…and make good on a threat.
We got the Citadel expansion in EVE Online… what… two weeks ago?
For two weeks, citadels have been a thing. I have been seeing news items and blog posts and guides about them. People have been praising them, complaining about them, building them, and blowing them up. I even saw a Jabber ping saying that MiniLuv had ganked somebody hauling a Fortizar, the large citadel, and that it dropped, so they scooped it up to be used later.
I just hadn’t actually seen one myself. I wasn’t even sure where I might find one, citadels locations not being something that gets broadcast on DOTLAN. So I asked #tweetfleet where I might go citadel spotting. A couple of options presented, the most convenient of which were around Jita.
I have an alt in Jita. Actually, I have a couple there, but I took the one I could remember and name, undocked and warped off to the Perimeter gate, jumped in to that system, and saw… nothing.
Well, I saw plenty of things. There were lots of ships going to and fro, a couple of people obviously scanning for valuable cargo, the usual celestials and what not, but no citadels.
And then I remembered that this was a new item added by CCP. The company really has only two options when it comes to adding new items to the overview; defaulting them on and visible, or defaulting them off and essentially invisible.
CCP always seems to goes with the latter.
While I appreciate the chaos and comedy that adds to the game… how many people were popped by T3 destroyers or command destroyers they didn’t “see” because they were turned off in the overview, and how many tech II logi frigates lived to fight another day because CCP had given them overview stealth by default… I am not convinced that is really the right choice.
Anyway, I opened up the overview settings and added citadels, along with the other new items in the same category, to my travel overview and, hey presto, I was now aware of two citadels lurking in Perimeter. Some people were buying into the idea that all you had to do is put up a citadel outside Jita, lower the tax rate, and the riches would roll in.
I picked one, warped to it and took my first look at a citadel in space.
That is an Astrahus, the medium size in the medium, large, extra large continuum of citadel sizing. It is even kind of pretty, but I immediately wanted to know what was going on around it. What are all those lines and bits in space? The whole thing looked a lot more… busy… than your standard space station or POS.
So I started to struggle with the camera in an attempt to get a closer look. I had already put the focus of the camera on the citadel, so I figured I would just zoom on in and look at the details.
However, the in-game camera has a limit on how close you can zoom it in to something directly. Everything in New Eden has a bubble of “personal space” which the camera is not allowed to violate, at least not directly. So I could get a little closer, but not actually close enough to see details.
There are, of course, ways for space paparazzi like myself to get past this personal space limit. I put the camera back on my ship and sailed in for a closer look.
I gathered that the lines were some sort of nod to there being docking/undocking lanes of approach and what not, like pilots in New Eden ever color within the lines. But there were all sorts of other little bits that I wanted to see up close, little yellow rectangles and orange squares and so forth. So as my little ship closed in, it dragged the camera with it until these items started to resolve themselves into the visible.
The yellow bits turned out to be warning signs about the status of the citadel. It had been put into a sieged state during a previous vulnerability window I gather, so was in danger of being destroyed at some future time slot.
On the other hand, I am still not sure what the orange square is about.
As I was doing this the EVE Online client locked up. I managed to get out of the client window… I play full screen… via control-alt-delete and launching the Task Manager, at which point I was greeted by a Windows alert saying that the “CCP ExeFile” had stopped working.
I’ve been seeing this quite a bit of late, but previously it had only been happening when I was tabbed out of the game. Getting close to a citadel seemed to be aggravating the issue… or causing a new issue. This happened half a dozen times while I was looking at citadels during this session, enough for me to open up a bug report. I sent off a screen shot and a few of the .dmp files that the client creates when it crashes and hoped they could find something.
I actually got a response later saying that the problem seemed to be coming from a third EVE Voice library was causing the crash and that I should turn off EVE Voice.
Of course, I already had EVE Voice turned off so, in sort of reverse tech support logic, I turned it on then off again just to see if that did anything. We shall see if the crashes continue. Take note if you are seeing something similar I guess.
Anyway, I logged back in and docked up in this sieged citadel, which was about the same as docking up in a station, so I undocked again.
From this citadel I could actually see the other citadel in Perimeter. They were on the same grid, though in space anything smaller than a moon fades to a dot in a couple hundred kilometers. So I warped off to that one to see what might be different there.
The second citadel was another Astrahus and so was much like the first. The primary difference was that this one was not sieged and so lacked the little yellow warning signs all over the docking area. Those were replaced by green signs which announced that the citadel was invulnerable.
I am not sure why invulnerability rates a “caution” warning, but there it is. The orange squares had been replaced by green ones, so I am going to guess that they were some sort of additional warning about the sieged stated of the other citadel.
Of course, now that I had seen a sieged and an invulnerable citadel, I felt compelled to complete the set and find one that was vulnerable. I flew through the systems adjacent to Jita in search of more citadels. I found some, including the one in New Caldari which I mentioned in a tweet, but none of them were vulnerable.
That isn’t surprising I suppose, given that the vulnerability window for a medium citadel is 3 hours a week.
Anyway, there it is, I saw a citadel… or actually several. Op success. I think the only thing left to do is try to give them some sense of scale, so here is my wee rookie ship passing by the right tower (if you’re facing the docking area) of and Astrahus.
You can see two lines of light terminating at my ship. The one angling up and to the right is the ship’s exhaust trail. The other one is the tethering effect, which is something that kicks in if you have the right standings and are within the outer circle of lights arrayed about the structure. I took that screen shot and then the client locked up again and I called it a night. My alt is still floating about in New Caldari.
And now that I have added in that nice sense of scale, let me just screw that up with this image that has been going around since citadels showed up.
That sort of messes with you, doesn’t it? But at least there is a titan in the background to give you another measure of size against a know “big” thing in space.
I am not the only one who went out looking for citadels this week. EVE Hermit had his own encounter. He just didn’t spew out quite as many words in the process.