Sightseeing in the Cluster

Posts tagged “The Forge

Jita 4-4 trading hub

It is gorgeous!
The entirety of the Jita 4-4 trading hub complex.

I grew up a few hours away from the nearest major city, on the other side of a major nature preserve on Gallente Prime. My father (the Luddite that he is; the irony is not lost on me) always preferred ground transportation over the orbital shuttles whenever possible, so whenever we needed to make a trip into the city, we generally drove on the established roadways through the preserve. We only took the trip a few times a year, but I have vivid memories of watching through the forward window as the city rose over the rolling plains of the preserve, the glitter and glam of modern Gallente arcologies, modern Gallente life, slowly rising over the gentle green hills of the preserve. That image stuck with me all through my childhood, probably far more than my father would have liked, all things considered, and it always promised to me a day full of luxury, fun, and adventure.

A rear view of the station, with the Jita Memorial in the foreground.

That image, which I hadn’t thought of in quite some time, came rushing back in full force as I dropped out of warp near the newly renovated Caldari Navy Assembly Plant at Jita 4-4. Of course, the infamy of Jita 4-4 (as it is colloquially referred to, despite the presence of a second station orbiting the same moon) makes the description of the largest trade hub in New Eden nearly superfluous for all. By almost any measure, be it ISK volume, trade flows, net imports, presence of rare items, or any other measure, Jita 4-4 dominates the field, to the point where the economists of the cluster will at times exclude The Forge from economic analyses just to allow them to see details from other regions. To say that Jita 4-4 is the economic heart of New Eden would be an understatement.

No seriously, the station feels like a cross between vegas and a shopping mall and I love it.
A view of the central cityscape of the station.

It’s actually surprisingly easy to forget that this is not just the way things always have been, but Jita’s emergence as the dominant economic hub of New Eden was never a given. In the early days, CONCORD had established a network of highway gates across the cluster, which all converged (perhaps unsurprisingly) at Yulai, making that system the initial major trade hub in the capsuleer era. However, Yulai’s market dominance withered almost as soon as those highway gates were brought down starting in YC 106 and continuing through the next year. Jita, with its proximity to multiple other regions (for traders to easily check prices across major parts of the cluster) and, at the time, the presence of well-known agents offering missions, quickly asserted its dominance by virtue of the cluster’s astrography and the rest, as they say, is history. Jita 4-4 became the de facto trade hub, with all of the hawkers, scammers, and (though we often forget about them in reference to Jita) legitimate traders that entailed.

It really is nice to see Jita get some love tbh. As usual, the art people did a great job
One of the warehouse districts of the station, with the cityscape in the background.

With its primacy as the economic heart of New Eden now well-established, it was probably long overdue for a substantial expansion of the Jita 4-4 station to account for the increased trade activity. Strolling through the main market floor of the station recently, I was struck at just how overcrowded the station seemed to be getting. Every square meter of the floor was filled with a market stall. Trade goods were stashed in any corner traders could find or, barring that, air ducts or even just left out in plain sight. Warehouses overflowed with trade goods; at one point, a trader told me that a waitlist for proper warehouse storage in the station tallied nearly a decade at that point.

But now I have to grapple with the fact that there's a pretty reason to go to Jita.
Another view of the central plain of the station. Note the fireworks and the atrium-like awning.

Something had to give. That something ended up being, eventually, the plodding Caldari Navy bureaucracy, which finally authorized an expansion of the station after years of pleading by the various megacorporations and other business interests of the State, along with the construction of satellite facilities and additional orbital annexes to help fulfill the needs of a modern trading hub. The modern trading hub in New Eden. And the results were magnificent.

I really love this shot. Something about the combo of the lighting and the diagonal girders, idk
Another warehouse district near the rear of the station, starkly lit by Jita.

As previously noted, dropping out of warp, I was immediately called back to my childhood and the image of the city rising from the plains. A glittering, glitzy metropolis rising from a sea of black. And it’s an apt comparison, as the Caldari Navy designers managed to evoke the feelings of a modern, planet-based metropolis. The newly expanded station rests on a bedrock frame of a flat plain. From that plain rises not only the warehouses and storage facilities necessary for any trading space, but also extravagant towers filled with living quarters, all dominated by a truly colossal central tower, right at the fore of the station, which seems to act as the prow of a mighty vessel. That central tower oversees the main ingress and egress lanes of the mighty station, though additional docking ports can be found at literally any angle, and often in surprising locations. Also covering seemingly every square inch of the station is a variety of holographic billboards, throwing out news and ads for almost anything a capsuleer’s heart could desire.

Ugh, remember when we could go to shopping malls? I remember when we could go to shopping malls.
A view of the ancillary Deep Core Mining platform, showing both the colony present on the moon’s surface and the space tether connecting the two.

Once I took in the sheer majesty of the overall design, the overwhelming sense of… well, capitalism, I began to notice some of the other details in the design. Behind that looming central tower, and rising above the cityscape on that massive central plain, rises an atrium that, ignoring the sheer size of it, manages to evoke nothing so much as a pedestrian shopping mall. It’s an astounding effect given the scale. Under that atrium, bridges crisscross each other from that giant central tower to the upper reaches of the rest of the station. The tiny motes of light, in truth representing the movement of thousands of people, following those bridges across the chasm only reinforced the feeling that I was looking at some sort of massive shopping mall.

But, maybe someday, 2020 will pass.
The other major ancillary structure near Jita 4-4.

And this was all to say nothing of the satellite and ancillary structures nearby. Although now hidden towards the back of the station, the remains of the Jita Memorial can still be found, now surrounded not just by perimeter warnings, but also spotlights, demonstrating that CONCORD had not yet forgotten the lessons learned from those days of capsuleer protests. More notably, reaching towards the surface of the moon was a constellation of smaller structures, some that would be quite impressive in their own right if not dominated by the colossus of the main station. The stations arced in an archipelago away from the main station, ending in a platform sponsored by Deep Core Mining. The DCM platform served as a hub for a space tether connecting to the surface of the eponymous Jita 4-4 moon, where a thriving surface colony has sprung up. Two cars can be seen racing up from the moon’s surface to the DCM platform, and then back down again, with the two cars always moving in opposite directions.

Anyway, I hope everyone is staying safe and sane during 2020!
Fireworks occur sporadically along the massive front-facing facade of the station.

After spending far too long examining the outside of the station and its environs, I finally filed my docking request with tower control. Soon, Professor Science found itself nestled deep in the interior of the station. Even here, however, could be found of that same feeling of hugeness, of being overwhelming seemingly just for the sake of being overwhelming, as evidenced by the hints of docking platforms stretching far into the distance. Now, instead of being reminded of my approach to that (to me) vast city (though, in retrospect, it was a fairly middling one, all things considered), I recalled the days spent exploring it seemingly unending reaches. And just like that city of my youth, I had no doubt that while exploring the depths of the redesigned Jita 4-4, I would find luxury, fun, and adventure.

Basic Information:

  • Attraction: Jita 4-4 trading hub
  • System: Jita
  • Security Rating: 0.9
  • Region: The Forge
  • Potential Hazards: If you’re below a -3 in security status, or -5 standing with the Caldari, you’ll have to deal with some rather unpleasant policemen. Because of the high volume of traffic, suicide gankers and station camps (not to mention isk scammers) can be common.

Journey of Katia Sae Memorial

Katia Sae 1

A full view of the monument. The star she holds looks like it could be a background star.

On February 20, YC 112, shortly after posting my survey of the Traumark Installation, I received a comment from another pilot. My explorations and reviews have never generated much in the way of comments, and while other writers may be disappointed by the lack of engagement, I was always content that what few comments I did seemed to be genuinely kind and positive comments. This particular one was no different, even if it was from a pilot I hadn’t encountered before. After finishing her remarks, she ended by noting, “We’re on similar missions. My goal is to explore all of the new planets. Good luck in your journey, fly safe.”. I’ve encountered pilots with that goal before, and those pilots generally tend to get daunted once they realize the sheer immensity of the task of visiting over 7,800 systems within and connecting to New Eden, so at the time I didn’t give it much thought.

Katia Sae 2

A closer look a the star system in Katia’s hand.

Though that was the first time I met Katia Sae, it wouldn’t be the last. She would pop up every now and then, always with generous praise of my various musings here, before moving on, while I quickly began watching her own progress once I found her site. Since then, we’ve interacted not just on our respective journals, but on the GalNet and elsewhere, and I’ve become much more comfortable with calling her not only a fellow pilot, not only a fellow explorer with a deep sense of wanderlust, but a friend. And now, some 7,806 systems later, with that friendship comes a deep sense of pride as well as Katia has now visited every system accessible in and to New Eden, including a much-coveted (by me, at least) visit to Polaris, a system within the generally inaccessible depths of what used to be Jove space. And she did it all without losing a single ship (a claim I certainly would not be able to get away with).

Katia Sae 3

A closer view of the ghostly Astero that can be found hiding in the system.

I get the sense that Katia remains a little overawed by the response to her achievements. The end of her journey gained her attention not just within the fairly tight-knit exploration crowd, but well beyond. While it is perhaps not surprising that her own corporation, the ever-friendly Signal Cartel, took not a small amount of pride in her accomplishment, it is perhaps more surprising that Katia has captured the imagination of not just the capsuleer press and other writers, but broader news sites as well. All to celebrate what truly is a remarkable achievement. And that wasn’t the end of the celebrations for Katia, as the Achura Stargazers Society quickly announced that they would be erecting a permanent monument to her achievement next to the very first stargate she used in starting her journey, the gate to Abagawa in the system of Saisio.

Not one month later, the Society unveiled the likeness of Katia about 35 kilometers from that gate, saying the following:

Katia Sae 4In the unending dark of space, there are a few bright lights to which we can reliably turn for guidance and inspiration. Katia Sae is one such beacon, a shining example of what we can all aspire towards. She exemplifies the attitude of a true explorer: friendly to all in her travels, neutral and never initiating aggression, and very, very hard to catch.

She began her quest to explore all of New Eden from Saisio III on December 1, YC111 and came full circle back to Saisio on March 9 of YC121 after having explored every known-space and wormhole system that can be reached – all without a single ship loss.

Katia Sae 5May Katia Sae’s epic journey be remembered forevermore by all who travel into the furthest reaches of New Eden and the fathomless depths of Anoikis. Every star is one of her footprints, and every heavenly body tells the tale: “Katia Sae was here.”

The Journey of Katia Sae Memorial,

raised by the Achura Stargazers Society,

in association with Signal Cartel.

Katia Sae 6

Going in for a look.

As expected, the statue is magnificent. A gargantuan Katia, who dwarfs my lowly Professor Science, is seen standing on a shimmering plinth reaching up to the stars, quite literally holding a star system in the palm of her hand. The details included on the statue are impressive. Individual strands of hair can be seen gathered behind her head in a utilitarian ponytail, along with creases in her pant legs and jacket. Her expression is one of a certain calm confidence, seemingly quite comfortable in knowing the limits of herself. The metal plating riveted together to form the statue might in other circumstances detract from the monument, but here adds a striking juxtaposition to the otherwise quite-real appearance.

Katia Sae 7

Gazing in wonder.

But, of course, what truly catches my eye is the system she holds in the palm of her hand. I can’t help but zoom in for a closer look at that orrery, and as my camera drones approach, my view becomes awash in holographic static. The central star is but a pinprick of sapphire light; even close up, I can’t see any features, though it throws Professor Science in sharp relief when I approach. Surrounding it are 3 planets in inclined orbits around the central orb. Although  supposedly metal in nature (metal that reflects the light of both their own sun and Saisio), their true nature is belied both by their ghostly orbital paths and the holographic grids that can be seen superimposed on the edges of the spheres, regardless of your viewpoint.

Katia Sae 8

Passing through.

If that were all there was to the monument, I’d be satisfied but perhaps ready to move on. But in examining that star system, after just a few moments I caught a hint of movement. I at first thought it was just the movement of another ship at the site (I was by no means the only person there to inspect the monument, and CONCORD had made its presence known as well), but after casting around for a few moments for whatever movement caught my eye, I came across the spectral apparition of a half-cloaked Astero – Katia’s signature ship – also in orbit around the central star. The ship, ironically slightly large than an actual Astero, is a clever addition to the monument.

Katia Sae 9

Off to the next adventure.

I’m, of course, incredibly happy for Katia and proud to have played some small role in her journeys. She’s certainly earned the adulations that she’s so far received. Exploration takes a certain type of personality, a certain amount of patience, and a whole lot of perseverance, all of which Katia has in spades. I can’t imagine having the dedication to see a project 10 years in the making all the way through to completion, so I must content myself to celebrate those who can. And now this monument stands as a testament not just to Katia’s achievement, but to that ineffable spirit of wanderlust that drove her.

Congrats, Katia!

Basic Information:

  • Attraction: Journey of Katia Sae Memorial
  • System: Saisio
  • Security Rating: 0.7
  • Region: The Forge
  • Potential Hazards: If you’re below a -3.5 in security status, or -5 standing with the Caldari, you’ll have to deal with some rather unpleasant policemen.
  • Additional Note: Unlike most of the sites I profile, this one is not marked with a beacon and thus cannot be seen on the overview if offgrid. It’s classified as a Large Collidable Object for overview purposes. It can be seen in the sensor overlay, however, and, as mentioned above, is located about 35-40 km off the Abagawa gate.

In honor of intrepid explorer Marcus Yeon

Jakanerva 1

The Explorer Relief Post

As an explorer by profession, it’s surprisingly easy to forget just how dangerous the profession can be for the uninitiated.  Things that I often don’t give a second thought to can be the difference between life or death for those new to the profession: fit your ships for speed (especially in low security space); a cloak never hurt anyone; and d-scan, d-scan, d-scan (again, especially in low security space).  With the withdrawal of pirates from most sites about six months ago, most explorers may have even gone so far as to give up giving their ship many defenses; the recent appearance of so-called Ghost Sites (which don’t seem to be very ghostly at all considering anyone can see them, but I suppose that is neither here nor there) and its new potential loot has undoubtedly changed that particular paradigm.  And I suspect we haven’t seen the last of what the pirate research programs have to offer.

Jakanerva 2

I take Professor Science in for an examination of the rift.

Regardless, it’s important to remind explorers that despite all of valuable resources that exploration provides, it is, like so many professions in the cluster, a dangerous one.  And Echelon Entertainment  is here to serve (and undoubtedly get a holo deal or three out of it).  After the Sisters of Eve announced a drive to collect pictures of well known landmarks in New Eden, Echelon randomly selected one of those capsuleers to complete all 29 images to be honored at a so-called Explorer’s Relief Post.  The Post can be found in Jakanerva, near the heart of Caldari space a few jumps from Jita.  Aura’s background on the site, normally only a few sentences long, was a bit more verbose this time as Echelon provided more background on the site:

Jakanerva 3This site stands as a quiet and somewhat unnerving mark of honor for the efforts of Marcus Yeon and all others who took Echelon Entertainment up on its exploration challenge. These capsuleers risked their ships, their clones and their crews on a perilous venture to capture some of the amazing sights of New Eden.

While those pilots who succeeded in the various stages of the challenge were rewarded with various material goods, Echelon Entertainment also commissioned a landmark to be created so that their fearless efforts would be remembered throughout history.
Jakanerva 4

Echelon Entertainment also requested that the landmark be placed next to the scorched ruins of a quite astonishingly ill-fated secret experiment, in order to warn intrepid explorers that on a very few select occasions, discretion is very much the better part of valor. In an interesting quirk of fate, rumor has it that this experiment was being run by Yeon’s own people – possibly a subtle warning from Echelon Entertainment not to get too boastful in the dangerous world of New Eden – and that the ghostly form of one of his past clones still haunts the place.

Jakanerva 5

One of Marcus Yeon’s corpses remains near the rift as a warning to the dangers of moving too fast

Tantalizing hints here, but what did they mean (rumors of ghosts aside: I’ll believe THAT when I see it)?  That Yeon had been conducting his own experiments was news to me, and I couldn’t help but wonder if the experiments tied into the newly discovered Ghost Sites (which I have yet to discover).  Rumor has it that the Ghost Sites are actually pirate-based research initiatives; if so, then Yeon’s experiments here may have tied in to the pirate factions’ R&D.  That the experiment apparently backfired is just another demonstration that cutting-edge research can be hazardous to one’s health.  Still, it was heartening to see what would otherwise be a deserted research base turned into a testament to expanding the frontiers of knowledge.

Jakanerva 6

One of six “explorer relief posts” found at the site.

The site itself was fairly extensive, if straightforward.  A formation of Explorer Relief Posts were organized around an empty, but now-iconic data site.  Though the site has long been emptied of useful data, it serves as a graceful centerpiece to the site.  It also gave me the opportunity to closely examine the data hub itself, something I had never paid much attention to during my explorations.  Surrounded as it was by three rings, it brought to mind a gyroscope, with the central hub always maintained upright within.  Surrounding the data site in a diamond formation, Echelon has placed a number of so-called “explorer relief posts”, but what relief they are meant to provide is a bit beyond me.  Apparently consisting primarily of some kind of resource cache stored in a small forcefield, the posts were completely inaccessible to my ship, making me question just what kind of “relief” was to be provided.  Still, it was soothing to watch the various field emitters spin to maintain the field’s integrity.

Jakanerva 7

The remains of one of the site’s initial defenders lies in a tattered wreck nearby.

Nearby, the ruinous remains of the research station loomed.  Above the tattered superstructure of the research station, presumably at the site where the experiments were performed, a spatial rift of some kind had formed.  Aura herself was apparently spooked by it, as she had labeled the rift as “ominous,” despite the other spatial rifts we’ve seen in our days.  I originally didn’t examine the rift particularly closely, but after watching it a while, I noticed a small speck nearby that I had initially dismissed as a sensor blip.  Upon closer examination however, I discovered that that blip was actually a corpse of Marcus himself: presumably the corpse was the origin of those “ghostly forms” that Aura spoke of.  The explosion which formed the rift was clearly a powerful one: besides completely destroying the top half of the research station, a number of ship wrecks could be seen nearby, undoubtedly the station’s former guard battalion, caught up in the blast.  Indeed, given the devastation evidently rained down upon the station from the blast, it’s a miracle that Yeon’s corpse survived at all.  How it survived, and how it remains stable so close to the rift, is a mystery to both Aura and myself.

Jakanerva 8

The spatial rift’s light battles with Jakanerva’s glare.

I actually spent quite a bit of time simply admiring the site.  I didn’t expect to be gratified to see acknowledgment of the work that myself and thousands of other explorers pursue in order to help improve the quality of life in the cluster.  And being the explorer that I am, the site certainly whetted my appetite to see what else was out there.  The pirates are on to something here, and the Empires want them to stop (even if they aren’t always the best at executing their goals).  I look forward to helping the research in any way I can.  There are plenty of clues to be found and discoveries to be made, but ultimately, one of the best skills that an explorer can have is patience.  After all, even after finding everything there is to find, it may not make sense at first.  But if I have anything to say about it, you better believe it will.

Basic Information:

  • Attraction: In honor of intrepid explorer Marcus Yeon
  • System: Jakanerva
  • Security Rating: 0.7
  • Region: The Forge
  • Potential Hazards: If you’re below a -3.5 in security status, or -5 standing with the Caldari, you’ll have to deal with some rather unpleasant policemen.

Nugoeihuvi Information Center

Nugoeihuvi 1

The information/administration center for Nugoeihuvi’s space-based operations.

I know myself pretty well, I think.  I know that, much as I might like to pretend at times that I don’t have biases against anyone, I am not the biggest fan of either the Amarr or the Caldari, and I often let those biases through in my writings here.  I often portray the Amarr as brainless theocrats who care for nothing save either their God or their own power.  Of course, the thing about stereotypes is that while they may be true sometimes, ascribing stereotypical features to any person of a given background is asking for trouble.  The Gallente too have a well-earned stereotype for their decadent and drug fueled ways, but heavens know I lead a humble (for a capsuleer) life, and I don’t even take performance-enhancing boosters, much less the more addictive narcotics that are out there.  And just as the Minmatar are the stereotypical brutes who know nothing other than what their own fists (or autocannons) can do, I know plenty who are quiet, reserved, and thoughtful.  Stereotypes may be appropriate for some… but they cannot or should not be used as a blanket rule.

Nugoeihuvi 2

Some of the many ships in a holding pattern awaiting docking clearance.

I bring this up because I know particularly that I give the Caldari a hard time.  I often portray them as soulless corporate zombies, who care for nothing but their corporation’s own bottom line and have little conception of the word “fun.”  This is, of course, entirely incorrect.  Indeed, the Caldari are some of the Federation’s biggest importers when it comes to the various entertainment products that are the Federation’s flagship exports.  But that’s not to say that the Caldari can have no fun on their own.  Indeed, one of the Caldari megacorps is geared almost exclusively towards providing the State with various entertainment products, such as holos, songs, games, and a host of other devices meant to cheer up State citizens as they look at the bland gray walls that they love so much (sorry, couldn’t help myself there).  Nugoeihuvi (thankfully shortened to NOH much of the time) is the State’s leader in a whole phalanx of products; indeed, it’s the only megacorp that focuses on such products.  It’s somewhat ironic, then, that NOH is a member of the so-called “practicals” bloc.  Then again, considering that NOH has rather overt connections to the criminal underground, it fits in well with the practicals’ “ethics have no place in society” view of life.

Nugoeihuvi 3

Some of the military support available at the station.

I’ll admit that I don’t have a lot of personal experience with NOH products, though admittedly I don’t have a lot of experience with non-capsuleer entertainment these days.  However, what little from them I’ve seen is remarkably similar to what comes out of the studios on Luminaire, Algogille, and Dodixie.  Indeed, the most remarkable thing about Caldari entertainment is how unremarkable it is compared to its Gallente brethren.  I’m not sure if this is a belated victory for the Cultural Deliverance Society or just the inevitable cultural exchange that comes with (relatively) free trade, but it seems to work for NOH regardless.  It works enough so, actually, that NOH has seen fit to create an information center and administration center in NOH’s corporate headquarters system of Josameto.  Acting as the interface between NOH’s corporate boardroom and the broader cluster at large, the center helps not only coordinate NOH’s interstellar interests but also acts as a minor tourist attraction to drag sightseers into NOH’s embrace.  As Aura explains:

Nugoeihuvi 4This small complex acts as the first point of contact between many spacebound travelers and representatives of Nugoeihuvi Corporation. Since traffic around major corporate stations is often at or near maximum capacity, Nugoeihuvi and other State organizations frequently set up their own temporary administrative facilities away from the hurried masses.

Nugoeihuvi 5

A look inside the upper pressure dome

“Hurried masses” indeed.  I’m used to thinking of Jita and Amarr as the economic hearts of the cluster, but even if Josameto doesn’t give these systems a run for their money, it certainly puts on an impressive display for a non-capsuleer-based presence.  The spacelanes here are filled with shuttles, freighters, and other ships as they come and go from the massive structure; their scarcely seems room for even my tiny Professor Science amongst the traffic control queues.  I did not envy the traffic controllers for the port.  Still, even while waiting in a queue somewhat off of the main spacelanes, it was fascinating to watch the parade of military and freighter vessels come and go as they get shuffled around by the station.  Local chatter was filled with the somewhat eclectic dialect that traders inevitably develop, be it space-based or land-based.  I’m not sure what “going 2 centi’s on the inbound” or “clear shot for a sling” but everyone seemed to be happy with it so I didn’t question it.  I mostly just hung back and watched the action.

Nugoeihuvi 6

Some of the transshipping facilities available in Josameto.

The station itself was surprisingly artistic for general Caldari architectural design, even if it was clothed in the standard gunmetal gray so favored by the corporate boards.  The station gently expanded from the bottom up, spreading what almost looked like flower petals from the central stem.  These panels angled away from the central structure, giving the entire station a rather vase-like appearance.  The top of the station was strikingly Gallente in design, actually: a clear dome that allowed me to see into the central core of the building.  Although a Gallente station would have parkland or other open areas under a clear dome like this, the harsher, angled surfaces of the buildings visible within the pressure dome suited the station well.

Nugoeihuvi 7

The bottom of the information center.

Unfortunately, after being told that I was somewhere in the sixties in terms of the docking queue, I decided it wasn’t quite worth the wait and got on my way.  Still, I enjoyed a glimpse into a side of Caldari culture that I rarely see, as well as the introspection it provided.  Being reminded of your prejudices, even if you don’t quite manage to do anything about them, never hurts, and I left the area as a slightly better person than I was when I first arrived.

 

Basic Information:

  • Attraction: Nugoeihuvi Information Center
  • System: Josameto
  • Security Rating: 0.6
  • Region: The Forge
  • Potential Hazards: If you’re below a -4 in security status, or -5 standing with the Caldari, you’ll have to deal with some rather unpleasant policemen.
  • Additional Notes: This also serves as a Caldari COSMOS site.
  • SCHEDULING NOTE: As you may have noticed, posting on here has been infrequent at best, recently.  This is due to a combination of factors, most notably the fact that I’m moving in RL and things are hectic as it is, and also that I’m in that bane of players everywhere: A classic EVE Slump ™.  In an attempt to nip this as much in the bud as I can, as well as give myself all the time I need to settle into the new place and take care of the holidays, EVE Travel will be going on Hiatus until the new year.  Of course, I have no intention of leaving twitter and I should be logging in, even if not as regularly as I normally do.  That said, I’ll be keeping an eye on comments and evemail, so if anyone comes across anything they’d like to see profile, feel free to drop me a line.  Fly safe, New Eden, and I’ll see you on the other side o7

Grand Crag Watch

Author’s Note: I would also like to extend my sincerest condolences to the family and friends of Sean Smith, aka Vile Rat.  His death was a loss for the entire EVE community. I didn’t know Vile Rat, so I will leave it to others who have summed up their feelings much better than I ever could.  I will say this though: seeing the EVE community unite as they have has only served to remind me how proud I am to be a part of it.  May Sean’s favorite ships be always on hand, and may good fights be never hard to find.  Fly safe o7

Grand Crag 1

Airmia V hangs shrouded in nearby dust.

I’ve always found the interplay between corporate governance and actual governance within the Caldari State fascinating.  Perhaps that’s the political science nerd in me struggling to get out.  To an extent, the fundamentals of corporations and your more normal democratically elected governments are similar.  Voters (shareholders) elect those who they trust to keep the corporation on the right path.  Safeguards are put in place to require that the corporate officers put their corporation’s interests ahead of their own.  They are required to spend their money for the good of the shareholders (aka dividends), and consensus building within the Board of Directors is required for policy to be implemented.  Such requirements are not that far amiss from parliamentary democracies.  But there are differences, too.  Unlike governments, businesses are always expected to bring in profits.  Rather than relying on policy considerations, shareholders are often more concerned with the profit forecasts in making their selections for CEO.  And, of course, there’s the fact that some things just aren’t profitable: fire fighting services, roads, infrastructure.  Things that are necessary for modern life, but just aren’t easy to make a dollar off of.

Grand Crag 2

A lonely Lai Dai ship keeps a watching on the surrounding area.

That’s why it always vaguely surprises me when I see a Caldari corporation provide services that typically a government would provide.  Each of the Caldari megacorps have their own police and quasi-military arms, which continues to surprise me.  I’ve never quite been able to figure out where they fall (if anywhere) in the military chain of command under the Caldari Navy.  Given just how much the corporate identity permeates Caldari culture, I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised to see that, beyond the general services provided to employees, they have also delved into the world of intelligence.  I suppose once corporations enter into the world of military operations in general, military intelligence won’t be far behind.  Still, it’s an odd thing for me to see.  But if I didn’t believe that before, Grand Crag Watch has shut me up.  As Aura tells me:

Grand Crag 3Lai Dai constructed a surveillance outpost here after they lost control of their nearby mining facility. The remotely-controlled surveillance equipment keeps the tabs on the struggle taking place for control of the contested mining facility. Recently the Grand Crag Watch has become a favored meeting place of pilots with Lai Dai sympathies.

Grand Crag 4

Airmia shines in the background over the repair and lookout facilities.

The nearby facility that the observation outpost was keeping an eye on has long been the site of battles between the various factions vying for control of Okkelen.  And now Lai Dai is trying to get a piece of the action.  I’m forced to wonder what exactly is so valuable in Okkelen that everyone is fighting over.  There have been hints of something major being discovered over in Friggi, but despite years of research at the Devil’s Dig site, as far as I know nothing of note has ever been discovered outside of things that are of interest only to archeologists and scholars of the Talocan.  Despite this, however, both pirates and megacorporations alike seem to be dedicating significant resources, while the rogue drones that have become ensconced on the site have also been fighting tooth and nail to protect what, if anything, is in there.  But exactly what Airmia had to do with the Devil’s Dig site wasn’t clear; if establishing control of the dig site were more important, you’d think that they would be fighting over Friggi itself, not the next system over.

Grand Crag 5

Professor Science approaches

Regardless of the reasons for its existence, Grand Crag Watch isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.  The Watch itself is a fairly drag, expectedly utilitarian affair, consisting entirely of a lookout post and a repair yard for local Lai Dai ships.  If, as Aura suggests, this is truly a “favored meeting place of pilots with Lai Dai sympathies”, then Lai Dai could use some more pilot outreach programs.  The only ship beside my own that I saw near the Watch was a small Hawk flown by Lai Dai agent Oniya Arkimo, who looked rather bored when I briefly started talking with her.  She was all business, however, and once she realized I wasn’t there for work, she sent me on my way.

I didn’t spend long at the Watch. Beyond the fact that there was simply nothing to see, I was eager to get my explorations of Okkelen to an end.  Although it was enlightening to view the culture that I had been raised to distrust, I was ready to move on and see what else was out there.  There were still a few things that I needed to explore, but they would require more resource gathering before I was ready to tackle them.

Basic Information:

  • Attraction: Grand Crag Watch
  • System: Airmia
  • Security Rating: 0.6
  • Region: The Forge
  • Potential Hazards: If you’re below a -4 in security status, or -5 standing with the Caldari, you’ll have to deal with some rather unpleasant policemen.
  • Additional Notes: This also serves as a Caldari COSMOS site.

Frontier Stockade

Frontier Stockade 1

The Frontier Stockade floats above Moon I of Sakkikainen VI.

One of the fundamental principles of the New Eden economy is that a free market economy, in allowing (or, to some, forcing) corporations to compete against each other, will lead to the most efficient means of getting a job done. This principle can be seen time again, in the .01 isk wars in the Jita market, in the ways that CONCORD pays out to repel incursions by the Sansha, and even in the competitions between miners to vacuum up asteroids in the most efficient manner possible. Allowing macroeconomic behaviors to determine efficient resource allocation is one of the hallmarks of our interstellar society. There are inefficiencies, of course, there always are when dealing with mere humans (even the immortal kind), but the thought is that, except in fairly rare circumstances, a free market will divvy up limited resources as it sees best. The so-called “invisible hand.” And given the booming economy that New Eden enjoys nowadays, proponents of that theory certainly have the data to back up their assertions.

Frontier Stockade 2

One of the C&C facilities for the Caldari efforts in Okkelen

As might be expected, the Caldari in particular, with the megacorporation providing for almost all governmental services, adhere closely to the free market theory. Working under a theory of both horizontal AND vertical integration, megacorporations in Caldari society function in many of the same ways that governments do in the other empires. But in many other ways, the megacorporations function as just as their names suggest: they act as businesses. And often, these businesses are set against each other in order to find out who can provide certain services most efficiently. The winning megacorp gets to keep the prize for having the more efficient operation, while the losing ones are left to figure out what went wrong and to devise a new strategy for future competition. This technique has been used once again as the Caldari State seeks to colonize the Okkelen constellation. Two corporations, Nugoeihuvi and Lai Dai, have been set against each other to see who can most efficiently settle the wild lands that make up Okkelen. Both megacorps have set up their central base of operations fairly close to each other in Sakkikainen, at the Frontier Stockade. As Aura explains:

Frontier Stockade 3The two mega-corporations charged by the State with the task of settling Okkelen, NOH and Lai Dai, have each recently constructed a station here in the Sakkikainen system. These stations are intended to act as the base from which the Caldari State intends to push the frontier back and claim the constellation for itself. As with all frontier settlements there’s plenty of work to be found for enterprising pilots.

Frontier Stockade 4

While NOH and Lai Dai maintain separate control facilities, they also have cooperatively built research and storage facilities.

As might be implied from the description, the Stockade is a bustling frontier community, with ships flying to and fro as both megacorps struggle to make their claim to the resources of the constellation. Both corporations have set up respective command and control centers to oversee their operations in the constellation. These control centers sit behind a protective cocoon of Lai Dai and Nugoeihuvi corporate police vessels; ships from Lai Dai Protection Services and Internal Security, respectively. Both sides keep a fleet of Raven-class battleships close at hand in order to defend their control centers if necessary. Whether these pseudo-military vessels are there to protect the control centers from pirates or other megacorporations seems to be a matter of perspective.

Frontier Stockade 5

A close up of the central storage facility. Asteroids with mineable minerals can be seen in the background.

Surprisingly, however, there are some hints of cooperation between NOH and Lai Dai. Beyond the fact that both megacorps put their control centers near each other, both seemed to have also cooperated in constructing centralized administrative and storage facilities for operations throughout the constellation. Sakkikainen’s centralized location in the cluster makes logistics fairly easy, while allowing Friggi to act as a buffer from the low security space connected through Ihakana. Seeing that both megacorps clearly had the same thoughts in this regard, it made sense for them to cooperate in at least some respects to save on expenses. Beyond the centralized storage and administrative facility, the megacorporations appear to have also built a small joint research facility. A veneer of newness surrounds the facility, perhaps from the leftover construction materials that still have viable materials in them, or perhaps from the shine on both the stations and the ships.

Frontier Stockade 6

The Stockade stands ready to settle Okkelen once and for all.

All in all, the megacorporations seem to have the settlement of Okkelen well in hand. The jury is still out as to which one will win in Okkelen. But rest assured that whichever megacorp does end up winning (or if neither one wins), that invisible hand of the marketplace will be the one placing the crown on the victor.

Basic Information:

  • Attraction: Frontier Stockade
  • System: Sakkikainen
  • Security Rating: 0.6
  • Region: The Forge
  • Potential Hazards: If you’re below a -4 in security status, or -5 standing with the Caldari, you’ll have to deal with some rather unpleasant policemen.
  • Additional Notes: This also serves as a Caldari COSMOS site. Furthermore, some asteroids here are capable of being mined.

Cactus Mill Lookout

Cactus Mill 1

The Lookout keeps its lonely guard over Vahunomi X.

Each of the Empires seems to have areas of space that are just representative for them. Areas that help to sum up who that nation is as a people, and what values or ongoing issues they have that help to define them. The Gallente’s Algintal constellation is enmeshed with a debate over whether environmental or business concerns should win out, representing a deeper debate over the liberty and beauty the Gallente prize and the economic prosperity that allows them the freedom to have that debate.  The Minmatar’s Ani constellation shows the continuing struggle of the Republic to come to terms with its past while still embracing the future. The Amarr’s Araz constellation demonstrates a bloated bureaucracy and aristocracy struggling to control the largest nation in New Eden.

Cactus Mill 2

The old ore refinery is being repurposed as a sensor station to guard Bank assets.

So what about the State? The State has Okkelen… and the only real thing I can say about it is that it is very utilitarian and homogenous. Which, to be fair, fits the State quite well. But it’s notable how little there is of note to say about the State’s various sites in Okkelen. Sure, there are undertones of inter-corporate rivalries that I have discussed previously, as well as attempts to reclaim Okkelen from pirate groups, but I can’t get away from the fact that, moreso than the other constellations that I’ve mentioned, many of the sites that are marked here are just boring. As a semi-professional traveler around New Eden, I hesitate to use such a strong term (a death knell for anyone relying on tourism to boost income), but as I have repeatedly noted throughout my exploration of Okkelen that many of the sites seem to be very homogenous. Which, as I’ve mentioned, fits the cultural tropes of the Caldari well, but just does not make for very exciting exploration.

For example, let’s take a look at this week’s site: the Cactus Mill Lookout. Aura, as usual, comes to the rescue with some basic information:

Cactus Mill 3An old ore refinery, the Cactus Mill is being refurbished with the latest surveillance gadgets courtesy of the State and Region Bank. Great wealth can be found in the nearby station vault and the bank is anxious to protect it. It’s a race against time as bandits will inevitably fall on the vault sooner rather than later. The help of independent pilots is greatly appreciated.

Cactus Mill 4

One of the ships that has set up station here as the station itself trails off into the distance.

Having seen this in my research, I was at least hoping to see a security perimeter and some sensor posts. Perhaps some corporate navies out in force to protect their investments in the Bank. Or even some State naval vessels to help protect what is clearly an important national asset. I came in to Cactus Mill with high hopes and instead I got… an old, abandoned station. The same as any number of others that I’ve seen in my time here. Though I do take solace in the fact that there’s no asteroid colony evident. If there’s any retrofitting going on, it’s clearly an entirely internal affair. Meshing well with the State’s utilitarian nature, the station’s exterior is clearly dinged and dirty, but still intact. As such, it’s not being touched as far as I can tell by any repair crews. Any ore processing facilities have clearly been removed by the Bank by now, but any upgrades to the interior of the station are completely invisible to me.

Cactus Mill 5

One of the asteroids present near the Lookout.

Beyond the station itself, there is very little of note around the Lookout. Vahunomi X floats quietly in the background. It has a wispy ring system surrounding it that adds a hint of background beauty to the site. A few ships have also made the site their home port, ready to offer missions out to enterprising capsuleers who are looking to help protect the Bank and its aforementioned vault. A few asteroids also sit near the station, presumably leftover from the station’s life as an ore refinery. A brief glance at sensor readouts shows that there’s still some usable minerals to be found in the depths, but of course Professor Science isn’t outfitted to go mining, so I just leave the rocks be.

Cactus Mill 6

The old docking bay of the station.

I spend very little time at the Lookout. There’s simply very little to see. Another old and abandoned station in a constellation that is replete in fairly uninteresting sites. Indeed, old and abandoned stations can be found throughout the State, a reminder of times past when the State felt it necessary to defend its perimeters from Gallente onslaught more closely. That is not to say that the sites here serve no purpose to the people of Okkelen, or even that the stories that they tell are not worth telling. But compared to the beauty of Algintal, the majesty found in Araz, or the haunting reminders of the past found in Ani, Okkelen just leaves something to be desired for travelers like me.

Basic Information:

  • Attraction: Cactus Mill Lookout
  • System: Vahunomi
  • Security Rating: 0.5
  • Region: The Forge
  • Potential Hazards: If you’re below a -4.5 in security status, or -5 standing with the Caldari, you’ll have to deal with some rather unpleasant policemen.
  • Additional Notes: This also serves as a Caldari COSMOS site. Furthermore, some asteroids here are capable of being mined.

Diamond Ace Den

Diamond 1

An overview of the Den, with Otitoh VII looming in the background.

The Caldari have always struck me as very straitlaced. Very prim, very proper, and not likely to do much in the way of entertainment when there is work to be done. To an extent, I’m sure, that is just some leftover government propaganda that was ingrained in me when I was younger. But when we come to the heart of it, I still can’t get over my internal image of the Caldari as the ultimate utilitarians. After a moment, of course, I realize that they’re as human as any of us, but for the first instant that I think of a Caldari, “fun” just doesn’t seem to enter into the equation at all. It’s not useful. It won’t help corporate profits. Of course, then my conscious brain engages and I remember that, you know, stereotypes don’t completely describe any one person or culture.

Diamond 2

The storage silo can be seen in the background here.

I bring this up because I have to admit that I was vaguely surprised to find a casino pop up on my scanner as I was passing through Otitoh. I shouldn’t have been. For as long as there’s been currency there have been people willing to gamble it away. But it just doesn’t fit with my cultural expectations of the Caldari. They’re MUCH too restrained and reserved to do something like gamble away precious money. Now, us Gallente on the other hand, we love our gambling. Just like we love our drugs, sex, and basically any other vice that the Amarr proclaim as a sin. We like to live life to the fullest. But I guess I just never expected to see that kind of thought from the Caldari. Even beyond that, a bit of research proves that the Caldari are actually prolific gamblers, at times giving even the (fully legal) Gallente casinos a run for their money. Most of the time, Caldari casinos are forced underground, but Caldari officials seem to have given the one in Otitoh a pass. Perhaps that is because the workers in Okkelen already have enough on their plates. But for whatever reason, the Diamond Ace Den is one of the most happening places in the constellation. As Aura notes:

Diamond 3The Caldari love nothing better than to gamble. Whether the bet is on the upcoming Splinterz tournament or the survival rate of the latest green newbie miner that passed through; there is always someone willing to take you on here at the Diamond Ace Den.

Diamond 4

One of the ships that are stationed at the Den.

I shook the thought of just how bored you had to be to bet on miners and focused on looking around. The site was dominated by a familiar site: another storage silo. Possibly to hold the Den’s immense winnings, or just to hold the items they must confiscate to pay off customer debts. I didn’t know, nor was I particularly tempted to ask. The other thing that you first notice upon warping in are the massive hunks of rock floating near the periphery. I noticed after a brief glance that some of those rocks had veldspar glimmering on the surface… maybe the rocks were dragged here for some of the gamblers to have something to watch. Or maybe it was here to make it easier for the casino to call rats in when necessary.

Diamond 5

Otitoh shines weakly onto the Den.

Other than that, there is little of note at the Den. If the Den were planetside, it would almost certainly be found in some dimly lit backstreet alley, with a blinking neon sign found above it. Somehow, the space-based casino manages to recreate that feeling. Set off from the rest of the compound, with Otitoh barely peaking over the limb of the third moon of Otitoh VII, the casino looks small, dark, and dirty. A dim yellow sign balefully blinks the casino’s existence to the universe, even though it stands far removed from the rest of the buildings at the site. Still, it presumably provided the main income for the owners of the Den.

Diamond 6

The casino is oddly set off from the rest of the site.

Beyond the casino, however, the Den’s owner has clearly expanded its business a bit. Playing up the vice angle, a brothel has been built nearby, providing a second way for patrons to waste their money in an hour or two. The brothel, in many ways, seems more prominent than the casino that the Den is named for. Beyond being placed much closer to the warp-in point for the Den, it is bathed in spotlights from two wings sprouting from the top. Whereas the casino almost seems trying to remain hidden in the gloom, the brothel is happy to shout its existence. Nearby, the owners apparently try to maintain a veneer of respectability by also providing a repair bay for patrons.

Despite my Gallente heritage, I had little desire to try my luck at the gambling tables. I had better things to spend my money on, that left far less to chance (my particular skills at flying spaceships is another matter entirely). Still, for those who are looking for a new way to spend their money, there are plenty of opportunities to be found at the Diamond Ace Den.

Basic Information:

  • Attraction: Diamond Ace Den
  • System: Otitoh
  • Security Rating: 0.5
  • Region: The Forge
  • Potential Hazards: If you’re below a -4.5 in security status, or -5 standing with the Caldari, you’ll have to deal with some rather unpleasant policemen.
  • Additional Notes: This also serves as a Caldari COSMOS site. Furthermore, some asteroids here are capable of being mined.

NOH Recruitment Center

NOH 1

Ishisomo IV floats behind the NOH recruitment site.

Caldari society has always seemed a little baffling to me. I honestly have issues comprehending just how integral one’s megacorporation is to one’s life from cradle to grave. Of course, I’m used to corporations wriggling themselves into my daily life, at times even when I’m unaware of it. I’m Gallente after all, and heavens know Gallente society (and government) isn’t exactly free from corporate influence. But to have one megacorporation control almost all aspects of a person’s life, from the education he or she receives to the job he or she spends for the rest of their life, to the kind of money they can get and food they can buy, is just completely outside of my realm of experience. Then again, I’m sure someone growing up on New Caldari would say the same of our relatively laissez-faire attitudes towards capitalism and business in general. So to each his own, I suppose.

NOH 2

Ishisomo peeks out behind the massive storage silo.

One thing that has always puzzled me somewhat, however, was how to switch corporations, or if you could at all. I would imagine switching between corporations within a megacorp would be a fairly easy affair, but is it possible to switch megacorporations? Could you move from practical-bloc Sukuuvestaa to a more liberal Ishukone? How would benefits transfer when even the underlying currencies of the two are separate? The fact that a corporate citizen might bring with it some dark corporate secrets would lead me to believe that a person would normally not be allowed to switch megacorporations, but sometimes I’m forced to wonder. For example, this week’s site is a Nugoeihuvi (often shortened to NOH) recruitment center. This far into Caldari territory, you’d imagine that if Caldari citizens couldn’t switch megacorporations, this kind of site would be useless, yet here it was. Although it seemed primarily aimed towards pilots, the fact that they only had docking facilities for non-capsuleers suggested outreach to non-pilots as well. But as Aura explains:

NOH 3The Nugoeihuvi mega-corporation, better known simply as NOH, is actively seeking pilots to participate in the planed settlement of the Okkelen constellation. It’s using this old storage silo as a center for its recruitment efforts. Representatives of NOH are waiting here to entice pilots into lending a helping hand in this ongoing struggle against evil-doers and the elements alike.

NOH 4

Another picture of the small fleet gathered near the silo.

For their site, NOH chose a particularly dusty area sitting near Ishisomo IV. A particularly pleasant looking temperate world, the planet sat unfortunately obscured by the thick, gray dust permeating the area. The bleak and gray dust, found everywhere and coating everything nearby, is just begging for a Caldari joke, but I’ll hold myself to the better part of valor and keep it to myself. The source of the dust seems to be a few large asteroids that can be found in the area. Apparently, NOH chose the site to add a little scenery. Other than that, the thing that really dominates the area is a large storage silo. I forget how massive those things can be; they would dwarf even my Drake, and I feel positively tiny next to it in my Buzzard. Still, the large asteroid nearby puts even the silo to shame.

NOH 5

Another view of the site.

Beyond the silo, the only real thing of note is the small fleet that has set up shop nearby. A Harpy, a Moa, and even a Badger can all be seen floating near the silo, ready to offer missions to any capsuleer willing to fight for NOH. Like the other megacorps, as well as a number of pirate factions, NOH is hoping to turn Okkelen into their own constellation. Whilst the battle amongst the various factions carries on, work for the enterprising pilot is in no way in short supply. I stayed away, however. Being a recruitment site, I wasn’t entirely unconvinced that me signing up to help NOH in some way made me enslaved by beholden to NOH, and I felt it best for me to just continue on my way. As I warped off, I wondered if Okkelen would ever be settled. But as is natural for me, from there I tried to look on the bright side: at least there wasn’t an asteroid colony to look at this time.

Basic Information:

  • Attraction: NOH Recruitment Center
  • System: Ishisomo
  • Security Rating: 0.7
  • Region: The Forge
  • Potential Hazards: If you’re below a -3.5 in security status, or -5 standing with the Caldari, you’ll have to deal with some rather unpleasant policemen.
  • Additional Notes: This also serves as a Caldari COSMOS site.

Sentinel Rise

Sentinel Rise 1

Sentinel Rise sensor platforms

I’ll be the first to admit that I am a ‘carebear’. I try to avoid combat whenever possible, fitting my ships to ensure escape rather than obtaining combat advantage. I mainly stay in systems under CONCORD jurisdiction, only venturing beyond that when necessary. I mainly earn my income through solo activities, shying away from more social activities. In the ever more connected world of New Eden, I’m somewhat of a self-imposed outcast, but I find myself quite comfortable in that role regardless. That being said, I’m also wary of extending CONCORD jurisdiction beyond its current boundaries. Who really cares what us capsuleers do to each other as long as we aren’t collaterally damaging civilians and those near the core worlds along the way?

Sentinel Rise 2

Some of the living/work areas on the Rise

I only bring this up because while many a high sec capsuleer residents rely on CONCORD’s ensured vengeance, it seems that CONCORD has left other populations nearly unprotected. In its narrow-sighted attempts to curb capsuleer violence, it has lost sight of the bigger picture. Every day, Sansha forces continue to invade ‘high security’ systems, but CONCORD doesn’t raise a finger to stop it. Oh, it’ll pay out money to us capsuleers, but given CONCORD’s proven threat-response systems, it’s always struck me as odd that they refuse to commit any manpower to the fray. And that doesn’t even begin to tackle the other problems within high security space. People are dying Okkelen and throughout the Cluster under CONCORD eyes, but they’re more concerned in making sure two consenting pilots don’t fight if they don’t ‘steal’ a piece of ammo from each other.

But some in Okkelen, at least, realize that CONCORD isn’t going to be around to save them. As such, they’ve started building things like the Sentinel Rise. As Aura explains:

Sentinel Rise 3One minute warning of impending doom is often all it takes to survive out here. And only those paranoid enough survive in a hostile territory like the Friggi system is. With scores of bandits roaming around searching for easy prey it pays to be careful. The good folk of the nearby Lai Dai station had the good sense to install sensor equipment here to warn against any incoming threat.

Sentinel Rise 4

The Rise provides extensive sensor hardware to alert system residents of incoming threats.

A quick glance at my system overview told me that there were actually two Lai Dai stations here in Friggi, so which one the Rise was supposed to be protecting was a mystery to me. The positioning of the sensor platforms also struck me as odd: the sensor farm was almost 3 AU from the closest gate, over 15 AU from the closest low sec gate (presumably where any pirate raiders would base from), and over 22 AU from the rather inappropriately named Bandit Hideout. In short, not exactly the place from which to get the best sensor resolution. Still, maybe the suits over in corporate were just looking for after the fact sensor records or valued remoteness over effectiveness. Who knows.

Sentinel Rise 5

One of the ships stationed near the Rise.

The sensor platform itself was pretty standard fare. As you’ve probably become used to me telling you, dear reader, (and trust me, I’ve gotten used to writing it), the sensor platforms have been built onto a number of smaller asteroids held together by metallic girders. The entire complex is connected to each other by these metal gangways, allowing employees to reach any part of the sensor grid easily. Beyond the central grid, there were only a few ships anchored nearby, offering missions for those who want them. There was also a rather large container nearby as well; it looked like it was used to deposit items of some kind, but for what, I couldn’t tell.

In all, a somewhat hum-ho site. The Caldari’s repeated use of the asteroid bases made economic, if not aesthetic, sense, but I could tell that the similar sites were starting to wear on me. Maybe the next site would have something new and interesting to offer, or at least better CONCORD protection.

Basic Information:

  • Attraction: Sentinel Rise
  • System: Friggi
  • Security Rating: 0.5
  • Region: The Forge
  • Potential Hazards: If you’re below a -4.5 in security status, or -5 standing with the Caldari, you’ll have to deal with some rather unpleasant policemen.
  • Additional Notes: This also serves as a Caldari COSMOS site.

Shady Acres

Shady Acres 1

The entire colony sits ensconced in a cloud of dull gray dust

Capitalism works. At least, it does for us. Although the State is best known for its free-wheeling capitalistic ways, many non-capsuleers are unaware of just how cut-throat business deals can be amongst the demigods. The fury of the .01 isk battles is well-known to any trader in New Eden, and all-out wars have been started over broken contracts, be they for general services or even just simple courier contracts. And capitalism can even thrive in death, especially when bounties are placed to help effect a massive market-manipulation scheme. The SCC has been either unable or unwilling to impose much in the way of regulation on capsuleer markets outside of requiring truth in advertising (though it’s your fault if you can’t read it correctly). Indeed, CONCORD interventions in the market are incredibly few and far between, with most scams being completely ignored by regulators. Indeed, the New Eden market may be the closest that humanity has ever come to the archetype ideal of a capitalist system.

Shady Acres 2

The exhaust from one of the colony’s industrial sections sits near the top of this photograph.

But, of course, it helps that capsuleers are rich beyond the dreams of planet-bound avarice. Even the poorest capsuleers can quickly earn more isk in an hour or two than the vast majority of humanity will see in their lifetimes, not to mention the lifetimes of their children and their children’s children and their children’s children’s children. Any retiring capsuleers of any worth will be able to retire in luxury for the rest of their natural born days. Unfortunately, if the capsuleers are the winners of the economic game, someone has to be the loser. And that “someone” is much of the rest of society, even if us capsuleers don’t often have to deal with the lower classes. The Caldari, in their market-oriented ways, allow much of the same freedom in capitalistic endeavors, but even they have imposed some fairly harsh rules on how their markets can operate.

Shady Acres 3

Ihakana IV sits below the colony’s sole protector.

But these rules haven’t stopped the underlying Caldari realization that people like money. And they like having things. And if they can have things that are worth just about anything for free, someone is likely to take them up on their offer. So when confronted with the economic realities of settling a pirate-infested area of Okkelen, it’s fairly unsurprising that some government official took the logic to the next step and realize that they could offer financial incentives to settle in Okkelen. As long as the contracts had the proper fine print, the megacorps (and thus the State) could get all the benefits of a settled constellation, with the new colonists taking all of the risks and costs of driving the pirates out and settling the area. For the corporations and government, at least, it was a win-win deal. Appeal to a common State citizens sense of both patriotism and promise of future riches, and they would come running. And thus was born Shady Acres (the government official who came up with the name clearly wasn’t well-versed in the art of subtlety). As Aura explains:

Shady Acres 4Some genius working for the State had the idea that the best way to settle Okkelen was by handing out settling permits free of charge. The idea was for these hardy settlers to take care of business themselves, persuading the local banditos to leave the territories that has been theirs for years. Amazingly enough, there are individuals willing to take this on.

Shady Acres 5

The only other ship that can be found in the area.

As might be expected given the harsh economic realities of colonization and my less-than-enthusiastic discussion of Shady Acres thus far, a posh condo in downtown Caille this is not. Little money was diverted to setting up living quarters for the colonists, and the lack of efforts show. Shady Acres is stuck in a sad little corner of Ihakana, a low-security system already, in an orbit high above Ihakana IV; appropriately enough, a barren planet. The “condos” are little more than your standard asteroid-based colonies, held together by a series of metal girders. Evidently, the State tried to diffuse costs even more by getting some corporate sponsorships, but the poor condition of the Quafe sign suggests that that particular advertising deal was never renewed. The State has seen fit to give the fledgling colony some protection though: a Caldari Navy Raven sits protectively over the colony, warding off all but the most brazen of pirate attacks, and offering missions to the enterprising capsuleer. The entire area sits within a cloud of dull gray dust, adding an even more depressing tone to the scene.

Shady Acres 6

The entire area reeks of decay, but that hasn’t stopped some from trying to find their way out here.

Overall, it’s a rather dreary place and certainly nowhere I would seriously consider living. But the part that struck me was that people chose to be here.  People looked at their lives, and decided that living in a hunk of rock in the middle of a pirate infested system that’s not even under CONCORD protection should something go awry was somehow better than what they currently had. That thought stuck with me as I viewed Shady Acres. Not only did it prove the age old adage of “if you build it, they will come,” but it proved that while capitalism may be one of the best socio-economic systems that we have, it was far from perfect. Some people will always be left in the metaphorical and literal dust. I took one last look around before left. As I warped off, I made a discreet donation to the Sisters of Eve’s anti-poverty programs and hoped against hope that that would sooth my conscience. Somehow, I wasn’t holding my breath.

Basic Information:

  • Attraction: Shady Acres
  • System: Ihakana
  • Security Rating: 0.4
  • Region: The Forge
  • Potential Hazards: Ihakana is located in low security space.  Pirates and gate camps should be expected, and caution is advised.  A cov ops or other cloaking ship is recommended.
  • Additional Notes: This also serves as a Caldari COSMOS site.

Settler’s Waystation

Editor’s Note: The following letters were found on a computer floating near the Settler’s Waystation. They have been edited for clarity and length.

Waystation 1

The ruins of an abandoned Caldari station float near the Waystation

[Message begins]

Hey Mal,

I might kill Cade. I can’t believe he talked me into this. Settling Sakkikainen? Really? What was I thinking going along with this. “Lai Dai will love it if we can claim the planet” he told me. “Lai Dai will shower us with riches if we volunteer for this” he said. As of now, those “riches” he spoke of is a tiny room in a rundown station that might as well have been Minmatar built. The room is barely large enough to fit a squeaky bed, much less all our stuff. On both sides of us, couples much less happy than us seem to fight constantly, and judging from the noises I hear upstairs, the couple above us is making the best of a bad situation and putting their squeaky bed to good (and constant) use. Sakkikainen better have some fantastic land available, because right now, my sanity isn’t worth this. But I’m exhausted. I’m gonna try shoving some pillows in my ears and getting some sleep if I can. Write me when you can, I don’t trust the video screens in here.

Much love,

Miri

[Message ends]

Waystation 2

The Waystation itself sits hidden in a nearby asteroid

[Message begins]

Mal,

Well, we’ve gotten the ‘grand tour’ of our dear Settler’s Waystation, as its apparently called. It was a really corny presentation that served to alternately bore me to tears and terrify me. Get a load of their official “welcoming” message introducing us to the station:

Chaos reigns in Okkelen, with Caldari settlers at odds with entrenched bandits and each other alike. Chaotic environment creates opportunities and some will strike gold while others are ruined through bad luck. Midoki Urigamu hopes to be one of the former as he aspires to construct a rest stop in space for weary pilots.

Waystation 3

Sakkikainen peaks through the asteroid

Yeah, let’s make our guests feel right at home by reminding us that pirates are the leading cause of death in Sakikkainen. I swear, I love your brother dearly, but I just don’t think he always thinks things through. And I can’t even think because the couple next door are arguing again. I need out of here. Mal’s claiming at least that we’ll be out of here in the next few days. Lai Dai has a colony set up on Sakkikainen III, so hopefully we’ll be away from these “entrenched bandits” soon enough.

Missing you,

Miri

[Message ends]

Waystation 4

A transport makes a run towards the Waystation

[Message begins]

Mal,

I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I’m actually starting to feel a little hopeful about all of this. Maybe it’s the time I’ve gotten to think about it, I don’t know. I took a bit of a tour of the area near the station, and it helped me clear my head a bit (or maybe just getting out of that closet they call a room). It was nice to just lean back and see what there is to see. Very relaxing. The Waystation is built in a small hollowed out asteroid. The station looks even more dinky than I thought it did originally, shoved away inside the asteroid like that. There’s a larger station ruin near by. Not entirely sure what the deal is with it, but I guess Urigamu snapped it up when he bought the area? I don’t know. A few ships of some kind were also hanging around, and one of them even had a laser or something going into one of the other rocks nearby. I don’t know about any of this fancy schmancy space stuff, but at least it was fun to watch. And when I got back, I just felt, I don’t know, refreshed or something. What’s done is done, and we’re here now so we might as well make the best of it, you know? And Cade managed to book us on a shuttle flight tomorrow down to the surface. I’m hoping Lai Dai has everything at least reasonably set up, but a bit of work never killed anyone. We’ll just have to see what the future holds, right? At the very least, we’ll have video screens on the surface so we can at least have proper conversations again. But in any case, I need to get to bed. Big day tomorrow!

Waystation 5

The nearby solar harvester gathers energy needed for the Waystation

Talk to you soon,

Miri

[Message ends]

[Message begins]

We’re finally on our way! I can’t tell if I’m eager to actually get down to the surface or just happy to be away from that godforsaken room, but we’re on our way now and I’m actually excited! Before you know it I’ll be talking like one of those capsuleers with all those space terms… ha! The shuttle ride should be short and then it’s off to the homestead. We’ve gotten some pictures of it, and the area looks gorgeous. Maybe I won’t have to hurt your brother for talking me into this. Maybe this will work out after al

Waystation 6

Caldari megacorps have set up some infrastructure to help protect new colonists. It wasn’t enough to save Miri and Cade.

[Error: Code 506. No input detected]

[Draft saved at 0602]

Epilogue: I found the computer with these messages about an hour after the fight. There were no survivors. At the time of writing, Miri and Cade’s plot of land has already been reallocated by Lai Dai. I asked the Waystation for any comments, but they simply closed the comm connection. Another day in Okkelen, I suppose.

Basic Information:

  • Attraction: Settler’s Waystation
  • System: Sakkikainen
  • Security Rating: 0.6
  • Region: The Forge
  • Potential Hazards: If you’re below a -4 in security status, or -5 standing with the Caldari, you’ll have to deal with some rather unpleasant policemen.
  • Additional Notes: This also serves as a Caldari COSMOS site. Furthermore, some asteroids here are capable of being mined.

Station Foundation

Station 1

NOH Corporation attempts to show the flag in Airmia.

There’s a term from the old wet-navy days that I’ve always liked: showing the flag. It refers to the idea that it’s not always necessary or possible to have full warships at every port or colony. Instead, a nation could send in a smaller warship to remind not just the colonists, but those who might wish to exploit the colonists, who has authority over the area. These kinds of missions would often have ships at full display, ‘showing the flag’ of the nation to remind people just who has jurisdiction. Sometimes, it was used just for reassurance to the local populace that their nation cares for them and wants to protect them. At other times, it could be used to exert influence over political processes. Rarely would these kinds of missions be a significant show of strength in and of themselves, but rather it would remind people that significant strength and death-bringingness could occur if the situation doesn’t go in the way that the Powers That Be would like.

Station 2

The acts as a forward base to consolidate NOH efforts in the system.

With colonized planets spread out over dozens of light-years these days, the need to show the flag has once again re-emerged as a tactical doctrine. You can see this development at basically any gate in high security space. A token security force, be it from CONCORD, the local navy, or local customs officials, can be seen at many gates, showing that they are willing to respond to attacks with force, if necessary. The need to show the flag takes on a strange twist in the Caldari State, however, since most often the State itself is not the one showing the flag. Instead, the various megacorporations are the ones that claim territory for their employees, as well as maintain order. When the State expands into new areas, each megacorp needs to claim their own piece of the pie, and maintain their dominance by, among other things, showing the flag when needed.

Station 3

A small repair station helps to repair local vessels.

An example of this can be found in the fairly recent annexation of Airmia, in the Okkelen constellation. Airmia has been claimed by Nugoeihuvi (NOH for short), but they have yet to be able to move full corporate infrastructure into the system. Until that time, they have planted the flag through by establishing a station foundation in orbit of Airmia V. As Aura explains:

The officials supervising NOH’s colonizing efforts have ear-marked this location as an ideal place for a space station. With no station yet in the Airmia system, the construction of a station here will ensure NOH’s dominance of the system.

Station 4

One of the denizens that have set up station at this site.

For now, the Foundation appears to act as a forward operating base for NOH, forming a central repository for NOH to funnel supplies and personnel through before moving on to colonies throughout the system. This also forms the central depot for NOH defense personnel, since, like Ani for the Minmatar, Okkelen has a distinct pirate problem. Given the odd governance structure of the State, it actually falls under the duties of the various megacorporations to bring order to the area, with the State Navy reserved for the response to larger threats, such as the other empires. But to deal with the smaller pirate entity, the State’s policy is clear: if you want it, you’re going to have to earn it. And NOH is in the process of earning it, while trying to keep the other megacorps at bay.

Station 5

Parts of the station-to-be can be seen through the repair facilities here.

The site itself is fairly simplistic, at least for now. A Caldari control tower has been erected, which will presumably act as the central core of an upcoming NOH station. Basic construction of the station has already started with a ring surrounding the tower, but other than that construction seems to have halted for now. The roiling conditions in the Okkelen constellation is matched by the storms roiling on the surface of Airmia V below. Flashes of lightning punctuate the darkness, even thousands of kilometers above the planet, easily visible from the Foundation site. A few kilometers distant, NOH has also established a small repair depot for ships injured in the course of establishing a claim over the system. However, beyond the tower, the depot, and the planet, the rest of the site is rather isolated. A few smaller ships have taken up residence, offering missions either on behalf of NOH or for their own purposes. One of them appears to be a rather unfortunate capsuleer who has recently lost his ship, if the pod sitting nearby is any indication. But beyond that, NOH does not appear to have devoted many resources to the site as of yet.

I only spent a few minutes here. As you might imagine from the description, there really wasn’t much to see. But that may not always be the case. If other corporations start making a move for Airmia, NOH might have to devote considerably more resources than a mere flag to establish control here.

Basic Information:

  • Attraction: Station Foundation
  • System: Airmia
  • Security Rating: 0.6
  • Region: The Forge
  • Potential Hazards: If you’re below a -4 in security status, or -5 standing with the Caldari, you’ll have to deal with some rather unpleasant policemen.
  • Additional Notes: This also serves as a Caldari COSMOS site.
  • Scheduling Note: As I will be out of town next weekend, EVE Travel will resume the weekend of June 16.

Abandoned Astro Farm

astro farm 1

The abandoned solar farm orbits above Vahunomi VII.

Space is big. Really, really big. And it’s really easy to lose things in it, unless you remember to mark a location (anyone who’s ever lost a set of drones can testify to this). But because it’s so big and so empty, it’s often much easier to simply abandon things when they fail rather than cleaning them up in any way. Unlike on habitable planets, there are no environmental authorities to demand you clean up hazardous waste or litter or, well, anything (though the Friends of Nature probably would not mind that job if they had their way). Evidence of this inherent littering tendency can be seen just about anywhere these days in the form of abandoned colonies, stations, or research outposts. The major empires may even be the primary instigators here, as abandoned outposts of the major empires can be found far and wide in various systems.

astro farm 2

The solar harvester is not going to be having much luck this far out from the local star.

Today, though, I’m only focusing on a small abandoned outpost: the abandoned Astro Farm in Vahunomi. Frankly, the name leaves something to be desired. It reminds of those old scifi novels where the authors had to prove how futuristic something was by putting “space” or “neo” in front of it (my favorite that I’ve found was a “neosquirrel”). Once humanity actually took to space, we found out that we didn’t have to actually preface things with corny prefixes at all… except, apparently, in the case of solar harvesting farms. In any case, the term “astro farm” is fairly misleading because whoever the farmers were here certainly never grew stars. Perhaps this is just me being overly technical, but if you’re going to name something as an astro farm, I want to see some stars growing. But I suppose I digress.

astro farm 3

A Ferox-class battlecruiser has set up shop near one of the asteroids still bearing mineable materials.

As might be expected from an abandoned site, it was fairly run down. The most notable remaining piece of equipment is a radial solar harvester, which was used to capture and transmit energy from Vahunomi, the local class M star. Of course, the reason for why the farm was abandoned in the first place is fairly evident: given a class M star’s normal brightness and temperature, putting the harvester almost 2 AU’s away from the star was probably a poor business decision. Considering the fact that a class M5 star like Vahunomi only emits about 0.22% as much energy as a standard class G star (such as New Caldari), even putting a solar harvester at 1 AU probably would not have provided much in the way of usable energy levels. But at least Vahunomi VII has remarkably efficient greenhouse gases that keep the planet from freezing over.

astro farm 4

The entire site is surrounded by a golden glow

Beyond the solar harvester, there honestly was not very much to look at. Whomever had created the astro farm had apparently dragged a few asteroids to the site in order to provide the materials for construction. A number of those rocks remain near the site to this day, some with usable amounts material still there. Three people, all from the Angel Cartel, have set up shop here, looking for eager capsuleers to fulfill missions for them. As much as I have a distaste for the Cartel, their ships at least provided a little bit of scenery to break the monotony. Why they chose a Heron, a Ferox, and a Crow over standard-issue Angel ships is a bit of a mystery, but perhaps they were just trying to blend in. They appear to have rehabbed the local outpost near the solar harvester, taking over the minimal compartments and restoring many components, so the thing looked almost as good as new.

astro farm 5

The harvester isn’t even pointing the right way, which might have had something to do with it.

As you might have guessed, there really isn’t much to see here. Why CONCORD found this site notable or worthy of a beacon is honestly beyond me. Still, the golden hues of the local dust clouds do give an almost pleasant air to the entire site, and actually manages to hide the signs of decay and destitution that are oh so common at many of the abandoned sites. The few people who have decided to call this area home have at least managed to spruce the place up a bit, but frankly I’m a little surprised they even bothered, considering that they had all of space to settle in. After all, there’s plenty of other space in which to hide if you’re the Cartel. Space is really, really big, after all.

Basic Information:

  • Attraction: Abandoned Astro Farm
  • System: Vahunomi
  • Security Rating: 0.5
  • Region: The Forge
  • Potential Hazards: If you’re below a -4.5 in security status, or -5 standing with the Caldari, you’ll have to deal with some rather unpleasant policemen.
  • Additional Notes: This also serves as a Caldari COSMOS site. Furthermore, some asteroids here are capable of being mined.

Rusty Ridge Mine

Rusty Ridge 1

The dense dust clouds surrounding Rusty Ridge are easily visible here.

The miners are ascendant in New Eden. With mineral prices through the roof thanks to ongoing economic turmoil, it is suddenly once again profitable to mine. Mining may not be the most interesting profession for us demigods, but in a cluster where destruction of ships seems to be the only thing experiencing economic growth, mining the raw materials needed to replace those ships has only grown in importance. Many people often look down upon miners as people who waste their time doing a boring activity, but miners are the lifeblood of New Eden. Without miners, there would be no way for us to get the materials needed to build the new ships that us capsuleers like destroying oh so much. Mining may not be the most glorious profession out there, but it’s a noble one that is essential for the basic functioning of the New Eden economy.

Rusty Ridge 2

Professor Science banks as it heads for the heart of the dust cloud. The ghostly remains of the mining station can barely be made out.

That’s not to say that it’s necessarily a safe profession though, as proven by the ongoing Hulkageddon. With over three weeks still left in this year’s event, the total damages have already reached 634 billion isk. Organized by Helicity Boson and financed by the ever befuddling Goons, Hulkageddon has already overseen the destruction of over three thousand capsuleer-piloted mining or industrial vessels. The ironic (and perhaps intended) thing is that Hulkageddon serves to drive up mineral prices even higher, making mining yet more profitable, as long as you’re willing to take the risk of mining during these dangerous times. In many ways, Hulkageddon encapsulates that overriding New Eden principle: if you want the reward, you’d better be prepared to take the risk. It’s not a principle that miners are necessarily familiar with, but the sooner that they learn it, the sooner they’ll be able to take advantage of the profits that await them.

Rusty Ridge 3

Ishisomo cannot even be seen here, blocked out by the dense clouds.

Of course, not all mining resources last forever. Not every mine has unlimited wealth to it (something that ORE has very much taken to heart). And if you look around New Eden, there are plenty of abandoned mining colonies that show what happens when those mines run out, or even worse, if they were never able to begin in the first place. As might be expected, these kinds of abandoned mines are particularly common in high security space, since those areas of space have been developed the longest. As such, the empires have had plenty of time to pick the bones of mined asteroids dry in search of mineral wealth. The Caldari in particular are known for this, with their relentless pursuit of corporate efficiencies. Indeed, today’s site is the remains of one of those Caldari mining colonies: The Rusty Ridge Mine.

Rusty Ridge 4

A Cormorant has set up shop near the large cache of veldspar.

Somewhat surprisingly, Aura had very little information for me regarding the background of Rusty Ridge. I suppose there’s little to really distinguish Rusty Ridge from the countless other abandoned mining projects out there though. Indeed, the most notable thing about Rusty Ridge was the incredibly thick dust fields surrounding the old mining project. While most sites have some form of nebulosity that end up surrounding them, I have never seen dust fields quite this thick. In fact, in the center of the clouds, they entirely blocked out Ishisomo, the local star. Instead, the particles of dust reflected and refracted Ishisomo’s light, given the cloud a rather disturbing glow, as if it was about to collapse into itself and form its own star. My sensors informed me that that was not the case, but it was still unnerving to have to put down my view filters in order to properly view the rest of the site.

Rusty Ridge 5

The serpentine remains of asteroids already sucked of all useful materials.

Not that there was much of it to see. Near the center of the site sits the remains of a large Caldari industrial complex, clearly the original focal point of the mining complex. Unlike some of the other sites I’ve seen, scavengers here seem to have picked clean any of the mining equipment that the megacorporations may or may not have left lying around. As such, the station superstructure, long abandoned, was the only man-made structure left at Rusty Ridge, leaving it as a ghostly shell, barely visible in the depths of the nebula. I wasn’t entirely alone at the site, however. Two agents have set up shop near Rusty Ridge, each asking me to help in their plots to maneuver one megacorporation into dominance over the others. Being a proud Gallente citizen, I politely declined to help in their corporate machinations.

Rusty Ridge 6

The station remains are almost entirely invisible. In the distance, Ishisomo VIII is visible

One thing that surprised me about my surroundings was the fact that there were still some mineable materials left. There was a significant chunk of veldspar left to be harvested by some fortunate soul who, unlike me, actually had mining lasers attached to take advantage of it. But most of the remaining rocks were sucked dry of any usable resources, leaving only a serpentine shell, or left to gently disperse in the solar winds, adding to the eerily bright gas clouds surrounding the heart of the station.

I admittedly didn’t spend much time at the site. Mining had never quite been my calling, and I know that my insights into miners could only be those of an outsider. But that doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate what they do both for me personally and for all of New Eden. And I know that, especially these days, despite the lack of excitement in their tasks, they were being very well rewarded for their efforts.  After all, the miners are ascendant.

Basic Information:

  • Attraction: Rusty Ridge Mine
  • System: Ishisomo
  • Security Rating: 0.7
  • Region: The Forge
  • Potential Hazards: If you’re below a -3.5 in security status, or -5 standing with theCaldari, you’ll have to deal with some rather unpleasant policemen.
  • Additional Notes: This also serves as a Caldari COSMOS site. Furthermore, some asteroids here are capable of being mined.

New Jita Memorial

New Jita 1

Tattered remnants of the original monument to the winners of the Ruevo Aram Riddle Competition

Editor’s Note: For anyone interested in reading the original background of the Memorial, please see here.

The word “milestone” dates back to the Dark Ages of New Eden, before any of the current civilizations (beyond the Jove of course, but they hardly count) had retaken the stars. Apparently, a “mile” used to be a measure a distance in a particularly gruesome measuring system. Something called a “foot”, which measured 12 “inches,” was the basis, and 5,280 feet went into a mile. Whoever created that particular system of measurement clearly was a braver man than I. Regardless, milestones entered the modern lexicon because on Amarr Prime, the Udorians used the mile system, and at every mile would place a stone to mark how far long the road a traveler was. “Milestones” soon evolved to refer not just to notable distance markers, but also any notable event in a person’s life. While (thankfully) the mileage system itself has faded away, the words never have.

New Jita 2

The head of the original monument floats nearby, severed from the main monument.

I bring up milestones today because today marks not just one, but 3 separate milestones of my own. First, today marks the 4th anniversary of me graduating from the Center for Advanced Studies with my pilot’s license. Today also marks the 2nd anniversary of this travelogue of New Eden. Finally, this marks the 100th entry on said travelogue. Long time readers may know that I hesitate to focus on myself much in these entries. New Eden itself is the story, and I’m merely a minor player in the vast web of its history. Still, I hope my readers will forgive me a bit of introspection on this fairly momentous occasion. That a short entry two years ago about the EVE Gate would span such a massive undertaking was really quite unthinkable to me. With 100 sites profiled, and still plenty more to come, I am quite happy in the knowledge that this will not be the last milestone I find on my journey.

New Jita 3

Professor Science approaches the ruined monument in its new paint job.

But not all milestones are positive ones. New Eden has recently undergone a milestone of sorts: CONCORD’s over-aggressive attempts to dictate capsuleer activities and funnel them into a variety of (generally unwanted) activities. Capsuleers responded to this attempt to dictate how to spend their time in classic capsuleer fashion: organizing what is almost certainly the single largest riot in known history. Riots broke out in most major trade hubs for days on end, with capsuleers venting their frustration in the only way they knew how: live ammunition. Rens, Amarr, and Dodixie all saw local fluid routers jammed with protest messages against CONCORD policy. But nowhere was the riot larger than the central trade hub of Jita. The object of the mob’s rage: the Jita Memorial, originally built to commemorate the winners of the Ruevo Aram Riddle Competition, back in YC 108. The poor thing did not take it well, and today its tattered remains are all that’s left. Aura was able to dig up the following for me:

New Jita 4This was once a memorial to the winners of a riddle contest sponsored by the late entrepreneur Ruevo Aram. After standing proud for half a decade, it was destroyed in late YC 113 by capsuleers who were staging a mass uprising against an intolerable status quo of intergalactic affairs. Today, the ruins of this once-great work of art stand as a testament to the fact that change is the universe’s only constant.

New Jita 5

Another view of the wrecked statue atop the memorial

The now-destroyed monument still sits only a few kilometers from the main trading hub in New Eden, Jita IV, Moon 4, at the Caldari Navy Assembly Plant. Wreckage from the riots remain, strewn about the old temple-like structure. A monument to the tenacity of capsuleers everywhere, and their determination to not let anyone tell us what we should be doing.

So it seems like both myself and New Eden are reaching our own milestones. New Eden’s showing of the lengths capsuleers will go to demonstrate our discontent, and myself with a multitude of anniversaries and records. As we approach the traditional winter season festivals, I can only add this: A happy holidays, and my sincerest thanks, to all. Safe travels.

Basic Information:

  • Attraction: Jita Memorial
  • System: Jita, near Jita 4-4 Caldari Navy Assembly Plant
  • Security Rating: 0.9
  • Region: The Forge
  • Potential Hazards: If you’re below a -3 in security status, or -5 standing with the Caldari, you’ll have to deal with some rather unpleasant policemen. Furthermore, there’s always the possibility of spatial anomalies (OOC: Lag) in Jita due to its high volume of traffic. Because of the high volume of traffic, suicide gankers and station camps (not to mention isk scammers) can be common.
  • Scheduling Note: Thanks to aforementioned winter holidays, EVE Travel will be on break until the first full weekend of January! Happy Holidays!

Hangman’s Hill

Ihakana1

A seemingly normal station.

What is that saying again? “All that glitters is not gold”? While I am normally all for shiny objects, sometimes things are simply not as they appear. I had been preparing to head back to my home base in Domain when I decided to dock up before the rush to take care of a few last minute items. Ihakana was the last system in my route, so I looked at my options. Two State-owned station and a mysterious one simply named “Hangman’s Hill”. I set a course and popped in a search query to Aura. She spit back some results almost instantaneously:

Ihakana2Harsh environment breeds harsh people and in a place where the most popular hobby is murder and mayhem, dying of old age is a feat few accomplish. In a place like Ihakana everything and everyone is somewhat good, somewhat bad and very, very ugly.

Ihakana3

I attempt to take the Professor in for a landing near the so-called "Gallows" and the gambling hall.

My eyebrows went up a bit at that description. Heavens know that I had enjoyed my CONCORD protection, but I seriously wonder sometimes if they simply devoted too many resources to capsuleer enforcement. This wasn’t some two-bit drug market or gambling hall, but a full-on station of sin within the confines of CONCORD and State jurisdiction. And there wasn’t a single law enforcement officer to be seen! Maybe I could buy local State officials being paid off (it wouldn’t be too much of a stretch), but CONCORD as well? Something fishy was going on here. Regardless, I still needed those supplies, so I decided to attempt a docking. It seemed to be a fairly standard Gallente-designed station, with an extra landing pad attached near the bottom. I attempted to dock there, but Station control wouldn’t even deign to acknowledge my existence. Either they were passed out drunk or I was missing the code word…

Ihakana4

Another view of the station

Clearly, I wasn’t going to get anywhere. I quickly realigned and docked with a formal State station to load up on the supplies I needed. As I came onto the gate out of the system, I noticed a CONCORD swarm, leftover from some poor capsuleer who had probably looked left instead of right in violation of CONCORD regulation 4321(c)(2)(i) or something like that. I shook my head in disgust, and jumped out of the system.

Basic Information:

  • Attraction: Hangman’s Hill
  • System: Ihakana
  • Security Rating: 0.4
  • Region: The Forge
  • Potential Hazards: Ihakana is a low security system.  Pirates and gate camps should be expected.  A cov ops or other cloaking ship is recommended. Additionally, the following warning can be found on the system’s wiki site: “This system is currently the home base of Idle Empire, who were most notable for their exploits in the ‘Alliance Tournament’, and in the fanfest PVP tournament in Finland. Any travelers through this system should beware as they will shoot on sight.” I, however, did not notice any particular presence in system.
  • Additional Notes: This additionally serves as a COSMOS site.

Devil’s Dig Site

Devil's Dig 1

An overview of the excavation site.

They say that all good things come to an end. Sad as it may be, though, the universe continues. Hydrogen keeps fusing into helium. Planets keep spinning. Even when it seems as if your entire society is collapsing down on top of you, life goes on. As I’m sure it felt to those humans who survived the collapse of the EVE Gate. I couldn’t even begin to imagine what that must have been like. to know that your homeworld is a wormhole jump away, then seeing it collapse in the blink of an eye, and left only with the remote and sparse lands of New Eden. Of course, these days New Eden was far from sparse or remote, but back then, when we were first colonizing these worlds, it was a true wildland. And to be cut off from everything and everyone you knew… well, it’s no wonder that most colonies collapsed and perished. Including, I would surmise, the one whose ruins have been recently found in Otitoh. I ran across the dig site, and knew that I had to go see it for myself. En route, I perused the GalNet for some information:

Devil's Dig 2The Devil’s Dig Site is single-handedly responsible for the great hubbub in the Okkelen constellation these last few years. If it wasn’t for the discovery of artifacts from an ancient human civilization dating back to when the EVE Gate was still open, the constellation would still be a desolate, dreary place totally ignored by all but a few bandits.

Devil's Dig 3

The State keeps a very watchful eye on the progress of the excavation.

Funny how these deep connections to the past drew out both the best and worst in us. The place was crawling with guards to ensure that no one ran off with anything important. Of course, since they were State naval ships, I suspected that if the Caldari found anything of real value, they’d “neglect” to mention it to the other powers (though I honestly couldn’t say that any of the other major powers wouldn’t do the same). Regardless, archeological excavations were clearly in full swing as I arrived at the dig site. I didn’t want to risk disturbing anything of value, and as such I stayed near the fringes of the excavation site. Of course, it’s much less likely that the Professor would harm something (unless I used her to ram the site or something), but as an amateur scientist, I felt it only respectful to keep my distance.

Devil's Dig 4

The site was a mixture of both old structures and new ones to support the science teams.

The first thing I noticed of the dig itself was that one of the structures looked oddly familiar. Since Friggi was only one jump over, I couldn’t help but think that the odd structure in that system was created by the same people who created the Dig Site. Why, then, this site warranted so much more attention than Friggi was beyond me. But something, clearly, had the archeologists excited. The research center, vats of chemicals, and sheer amount guards proved that much. Beyond the odd circle of stones, there also seemed to be some kind of temple structure. The lines were distinctly similar to Amarr temples, yet the Empire was fairly distant. Odd.

Devil's Dig 6

A few of the structures present at the dig site

The center of the complex seemed to be a large and potentially hollowed out asteroid. My scans of it were inconclusive, but I suspected that that was as much from Caldari dampeners as anything else. It certainly seemed imposing, floating amidst a small blueish cloud, dwarfing the Professor. Nearby, the scientists had set up an acceleration gate to get to another part of the site. Unfortunately, it was locked to me unless I possessed a certain kind of key. The guards didn’t look like they were particularly open to reason on this one, either.

Devil's Dig 6

This seemed to be the central lab and living quarters of the scientists.

I tried to take in the sheer temporal distance that separated me from the people who built this. Most estimates put an almost 16,000 year gulf between the collapse of the Gate and the present, a staggering amount of time for someone who measures their age in decades, not millennia. As sad as it is to think of what humanity missed by being set back so far by the collapse of the Gate, I couldn’t get myself to focus much on it. There were far more immediate mysteries that affected the here and now to worry about first. After all, life goes on.

Basic Information:

  • Attraction: Devil’s Dig Site
  • System: Otitoh
  • Security Rating: 0.5
  • Region: The Forge
  • Potential Hazards: If you’re below a -4.5 in security status, or -5 standing with the Caldari, you’ll have to deal with some rather unpleasant policemen.
  • Additional Notes: This additionally serves as a COSMOS site.

Bandit Outpost

Bandit Outpost 1

The hollowed out remains of a large asteroid serves as the perfect hiding place

Perhaps one of the most frustrating aspects of being a capsuleer is the never-ending battle between law and lawlessness. Every time I scanned down and destroyed a hidden pirate or enemy base, another one seemed to pop up almost magically. Of course, the cynic in me just see the new bases as a new opportunity to ransack a base for salvaged parts, datacores, or other helpful inventions. But the non-cynical part sees yet another pirate foothold trying to ruin the peace and tranquility that can be found throughout most (though admittedly not all) of Empire space.

Bandit Outpost 2

A pirate hauler

Part of me almost thinks that most of the pirate bases are set up purely to be torn down by us capsuleers. Of course, that’s a crazy idea: there’s no way that could be profitable for the pirates. Still, though, some bases are more permanent than others. Such as the surprisingly well-marked and public pirate base that I found in Friggi. CONCORD had even been so kind as to place a beacon for wayward travelers such as myself to find the site. I suspect that CONCORD tolerates this base because it doesn’t seem to be a base of operations for the pirates, but rather just a market for all your less-than-wholesome needs. CONCORD has enough to worry about between Sansha invasions, capsuleer battles, and other nefarious happenings to worry about a market. As long as they paid taxes on the goods sold, I suspect that CONCORD is willing to look the other way.

Bandit Outpost 3

The pleasure hub

The market itself could be found tucked away among the hollowed-out remains of a large asteroid. All that remained of the original ‘roid were the twisted structural veins that gave the original asteroid some semblance of structural integrity. Of course, these also happened to be the veins worth the least, so it makes sense that they remained untouched by miners. Inside the twisted spikes of rock, a surprisingly well-developed marketplace could be found. Just about any illicit thing that you needed could be found within these shards of rock. Of course, if this were the Federation, I wondered if most of these things would need to remain quite as hidden as they were.

Bandit Outpost 4

A casino is among the attractions of the Outpost

The three major attractions to be found within Outpost were a casino, a narcotics supermarket, and a pleasure hub. Surprisingly, no guard ships could be found circling the outpost. Rather, the only ship other than my own was a hauler sitting just outside the web of asteroidal remains, either unwilling or unable to attempt to get closer to the various markets. All the structures sat within a few kilometers of each other, and small personnel shuttles could be seen zipping between them every now and then. It seemed to be a slow day for them overall, however. I was tempted to stop by and try my hands at the slots in the casino, but I decided that there were better uses of my isk.

Bandit Outpost 5

A narcotics supermarket

I spent a few moments observing the Outpost before heading on my way. I didn’t want to get too wrapped up in the lawless lifestyle; it might make me think twice the next time I scanned down a pirate base, which was the last thing I needed. Pirates may be pirates, and anti-pirates may be anti-pirates, but the lord of them all, I daresay, was the need for ISK.

Basic Information:

  • Attraction: Bandit Outpost
  • System: Friggi
  • Security Rating: 0.5
  • Region: The Forge
  • Potential Hazards: If you’re below a -4.5 in security status, or -5 standing with the Caldari, you’ll have to deal with some rather unpleasant policemen.
  • Additional Notes: This additionally serves as a COSMOS site.

Clear Water Spring

Clear Water Spring1

Certainly one of the stranger springs that I've seen in my days.

Admittedly, it’s been a while since I’ve been planetside. Even during my breaks off-ship, I tend to hole up in a station rather than shuttling to the nearest inhabited world. Something about wide open spaces when I’m protected by mere fabric makes me… nervous. Paranoid, really. Staying inside the enclosed stations is more for my state of mind than anything else. So it’s been a while since I’ve really felt the earth beneath my feet, or watched a sunset. But that’s not to say that I’ve forgotten what those things are. I know what fields are, and I know what waterfalls are. And I know what springs are. Or at least, so I thought. Then I flew into Friggi.

Clear Water Spring2

The object in the middle of the site. Friggi VII hangs in the distance.

I was understandably intrigued that CONCORD had marked something labeled as “Clear Water Spring.” I quickly made my way over, not entirely sure what to expect. Maybe some kind of comet to supply the local stations with water? Some kind of magical water-spouting device? Interestingly, despite quite a bit of searching on the GalNet, I wasn’t able to discover all that much information on the area. It seemed that, despite a few hints, I would be flying into the unknown here. With that, I angled the Professor towards the site, and the Buzzard slipped into warp.

Clear Water Spring3

The Professor flies among the strangely arranged rubble

What I found there wasn’t what I was expecting. I was, at the very least, expecting something… a little wetter. Instead, what I found were a bunch of monolithic asteroids arranged curiously. They seemed to form a fence around a central, glowing sphere or pod. The Professor’s sensors couldn’t make heads or tails of it. I couldn’t even tell what was causing it to glow. The asteroids surrounding the slowly pulsing sphere were all very tall and thin, but seemingly pretty normal. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if they had all been cleaved from the same larger asteroid. Nothing worth mining, of course.

Clear Water Spring4

The strange central sphere seen through the field of asteroids.

A few ships sat nearby. I tried to engage them in conversation, but they seemed to have some other things on their minds. Kept offering me jobs, regardless of what I asked them. You know, typical Caldari: always looking out for isk over anything else. After trying a few times, I gave up and closed the channels with the two apparent agents. With no prospect of figuring out even why this area was called “Clear Water Spring,” I had to place this site in my “ongoing mysteries” stack. That stack was significantly higher than my “solved mysteries” stack, alas. As I vectored off, I considered calling in a few favors. Maybe some time planetside wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world. At the very least, it would let me see an actual spring…

Basic Information:

  • Attraction: Clear Water Spring
  • System: Friggi
  • Security Rating: 0.5
  • Region: The Forge
  • Potential Hazards: If you’re below a -4.5 in security status, or -5 standing with the Caldari, you’ll have to deal with some rather unpleasant policemen.
  • Additional Notes: This additionally serves as a COSMOS site.

Red Rock Outpost

Otomainen1

The Professor makes its way through the dense nebular haze

Certain areas of New Eden were better known for their various sights than others. I’m not entirely sure what caused both natural and man-made phenomena to congregate in these seemingly few systems with such a high density, but I wasn’t about to complain about something that made my job a bit simpler. As I was browsing potential places to visit for the day, one of them caught my eye. I quickly undocked from my temporary base of operations and made my way over to the Red Rock Outpost. En route, Aura pulled up some information for me:

Otomainen2Once the jewel of the Otomainen system, Red Rock Outpost once had the greatest concentration of Arkonor ore known to man. Yet it took the ruthlessly efficient Caldari mere 10 years to strip mine it all. Some small nuggets may remain, but far from enough to warrant any kind of corporate-scale mining.

Otomainen3

A small workshop sits amid a tangle of mined out asteroids

I came out of warp and immediately had to check that my camera drones weren’t malfunctioning. Everything was… well, everything was red. I’ve seen small nebulae before in my explorations of New Eden, but never such a pervasive or large one. Rather than just a few small clouds kept together by random gravitational forces, the entire area was suffused with the small red dust particles. Given the apparent size of the nebula, at least from inside the nebula, I was surprised that I couldn’t see it from outside of the nebula. When I had first warped to it from the gate, I couldn’t see even a shimmer of red until I was almost inside of the thing.

Otomainen4

An abandoned and worn out drill floats among the remains of the asteroids.

Beyond the nebula itself, the Professor’s sensors picked up a number of structures. My camera drones had a bit of a hard time peering through the haze of the nebula, but eventually I was able to make out what the sensors were referring to. Most prevalent was the giant station sitting in the middle of the complex, seemingly abandoned. No doubt it was built here in the heyday of the arkonor mining boom, but why the mining corporation never bothered moving it was beyond me. Regardless, I wasn’t able to dock there to stock up on supplies, so I moved on. A few pieces of scattered and abandoned mining equipment littered the area as well, most notably a large drill sitting next to the tangled remains of a mined out asteroid.

Otomainen5

Sunrise in the nebula

A few ships could be found amidst the hollowed out ruins of asteroids, butthey seemed willing to talk about little else than that their parent corporations don’t like me very much. As if I needed them reminding me of that. There was also some kind of workshop nearby, presumably involved in some kind of manufacturing, but I couldn’t tell much more than that.

I flew the Professor around the nebula for a bit, enjoying the stark change from the usual starlit backgrounds. With Otomainen barely piercing the dusty nebular walls, a suffused glow instead seemed to come from the entirety of the nebula. While it was certainly a shock when I first came out of warp, I soon grew accustomed to, and even enjoyed, the change in scenery. Eventually, of course, it was time for me to set off. There were other things to see, and more importantly, more isk to be made.

Basic Information:

  • Attraction: Red Rock Outpost
  • System: Otomainen
  • Security Rating: 0.5
  • Region: The Forge
  • Potential Hazards: If you’re below a -4.5 in security status, or -5 standing with the Caldari, you’ll have to deal with some rather unpleasant policemen.
  • Additional Notes: This additionally serves as a COSMOS site, and no, their agents tend to not like me much. Also, I should note that while I neglected to specifically look for whether there was any arkonor present (as the site text suggests), given the fact that there didn’t appear to be miners nearby, I highly doubt it.

Solari Constructs

Wirashoda1

The Professor's shields struggled to keep Wirashoda's heat at bay as it approaches the Construct

EDIT: This site no longer appears to be present in Wirashoda. Please see additional notes.

When flying through New Eden, it is often easy to forget that stars are more than just a backdrop in space. Besides anchoring all the planets in a system in orbit, stars provide the warmth necessary to sustain life, not to mention enough light to ensure that I can actually see what I’m doing wherever I am in a system. And all of this comes from a ball of gas and plasma massive enough to slam atoms together fast enough to convert some of that mass into energy. In many ways, main sequence stars are amazing, if oft ignored, things.

Wirashoda2

An asteroid colony silhouetted against nearby Wirashoda

With putting out enough light and heat to push back the cold darkness in space, it was always a little surprising to me that more races didn’t better utilize that energy, of course. It was for this reason that I was pleasantly surprised to see something called the “Solari Construct” when I entered the dead-end system of Wirashoda. Intrigued, I immediately told the Professor to set a course, and was sent on a course barreling towards the center of the system.

Wirashoda3

The Construct, as well as a number of other solar harvesters, stretch out in the distance

As I came out of warp, I immediately had to dim the sensor inputs. The Professor stood a mere 5,000 kilometers from the fiery surface of Wirashoda itself, and the star’s proximity threatened to blind me. Aura nearly instantaneously responded, and within moments I was able to actually look at where I was. Near my warp-in point, a solar harvester sat, soaking in the sunlight. A line of them stretched off into the distance, at least 4 or 5 of them. The graceful structures looked like upside down raindrops: thick near the “top” (if such an orientation is really possible in space), only to have it trail off to a point.

Wirashoda4

A close up of the abandoned asteroid complex. In the distance, the Solari Monument floats.

Beside the solar harvesters there sat two apparently abandoned asteroid complexes. Like similar complexes throughout the cluster, these consisted of essentially hollowed out asteroids bound together with a number of metal pipes. I detected no apparent signs of life in either of the constructs, and I wondered for how long the Construct had been abandoned. It couldn’t have been all that long, as everything in the area seemed in fairly good condition. Even the nearby Solari Monument only showed minimal signs of aging, despite the harsh conditions this close to the star.

Wirashoda5

The Solari Memorial

As with so many things in New Eden, the builders of this construct, or even its purpose, are mysteries. Why build SO close to the star? What were the builders trying to accomplish? How had they maintained the structures so well in light of the heat and destructive rays coming from the star? By this point, of course, I have relegated myself to never fully understanding the mysteries found throughout New Eden. Still, it wouldn’t stop me from trying.

Basic Information:

  • Attraction: Solari Constructs
  • System: Wirashoda
  • Security Rating: 0.5
  • Region: The Forge
  • Potential Hazards: If you’re below a -4.5 in security status, or -5 standing with the Caldari, you’ll have to deal with some rather unpleasant policemen.
  • Additional Notes: It doesn’t appear as if this site is present in Wirashoda anymore, possibly removed in the Tyrannis expansion and replaced by an Abandoned Mining Colony.

Jita Memorial

Jita1

The Professor going in for a look

Editor’s Note (12/17/YC 113): Since the publishing of this article, the Memorial has been subject to massive capsuleer damage. This Article relates to the original Memorial, as it stood prior to the summer of YC 113. An updated accounting can be found here.

Let’s see here… thunderbolts are going for… 25 isk per missile?!  That’s a great dea- Wait, no, that’s 250 isk per missile… no thank you.  I “closed” the market screen projected into my brain with a thought to Aura, and sighed.  Yet another person almost scammed in the great marketplace that was Jita.  Thankfully, I had managed to save my hard-earned isk by re-reading exactly what I was agreeing to before I completed it.  Jita will steal your money in a heartbeat if you let your guard down around her.

Jita2

I wasn't quite sure what I was supposed to be remembering with this memorial

So intent was I on the market screen that I had almost missed a small object floating a few dozen kilometers out from the main trading station in system, Jita 4-4 as it was colloquially known, or one of two Caldari Navy Assembly Plants found in the system (the other is a moon out around Moon 5 of Jita IV).  The station docking manager sounded a little peeved that I canceled the docking procedure just as I was coming up in queue, but I had to go check this thing out.  Quickly, I re-vectored the Professor away from the long line of ships waiting to dock at the galaxy’s market.  I had been to Jita countless times in my career as a capsuleer, how had I managed to miss this?

Jita3

The main market hub floats in the background

As my trusty Buzzard sped across the void towards the monument, I had Aura pull up some basic information.  Almost immediately, she spat back: “A Memorial to the winners Ruevo Aram Riddle Competition, Heinky and Shin Ra of Burn Eden.”  Upon further reflection… it turns out I had absolutely no idea what this was referring to. It took some digging to find relevant information, but apparently back in YC 108 it was the talk of the cluster. Ruevo Aram, apparently wealthy even beyond my wildest dreams, died and left most of his vast fortune with the Caldari State. However, he also left a fairly strange clause in his will (answers to the riddles are in parentheses):

At the time of my death, one person will have a chance to make history. In the event of my death, ninety-eight percent of my wealth is to be transferred to the government of the Caldari Sate, they have their orders on what to do with it. The rest will go to the first person who solves these eleven riddles:

1
You might not heed this advice or care
do not go into HED
it’s guaranteed that somebody’s there
to fill your body with lead.
(HED-GP)

2
Twenty-two trustworthy men
in a popular traders den
mysterious number four
opens this magical door.
(Nonni)

3
Coming and laying their tents
causing shouts and creating dents
holding their ground for weeks
reaching their peaks
until the coming of tweaks.
(Mara)
4
Once friends
once learning
now fiends
now burning
forever.
(Crielere)

5
Down in Stain
there lies a system
with one way in
it is most eastern
(32-GI9)

6
Many a travellers dream
as hopeless at it may seem
a friend of mine named Gep
is the closest you’ll ever get.
(LS-JEP)

7
She foiled their plan
and most of them ran
it did not last
this empire of the past.
(HLW-HP)

8
Fast deployment and swift results
they’ll work for whoever pays
a night stalkers honor heavily weighs
on the orders he gets and obey’s.
(5ZXX-K)

9
To do is to be
to do is me
machine I am
scientist I am
or rather, was.
(Isseras)

10
A highly dangerous place
you’ll find the next clue
hidden away
close to the diamond ace.
(Otitoh)

11
A purple Amarr to the south
deep in the empire’s mouth.
above the sea with two ways in
find this system and win.
(Saminer)

Despite the apparent vagueness of the riddles, capsuleers were true to form and discovered the answers to the riddle and explained how they found the answers within 12 hours. It involved delving fairly deep into the history of New Eden to discover where Aram had hidden his answers. I’m not entirely sure what his answers were – apparently when someone discovered the proper site, they were merely given a seemingly random character – but the results of the search are plain as day, and sitting right before me every time I fly to Jita.

The memorial itself was fairly straight forward.  As seems to be the custom in New Eden, the memorial evoked temples of old that you might find planetside.  Sitting atop the memorial, if there was a thing such as “atop” in space, stood a man, arms outstretched away from Jita, almost as if he was giving the marketplace a cold shoulder.

I spent a few more moments considering the memorial before turning my way back to the station.  Regardless of this man’s opinion of the market, there were still some thunderbolts I needed to buy…

Basic Information:

  • Attraction: Jita Memorial
  • System: Jita, near Jita 4-4 Caldari Navy Assembly Plant
  • Security Rating: 0.9
  • Region: The Forge
  • Potential Hazards: If you’re below a -3 in security status, or -5 standing with the Caldari, you’ll have to deal with some rather unpleasant policemen. Furthermore, there’s always the possibility of spatial anomalies (OOC: Lag) in Jita due to its high volume of traffic. Because of the high volume of traffic, suicide gankers and station camps (not to mention isk scammers) can be common.