Stranded in a wormhole? What now?

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.

EvE-Scout Rescue PSA

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.

ALLISON

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…

ESRC on D-Scan

Option 2: Active wormhole chain

ESR Flowchart

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

Naughty, naughty

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.

ESRC

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).

Allison

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.

ESR

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:

  • ESRC: 7
  • SAR: 6
    Capsuleers saved from certain loss, thanks to your efforts!

Rescue Stats

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)

  • Louse Merkeen
  • Hain Ekumen

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)

  • Troubled Watters
  • Renek Dallocort
  • Bang N’ Donk
  • Maxwell Kurvora
  • Sir William Hillary (SAR Bronze for first successful rescue!)
  • Jehan Dante

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!

  • Igaze
    Director, EvE-Scout Rescue

Helped Out By Locals

Editor’s Note: This week we’re featuring Signaleer Xavec who wanted to share another aspect of our Rescue Service.

Xavec

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.

2nd Best Seat in the House

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.

Posted EvE-Scout Forums December 28, 2019

2nd Best Seat in the House by Samuel Triptee

Samuel Triptee

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.

Thanks for another amazing part of the game!

EvE-Scout Rescue 2019: Year in Review

Overview

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!

Team

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!

You can see our entire rescue team on the EvE-Scout Rescue site.

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!

Shareable Bookmarks

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.

2019 STATS!

Rescue Caches

  • Actions this period: 49672
  • Sowed: 10865
  • Tended: 38541

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
  • 626 days
  • 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)

Total Caches in Anoikis Right Now (Jan 4th 2020)

  • 2298 of 2603 (88.3%)

Looking forward to another great year!

Initiating Operation Hugeroo

Editor’s Note: Posted on Reddit as “When a 5 day old newbro makes a name for herself things are going as intended” by BraveLittleSignaleer, I just had to share it here as well. This story truly encapsulates the spirit of Signal Cartel and what we do. It’s an amazing and wonderful thing to see a five day old character who is a new Signaleer embracing our Credo, dropping what they’re doing and helping another capsuleer in need. I honestly don’t know who they are, as they wish to remain anonymous, but I’m a fan and they have my respect. Job well done!

As reported by BraveLittleSignaleer (with some wordsmithing):

A real life friend joined Eve Online on my recommendation. As soon as she could land she applied to Signal Cartel and was admitted within 24 hours. We started flying together and by day four she was a decently competent explorer. She decided she really wanted to go into wormholes and explore there. This is where she became friends with Allison.

Allison is pretty cool. She helps keep our explorers safe by reminding us to bookmark exits and giving us intel. Allison also happens to be able to tell us if the wormhole we’re in has any Search & Rescue requests pending or if an EVE-Scout Rescue Cache (ESRC) needs to be tended or deployed – “Hope that comes in a box”™.

Our rescuer did what no one her age had ever done in Signal Cartel (she’s fourteen in real life and at that time only five days into the game), which was to perform a successful NPNL rescue (the stranded pilot had No Probes and No Launcher).

Our Signaleer was exploring a C3, looking for Intact Armor Plates, when in local she sees there’s a capsuleer stranded in the hole. The pilot had been rolled in by a collapsed wormhole. She immediately replied with what surely will become an in game legend, “Initiating Operation Hugeroo. Standby.” She immediately fleeted up with the stranded capsuleer and warped him to the exit. Our stranded pilot was very thankful and straight from our Credo our rescuer replied, “Signal Cartel is a service corporation to all of New Eden. In this role, members are encouraged to treat all players with respect regardless of affiliation. In challenging situations, our goal is to look for a graceful resolution and set an example of dignity and friendship through our actions.”

Our rescuer is probably Eve’s youngest billionaire, all funded without losing a single ship, and all done in a free ship that Signal Cartel makes available to its newest and inexperienced Signaleers.