Help! – The Beatles
This post is part 1 of a behind the scenes look at how my corporation, Signal Cartel, helped me achieve the last 600 systems without even knowing that they were and why that came about. It was during the holidays of 2017, while reviewing my wormhole progress to date, I saw I was averaging a little over 500 systems per year. With 2,600+ wormholes in Anoikis and averaging 1.5 previously unfound systems each day, it would be another 3 to 4+ years before I would finish and it was only going to get harder as the pool of needed systems shrunk. Compared to my known space average of 6 systems per day, I was discouraged and close to burnout. I knew I had to increase my daily average, come up with a better way of finding previously unfound systems, and figure out how to keep my momentum and spirits up. Oh, and I wanted to finish by the end of 2018 which meant I needed to triple my daily average.
“I do not suppose you could speed things up?” – Inigo Montoya, Princess Bride
First things first, increasing my daily average. January 1st of 2018, in my blog post “Exploration is all about the jump, not the stargate” I announced setting a goal of finding 3 new wormhole systems daily, doubling my pace. It was doable, just meant more dedicated time to Eve Online and play catch up on weekends if I fell behind. The challenge was, I typically would have to scan down and enter around 3 wormhole systems daily to find the 1 or 2 that I hadn’t visited before. To double my pace meant I would have to scan down at least 6 wormholes to find the 3 I needed. Easy I hear you say and yes, it’s true, but keep in mind I do have a life (contrary to popular belief), a wife and son with things going on all the time, work, travel, other characters in EvE Online, other games, and other hobbies. I dedicated about an hour and half daily on average to Katia and her journey. Not to mention that as the pool of systems shrunk, I had to visit more systems than the initial 6 to find the few I needed to keep the daily average going.
By the end of that first month, I was well on my way of maintaining my new goal, “Years have flown by my open window” and continued through the end of March, “Know your Wormhole Space”. I wasn’t lying in my post “A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step” on December 30th of 2018 when I said “Well, let’s just say that wasn’t my average per day this year”. 3 systems on average wasn’t as it ended up being 4 per day for the year, but a helluva uptick that last quarter of 2018 when my average was around 12 systems per day when I engaged my corps help. For those that were paying attention to my blog, I did post some hints of things going on behind the scenes along the way such as “It does not matter how slowly you go” on March 3rd and “Climbing up, letting go” on August 31st.
“Inconceivable!” – Vizzini, Princess Bride
Next, figuring out the end game. While I was increasing my daily pace, I also turned my attention on better ways to find new systems and keeping the momentum going. I reached out to Mynxee, our CEO, to start some brain storming – if I could get down to the last 500 or 600 systems, could I somehow engage the corp and turn it into a big fun event with prizes and swag for participation? Mynxee was all onboard, thought it was a great idea, and between the two of us we got things rolling along. My goals were lofty, probably not achievable, likely inconceivable, but it was early in the planning process, and I wanted to shoot high and settle for less. My goals were:
- Encourage my fellow corpmates to help me find the last 500/600 systems needed to complete my journey
- Corpwide voluntary event where both newbies and veterans, Alpha or Omega accounts could participate
- Promote the use of our corporate Tripwire mask and our very own AI application assistant Allison
- Encourage ESRC (Eve Scout Rescue Cache program) participation while searching for wormholes
- Point out that by participating Signaleers were helping our SAR (Search and Rescue) program
“Oh good, my way. Thank you Vizzini… what’s my way?” – Fezzik, Princess Bride
It was during this time a fellow corpmate, Sky Diamond, was running a corpwide event, “The Search for Sky Diamond” which ended up being the beginning of our internal “Vacant Spectrum” corp storyline. It was a great event, fun, engaged our Signaleers of all levels of experience, and there was some great swag in the form of Signal Cartel drink coasters. The event set the bar high and it was a great model of just exactly what I wanted to do. It also got me to thinking, what could I offer in the form of a tangible real life item, a real motivator that would get folks engaged, fired up, and exploring wormholes? We have a saying in our corp “Be the content you wish to see” and there was only one thing that made sense to me, something that in real life had to be earned (or at least it should be in my opinion), something that I had seen in photos from EvE Fanfest for other corps that I really wanted to see Signal Cartel have as well, and concluded that it had to be a challenge coin.
With my increased pace set, goals determined, and rewards defined, I was ready to start planning the endgame. In part 2 I’ll talk about how this event turned from telling my fellow corpmates this effort was for me to help finish my journey to an OPSEC endeavor where only a handful of folks actually knew what was going on. Sneaky, sneaky, I know, but reasons, you know? It is New Eden after all, where very few can be trusted.
Stay tuned for part 2, thanks for visiting and reading! Fly clever!