Tag Archives: Federation Grand Prix

Friday Red Dot Bullet Points about EVE Online

It is time for another Friday bullet points blog post, this time to pull together some bits of EVE Online news that have popped up in the last week or so.

  • The Red Dot Option

The Red Dot has been a hot topic for some since its introduction.  I wouldn’t mind it so much if it just worked consistently.  But it doesn’t.  I can be in my ship, in space, sitting still, and the damn red dot will pop up on my inventory icon over and over, even when I have done nothing.  And I am one of those people who cannot leave an alert like that alone.  I must make it go away, and when it keeps coming back for no reason I want to scream.

This week there was a small patch update that had this item.

Added a toggle to general settings in-game allowing UI Inventory Badging (Red Dot) to be enabled or disabled.

You can now turn off the Red Dot!  Just go to the general settings tab and look for the Inventory Badging option.

Banish the Red Dot here

I can already see Brisc Rubal running for another CSM term on the slogan “We Banished the Red Dot for you!”

  • EVE in a Browser

CCP has started beta testing EVE Anywhere, the option to run EVE Online in a web browser.

EVE Anywhere except in my Firefox browser

One of the goals of any online game is to reduce the effort required to get players into the game.  Free to play takes away the credit card barrier, allowing players to start without a financial commitment.  But the dream has always been to avoid the client altogether and to let players jump right into playing without a long download and install.  Several MMORPGs have worked on this in the past… Runes of Magic tried this for a while… but it hasn’t really become an option.  Now CCP is giving it a run.

The beta is open to Omega accounts in the US.  I tried it for a bit and it mostly seems to work, though the security settings in Firefox seemed to prevent their site from even giving me to option to try it.

Going to Microsoft Edge the big yellow “Play in a Browser” button was displayed and I was able to get into the game.  The resolution is limited to 1080p and has to run full screen.  Also, every setting saved locally by the regular client is missing from the browser, which quickly becomes annoying.  But if you needed to log in to update your skill queue or do some market updates, it would be viable.

  • Federation Grand Prix

If you haven’t started collecting login rewards for the Federation Grand Prix event, it is too late to grab them all now, as the event ends early next week.  But, there is easily time left to actually run the event and collect a bunch of special SKINs as rewards.

Federation Grand Prix 2021

You just have to fly to the Luminaire system and warp to the start line to get your first detestation.  Be wary though, especially during prime time hours.  You have to fly through low sec, and even some NPC null sec, space and the route is known, so smart bombing ships and gate camps will be out trying to zap you.  An interdiction nullified interceptor will get you past most gate camps, but you should avoid warping directly to gates if you want to bypass smart bombers.

  • Skill Rentals Now with Ships and PLEX

CCP has already launched a new round of Expert Systems, the rent a skill program introduced earlier this month.

The new Mindstorm Experience packs include an exploration package that comes with a fully fit T1 exploration ship and a mining package that comes with 50 PLEX that the player can sell to help them buy their first mining barge.  Expert Systems persist through death, but ships do not, so I wonder how new players who buy the pack will feel when things inevitably go awry.

There is a deeper look at these new packs over at The Nosy Gamer.

  • Coming Quality of Life Improvements

CCP announced a series of quality of life improvements coming to EVE Online next week, which include changes to clones, ECM burst modules, and wormhole mass limits.

The clone change is huge, allowing players to store multiple clones in the same citadel.  As somebody who has several clones with specific implant sets stashed in 1DQ1-A, this is kind of a big deal even for me.  I’m a little sad about the ECM burst changes, as I enjoy doing that and, given the number of ships I have lost doing it, it is clearly a counterable play style.  But players in general hate ECM and CCP has a history of nerfing it into uselessness.

 

The Federation Grand Prix Starts in EVE Online with Events and Login Rewards

The Federation Grand Prix event has returned to New Eden.

Federation Grand Prix 2021

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.

One page of many shuttles

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.

The Project Discovery Phase Two monument

Of course, my first question on arriving there was “Who puts advertisements on a monument?”  Must have been a Caldari contractor.

In the heat of the moment

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.

I underlined the destination location in red

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.

Login Rewards Again

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.

Redeemed

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.

The skills added

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.

Won’t be buying many with my 1 PLEX

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.

The Great New Eden Shuttle Abandonment Festival

Otherwise known as the Federation Grand Prix.

See, I’m not making this up

In order to celebrate Federation Day in the Gallente Federation this event has been staged that celebrates neither democracy nor the Gallente Federation so far as I can tell.

It is, yet again, based in The Agency interface, home of nearly all PvE and like events (save for Abyssal pockets… so good PvE isn’t in The Agency I guess), which is probably why I didn’t notice that it was actually a thing until I saw somebody complaining about it on Reddit.

That complaint actually got me interested in the event.  I bypassed what the write said to look at all the prizes he had earned.  He had quite a range of SKINs and boosters.  Being in Reavers, I clearly love SKINs and boosters, so I wanted to know how I could get my share of them.

The complaint seemed to be that the event was boring.  I’m pretty sure that is true of all events in The Agency, so I wasn’t deterred.  Besides which, he maxed out his even points in one 12 hour sitting, so it could have just been burn out talking.

The event itself is pretty easy, you just fly places.  Again, I fly places all the time.  I could do this.

I logged in an alt to give this a try and opened up The Agency.  It told me to fly to the Luminaire system and warp to the Federation Grand Prix beacon.  Since it would involve flying places after that, and the type of places were unspecified, I decided to use a stealth bomber my alt had to hand.  It had a warp speed rig to speed it up and a covert ops cloak to get me out of any trouble.  So I jumped in and flew off to Luminaire.

There I saw the beacon in the overview and warped to it.

Right there in the overview

The event site is pretty much the generic structure The Agency uses for all such events.  I didn’t even get a good look at it the first couple of times.

You’ve seen this structure before

When I arrived I got a notification that something in The Agency had been updated, so I opened that up and clicked on the event.  That gave me a destination, a beacon in a system 11 jumps away, with a timer to get there.

Fly to the thing!  You had 11 minutes

Well, that seemed doable.  So I opened up the route planner, put the system name in, and followed the path to the destination.

On the way…

So I flew manually from gate to gate to the destination system, then warped to the beacon, which was again in my overview and, upon landing there, saw The Agency update.  I now had 2 points.  Meanwhile The Agency was also telling me to go back to Luminaire to do the whole thing over again.  And I figured I was committed.  I had two points, and you need at least 5 to get a prize, so I headed back.

The prize interval

The next time it gave me a four point journey which.  That was further, but it gave me more time, about a minute a system.   When I completed that I got the first prize box.  That box gave me four SKINs, two boosters, some fireworks, and a couple of collectible items which, for the effort, seemed like a pretty good deal.

While I had to agree with the Reddit post that, as far as interesting activities in game go, this was really shit, I could bear it for a couple more runs for more SKINs.  So off I went.

The next one was another four point journey off to another system.  Only this one didn’t have a beacon when I arrived.  As I later found out, the destination was off one of the stations.  But I while I was trying to figure that out the timer ran out and I found I had gone 18 jumps for nothing.  Back to Lumiaire.

The next one seemed really hard, 25 jumps and only 18 minutes on the clock.  You already need to be going about 5 AUs a second to finish comfortably, so don’t bring a battleship, but this seemed to be stretching things.  But I set off, figuring that they wouldn’t set me a task I couldn’t complete.

Of course, along the way I figured out what was wrong.  I had the route planner set to take me via the safest route.  Had I chosen shortest it would have been just 17 jumps.  Still, I nearly made it… in fact, would have made it with seconds to spare… except  that it was another no beacon destination and I chose the wrong station to warp to.

Back I went.

I did start to notice a pattern as I flew this time.  First, a lot of people seemed to be using shuttles in order to fly the race.  That wasn’t a bad plan, they are cheap and warp at 5 AU a second.  A perfectly viable option.

But EVE Online players are all about efficiency.  Every time I landed at a destination beacon, I noticed that there were often dozens of abandoned shuttles hanging about in space.  Apparently the plan was to acquire a shuttle… and somebody is probably making money in Lumiaire selling shuttles now…, set your death clones in Luminare, warp to the start beacon, then head to the destination.  Once there you leave your shuttle and self destruct.  I’m not sure why not destroy the shuttle too, since they are leaving it behind, but the fact that they are there tells the tale I guess.

One page of many shuttles

You can tell they are empty because there is no player name, just the ship type repeated.  You could jump in them and fly off with them if you wanted.  I’m not sure why you’d want them, but you could.

Unsurprisingly, systems with race destinations are currently ranking high on the DOTLAN most violent systems charts for high sec and low.

Anyway, I got another destination in Luminaire that sent me across part of Syndicate, which was both a six point mission and made me feel good about having my stealth bomber.  I got there successfully and back safely.  Another shorter run and I had my 15 points.  I docked up to claim my prize and all I got was cerebral accelerators.

Not that those are bad.  I’ll use them.  But I was in this for the SKINs.  And after the first box being so generous, I felt a bit let down.  Still, I was a bit invested now, and it was only another 15 points to the next prize box.  I figured I could hack it.

I got a 2 point run that I dispatched quickly enough.  Then I drew a 4 point run that ended in low sec.  While in the past runs had gone through low sec… even null sec… they always ended in a high sec system.  I figured the likelihood of the beacon being camped was high.  After all, the pile of abandoned shuttles would be a dead give away.  I’d be careful, but off I went.

Purifier on another run

When I entered the destination system I could see the beacon on the overview.  I just needed to warp in and then get away.  I figured I could cloak, warp in at 20km, then turn around and slip away without anybody seeing me.  So warp I did.

And, of course, I landed on a pile of freakin’ abandoned shuttles which both decloaked me and managed to bump me as I aligned out for just long enough for a Condor to point me.  I shot back, but torps don’t apply well to frigates and was dead long before I got him close to armor.

But at least I figured I had gotten my 4 points.  He could shoot me and send me home.  But he didn’t want to pod me.  He pointed my pod, but then unlocked me.  No need to take the standings hit I guess.  So I boarded one of the shuttles and headed back to Luminaire.  My lust for SKINs had cost me more than just buying them probably would have cost.

I guess there is an interesting/danger aspect to the event, at least when it passes through low sec or null sec.  But for the most part it is a pretty dull event.  Somebody has to do it if I want to buy the SKINs, but it doesn’t need to be me personally flying it.  I just have to wait until near the end of the event when prices are sagging.

Addendum: On returning to Jita I did find that selling the cerebral accelerators more than covered the cost.  Still, this race event doesn’t excite me.