My experience with EVE University’s 17th anniversary

Originally posted on Hideo Date’s personal blog

Poster by Marcel en Distel

This was the craziest week for me yet in EVE…

EVE University had it’s 17th anniversary on the 15th of March. I really enjoyed taking part and even being able to contribute in some way to the celebration.

Fellow Unistas Auron Delarnu and Psychotic Fickity did a great job getting a week of amazing events off the ground. They involved all our different campuses and those really came through and created a week packed with events and activities.

Sometime during the planning phase, I suggested doing at least one public event for the birthday itself. As I had some memories of Chribba attending the 14th anniversary and wanted to get some celebrity to rouse the crowd, I volunteered to reach out. Chribba obliged gladly to our set time for the event. I was thrilled, but then discovered that many younger players seemed to not even know who he was. So we thought about how we could get some teasers and info out in advance to create a bit of hype. A few weeks before the anniversary, information about a new EVE monument in Amarr dedicated to Chribba leaked and I was even more excited, hoping it would be there for our party. As it turned out, it would go live about a week before.

Celebrating the beauty of New Eden

My first entry to Fudsters competition and one of my favourites todate

For the week of the anniversary, I was planning to attend only a couple events if time allowed. I would be sure to support everything else that was going on with regular Twitter posts and getting people to share pictures of the events, so we had stuff to get out to #tweetfleet via our EVE University account. If nothing else, I was banking on fellow Unista Fudster to take a few of his absolutely bonkers shots…well he came through, but in a very different way than I was expecting: he actually started a screenshot contest revolving around our public eve-in-pictures Discord channel. We were able to hook him up with nice prizes to give out for the winning pictures. He was so inundated, that it was actually hard to decide on how to distribute them. The competition sparked an onslaught of awesome pictures in the Discord channel and will hopefully lead to more competitions and a huge collage by Fudster.

The entry that got me a prize in Fudsters competition

As Razorien (CCP Aperture) is active in our pictures channel as well, Auron got the idea to have him involved in our festivities. So I reached out to him less than a week before the Birthday, thinking he would probably not be able to make time on such short notice. But lo and behold, he agreed to be our Birthday photographer from start to finish on the 15th. That had me even more excited for the celebration!

Plans shattered, plans adjusted

Poster for the final celebration by Marcel en Distel

In the meantime my plans of just being a bystander were crushed as all the wonderful moderators I asked to do the talk with Chribba (and now with Razorien as well) weren’t able to make the time. That left me hatching plans with Auron of how to make the travel fleet and celebrations interesting – I was so worried it would be boring for people and I wouldn’t be able to moderate the talks well. Auron had the original idea of doing the Uni internal fireworks celebration at the Bonfire in Munory. A neat place with a surprisingly dark history, as it was a ritual place for the Blood Raiders. Munory is very close to Amarr, so that was perfect to combine both the more private party and the public event seamlessly.

My anxiety spiked when the official EVE Online twitter account shared the info about the celebration I had put out. At that point, I was thinking this could become much bigger than I originally anticipated. I shared my troubled thoughts with Razorien and Chribba who were both very nice and chill about it. I was really worried to be responsible for enabling the destruction of the Veldnaught. But Chribba just said that that would be an epic event.

So I toned down my expectations on the Sunday before the celebration to not go completely crazy. Which was very good, as we didn’t end up having a huge crowd.

Then I was hit in the guts with our ex-CEO Laura Karpinski announcing her departure from EVE Uni after nine(!) years of dedicated service to our community! That was quite the downer for me the weekend before the party. Nevertheless, I wish her an awesome time in Horde and hope to get to shoot her at some point 😉

The day of the festivities

Finally, the 15th March 2021 rolls around and everything is set. We are starting with a travel fleet from our Highsec Campus to go to Munory. Apart from the travel-ready frigates we would eventually pick up a couple Typhoons as well, which you’ll see making an appearance later on.

When our first guest joined us, as we were forming up, we got to feast our eyes on a rare little ship, enigmatic and kinda unassuming, but more powerful than even the mighty Titans: CCP Aperture appeared out of nowhere in his Dev-ship.

CCP Aperture’s (Razorien) Enigma Shuttle Dev-Ship

We went on our way to Munory, trying out the new formations, talking about the Blood Raiders and getting to see some favourite pics Razorien chose out of our competition entries.

As I do actually play with game sounds *gasp* going through gates while fireworks were going off was often deafening.

Fireworks around a gate while about to jump

Once we reached Munory we were treated with fireworks by some Unistas that had already travelled there beforehand.

Fireworks set off by Unistas while we where landing on The Bonfire

We stayed a while and enjoyed the site and many fireworks, using the dark ritual place for more enjoyable festivities.

Afterwards, we moved on to Amarr, made the fleet public and were greeted by a few people already gathered around Chribba’s Monument. The Veldnaught came in as Chribba joined our public Mumble and CCP Convict also joined our fleet and on my Twitch stream.

Chribbas Veldnaught at his Monument getting blasted with fireworks

Talking to Chribba about his exploits and the (g)old(en) times of EVE Online was thoroughly enjoyable. It is amazing that he has been in the game continuously and such an institution in and of himself for so long – in a way similar to EVE University.

Chribbas Monument under a rain of fireworks

We talked about his obsession with Veldspar – and tried to get some details on the vastness of his wealth, which he understandably was a bit vague about.

Of course we talked about the history of his Veldnaught and I, as a player who hasn’t been around since the dawn of New Eden, was astonished at how back in the day even affording a single Cruiser would have been a huge undertaking. Chribba talked about how he had to work hard for weeks to even just get the few million needed together. The mighty Revelation that was still standing before us was an entirely different beast of course. At the time he had poured pretty much all his accumulated wealth into it and still cherishes it to this day.

He still regularly mines with his Revelation in Amarr and describes it as a subpar mining ship, but a great social miner.

Even before the event started he was around and made a little fashion show, which one of our Unistas was able to capture beautifully:

Chribbas fashion show, by Hikaru Sakai

Most of Chribba’s fame and fortune stems from his brokering of Supercapital trades, and he gladly shared stories from his golden days before the advent of Citadels. I was again astounded at the actual amount of trades he did, as I couldn’t have imagined the volume of Supercapitals being handed around before it was more convenient and safe to do so. He was easily able to do five to ten trades every day, each netting him a commission of 300M ISK. And this was when Titans and Supercarriers were not as much of a commodity as they are today.

We also had loads of great questions from many Unistas coming up and Chribba gladly obliged and happily told his tales of yore.

I was actually planning to do some formation warping around the Monument, but as the talk had me captivated, I only tried a couple of warps at the end. Nevertheless, there were loads of great photo opportunities and a near endless amount of fireworks – though some Unistas ran out halfway through and had to get more from the tradehub. Our two beautiful Typhoons also danced around the Veldnaught in loving embrace and with matching SKINs:

To culminate the celebration, Psychotic Fickity recited her version of “Goodnight Moon”, which I had never heard of, but I guess most people from the US would know.

I was able to snatch a few pictures of her Stratios while she recited.

It was truly heart-warming and a perfect ending of the event for me personally. It was late and my family was waiting, so I had to drop out quite abruptly. Some Unistas still stayed and jokingly attempted to “gank” the Veldnaught with Corvettes to end the celebration on a more explosive note. I won’t have to tell you that they did not manage to kill it:

I’d like to thank every Unista who helped to make the festivities throughout the birthday week a reality and everyone who showed up for the Birthday party as well. Thanks to the wider community for showing your appreciation for what we do and celebrating with us!

A special thanks goes out to our esteemed guests Chribba and Razorien. See you next year again 😉

Razoriens beautiful pictures of EVE University’s birthday can be found on his Flickr:

EVE University 17th birthday

EVE University at the A Band Apart Frigate FFA 2021

This year’s historic FFA in Ouelletta was attended by many pilots of EVE University. Three of them share their own stories and impressions of the event as well as screenshots of pretty explosions (all embedded pictures done by the respective pilots, if not otherwise stated).

Fudster’s story

Low Security space in EVE is dangerous: death awaits you in many ways. Pirates and well trained pilots await your entrance into their protected lairs. The flashing yellow skull of a suspected pirate on a pilot’s name is a badge of honour. You live by the pirate code or you die.

Promotional Graphic by Rixx Javix

There is a myth that many living pirates in EVE become worshiped icons. The gods of Amarr are secondary to these monolithic leaders of looters and vagabonds, and none more so than A Band Apart’s central figure of low security piracy, Rixx Javix. The nicknamed “King of low Sec,” Rixx rules with a gentlemanly efficiency of killing any pilot that ventures into unprotected space without protection. You’ve been warned!

Every now and again, King Javix shows mercy on his subjects. He toys with his fortune and feeds us poor mere mortal capsuleers with events in his honour. To mark the year YC 123 of his rule, Rixx Javix announced his annual frigate free for all in Ouelletta and welcomed New Eden in for spoils and kills. Each pilot would be fed copious free ships for use on the battlefield, where everyone was a primary target until none remained. At 16:00 the lawless feast would begin with fireworks, but end in death.

So here I was, a high security pilot with little solo pvp experience, navigating through copious wrecks and discarded drones, targeting anyone that was untethered and in range. We’d only been at it for 2 minutes and already the battlefield was filling up with aspiring pirates. Many had died already and reshipped while Ouelletta had swelled to over 600 pilots in the system, growing as the word had got out over New Eden. The gates into Ouelletta were flashing with bursts of new and veteran players entering, including the prestigious CCP, looking for targets and killmails.

Within those quick minutes, I managed to get my first target in my Punisher. Brawling them, I swung in underneath, manually twisting and diving to keep range, but also trying not to get hit. I broke my victim’s shields and armour very quickly, but then it became apparent, I wasn’t fighting them alone and I was also now being targeted… by many pilots! As soon as my target went down, I too became fodder and was stripped of my victory dance and left naked on the battlefield in my pod. After having to wait out my naughty pirate person timer, I docked up and was promptly handed another free ship. Like a gazelle, I leaped back out into space and… died before I could even get a reasonable hit on an enemy. Confused and bewildered at how quickly I had died was soon explained when I looked at my screen to see a little circle ⭕️ appear. TiDi (Time dilation – a server slow down mechanism to prevent server crashes) had appeared to curb the pilots in the system and my ability to fight back. Docking back up and receiving a new free ship, I promptly found this event was like no other and I was having one helluva time.

Punisher tethered up at the beginning of the event, ready to engage

With Ouelletta swelling to 900+ pilots, it was time for the King to announce his presence in system. Flying out into the middle of Ouelletta in a Naglfar dreadnought class ship, Rixx Javix ushered in his minions of admirers and objectors to shoot their webs and many weapons at him in his honour. We appeased with gusto, however, our meager weapons were only scratching away at his shields. After a few more pilots arrived, including many from Eve University, Rixx succumbed to Bob and lit up the system with a beautiful orange explosive salute. The first big capital ship in Ouelletta in the event had been taken.

An overview look at the carnage of debris lying on the battlefield within the first two hours.
Rixx Javix’s Naglfar begins to explode after defeat

Meanwhile, CCP members were playing their own part of sacrificial duties by enticing the event’s participants to come and play. Many obliged, including our own Unistas. The glorifying kill of a CCP pilot is one thing, but to scoop their dirty unwashed corpse from the clutch of the void for exclusive bragging rights. Eve Uni’s own Hikaru Sakai was eager to the cause and scooped the CCP corpse from the many other pilots burning to get their cargo bays filled with this prize. Hikaru’s excitement was hard to contain on mumble comms, justified and commended by his fellow envious Unistas. Hikaru had joined the illustrious group of owners of a CCP corpse. The trophy cabinet had its coveted prize.

Even though TiDi was still prevalent in the system, many more capital ships were taken to the slaughter. A sacrificial Revelation capital and Kronos marauder fell in the carnage while almost 6000+ frigate ships had been handed to eager capsuleers. The seismic destruction was relentless in the 4 hour event. The death toll of ships sinking in the seas of piracy kept rising, eventually topping 10,000. Wrecks and abandoned drones littered the battlegrounds in front of the Astrahus Toothpaste Fish like offerings to the monolithic leader.

As the event closed and ship supply ran thin, the seas of piracy still ran thick with the explosive sounds of battle. Rixx announcing the end of the event was endorsed with the salutes of over a hundred pilots and victims alike. The beautiful destruction was a complete success and will be discussed at length in many a corporation’s comms channel for weeks. As a pilot with limited experience in low security, I have a reignited confidence and respect for entering low security. Pirates are dangerous and destructive, but united with chivalry and respect to their enemies; the pirate code seems both welcoming and terrifying in paradox. Rixx Javix proved this within his wonderfully crafted event and I can’t wait to be a part of it again next year.

A Test Alliance Revelation receives damage as it is sacrificed in aid of the event.

Hikaru Sakai’s Story

The Frigate FFA on March 6th was my first FFA and the first time I experienced time dilation. It was a struggle to move around – but I actually enjoyed it. It gave me ample time to pick my targets and maneuver, preventing me from tunnel visioning. Throughout the chaos, I was able to get myself on 35 killmails and only lost 14 ships while also having a 0.5 drop in my security status. 

Rixx’s Naglfar from a distance

It was nice to see so many people in one system, as lowsec tends to be a ghost town. Many Unistas attended the event, and were having fun as well – Mumble was always lively. I arrived in Ouelletta 2 hours early, but there already were more than 100 people in local. It was heartwarming to see new players asking questions on the details of the event, and other players answering them to the best of their capabilities. 

When I first undocked in a Tristan, my client lagged. It was trying to load hundreds of frigates, drones, and wrecks – and I could feel my frames going down. My overview felt like a mess because so many neutrals had clogged up the “combat” tab. While tethered to the Astrahus, I took a look around my ship to find who was close by – and found a Merlin to shoot. After destroying the first Merlin, I found another – but was blown up soon after. The next ship I flew was an Atron, and killed two Kestrels in it. 

Local was an important tool during the event, as intel of ship traders and locations of valuable ships were given. Without that intel, I may not have realized there was a Naglfar or a Providence in system. Somehow the Providence made itself more expensive than the Naglfar by having more than 3 million copies of the Amarrian bible.

Hikaru’s Kestrel engaging Rixx Javix Naglfar

The Naglfar was piloted by none other than Rixx Javix, the organizer of the FFA. The first time I attempted to engage, I warped in about 90km away from the dread – with my prop mod on, I burned as fast as I could hoping that I wouldn’t be shot on the way. There were many others who made the same mistake I did, and we all zoomed in a straight line to Rixx. Unfortunately, my frigate was blown up – but with a quick reship into a Tormentor, I returned to the fight and was able to take some sweet screenshots of the dread explosion. 

Boom!
Boom #2!

Once the Naglfar went down, a Revelation became the new primary target. I shot the dread for a little bit in my Rifter, while dealing with a pesky Punisher that made an attempt to take me out. However, I decided to leave the area for a much more valuable target – CCP. After shooting CCP Convict’s Nergal, I was close enough to take out the pod and snatch the corpse. My hands were trembling as I spammed the warp button. I knew my cargo was valuable and was lucky that nobody scrammed me before leaving the grid. I quickly docked up and stored the corpse in an NPC station before yeeting the Rifter into PvP once more.

Hello there, CCP Convict 🙂

I don’t remember much about what happened after that – according to zkill I had reshipped into a Merlin and blasted a Rifter out of space – but the FFA soon came to an end. I learned later that there were an Orca and Moros that I had missed out on shooting at. There was so much going on, my brain needed a break from constant PvP and I relaxed inside a station. 

I’m so glad that I was able to participate in this event and get to say that “I was there”. The community is what brought me back in 2020, and ties me down to the game. Once again, thanks to Rixx and all of Stay Frosty for the production of all of these ships – from hulls to ammunition – and hope to participate again in 2022. 

Hideo Date’s story

What an event!

I was pretty hyped when Rixx Javix of A Band Apart announced the 7th Annual Frigate Free For All to take place in Ouelletta, just two jumps away from the EVE University Highsec Campus. As more details were published in the week leading up to the FFA, I got more and more pumped. I prepared a stash of ships in the freeported Astrahus as I had loads gathering dust anyway.

When the day came I knew I would only be able to jump in for a little bit at the start and maybe some more towards the end. So the plan was to quickly get all my little frigates killed first and maybe undock a few meme ships later. My first choice was the Atron.

The undock of the Astrahus Toothpaste Fish early in the event

I undocked and marveled at the astonishing amount of ships all over the Astrahus and observed the TiDi kicking in – which never was too bad throughout my time at the event.

Then I scanned around for flashy or criminal targets as I wanted to avoid tanking my sec status too much. I shot at a bunch of other frigates but nobody shot back. For a solid five minutes I was able to basically sit at the undock and kill with impunity. Didn’t get much in the way of last hits, but got on a few killmails. Only after going on to ten minutes was I finally killed. Shame, I was really hoping to burn through my ships faster 😉

Punisher Vs Revelation

After dinner and family time I came back and undocked the Punisher. A Revelation was getting tickled to death on the Astrahus and I joined in. As it seemed to hold for now I decided to try my luck at a couple plexes. Surprisingly there wasn’t much going on. I had really expected there to be more fighting throughout the whole system but it seemed heavily concentrated on the Astrahus and 5-5 station.

But in the end I managed to die. As I reshipped I decided to go directly for my cruisers to get back to tickling the Revelation. A Moros had joined in as well and I was able to see both Dreads break apart. Lost my first Rupture just as the Moros spiraled out of control.

Revelation exploding with Moros in the background

Looking around the huge mess I decided it was time to help with the cleanup, so I undocked my shiny salvaging Magnate and looked around for valuable wrecks to vacuum up. I was mostly ignored – again to my surprise – and seemed to also be amazingly safe within the tether even when salvaging. The only thing worthwhile I was able to get was an elite battleship wreck, otherwise a few elite frigates. All in all I managed to salvage about 10M… sadly no one blew me up in the process.

After tidying up the place for a little bit I undocked a Griffin which I used to annoy a Hecate gang and a few others. Again to my surprise, I was ignored for quite a while until some random frigate finally put me out of my misery of flying a despicable ECM ship.

Smartbombing Thanatos

My second Rupture was used on two Thanatos’s, one of Rixx – who cowardly docked back up, running away from the might of the rust – and one of WER4, our good ol’ wardeccers. After I was able to do the obligatory “cool kids don’t look at explosions” shot I was really expecting to be immediately focused on, as I had the slowest and biggest ship on grid at the time. But I had to beg a Flycatcher to take notice of me and show my dusty arty Rupture how to clean up.

Rupture giving the Thanatos the cold shoulder

To round out the evening I took out a Rifter, a Tristan and ultimately a Thrasher. I was again looking for fights around the system.

My Rifter found a few people engaged around a Plex and there was a lot of flinging of ammunition in all directions.

I generally find the Tristan to be overpowered, but in my hands – as someone helpless with droneboats – I found another pilot who showed me how to dispatch this mighty little ship.

My Thrasher was heavily outclassed by kitey ships, so that I couldn’t actually fight back.

At this point, the local and general activity had died down significantly, and looking at local chat there weren’t any more ships available to give out. So I was expecting most pilots to not be able to continue fighting.

It was a shame I didn’t get my neuting Maller into action or my arty Claw…now I have to find some other way to blow them up gloriously.

It was a great change of pace and a wonderful event, I deeply enjoyed taking out so many ships one after another and experiencing so many different engagements. Though I really expected to die a lot quicker than I did. Maybe I overestimated the bloodlust of my fellow capsuleers 😉

Huge thanks to Rixx and the wonderful ABA crew for organising and preparing this FFA! Looking forward to next year! o7