This was the craziest week for me yet in EVE…
EVE University had it’s 17th anniversary on the 15th of March. I really enjoyed taking part and even being able to contribute in some way to the celebration.
Fellow Unistas Auron Delarnu and Psychotic Fickity did a great job getting a week of amazing events off the ground. They involved all our different campuses and those really came through and created a week packed with events and activities.
Sometime during the planning phase, I suggested doing at least one public event for the birthday itself. As I had some memories of Chribba attending the 14th anniversary and wanted to get some celebrity to rouse the crowd, I volunteered to reach out. Chribba obliged gladly to our set time for the event. I was thrilled, but then discovered that many younger players seemed to not even know who he was. So we thought about how we could get some teasers and info out in advance to create a bit of hype. A few weeks before the anniversary, information about a new EVE monument in Amarr dedicated to Chribba leaked and I was even more excited, hoping it would be there for our party. As it turned out, it would go live about a week before.
Celebrating the beauty of New Eden
For the week of the anniversary, I was planning to attend only a couple events if time allowed. I would be sure to support everything else that was going on with regular Twitter posts and getting people to share pictures of the events, so we had stuff to get out to #tweetfleet via our EVE University account. If nothing else, I was banking on fellow Unista Fudster to take a few of his absolutely bonkers shots…well he came through, but in a very different way than I was expecting: he actually started a screenshot contest revolving around our public eve-in-pictures Discord channel. We were able to hook him up with nice prizes to give out for the winning pictures. He was so inundated, that it was actually hard to decide on how to distribute them. The competition sparked an onslaught of awesome pictures in the Discord channel and will hopefully lead to more competitions and a huge collage by Fudster.
As Razorien (CCP Aperture) is active in our pictures channel as well, Auron got the idea to have him involved in our festivities. So I reached out to him less than a week before the Birthday, thinking he would probably not be able to make time on such short notice. But lo and behold, he agreed to be our Birthday photographer from start to finish on the 15th. That had me even more excited for the celebration!
Plans shattered, plans adjusted
In the meantime my plans of just being a bystander were crushed as all the wonderful moderators I asked to do the talk with Chribba (and now with Razorien as well) weren’t able to make the time. That left me hatching plans with Auron of how to make the travel fleet and celebrations interesting – I was so worried it would be boring for people and I wouldn’t be able to moderate the talks well. Auron had the original idea of doing the Uni internal fireworks celebration at the Bonfire in Munory. A neat place with a surprisingly dark history, as it was a ritual place for the Blood Raiders. Munory is very close to Amarr, so that was perfect to combine both the more private party and the public event seamlessly.
My anxiety spiked when the official EVE Online twitter account shared the info about the celebration I had put out. At that point, I was thinking this could become much bigger than I originally anticipated. I shared my troubled thoughts with Razorien and Chribba who were both very nice and chill about it. I was really worried to be responsible for enabling the destruction of the Veldnaught. But Chribba just said that that would be an epic event.
So I toned down my expectations on the Sunday before the celebration to not go completely crazy. Which was very good, as we didn’t end up having a huge crowd.
Then I was hit in the guts with our ex-CEO Laura Karpinski announcing her departure from EVE Uni after nine(!) years of dedicated service to our community! That was quite the downer for me the weekend before the party. Nevertheless, I wish her an awesome time in Horde and hope to get to shoot her at some point 😜
The day of the festivities
Finally, the 15th March 2021 rolls around and everything is set. We are starting with a travel fleet from our Highsec Campus to go to Munory. Apart from the travel-ready frigates we would eventually pick up a couple Typhoons as well, which you’ll see making an appearance later on.
When our first guest joined us, as we were forming up, we got to feast our eyes on a rare little ship, enigmatic and kinda unassuming, but more powerful than even the mighty Titans: CCP Aperture appeared out of nowhere in his Dev-ship.
We went on our way to Munory, trying out the new formations, talking about the Blood Raiders and getting to see some favourite pics Razorien chose out of our competition entries.
As I do actually play with game sounds *gasp* going through gates while fireworks were going off was often deafening.
Once we reached Munory we were treated with fireworks by some Unistas that had already travelled there beforehand.
We stayed a while and enjoyed the site and many fireworks, using the dark ritual place for more enjoyable festivities.
Afterwards, we moved on to Amarr, made the fleet public and were greeted by a few people already gathered around Chribba’s Monument. The Veldnaught came in as Chribba joined our public Mumble and CCP Convict also joined our fleet and on my Twitch stream.
Talking to Chribba about his exploits and the (g)old(en) times of EVE Online was thoroughly enjoyable. It is amazing that he has been in the game continuously and such an institution in and of himself for so long – in a way similar to EVE University.
We talked about his obsession with Veldspar – and tried to get some details on the vastness of his wealth, which he understandably was a bit vague about.
Of course we talked about the history of his Veldnaught and I, as a player who hasn’t been around since the dawn of New Eden, was astonished at how back in the day even affording a single Cruiser would have been a huge undertaking. Chribba talked about how he had to work hard for weeks to even just get the few million needed together. The mighty Revelation that was still standing before us was an entirely different beast of course. At the time he had poured pretty much all his accumulated wealth into it and still cherishes it to this day.
He still regularly mines with his Revelation in Amarr and describes it as a subpar mining ship, but a great social miner.
Even before the event started he was around and made a little fashion show, which one of our Unistas was able to capture beautifully:
Most of Chribba’s fame and fortune stems from his brokering of Supercapital trades, and he gladly shared stories from his golden days before the advent of Citadels. I was again astounded at the actual amount of trades he did, as I couldn’t have imagined the volume of Supercapitals being handed around before it was more convenient and safe to do so. He was easily able to do five to ten trades every day, each netting him a commission of 300M ISK. And this was when Titans and Supercarriers were not as much of a commodity as they are today.
We also had loads of great questions from many Unistas coming up and Chribba gladly obliged and happily told his tales of yore.
I was actually planning to do some formation warping around the Monument, but as the talk had me captivated, I only tried a couple of warps at the end. Nevertheless, there were loads of great photo opportunities and a near endless amount of fireworks – though some Unistas ran out halfway through and had to get more from the tradehub. Our two beautiful Typhoons also danced around the Veldnaught in loving embrace and with matching SKINs:
To culminate the celebration, Psychotic Fickity recited her version of “Goodnight Moon”, which I had never heard of, but I guess most people from the US would know.
I was able to snatch a few pictures of her Stratios while she recited.
It was truly heart-warming and a perfect ending of the event for me personally. It was late and my family was waiting, so I had to drop out quite abruptly. Some Unistas still stayed and jokingly attempted to “gank” the Veldnaught with Corvettes to end the celebration on a more explosive note. I won’t have to tell you that they did not manage to kill it:
I’d like to thank every Unista who helped to make the festivities throughout the birthday week a reality and everyone who showed up for the Birthday party as well. Thanks to the wider community for showing your appreciation for what we do and celebrating with us!
A special thanks goes out to our esteemed guests Chribba and Razorien. See you next year again 😉
Razoriens beautiful pictures of EVE University’s birthday can be found on his Flickr: