[UPDATE 14:00] CCP Eterne just published something that confirms Option 1 below. Specifically, it highlights that FD-MLJ and Utopia will be the sites for pirate response. Tactically, this reveals that the Meves group is headed to Syndicate and the Sarum group is headed to Curse. In terms of storyline, this reveals that Serpentis is almost certainly up to their ears in the Rubicon storyline. I’ve outlined most of the reasons (the relationship between the Sisters, Serpentis and Intaki Syndicate) in the Option 1 section, but the other piece is that Utopia/Curse is the home of the Angel Cartel. On the surface this is just another pirate group, until you consider that Serpentis hires the Angels to defend its stations and assets in the lore. It is thus very appropriate that these two are the targets. In terms of cause and effect, my first guess is that the Angels found something in ancient Jove ruins in their constellation (also part of longstanding lore) and built some of the new stuff we’re going to see in Rubicon, and have been outsourcing some of the research to Serpentis (and perhaps others).
So, in typical fashion, CCP will be running a Live Event today (11/7) that despite their statement that “Military cooperation between the empires on this scale has not occurred since the days of the Sansha War” is scheduled in the middle of the USTZ workday and the AUTZ night (18:50). Since I can’t make it, I’ve decided to arm you. Let me know how it works out. The event is launching simultaneously in Sarum Prime and Meves.
There are a few moving parts to tell us what CCP has in mind. For my money, this will be a direct tie-in to the new Rubicon Ghost Sites. It’s the origin story for the new site type.
First, the background. Based on lore and devblogs, the new sites are pirate havens where the various pirate entities are experimenting with new and nefarious technologies. That’s where the new Ascendancy warp speed implants and various other items (meta deployables, etc.) will come from. These are in all forms of space.
- Devblog on the new Ghost sites
- In-character news item likely about a Ghost site
- The new Ghost chronicle explaining the lore, The Only Way Out is Through
- CCP Goliath confirming that the event will not be in highsec, it just starts there.
So given this info, what do I think is going to happen while I am at work and all the favored EUTZ players are on? CCP will lead a parade to a loot pinata. Here is my advice on places you might want to be instead of Sarum Prime and Meves (also supported by the lore, since Empress Jamyl Sarum is from Sarum Prime, and the Sisters of EVE ships are mixed Gallente/Amarr) if you want a chance to go ganking. None of these is guaranteed, I could be completely wrong, these are educated guesses. Those guesses are listed in my expectation of most likely to least. If the tips work for you, drop me some of the loot you grab.
Option 1: Syndicate [Nullsec]
Given the very specific space noted above in the news item, namely the constellation of YFN-UN in Syndicate, listing a “radiation pulse [that] occurs at regular intervals that is not consistent with any known natural explosion” and then the chron clearly stating that the site is run by less than reputable folks, this is a very logical target. The lore also dovetails very nicely here – Santimona Sarpati (CEO of the Sisters of EVE) has never been on very good terms with her brother Salvador (CEO of Serpentis, the rats in this area), and has a secret pact with Silphy en Diabel (CEO of Syndicate), so all our favorite NPC players are tidily available.
In addition, it is roughly halfway between Sarum Prime and Meves, 9-13 jumps. That’s enough to give laggards time to catch up. Conveniently, both routes also lead into Syndicate through the exact same system – namely the infamous PF-346. If I was a ganker or smartbomber (or stealth bomber), that’s where I would sit, or at worst next door in FD-MLJ.
My bet for final destination if they go there is NG-C6Y. This is a crapshoot at best, but I like the odds because it is an O1 Blue star, which would be a nice homage to Apocrypha (the blue stars blowing up created the wormholes and shattered planets).
Option 2: Wormhole Space
Given that wormholes will have good Ghost sites and that the storyline is all about new portals to other places, if they don’t go to Syndicate, wormhole space is not a bad choice. In addition, there are those of us that believe that the CCP Live Events team specifically built a system to leverage a specific wormhole for Live Events. In this case, it will be very hard to get in a ganking position (which argues in the favor of this approach, since it gives CCP more direct control). My guess would be that if they do this they will open the hole from highsec or Auga, halfway between the two start points (see Midpoint, below).
If this is how things go, my bet for final destination is J170376. Why? CCP Fozzie specifically declared this wormhole name was changed “by design” (making it not match the pattern of all the others but three) but refuses to comment on why. Some speculate that it was to avoid giving offense about a date, but I don’t buy that for a second. I think it is a Live Events base.
Option 3: Midpoint [Lowsec]
Halfway between Meves and Sarum Prime is the lovely Faction War system of Auga. Auga is almost always a hotbed of activity and would allow CCP not only to bring hangers-on from highsec, but pick up natural denizens of lowsec as well. If so, prime ganking systems will be Egghelende (for the Meves fleet) and Huola (for the Sarum Prime fleet).
There are a handful of other ideas that might be supported by the lore, although I think the three above are the most likely.
- Sisters Visit: Given the launch of the SOE ships, it is conceivable that the fleet will try to make a visit to the Sisters’ home in Pure Blind, X-7OMU. Conveniently it is also equidistant between the start spots. However this is quite a long route, and across Caldari space where some will be unable to follow, to say nothing of a plow right through Goon-held space. Here’s the route if you want to roll the dice.
- EVE Constellation: The kicker here is the picture (above) – that’s the EVE Gate in the background. The Sisters are obsessed with it, it’s a great tourist attraction for a roam, and this area of Genesis has been a storyline hotbed for years. In addition, the Sansha like to pop in right next door in Promised Land, so it gives some nice interaction capabilities. But it’s really a long haul, 20 or more jumps from either start point through lots of lowsec.
- [EDIT – was reminded of this by a corpmate] Tibus Heth: In theory, former leader of the Caldari State Tibus Heth is still at large. This could be an effort to swarm out and find him once and for all. I find this a bit less likely though because the Amarr likely would not be involved, and the Sisters would likely not care as much either.
- Wormhole starter: Seyllin is not far off the routes, but is far closer to Meves, so I suspect not.
- Giving the boot to Sansha: There has been some speculation on this but I don’t see it. An Amarr or Minmatar start would make sense for this, but the Gallente start point makes it far from any typically good Sansha spot. However, as I write this there is an active Incursion in Basan, which is almost exactly halfway between Sarum Prime and Meves as well, so if we stretch there is a tiny possibility here. But I sincerely doubt CCP is going to kill off Incursions with no warning.
Good luck, and happy hunting.