Where to turn in these Unprecedented Times

Editor’s Note: These are unprecedented times we’re living in as the world deals with the Covid 19 pandemic. Signaleer Sloopy Noopers shared the following post on our internal forums and I wanted to share with our larger EvE Online community as well.

Disclaimer

Please be advised that all of the information in this post is provided for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. If you have or suspect you have a health problem, consult your family physician. If you have or suspect you are experiencing a health emergency, please visit a hospital Emergency Department in your area. Reliance on any information provided by SignalCartel.com appearing in or provided in relation to this post is solely at your own risk. SignalCartel.com assumes no responsibility or liability for any damages, claims, liabilities, costs or obligations arising from the use of this post or any other website to which this post is linked. Your use of third-party websites is at your own risk and subject to the terms and conditions of use for such sites.

Sloopy Noopers

We are all lucky enough to be part of the amazing Signal Cartel community and this will no doubt help many of us cope with the current situation and isolation (it’s certainly helping me!!). There are a lot of amazing people here who are more than happy to chat and help you alleviate the boredom and stress that may come your way. However, it is important to recognise, as Thrice said in his post, that we aren’t medical professionals and we can only offer a friendly ear and some fun distraction. If you or someone close to you is suffering with mental health issues, or you suspect that they may be, it is important to seek professional guidance. With that in mind I have put together a list of useful links to resources which you can use or direct people towards. This list is nowhere near complete so please add links and any useful resources to this thread as you see fit.

These are some links to some sites and organisations you may find useful for you or those close to you. Hopefully these will guide you in the right direction. However, by no means is this a comprehensive list so please check that these are right for your situation.

General Links

This is the Rethink Mental Illness site dedicated to Covid 19 and mental health. They offer a massive amount of advice which is specific to the current situation. They are based in the UK but there is a lot of general information which will be useful to everyone.

The official US government mental health website has a very useful guide to the basics of mental health. This includes information regarding the early warning signs that someone may be suffering with poor mental health.

The NHS have a very useful guide to anxiety and mindfulness. Anxiety can creep up on you out of nowhere so this general guide can help you identify the symptoms as well as suggest some simple coping methods. The NHS have more advice and guidance on their Every Mind Matters page.

UK charity Mind offers up some excellent advice on coping with loneliness on their site. Loneliness is a growing problem in our world which is likely to be heightened due to the current situation. Hopefully Mind’s guide will help you support yourself and those close to you.

Just Answer is a live chat service with medical professionals who can offer advice and guidance on a wide range of issues. This is an excellent site but I would imagine that they are somewhat over run. If you are unsure as to your situation or that of someone close to you contacting Just Answer can help by giving advice and also freeing up already strained medical services.

Childline has an excellent online toolbox with ways to cope with stress, anxiety and a range of other issues. Although aimed at children (this is very useful for people with children who may be scared and anxious) there is some excellent guidance which everyone can use.

The BBC have a useful article with tips on protecting your mental health during the outbreak. They have also produced a short video in partnership with Anxiety UK.

For an EvE Online community based support group, please reach out to Broadcast 4 Reps. They have a Discord server as well you can check out.

Regional Links

We have members here from all over the world so it would be difficult to give a complete list of mental health services for every region. I’ve put together a list of useful agencies for some of the big regions. Please, by all means, add to this for your region.

Australia

Beyond Blue – Support and guidance for all mental health issues

Kids Helpline – Support and advice for people aged 5-25

France

Fil Sante Jeunes – Advice and support for children and young people

SOS Amitié – Support for those in distress or struggling with mental health

Croix Rouge – Red Cross mental health support

USA

Samaritans US – 24hr phones with people who will listen and help you through

Mentalhealth.Gov – US government mental health organisation

Warmline.org – Peer-run mental health and crisis support lines

Please Live have a pretty comprehensive directory of US support lines here.

Mental Health America is a community-based nonprofit dedicated to addressing the needs of those living with mental illness and promoting the overall mental health of all Americans.This site contains information about mental illness, warning signs, and other resources.

UK

Samaritans UK – As with the US group

CAMHS – NHS mental health support for children and young people)

Mind – UK mental health charity

Other

Here’s a link to a Wikipedia page containing details of a range of mental health support groups around the world. Although not a complete list this should give some great starting points.

Stay safe and see you in space!!

Lowsec Incident and Its Associated Diplomacy: A Noob’s Perspective

Editor’s Note: This week we’re featuring Signaleer peike with a noob’s perspective on our Credo and a Lowsec incident.

peike

Hello fellow Signal Cartel members! I wanted to take some time (out of the game?) to share a recent experience I had in the low security system of Vecamia; a 0.4 system. But first, a little bit about my EvE background.

I began playing EvE Online back in 2010. My first encounter with an aggressive force was with two Aussie gankers. As it turned out, we became fast friends, both in game and in real life. I was a miner by both trade and race and they weren’t, simple as that. However, I soon discovered I loved being a ‘Care Bear’ and yet, I had this overwhelming desire to explore our galaxy. So, being the Noob that I was, I decided to take my nice Navitas into the unknown.

Navitas

The date was 2010 June 14 and after a wonderful and delightful trip, I ended up in a ‘wonderful’ little system called 8KE-YS, a -0.05 system in Etherium Reach. Needless to say, as soon as I emerged from the gate, I was vaporized in a flash. We all know the routine; warp scrambled, followed by endless pounding until there was, quite simply, nothing left. Even my capsule was destroyed, all in under a minute; like that, in a flash, I was gone, only to re-spawn in my home base of Cistuvaert in Verge Vendor. That was my last adventure into the unknown for a very long time.

Fast forward to today, on a routine cargo run to pick up 100 new core probe launchers from Tarta in Concord Territory to Shera, which is part of the Amarr Empire. The route would take 18 jumps via Highsec, but I decided to take the short route by way of Vecamia, only 4 jumps. As I laid in my course and clicked the jump button I thought how cool it was that I’m restocking my supply of probe launchers for stranded pilots in the unknown sections of wormhole space. Moreover, how wonderful it was to be part of an organization with such a rich history as Signal Cartel and EvE-Scout.

As I approached the Vecamia gate I noticed a ship with a solid-red colored box containing a little pirate banner inside of it, sitting not too far from the gate. It was then that I was beginning to realize that this trip might not have a very pleasant outcome. Indeed, I had already selected the jump button as I left the DED facility at Tarta, so there was no way to abort the jump, even though I attempted in vain to do so. This is the point when your mind begins to accelerate and a million thoughts run simultaneously. Indeed, I thought it was one of MECH 1000‘s crew (Vecamia pretty much belongs to them) and MECH and I go back a bit; he often doesn’t bother me unless I do something stupid. I often test ship fittings and weapons in ‘his’ system by Ratting the NPC pirates that live there.

On the other side of the Vecamia gate I did a quick D-Scan. There were ships that I did not recognize as belonging to MECH 1000’s crew and a quick look at Local comms indicated others were in the system. I realized that I only had one shot at getting through – hit the jump button for the next gate and hope that I can cloak before they target me. However, the campers were strategically placed around me and I had little hope. Indeed my Viator, the USC Shadow Fox, met its fate. Perhaps miraculously, my little pod did not. Indeed, the pod seemingly executed my last command to jump to the gate that leads to the 0.5 system of Cleyd. Upon entering the system, I realized that there was no reason to proceed with the mission since the Shadow Fox had been reduced to a pile of twisted aluminum and composite fragments. So, I limped back through the Cleyd/Vecamia gate and docked up at the nearest station; back into the system that I lost my beloved Shadow Fox.

Viator

I sat in the station, pondering my options and feeling a bit sorry for myself for losing my ship while also feeling a certain self-loathing for trying to save time by jumping through Lowsec during a high-risk time frame, I knew better. In any event, I began plotting my next course of action; how to get back to Tarta without getting killed. There were two possibilities, the first, cross back through the Vecamia/Tarta gate and hope that the campers had left (they hadn’t). The second option would be to plot and execute a course that would take me from Vecamia to Jita to Tarta. This route would take approximately 30 jumps and with Signal Cartel’s current War-Dec status this could be as perilous as simply attempting to jump back though the Vecamia/Tarta gate. There was also a third option, one that doesn’t seem as realistic as the other options; namely, to shut down for the day and remain docked until I could safely get out. While I was contemplating these options, it was then that the first strange event happened.

Suddenly, A private comm sprang to life, ‘would you like to accept a private conversation’ or whatever it states. Figuring that this was my killer’s chance to gloat and taunt me about his victory, I decided to accept figuring that I might be able to plead with him to let me pass through the gate unscathed. Pleading is something that I don’t relish in the slightest, however in the world of diplomacy, sometimes it’s the only sane option. I reluctantly clicked ‘Accept.’

Surprisingly, (I was truly shocked) the following message lit up my screen (names have been redacted for security and privacy reasons):

XXXX > Hey we didn’t realize you were EVE-Scout until after you popped. I have nothing but respect for you guys. Would you allow me to SRP a portion of your ship as a way of showing respect?

peike > Thanks! No partial needed. If you want you can make a donation to Eve-Scout. It was a good fight. And remember, if you ever get trapped in Wormhole space, give us a shout.

XXXX > I insist man, I make it a point to NOT shoot you guys.

XXXX > I feel pretty terrible about it tbh

Johnny-Splunk

At this point, I wasn’t sure what to do. On one hand, I was amazed that this pilot, a pilot who destroyed my ship and almost killed me, was apologizing, let along offering to help rebuild the Shadow Fox through a reparation, I thought WOW! On the other hand, are EvE-Scouts even allowed to accept such a reparation? There seems to be a very narrow interpretation between what is, and isn’t, allowed with regard to the Credo on many issues. Thus, I decided to reach out on the Alliance comm to Eve-Scout’s seniors to confer with them and see what is, or is not, allowed. To my amazement, the person who responded to my hail was none other than, Johnny Splunk. He replied, ‘yep’ it’s okay to accept such a reparation.

However, when I returned to accept the offer, my terminator was gone and the comm channel closed. I thought to myself, wow, if only I had accepted, or at the very least, asked him to please hold on a second while I checked. I wondered if I had angered him or, as we sometimes say in America, ‘dissed’ (street slang for disrespecting someone) him for not accepting. Had I made a new enemy? My answer would quickly be answered, at least in part.

Suddenly, my private comm sprang to life once again, this time though, it wasn’t from my terminator, rather it was from MECH 1000:

MECH 1000 > o/
MECH 1000 > Kill: * (Ashimmu)

peike > Hello Mech 1000

MECH 1000 > Kill: * (Loki)
MECH 1000 > hello
MECH 1000 > after they killed you

peike > They didn’t get the pod. Only the ship, this time.
peike > it was a good fight.

MECH 1000 > well, you can feel redeemed ! lol they lost a lot more
MECH 1000 > o/
MECH 1000 > GL

peike > I wondered what happened to them. They disappeared.

After an analysis of the situation via zKillboard, it became clear that MECH 1000 hadn’t actually killed my terminator, rather, he killed part of my terminator’s alliance team. This actually made me rather sad. In a strange sense, I am appreciative of MECH 1000’s revenge on my behalf, but it was unsolicited. Of course our universe is a very dog eat dog world. Nevertheless, I am very sorry for what happened to my terminator. In other, respects, I feel that I was indirectly responsible for part of his alliance’s demise.

Why you ask? Well, this is where diplomacy comes into play and why we must very carefully attempt to study all variables. Indeed, this is one reason our Credo is written in the manner that it is. Every decision that we make has multiple possible outcomes; it is as though our lives are but one stop in a massive algorithm through which all flows. Consider the following questions:

  • Did my returning to Vecamia have any bearing on the outcome?
  • Did the conversation that was initiated between my terminator and myself create the opportunity for his alliance’s partial demise?
  • Did my delay in answering him, while I was checking with Johnny allow for the attack?

The answer is, maybe to some extent. It’s true that he initiated the conversation between he and I. It’s also true that MECH 1000’s crew doesn’t play favorites with anyone, including me. One could argue that my terminator was in the wrong place at the wrong time, just as I was shortly before. The moral of this story is that for every action there is a consequence. This is one of the main reasons why Signal Cartel remains neutral in the galaxy.

Fly Safe Everyone.

Pax,
~peike

Signal Cartel/EvE-Scout

Courage

I had spent the day of celebration at the Katia Sae Museum in Saisio where my journey was memorialized. I found the layout of the museum pleasing. A patron would enter the globe shaped museum from the bottom and walk up a spiral ramp where they could view my log entries and pictures in chronological sequence. Projected onto the inside of the globe were the New Eden stars and an animated holographic ship that would start at Saisio and progress through all the systems I had visited in order changing ships as needed along the way. In the center of the globe was a scaled down replica of the Journey of Katia Sae Memorial statue and the Abagawa gate. Suspended within the museum along the spiral ramp in the order in which I flew them, were the actual ships displayed for all to see.

The Achura Stargazers Society held the celebration on my one year anniversary of completing my journey as the final stop on my New Eden cluster tour. The past year had flown by with the shaking of a great many hands, speaking at various engagements, and answering questions from interview to interview. For the most part, I enjoyed each and every engagement, but I was exhausted. Being an introvert and having been alone for the most part with little interaction with others for nearly ten years, to all of a sudden be thrust in front of large crowds of folks that I didn’t know, seemed to take far more energy, courage, and determination than my actual journey had. Not that I had any regrets doing the tour, I’ve always found that no matter how difficult it was initially to find the courage and engage in social activities, I was thankful that I had afterwards.

Todays celebration was different however and it was a wonderful end cap to the tour as the event was limited to my family, friends, corpmates, and my fellow Achurian’s. I may not have known each and every one that attended, but the Achurian culture is one that’s all about family. Still exhausting, but it was a good kind of exhaustion. The day had been long and had ended with a fireworks display around the statue that could be seen through the now see through globe of the museum. There was no bad view to be had from anywhere within as the famous Signal Cartel hugs fleet demonstrated their expertise with fireworks as they often have done before.

With the fireworks exhausted and the end of the evening coming to a close, visitors had started to make their way to the docking bays for departure. Many had stopped by for one final hand shake, pat on the back, or saying congratulations and farewell. I kept the smile on as long as I could, before slowly disappearing deeper into the museum to find a quiet place to wind down and reflect. Absentmindedly wandering, I found myself before Voyager, my Astero class frigate I flew for a time in Empire space before starting around Null Sec. This particular ship held a special place in my heart being my favorite, but I also had a surreal event that to this day, I’m still not sure if it was real or a dream.

Faint footfalls approached from behind me which brought my thoughts back to the present. They stopped so I didn’t turn around, but waited instead as I could hear them whispering. Closing my eyes, I tried to focus on what they were saying. It was young girl, perhaps ten, twelve, and an older gentleman, presumably her father.

“Go ahead.” The father said.

“But, but, she doesn’t know me,” She replied. “and… I’m scared.”

Normally I would turn around to make things easier for the child, but I felt it was important for her to find her courage, so I waited, acting as if I didn’t know they were there. The father was a good man, reassuring his daughter, and offering encouragement as needed until she found her inner strength. After a few moments, I felt a hand touch my arm.

“Ah, Ms. Sae?” She asked.

I turned to face her and offered a smile to ease her fears, “We’re family here, call me Katia.”

Her brow furrowed and she frowned ever so slightly, “You look so tired.” She said, I guess she could see the weariness in my eyes after all, but then her face lit up with a thought and a smile, “Could you use a hug?”

I must confess, I did, and I found it hard to keep the tears from welling in my eyes. The end of the journey then the tour had finally caught up with me and here was a child, someone I didn’t know, seeing my weariness and offering comfort. Before the drops could pool and fall, I quickly knelt, opened my arms, and received the best hug I think I’ve ever had. In the end, I was glad and thankful that I too, had found the courage to engage in these social events. After all, I would never have received such a wonderful hug if I had not.

OOC:
I was fortunate to be able to attend a couple of the stops on the EvE World Tour last year at Toronto and Las Vegas. I have a love/hate relationship with large gatherings of people that I don’t know. I knew in particular these events would add another level of complexity in that there would be people who would know me or know of me because of EvE Online and my achievement. There’ll be others who understand this, but it takes a great deal of energy and ultimately courage to put myself out there. But usually, when all is said and done and even though by the end of the event I’m exhausted, I’m glad that I did find the courage to go.

So, I would encourage you to find a local EvE meetup or if you’re able, attend one of the bigger Fanfest. Trust me, you’re among friends and family and others who feel just as you do, you won’t regret it. And, should we find ourselves together at an event in the future and you want to say hello, please find the courage to do so. I’ll be just as nervous as you, but believe me, we’ll both be glad that you did.

The Spider

Editor’s Note: Featuring Ray Cosmic again this week not only with another work of art, but a short story to go with it. Special thanks to Scort for editing this week!

Ray Cosmic

I had played EVE online before, but this time around, I wanted to focus on exploration. To do this, I sought to learn from the best people practising it today, so I joined Signal Cartel. Then, having recently acquired a new Heron from my exploration career agent, I took to the skies.

After running a few high sec sites to get back into the swing of things, I jumped into the first wormhole I managed to scan down. Luckily, the lower class wormhole was quiet, and held two data sites. Allison, the AI co-pilot, kept reminding me to check my directional scanner. Thanks to her, I got into the habit of alternating between clicking on a node and mashing the dscan shortcut. It was exciting to be so vulnerable in the unknown. The tension made me fail the hacking minigame several times. Even though I detonated more than one can, I managed to get roughly twenty four million ISK worth of loot from the two sites. Feeling rich in accomplishment, as much as in wealth, I flew back through the wormhole from which I came. Once in the relative safety of high security space, I stored my treasure in the closest station.

The next day, I undocked again in my trusty Heron, confident in my ability to gain riches from the depths of wormhole space. I set off through high security space looking for connections to the distant Anoikis galaxy. The first few systems found were empty of exploration sites I could easily run. Either my beginner’s luck had already run out, or I was playing at a busier time. Hoping the afternoon would be more fruitful, I docked and went about my day.

After the next downtime, I undocked from the station and sent my probes out. The first signature scanned down revealed a wormhole leading to unknown space. Upon jumping through, there it was. Jxxxxxx. A shattered system. Class 2, said Allison. There were almost twenty signatures showing up on my probe scanner. I first set up several safespots, triangulating between the remnants of shattered planets. I then safely logged off to do a little reading on shattered wormholes before calling it a day.

Due to the impossibility of setting up structures in such a place, I felt I would be safe. There would be no locals to disturb me, and the large number of cosmic signatures would surely amount to billions of ISK from the data and relic sites. It felt like I had stumbled upon some deep space Eldorado.

The next evening, I set off to scan down every single signature in Jxxxxxx. The plan was to live in this wormhole for as long as there would be sites to run. I also bookmarked all the sites so I could observe any daily changes in the system.

I didn’t yet fully appreciate how poor my scanning skills were. It took over an hour to identify every single mysterious signal, although I did find myself in an enjoyable, meditative state during this work.

Once the scan list was all green, I noticed that there was only one good site to explore amongst a multitude of gas reservoirs. Though I had expected more of them, I was overjoyed to finally find a relic site. I had read that they could yield the most valuable loot.

This time I concentrated on the hacking. I carefully plotted my advance on the network of nodes. My poor skills and tech one modules left only a thin margin for error. My focus was paying off. I managed to open cans on the first or second try. On the sage advice of my co-pilot, Allison, I did not stop checking my directional scanner. It had been clear the entire time apart from my own probes. As I opened the last container, an astero suddenly showed up on the overview. It had been invisible right up until the opportune moment, and was now only a few thousand meters from me. Panicked, I tried to warp to one of my safespots. My onboard computer informed me that my ship was prevented from entering warp by external factors. I then tried to move away as fast as possible to get out of the range of those external factors. What stopped me from entering warp also prevented my microwarpdrive functioning. I was now a sitting duck, and a very slow one, at that.

The damage alarms of my ship started ringing. A flight of drones was tearing my shields and armor to shreds. This all happened quite fast. Before I knew it, I was in my pod, the remnants of my first Heron floating in space next to me. The destruction of my ship meant that my escape pod was free to warp away. I did so, aiming for one of the recently bookmarked wormholes. I warped back and forth between them until I found one that led to high sec. Once out of there, I caught my breath at the nearest station.

I started to rethink the modules I had fitted on my exploration ship. Would warp core stabilizers have helped me escape the Astero’s tackle? My logs only showed that I had been scrambled.

I went to look for my killmail on zKill. From there, I went to see if I could find a ship loss from the pilot that downed me. Maybe looking at one of their wrecks would teach me how to escape next time. Indeed, their only two losses were of Asteros with similar fits. Both times, fitted with dual warp scramblers. So, even with a higher warp core strength, I would not have escaped. I also discovered something else while looking at the kill reports of my foe. This Astero pilot was indeed hunting explorers. With over seven hundred confirmed kills, the vast majority had taken place in Jxxxxxx. My ship logs also revealed that during the combat, I had been energy neutralised. On an Astero, it would mean that no probe launcher was fitted. It was made only to kill, waiting patiently cloaked in the shadows. My theory is that his alt probably scans the wormhole down and runs all the sites, leaving only one as a perfect trap for an unsuspecting explorer.

I went from being a little frustrated by the loss, to be completely fascinated by this capsuleer. They had found their niche, and lived in wormhole space like a spider.

I love EVE Online !

Cache

Editor’s Note: This week we’re featuring art work by Ray Cosmic. Hope you enjoy and I hope too we’ll see more from him and other Signaleers in the future.

Ray Cosmic

No real story this time. I simply got inspired by my first encounter with Rescue Caches.
The feeling of doing a little bit to help this enormous effort to help out lost capsuleers is quite profound.

Cache by Ray Cosmic