With a killboard full of lost corvettes and Catalysts, Yucie Van Burean is no friend of CONCORD or lonely Ventures. An opportunist, you might say. So it comes as a bit of a surprise to see her as the organizer of an alleged sub-warp race in Ikao on November 12th.

Sub-warp racing has a long, honored, and uneven history. Races pop up every once in a while when someone feels like organizing one. Julius Rigel of Sub-Warp Racing Venture (SRV) ran events for years but fell off the grid in early 2014. Van Burean’s effort draws on SRV’s legacy but doesn’t appear to share any other connection.

In concept, sub-warp racing’s popularity is obvious. They are relatively little skill and quite a bit of time bound up in multi-system races, but sub-warp matches are quick, high-octane affairs where fractions of a second can matter. The best racing ships are often small and cheap: in 2013, Rigel noted that “the difference between T1, T2, and faction equipment on a T1 racing frigate is not huge.” Other traditional rules speak to cost and accessibility as well. In Rigel’s words, restrictions to T1 frigates are often necessary to keep entrants from “making a complete fool of themselves when they realize their 8 000m/s interceptor is too fast to navigate the race track.” It doesn’t appear that van Burean’s race has similar caveats, at least at this stage.

While it’s easy to participate in an event like this, it’s orders of magnitude harder to run one. Player-created contests often suffer from a lack of visibility. I’ve run my share of them, with widely varying levels of public buy-in, and I think any sincere contest-runner could empathize with statements from one brave soul. “I put hours of work into setting this up, tossing out invites in advance, etc. I was really excited to run it, even if I couldn’t participate myself. Ultimately one person showed up, so I canceled. I don’t think I’ll bother trying again.” You can see why the promise of a good solid race doesn’t come around every day.

At the end of the day, is it a trap? In EVE, the answer is generally ‘yes’ for any given value of ‘it.’ If so, the bait is still fairly tasty. For racers, it’s an alleged pot of two-thirds of a billion ISK split between three winners – almost an order of magnitude higher than previous races. For onlookers, gankers, and salvagers, the bait is the race ships themselves. Responses so far seem to balance interest with good-humored skepticism about a racer’s odds of survival.

If you want to risk a race, or just see what happens, drop by Ikao on 2017/11/12 at 2200 EVE time. Participants must register in advance; no micro jump drives allowed.

 

Image credit: Razorien


Jenne Exupery is a low-wattage independent who dabbles in shipping, salvage, trade, exploration, and nearly victimless heists. He can usually be found bumming around Derelik and Domain under one name or another. Preferred contact method: in-game mail to Jenne Exupery of Manticore-Horizon Shipping [MANHO].

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