Seasonal SecretsTarek Raimo
It is a longstanding tradition for CCP to gift players with a range of items during the winter holiday season (summer for all our friends on the southern hemisphere of course). These gifts have come in a wide range of utility over the years. Of course we once got the very much coveted Genolution Implants and other useful items at such occasions, but since last year CCP has mainly focused on distributing snowballs, fireworks and a number of items which have no use but contain obscure references to in-game events and community highlights. Some puns will be obvious to many players, while others will leave a majority puzzled. Like last year, I decided explain the meaning of each.
95th Interstellar Mind Clash Championship Tickets
Mind Clash is a competitive game in New Eden where contestants use their willpower, wits, imagination and a direct uplink to a computer in a struggle to best each other with holographic illusions to the point where even painful nerve feedback kicks in. The mental battle is visualised for spectators and enjoys great popularity all over New Eden, but particularly so among the Caldari who just love betting on sports and anything else. The mentioned Blue Tiger is a particularly successful illusion used by the current champion. It was even used as a theme for a SKIN. Several of CCP’s Scope News videos have referenced this year’s championship, and the in-game event coincided with EVE Vegas just as Fanfest coincided with the Symposium On Emergent Threats. (see below)
Capital Parking Ticket
Unfortunately, I drew a blank on the specifics for this one. The reference in the text implies that someone ejected from an Erebus Titan and left it outside the DED Assembly Plant in the Aridia lowsec system of Nalnifan. How it would have survived there unpiloted seems like a miracle as this area is a favorite hunting ground for capital-ship killers LowSechnaya Sholupen. Only a week ago they had a major clash right there with Northern Coalition. If anybody reading this can clear up the mystery of this unpiloted Erebus, it would be appreciated.
Cerebrum In A Container
This is a reference to CCP’s so-called Brain-in-a-Box technology which is intended to reform the way in which the EVE Online servers track and calculate our actions and stats. It potentially enables the implementation of a very promising set of features, among which is the possibility to finally have warfare links required to be on grid. At this point it is impossible to do that due to constraints in the code. BIAB finally promises a way to determine how link effects would apply to the different ships on a given grid.
Contraband Amarrian Walnuts
This is a reference to the item description for the Planetary Customs Office which includes the following text:
Excerpt from the Amarr Prime Customs Agency regulations,
section 17, subsection 4,paragraph 8:
The following items may only be imported or exported with the express
prior approval of the Imperial Underscrivener for Commercial Affairs:
Narcotic substances; handheld firearms; slaver hounds (except as personal property);
Mindflood; live insects; ungulates; Class 1 refrigerants and aerosols;
forced laborers/personal slaves (or other sapient livestock);
animal germ-plasm; biomass of human origin; xenobiotics; walnuts.
This was the subject of a question in Phyridean’s Pubquiz on Hydrostatic Podcast. In episode 15 the question was: “Which foodstuff is illegal for export from a planetary customs office under Amarrian Law?”
A tough nut to crack indeed.
Counterfeit Dominix Model
When CCP presented the concept for a redesigned Dominix battleship, creative minds and esthetic purists among EVE players were triggered by the announcement. One enterprising ship designer proposed a more “natural” look for the good old “space potato”.
Most likely this became the inspiration for the Counterfeit Dominix Model.
The phrase “Feawen likes this” has become a meme on the /r/eve subreddit this year after the community member Feawen used it a few times. Another redditor even created a subreddit dedicated to all the things Feawen likes.
Grand Teigjon Casino Chip
Another reference to both the Mind Clash Championship and EVE Vegas. The Grand Teigjon Casino Resort is of course a stand-in for Las Vegas, and it is customary for EVE Vegas attendees to get sponsored gambling chips with the swag they receive on arrival.
As the item description mentions, this refers to Max Singularity. He first came to prominence this year by winning the Fanfest 2015 Cosplay Competition. Apart from having nice Amarrian robes and creepy props he also caused a lot of controversy. Some disapproved of his support for the CFC rebranding as Imperium, but the main contenders against him were the Amarr roleplayers who were incensed by his antics both in-character and out-of-character. Much of what Max proclaims during his tongue-in-cheek statements clashes directly with the in-game lore about the Empire. Particularly Max’s repeated public denouncement of the late Jamyl Sarum made him unpopular in the Amarr RP circles who were very dedicated to their Empress. The fact that his real-life employment is with the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratories can, however, serve as a reminder that it was the Amarr who rediscovered space travel first after the EVE Gate had collapsed.
The description mentions the battle of B-R5RB which created such media echo outside of the EVE player community that it even got its own Wikipedia entry which was deemed significant enough to avoid deletion due to the widespread attention the event received. Despite the description, B-R5RB was not necessarily the largest battle in EVE history. It was the longest and the most costly battle ever fought, but in number of participants in a single system it is overshadowed by the Battle of 6VDT-H. In a broader sense, the term Meat Popsicle itself is most likely a reference to the Luc Besson SciFi action comedy The Fifth Element (Thanks to our editor Jakob Anedalle for reminding me of this)
Project Compass Star Charts
This item is a shoutout to the amazing work done by Project Compass of the Arek’Jalaan initiative. The players who worked on this intended to find evidence based entirely on in-game information which would allow them to create a canonical body of knowledge about Wormhole Space, the Sleepers, Talocan, Jovian and other subjects. The basis for triangulation data which was used by Mark726 and Faulx to calculate the location of Anoikis has since been taken out of the game by CCP, which makes further research in a similar fashion impossible. If that were not the case, I am sure those great minds would have long determined where the Shattered Wormhole systems are in relation to the New Eden Cluster.
Sansha Claws Fairytale Book
When Omir Sarikusa and the Blood Raiders became a focus of a Halloween event this year, many players clamored for a Christmas event revolving around Sansha Kuvakei and his Nation. The phonetic similarity to Santa Claus which is being used here was the main argument for doing something like that. CCP Affinity is reported to have said at EVE Vegas that nothing of the sort will ever happen, but this is a nod to the discussion.
The Apex Conglomerate mentioned in this item’s description is an old industrial and Caldari roleplayer’s alliance founded by Vendrin. Their name turned up in several recent news tickers running below Scope videos. There it is reported that Nugoeihuvi purchased the production license and distribution rights for the soft-drink Starsi which is intended to compete against Quafe’s cluster-wide popularity. It is doubtful whether a Caldari corporation can outdo the Gallente in terms of PR and marketing, but at least among Amarr and Caldari, Starsi has gained increased popularity, even if only out of spite against the ubiquitous Gallente Quafe brand.
Since Apex Conglomerate has been largely inactive in recent times, the mention of their made-up soft-drink seemed to come out of the blue. In relation one of the Apex Conglomerate alliance members did post this on the forums, and on reddit this message was posted.
YC 117 Symposium On Emergent Threats Access Pass
This is a reference to the 2015 Fanfest which was tied in with an event taking place in New Eden: The Symposium On Emergent Threats. Fanfest attendees received t-shirts themed accordingly, both in real life and for their characters. The symposium was intended for capsuleers, scientists, military and political leaders as a forum to discuss the Drifter threat. CCP also released an accompanying Scope News clip about the event.
YC 118 Succession Trial Champion’s Decrees
Just like with the last Amarr Succession Trials which occurred in 2003 when EVE was still young, CCP decided that players can apply as champions to fight for the Amarr Imperial Heirs. The aforementioned Max Singularity participated in support of house Kador, but any controversy he could cause was quenched when he was eliminated from the tournament in the first round. The champions for each house who are named in the decrees were determined during this stage. They then progressed into a second elimination round after which only the finalists remain. The last two will assemble teams in the name of houses Kor-Azor and Tash-Murkon. At Fanfest 2016 (YC 118) they will fight the match which determines who shall become the next Amarr Emperor or Empress; Aritcio Kor-Azor or Catiz Tash-Murkon. The two elimination rounds can be re-watched on CCP’s twitch channel.
Like last year, CCP have compiled a number of items that work as mementoes for events throughout the year, or as reminders of moments where we laughed, fought, discussed or even raged about things in this gaming and community experience we all share on different levels. The items themselves are of no use and will collect virtual dust in some container, but every once in a while we will stumble upon them when we clean out our hangars, and then we will remember where we were in the game or where we stood on some issue, which side we chose in a conflict.
Genolution implants or special niche ships are nice to have, but like all useful assets in EVE they can be lost. Those items are indestructible, and as such they will remain with us for as long as we stay connected to the game.