Sightseeing in the Cluster

Roden Shipyards Manufacturing Center

heluene1

A shipyard for building Gallente naval forces.

Out with the old and in with the new, as they always say. With an economy as complex as New Eden’s, you need a continuing source of matériel in order to remain even somewhat viable. This fundamental requirement is universal, regardless of the career you pursue: manufacturers always need new supplies to create their wares; traders need things to, well, trade; and combat pilots, of course, need a continuous supply of ammo and, despite how much you may try to avoid it, new ships. Of course, those whose job it is to protect the rest of the Cluster from us rabblerousing capsuleers have an even greater need for ships. I never really envied the various national navies for having to interpose themselves between capsuleers and the rest of society, but I always appreciated the job they did (and tried to interfere as little as possible). Of course, I’ve always wondered just where their seemingly endless supply of ships came from to begin with. Given the site I saw from Professor Science as I came out of warp, I had a small idea of the answer. As I came out of warp near the center, I received a standard message:

You are entering a fully licensed Roden Shipyards manufacturing area. All unauthorized non-capsuleers found trespassing will be persecuted to fullest extent of Federal Law.

Heluene2

An Occator docks with the shipyard in front of an Obelisk.

The message once again reminded me how essentially unchecked capsuleers were by any traditional political forces. Whoever managed to negotiate the kinds of freedoms that capsuleers enjoy was either a genius or a monster. Almost completely unaccountable to anyone but CONCORD and the occasional taxes from the various empires (and you can even avoid most of those if you go to null sec). But I digress…

Heluene3

Storage space for the variety of materials needed to build the Megathrons.

The shipyards themselves were bustling with activity. A variety of transport ships could be seen near the main storage silo, offloading the materials needed to continue producing the Megathron-class vessels needed to keep the Gallente Federation safe. At the time, an Obelisk and Occator could be seen docked at the silo, as well as a Thorax, acting as guard for the yards. Admittedly, it seemed a small guard force for something located in low-security space. Then again, Roden had never seemed all that wary of placing important manufacturing facilities away from the guards of CONCORD and the naval fleets. Maybe it was just fear of retribution that kept the pirates away, and more focused on us capsuleers.

heluene4

A Megathron still in the early stages of production. Small clouds of hardware that need to be installed can be seen near each of the arms.

Then, of course, there were the rows of drydocks themselves. Each drydock seemed active, with Megathrons at a variety of stages of construction. Some were only mere superstructures, with barely more than the hull beams laid. Some had their hulls completed, but the majority of their armaments and other hardware sat nearby in a cloud, waiting to be installed. Others still were clearly near finished, and I’m pretty sure I saw one or two that were actually in the stages of being painted before being sent off on their assignments. All in all, it was precisely what I’d expect to see in a bustling shipyard for one of the largest naval forces in the Cluster. All in all, twenty-four vessels sat in various states of readiness. The one thing I wish I could know was exactly how long it took for the shipyard to go from laying the keel to sending the vessel on its way. I know capsuleer manufacturing centers could turn ships like the Megathron around in a day or so, but I suspected it was a bit longer for naval ships to ensure that the various high tech equipment still worked.

Heluene5

The internal support beams are still visible on this craft, still under construction at the Yard

I had no doubt that this was only one of many shipyards throughout high sec and low sec, continuously pumping out the ships needed to maintain order throughout the Federation. And I had no doubt, in unfortunately classic Gallente fashion, that Roden Shipyards (and thus the namesake of the company and President of the Federation) was making a good amount of isk off of the construction contracts for these ships. Still, it was a small price to pay for ensuring the safety of the Federation. They could be helping out a little more with some other enemies out there, but I realized the importance of maintaining the all-important status quo, and a multilateral effort to eradicate the Cluster of this evil (as much as it would make me feel good) would probably be disastrous at this time of, shall we say, interstellar disharmony.

Heluene6

A ship of the line, almost ready to be launched

And so, the shipyards continue to produce the ever-needed vessels of war. To replace the ones that have come before it, just as these ones will, probably all too soon, need to be replaced themselves. Around the Federation, these beautiful, massive vessels are converted to scrap metal and plasma every minute of the day. It certainly puts a new perspective on that phrase, “out with the old, in with the new.” Sometimes, you don’t get the chance to decide when the old exactly need to be put out.

Basic Information:

  • Attraction: Roden Shipyard
  • System: Heluene
  • Security Rating: 0.2
  • Region: Solitude
  • Potential Hazards:  Low sec travel is needed to get to the landmark.  Caution is advised.
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4 responses

  1. Heh, used to be mostly based in that system over the last couple of years (on and off) – I remember the site going up but didn’t think much of it beyond buzzing it a few times out of curiousity – nice write-up 🙂

    March 4, 2011 at 10:01 am

    • mark726

      Thanks! I actually really like the shipyard sites, personally, and I’m happy there’s a few of them scattered throughout the area.

      March 4, 2011 at 10:16 am

  2. LoRDa

    Thanks a lot for this, i particularly enjoy reddish constellations with red stars. Maybe you oculd swing by the system of Tew some time and enjoy the awe it inspires.

    March 5, 2011 at 9:07 am

  3. Sitara

    There’s another one of these in high sec – Junsoraert which is a 0.5. Nice write up.

    March 16, 2011 at 4:25 pm

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