This article was co-written by Dirk Stetille
On Tuesday February 12, the Guardian’s Gala event returned to New Eden, scheduled to run until downtime on February 25. This server-wide event brings back the Spirit SKIN line, as well as new “Amaranthine Mantle” SKINs and new Facial Augmentations. The event also introduces new Inquest ‘Hedone’ implants, as well as bringing back the Inquest ‘Eros’ implant series. The much-appreciated Agency and skill training boosters also see a return in this event.
The event announcement promised “new and exciting challenges, visuals, and content” with this two-week event, which brings a fresh take to the annual Guardian’s Gala. This promise has mostly been fulfilled, with CCP having introduced new visuals to the event sites themselves and a new mechanic to allow players to benefit from these sites. Alongside this is the tried-and-true Agency points scheme for specific rewards, which is the source of the Amaranthine Mantle SKINs and Cerebral Accelerator blueprint copies, making this event the first in which players must construct their accelerators before use.
As is usual for these Agency-curated events in recent months, players wishing to participate will be awarded points for the fulfillment of Agency tasks. These tasks range from killing a set number of rats, to mining a set amount of the event-specific “Amethystic Crystallite” ore, to killing other capsuleers flying Serpentis and Angel Cartel ships, and award between five and twenty-five Agency points upon completion. The points will then award you with rewards upon accumulation of set amounts, at 20, 120, 300, 400, 500, 600, 740, and 1000 points for each stage.
These rewards are where the new Amaranthine Mantle SKINs originate, as well as the Cerebral Accelerator BPCs and Facial Augmentations. The full list of rewards are a 5-Run BPC for the “Basic Ardour Cerebral Accelerator”, a 4-Run BPC for the “Standard Ardour Cerebral Accelerator”, 200 Cherubic Heartburst Fireworks, and Amaranthine Mantle SKINs for the Talos, Tornado, Vindicator, and Machariel.
These rewards seem on par with what players should expect from a change to their PvE activities – good looking SKINs, and accelerators. That said, the necessity of building the accelerators is slightly jarring, especially given the fact that the boosters require event-specific material which is also required for the Paradise Club rewards, forcing players to choose between accelerators and Paradise Club random drops.
The Paradise Club
The Paradise Club is the new reward mechanic introduced by this Guardian’s Gala, and it demonstrates some of the new structure visuals CCP’s art team has been working on recently. The structure itself is an Astrahus citadel, and is adorned with holographic banners showing the Angel Cartel logo. These banners are just an accent effect, but it’s tastefully done, not at all loud or cringeworthy, and this will no doubt look cool when CCP implements them on player-owned structures.
The new mechanic associated with the Paradise Club, though, is slightly less less universally great in this iteration. When you complete Gala sites by killing the named “Guardian Angels Barachael” rat, there will be loot in the wreck – this loot may include items and SKINs, but will almost definitely include a “YC121 Guardian’s Gala Ticket”. This ticket can be deposited into the Paradise Club, along with 5 units of “Chromodynamic Tricarboxyls” and thirteen million ISK, in exchange for a random reward. These rewards can be anything from a single Shadow Serpentis or Domination module through to multiple faction or deadspace modules.
Good or Bad?
Regarding the Paradise Club, nobody is certain of the full loot table, but the general community response appears to be that these exchanges are not generally worth the ISK cost. It should be noted that this is, in fact, a new way of sinking isk – spend ISK on plexing, use the time and effort mining an ore, then spend ISK to reprocess the ore into materials, and finally give these items over along with an ISK cost. The issue with sinking ISK in this manner, though, is that the reward for sacrificing liquid ISK is apparently not worthwhile for players who are engaging with the event.
In addition to the less-than-fantastic loot situation, CCP should also consider the site distribution. This event has not created a site in every system on a timer, but equally it hasn’t followed the 2018 Operation Frostline pattern, providing a site in every constellation. This middle-of-the-road solution definitely ensures that loot drops are not the primary reason to run these events, but it equally means some players in space cannot see any sort of site spawn for hours on end.
Overall, this event seems to be not terrible but not exceptional either. We at INN hope you are enjoying the event, and hope CCP will consider these opinions for their next server event.