Art by Major Sniper
On Tuesday May 25 CCP announced the start of a new event: the Stargate Trailblazers. As part of the Foundations Quadrant the event focuses on the construction of four new gates connecting the empires to remote NPC space or disconnected empire space. High profile gates, such as the route to Stain, have been eagerly anticipated by the community and speculation had been increasing since CCP delivered a superb reverse April Fools Day joke on the topic.
Rewards and Locations
The event runs from May 25 through June 1 and will feature a number of daily login rewards focused on improving mining skills and also a special edition “Mining Blitz Expedition Frigate Expert System” (catchy name). This reward will unlock the Venture, Prospect and Endurance for four days whilst providing them with the following skills: Astrogeology III, Expedition Frigates III, Mining IV, Mining Frigate V and Mining Upgrades IV.
The linked devblog post reveals the location of these activity events. Each system will have a number of different event anomalies that can be entered by all capsuleers, regardless of standing with the related empires. It is likely these events will draw the attention of both miners and PvPers alike; the former will be rewarded with EVE immortality, as the greatest contributors to gate construction will have their names added to newly erected monuments at the end of the event.
The event itself uses the same format as previous CCP activities, setting out small objectives that reward points that are then claimed in the Agency tabs. Additional boosters are the prizes, with the actual activity revolving around filling the event Orcas with 10,000 units of ore, killing pirate ships, or reaching the “Silver” rank at any event site. The rank involves the specific difficulty of each site, ranging from Limited to Critical Mining Expeditions.
Building on the Lore
The creation of these gates builds on existing lore with some excellent continuation of narratives. For example, last year the Gallente Federation elected President Celes Aguard, who stated in her campaign that she would reunite the peoples of Solitude with the main systems of the Federation. This goal will now be left to the capsuleers of New Eden to fulfill, with a potential gate being created from Kenninck in Placid to Eggheron in Solitude. CCP is clearly planning the unveiling to be in time for the celebration of Gallente Federation Day on June 22 – likely to be the first in CCP’s Foundation Quadrant releases.
The other gates follow a similar patterns; the Caldari state are attempting to rebuild links subsequent to the loss of Niarja. The Amarr Empire is moving towards a more aggressive policy against the Sansha Nation. For further details on the lore, read CCP Fozzie’s post, which can be found here.
Combined with in-game lore there is also some superb community lore developed over the years, including the controversial Reddit poster “StainGuy” consistently requesting a Low Sec gate to his beloved home region. There will be additional interest in the construction of this gate as StainGuy has stated that, if the gate gets constructed, he will biomass his in-game character in celebration. If that isn’t an incentive, I don’t know what is!
Even a Sandbox has Rules
In addition to the above event details, CCP has released a Gameplay Policy that stipulates the activities that players are allowed to engage in during this event. Players are allowed to use standard tactics to interfere with the construction of the gates, including suicide ganking in High Sec. But players will not be allowed to “abuse” the mechanics by triggering timers in the site, blocking other players entering, or even engaging the NPC Orcas.
The event looks to be a great opportunity for players to shape the future geographical landscape of New Eden. However, it appears that the Empires will complete these gates, regardless of the fact that some players may oppose them. Many groups may oppose having their isolated space joined to busier areas. The community may be disappointed that the construction of the new gates will not be decided in-game. However, the Trailblazers event will undoubtedly create more content for all, both now and in the future.