The Federation Grand Prix event has returned to New Eden.
The event, which involves flying from the Luminaire system to various points around New Eden, has had its ups and downs. A few years back I referred to it as the great shuttle abandonment event because capsuleers decided that the most efficient way to run the race was to just go one way in a cheap shuttle, jump out, then self-destruct their capsule.
The “racing” aspect of the event was always a bit dubious. Putting a timer on people makes them anxious and a one way race inevitably means you’re out in the sticks and need to get back home. There is no hearthstone in EVE Online… well, there are jump clones, but there is a 19 hour cool down on that even at max skills.
This year there are some fresh destinations. With the March update on Tuesday several new monuments were introduced into New Eden. This year CCP wants to send you off to see some of these new sights, as well as some older landmarks.
To get started you need to fly to the Luminaire system in Gallente space, then warp to the Federation Grand Prix start line beacon. Once you land there you will claim your first prize point and get your first destination on the tour. For me it was the Project Discovery Phase Two monument in Pakhshi, just a few gates away.
Of course, my first question on arriving there was “Who puts advertisements on a monument?” Must have been a Caldari contractor.
Overall the tour isn’t bad, though I do have a few nits to pick.
First, the destination systems are not exactly called out in bold, flashing text. It isn’t so bad when the system name is in the name of the monument, but for other… or the occasional waypoint destination… you have to look in The Agency to get the system name.
Speaking of Molea, there isn’t a beacon for the memorial that I can see. I happened to have bookmarked the location in the past, so I was able to zip in and out, but a new player might be at a loss.
And then there are the usual “I hope your overview is setup correctly” and waiting for somebody to complain about one of the dangerous locations being camped by people harvesting kill mails. Welcome to New Eden.
After you run through the basic, untimed tour of New Eden, you can go back and do time trials for more prizes. The details about that are in a forum thread.
There are, of course, a set of seven daily login rewards to collect over the next twelve days.
There are the familiar SKINs and skill points and a couple of boosters that increase your ship velocity or warp speed, all divided into alpha and omega. But the day one reward for everybody is an Expert Systems pack, CCP’s latest scheme to help new players that also came in with the Tuesday update, that allows players to fly interceptors, which are nice rides if you’re doing the event. I dragged out an alt on my main account that I created back in 2008… I think I ran him through some then new iteration of the new player experience and then never used him again… to see how the whole thing worked with a drastically under-skilled character.
It is only a four day boost I guess, not the seven day kind you have to pay for, as it expires on the 15th. But it did appear to give my ancient untrained alt the ability to fly an interceptor hull.
Of course, he cannot fit much on the hull, being from 2008 when CCP gave you very little in the way of skills… I am surprised he has Caldari Frigate IV… but he can warp fast I guess.
Anyway, it worked. He has the skills for a bit. I hope somebody will find that useful.
I did also try it on an alpha clone character and they too got the skills, though it does warn you when you mouse over them that you need to upgrade to omega in order to train those skills permanently.
CCP has also put the popular Federation Police SKINs back in the New Eden store for the event, including some for new hulls.
So off you go. There are prizes to be claimed, rewards at login, and some SKINs to buy. Since the main event is a loop now, there should be far fewer abandoned shuttles along the way. Wrecks in low and null sec systems though… we’ll see.