On Tuesday, CCP released the latest installment of their Agency events, this one timed to coincide with the release of Valkyrie -Warzones on 26th September.
The same day, The Discourse released a video. The Discourse produce news videos in the style of The Scope videos, and the latest production can be seen below:
In the broadcast, the Arataka Research Consortium request that capsuleers turn the relics over to them (for a reward), to avoid them falling into the hands of the official collector (The Quartermaster)
The Arataka Research Consortium (ARC) have also put out a call for the relics through the Intergalactic Summit, and an Eve News article further alerted capsuleers to the bounty for handing relics. For those who are unaware, the Arataka Research Consortium are a group that is primarily involved in researching everything there is to know about Drifters, from investigating Drifter Hive sites, through to scientific research and analysis on the materials found in the Drifter Hives. They partner with a wide array of capsuleers to further their knowledge of anything remotely related to Drifters.
They were also heavily involved in the investigations surrounding the Kyonoke Incident which took place at Fanfest this year. Shortly after the event, they released a video, comprised of information they discovered during their investigation.
Ok, so, with that background out of the way, why are ARC getting involved in this event in this way, and what impact have they had so far?
First of all, there are rumours that their call for relics to be delivered to them instead of the Quartermaster was the cause of changes to the sites on Wednesday, where the wrecks disappeared after a certain amount of time. Prior to this, there were complaints from capsuleers that all they were finding while out hunting was empty Drifter locations.
Makoto Priano from ARC does not believe this to be accurate, telling us that their efforts are not significant enough to have caused the problems experienced by capsuleers. She believes that the more likely cause is that the Quartermaster does not pay out more than once per day, whilst capsuleers are encouraged to clear multiple sites. This means that many capsuleers will only complete a site once, and will just go into other sites to kill the rats to meet their daily quota. Having spoken to a number of capsuleers who run these sites, they have confirmed Makoto’s suspicions, reporting that getting the relic from each site takes too much additional time for too little reward. In addition, they are surprised by the low rewards for such an increased risk to their ships, so they prefer to keep The Agency happy by completing their 20 kills per day in several sites as fast as possible
As to exactly what they are doing with the relics, Makoto was guarded on the topic, saying that for now they are stockpiling the samples they receive. As with any project that bulk-gathers data, there is a lot of work to be done to figure out what exactly they have in their hands, before they can begin recovering the information. ARC are also concerned about the sudden appearance of this Quartermaster. If this information is of importance to understanding how Drifters and Sleepers function, then handing it over to someone of unknown affiliation, operating under an alias may not be the most prudent move.
What little information they have gleaned so far from announcements leads to the supposition that the relics could contain navigational data, leading to hidden locations within New Eden, or even technological data that could bring about advances in ship technology. Rumours have been spreading for a little over a year that the much-anticipated capsuleer produced Stargates will require advanced Sleeper technology, and if this is the case, the fragments gleaned from these Drifter wrecks may be of vital importance once decoded.
ARC are currently offering 20m ISK per relic handed in to them, and further details and updates can be found on the Intergalactic Summit. I asked Makoto how the ARC wallet was faring since news of the bounty broke last night. She told us that ARC have a number of generous benefactors, so whilst it was a bit of a shock to see their bounty broadcast like that, they should not have any problems paying every pilot who has something to deliver. The only concern is if further events unfold which require ARC to once again offer bounties on goods.