Tag Archives: Maps

Theaters of Operation

Fighting in Delve ought to seem almost normal to me.  I think we spent time every summer from 2012 through to 2016 invading Delve and kicking whoever lived there out.

Delve – Summer 2012 Poster

We went there with TEST and Pandemic Legion in 2012 (seems like strange times now), against TEST in 2013, against somebody nearby in 2014 (we owned the place for a bit, but gave it up), against Darkness and NCDot in 2015, and then finally against LUMPY and a few others when we fled the north after the Casino War to set up shop in the region in 2016.

And yet, here in 2020, I don’t feel like I “know” the region all that well.  I know some of the key spots, our staging in 1DQ1-A, the path up into (and through) Fountain down which I traveled so many times, and some key intersections, like 1-SMEB and the run through Aridia.  But now that we are fighting a war, I wanted a clearer visualization of the region.  Despite living there for four years, I have spent most of that time deployed in space belonging to others and fighting there.  Since we arrived we’ve only had to chase small gangs out of Delve.  We’ve not been invaded.  Time for something new.

I went looking for a map that would cover the area where the war is taking place.

DOTLAN EVE Maps was my first stop.  It has logical maps of all the regions.  That is very useful for navigating within and individual region, but less so when you want to show more than one region.  They do have a combined Delve/Querious/Period basis map, which shows three of three of the regions we are defending.

Also, DOTLAN’s maps, being logical in an attempt to get the systems nicely lined up showing the jump gate connections in as little space as possible, do not reflect how the systems are oriented in space or the distance between stars, which plays into where Ansiblex jump bridges can be deployed and where capitals can jump.

The in-game map shows the distances between star systems fairly well.

Looking at the in-game map

You get some sense of the distances between regions… far further than any capital can jump or Ansiblex can bridge… which explains why some foothold systems like TCAG-3 are going to see plenty of action.  However, readability of the in-game map is, frankly, shit.  As I have said, it is an impressive site to show your friends if you’re showing them the game, but it isn’t all that useful when you’re trying to navigate New Eden.

It isn’t completely useless.  You can get some information out of it, see systems where battles have been going on.

The hot spot in Period Basis

TCAG-3 has been a focus point because it is at one end of the regional gate that lays between Period Basis and Paragon Soul, regions held by the Imperium and Legacy Coalition respectively.  Legacy getting control of that system and being able to lay down structure would let them roll up our southern flank. (That particular number reflects a Legacy push into the system.  We lost more ships, but held the field. I went out for lunch about five minutes before the pings went out for that fight, so completely missed it.)

But back to maps.

In between the DOTLAN and the in-game map is GARPA Topographical Survey, the home grown map tool available to Imperium pilots.  It has been around for quite a while, and there was even a version released to the general public at one point.  It is less readable than DOTLAN, but much clearer than the in-game map.  Also, it has nice pastel shades for regions.

The GARPA view of the southern theater

That shows how Delve, Querious, and Period Basis are lined up, along with the strange way that Querious bisects Delve, linking the two regions rather intimately.

You can also see the Legacy regions of Catch, Paragon Soul, Esoteria, and Impass and the routes through which those invading us must come. (Stain is NPC null, but there is a path in from there as well.)  Viewed close up, with system names visible:

Might need to click on this to read system names…

As I mentioned above, most of the action up to this point has been coming our of Paragon Soul and into Period Basis, with some ventured out of Catch and Aridia.  However, that seems likely to change, with the emphasis likely to be on the Catch route into Querious and Delve.  The two staging Keepstars, and the super fleets they are holding, are in FAT-6P in Catch, and the first target seems likely to be 4-07MU, which is the Imperium outpost in Catch.

The Foothold in Catch

At least I assume that is why they are amassing a super fleet there.  They can’t jump into our space, so they have to take the gate to 49-USU in order to get within range of anything.

And then there is Fountain, which doesn’t fit nicely on the above map without making it huge.

The northern theater of operations

There are three was into Fountain besides Delve.  Outer Ring is an NPC null sec region, while Cloud Ring, the route we took during the Fountain War back in 2013, seems quiet for the moment.  PandaFam has instead set up shop in Hophib in Aridia, which lets them base out of a low sec NPC station which cannot be assailed.  That is the upside.

The downside for them seems to be that getting to Hophib is a bit of a pain and doesn’t put them close to anything vital.  The main spine of the region runs between KVN-36 and C-4NOD, that epic gate jump up the left side of the region that is the primary highway for the Imperium to head north, and the axis on which our activity there centers. (Those two systems are simply next to each other on the DOTLAN region map.)  PandaFam has to go quite a ways to disrupt that, while the jump bridge network lets The Initiative respond to them speedily from the center.

Still, PandaFam, after some initial setbacks, appears to have made more progress than their allies in the south, reinforcing the Taurus constellation next door to their staging.

All reinforced as I write this

They still have to get in and fight the node contest, but that will be chaotic with nodes for all six systems spawning in a short time frame.  A foothold there won’t break the Imperium, but if they can snap the jump bridge network that lets The Initiative deploy there quickly it could force us to defend further back or spend a lot of time taking gates to get all the way around to where PandaFam is pushing.

Anyway, that is where we are fighting and will likely continue to be fighting for a while.  We will see what the new day brings.

A Decade of DOTLAN EVEMaps

Without going to much into the historical details or timeline: I can proudly announce that DOTLAN EveMaps has reached a major milestone and is providing a well known and respected service to all players of New Eden for 10 years now!

Wollari, 10 Years of EVE Maps

Wollari tweeted out earlier that DOTLAN EVEMaps turned ten years old today.

I suppose the big question ask on the tenth anniversary of DOTLAN is why CCP doesn’t have an official map that is even a tenth as useful.

I wrote a piece a couple years back about the top five problems with the game, and I limited myself to five and a bonus item, but believe me the in-game map was in the running for a spot on that list.

I mean, the in-game map is beautiful.  I highly recommend that you show that your friends who don’t play the game.  It is impressive as hell.  I mean, it really looks like something important.  I like to show off the systems I’ve visited.

Still haven’t been nearly everywhere yet

But as a utility that transmit information to the user it is sub-par.  I basically use the view that shows the location of your fleet members and maybe the recent kills view, but the latter generally just so I can take a screen shot of a huge red ball in The Forge when Burn Jita is going.  Mostly though I just use the star system view to check bookmarks and bounce points when I travel through null.

Maps are so useful in games like EVE Online.  And there has been a healthy tradition in the community of creating maps for the game, from Ombeve’s 2d maps, to the maps EON Magazine used to sell, to the null sec influence maps (and a summary site), to GARPA Topographical Survey (highlighted here), to the various utilities that map wormhole connections.

But my go-to site is DOTLAN and I visit almost every single day.  Links to it and screen shots from it pepper my posts about null sec.  I cannot imagine the game without it.

I first became aware of the site when Meclin/Rarik/Gaff (we all have so many handles) went off to null sec with Skyforger in TNT.  That was around the middle of 2009.  He started sending me information about what things were like out in null sec, including DOTLAN EVEMaps, which he said was essential.

Still wandering the ways of high sec empire space, I thought the site looked interesting, but could not see it as essential to my ventures.  I had already memorized the routes through my little corner of space, and when I didn’t know the way I knew the destination and could simply plot a route there in the game.

But in late 2011, when I was back in the game but almost immediately bored of life in high sec again, Meclin got me to make the jump to null sec and my world changed.  I was suddenly in a part of the game where systems had crazy alphanumeric designations rather than unpronounceable names, I had no idea how to get places, and my overview was suddenly vitally important at all times because random strangers could show up at any time to shoot me.

At that point I had DOTLAN up pretty much constantly when I was logged into the game.  The intel channels would call out hostiles in systems and, at that time the system info didn’t give you the route/jumps from your location, so I kept having to check to see who was distant and who was close and needed minding.  That was back when I lived in 0P-F3K and fleets moved out from VFK-IV.

Wars and operations and fleet movements expanded my need to keep track of where the hell I was.  And even as I started to get used to flying to and fro, using the jump bridge network and recognizing systems that were choke points on the routes across space, I still kept DOTLAN up and going.

And I still use it nearly every day now.  Sure, if I need to move some place around Delve I will bring up GARPA because it has the jump bridges in it, so can give me the shortest route with those included.  But we’re deployed up north and running off to the east and going all sorts of places where I need to at least refresh my memory as to the layout of the land.

And even when I don’t need to know where I am or where I am going, and when I don’t need a visual aid for a blog post to show routes or proximity of locations or whatever, I still go bring up the front page to take a look.  It is a source of information as to what is going on in New Eden.  There on the front page you can see alliance movements, recent data on the most violent systems in the game, and sovereignty changes.  I go there and see the numbers and often wonder what is going on, why did that alliance gain or lose so many members in the last week, was there a big battle in that system at the top of the list.

Even today I look at the front page and wonder what is going on with Dream Fleet and Red Alliance, our neighbors down in Period Basis.

DOTLAN says something happened

EVE Online is a game full of stories, and DOTLAN is one of the places that helps you find those stories and, quite literally, put them on the map.

Anyway, DOTLAN is a huge resource for the EVE Online community.  Wollari is asking in his blog post for people to comment on their memories of the site here on its birthday.  But that is a tough thing to do, because so many changes have been highlighted there over the years.  Grand conquests have been show as well as humiliating defeats.

One I do remember is from back at the end of 2016 when CCP turned off the ability to deploy outposts… stations… in null sec space as part of the last update for YC118.  The alliance Fraternity got out and deployed the final null sec outpost just hours before the deadline.

The final list…

Of course, outposts are gone now, converted to citadels last month.  But as Ascendant Frontier will always be the first alliance to drop an outpost, Fraternity will always be the last, and we likely know this because it was right up there on the front page at DOTLAN.

I honestly can’t say enough good about the site.  It is a shining beacon both for the community and as to how much the efforts of the community matter to this game.

Thanks so much Wollari!

Minecraft and the Map Room

l have gone on a bit about how much I like having access to rendered maps of our Minecraft world.

The current-ish map of our world

The current-ish map of our world

Having that available really helps me with the big scope road and rail projects I have been working on this year in addition to just helping me find things in the world.

But there are also maps within the game.  I have tinkered with them before, but they can be a bit quirky and I haven’t really found a lot of use for them, aside from being decorations.  I have maps of the local area hung up in a few of my bases.

On the decorative front, Skronk’s map room in Firenze is probably the high point of their use in the world.  Skronk went out and put together maps of various locations in our world and hung them up with labels in the map room.

Looking at the map room in Firenze

Looking at the map room in Firenze

Recently, Aaron went on a tour of our world, riding the rail loop I had built.  He too was impressed with the map room he saw.  He was so impressed that he decided to make his own map room, in a very Aaron sort of way.  He is the guy whose base has samples of all of the flora and fauna in the world in neat little areas.  And now he has a map room with the biggest map collection in our world.  Behold the map wall.

Aaron's map wall

Aaron’s map wall

That is 224 map segments affixed to the wall with frames.  The just visible red square in the middle of the map is part of Aaron’s base.  The map itself is backlit using sea lanterns at several points.

A closer look at the map gives a better feel for the level of detail that the in-game maps can achieve.

Standing closer to the map

Standing closer to the map

There you can see the red square is actually a grid of red netherrack from Aaron’s charged creeper farm, detailed in a past post.  This also shows Xydd’s castle in the upper left corner and one of my bases to the right of Aaron’s  Also visible is some of the road and rail network.

It is pretty cool.  It won’t replace my rendered maps, which show more detail, but it is still something great to have within the confines of our world.

The same area in a rendered map

Approximately the same area in a rendered map

And, being another Aaron epic project, you can see that his map room has two more walls ready for map segments so that the room will eventually give a panoramic view of a segment of the world.

Ready for more maps

Ready for more maps

I do like the idea of having the maps backlit.  I may go do that to some of the base area maps I have hung up around the world.