormholes is called a "roller." Choosing the right type of roller is key to maximizing rolling efficiency. For example, using a battleship to roll a capital (cap) sized hole when you have a capital ship available is inefficient.
Carriers are the most commonly used ship to roll high-class, cap-sized holes. Generally any hole connecting a combination of C5, C6, and K-space systems will be cap-sized, with the maximum allowable mass per jump being either 1.35B or 1.8B kg. If the goal is to roll a hole quickly, use a capital. Carriers are typically used over Dreadnaughts and Faxes due to their cost, relatively low-SP requirement, and speed. Because their base mass is so high (>1B), a higgs rig is not necessary and a prop mod is sufficient.
However, the mass of a carrier + prop mod is over the max mass/jump of common cap-sized holes (1.35b), so a totally-not-exploit-mechanic must be used. The trick is to hit jump with the prop mod off and immediately start spam-activating the prop mod. This totally-not-exploit-mechanic tricks Eve into allowing the ship through but registering mass in excess of the max mass/jump limit. If done properly, a hot-hot (HH) pass will collapse all but max mass variance (discussed later) holes. This concept is what allows you to jump a >300m hot battleship through low-class holes, as well as HICs/Porpoises through frigate holes.
This resource from EveUni shows you wormhole mass attributes for different types of holes. It is important to know what type of hole you're dealing with before you start. One error on it however is that any capital sized "3 bil" (3 billion KG) hole is actually 3.3b, not 3.0b.
Previously it was mentioned it is desired to have BS C/H mass as close to 200m/300m, respectively. This is to make math simple and conservative. Generally math is done such that 2b hole = 20, a C jump = 2, and a H jump = 3. If you go over then you increase the chances of either being rolled out or requiring a HIC to close the hole. Because of this, the most common rollers are, in order of combat capability while rolling:
- (Blaster) Megathron / (RHML) Raven
- Machariel - used for max AU/s hyperspatial warp speed. Most expensive option.
- Praxis - versatile, yet requires 3-4 plates to get to ideal mass. Not preferred.
Generally rollers are either fit for combat with max damage, or utility with neuts / cloak / ecm, etc. The only hard requirement for all of these however is a BS-sized prop mod and a Higgs rig.
Heavy Interdiction Cruisers (HICs)
HICs are unique in that they are the only ship class in the game that can equip to Zero-Point Mass Entangler (ZPM). Generally 2-3 are fit to a HIC. Each ZPM reduces mass and velocity, essentially rendering the ship immobile while active. These are usually used to finish rolling "Crit" (discussed later) holes by going out with the ZPMs on (small) and in with the ZPMs off (big) and an BS-sized prop mod on. 3 ZPMs will essentially turn a HIC into the same mass as a pod, while a higgs'ed HIC + BS-sized prop mod gets approximately 120m kg, about 2/3 of a battleship cold pass. Race choice is irrelevant.
Porpoise / Cruisers (C1 Holes)
Porpoises and T1 Cruisers are occasionally used to roll Frig-holes and C1 holes, respectively. Frig-hole rolling is discussed later in this guide. It is sufficient to say now that either Porpoises or HICs are generally used.
C1 holes are unique to J-space in that their max mass/jump is 20m kg, just over twice the base mass of a cruiser. If you're an astute reader you're likely asking yourself why don't we use battlecruisers (BCs) which have mass just under 20m? Good question. The answer lies in the Higgs rig. Because a BC is >50% max mass/jump, it cannot equip a higgs rig, which means that any mass generated from a prop mod while utilizing the definitely-not-exploit-mechanic from the Carrier section will not receive the 100% Higgs rig bonus. This results in an un-Higgs'ed BC having less max mass than a Higgs'ed Cruiser w/ an oversized prop mod.
This was mentioned earlier in the Battleship section, but it is worth elaborating on. There are two main philosophies on rolling fits. Battleships will be used as the example but the ideas carry over to all types of rollers.
Combat rollers are simple - Higgs, Prop mod, Damage, Tank, and sometimes Tackle. The idea here is that while you're more likely to be caught while rolling due to your slower speed and fewer disengagement tools, the chances that you survive if you are caught are significantly higher. Often, just having turrets/missiles equipped will deter the attentive hunter as they inspect your ship. Do not underestimate the amount of damage and tank a properly fit T1 roller can field. Blaster Megathrons and RHML Ravens are the best combat rollers due to their hull bonuses and slot layout. If you're jumping a roller it would behoove you to inspect the ship to ensure you're not about to tackle a Blaster Megathron at 2km.
For example, this Mega has 1379 dps Cold (1554 dps Hot). Rolling Megas are typically structure tanked and RHML Ravens are typically, but not always, XLASB tanked. If you are multi-boxing several rollers it is worth considering how much attention you'd be able to devote to each one in the event you're attacked. For example, an active tanked RHML XLASB Raven will require significantly more actions per minute (APM) than a Structure tanked Megathron.
Utility / Speed
At the other end of the spectrum is the philosophy of trying to minimize the chances of getting caught / tackled with the understanding that if that is unsuccessful, there is a high probability you are going to die due to your relative inability to fight back. These types of fits typically have cloaks, MJDs, Warp Core Stabilizers, Hyperspatial Rigs, and Nanofibers / Overdrives. This is an example fit.
Math / Mechanics
Stages / Mass Variance
There are three stages of mass remaining on wormholes, summarized below
|"Stability" Line in WH Description (Hit Show Info)||% Mass Remaining||Jargon|
|"not yet had its stability reduced"||More than 50%||Stage 1|
|"stability reduced...but not to a critical degree"||50-10%||Stage 2 / Reduced / Halved / Destabbed|
|"stability critically disrupted...verge of collapse"||Less than 10%||Stage 3 / Crit / VoC|
Once a hole reaches 0% mass it collapses. To complicated things however, the maximum mass on a hole can vary by +/- 10% of its base mass. For example, a C247 hole has 2b mass on it. This means it can have 1.8-2.2b. Ideally you can mitigate this uncertainty by figuring out if a hole is "undersized" (-10-0%) or "oversized" (0-+10%). However the only way to do this is if you know how much mass has gone through a hole and then do arithmetic to get to 50% of the base value. If you reach 50% and the hole is still Stage 1 it is oversized. In our example that would mean you reached 1b mass and it is still Stage 1, meaning a total mass of 2.0-2.2b. If 50% and Stage 2, then it is undersized. If the hole has an unknown amount of mass on it it is impossible to determine if it is over or undersized. Thus, you can either:
- Assume -10% undersized
- Be careful and use a HIC when you believe the hole is close to collapsing
- Hope for the best
This concept is often what results in people misusing WH rolling flow-charts, as they don't understand that some of the charts assume a known initial mass.
As this is a WHSOC guide we will use our statics as the two examples - a C247 (C3/2b/16hr) & a H900 (C5/3b/24hr). We'll examine a "fresh" hole - or in other words it is new and we know there has been 0 mass on it, as well as a hole with an unknown amount of mass on it. The purpose of these examples are to explain the thought process and logic behind rolling flowcharts. If you don't want to bother with the math then just move on.
C247 - WHSOC C3 StaticThis example assumes the C247 just spawned and we jumped a scanning Frigate through to check the static. It is a NS static so we're going to roll for a HS static. The mass of the Frigate is small enough to be considered 0, as our <300m Rolling BS's have a bit of extra room that the Frigate's mass can be thrown into without messing up the math.
Step #1 - Determine if the hole is Under or Over-sized
To do this we need to reach 50% (1b) of the base mass (2b). For math purposes, we'll consider 1b = 10, and 2b = 20, a cold (C) jump = 2, and a hot (H) jump = 3.
- 0 + C (2) + H (5) + C (7) + H (10)...So we did 2 Battleships out Cold and back Hot for a total of 10, or half the total mas
Step #2 - Calculate the jumps that get you as close to the lower side of the range as possible on the last jump OUT.
- Still Stage 1 -> Oversized Hole, or total mass = 20-22
- 10 (previous jumps) + H (13) + H (16) + H (19) + H (22). This should ideally close it. The last jump OUT shall not put mass over the worst case scenario (20). In this case we're at 19 when the last BS jumps out.
- Theoretically because our Rollers are slightly less than 300m it is possible that if a hole is 100% oversized that you'll need a HIC to roll it, but this should only happen in ~5% of cases.
- Stage 2 -> Undersized Hole, or total mass = 18-20
- 10 (previous jumps) + C (12) + H (15) + H (18) + H (21). This will close the hole. The last jump out puts the hole at 18, but remember because our rollers are slightly <300m, it is actually slightly <18m. This is the main reason we want rollers <300m.
- If you're uncomfortable getting that close to the limit on the last jump out or let's say that a scanning T3C did the initial jump instead of a Frigate, then just turn a H into a C. There's a slight chance you'll have to HIC the hole but you won't get rolled out.
H900 - WHSOC C5 StaticThis example assumes the C5 static has been up for several hours with some traffic through it. The mass on the hole is unknown, thus it will be impossible to figure out if the hole is over or under-sized.
Step #1 - Halve the hole
Unlike our previous example we won't know if the hole is under or over-sized when it goes half, but if you always assume worst case (under-sized) you'll err on the side of caution.
- ? + H (3) + H (6) + H (9) -> STAGE 2 (YOU MUST WATCH FOR THE HOLE GOING STAGE 2)
- The hole has gone stage 2 after you put 9 (900m) through it, so obviously there was a significant amount of mass already on the hole, as otherwise worst case it would require 13.5 (27/2) to go stage 2 on a max under-sized hole.
Understanding that it is impossible to roll yourself out if you go out Cold on a Reduced 3b hole, we can do some quick math to get a feel for approximately how many jumps we can expect.
Step #2 - Crit the hole. The concept explained in this bullet is applicable to all sizes of holes and is extremely important
- Assume worst case scenario that the hole is max under-sized (27)
- Assume you were 1kg away from Reducing the hole prior to the last jump. Or in otherwords, you were essentially already at 13.5 prior to jumping out H, which now puts you at 16.5.
- 27-16.5 = 10.5. So at an absolute minimum, you have at least 10.5 left on the hole.
- For 3b holes this is actually fairly easy, as you can just go out H and come back H until you start approaching the 10.5 we calculated above, then switch to out C and back H. Never jump a Battleship out of a Crit hole if you have a HIC available. If absolutely necessary, rip the Higgs rig off the Roller and jump out Cold through a Crit hole, then drop a depot and re-HIggs the Roller. This minimizes your chances of being rolled out.
The above worst-case calculations are more poignant on 2b or below holes, as you can theoretically roll yourself out going out Cold on a Stage 2 hole if it is under-sized and you are close to Stage 3.
From my experience, being able to do the math quickly can be helpful in contested situations where there are hostiles either on grid or on their way to the grid. With all things it can never hurt to understand the fundamentals. The best way to improve at this is to practice, understanding that you will mess up and roll yourself out from time to time. Welcome to Wormholes.
You got Rolled Out. Now what?
Getting rolled out happens to the best of us, and it will happen eventually to you as well. In fact, there's a possibility you came to this page because you got rolled out. Your options are simple:
- Scan yourself out
- Ask in local (good luck)
If you intend to scan yourself out it is recommend to either have a probe launcher and cloak equipped, or carry them with a mobile depot to allow yourself to fit them & rip your higgs rig off.
A doorstop is a cloaked roller on the outside of a hole with its mass at a point where coming back Hot will collapse it. Its job is to decloak and jump the hole Hot if either 1) an enemy jumps out, 2) a hostile fleet is about to land on the hole from the outside, or 3) the defender is about to try and suicide a roller out to force the hole shut. Your doorstop pilot can literally make or break an op, as seconds do matter. The goal is to be on the outside of the hole, cloaked, with the hole massed to the point where coming back Hot will roll it. I’ve personally seen close to 10 holes (C4 dual static) doorstopped during one Fortizar timer.
Advanced doorstopping tactics are beyond the scope of this guide. It is sufficient to just conceptually understand what it is.
Frigate holes are either the bane or boon of every wormholer's existence. They seem to pop up at the most inopportune times and are an absolute pain in the ass to roll. The most common, yet also most mechanically difficult, method is rolling with HICs. Frigate holes are somewhat unique in that they regenerate mass quickly, so the typical thought process of doing math to figure out under/over-sized, etc. etc. does not apply here. Instead, the objective is to put as much mass through the hole as quickly as possible. To provide some perspective, it is impossible to roll a Frig-hole with just one pilot as the mass will regenerate faster than you can jump it due to polarization. One strategy is to have multiple pods per HIC and eject to trade the ship to other pilots during polarization cooldowns. HICs and Porpoises are the most commonly used ships for rolling Frig-holes.
HICsUsing the ZPMs discussed earlier, HICs can artificially reduce their mass to less than 5m kg, the maximum mass/jump for a Frig-hole. The trick is to activate the ZPMs, then hit jump and immediately de-activate the ZPMs and activate a prop mod on the same tick. Using this definitely-not-exploit-mechanic will put over 10x the theoretical maximum allowed mass per jump through the hole.
PorpoisesA not commonly known fact is that Porpoises can actually fit through Frig-holes. They are designed to accompany Ventures/Prospects into dangerous areas of space and thus have some Frigate-like attributes like mass. This provides a cheaper, easier, yet less effective alternative to HICs for rolling Frig-holes. The concept is simple: Hit Jump then immediately activate your (hopefully) oversized prop mod.
Rage rolling is a term that came to be during the attempted eviction of Hard Knocks in 2012 by a group of other high-class wh entities led by the infamous No Holes Barred with help from Stone Circle and Aperture Harmonics and defended by HK with help from Verge of Collapse, Sleeper Social Club, and Kill It With Fire from the hole known as "Rage" (J115405).
Rage rolling teams typically consist of dedicated scanners and rollers, often in addition to a combat fleet. A proficient team can complete a whole rolling process sig-spawn to sig-spawn in just several minutes.
I hope this guide provided some good information on Rolling. I strongly recommend learning the ins-and-outs of Rolling if you strive to grow as a Wormholer, as it is often our bread and butter.
As always, I'm open to constructive feedback - Taylon.