It is that time of year again, and once more, as it has for the past few years, Hulkageddon is poised to begin. Everyone in New Eden is feeling the effects, no matter what walk of life one has chosen to pursue.
May it be the humble mission runner, who now quakes in fear for the loss of his salvager. Or the docile miner, restricting himself to only the most vigilant of mining spurts. Or the pragmatic station trader, who is watching commodity costs rise as the supply chokes out despite unwavering demand. And of course, the brazen PvP warrior, who is suddenly keeping a closer eye on his ships because replacing them is costing a significant amount more.
So what is Hulkageddon? Confunded by the term? Boggled by the maliciousness behind it’s intent? For starters, the name is a portmanteau of the words Hulk and Armageddon. Hulk, of course, can quite simply be explained as the colossal ORE mining barge that every miner dreams of one day falling asleep at the helm of while he eats whole asteroid belts alive. Armageddon – without delving into too much of a meta-physical analysis of life and the hereafter – is loosely definable as the event that ends all.
So, in a nutshell, it is an event designed to facilitate death upon miners. It is a celebration of such, and the best and classiest harbingers of said death are honoured with a shower of gifts. Sound about right?
Well… sort of.
Hulkageddon has since grown far beyond the humble constraints of a portmanteau, now revelled in widely by the greater New Eden Capsuleer community – a sport of sorts.
Worry not, for we decided to go down this suicidal rabbit hole, and try to get behind what the event is all about. And what better way than to speak directly with the founder and creator of Hulkageddon: Helicity Boson!
Zeroniss: So Helicity, tell us a little bit about yourself. How long have you been a Capsuleer and a pirate?
Helicity Boson: I’ve been active in New Eden since 2007. I became a pirate in 2008, when I joined The Python Cartel, where I’ve been pretty much ever since.
Z: Ah, I see. And how is the life of a pirate? All blood and glory? Or more hassle than it’s worth?
HB: To be quite honest with you, it used to be better. There is so little incentive for potential victims to enter Lowsec space that pickings are slim. The terrible disaster of a feature that is Faction Warfare really didnt help the outlaw player, since all it did was bring stupidly large blob warfare into lowsec. I really hope CCP will do something for outlaw players sometime, but I’m not holding my breath.
Z: Often people who carry larger than life personalities in game can seem daunting figures to many newer players. How about you tell us a little something about the realer side of Helicity Boson?
HB: Well, if you must know, I’m somewhat known in Corp for losing my Covert Ops frigates by flying into CONCORD controlled space. Repeatedly. I think I’ve lost five by now. I guess what that shows you is that I’m only human just like the rest of us, and thus prone to incomprehensible levels of stupidity myself!
Z: So tell us a little bit about Hulkageddon. Was this solely organized by yourself, or do you have help?
HB: I’m loath to tooting my own horn, but Hulkageddon is functionally organized and managed by just myself. But I’d be wrong not to give credit to all the wonderful people like Garmon / El’Tar, and others, that have contributed prizes to the cause and helped popularize the event. I just wish sometimes that I could trust other people with the prizes and the like to lighten the load. But this is EVE, and I’m not that naive.
Z: Ah, something we can all relate to for sure. What does the actual organizing part of it entail?
HB: The process mostly involves sending a whole lot of evemails, and getting ten ‘bajillion’ convos going. Its very much a mix of simple admin work, such as keeping track of prizes and setting up the killboard, and a lot of PR stuff to make the event more attractive and visible to the community, which in this case directly translates into: Pester people until they cough up prizes.
Z: I see. And may I ask, why mid-February? Some kind of romantic allusion to the event?
HB: The date has no relevance whatsoever, apart from TheHermit (of The Bastards) asking for the event to take place in that part of February so it did not occur while he was on vacation.
Many have hinted towards hidden meanings behind the true purpose of Hulkageddon. A popular sentiment is that Hulkageddon was created to decrease the incidence of ‘botters’ – those being players who use multiple clients operated by a plethora of simple AI control programs to work around the clock and make them ISK. This seems to almost give Hulkageddon the guise of being a crusade – an interesting mechanism some have adopted to divert away from the true nature of the plot.
A far more nefarious rumour is that Helicity Boson is an Industrial Baron, who capitalizes tremendously on the losses incurred during the few weeks of Hulkageddon through mass production and control of the Hulk and Mining Modules market, thereby profiting heavily from what would otherwise seem to be a fairly costly event. Helicity however put the rumours to bed for the most part by addressing the true history behind Hulkageddon:
“To be honest, it was inspired by boredom and mischief. We’d done some mass ganking in The Python Cartel before, and I decided we should make it a contest. Things rapidly spiralled out of control from there, as you can all probably tell today.”
So there it is. Righteous Crusade or Pawns in the Greater Scheme. Whatever your final thoughts on the matter, Hulkageddon IV is in full motion and will be going live on 19th February 2011, lasting officially until the early morning of 28th February 2011. It is during this period in which ‘gankers’ will be most active, seeking to pad the killboard to have a shot at some of the prizes.
More details on Hulkageddon IV, including the killboard and an up-to-date list of prizes and achievements, can be found at it’s official website: Hulkageddon IV
A Little Bit About Helicity Boson and The Python Cartel
Helicity Boson in real life is a video game developer, working with some friends to develop a new games studio – though obviously the details are very hush-hush. He often frequents Iceland as such and enjoys the country thoroughly – not to mention hanging out with the kind (and real!) folks behind CCP. Helicity has his own blog, which can be found here.
The Python Cartel is a pirate corporation, and members of the alliance ‘The Defenders of Pen Island’. They are predominantly active in the Sinq Laison region, though this may or may not be the base of their operations. Further details about the corporation can be found here.
Some Warning Notes on Hulkageddon
The list of ‘rewardable’ ship kills has been expanded to include haulers and salvagers including miners. As such, please exercise caution when undocking in your Industrial ships, Noctii, and any Mining vessels. Steps can be taken to provide you relative safety – tanking you vessels, for example, or operating in less commonly traveled stretches of space. Always stay vigilant and aligned, ready to warp out at the first sign of trouble.
Some of these steps may result in a loss of your ISK/hour generating capabilities, but they will keep you a lot safer. If all else fails, use a cruiser or such to mine in, as you can field a significantly better tank than most mining vessels.
yay portmanteau! That word never gets the sufficient airing it deserves in eve, considering the amount of portmanteaus in eve (lishtar anyone?). Anyhows another ace article, i’m loving this new front page 🙂
big love to all involved. Supewesome (thats a portmanteau of super and awesome!) XD