Wednesday, May 26, 2021

Stargate Trailblazers Event - Better With Friends

Last night I took part in the first day of the latest event in EVE Online, the Stargate Trailblazers event. Despite a poor choice of ships, I managed to have some fun by grouping up with other players. Gee, MMO game play is better with others? Who knew?

Daily login rewards

The first thing that greeted me was the inevitable login rewards. I found the rewards well thought out. On day 1, players receive the Mining Blitz Expedition Frigates Expert System. With the package, Alpha players can participate in using expedition frigates like the Endurance and Prospect. The seven boosters granted to Omega players (and three to Alpha players) over days 1 through 4 aid in mining and last for four hours. Too bad they are use on redeem, or a lot of players would try to sell them. Also, the mining boosters expire in 7 days, so use them or lose them.

Can't miss there is an event going on

In my mind I thought the event might be based on the old Resource Wars features based on mining expedition sites. But I didn't realize CCP would populate the old loyalty point stores as well. Sure enough, they did. I decided to check on the SKIN collection.

The SKIN selection from the Minnie LP store

I don't know if the SKINs are bind on acquire, but at least they are permanent. Given everything else I experienced, I'd wager they are.

EDIT: CCP Fozzie has confirmed the SKINs in the loyalty point store are not auto-injected, so they can be traded on the market.

The Agency page is looking useful

I have to admit The Agency is growing on me. CCP put together on the page the fleet finder option next to the event panel. I have to admit, I only briefly glanced at the EVE Academy page and didn't find much to offer for this event. But just getting me easily to the Stargate Trailblazers information without having to look outside the client is a big improvement over the old days when I started playing.

My progress after the first day

Players get earn a total of eight prizes, six of the event mining boosters and two of the regular event boosters. Once again, the mining boosters expire 7 days after claiming the booster from the event page.

The event page also has the vital information as to where to go to participate in the event. For those wondering, the event takes place in the two constellations the new gates will bridge. Those systems are:
  • Tash-Murkon (Saminer) to Stain (F7-ICZ) for the Amarr Empire
  • Placid (Kenninck) to Solitude (Eggheron) for the Gallente Federation
  • Metropolis (Irgrus) to Genesis (Pakhshi) for the Minmitar Republic
  • The Forge (Hykkota) to Genesis (Ahbazon) for the Caldari State
The full text description from the event page is below.
Welcome to Stargate Trailblazers

The four empires of New Eden are each embarking on projects to build new stargate connections to advance their interests. They are offering capsuleers an opportunity for wealth and permanent renown if they will assist with collecting raw materials for these gates:

Tash-Murkon (Saminer) to Stain (F7-ICZ) for the Amarr Empire
Placid (Kenninck) to Solitude (Eggheron) for the Gallente Federation
Metropolis (Irgrus) to Genesis (Pakhshi) for the Minmitar Republic
The Forge (Hykkota) to Genesis (Ahbazon) for the Caldari State

All previous standings and empire ship class access restrictions have been removed from the entry acceleration gates to the empire Mining Expedition sties to ensure that any capsuleer can assist in the building of these stargates.

Capsuleers are requested to mine ore for and defend Orcas in Mining Expeditions within the constellations where the stargates are being built. The difficulty of the sites grows between the different Mining Expeditions. They are, in ascending order of difficulty: Limited, Minor, Standard, Major, and Critical Mining Expeditions.

Once the construction of the stargates has been complete, a monument will be placed by each stargate naming the capsuleers and capsuleer corporations that provided the most assistance for ...
In my client, the last line was cut off. I hope it wasn't important.

I decided to help out the Minmatar Republic so I headed out to the Panorad constellation in Metropolis in a Prospect. I don't think anyone really visits the area which is probably why the Minmatar Republic is building a gate into CONCORD's home constellation.

Site requirements and restrictions, from EVE University Wiki

When I got to the area, I decided to try a Limited Mining Expedition first. Of course, not knowing the ship restrictions, I couldn't get in. Now for my first real complaint about the event. When I approached the gate, I started the event timer even though I couldn't enter the site. Luckily, the Limited sites weren't very popular.

I initially went into three Minor Mining Expedition sites by myself. I failed to collect enough ore in my first attempt, was chased out with my armor on fire my second, and finally completed the site on my third with four seconds to spare.

The rewards from completing my first site.

About this time a pilot in an Endurance decided that working together in a fleet was better than trying to work separately and we formed a small gang of two. To say two frigates is better than one is an understatement. We finished up our first Minor site in 4:03, which earned up extra rewards.

First reward when fleeted up

At this point, I want to recommend to people that they fly an Endurance if possible. Yes, the Prospect gets a 100% role bonus to mining yield as well as a 5% bonus to mining yield per level of Expedition Frigate skill trained. But the Endurance just has such a better tank. The Endurance has 300 more base shield hit points than the Prospect as well as 4 mid-slots vs the Prospect's 3. The Endurance also gets a 4% bonus to all shield resistances per level vs the Prospect's bonus of 5% reduction in ship signature radius per level. As much as I love speed and signature tanking in my Prospect, the Endurance pilot told me he didn't really have to worry about his tank from the rats. Combine that with the 300% ore mining yield bonus and the Endurance was having an easier time running the content than I was.

The Endurance also brings one additional trait to the table: drones. The Endurance was a drone capacity of 30 m3 and a drone bandwidth of 15 Mbit/sec. In English, it means the Endurance can carry two flights of 3 light drones. One of the flights the Endurance pilot carried consisted of light shield repair drones. So when I'd get stuck on a rock, he'd go ahead and pop the repair drones on me. While the drones don't heal that much, when I speed tanked properly, they worked wonders.

When we ran out of Minor sites, the Endurance pilot wondered if we could successfully run a Standard Mining Expedition. You only live once, right? So into a Standard we went. I'm not sure if any DPS pilots helped us the first time, but we completed the site.

Completing the first Standard site

Overall we succeeded in completing four sites together, two Minor sites and two Standard sites. Looking at my transactions shows just how beneficial teaming up with another player was.

Journal entries during my night out

I managed to finish one site stumbling about by myself, and four sites in about 30 minutes flying around with someone. Two of those sites I wouldn't have had a prayer of finishing by myself.

Overall, I liked the event. I do want to try fitting an Endurance and seeing how the other expedition frigate performs solo. I'd also like to see how the Venture performs in a Limited site. I remember running a Limited site back in 2017 but forgot what the experience feels like. I do have to hurry, though. The event ends at downtime on 1 June.

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