Behind the Great Hunt Part 2

With A Little Help From My Friends – The Beatles

Thrice Hapus

Seeing where this was going, Mynxee got me in touch with Thrice Hapus, our COO, and he asked if I was interested in turning my event into a story/roleplay event. As someone who used to love to RP, I immediately said yes, Thrice reached out to our OPSEC division (Operation and Planning of Special Events for the Corporation), and they agreed to make that happen. Our OPSEC division is a group of Signaleers that only leadership knows who they are behind the scenes. They’re our story crafters, a group of talented writers and corp event coordinators, who were also the ones that worked with Sky Diamond on her event. Sky’s event became the kickoff of our in corp storyline that’s been running for over a year now titled “Vacant Spectrum”. Let me just say this now, I shot high, but was astounded when OPSEC lifted me up, and together we shot higher. OPSEC, you rock! Not only did they meet my original goals, they added a couple of more, and they were huge additions: Allison, storyline, and remaining anonymous.

“He takes his drinking very seriously. Not to worry; he’ll be his usual charming self by morning.” – Aramis, The Three Musketeers (1993)

AD Parrot

Each addition in its own right was huge. AD Parrot, as Allison’s creator, was included in the event team as he incorporated some added functionality to help us track the Great Hunt. I can’t say enough about Parrot, he’s awesome and a pleasure to work with and what an amazing talent. Allison is amazing bit of code that really comes to life as a pilot assist AI. She has a lot of functionality to help our Signaleers as they travel around New Eden as well as providing guidance with our EvE Scout Rescue Cache program (ESRC), and our Search and Rescue operations (SAR) by alerting the SAR team when a system has been located. It was the SAR aspect of Allison that was tweaked for the Great Hunt by adding capabilities to alert my team (my mates and I which I’ll talk about soon) when systems I needed were found.

“Only the wrong words are a complete waste of time. The right words can leave a more lasting impression than a thousand of Porthos’ kisses.” – Aramis, The Three Musketeers (1993)

Holiday Greetings from OPSEC

Next, the OPSEC team wrote the event as a chapter in the “Vacant Spectrum”, Chapter 5: The Great Hunt. The story provided the cover I needed for the last part which I didn’t think was possible, keeping me anonymous and behind the scenes during the event. Up to that point I had not suffered a ship loss and the OPSEC team wanted to keep it that way. Just as I had when I set out 9 years ago, I accepted the fact I would lose ships along the way, so I figured here at the end game, when everyone would know this event was to help me finish my journey, I would suffer my first loss for sure. We know there are corp spies, that as soon as someone figured out what was really going on, it would get out, an ambush would be setup, and I’d get popped. During the planning process, working with the OPSEC team, I was simply amazed at the talent at hand, as we figured out how to pull this off, keeping me in the shadows, writing the chapter that explained why, and fit perfectly in the overall story arch.

“A lively tune… I’m inspired to dance!” – Porthos, The Three Musketeers (1993)

The Three Musketeers (1993)

There was one last piece that I needed to nail down and that was expanding the event team to include several Explorer Mates. I wanted three Signaleers to help me during the end game with locating and securing systems as our fellow scouts found them. My Mates would be the ones to take the risk for me, by scouting me into systems as needed, sitting in systems to hold them until I could get there, and help keep the corp motivated during the hunt as well. They would, of course, know the event was to help me complete my journey. Risky, I know, the team was already more than a few and it only increased the odds that word would get out as to what was really going on. Since OPSEC worked out keeping me in the shadows with the event storyline, I had to find these mates behind the scenes, so I went through a process of selecting them based on many factors including things like, tenure in corp, activity in corp, exemplified the credo, forum participation, etc. Starting with the entire corp roster, I cut the list down to my top ten and presented them to leadership and the OPSEC team. Based on their recommendations I choose, Captain Crinkle, Igaze, and Tamayo.

Captain Crinkle

Let me tell you, my mates were my lifeblood. Some of my fears were, the real story of the event would get out, my mates would become bored, etc, but my fears were unfounded. We had a blast, they kept me motivated, and we made a great team. I couldn’t have asked for better mates, they often went above and beyond my expectations. We had a great time and it’s an experience that I’ll always remember. Can’t say enough about them. Each one brought their own unique approach to the end game. Igaze and I were joking around one day in our Discord channel, calling ourselves the Muskteteers. Igaze quickly pointed out he was Porthos, I gathered because he was most like that character, so I figured that made me Athos as the unofficial leader of the group. So, Crinkle and Tamayo, you’ll have to figure out who’s Aramis and D’Artagnan. 😉

The plans made, it was now – show time.

The Journey of Katia Sae by Mynxee

BONUS: If you’re still reading, here is an excerpt from document I sent to my Explorer Mates filling them in on their role.

5.10.yc120 Zoohen III – Theology Council Tribunal Station, Signal Cartel Executive Briefing Room

Running late, she entered the briefing room to find Igaze, Tamayo, and Crinkle seated around the small, but rather ornate conference room table. There was room to seat six with two on each side and one at each end. The ends were open, obviously for whomever was leading the meeting, so she took the only remaining side seat. She glanced around at her fellow scouts, her posture one of pride to be among them, her face revealed a hint of a smile, her eyes bright and warm, revealing her explorer’s heart.

It had been years since she had spent any amount of significant time in known space, let alone docked in a station. The air seemed fresher, which was silly, but having spent the majority of her time aboard ship, in a capsule, submersed in what was affectionately known as goo, the change was a welcomed one.

“Wonder what this is all about?” Katia finally said, breaking the silence, looking at each scout in turn, but she couldn’t hold her serious face on any longer and finally broke out in a huge smile. “I guess I should fill you all in.”

Welcome to the Great Hunt.

Behind the Great Hunt Part 1

Help! – The Beatles

This post is part 1 of a behind the scenes look at how my corporation, Signal Cartel, helped me achieve the last 600 systems without even knowing that they were and why that came about. It was during the holidays of 2017, while reviewing my wormhole progress to date, I saw I was averaging a little over 500 systems per year. With 2,600+ wormholes in Anoikis and averaging 1.5 previously unfound systems each day, it would be another 3 to 4+ years before I would finish and it was only going to get harder as the pool of needed systems shrunk. Compared to my known space average of 6 systems per day, I was discouraged and close to burnout. I knew I had to increase my daily average, come up with a better way of finding previously unfound systems, and figure out how to keep my momentum and spirits up. Oh, and I wanted to finish by the end of 2018 which meant I needed to triple my daily average.

“I do not suppose you could speed things up?” – Inigo Montoya, Princess Bride

First things first, increasing my daily average. January 1st of 2018, in my blog post “Exploration is all about the jump, not the stargate” I announced setting a goal of finding 3 new wormhole systems daily, doubling my pace. It was doable, just meant more dedicated time to Eve Online and play catch up on weekends if I fell behind. The challenge was, I typically would have to scan down and enter around 3 wormhole systems daily to find the 1 or 2 that I hadn’t visited before. To double my pace meant I would have to scan down at least 6 wormholes to find the 3 I needed. Easy I hear you say and yes, it’s true, but keep in mind I do have a life (contrary to popular belief), a wife and son with things going on all the time, work, travel, other characters in EvE Online, other games, and other hobbies. I dedicated about an hour and half daily on average to Katia and her journey. Not to mention that as the pool of systems shrunk, I had to visit more systems than the initial 6 to find the few I needed to keep the daily average going.


By the end of that first month, I was well on my way of maintaining my new goal, “Years have flown by my open window” and continued through the end of March, “Know your Wormhole Space”. I wasn’t lying in my post “A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step” on December 30th of 2018 when I said “Well, let’s just say that wasn’t my average per day this year”. 3 systems on average wasn’t as it ended up being 4 per day for the year, but a helluva uptick that last quarter of 2018 when my average was around 12 systems per day when I engaged my corps help. For those that were paying attention to my blog, I did post some hints of things going on behind the scenes along the way such as “It does not matter how slowly you go” on March 3rd and “Climbing up, letting go” on August 31st.

“Inconceivable!” – Vizzini, Princess Bride

Sky Diamond

Next, figuring out the end game. While I was increasing my daily pace, I also turned my attention on better ways to find new systems and keeping the momentum going. I reached out to Mynxee, our CEO, to start some brain storming – if I could get down to the last 500 or 600 systems, could I somehow engage the corp and turn it into a big fun event with prizes and swag for participation? Mynxee was all onboard, thought it was a great idea, and between the two of us we got things rolling along. My goals were lofty, probably not achievable, likely inconceivable, but it was early in the planning process, and I wanted to shoot high and settle for less. My goals were:

  • Encourage my fellow corpmates to help me find the last 500/600 systems needed to complete my journey
  • Corpwide voluntary event where both newbies and veterans, Alpha or Omega accounts could participate
  • Promote the use of our corporate Tripwire mask and our very own AI application assistant Allison
  • Encourage ESRC (Eve Scout Rescue Cache program) participation while searching for wormholes
  • Point out that by participating Signaleers were helping our SAR (Search and Rescue) program

“Oh good, my way. Thank you Vizzini… what’s my way?” – Fezzik, Princess Bride

It was during this time a fellow corpmate, Sky Diamond, was running a corpwide event, “The Search for Sky Diamond” which ended up being the beginning of our internal “Vacant Spectrum” corp storyline. It was a great event, fun, engaged our Signaleers of all levels of experience, and there was some great swag in the form of Signal Cartel drink coasters. The event set the bar high and it was a great model of just exactly what I wanted to do. It also got me to thinking, what could I offer in the form of a tangible real life item, a real motivator that would get folks engaged, fired up, and exploring wormholes? We have a saying in our corp “Be the content you wish to see” and there was only one thing that made sense to me, something that in real life had to be earned (or at least it should be in my opinion), something that I had seen in photos from EvE Fanfest for other corps that I really wanted to see Signal Cartel have as well, and concluded that it had to be a challenge coin.

With my increased pace set, goals determined, and rewards defined, I was ready to start planning the endgame. In part 2 I’ll talk about how this event turned from telling my fellow corpmates this effort was for me to help finish my journey to an OPSEC endeavor where only a handful of folks actually knew what was going on. Sneaky, sneaky, I know, but reasons, you know? It is New Eden after all, where very few can be trusted.

Stay tuned for part 2, thanks for visiting and reading! Fly clever!

“In the palm of her hand” – Saisio, Abagawa Gate