New Eden Explorers: Motoko Rei

It’s great to see other Exploration blogs on there and Motoko Rei of “Into the Ether” is a great one to visit. What I like about Motoko’s blog is the wandering nature of a solo explorer from interesting High Sec sites to Low Sec, Null Sec, and Wormholes. He’s captured some fantastic images along the way and has certainly developed a piloting skill to be admired in order to navigate all that New Eden has to offer. Motoko has been flying the cluster since July of 2013, just a little over a year now, and through his blog he’s shared his experiences so far. Be sure to check out “Into the Ether” if you’re someone who’s interested in seeing New Eden. You’ll learn, as I’ve learned doing my own exploration, fear is no reason to deny your explorer’s heart.

Motoko Rei

Motoko Rei

What attracted you to EVE Online and how long have you played?

I read that Eve Online was complicated, which first peaked my interest. I like the idea that there needs to be some investment in order to fully experience the game. I next discovered the player community (bloggers at first) and thought that a game which can inspire such dynamic player creativity in terms of blogger output (stories, articles, critique, player experience) must have something special about it. I have been playing for over a year.

How would you describe your characters career path?

Motoko-Rei_Standing2I started out running missions and mining in high security space for 2 or 3 months. It seemed like that gameplay was going nowhere fast so I decided to seek out a corporation that could accommodate my play schedule and help me get more out of the game. At the time, Touring New Eden was being advertised as a pacifist corporation – which did not especially draw me in, but it was something I didn’t mind trying out if there were other selling features. I joined Touring because it was also geared for solo pilots and it could teach people how to travel safely through hostile territory.

This is where the game opened up for me. Another corporation declared war and rather than having the newer pilots dock up – we were encouraged to head out into null-sec with our T1 frigates (after first reading up on how to do so, safely). I took a Magnate and headed out to an NPC station way out in Null-sec – completely prepared to have that ship destroyed – and to my surprise I made it.

What attracted you to explore New Eden? What is your goal and have you achieved it? If not, are you still working towards your goal, do plan to continue, or what are you currently doing?

After I found myself pretty far into Null-security space I first started to explore. I was checking out some local sites, then scanning down exploration sites and then scanning down wormholes. I really liked the feeling of discovering new places in the game for myself. Once I started I kept going. Wormholes are the most fascinating for me.
My goal is to continue exploring New Eden to its fullest. More specifically, that means learning more about wormholes first hand, seeing some of the notable sites out there, mining exotic ores and fullerenes. I hope to do all this with some pvp added to the mix.

Anathema

Anathema

While doing all this exploring I found that I was severely lacking in the PVP aspect of the game. I was having trouble dealing with Sleepers and also wanted to be able to engage other capuleers in combat. So I left Touring New Eden and joined Open University of Celestial Hardship (OUCH). Here I was quickly taught the basics of pvp combat. I decided to join their Operations Department in order to continue to learn and enhance the pvp aspect of my game as well as teach others the introductory modules in the OUCH training program.

Lately my exploring has been making excursions to some of the interesting sites I have read about. I hope to visit Titanomachy next and some more wormholes.

What is the name of your favorite ship that you enjoy flying the most while exploring? Why is it your favorite? Would you mind sharing your fit?

AresIt really depends on what my intent of the journey is. If I am site running or wanting to fly cloaked it’s the Anathema (for aesthetics). If I am going for a quick visit somewhere it’s usually the Ares (for the 4 low slots). Mining or gas excursions into wormholes was the Venture (I’m so excited for the ORE Expedition Frigate, the Prospect, to come out soon). I am working my way up to T3 Cruisers as well. I kind of feel like I have not found my favorite yet.

During your research and travels, what has been the most interesting fact, amazing sight, or other aspect of New Eden that surprised you?
The most amazing sites for me have been the wormhole nebula. They are varied and look absolutely incredible. I also really enjoy seeing Sleepers and Rogue Drones up close.

What have you learned or what advice would you give to someone interested in exploring New Eden?

I would advise anyone who was interested in exploring New Eden to learn some basic null-sec traveling from another capsuleer or corporation and then jump in. The basics are very easy to learn and then the whole of New Eden is yours to discover.

Do you have a favorite image that you wouldn’t mind me posting and sharing from your explorations?

I have many images I have taken that are favorites. If I have to pick one I’ll go with the cloaked Anathema floating before a wormhole nebula. It’s peaceful.

Motoko Rei_Image

Cloaked Anathema floating before a wormhole nebula

Gotta Get Back in Time

“Take me away, I don’t mind. You better promise me, I’ll be back in time.” – “Back In Time”, Huey Lewis & the News

10.08.yc116 L-YMYU < XOV7-5 Constellation < Period Basis

OOC: Short on time this week, I’m afraid, but I did want to quickly mention a few things. First up, just finished my fourth Null Sec region completely explored. The journey is going slow and steady with this last region, Period Basis, being one of the busier ones so far. I found myself hunted again, evading a couple of bubble gate camps, and chased down one pipe until I was finally able to out warp them and they lost me at a crossroads system. That was entertaining to say the least. This upcoming week, unfortunately, I’ll be traveling most of the week on a business trip, so my exploration will take a pause. It’s nice to take a break, but also, I’m on a good roll and it’s hard to stop too. Either way, I’ll be back at it next weekend.

Contest Promotion

Tas Exile

Tas Exile

Tas Exile, of the blog Pilgrim in Exile, is hosting a contest for newer exploration oriented players. It’s a fantastic idea and I wanted to help promote and get the word out about it. Be sure to check out the character, ship, and registration requirements in this blog post, Newbie Treasure Hunt. In a nutshell, characters less than 12 months old, ship/skills capable of cargo scanning and combat probes (expanded probe launcher), MWD highly recommended. All locations will be in High Sec and there will be prizes. Be sure to check it out and if you participate, let me know. I’d love to hear about the experience.

That’s all the time I have this week. Here’s some of my favorite images from Period Basis. Fly smart, fly safe!

1-NJLK II

1-NJLK II

F-M1FU X, VR-YIQ Gate

F-M1FU X, VR-YIQ Gate

GR-J8B VI, CSM Barret Station

GR-J8B VI, CSM Barret Station

RYQC-I VIII

RYQC-I VIII

 

Far, Far from Home

“Just remember that you’ll never be that far from home” – “Far From Home”, The Doobie Brothers

03.08.yc116 ZDYA-G < D9DM-O Constellation < Paragon Soul

3PPT-9 VIII, TMA 03 PPT-9 Station

3PPT-9 VIII, TMA 03 PPT-9 Station

This week has been an interesting one. Having finished the Esoteria Region, I moved into Paragon Soul. It started off to be very, very quiet, then when I started down the I-CCEI Constellation pipe, things began to pick up. At one point I was asked in local to investigate a Relic site which normally I would have been interested in, but time was short and it felt very much like a trap. Jumping to the next system, which contained about 10 capsuleers, I was followed by the Relic/Trap seeker and he proudly announced he was going to have a Katia Sae sandwich. Now I’m not sure if he meant he was going to make me a sandwich or if he was expecting me to make him a sandwich, but obviously it couldn’t have been some sexual innuendo as we were the only two in conversation, unless there was some third party I was not aware of, which was entirely possible. Either way, I didn’t take the obvious bait and went

Parthannun Solette

Parthannun Solette

about my exploration of the system. I was pleasantly surprised as I finished up that another local spoke up, Parthannun Solette, saying for me to be sure and not miss taking a picture of their station in system, as it was their home. How could I pass up a request? Setting up a warp for station, I made my way and tried to get the best shot I could of TMA 03 PPT-9 Station. The lighting was difficult, so the image is not one of my best, but I think it came out well enough, I hope.

Continuing down the pipe, I knew I was approaching another dead end and one that was more than likely going to have some traffic since there were 3 systems that had stations. Sure enough, the local population was heavy enough and I was not surprised as I jumped into O-N589 to find a bubble camp waiting for me. Safely escaping that one I continued on with the knowledge that I was being tracked and hunted. Stopping in the last explored system of ZDYA-G, I pulled up the map and saw just how far away from home I was. I learned this was the furthest I’ve been out, at 72 jumps away, from Saisio. With a scout parked on one gate and the other gate clear of a 3 system triangle dead end, I decided it was a good place to find a safe spot and take some time for some much needed rest. Let the locals go back to their usual business instead of being focused on me. I’ll attempt an escape later.

MP5-KR VIII

MP5-KR VIII

((Looking at the featured image of the map above, I’m not sure why my systems visited indication hasn’t updated for the Paragon Soul Region. Hopefully, it’s just a temporary thing and it’ll update, but it’s a little frustrating as those stats help me to visually show my progress as I go. I’m certainly not going back to increase the stat counts!))

O-MCZR III

O-MCZR III

Vultures Spin

“Skulls can grin, Vultures spin, Engines whirl, Life begins” – “Evil Eye”, Billy Idol

27.07.yc116 450I-W < R2-BT6 Constellation < Esoteria

CR-0E5 I

CR-0E5 I

Eerily quiet then moments of terror. The feeling has certainly been different traveling through Null sec rather than Empire space. Very little is said in local out here. I can go long stretches down pipes and maybe see one capsuleer in local, then come upon a crossroad system to find fifteen to twenty. I’ve completed my exploration of the Stain region then moved to Esoteria completing over half of it so far. I should complete it in a day or so.

Slowly I’m gaining confidence in my ship and piloting ability having escaped three inbound gate bubble camps and one outbound so far. I expected two of the inbound as I jumped in since I was actively being hunted. I went in anyway, heart pounding, because I needed the experience. When I landed on grid, the ships were there, the bubble went up, I waited out the butterflies in my stomach then located a navigational point close to my alignment. Taking a deep breath, I punched jump, cloaked, and flew out safely without being targeted. The vultures where out and they were after me. That’s something I’ve never experienced in Empire space. It certainly gets the blood pumping.

BY-MSY IV, Renovatio Group

BY-MSY IV, Renovatio Group

All in all, the journey has been a good one. As I gain experience, my fears of Null sec are lessening, granted I don’t think they’ll fully subside. I’m using dotlan heavily and have also added zkillboard to my toolset to check out local system activity and pilot records. Both have been invaluable. The most difficult stretch so far was the 3WN-1T constellation in Esoteria. A dead end pipe with a heathy population of capsuleers from Northern Associates. The entry gate in G-YZUX was heavily bubbled and they meant business not liking unwelcomed guest. They’ve earned my respect.

R-FM0G I

R-FM0G I

I did encounter an unexpected memorial. As part of my journey, I had decided I wouldn’t seek out beforehand any information about what’s out there. I wanted to be surprised and find things on my own. If I missed something, that was fine, but I knew I would be more delighted to find hidden sights on my own. Jumping into C9N-CC in Esoteria, I stumbled upon the “Remains of Steve”. A massive ship, a Titan, and not just any Titan, but the first built and the first destroyed in New Eden. I checked EVE Travel and found Mark726’s write up on the sight and also checked Aura for additional details. The sight of the destroyed Titan has to be the most humbling I’ve encountered so far. I floated quietly in the depths and reflected on those that had served and given their lives. May they rest in peace.

C9N-CC, The Remains of Steve

C9N-CC, The Remains of Steve

New Eden Explorers: Mark726

This is a thrill for me to have the opportunity to interview Mark726 of EVE Travel. In all honesty, and I don’t think I’ve ever told him this, his blog was what inspired me to start my own and record my travels through New Eden. So first off, I wanted to take this opportunity and thank Mark726 for his inspiration, his support, and his fantastically well done blog.

If you’re not aware of or heard of EVE Travel, then there’s just no hope for you! Especially if you consider yourself an explorer or traveler of New Eden. Of course I jest, because I can’t imagine that there’s not a single capusleer who’s not, but you never know. There’s no comparison between our blogs, because I’ve always thought of Mark726’s site as the National Geographic of New Eden, where mine’s more like the Griswold Family Vacation! ;) His level of professionalism and pure quality is something I strive to achieve with my own.

If you’ve not visited EVE Travel, then you’re in for a real treat, go check it out, find something that interest you, then go see it for yourself in game. You won’t regret it!

Mark726

Mark726

What attracted you to EVE Online and how long have you played?

I’ve been a player since December 2007 (thinking about that depresses me at times, heh). I joined almost on a whim: I had seen a number of advertisements while at college that year. I did a bit of research (to confirm that it was, in fact, a game about space) and decided to try it as I got home for winter break. That delay ended up being a pretty good idea on my part: I just missed the boot.ini fiasco from the Trinity fiasco because of it. Other than that, I had no real idea what I was getting myself into.

How would you describe your characters career path?

Mark726_Standing3I was always sort of a lone wolf. I stayed with the Center for Advanced Studies for quite awhile, plying the spacelanes on my own. A few friends I had met in various channels got me into their corp for a while, but even then I didn’t really do anything corp-related. I finally started my own corporation to help with Project Compass, part of the Arek’Jaalan initiative. Even after I finished my Project Compass analysis, I’ve stuck with Project Compass Holdings ever since.

What attracted you to explore New Eden? What is your goal and have you achieved it? If not, are you still working towards your goal, do plan to continue, or what are you currently doing?

EVE Travel started out pretty simplistically. I was bored one day and I wanted to see some sights. I tried searching for a comprehensive list, and couldn’t find one. EVE Travel spurred from there. My goal is to create a comprehensive catalog of all notable landmarks in game, be they mission sites, player-created sites, or things that CCP has put there. I intend to keep going until I can’t find anymore, and that hasn’t quite happened yet (though after 150 or so sites, the rate of discovery has definitely slowed to a trickle: if anyone knows anything I’ve missed please let me know!)

Buzzard

Buzzard

What is the name of your favorite ship that you enjoy flying the most while exploring? Why is it your favorite? Would you mind sharing your fit?

Depends on where I’m going. If I’m sticking in high or low sec, I stick with what is probably my more well-known ship: a Buzzard-class, Professor Science. It’s a quick little thing, excellent for exploration jaunts. If I’m heading to null sec, I swap to my Tengu-class, Scientia, to help me avoid bubbles.

During your research and travels, what has been the most interesting fact, amazing sight, or other aspect of New Eden that surprised you?

Tengu

Tengu

It’s the little touches that are put into New Eden that really tickle me pink, so to speak. One of the lesser known sites (it’s not marked by a beacon) is the ship wash in Ashab (Planet 2, Moon 1). It makes total sense that capsuleers especially would often pride themselves on keeping their ships spotless and shiny. Would I, in a million years, ever have actually thought of making one? Nope. There are cargo pads with little boxes of goods, shipyards with moving hands that go up and down. There’s a whole UNIVERSE out there for people who are looking. It’s these small touches that keep drawing me back.

What have you learned or what advice would you give to someone interested in exploring New Eden?

Just go and do it. It doesn’t need to be a big to-do; even new players can see a lot of the sites that I profile since the largest chunk of them are in high security space. Just take something small and fast and go. Even in low sec, a small, fast ship will get you where you need to 9 times out of 10, even without a cloak. It’s an excellent change of pace!

Do you have a favorite image that you wouldn’t mind me posting and sharing from your explorations?

Oooooph choosing a favorite image is tough. I’ve seen a lot of awesome ones. But I always keep coming back to the Infested Comet Remains in the Contested Canyon of Rust in Alsottobier. It’s a derelict station inside a comet!

Infested Comet Remains, Contested Canyon of Rust, Alsottobier

Infested Comet Remains, Contested Canyon of Rust, Alsottobier

So it begins, Exploration Phase II: Nullsec

“Kyrie eleison, down the road that I must travel, through the darkness of the night, where I’m going, will you follow, on a highway in the light” – “Kyrie”, Mr. Mister

09.07.yc116 X5O1-L < JG-ZLG Constellation < Stain

Systems 20140713

Stain Region

Flight log

I set out from Saisio after a few days break with a sense of that new capsuleer wonder. It was like that first few moments when you undock for the very first time, hooked into your ship, and seeing the universe. You realize quickly just how small and insignificant you are in the depths of space. I’d been flying in Empire space for so long I had forgotten what it was like to get that adrenaline rush when approaching a gate and not knowing what was on the other side. Just when you think you’ve got it all figured out, you’re knocked back down, starting over from the bottom, climbing your way back to the top again. But therein lies the reward. The greatest treasures to be found are along the most dangerous paths. So it was for me once again.

X5O1-L I

X5O1-L I

I left my home system and headed to Lowsec space, knowing from my research that wormholes to Nullsec were more likely to be found there. My cameras focused for as long as they could on my home station until it was a mere spec before completely disappearing. In Empire space, I was always able to dock within a system or two of my exploration path in order to recoup and refresh. Now, however, it would be difficult to find such sanctuary in Nullsec. Even though there are stations there, it would be far too dangerous to undock without some assurance that Concord would intervene on your behalf against any hostile entities that deemed you as a target. This phase of my exploration would be a true test of endurance as it was going to require that I stay ship bound the entire journey.

8O-OSG II

8O-OSG II

Starting with Saisio, I found a quiet spot and launched my probes in order to scan down wormholes. It was possible, after all, an entrance to Nullsec could be found in system, but the prospect was unlikely. The procedure, however, was good practice for it had been some time since I had to actually do any scanning. There had been some upgrades to my subsystems since my last time of using the scanning interface, so it provided a good opportunity to reintroduce myself to the process. In no time, I had the new interface figured out and had scanned down a wormhole in system, but it turned out to not be the entrance I was looking for.

G-ME2K VIII, Moon 3, True Power Mining Outpost

G-ME2K VIII, Moon 3, True Power Mining Outpost

Not wanting to waste any more time, I recalled my probes and headed for Lowsec and found my way to Ihakana. As fate would have it, I found several wormholes in system and one of them lead to Nullsec space. My nerves clinched my stomach tight as I approached the wormhole then slowly transitioned to…. where…. ? Not recognizing the star patterns or the gas cloud formations in the background, I had Aura determine where I had exited the wormhole and she quickly replied with — System X5O1-L, JG-ZLG Constellation in the Stain region. I’m not sure how long before I snapped out of my trance, but the combination of nerves and excitement caused my heart heavy thumps to pulse adrenaline filled blood throughout my body. I set a location marker for the wormhole exit and laid in a course to the first planet in system.

The second phase of my journey had begun…

9U6-SV V

9U6-SV V

Shake that Cosmic Thing

“Everywhere I went up there, they were shakin’ their cosmic things” – “Cosmic Thing”, B-52′s

04.07.yc116 Saisio < Okomon Constellation < The Forge

Futzchag II, Thukker Mix Factory

Futzchag II, Thukker Mix Factory

The pod goo swirled down the drain as I twirled in the shower in tune to the rhythm that beat in my head. My feet were light as I danced and my heart was thrilled as I shook my cosmic thing. I just couldn’t keep from smiling having finished my exploration of Empire space. One-thousand, nine-hundred, and seven systems across twenty-three regions. Unbelievable! Of course, if someone were to observe what I called dancing, I’m sure they would beg to differ. When talents were handed out, I seemed to have missed that one.

After finishing my exploration of the Hahyil system in the Derelik region, I had returned to my home station in Saisio. It was time to take ‘Jester’s Trek’ out, my Tengu, that the Chief had fitted out for me. I was excited, thrilled, and nervous at the same time. Maybe even a hint of fear, but that made it all the more exciting. Still shaking my hind side and humming the tune that was stuck in my head, I had a difficult time getting my workout shorts and top on. I had made it a habit, after long periods of pod time, to exercise and keep physically fit.

I guess I should have kept my eyes open when I exited my quarters, but I was too lost in the music, just taking in the moment for all it was worth, because I slammed into the Chief as he was getting ready to ring the chime. The smile on his face matched my own then we both burst out laughing.

“I’ve missed that smile, kiddo.” He managed to get out after a moment.

Ibaria III, Thukker Mix Warehouse

Ibaria III, Thukker Mix Warehouse

“What can I say?” I replied, “It feels good to finish a major milestone.”

“Enjoy the moment, it’s well deserve.” He nodded at me thoughtfully. “Your Grandfather would be proud and I certainly am.”

I wrapped him up in a huge hug, at least as big as my tiny frame would allow, and squeezed as hard as I could. That once bright eyed, full of wonder kid had finally returned to my spirit. I had truly moved on and had let go of the past. Now I could honor my father and grandfather by continuing with the next phase of my exploration.

One last squeeze, then I patted the Chief’s back and stepped away. “He’s ready?”

“Who?” The Chief started, then chuckled. “Oh that’s right, ‘Jester’s Trek’ you mean? You know kiddo, that just ain’t right calling a ship a he instead of a she.”

I shrugged my shoulders as there was no amount of ribbing he could incur that would deter my festive attitude. “Eh… to each his own I guess.”

He rolled his eyes, but continued to smile. “Yeah, he’s ready.”

“Awesome!” I started to move my arms in a locomotion gesture and bounced on my heels in succession to that beat that was once again in my head.

Ejahi I

Ejahi I

“Don’t do that.” His face turning slightly red. “Causes me impure thoughts.”

I stopped, dropped my jaw, and then smacked his chest with the flat of my palm, “Dirty old man.”

“Damn straight.” He replied, but I could see in his eyes the care instead of a leer.

“Besides, what would Grandfather think of you?” I smarted off.

“He wouldn’t, he’d just kill me.” The Chief grinned.

“Damn straight!” I mimicked his tone. “Thanks Chief, for everything. I plan on taking a few days off, but only after I’ve worked out and taken the Tengu out for a spin. Then I’ll be scanning down a wormhole entrance to Nullsec.”

His gaze turned to one of admiration, but with a hint of concern, “You be careful out there Katia, alright? Let me know of anything, anything at all I can do and you’d better see me before you go. Copy?”

My nerves tinged again, but I smiled despite them. The time for joking had passed as he only used my given name when he was serious and deeply cared for my wellbeing. I swallowed hard, fought the tears back that wanted to fall, and hugged him once more.

“Copy that.” I sounded as official as I could. “I will, I promise.”

Jaymass IV

Jaymass IV

Diplomats and Shout Outs

Mcopiate

Mcopiate

“You know you make me want to shout!” – “Shout”, Otis Day & the Knights

29.06.yc116 Jark < San Matar Constellation < Derelik

Most systems that I’ve explored are quiet. There are usually at least a few folks in system more often than not. From one or two capsuleers to dozens and of course, there are those empty systems too, but I would say in Empire space, there’s usually someone about or quickly passing through each system. They’re also quiet in the sense that rarely does anyone speak in local.

Kira Gene Evotori

Kira Gene Evotori

This last week, however, what I thought was static or some happenstance signal, surprised me when I was welcomed into a new system I had yet to explore. At first, I wondered if the message was intended for me, but after checking my instruments, I found only a few others in system that appeared to be locals. So, as far as a greeting going out to a stranger, that stranger had to be me. I smiled, and replied, and offered my own greeting.

Argos Galert

Argos Galert

I had a wonderful conversation with Mcopiate and Kira Gene Evotori as I flew to each of the planets and went about my exploration. Lacking contact with others for long periods of time really causes you to appreciate and cherish those moments when you find you’re not alone. I was encouraged and reminded that my journey was not only about the imaging that I’ve been engaged in, but it was also about my self-discovery. Those long periods of loneliness and self reflection do reach deep within your soul, but so much more is learned about yourself when you connect with others. So, a heart felt thanks and safe skies to Mcopiate and Kira for the conversation and contributions.

Airi Cho

Airi Cho

With one week left to finish my exploration of Empire space, I put out a call to Diplomats of Nullsec in the hopes of getting my standings set to blue. I’ve also had offers of assistance made on making contacts, but so far, the avenues of communication are quiet or non-receptive. I have no expectations that anything will result from that broadcast or that I’ll gain any favorable standings, but one can hope. It would be nice to fly through some friendly space on this leg of my journey, but if not, I’m not worried. It’ll not prevent me from trying. I did, however, receive a reply from Airi Cho, who’s turned out to be a great resource for tips on flying through 0.0 space. I’ll certainly be applying the tips to great use and will share them once I’ve got some first hand experience to go with them. Another heart felt thanks to fellow capsuleers, Argos Galert and Airi Cho.

Well, here’s to my last week of Empire exploration. Fly smart, fly safe.
Katia

Below are some of my favorite images this week from the Derelik Region.

Onsooh I

Onsooh I

Yuzier III, Nefantar Miner Associatino Mining Outpost

Yuzier III, Nefantar Miner Associatino Mining Outpost

Tanoo IV, Trust Partners Trading Post

Tanoo IV, Trust Partners Trading Post

Gomati VIII, Hasateem Gate

Gomati VIII, Hasateem Gate

Chidah V, CONCORD Assembly Plant

Chidah V, CONCORD Assembly Plant

New Eden Explorers: Rhavas

Contemplation around Jolia III

Contemplation around Jolia III

When it comes to longtime supporters and old friends, Rhavas is one that I count among them. Though we’ve never shared experiences in game and have only known each other through the community and meta gaming, I believe his mindset and heart for exploration is similar to my own. It seems he’s got a knack for unknowingly encouraging me at just the right moments. More than once when I’ve doubted myself or my goal and wondered if anyone was even listening, Rhavas Tweets a simple comment or reTweets a blog post of mine. In so many ways, it’s a minor act, a simple thing, but it’s that support that has a huge impact and nudges me on. I’ve never said it directly or publicly, so I will now — Thank you Rhavas, your encouragement means a lot.

When I returned to EVE recently and was going through my old EVE mail, I had to laugh when I found a message from Rhavas that said Katia was mentioned in his will and he had left the game. Which on the 27th of June 2014 it will be exactly three years ago to the day. I had submitted an image to EON Magazine that was published (Issue #25, Postcards from the edge #2), as a tribute and farewell to Rhavas. The image is pictured above. The entry read as follows:

Rarely do New Eden’s elite have to face up to the reality of death, even when they themselves might be guilty of terminating dozens of lives with each ship they destroy. In this instance, a capsuleer takes a slow orbit around the plasma world of Jolia III during a period of quiet contemplation, having learnt of the loss of a close personal friend to a clone transfer accident. It is hoped the consciousness of the pilot will be able to be revived in the future.

From Katia’s perspective he had encountered a mishap and was forever “dead” so to speak. I laugh because now I have to explain his return in Katia’s mind and show her reaction. Which I plan to do so IC’ly (in character) in an upcoming blog story. It’s nothing big, lol, but it’s what we roleplayers do after all.

What attracted you to EVE Online and how long have you played?

Rhavas_Portait

Rhavas

I came for the spaceships! I’m very long-time sci fi fan and had heard a lot of intriguing things about EVE. I’ve been playing off and on since 2010 – I started right as Dominion was finishing and Tyrranis was getting ready to launch. I really wanted to be a smuggler, flying things past and around blockades for fame and fortune. Seeing there was even a ship called a “blockade runner” convinced me to sign up for a trial. Reading about the awesomeness of the (then famed) nano Vagabond made me go Minmatar.

How would you describe your characters career path?

As I mentioned, I wanted to be a smuggler. Then of course I found out that blockade runners aren’t actually for smuggling contraband and people don’t really pay – or recognize – smugglers that way in EVE. But cloaking did in fact look like the real deal, so I went straight for a CovOps. I also quickly realized that without a corp, the game would be very dull. I think I spent 10 minutes on mining. I saw a good ad and signed up for a little startup PVP corp called Lupus Vires, which was fun for a brief time but then imploded when its leadership idled out. From there I decided I needed a teaching corp that wasn’t as prone to failscade, so I joined EVE University for about 5 months, where I learned the ropes and met many of the people I still fly with today.

 My E-UNI buddies split mostly three ways when we graduated – some “serious PVP” guys went to Agony Unleashed, a few others formed the wormhole corp Future Corps (including their founder, CSM 8 member James Arget), and a handful of us decided to follow E-UNI FC Sto Lo into lowsec in a group called The Corporation of Noble Sentiments, who later linked with Future Corps to form the Sleeper Social Club alliance. We had a blast in lowsec but the sec status mechanics at the time were brutal, requiring more time to rat sec status than play the fun parts of the game. Coupled with some disappointments I had around the Arek’Jaalan project, I quit for about 8 months and while I was away, Noble Sentiments folded and rolled into Razor Alliance in sov nullsec.

 When I came back I knew I didn’t want to be in sov nullsec, so I joined the Future Corps guys and have been there ever since. I really enjoy wormhole life – and it matches really nicely to the exploration niche I found for myself.

What attracted you to explore New Eden? What is your goal and have you achieved it? If not, are you still working towards your goal, do plan to continue, or what are you currently doing?

Rhavas_StandingVery early in my career – even before joining my first corp – I started my blog Interstellar Privateer. I didn’t have brilliant PVP expertise or brilliant game insight or fight stories to tell, so I started it as mostly a creative outlet for myself; the bulk of my early writing is fiction. This played out especially well because it forced me to learn the lore. While exploring that lore I learned about the Seyllin Incident and was fascinated by it. I decided to make Isogen-5, the shattered planets and wormhole lore my “thing” since it looked like there wasn’t much established expertise on that lore. That led me to kick off my goal of visiting every shattered planet in EVE, along with most of the worlds connected to the Seyllin Incident events.

The shattered planets are spread all over New Eden, which led me a journey of hundreds of jumps, especially when I added in additional sites of interest that linked to the Seyllin Incident story. The whole writeup is in the Shattered Datacore on my site and in the end it led to me joining Arek’Jaalan, writing the Evelopedia page for the shattered planets, and starting two exploration efforts. Unfortunately those efforts, Project Tesseract (investigation of and hunt for Isogen-5 in the game and attempt to recreate the Seyllin Event) and Project Catapult (hunt for Sansha Kuvakei’s wormhole-generating mothership) both died when Arek’Jaalan closed up and CCP essentially disavowed it.

What is the name of your favorite ship that you enjoy flying the most while exploring? Why is it your favorite? Would you mind sharing your fit?

I still fly my very first, original CovOps from 2010, Wraith (a Cheetah) as my primary exploration ship. She has seen me through thick and thin and while I’ve often been bubbled I’ve never been caught. Her fit changed a lot with the introduction of Odyssey and my move from exploring new systems to probing for wormhole signatures. I used to use her as a scout as well but these days I’m more likely to use a cloaky Proteus for that duty in wormholes.

Right now she’s rigged primarily for probing but with a bit of scouting and a bit of comedy on the side.

[Cheetah, Wraith]
High Power
1x Covert Ops Cloaking Device II
1x Sisters Expanded Probe Launcher (RSS Core Scanner Probes)
1x Festival Launcher (Copper Firework CXIV)

Cheetah

Cheetah

Medium power
2x Scan Rangefinding Array II
1x Scan Pinpointing Array II
1x Scan Acquisition Array II

Low power
1x Quantum Co-Processor I
2x Nanofiber Internal Structure II

Rig Slot
1x Small Polycarbon Engine Housing I
1x Small Gravity Capacitor Upgrade II

Cargo
Ammo (RF Phased Plasma S, snowballs, fireworks and Sisters combat probes)
Hero Tackle Re-Fit Components (Mobile Depot, Micro Auxiliary Power Core, Cap Recharger II, 200mm Autocannon II, Limited 1MN Microwarpdrive, Warp Disruptor II)

During your research and travels, what has been the most interesting fact, amazing sight, or other aspect of New Eden that surprised you?

Wow, there’s so many to choose from. Here is a selection of “mosts” instead.

Most impressive: The first time I laid eyes on the lone Class 5 Wormhole shattered planet (J115422 I). While I had seen all of the others already, this one was special – it had taken many months to find and in the end we risked several people on the word of a wormhole corp we didn’t know just to get a chance to look – and we were not disappointed by how bright and hot it looked. (Related linked post: “The Hidden Fire”)

Most amazing discovery: The discrepancy between the actual number of shattered planets in game when compared to the lore and the Apocrypha trailer – they don’t match, which gave me a whole new direction to explore. (Related linked post: “CONCORD’s Fine Print”)

Biggest disappointment: The EVE Gate – while pretty it was sort of anticlimactic. Everyone should go there on a pilgrimage, but if there was one piece of background art I think CCP could do even more with it would be that. It’s pretty much a Cataclysmic Variable background in k-space. I wanted to see the Gate itself! (Related linked posts: “Gates” and “Synchronicity”)

Best experience: Time spent in the now-defunct Arek-Jaalan program – a truly groundbreaking effort where we turned our exploration into real in-game research that culminated in an entire new site in space with all of our names and research on documents people can collect (go visit Antiquus in Eram to see it and collect your Project Tesseract and Project Catapult souvenirs!). (Related linked post: “Antiquus”)

What have you learned or what advice would you give to someone interested in exploring New Eden?

CovOps, CovOps, CovOps. Get a cloaky, flexible ship. For some uses and higher skillpoints, a cloaky nullified Tech3 cruiser is even better. Don’t panic when you’re caught in a bubble – zoom out, find a gap, align-MWD-cloak. As an explorer, you need to swallow your fear of loss and just go find things. Read the sites of the people Katia is profiling, especially Mark726’s EVE Travel, and go get a feel for it.

Do you have a favorite image that you wouldn’t mind me posting and sharing from your explorations?

This picture of J115422 I (noted above) has always been one of my favorites.

World on Fire

World on Fire

Booty Call or why I love Stay Frosty

“Yes, I am a pirate two hundred years too late. The cannons don’t thunder there’s nothin’ to plunder. I’m an over ‘fifty’ victim of fate.” – “A Pirate Looks at Forty”, Jimmy Buffett

14.06.yc116 Yeeramoun < Chardu Constellation < Domain

Stay FrostyOOC: In my 11 years of playing EVE off and on (June 8th, 2014, was my oldest character’s 11th anniversary), this last week has to be the most fun I’ve ever had. It started off with my first solo kill… ever. Then I danced with the Hellcat in the pale starlight as part of our 1v1 Alliance Tournament only “A Band Apart Summer Frigate Smackdown”.

First up, why I love Stay Frosty. For me, when I’ve thought about joining PvP corps in EVE Online, I’ve had this preconceived notion that it required an extreme gaming commitment from the player. Which is something, as a married, with teenage son, full-time+ working individual, I just did not, cared not, had no interest in whatsoever. I believed from the things that I’ve seen, read, corp/alliance requirements, etc, that you had to have “X” minimum skill points, “X” kills to qualify, “X” minimum kills per week, “X” Ops participation each week, and “X” and “X” and “X”… and yeah, you know, you get the idea.

Rixx Javix

Rixx Javix

Katia Sae is my main, and she will always take priority until her quest is done. So, not only was I dealing with “X” requirements, I was also dealing with the fact that no corp would want an Alt PvP character that wasn’t committed, a character that would be a casual PvPer. Yet, I really wanted to participate in that aspect of EVE Online that I’ve never been a part of. I created Stray a few years ago with the intention of trying it out solo, but never garnered the courage. When I returned from my recent absence from the game, I was catching up on my favorite blogs and started reading about Stay Frosty on EVEOGANDA, a blog by Rixx Javix. This post, “Why Join the Navy, When You Can Be A Pirate?”, was the tipping point that convinced me there really was a PvP oriented corp where you could be casual, be a noob, no requirements to join, and no requirements to stay in. Two days later, I submitted my application and joined up. I’ve not regretted the decision once.

Ana VII, Moon 3, Ducia Foundry Mineral Reserve

Ana VII, Moon 3, Ducia Foundry Mineral Reserve

My time in Stay Frosty has been a pleasure. There are no egos here. Do what you want, when you want. Solo if you want, group if you want. Got a question, there’s no fear in asking. The corp really is the most casual and friendliest atmosphere I’ve ever been a part of in any game. It has been the perfect fit for my play style and for my multiple character priorities. If you’ve ever wanted to step out of that carebear playstyle, learn and dabble in EVE Online PvP, and enjoy another aspect that the game has to offer, then I highly recommend Stay Frosty. You won’t regret it.

Yeeramoun VII, Moon 2, Amarr Civil Service Bureau Offices

Yeeramoun VII, Moon 2, Amarr Civil Service Bureau Offices

Booty Call! So, I’ve been in Stay Frosty a little over a month, flying, listening, and learning about solo and small gang PvP. These last couple of weeks, I’ve been flying solo for the most part, not having any success finding targets or too slow to react to a potential target ((or perhaps scared), that I was wondering if I was really cut out to have that pirate mentality. My explorer’s carebear heart was just too nice to pull the trigger on some unlucky target. Granted, more than likely my unlucky selection would be my own undoing! In steps a corp mate after seeing a Tweet where I jokingly said I was the worse pirate I’d ever seen. Skir Skor took me under his wing for an evening and we went hunting. It took a little time, again, either targets would run, or I was too slow, costing Skir one ship, but towards the end of our romp, we nailed what I consider my first kill! The ship blew up, the pod just sat there and as I looked at it, in semi-shock mind you, Skir ask… “Pod?” And my carebear heart kicked in and I said, “Naw, I’m just too nice”, lol. I had fifteen minutes left to my evening and asked if he thought we could get another one in, and low and behold we did. Kill two for the evening. Thanks Skir! What a great romp and from it I’ve learned that duo fits my pirating style more so than solo. It’s just more fun when another friend is along.

Skir Skor

Skir Skor

Encouraged, two days later it happened. I had actually spotted a Merlin on D-Scan at a Novice Plex in Uuna. However, when I landed on the warp gate, there was a Slasher sitting right there within range and… I got my first solo kill! and my first tears, ack! I said “GF” (Good Fight) in local and they replied in a language I didn’t understand and had to use Google Translate to find out — F*** off…. Well, the joke was on them in the end, because I had planned (again, that carebear heart) to award my first solo victim a PLEX. So, next day, I did just that, contracted a PLEX to them in Jita with no isk or trade requirements. They didn’t even say thanks, pfft! LOL, but no worries, it was great fun! I loved it and now I feel like a carebear pirate, if that can even be such a thing. Obviously I can’t afford to always do that, but I have made the following pledge in Stray’s bio…

Not your ordinary pirate…
•Combat capable vessels are fair game
•Miners and haulers have nothing to fear, you work hard enough for a living

1v1 and you’re destroyed…
•Pods will not be shot
•Your ship loss and destroyed modules will be compensated for
•Dropped items will be contracted back at the nearest station or compensated for

Gang vs 1 or Gang vs Gang
•None of the above apply

So what’s to fear? Stay Frosty and enjoy the experience…

Raravath IV, Amarr Navy Assembly Plant

Raravath IV, Amarr Navy Assembly Plant

ABA Summer Frigate Smackdown. What a great fight! My first tournament and I’m paired up with Mynxee, a recently returned, veteran pirate PvPer. Oh my! But, my attitude going into the tournament was to have fun, learn something, and enjoy the experience. What can I say, Mynxee is one classy lady. She gimped her fit for the fun and to even the odds. The fight was simply the most fun I’ve ever had in EVE. We warped to our local safe spot in Ish, rushed at each other to close range. I scored first hits, watched her shields start to fall while not taking any damage myself. I began to wonder what was up. Then realized she was getting hit with some severe lag. It wasn’t long, however, before I started feeling the return hits.

Then I started seeing some of the craziest lights, and was like what kind of weapon is that? When I realized it was fireworks! LOL! So, it was quite a show! Both of us were deep in armor and hull when I thought I had her, she vanished, but no wreck. Then I saw she wasn’t in fleet anymore either, she had lost connection! Ack! So, I turned off my armor rep, stopped, and waited for her return.

Mynxee

Mynxee

After a little bit, she popped back in and we went at it again. At this point, my guns were already burnt out, but I still had my drones, but it didn’t take long before I was running out of cap. It came down to who was going to get the last armor rep in. She was down to 13% armor, 6% hull and I was down to 52% armor, 8% hull…. After I got my rep in and won the fight! I particularly love “A tank of honor” that survived from the cargo hold. I humbly bow to Mynxee, a wonderfully talented and great pirate corpmate with an explorer’s heart. Thanks Mynxee for a great memory and a fun fight.

Overall, this last week was a blast. Katia completed another region fully explored, Domain. She crossed over the Star Trek threshold of 1,701 systems explored, which puts her well on her way of finishing Empire space by the end of the month. Now, I really am getting nervous. Next week, I’ll post my next interview in my “New Eden Explorers” series. Thanks for stopping by!

Herila I, Caldari Business Tribunal

Herila I, Caldari Business Tribunal

*Images this week are from Domain

By Katia Sae Posted in OOC, Yarr