Editor’s Note: You’ve likely heard of our two main services that we offer, EvE-Scout Thera Connections and EvE-Scout Rescue, but you’ve probably not heard about another service we offer and that would be our Expedition TripTik’s. Our former CEO, Mynxee, started this effort that follows in the footsteps of our friend and fellow explorer Mark726 as a complement to EvE Travel, but it’s certainly not meant to be a replacement. Sadly, over the years we’ve not kept it going, but in her honor and in the spirit of our motto of “Be the content you wish to see”, I set about to fix that by rebooting the service with an in corp event over the last couple of months called TripTik’s 2.0.
I had one goal and two hopes. First, it was my goal and hope we would double the size of our library, which I’m happy to report we did! Second, it was my hope that someone would be a “star”, rising to the occasion, and embracing the spirit of our Expeditions. I’m thrilled to report that we did indeed have someone step up. Please welcome Yankee Sullivan as our newly appointed TripTik Historian, who in real life is a Public Historian. I’m excited to see where he takes this new service. – Katia Sae
Following is his post on TripTik’s and Preserving the Rich History of EVE
- Katia Sae, a pilot flying with Signal Cartel and famed explorer in New Eden, has visited every single player-reachable system in New Eden and Anoikis, 7805 systems in total, without losing a single ship. Katia’s journey began on 1st December 2009 and was completed on 9th March 2019, a period of a little over nine years.
- Exploring the entirety of space is impossible in the real world, but it’s now been done in EVE Online. A player by the in-game name Katia Sae is the first player to have officially visited every.
- Katia Sae, a pilot flying with Signal Cartel and famed explorer in New Eden, has visited every single player-reachable system in New Eden and Anoikis, 7805 systems in total, without losing a single ship. Katia’s journey began on 1st December 2009 and was completed on 9th March 2019, a.
The Set Up
Recently, like so many other players, I returned to EVE online. This time before jumping in I decided I wanted to find a Corporation to join first. Already half knowing in my mind what I wanted, I found my way to the Signal Cartel website. I wanted to brave J-Space and rescue other capsuleers. Partially because I’m a nice guy, but more so because I wanted a service-based approach to the sandbox, a focus… a duty.
Well it’s been almost two months and I haven’t rescued a single person or tended a single cache. Why? Because I’ve been acting as a historian for EVE Online along with several other members of the Signal Cartel. You see, just a week or two after I joined, while I was getting myself sorted out and figuring out why I had left assets randomly scattered across the galaxy, the famous Katia Sae announced a new program to revitalize SC’s “TripTik” program.
Katia Sae may have started as an explorer character to help Ethan Richards unwind after work and see a new graphical overhaul in EVE, but she ended up transcending the normal player more than. “Consummatum Est - It Is Finished,” says EVE Online player Katia Sae as she makes history as the first-ever person to successfully visit all of the 7,805 reachable systems in New Eden. It took Katia nine years to complete the journey and what’s even more incredible is that she was able to achieve the feat without losing a single ship.
TripTiks are lore- and player history-based guided tours throughout New Eden. Offered by the lesser known Expeditionary Division of the Signal Cartel. When I was initially snooping around the website, I saw them and noticed that they were a nice idea that were unevenly and non-uniformly done and had a feeling of having been abandoned. At the time I thought to myself, “Aw neat, maybe at some point I’ll put one or two of those together”. Well, Katia aimed to change that by providing an ISK incentive for Signaleers to create new, more fleshed-out TripTiks to coincide with the launch of “TripTik 2.0”.
I gave it a bit of thought and realized that this wasn’t just something I wanted to do. In a way, it was something I was ideally suited to do.
A Brief Bit About Me
Once upon time, freshly returned from 8 years of military service, I determined I wanted to become a Historian. So, I went to college and earned my degree and then took on a specialized certificate program to become a Public Historian. While in the process of earning that degree, I helped create an educational program about maritime history that included a kids and young adult program for Library settings, several lectures, and a walking tour. Later I took on a job at a local Living History Farm Museum and quickly found myself in the role of Program Director. It was then that I pivoted into working in Human services in general and truly I have never been happier.
But I’ve never lost my love of history, and even now I study it avidly and systematically and try often to find time to volunteer at historic sites. Then suddenly, I was being offered a chance to make ISK at something I used to love to do, researching and organizing a history into easily digestible tours…
EVE’s Two Histories and Why they are a Treasure
EVE is just recently seventeen years old and at its core it is a game from a different era that still fundamentally has a different design philosophy. Harder, unforgiving, and often inscrutable. Though, as the Bitter Vets and Doom Sayers will often point out: perhaps not as hard as it once was. But EVE is also a game from an era when games were just bigger. Don’t get me wrong, many modern games are certainly grander. But few are “game worlds” quite the same way that the early first and second generation MMOs were. Even those MMOs that remain no longer focus on the world as much.
But EVE is still a game world (technically a Galaxy) not only filled with planets, jump-gates, stations, and Jita scammers. But also a game with sites of cultural significance, forgotten and remembered battle fields, strange artifacts, and so much more. All of these things lovingly placed there by CCP. These things are in support of the EVE Universe and its rich lore, which has been the subject of countless web articles written by CCP, a bunch of novels, at least one magnificent source book, and of course a handful of other games aside from EVE. It’s eons of lore made manifest in the current game world and the weight and scars of its violent history can be found throughout the galaxy.
Then there’s the player history, the emergent history. More battlefields (naturally). Monuments to the player based efforts to aid real life science. There was a monument created to celebrate a group of players solving a galaxy spanning riddle, and then that monument had its model updated to a “destroyed state” after the player base spent a few weeks shooting it one summer in reaction to a change in direction to the game. There’s a cemetery maintained by a player that’s a monument to the corpses of dead in game characters, but has also become a place for players to memorialize other players who have passed on in real life and sometimes their loved ones or friends who didn’t play their game at all. There’s even been a history book written by a historian about the titanic player wars that have taken place in Null Sec. And a really big statue of Katia Sae.
EVE lore goes back before the game began, and since it launched 17 years ago, both the players have created history, as have the non-player characters controlled by CCP. EVE has changed a lot since it launched. Not only is this an incredibly unique thing in gaming, but it’s a powerful thing as well.
Most players get lured into EVE, typically by a friend talking up the game’s deep complexity, merciless player base, brilliant player driven complexity, or giant record-breaking battles. But I know many players stay or keep coming back because of the sense of history and lore the EVE universe has. That and the way that the players can have a very real impact on that history. It was players who destroyed the Caldari titan over Caldari Prime and right now it is players determining how many systems in Empire space the Triglavians will control. It is that sense of history that helps to mark EVE players for life and, even if they do eventually “win EVE” and never come back, the game will always have a deep place in their heart.
The Problem that TripTiks Help Solve
The greatest issue EVE faces has long been accessibility, and while CCP have made strides to fix the new player experience, this remains true of the Lore and History. There are disparate and unevenly written articles across the internet, there is a source book that is a bit expensive (and I think out of print). There are player blogs and almost two decades of Reddit and other forum posts. But most of these things require you to know where you look or to possess a patience and investment that not necessarily everybody has.
Nor should they have to. EVE can do better at revealing its secrets. As is so often the case, the solution to this (at least for now) is left to the players. So here at the Signal Cartel we have decided to try and help.
TripTiks help to fix this, in one of the best formats possible. The 2.0 TripTik system takes players to the most important and unique locations in the game and then provides carefully written summaries of their importance. Then, they offer links to further information and reading. TripTiks offer a guided way in which players can learn the lore and history of the game by flying their spaceships instead of trudging through google searches and wiki stubs.
TripTik 2.0 includes in-game lore, such as the ancient races of EVE, tours of at least two wars between the Empires, and the aftermath of the Seyllin incident. On the player-created side, you’ll find out where the Capsuleer cemetery is, monuments to player accomplishments, a tour recording the state of Null Sec in YC122, and the location of one of the largest players battles ever. All TripTiks include publicly available bookmarks to help players find the critical locations, travel tips, and other helpful notes.
TripTik 2.0 certainly doesn’t include everything in EVE. In fact, it’s just a drop in the ocean. But hopefully it can inspire other projects, or perhaps even help CCP realize that the player base does care passionately about its lore and shared history, just as much as we do about sweet new zappyboi ships (Well, maybe not as much as new ships, but a close second or third).
It’s my genuine hope as a historian of the EVE sandbox that these TripTiks help preserve this lore and history and that you’ll enjoy experiencing them as much as I enjoyed researching them.
Considered as a good omen by the Caldari merchants, the „Children of Light“ is one of those extremely rarely seen EVE mysteries that haven't been completely unravelled to this day…
To the Caldari merchants that shuttled between the core systems it was considered a good omen if, on approaching the Iyen-Oursta stargate, they might witness the hypnotic ballet of the Lutins. Some Gallente locals even took to worshipping these strange dancing lights, that would on rare occasions surround an approaching ship like a swarm of angels until the jump to Perimeter was made. The more belligerent of the Amarrian traders meanwhile saw them as mere baubles, strung up in space to calm the women, children and slaves before the warp drive’s wrench pulled them briefly into timeless non-existence.
Rumours had spread across the Border Zone of vengeful ghost drones returning from the climactic battle at Iyen-Oursta, perhaps to enact a haunting toll for the Caldari secession a century previous. Conspiracy theorists, as is their way, held that the spectral phenomenon was evidence of Jove experiments. Ironically, it was the dismissive Amarrians who capitalised most -- on the widening belief among Minmatar slaves that if they witnessed the spectacle of lights, their firstborn son would be blessed with freedom.
Despite the fact that the detour sometimes doubled the length of their journey, slaver vessels would divert through the Gallente Border Zone in the hope that a sighting - staged or otherwise - would serve to quiet an obstreperous cargo. Some slavers lent the spreading belief further credence by freeing the Luti, the children subsequently born of ‘blessed parents’. Others weren’t as compassionate, taking instead to neutering their human cargo, often by furtively poisoning the ceremonial Kapli bread baked in honour of a Lutin blessing.
Whilst a few scientific studies were conducted on the phenomenon (or ‘Iyen Pixies,’ as they became colloquially known), efforts were half-hearted. Welcoming the income afforded by the increased traffic, the Amarr Empire exerted its pressure on the academic community. In the end, even the most inquisitive of academics were dissuaded from seeding their sensor arrays around the increasingly busy node.
Meanwhile, among pockets of forced-migrant Minmatar workers, the legend continues to flourish. Kapli bread is still baked by those hoping for release from captivity across plantations and farms everywhere, and in a quiet corner of San Matar, on the darkest day of the year, the Lutinlir, (‘Festival of lights’) attracts thousands of Luti families now living in the relative freedom of the Ammatar enclave.
Of the widespread theories put forward through the years to explain the fabled Lutins, the one most favoured by the scientific community is that of superheated plasma escaping through poor venting from the stargate itself. It is thought that if approached at the right speed, correct angle and proper warp drive frequency, the vented plasma is attracted away from the jumpgate’s boson sphere and towards the approaching ship. According to the theory, the plasma’s reaction to the ship’s shields is what creates the brief, dazzling and harmless display of multispectral lights.
Katia Sae Everything
Over time, perhaps due to the advances jumpgate technology has seen over the years, the number of sightings has dropped considerably. Of the few reports that are made, most are dismissed as elaborate hoaxes. As a consequence, the Iyen-Oursta system has become something of a quiet bypass for traders as opposed to the highway it once was. Still, every once in a while, a hopeful soul may be seen roaming around the gate, wishing for a glimpse of that fabled beauty.
On one of her recent journeys across New Eden, Katia Sae witnessed this unique phenomenon that hasn’t been seen in years (check out her report on one of the early sightings)! For those not aware, Katia is the only pilot that travelled through every single system in New Eden without a single loss so it is only fitting that an encounter like this was caught perfectly by her.
It has also been confirmed that the Children of Light has a trigger, but no one yet found out what triggers this vista to show up on the gate. As the video shows, the whole encounter lasted a bit under 9 minutes after which it vanished only to be bestowed upon somewhere in the future to another lucky traveller…