The Stargate Trailblazers event currently ongoing in EVE Online is the lore explanation for the addition of four new stargates. They 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 Minmatar Republic
- The Forge (Hykkota) to Genesis (Ahbazon) for the Caldari State
Of the four, the Irgrus to Pakhshi gate under construction by the Minmatar Republic seems the gate that doesn't belong with the others. The first oddity is that both ends of the gate fall in high sec systems. The second is that the gate doesn't shorten transit times between trade hubs. Rens is 15 jumps away from Irgrus and Hek is 16. But what the new gate lacks in a convenient location it makes up for in safety.
|The soon-to-be revised map of Metropolis|
The Minmatar Republic has two high sec routes to other empires. The first runs from Heimatar through the Ammatar Mandate (Derelik) to the Amarrian region of Derelik. The high security route from Rens to the system of Amarr in Domain runs 21 jumps. The route is fairly safe, with only a stretch of 5 systems with a security rating of 0.6 in Devoid to traverse.
|High sec routes to move goods from the Republic to Dodixie|
The second route to other empires requires using the Bei-Colelie gate. For two NPC empires supposedly friendly to each other, they seem unable to coordinate on security. In non-role playing terms, the area between the two empires is a gankers paradise. The shortest routes from the Minmatar trade hubs of Hek (8 jumps) and Rens (14 jumps) to Dodixie require passing though 6 systems, including Hek, with a security level of 0.5. Haulers can reduce the number of ganking systems down to 3, but that is as good as they can do. Avoiding the extra systems adds 9 jumps to a trip from Rens to Dodixie and 11 jumps to trip between Hek and the Gallente trade hub.
With the new jump gate in place, travel between the Minmatar trade hubs and Dodixie can run in relative safety. Not counting Hek itself, ships will only have to enter one 0.6 security system, Josekorn. The new Rens-Dodixie route will run 21 jumps and the Hek-Dodixie route will run 22.
|Map obtained from r/eve|
Researching the possible impact of the gate led me to wonder if the new gate will have an impact on what is known as EVE Online's Silk Road. What was dubbed as Silk Road 2.0 links trade in a 50 jump route linking the five major trade hubs in New Eden. That is, if one can call the two Minmatar trade hubs major when compared to the trade hubs in the other three empires. I wonder how many haulers will add seven jumps and skip Rens in order to bypass the potentially dangerous 7 system stretch from Balle in Sinq Laison to Hek in Metropolis.
I'm sure the other gates each have a story to tell about how they will impact the game. Some of those ways players may even determine ahead of time. What I am going to look for, though, is whether the balance of trade between the two Minmatar hubs shifts in any way.