Children of Light pleaMark726
Gather round, children, and let me tell you a story. A story of a personal failure.
As I noted last time around, I consider myself a bit of a lore guru. I like the game’s lore. It entertains me.
But I have a secret. A personal shame that haunts me to this day.
The story starts back when I first dived into the Eve lore, fairly early on in my days with Eve Travel. I ran across a chronicle called the Children of Light. It takes place in Iyen-Oursta.
Iyen-Oursta has a bit of a storied history to it, even ignoring the Children. It was the site of the last great battle in the first Gallente-Caldari war, and is home to one of many manufacturing centers run by the Gallente President’s various corporate holdings.
But the Children drew me. Ostensibly, in a specific set of circumstances, a light show will appear around the gate to Perimeter. I remember rushing to Iyen-Oursta when I first read the chronicle. I was eager to trigger it and profile it for the site. When I arrived… I saw nothing. Yes, there’s a beacon just off the gate, but it just stubbornly blinked into the night. If that was the light show, I was sorely disappointed. I figured, incorrectly, that this was another reference that the lore makes that just isn’t fully realized in game (the battle of Vak’Atioth is still a sore spot with me).
And so I moved on with my life and my blog. And things were swell for quite a while.
Then, almost a year ago now, someone messaged me out of the blue. He was a reader of the site, and wanted to know if I knew anything about weird lights in Iyen-Oursta. The Lights! Good heavens, they were real! As I detail in my blog, I grabbed whatever information I could on the phenomenon, but it was precious little, with nothing to tell me of how to actually trigger the thing. But I ran back to Iyen-Oursta anyway.
At this point, I feel the need to pause the story and note that, by and large, I really don’t consider myself an obsessive person. Really. I get nerded up about things, and will dive into the deep lore of Eve, Mass Effect, Dragon Age, or whatever else tickles my fancy, but its rare that I spend a LOT of time on these things. Keep this in mind as we dig deeper.
So at this point in our story, I knew little. I did know, however, that the Children *were* real and that something triggered them in game. Was it just random? Did I just have bad luck?
And then came Hydrostatic Podcast. For those of you who don’t know, Hydrostatic Podcast is geared more towards the lore side of the game (but that is by no means all they discuss). Without getting too obviously-begging-you-to-check-them-out-ish, let it suffice to say that they’re a great group of guys and I’ve been a guest of theirs a few times now. A few months ago, CCP Fozzie was on, and actually brought up the Children, noting that it *is* possible to trigger them by some action on a player’s part. The Hydrostatic crew went so far as to offer a contest to anyone who could tell them how to trigger the Lights. Fozzie dropped his first hint of how to trigger them: it was tied to something that was occasionally easier to trigger on the test server than it was on TQ. A tantalizing hint, but one that left me even more confused.
“It was at this point that I started descending into madness.”
It was at this point that I started descending into madness. Reports of the Children kept popping up, and it was then that I just decided to drop everything and move my base of operations to Iyen-Oursta. I can’t really explain WHY it tugs at me so, but it did.
I scoured every single word of the Children chronicle. I tried warping to both the gate and the beacon from every celestial in the system. The reference to drones led to a week-long effort to destroy drones, salvage drones, abandon drones, and perform just about any permutation of actions to drones that could lead to them becoming ‘ghosts’. I even polled people at Eve Vegas (PS you should go to Eve Vegas) for ideas, with one person suggesting bringing slaves through on an Amarr-class industrial, which lead to a rather entertaining 3 days of me learning just how difficult it was getting contraband through high sec in an industrial (and sacrificing quite a few slaves while blowing them up, I might add). Still no dice. I’ve activated ECM on the gate, and the beacon, as well as warped in, warped out, and jumped through while running ECM, data and relic analyzers, and weapons.
And then, yesterday, CCP Fozzie graciously dropped another hint:
@webspaceships @phyridean @Blind_Hope Hint #2. Behind the scenes the trigger only uses mechanics that have always been common in PVE sites.
— CCP Fozzie (@CCP_Fozzie) January 13, 2015
And that is where we stand on information today, folks. We know a few things: it can be triggered on both SiSi and TQ (and sometimes more easily on SiSi, implying that it is based on something that can be altered between SiSi and TQ), it’s fairly simple, and has something to do with PvE mechanics. Because I have yet to run into anyone claiming to have actually triggered the lights, and only have seen the aftermath, its possible that the triggerer doesn’t even *know* he’s doing it. So it’s something you would be able to do in high sec, but not necessarily something you would do often at a gate. I suspect that this was added to the game around the time the chronicle came out, so whatever it is, it’s an older mechanic.
So what have I tried? I’ve tried shooting the gate (anyone who knows me knows that I hate committing criminal acts in game. And yes, I know I am terrible at this game). I’ve tried shooting the gate with drones. I’ve tried shooting the beacon with drones. I’ve tried shooting the beacon with missiles and turrets. I’ve tried orbiting the beacon, and orbiting the gate. I’ve dropped drones, abandoned them, shot them, jumped through without them. I’ve blown up the customs officials on the gate. I’ve cloaked near the gate, run ECM on the gate and the beacon, as well as salvagers, data analyzers, and relic analyzers. If you think I should try pointing, webbing, scramming, or sensor disrupting the gate, THINK AGAIN. I’ve bumped the beacon, I’ve target painted the beacon, I’ve remote repped the beacon. (I PROMISE THAT I’M USUALLY NOT THIS OBSESSIVE). I’ve warped to and from every celestial in the system. I’ve warped to and from every celestial and then jumped. I’ve warped to the gate running whatever mods I could while in warp (hint: it’s not many). I’ve jumped in with slaves, I’ve jumped out with slaves, both in Amarr and non-Amarr ships. I’ve jetcanned slaves, I’ve looted slaves. I’ve created and then salvaged wrecks on the gate. I’ve self-destructed on beacon and near the gate. I’ve even stared yearningly at the beacon for minutes on end (though I never really had faith that that one was going to work anyway…). I may have forgotten a few things here, and I would welcome a second try on much of these to be sure, but I think you get the general idea of the effort I’ve put in. I’m also quite prepared to hate myself when I see just how simple the trigger actually is.
Of course, that’s just the beginning. My biggest fear is that the trigger isn’t something at the gate or the beacon. What if its something else in system? What if its NOT something in system? These are the things that keep me up at night.
And in case you’re concerned that I’ll run away with the prize from the Hydrostatic crew: have no fear. This is about something *far* more important than a Collector’s Edition (of which I already have two, I don’t need another): my space honor as a tour guide. I must know. I need to know.
tl;dr: I’m at my wits’ end and frankly just considering petitioning CCP to rename it “Mark’s Bane.”
And now I turn to you, dear readers of Crossing Zebras: Just *what* am I missing? Please, help me, I just want to go home and move on with my life.
(Feature image taken by alexthealex /ed.)