Editor’s Note: There are as many measures of success as there are corporations in New Eden. Some measure in profits, some measure in kills, but for me there is no greater measure than service to the community. I’m honored to fly with a corporation that measures success in Capsuleers rescued. – Katia Sae
The following is an AAR (After Action Report) submitted by Signaleer Sydney Selket.
Today I got to unwittingly participate in an historic event in the Eve-Scout Rescue program. Long-time Rescue Coordinators Xalyar and Captain Crinkle have been racing each other to 100 rescues for a while now, and when they recently both landed at 99, we started to think, “Wouldn’t it be cool if they happened to do their next rescue together so they both won the race?”
I had forgotten all about this, and maybe they had too, when we received a ping that a Search and Rescue system (J103924) had been located by Renek Dallocort. Xalyar was first to answer the call. I was trying to step away for a shower, but mentioned that I was available if needed. The chain provided to us by ALLISON was what we would call “ugly”: many jumps through a web of C4s and C5s before any high-sec or low-sec exit. The system itself, that Renek was just beginning to scan, had only a null static. With this challenge in mind, Xalyar asked for backup and I began logging in, with Captain Crinkle also chiming in that he was coming.
Xalyar had actually been the 911 dispatcher on this rescue when the call came in 3 days earlier, so he was the obvious person to reach out to the pilot. Normally we won’t contact the pilot until the system is secured by rescue personnel and we have a way out, because we don’t want an over-anxious pilot to log in before the system is safe and ready for quick rescue. However in this case Xalyar’s notes from the dispatch indicated that the pilot was wavering on whether it was worth waiting for rescue, so we made an exception just to make sure they didn’t choose the next half hour or so to give up. Xaylar was able to reach the pilot on Discord before we even made it to the system, and we knew the pilot would be available for immediate rescue when we were ready.
We entered the chain from different directions and eventually met up in the middle where the chains converged, providing bookmarks for each other to follow, while Renek fed us the next sig in the chain to speed our scanning. Once I got into the SAR system, Renek was able to take off to continue exploring, and I held the system while Xalyar and Crinkle split off scanning more promising routes out, as the way we came in was very long and unstable.
Now that enough time has passed for this not to be active intel, here’s a pic of the chain as it looked as we were arriving (the SAR system is in green). I came from Pelkia, Xalyar came from New Caldari, and after checking out some options from Thera, Crinkle also came from New Caldari.
Xalyar and Crinkle ended up finding a C1 and a C3 which each had a low-sec static and either would make a better exit than the way we came in. Crinkle, with his 99 rescues of wisdom, was the first to point out that depending on what kind of ship the pilot had, a C1 could only take up to medium ships, and might be too small (we knew based on the fact that the pilot was lost in a C2, they couldn’t have a capital, but it could be a battleship). Xalyar reached out to the pilot to confirm, and found out it was a Drake. A C1 is indeed one of the places you can bring your Drake, so we decided on that as the first option for exit, with the C3 as a backup in case the end-of-life hole to the C1 collapsed.
We organized ourselves for a 4-jump exit to low sec. I would be the warp-in point for the pilot to the wormhole out of the SAR system, as I was already there, and then I would sprint ahead to get what I thought was the final exit to low sec, but we ended up improvising on the way and I held up to take the 3rd jump instead, as Crinkle took the 2nd jump and Xalyar followed with the pilot. After the pilot made the jump past me into the C1 I ran ahead again into low sec to see what things looked like in local. Crinkle had found 2 in local a few minutes earlier, but when I splashed in it was deserted. Xalyar, with his 99 rescues of wisdom, immediately asked if there was a station there for the pilot to dock in, which there was not. I quickly checked that the next system in the direction of high sec had a station, and that’s the direction we pointed our pilot in when he reached the safety of K-space.
It was at this point after we waved o7 to the pilot, and were commenting on how smoothly that extraction had gone, when we realized Xalyar and Crinkle had done their 100th rescue together. And I was overcome with honor to have accompanied them, especially on a rescue that had benefited so much from teamwork and experience. Surely this deserved some more acknowledgement beyond the glittering Beacon of Anoikis Medal they will be receiving for their incredible achievement, so here I am to tell you more about them.
From the time I joined Signal Cartel it was my dream to be a rescuer, and Xalyar and Crinkle took me under their respective wings and answered my questions and included me when my explorations crossed paths with rescues. Crinkle taught the class I took on rescue cache placement shortly after I joined the corp, and while he didn’t teach my class, I have had the privilege to sit in on Xalyar’s 911 operator training course to see the guidance he gives our new trainees. During my time as a 911 operator Crinkle and Xalyar were always around to provide guidance on those trickier calls, and to make sure rescues were running smoothly. Even when I became a rescue coordinator with them, I’ve always looked to them to have the definitive answer to the even trickier questions. They’ve just recently been promoted to the title of ESR Manager, to reflect their seniority among the coordinators and the special role they’ve taken over time to help ESR Director Igaze handle the increasing workload as our rescue program grows.
How fitting that despite their constant friendly competitiveness to one-up each other, they arrive at the most prestigious of rescue milestones at exactly the same time. Congratulations to two amazing mentors! I’m sure the race to 200 has already begun!
Editor’s Note: Click on the images to see full screen (in most cases 😉 )
Has this ever happened to you?
“I had recently discovered gas mining and was making good ISK at it. Normally, I was careful to mark my entrance into a wormhole, but this day I [was] super excited to get mining. I warped away from the wormhole entrance to make my first safe spot and was about to start scanning for gas sites, when I realized I did not save the entrance location. I freaked out a little at first, but then I got on Google to see what I could do. There it was! A link to evescoutrescue.com. Who knew! Anyway, I joined the EvE-Scout channel and typed HELP! Within a minute someone was responding and organizing a rescue. I was safely out of the wormhole in about 20 minutes.” – Sue T’Que
Or maybe one of these other testimonials is similar to your circumstance?
For this blog post let’s go over the steps you should take when you’re stranded and along the way I’ll share some behind the scenes magic of our EvE-Scout Rescue service.
The first thing a stranded pilot should do is ensure they are in a safe location in the system, then request immediate in-game assistance by going here and logging in with their EvE Single Sign On. The only information that we need authorized is the capsuleers current location.
Providing the location does two important things for us. First, it confirms that you are indeed in wormhole space as our service is only provided for that mysterious realm of New Eden. Second, the location is needed for our 911 Operators to determine if there is an EvE-Scout Rescue cache in the system and/or if ALLISON is aware of any wormhole chains to get there. ALLISON, or Allison as we like to call her, is our AI (artificial intelligence) onboard navigational assistant that many of our Signaleers fly with. Her name is an acronym meaning Artificial Life Limited In Scope to Onboard Navigation.
The importance of our rescue team knowing the location can’t be stressed enough and yes, you’re going to have to trust us. It has taken years for our reputation to get where it is today and it’s all because we have proven ourselves to be fair, neutral, and trustworthy in our interactions with our fellow capsuleers of New Eden. The EvE Single Sign On is safe and secure to use and our rescue team are the only ones who will know.
Along with the request, additional details can be provided in the “Message” box which is optional and not required, but can be helpful and useful to us (such as an ALT that could be contacted or your Discord handle if you have one). Once you submit the request, you’ll be taken to a confirmation screen, then once you confirm you’ll be instructed to join our “EvE-Scout” in-game chat channel as well as our Discord server channel #stranded-pilots-lounge. In both cases, those chat channels are PUBLIC, so DO NOT SHARE your location, we already know. 😉
Behind the scenes, the request pings our 911 Operators and Rescue Coordinators on our Discord server. We have pretty good worldwide coverage these days and I’m not kidding when I say if you’re in prime time US or EU time zones, one of our Operators will likely reach out to you in under a minute. In other time zones there may be some lag, but even then I’d say you’re likely to hear back in just a few minutes or at the most in under an hour.
This is where the magic truly begins and there’s usually simultaneous things going on about now. As you’re talking to one of our Operators who’s been through a training class and follows a Rescue Flowchart to help determine the best course of action, a Coordinator is already working with Allison to see if there are any known routes, or “active chains”, to your system. If there are any chains and even before an Operator has determined the best course of action for your case, a team is likely already on standby to head towards your system. If there are no active chains, part of our Operators process is working with you to see if you have the chain, but I’m getting a little ahead of myself.
Generally our Operator will determine one of three scenarios your rescue falls into: 1) That you are in need of supplies, such as probes, and there’s an EvE-Scout Rescue Cache in your system, 2) Allison has located a chain to your system or you’re able to provide one, or 3) Giving you a series of options including to wait until we find your system which could be up to a week, possibly longer.
Option 1: EvE-Scout Rescue Cache
One of Allison’s main functions is to maintain a database of active rescue caches that have been deployed by our Signaleers. What is an EvE-Scout Rescue Cache (ESRC)? It is a secured, anchored container located somewhere in the system. It contains (1) Core Probe Launcher, (8) Core Scanner Probes, and often a few “hugs” or other trinkets for fun. These containers once anchored can last up to 30 days before exploding unless they are “maintained”. Not only do our Signaleers deploy these in systems that need one, they also open them when passing through to extend their life expectancy and reset the 30 day countdown to explode as well as restock items as needed.
We currently have an active ESRC in 97.5% of all wormholes! That’s 2,539 systems out of 2,603 (not counting Thera) and simply amazing! So, it’s almost assured there’s one in the system for you. We have a lot of Signaleers that participate in this amazing service which you can see some of our Heroes here.
If our Operator has determined there should be an ESRC in the system with you, which you may want to confirm via D-Scan if you’re within range, then you’ll be provided some information on where it is, the password to open it, and how to get to it. With the fairly recent expansion of capabilities of shared Bookmarks, our Operator may be able to give you one to go directly to the cache. If not, we have a “Bounce” method and instructions to get you there. Once found, open it with the password, take out what you need, and you’ll be equipped to scan your own way out.
Hot off the presses and starting today, we’ll be adding a Noise-5 ‘Needlejack’ Filament to the ESRC container. This is an optional item that our Signaleers can include in the rescue cache and since we’re just now starting to roll out this option, it will take some time before we see any substantial coverage of wormholes that have it. These, once activated, will teleport you anywhere in space to a random Nullsec system. USE AT YOUR OWN RISK! But, it at least provides you with another option to get out if you need to in a hurry and the probes or launcher are of no use to you. Keep in mind, we will not come rescue you from Nullsec…
Option 2: Active wormhole chain
In some cases, the stranded capsuleer knows a chain that leads back to known space, but they’re unable to scan it back down due to forgetting to bookmark, lost probes, etc, or Allison was able to find one in her database. How does Allison know? Well, she’s a fairly advanced AI, don’t tell her I said fairly, and she can track our Signaleers that utilize her while piloting day to day for ESRC operations or other activities, if our pilots allow. By doing so, she builds chains of her own and our Coordinators are able to access that information and see if they can be used to get to our stranded pilot. If so and our Operator determines this is the best option, then the green light for a live rescue is given. Behind the scenes it becomes a fun race, with several Signaleer Rescue Team members trying to be the first to get there. For EvE-Scout Rescue, this is our content, this is our fun. With the immediate response of our Rescue team and perhaps some luck, the determined chain is still active and you’ll be guided out.
Option 3: Patience, all is not lost yet
Unfortunately, there are times when an ESRC is not in the system, the chain has collapsed, or our Rescue team is unable to get to you. If that’s the case, all is not lost yet. If you’re not in a rush and can be patient, then your case will be marked as waiting for rescue. Here again is when Allison comes into play. As mentioned before, she keeps track of our Signaleers that fly with her and should they enter the system you are stranded in, our Discord channel is automatically alerted, our rescue team will immediately get in touch with our corp mate, and the race is on to get to the rescue system! (Fun Fact: This is the technology that was tweaked and utilized to help me locate the last 600 wormhole systems I needed to complete my journey – Katia Sae.)
We’ll ask our corp mate to stay in the system until someone from the rescue team can join them. Most of us have Alts to hold systems for these occasions and we’ll try to get several in there to hold until we’re able to get back in touch with the stranded pilot. The rescue team will keep the system connections scanned down and chains determined back to known space and once contact has been reestablished with the stranded pilot, the rescue team will coordinate a time and guide them out. The average wait time is around 5 days with 45% of all rescues occurring within 24 hours.
Option 4: All is still not lost
Did I mention there are more options? 😉 If the stranded pilot is unwilling or unable to wait, believe it or not, all may not be lost yet. In some cases our stranded pilots have reached out to the “locals” or someone passing through the system and have found them to be friendly. Yes, it happens, they are helped out and safely returned to known space. At this point, if the only option left to you is self-destruct, then you might as well give it a chance. If they destroy you instead, you’re still taking the express return to known space, so what is there left to lose?
Option Boom: Okay, all is lost
Well, if none of those play out, then I’m truly sorry to say we have reached the worst case scenario and your option is to self-destruct. ☹ We hope it doesn’t come to this, honestly, as rescuing stranded pilots is our game play. As I said before, this is our content and what we find fun. Hopefully, it means you flew by EvE’s golden rule, don’t fly what you can’t afford to lose. If that’s the case, then this option may not be so bad after all.
Fun Facts and Stats on our ESR Program
In closing I wanted to share some fun facts and statistics about our Rescue Program provided by Allison’s creator, A Dead Parrot, and the manager of our Rescue Division, Igaze.
Oldest ESRC container in space was sown on November 3, YC120 (2018). It has been tended 54 times to extend its life and resupplied if needed. Signaleer Ace Rimmer Midumulf used it to save a pilot in November of YC121 (2019) and it’s still active today.
Our second-oldest cache was sown on Christmas Eve YC120 (2018), and it was last tended just 3 days ago, by bouzinsky Ozran so it should be around for a little while longer.
Since the spring of YC119 (2017), Signaleers have collectively sown over 34,000 rescue caches and performed over 132,000 maintenance visits (tending the cache).
On April 3, YC122 (2020) Signaleer Renek Dallocort jumped through a wormhole with Allison marking her 500,000th logged jump through a wormhole by one of our corp members.
Allison speaks to our pilots approximately 1.1 million times each year, and with that information in hand, Signal Cartel, as a corporation, typically visits about 1,300 unique wormholes each week, with our pilots covering almost every system in Anoikis (wormhole space) every 30 days or so.
The wormhole with the highest number of 911 calls is J110145, the Drifter hole named Barbican.
Our operators have fielded 779 calls to our 911 service so far this calendar year (as of May 9, 2020)
Our top ten client corporations
49 The Scope
43 Center for Advanced Studies
36 Strategic Exploration and Development Corp
31 State War Academy
29 School of Applied Knowledge
28 Federal Navy Academy
23 Pator Tech School
22 Deep Core Mining Inc.
21 Science and Trade Institute
19 Pandemic Horde Inc.
18 Caldari Provisions
Signal Cartel Rescue Report for May 3, 2020 to May 9, 2020
Total rescues for this period:
SAR: 6 Capsuleers saved from certain loss, thanks to your efforts!
EvE-Scout Rescue Cache (ESRC)
Highest active (non-expired) cache total this week: 2251 of 2603 eligible wormhole systems (98% of W-Space) set just after downtime on May 5th. Record levels are being maintaining with the 98% level holding all week!
SuperCacher (100 sows/tends)
SAR/ESRC Dispatch Whether someone is rescued or not there are many dedicated Signaleers responding rescue requests, either through our 911 page or in the EvE-Scout channel. These are our dispatchers. This week our dispatchers were: Ace Rimmer Midumulf, Bang N’ Donk, Captain Crinkle, Catbriar Chelien, Dagmar Maulerant, Jehan Dante, Maxwell Kurvora, Maya Laya, pris Naari, Salmon Putter, Woldrof Baloc Thingold, Xalyar, and Xavec.
Weekly Ship Giveaway Each week (while supplies last), a fitted T1 explo ship will be awarded at random to one of our ESRC pilots. This generous giveaway is being sponsored by Xalyar. This weeks winner is Zinov. Be sure to check your contracts to see if you are the next lucky winner!
Search and Rescue (SAR) The following Signaleers helped complete successful rescues of pilots stranded in J-space during the snapshot period. True heroes of Anoikis! (Note: ESR Coordinators are generally excluded from this listing)
Bang N’ Donk
Sir William Hillary (SAR Bronze for first successful rescue!)
New? If you are new to EvE-Scout Rescue (ESR) (took part in any Rescue or sowed/tended rescue caches) in past week and have not received a new member welcome gift, please leave a comment on the Signal Cartel Services Welcome thread in the forums, and we’ll make sure a welcome gift is sent your way.
Thanks again to all our participants. I trust the week ahead will be a great one for you!
Editor’s Note: This week we’re featuring Signaleer Xavec who wanted to share another aspect of our Rescue Service.
Earlier this year, Signal Cartel and our Eve Scout Rescue program logged its 1000th successful rescue within just a few days of the 5th anniversary of the founding of Signal Cartel.
Whilst we’re on milestones: last month also marked the 11th anniversary of the Apocrypha expansion, giving us access to a vast, ever switching network of wormholes filled with content of varying levels. Most pilots will work on the reasonable assumption that anyone else in a J-space system is there to turn them into metal scraps and a frozen corpse. A mistake can render you trapped, which might mean you are dead, whether courtesy of some scourge light missiles or the big red self-destruct button. Eve-Scout Rescue exists to help these people escape and save their ship and pod, either through the Eve-Scout Rescue Cache system or the Eve-Scout Rescue Search and Rescue programme.
Sometimes of course, pilots that are lost don’t want to wait to be rescued – understandably they want to play – rescue can take days. Around a fifth of pilots who contact us choose not to wait and take the explosive way back home. Of course some pilots waiting to be rescued aren’t given a choice, being generously sent to their medical clone bay by a passing battleship.
Our systems for rescuing pilots over the years have enabled us to gather some unique data sets which offer a unique insight into the behaviours of pilots in New Eden and Anoikis.
When we close a search and rescue record we also note the reason: hopefully “rescued”, sometimes “destroyed” or “self-destructed”. There is another group though – those who were “helped out by locals”. This group is, perhaps surprisingly, 50% larger than the group who were destroyed by locals. Since Signal Cartel began keeping records, roughly 300 pilots have escaped this way, generously given equipment, or docking & fitting rights, or a bookmark to the nearest wormhole to K-space, courtesy of helpful Eve Online players.
This seems at odds with the reputation of J-space: hostile, unforgiving and deadly. These small acts of kindness and selflessness may embody the values of Eve-Scout and Signal Cartel, but they clearly also embody the values of many of your fellow Eve-Online wormhole residents. They take place with reassuring frequency. For all of the hostility and aggression that Eve is famous for, acts of kindness, generosity and fraternity are all around us. Long may they continue.
Editor’s Note: This week, I thought I’d share, with permission, a story from our EvE-Scout Forums posted by Samuel Triptee. In it, he describes his experience of watching a Search and Rescue effort unfold after jumping into a system that contained a stranded capsuleer.
I very recently stumbled into a system that was on the “rescue list”. What happened within the next few minutes and over a period of about an hour inspired this post.
I’ve had varied experiences in this game, but watching the rescue squad at work was one of the coolest things I’ve seen in New Eden.
When I jumped into the WH (wormhole) system Allison did her normal checklist but added a message concerning a rescue needed for a stranded capsuleer. I started to type a message into alliance chat to ask what to do next and while I was typing a member of the SAR (Search & Rescue) squad PM’d (private message) me. It had to have been less than 2 minutes since I had entered the system. Getting a PM in a WH system seemed a bit suspicious and until I checked the pilot I didn’t answer.
From there the private chat turned into a group chat that was used to communicate between other SAR pilots and myself. I did nothing except sit safe and use my eyes looking for activity. SAR pilots were contacted and immediately started moving toward the rescue system. One of the pilots went at least 30 jumps through some “violent territory” simply to get to the WH entrance. It was cool to see.
I am not going to divulge the number of pilots, or what they actually did. However, I will say that once in the system with the lost capsuleer’s ship the coordination between the SAR pilots was impressive. There was a lead decision maker, but he didn’t need to give directions as everyone knew what to do and did it quickly.
After the current status of the system was determined and preparations were made the lost pilot was contacted and given a couple of options for leaving, or even the option of not leaving at the moment. The decision was totally up to the pilot. I especially applaud the SAR responders at this point because their prep and effort to get to the system could have been all for nothing if the lost pilot had chosen to not take a route out. Kudos!
So… the pilot was contacted and made a choice for exiting the system. The ship left the system under the watchful eyes of SAR pilots…
However, a sad note to all of this is that there had been an “enemy” scout cloaked in the system (probably before I even entered) and when they saw the lost pilot leave system they jumped right after and tackled the ship. I sat off the WH and watched ship after ship jump through and apply tackle, dps, and eventually the kill mail wanabes also jumped to get on the KM (kill mail). It was a sad ending to a great effort.
For those of you yet to see what happens while a rescue is in progress I envy you your first time observations. I do look forward to being a part of another rescue even in a small way and maybe someday I will be able to commit to being a part of the team.
A little over a year ago Thrice Hapus (now Signal Cartel’s CEO) handed the keys to the EvE-Scout Rescue Director’s office to me. Much has happened since then but I have to say the passion and work the members of the ESR team never ceases to amaze me. Many outside of Signal Cartel may not realize how many players and how much effort has gone into our rescue program.
This year was our biggest year yet as we grew our cache numbers to a peak of 2412 systems, 92.7% of Anoikis back in October. The new sharable bookmarks appear to be increasing tending and we’re climbing again, with 86% current coverage.
Arturon Megumi took the time to create a great visualization for us:
Over the course of the year we conducted 415 rescues (202 from rescue caches, 213 Search and Rescue) up from 351 (194 ESRC and 157 SAR) the year previous. Just before I became director we crossed the 500 rescue mark and are now closing in on 1000. Everything comes down to these, Rescues are what the EvE-Scout Rescue Division is all about!
The ESR team consists of two main groups of pilots, our ESR Coordinators and our 911 Operators. When you make a rescue request through our site the call goes out to team of 911 Operators who work to find the best solution for your situation. We currently have over 30 operators active.
The ESR Coordinators are an experienced group of rescue pilots who aid the operators and respond directly when we locate search and rescue systems. Over the course of the year the coordinator team has grown to eight pilots. I believe strongly that while my name is on the door the coordinator team exemplifies the aphorism: “Build a team so strong no one knows who the leader is.” They are all exceptional and most of my job is just keeping the paperwork in order and handing out medals.
Also exceptional is our co-pilot Allison and her creator A Dead Parrot. The rescue program would not have the success it has had without his amazing work. Allison lets our pilots know where rescue caches are, when they need to be tended, when they locate a rescue system, and much, much more. She even has a radio built in!
I’d also like to thank all our devs this year working on the tools that make this program possible: In particular A Dead Parrot, Thrice Hapus, Klensor, Orsel Solette, and Sky Diamond who have put up with our many requests for changes and fixes. Thanks for all your great work!
A big change for our rescue operations was the introduction of sharable bookmarks. In the past there have been a number of attempts to share rescue cache bookmarks but the old voucher system was too limiting for it ever to be practical. When I first saw the proposed new bookmark system I knew it would mean big changes for our operations. In mid November, when the changes became available for testing, myself and some coordinators started testing the system and figuring out how it worked. In late November, before the changes rolled out, I posted a proposal for discussion in our forums based on what we had discovered. There was a lot of discussion following and working from that discussion we rolled out a formal system for sharing our cache bookmarks amongst our cache tenders and to stranded pilots. Since then we’ve continued to refine and improve the system. Tending and rescuing are now faster and easier than ever.
Actions this period: 49672
Pilots Rescued: 415
Accessed cache: 202
Found by Search and Rescue pilots: 213
Signal Cartel Pilots
Maintaining Caches: 418
Participated in rescues: 164
Oldest Rescue Cache
Sown on April 19th, 2018
Tended 56 times by 39 pilots.
Highest Cache Count
2412 (92.7%) on October 28th, 2019
Most Active Day
– October 6th, 2019 (251 tends and 45 sown by 37 pilots, five 911 calls and one rescue)