Sightseeing in the Cluster

Posts tagged “Domain

Titan Honor Guard

[Editor’s note: Just a very quick entry as I don’t expect this to last past the Succession Trials next week. If you want to see these, get to Amarr ASAP!]

[Additional edit: As of 5/3, only 4 titans, the titans of the winning ‘retainers’ of the Trials, remain in Amarr. Not sure how long they will last!]

OK I JUST LIKE THAT QUOTE DEAL WITH IT.

Night gathers, and now their watch begins.

 

Just as the Empire races headfirst towards the Succession Trials to choose its next ruler, so too did I race headfirst towards the Empire’s homeworlds. With the end of the Trials close at hand, an honor guard has formed, the likes of which many space denizens have never seen before. The various champions of the two remaining Heirs in the Trials, Lord Aritcio Kor-Azor and Lady Catiz Tash-Murkon, have began holding vigil in spectacular fashion outside the Emperor’s Family Station in Amarr Prime, forming a fleet of Titans that haven’t been seen publicly in high security space since I’ve been a capsuleer. Next week, these titans will escort Lord Kelon Darklight and Lord Lysus, the two remaining champions, to the conclusion of the Trials.

See them while you can!

Hulls gleam in the sunlight.

Few denizens of high security space have seen a titan, much less a fleet of them. While I have before experienced the truly humbling experience of seeing such a, dare I say, titanic piece of engineering next to even my more sizeable vessels, seeing a fleet of them in formation is enough to once again remind me how small we truly are in the grand scheme of things. That being said, seeing these ships up close also helps to remind us the things that we can attain when we work together, and I have little doubt that the Empire hoped to instill that sense of unity when planning this display. Although I have little direct interest in the outcome of the Trials, I wish both sides the best of luck.

And if you have ever wanted to see eight titans in-person, now is your chance.

Basic Information:

  • Attraction: Honor Guard
  • System: Amarr Prime
  • Security Rating: 1.0
  • Region: Domain
  • Potential Hazards: If you’re below a -2 in security status, or -5 standing with the Amarr you’ll have to deal with some rather unpleasant policemen.
  • Additional notes: No beacons are present; you can easily see the formation off of the undock point outside of the Emperor Family Academy station. These are not expected to last past next week.
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Wreck of the EF Seraph

Seraph 1

Approaching the wreck.

As a travel writer, I tend to see my job as almost quasi-journalist, but with a twist. Rather than merely reporting the events of the day using words, I try to capture both the spirit and the beauty of the areas that can be found throughout New Eden. For many sites of natural beauty or gorgeous manmade structures, I have no qualms, moral or otherwise, in my attempts to capture the essence of a site. Sometimes, however, I have to admit that a site, while gorgeous and important, was formed in the midst of much death and destruction. In those cases in particular, I try to not just become another heartless paparazzi photographer, going for the ultimate scoop no matter the moral cost, but I try to capture the event’s dark splendor, showing both its beauty and the cost in human lives. I will not claim to always be successful in such endeavors, but I can at least claim to have tried to show the darker sides of space.

Seraph 2

The ship was destroyed mere kilometers from the station.

I find myself feeling much more uncomfortable with today’s entry, though I suspect my discomfort stems primarily from just how recently the events in question have occurred. This weekend was supposed to be Empress Jamyl’s victory lap. After an extended absence from the public eye, the Empress had returned with a vengeance (though perhaps less vengeance than she had when she first arrived at Sarum Prime those many years ago). In numerous public appearances, Jamyl had taken to not only making token public appearances, but showering praise on supporters of the Empire, and even opening herself up to questions from the local press (myself included). Her ostensible reason for returning to the public eye was to champion the construction of the new Amarr flagship, the Imperial Issue Abaddon-class battleship Auctoritas, which was to set a new technological standard for ships of the Golden Fleet. After weeks of work and testing, the Auctoritas was due to be commissioned this past Friday. The Empress herself showed up for this commission, piloting the Avatar-class titan EF Seraph, in which she had made all of her recent public appearances.

Seraph 3

The titan wreck dwarfs even battleships.

Although the commissioning started well, it ended in tragedy. Within minutes of the start of the ceremony, the Empress was interrupted mid-sentence with the arrival of a fleet of over 150 Drifter battleships. Without warning or ultimatum, they opened fire on the Seraph with their destructive doomsday-type weapon. Before anyone could react, both the Seraph and, in quick succession, Jamyl’s pod were destroyed. Without a word, the Drifter fleet then warped off again, leaving a stunned audience. One of the strongest ships in the known universe brought down in a single volley, followed by the quick assassination of the leader of the largest empire in New Eden. Although chaos initially reigned at the proceedings, within hours the Court Chamberlain announced the initiation of new Succession Trials as powers from across the cluster reacted to the news. It is worth noting that the Jamyl’s body was not found in the wreckage, and that some parties (myself included) are very interested in seeing examining the body before allowing it to be laid to rest.

Seraph 4

I pay my respects.

I had been unable to attend the ceremonies because of business planetside, but I had been eager to see exactly what technological advances the Auctoritas was to herald. Instead, I found myself watching my newsfeeds in horror as the situation unfolded. And it was with some trepidation that I found myself heading to Safizon only a few hours after her death, somewhat unsure of what I would find but trusting the instincts I have honed over the years. I had no desire to make a spectacle of the area or of Jamyl’s death, but I felt a need to see it with my own eyes. The wreck of the Seraph sits where it fell, only a few kilometers off the Amarr Navy Assembly Plant, the tomb of countless thousands beyond the Empress. Given the site’s importance, I suspect the ruins will remain well-tended for the foreseeable future.

Seraph 5

The midsection of the hull was the most badly damaged section.

Although the ship itself cracked in two, the hull is still very recognizable even after being hit by so many simultaneous weapons blasts. Unsurprisingly, energy still crackles through the superstructure as emergency backup generators struggled to kick in and restore power. Lights still flickered, as if someone were just fiddling with a light switch across most of the ship. A lie I was almost able to believe, if only I could ignore the massive hull breaches and floating debris surrounding the area. I was once again struck by the, if you’ll excuse the choice of adjectives here, titanic nature of the ship’s proportions. As a pilot who primarily focuses on frigates and cruisers, I was once again reminded that my ships are often nothing next to the gargantuan vessels that other pilots fly.

Seraph 6

The Empress falls.

I was by no means the only one to visit the area. Some visitors seemed to be pilots with similar intentions as myself: there to see the fall of an Empress and pay their respects. Others, the more faithful among us, held vigil, just a few of the countless memorial services to be held in the coming weeks as a nation mourned not only their leader, but also their voice of God. Others seemed to be on guard, either from fear of looters or another Drifter attack. I can’t blame those who are worried of another attack: the Drifters have shown substantial interest in the Empire, moreso than the other three nations of New Eden. But the Drifter attack also shows that no one is safe when the Drifters decide to take out a target. Let’s just hope that, come what may, we learn to stand together against whatever it is the Drifters may have in store for us. That may be our only hope in withstanding the coming months.

Basic Information:

  • Attraction: Wreck of the EF Seraph
  • System: Safizon
  • Security Rating: 0.8
  • Region: Domain
  • Potential Hazards: If you’re below a -3 in security status, or -5 standing with the Amarr you’ll have to deal with some rather unpleasant policemen.
  • Additional notes: The wreck (as of time of publishing) does not have a beacon associated with it. Instead, it can be found just a few kilometers off the station at the only station in-system at Saifzon 2-1.

Amarr Mining Station

Ardishapur Prime1

A rock within a station.

I’ve often complimented the Amarr for their graceful structures and gleaming golden hulls. But sometimes, sometimes I didn’t even know what they were thinking. I was docking up after being waylaid in Ardishapur Prime when I noticed this monstrosity of a station. It was so incredibly un-Amarr, so incredibly… utilitarian, that I had to doublecheck that I was still deep in Empire space.

Ardishapur Prime2

Ardishapur prime backlights the utilitarian looking station.

The station itself is essentially three asteroids towed into orbit around Ardishapur Prime II. Girdling the massive rocks were three equatorial (or at least as equatorial as you can get with the uneven and ovoid asteroids) rings, one around each. On top of one of the asteroids, a massive plasma vent could be seen belching waste out into space. Attached to one side is a rather bulbous monstrosity, but near the “top” of the structure, a lighthouse-like light continually spun, lighting up the nearby space for weary travelers. Smaller buildings could be seen poking out of various parts of the asteroids.

Ardishapur Prime3

The underside of the mining facility.

Evidently the asteroids had long been hollowed up. I quickly docked up Legacy, my Drake-class ship, and found the inside to be just as pretentious and shiny as any other Amarr facility. I quickly undocked, if only to turn off the mandated Amarrian chanting that was softly broadcast from all loudspeakers and comm channels. I took one last look at the mining facility, with it’s strangely un-Amarrian exterior, before warping out and on to my next destination.

Basic Information:

  • Attraction: Amarr Mining Station
  • System: Ardishapur Prime II, Further Foodstuffs Plantation
  • Security Rating: 0.7
  • Region: Domain
  • Potential Hazards: If you’re below a -3.5 in security status, or -5 standing with the Amarr, you’ll have to deal with some rather unpleasant policemen.
  • Additional Notes: This is a rare, but by no means unique, Amarr Station. Another example of the station for the null sec folk can be found in 37S-KO.

Choonka’s Ship-Wash

Pursuant to the CONCORD Spam Prevention Act, this advertisement is sponsored by Choonka’s Ship-Wash. If you wish to exit this advertisement, please click here.

Ashab1

Choonka's Friendly Ship-Wash: For all your ship cleaning needs

It’s easy to get your ships dirty out in the Cluster. Whether it’s  that darn Sansha laser residue that you just can’t wipe off, or that nebula you had to fly through last week, or even just letting your ship’s spin in the station for a while, it seems that everywhere you go and everything you do, your ship collects dust. And it’s a shame! No longer are those golden Amarr hulls shining in the sun. Heck, I’ve seen some Apocalypses that would barely pass for copper, given their coating of grime. And my poor Tengu has certainly seen better days! I know Caldari ships are supposed to look dark and gloomy, but this was just starting to get ridiculous! But what’s a busy capsuleer like myself to do? I don’t have the time to clean my ships, not when there are empires to build!

Ashab2

Choonka himself keeps an eye on the operations to ensure you receive only the highest quality of service.

Thankfully, my answer came to me as I was listening to the local GalNet chatter. An advertisement came on for Choonka’s Ship-Wash. With their advertised low prices and quality service, I decided to give them a shot. And being conveniently located in central Domain, just one jump out from Amarr, it was incredibly convenient and easy to find. Within minutes, I found myself in system and warping to their facilities at Ashab II, Moon 1. I just knew that soon my Tengu would be as clean as the day I bought her!

Ashab3

A nearby diner lets you relax and eat great food while watching the crews clean your ship.

I came out of warp, and was shocked to be greeted by none other than Choonka himself! I saw his ship,  a Crusader, sitting in the middle of the complex, making sure that each washed ship met his exact specifications and levels of quality. Between the vats of cleaning supplies and the drydock where your ship is cleaned, a small diner sits. Now I could watch my ship get cleaned in style while relaxing with some incredible food! The restaurant had a friendly atmosphere and great staff, and the views were gorgeous. Ashab II hung in the distance, and the nearby moon created a great backdrop as well.

Ashab4

A ship lines up for it's turn to get cleaned

To ensure that the premises stayed safe and friendly, a few friendly mercs were stationed nearby. Even though we were deep into high security space, Choonka didn’t want to put his customer’s ships at risk! I was impressed by the level of courtesy and professionalism shown by not just the mercs, but the entire staff. They certainly knew how to make a capsuleer feel at home and comfortable! And I knew with the mercs’ watchful eyes on the scene, my ship would be perfectly safe as the cleaning crews got to work.

Ashab5

I couldn't believe how quickly and thoroughly the crews worked!

And the wash itself was so fast! I was surprised that my cruiser-class vessel could be cleaned so quickly! Not only were they fast, though, but they were thorough as well. Bits and parts of the hull that haven’t been cleaned since the ship was built were left gleaming! And for only a few extra isk, they offered to vacuum out my crew decks as well. I couldn’t pass by a deal like that! As usual, they were quick but thorough, and my crew couldn’t thank me enough for cleaning the decks out for them.

Ashab6

Another satisfied customer.

All in all, I couldn’t have been happier with my experience. Choonka’s trained and professional staff did wonders with a ship that I thought would never shine again. It looked like it just undocked from the the construction yards! And the price was incredibly reasonable. As soon as I warped out, I began telling all of my friends how great the service was. Next time a ship of mine needed cleaning, I know exactly where to go!

Basic Information:

  • Attraction: Choonka’s Ship-Wash
  • System: Ashab II, Moon 1
  • Security Rating: 0.9
  • Region: Domain
  • Potential Hazards: If you’re below a -2.5 in security status, or -5 standing with the Amarr, you’ll have to deal with some rather unpleasant policemen.
  • Additional Notes: Obviously, while the site exists, you can’t actually get your ship cleaned there. Furthermore, this is a COSMOS mission site.

Abandoned Battlefield

Pelkia1

Pelkia shines behind the remains of an abandoned station

Within the past few months, CONCORD and its affiliated research arm had begun an extensive re-cataloging of notable sites in the Cluster. Hundreds of sites were discovered, or re-discovered, relics of times long gone. Many of the sites discovered were former stations abandoned by the Empires. Of course, as an explorer, I was thrilled with this project and kept a close track of it. Finally, last month the new site locations were formally promulgated to capsuleers. Eagerly, I quickly went out to see what was Out There.

Pelkia2

Two abandoned stations sit amongst fields of debris

Surprisingly, as I undocked from my home base in Pelkia, I immediately noticed a new item on my overview. Intrigued, I quickly warped over. Aura accessed the CONCORD database accompanying the updates for me, revealing the following information:

Pelkia3After thousands of years among the stars, the space lanes of New Eden have become littered with the presence of countless battlefields. The twisted and gnarled hulls of defeated vessels float in silent memory of humanity’s endless capacity for violence.

Pelkia4

A piece of debris tumbles listlessly through space

I quickly looked around. Two stations of unknown, though vaguely Minmatar design stood close to each other. The stations were beyond decrepit, little more than piles of rust held together only by the lack of any transfers of momentum, it seemed.  Surrounding the stations were various pieces of debris, as well as one relatively-intact shipwreck. The pieces drifted aimlessly through space near the stations, almost in a kind of halo.

Pelkia5

Professor Science banks as it approaches the rust heaps formerly known as stations

Due to the recent nature of the discovery, other details were, shall we say, wanting. Who was fighting? What were they fighting over? Why were the stations so close to each other? Were they the enemies, or was this a siege situation? I certainly didn’t know the answers, and staring in vain at the Professor’s sensor returns weren’t going to reveal any new information either. However, I scanned what data I could, figuring that some contacts I still had from the Center for Advanced Studies might be interested. After finishing my scans and taking one last look around, I set course for nearby systems, intent on seeing what other new discoveries there were out there.

Basic Information:

  • Attraction: Abandoned Battlefield
  • System: Pelkia
  • Security Rating: 0.5
  • Region: Domain
  • Potential Hazards: If you’re below a -4.5 in security status, or -5 standing with the Amarr, you’ll have to deal with some rather unpleasant policemen.

Veldnaught

Veldnaught1

The Professor approaches the massive, Revelation-class vessel Veldnaught

We all strive to have our 15 minutes of fame. I myself have not been above promoting myself to try to boost my public visibility. There was simply something about fame… it’s intoxicating to whoever has it. The fact that you’re somebody out there among the vast trillions of people in our universe, the fact that someone beyond your friends and relatives cares what happens to you. Of course, for most people, the adage “fame is fleeting” is all too true. Most people gain fame (or its twin, notoriety) only to soak it up for a few moments and have it move on before you even know what happened.

Veldnaught2

The stately Revelation-class ship moves away from its home berth in Amarr

Of course, someone forgot to tell this to Chribba, perhaps the best known capsuleer in New Eden. Beyond running a popular site on GalNet, for my purposes Chribba was most notable for having one of very few capital ships within high security space. He’s well known among the capsuleer community, and more importantly, well respected. Among an entire cluster of unsavory characters, he’s one of the few people who’s been able to gain the trust of a wide variety of capsuleers by leveraging his celebrity.

Veldnaught3

The Veldnaught manuevers among ships during a busy day in the Amarrian home system

The moment I heard of the Veldnaught, and what it was, I knew I simply had to see it. It’s rare enough to see a dreadnaught of any kind in high security space, but practically unheard of to see a capital ship dedicated not to combat, but to mining. The Veldnaught is designed to destroy not other ships, but asteroids, as it sucks the veldspar out of them for sale on the market. Without a single offensive weapon, the Veldnaught is quite possibly the largest completely neutral ship that I know of. Of course, rumor has it that even larger vessels of this kind exist, but I’m hesitant to give the rumor credit until I see it with Professor Science’s sensors. Regardless, I knew the Veldnaught existed, and I was determined to see it.

Veldnaught4

The Professor orbits a few hundred meters off of the mighty Veldnaught

As I started my journey to see the ship, I looked up on GalNet any information I could find on it. At the foremost of my mind: how did it get there in the first place? All capsuleers know that cynosural fields can’t form in high security space: empires have spent countless isk to make sure that each high security system is cyno-jammed to ensure that neither capsuleer nor enemy-aligned capital ships can enter their core systems. Furthermore, the sheer size of a dreadnaught (or any capital class vessel, for that matter), meant that they couldn’t use the jumpgate network. The wormholes formed by the jumpgates simply can’t support a vessel of a dreadnaught’s size or mass. After a few minutes of digging, though, I had my answer. Apparently the high sec cyno-jammers were installed only a few years ago (though still quite a while before I graduated from the Center for Advanced Study). Back then, you could construct capital ships within empire space, and apparently even cyno in and out. When the Empires started up the cyno-jammers, most capital ships jumped out while they could. Chribba, obviously, did not. But that means that the Veldnaught is forever trapped in Amarr: it can’t jump to any other high sec space, and should it somehow lock onto a cyno beacon in low security space, it’d be forced to leave Amarr forever. And so the Veldnaught sits, trapped forever in the Amarrian home system. Of course, no more capital ships can be built in high security space either.

Veldnaught5

A closeup of the bow of the Veldnaught

As I finished my research, I entered the bustling hub system of Amarr. I warped to the main Amarr market hub, intent first on picking up a few things from my hanger there. As I came out of warp, however, all ideas of immediately docking flew out the window, as the graceful Revelation-class dreadnaught flew into view. Chribba seemed intent on parading the Veldnaught today, as if it were on display somewhere. It slowly made its way back and forth among the ships swarming near the Emperor Family Academy. This gave me the perfect chance to see the ship for myself. While I had at least some experience with Amarrian capital ships, the Revelation was entirely new to me. As with most things Amarr, it was a very graceful vessel, and it’s gold-hued hull gleamed in the sunlight. Massive turrets, themselves larger than the Professor, guarded each side of the ship. Of course, these turrets were outfitted with mining lasers instead of guns, but the ship was imposing nonetheless. I fought the instinctive urge to get my diminutive vessel as far away from the massive ship as possible, intent on seeing anything I could on the ship.

Veldnaught6

The Veldnaught from a side view.

Chribba himself could be seen in the local comm channels, chatting it up with traders, miners, and other less-seemly sorts. Many seemed as thrilled to see the Veldnaught as I was. I contented myself by staying quiet and  observing the action around me. Watching a hub as busy as Amarr was almost soothing, as I watched ships come and go under the watchful eye of both CONCORD and the Veldnaught. After more than a few minutes, I shook myself out of my observations. There was work to do instead of just sitting here. It was with a heavy heart that I quickly docked the Professor, gathered my items, and was on my way.

As I left Amarr, I couldn’t help but contemplate fame. Everyone wanted to be famous outside of their own niche. To be recognized by complete strangers for some feat or action. It’s inherently (and inherently egotistically) human to want others to know who you are. To be Someone. Some wanted it for the money. Others want it to further their services and recognition. I suspect many, like myself, want it to feel special, to feel in some way distinct from the vast and nameless masses. Chribba has managed to do that, and he has built thriving businesses because of his fame, and his built his fame because of his businesses. I couldn’t quite say how he had managed to do this, but I had to admit, a part of me certainly envied him.

Basic Information:

  • Attraction: The Veldnaught
  • System: Amarr
  • Security Rating: 1.0
  • Region: Domain
  • Potential Hazards: If you’re below a -2 in security status, or -5 standing with the Amarr, you’ll have to deal with some rather unpleasant policemen.
  • Additional Notes: The Veldnaught can often be seen either mining in the asteroid belts or plying the spaceways, but even capsuleers have to sleep. So it may not always be out. However, Chribba has proven himself gracious and more than willing to show off the ship if he is asked.

Amarr

The life of an explorer has to be supported somehow.  I preferred exploration sites, personally.  There was something thrilling about seeing what’s out there in a system.  What new pirate base needs to be flushed out?  More importantly, what can I dig out of said bases to keep the isk flowing?  But I digress…

Statue

A monument to Amarrian "greatness"

Still in Amarrian space for the time being, Amarr herself was the logical place to hawk my wares.  I was always slightly amused by the fact that the main trading hub of the Amarr Empire was Amarr herself.  I seem to recall something about moneychangers in the temple, if I recall my Scriptures correctly, but then again, when had pod pilots ever considered themselves below such a thing as “religion”.

I made my way over to the main station.  As I made my way into the docking queue, I noticed the monument that one of the Emperors (or Empresses, I suppose) had constructed nearby.  Invoking planetside temples in its elegance, the main feature was the statue of an Amarrian reaching out to the heavens, seemingly beckoning everyone, and proclaiming God’s glory.

I snorted to myself at the thought as I was finally cleared for docking.

Basic Information:

  • Attraction: Amarrian monument
  • System: Amarr, Amarr VII (Oris), Emperor Family Academy
  • Security Rating: 1.0
  • Region: Domain
  • Potential Hazards: If you’re below a -2 in security status, or -5 standing with the Amarr, you’ll have to deal with some rather unpleasant policemen.