Gaming the Grand Prix

2021-03-15

CCP has launched a new event, the Federation Grand Prix, immediately after the previous event – the Guardian’s Gala. In my opinion, it’s an improvement. The event is fairly simple: go through Empire space in a ‘race’ from start to finish, warping through specific sytems and constellations. The event starts in Luminaire (in the Essence region) and paths through high-sec, low-sec, and null-sec, though pathing through null-sec is only optional, as a shorter detour.

Another Opportunity For Alpha PLEX

The Federation Grand Prix has daily giveaways for both SP and SKINs, but the rewards are slightly worse. The Luminaire Zenith skins are also a bit boring, in my opinion. Nevertheless, it’s another great opportunity to PLEX for players on the fence, as you can once again double-dip into both gifts.

Precautions For Null-Sec Alliances?

Navigating High-Sec is always tricky for pilots in PvP alliances. WarDec
corporations pay CONCORD specifically to be in a sanctioned war, which allows them to target players in High-Sec without consequence. Sometimes, other alliances hire them as mercenaries to make life difficult for players in Empire space. While WarDeccers are usually found camping in systems like Uedama or Amarr, they have been camping this event, too.

You can also complete the quests on high-sec/neutral alts, using other characters on the same account (the rewards can be transferred within an account) to avoid WarDeccers as well.

Navigating Low-Sec Rife With Pirates

There are no interdictor bubbles in Low-Sec, but there are lots of smartbombs and WarDeccers. There are gangs of Low-Sec pirates who will camp gates and tackle you. Here are some basic things you can do to avoid the risks:

1. Check your route — you can see recent deaths in your route on http://eve-gatecheck.space/eve/index.php, and adjust your pathing.

2. Check local — sometimes, it’s not possible to avoid a system. When you first jump in, check local to see how many pirates there are. Any pirates with aggression/kill timers should be flashing, and you can either wait until they’re gone, or bring some friends to put up a fight.

3. Do not take typical gate-to-gate pathing. Instead of jumping from stargate to stargate and getting blown up by a smartbomb like 99% of players, you should warp to a different celestial and then to the next stargate at a different angle. You will be lucky to slip by.

4. Do not warp to zero for quest celestials — some pirates will camp at the celestials knowing players will blindly warp to finish the quest. Instead, warp at 10, 20, or even 100km to the celestial. You’ll still get credit for completing the quest, and hopefully be out of range of the various pirate camps there.

5. Play during quieter times — Play during weekdays, or at times with lower number of players. This isn’t ideal, but it will work.

Interceptors?

This event was launched partially by CCP to promote the new Expert Systems product. All players will be able to access the Interceptor Expert System, which will last for a week, free as the first daily giveaway.

However, the value of navigating Low/High-Sec might be overkill. Some interceptors are oft-used in Null-Sec because they are immune to bubbles. That’s not as useful if you’re starting from, and staying in, Low/High-Sec. But if you’re starting in Null, bubble immunity is mandatory, especially when navigating bubbled gate camps. There is a portion of the race that goes through Syndicate, but you can also detour around, which is a positive option — Syndicate is usually bubbled and camped, even under normal circumstances.

The most important factors for this race are surviving smartbombs, surviving camps, and aligning fast. Avoiding gate smartbombs in Low-Sec will take manual piloting skills, and avoiding camps to achieve the event objectives may require cloaking. It will be useful to review manual piloting techniques such as the MWD/Cloak trick. Many pilots may also choose to fly cheap and disposable shuttles, or free corvettes, and simply reship after losses.

Of course, never fly anything you cannot afford to lose.

Winning the Grand Prix

If you want to win the Grand Prix, and not just complete it, there are prizes available for the top pilots in New Eden. The full Leaderboard can be found here: https://forums.eveonline.com/t/federation-grand-prix-time-trials-contest/299667. For this, you need to compete the entire quest before unlocking the timed missions. You will also have to take into account warp speed – how fast you fly the route will matter.

In the end, first place wins 12 months Omega subscription, as well as a Federal Police Thanatos SKIN. Second place recieves six months Omega sub, plus a Dominix Federal Police SKIN. Third place is also six months of Omega subscription, and a Federal Police Megathron SKIN. There are also SKINs and subscription time for 4th-10th place in this Grand Prix, and that prize breakdown can be found on the official EVE-O forum page.

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Comments

  • Guilford Australis

    Alas, CONCORD and I are not very fond of one another, so highsec is a problem for me. It is possible that I might have become entangled in certain messy encounters there involving individuals employed in the mining industry. It’s all a bit of a blur now, but the upshot is that anything involving highsec is off the table.

    March 15, 2021 at 12:28 PM
  • Alaric Faelen

    I think CCP got paid by some folks in low sec for this event. I just sat outside the first low sec landmark system and watched frigates jump in, and capsules jump out. The nature of the event is as a solo adventure, so it’s just a stream of solo frigates being fed to a woodchipper of campers. Fish in a barrel have a better shot at survival.
    Plus the content sucks. For runners it’s just set desto and spam jump or warp to zero. Even trying to be stealthy or PvP-saavy and D-Scanning the beacon from a celestial doesn’t matter since you don’t have a choice in warping there anyway. Campers are going to be there regardless. You won’t likely have the firepower to move them off, nor tank to survive their attack. For the campers it’s just sit there and collect low quality KMs.
    Very lazy content for everyone. Rewards are CCP rattling keys in front of a toddler. A better event would have seen ‘hunters’ instead of ‘campers’ and involve more for event runners than mashing Warp/Jump dozens of times in between being helplessly blown up.

    March 16, 2021 at 1:40 PM
    • Duncan 1776 Alaric Faelen

      Well said. This event is marketed like a new player friendly activity, then just shoves their assets into the meatgrinder. The need for some players to get wholesale low quality KMs is amazing. CCP needs to do better designing events such that different skill and comfort levels are presented.

      March 16, 2021 at 10:57 PM