Operation Frostline: An IntroductionAshterothi
At the last o7 show, CCP Seagull dropped a name on us: Operation Frostline. While there is very little in the form of solid information as to what this will entail, she does specifically mention a few things.
- Operation Frostline will be an event taking place throughout December, starting on the 8th
- Modeled off of Crimson Harvest
- Hints will be coming, including in new SCOPE videos.
- Pirates, mercenaries and a new consortium
However, beyond this very little is actually known. Once again we must look to the lore, and the history of EVE Online to piece together the clues as to what is going on.
Operation Frostline – What’s in a name?
The first step is to discover the name itself. Operation Frostline is not just a random name plucked from the aether, but rather a new initiative of the ORE manufacturing company. One of the new ships coming with the December release is the new ice mining frigate, the Endurance. Here is the description of that ship in full:
“After the success of the Venture mining frigate, ORE spun their growing frontier exploration and exploitation division, Outer Ring Prospecting, into a new subsidiary. The corporation’s first project was the development of a new line of Expedition frigates, designed to meet the needs of the riskiest and most lucrative harvesting operations.
The Endurance is being released under ORE’s ‘Frostline’ branding and combines improved ice mining systems with the well-proven mining frigate frame that served so well as the basis of the Venture and Prospect classes. Unique subsystems and fittings, coupled with a new compact ice mining laser design, give the Endurance the unique ability to harvest ice from a frigate class hull. In addition to this, the creators of the Endurance managed to retain much of the stealth technology that Expedition frigates have become known for.”
This isn’t just meaningless fluff in a description either, they felt this was important enough to put the brand on the side of the ship, prominently displayed where the ORE logo should be.
To learn more about what this may mean, we must turn to ORE itself.
Outer Ring Excavations –
ORE was founded as a startup by Yani Sar Arteu, one of many prospectors trying to strike it big in the big black. Unlike many of the others, Outer Ring Excavations struck riches when they encountered an Obsidian Ochre asteroid full of nocxium. The screwed businessman out-maneuvered the Gallente Federation, and his rivals, taking his small company and building the industrial powerhouse you see today.
By YC 103, Yani had become wealthy beyond imagining, and so largely retired. He handed over CEO to Orion Mashel, who by YC 105 began using their mercenary taskforce, Mordu’s Legion, to strike against the Serpentis. While the Angels were unable to mount a serious defense, soon the Legion backed off.
Over time, the relationship between the Legion an ORE declined. In YC 108, the Serpentis struck back, not with force, but with acquisition. Reportedly, Yani was bitter about the loss of his company, and blamed Orion’s poor diplomacy with the Legion as the primary catalyst that allowed it to happen. ORE has been held exclusively by the Serpentis to this day.
Which brings us to the puppet masters of ORE, the Serpentis; a hugely wealthy tech giant based out of Serpentis Prime. The founder, Salvador Sarpati is the brother of Santimona Sarpati, who is the Reverent Mother of the Sisters of EVE. The Serpentis are most widely known for their production of illegal drugs, however, their powerful R&D corporation have had their hands in many pots over the years. In Operation Spectre the empires attempted to rally capsuleers to discover the nature of highly guarded Serpentis Research compounds. Eventually, the Serpentis agents escaped with whatever knowledge was contained within. Even more recently, the SPC Seeadler was captured, exposing the new technology that is now known as SKINs.
On the Singularity test server, Operation Frostline sites can be found throughout New Eden, much like the Blood Raiders sites during the Crimson Harvest. What little is known about these sites is that each of them have a Serpentis Research Outpost on the outside of them. Digging into the items added for the new patch, you can also find “Serpentis Secure Hold”, which appears to be a container, perhaps holding goodies for those who enter.
Additionally, potential rewards can be found in the form of Serpentis shirts. Maybe this long neglected pirate empire will finally get some schwag. Trials on SiSi confirm: Serpentis clothing drops in the new Frostline sites.
Upwell Consortium –
Which brings us to the new group on the field, Upwell. All we really have on this group so far is the one blog post, and two mentions in the latest Scope video ticker. These are:
- Upwell Consortium confirms report of partnership negotiations with Ducia Foundry
- Base mineral prices see slight price inflation on announcement of Upwell Consortium formation
The latter seems pretty obvious, and simply a mention of the relative interest in this new organization. The second seems to hint at the importance of the new chairman of Upwell. Ducia is described as “an energetic mining company that is willing to take chances in their search for rich minerals” which sounds very similar to ORE in nature.
As it turns out, the chairmen of Upwell is none other than former head of ORE, Yani Sar Arteu. It appears as if he has abandoned his mission of taking back ORE, and instead has set his sights on the production needs of the new Empyrean race. He is not alone in this endeavor however, as Upwell brings together organizations throughout the four empires. Those listed as members are:
- Chemal Tech – Gallente
- Eifyr & Co. – Minmatar
- Intaki Bank – Intaki Syndicate
- Ytiri – Caldari
- Zoar & Sons – Amarr
While the four empire corporations do not raise too many eyebrows, the Intaki Bank and the Mordu’s Legion are quite noteworthy. As mentioned earlier, Mordu’s Legion was the former security task force for ORE, and perhaps Yani’s relationship with them remains solid in spite of Orion’s past missteps. The Intaki Bank is a powerful institution that provides not only security for the wealth contained within, but also secrecy, making it the go-to institution for shady money moving within the cluster. It is also possibly worth noting that the unofficial leader of the Syndicate is a former Sister of EVE.
The Legion also continues to be a major target for discussion as they are not only controversial, but are quite busy in the State as of late.
Additional clues can be found within the game files for potential rewards for these events. There are three new Mordu’s Legions skins which may play a part. However, the king of it all is the armor sets.
SPOILER ALERT, SPOILER ALERT!
One of the more noteworthy things to have appeared within the Sisi files (besides some awesome teases for Citadels) is the appearance of new body armor. Although it is currently unknown when or if any of them will be available, one set in particular seems relevant. The “Blue White” armor shows off colors that match the Endurance and Operation Frostline color scheme. You can judge for yourself:
Regardless of what the rewards are for this, it is clear that Operation Frostline is not just some throwaway event. The threads of this story go deep, and the rivalries are fierce. It seems like a war for resources is brewing. With ORE and Upwell involved, perhaps the universe will burn, or freeze.