A Surprising Roundabout Flight by iProphet2k

Some background…

Early in my EVE journey, looking at the map of the EVE universe, I wondered many times if it would be possible to circumnavigate it. But alas, the newbro-fear of the unknown, was way above the stress-levels I could bear at the time. My very first SoE mission happened to be during the Triglavian Invasion. Being new to the EVE story, I didn’t know who these Trigs were, why they were there, nor where they were. Trying to get to the next SoE agent halfway through the mission – what should have been 5 jumps – turned into 200-plus jumps, just to get around all the contested systems. And then I was killed by a gate camper on the last jump. If ever you saw a panicked-newbro, that was me. But the experience taught me how to use the in-game map, as well as the ever useful Dotlan.

Hanging out with the friendly E-UNI and participating in its many events helped me overcome that initial fear and showed me there is more help available than I thought.

Beginning to feel more confident, an event by the Desert Oasis corp caught my eye: a challenge to circumnavigate the cluster. It got me thinking. I decided to map out the route for myself using the rules as they had them set out. Although some jumps could have been shorter or quicker, I stuck to the most outward perimeter route. According to Dotlan this amounted to almost 230 jumps. Starting in Stacmon, going clockwise via Cloud Ring, all the way back to Cloud Ring and my dearest home-sweet-home.

Some estimates…

The competition was limited to 4.5 hours. So, unless you fly something faster than a shuttle, you can expect this route will take about 4 to 5 hours to complete. I did it over 2 days but adding up all the in-game time, it was almost 5 hours. When I started, I thought if something IRL happened I could always dock-up somewhere quickly. However, I saw no “friendly” stations anywhere. The only NPC stations (Blood Raiders) were in Delve. So this was a do-or-die race, with the only option to be prepared to make a quick deep space bookmark if I needed to be afk.

Some challenges…

I decided to use the cheapest shuttle I could buy, Minmatar, because I did not expect to survive the trip and being an Alpha, cloaking wasn’t an option for me. You just never really know who is out hunting and a simple shuttle doesn’t have any meat-on-the-bone worth chasing. I also did the run on a weekday to minimise my exposure to too many other players, any bubbles or gatecamps. As proof of my trip, I took a screenshot every time I came through a gate, while still cloaked and before warping off to the next waypoint. The longest warps I experienced, and there were a few that were quite long, were in Outer Passage, 8-AA98 to HZID-J (3 warps) and Archavoinet to Algasienan (2 warps). Just too far for my poor shuttle. I don’t know if someone following me for 10+ jumps qualifies as an actual chase – but that only happened once (in Fountain somewhere). He tried, but never caught me.

Some observations…

With no statistics to back it up. The ship type I saw most often was an Ishtar. Although I didn’t check every pilot in local, the profiles I did check showed very few players were pre-2019 (the oldest employment history date can tell you a lot about the pilot’s possible skill levels). But then it may have been just “that time of the day”. Most of the veteran pilots I saw though were in the southern and western parts of the universe (I’m not sure why). Sadly, I didn’t hang around long to fully absorb the wonderful views , but the most beautiful parts were in Cobalt Edge, where the purple and blue haze is amazing, and the ring in Cloud Ring seems so close you can almost touch it. Seeing all the beautiful nebula vistas en-route, I wondered if a pilot could circumnavigate one? The closest I got to a nebula was in Fountain and another in Cloud Ring – the routes start to go close then unfortunately go the other away.

Some conclusions…

I could provide you my planned route but strongly suggest you plan your own so you may discover the beauty of this universe for yourself. This was my first trial run to see how this works. So, take this as an invitation to join me for the next race around our circus arena.

One of the many great things in EVE Online is overcoming our inherent fear of failure. Know this, even if you get blown-up halfway through your venture, it is still an amazing experience and you will live to tell the tale. And best of all, fly again!

Fly unbounded!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.