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.
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.