What the Heck is a Wormhole, Anyway?

by CCP Games

It’s a good question, right? What do we actually know about wormholes? Physicists are constantly bandying the term around couched in language that absolutely no-one else understands. Filmmakers have been known to take huge liberties with the concept, just look at Kenneth Branagh’s Thor in which he audaciously employed one to link Earth with Asgard, the home of the Norse gods.

Given that it’s a mere four days until EVE: Valkyrie’s amazing new Wormholes update launches, we thought now might be a good time to set the record straight regarding wormholes and how they fit into the EVE Universe.

Actual Real-life Wormholes

Sorry to disappoint, but in our universe, wormholes are merely theoretical at this stage. A wormhole, otherwise known as an Einstein-Rosen bridge, is a cosmological feature that links two separate points in spacetime.

Think of the universe as a piece of paper with a hole in it. The hole would enable you to get from one side of the paper to the other really quickly. Well, a wormhole is the 3D equivalent, theoretically enabling space travelers to cross vast distances and possibly even access alternate universes if we live in a multiverse (but that’s a whole other can of worms).

The EVE Online connection

Like many of the things you find in EVE: Valkyrie, they have their origins in EVE Online, and wormholes are no exception. Lest we forget, the ‘EVE’ of EVE Online was a massive warp gate built around a wormhole that enabled mankind to get to New Eden in the first place.

In 2009, wormholes were introduced to EVE Online via the Apocrypha expansion and like that original EVE gate, these rifts in space are incredibly unstable. They link separate star systems, allowing for rapid transit between the two, but they can disappear either when their natural lifespan ends or when too many ships have passed through them. So, in effect, they are a bizarre blend of massive convenience and hugely risky inconvenience.

Valkyrie’s Wormholes

So how do wormholes fit into the Valkyrie experience? It all begins when Valkyrie scouts bring back intel regarding strange anomalies they have detected at the fringes of known space. Offering a glimpse into an alternate reality, pilots brave enough to enter a wormhole will find themselves in a corrupted and twisted version of the New Eden they are familiar with.

Unfortunately, the wormhole could catastrophically collapse at any time. So why would a pilot want to risk such an endeavor? Fame and fortune, of course. Wormholes contain indigenous gases that prove to have interesting effects on a ship’s performance and the potency of its weapons, so they are an extremely valuable commodity. That is why the Valkyrie and Schism pilots choose to explore these precarious realms.

What do Wormholes Bring to the Galactic Table?

The wormholes you will experience in EVE: Valkyrie share certain characteristics with those in EVE Online, particularly the stability issues, but they are also slightly different in several key ways:

  • Everything you know from the Valkyrie’s regular maps will be altered in some way. They represent an alternate reality, so you should very much expect the unexpected.  
  • In the event of death, your respawn point will be completely random. 
  • Elements of the gameplay will be turned on their heads. Your ship’s capabilities will be altered. Imagine having unlimited boost, super speed missiles or no shields. 
  • The usual play modes will also be corrupted in unexpected ways, providing combinations of existing play modes or enabling you to take part in combat in entirely new ways.

What a time to be alive! If you want to find out more about how you will be able to access wormholes and how they work, checkout the recent dev blog from CCP Bad Horse and CCP Roo’s initial reveal.

See you next Wednesday for some extreme weirdness.