With Tranquility being upgraded to the Empyrean Age expansion, I thought I'd take some time to review Serenity Steele's EVE Strategic Maps (ESM). As I mentioned in the last episode of The Drone Bay, I got my copy of the ESM about 2 weeks ago.
When I first got it, I spent about half an hour going regions where my corp (Phoenix Labs) has been active, looking at the various systems we're mining in, to see where they connect to other regions, trade routes and what not. I have to say that it's quite an eye opening experience to finally wrap your head around the geography of the systems around your main base of operation.
Since then, I've used it to help see where I was going when accepting various missions and allowed myself to drop by systems on the way to my destination to see what was out there. It's a weird feeling. I mean I know a lot of these systems, having had to visit them either for mining operations or missions. But to actually see then on a map, is a different thing - to me anyways.
The ESM comes to you very well packaged, in a sturdy cardboard box. So for those of you like me who are a tad picky, you shouldn't be worried about it being damaged when it gets to you. With the ESM, you'll also get the typical EON insert (shown above) and a pad of little yellow stickers (140 in all) used to track outposts in the systems you visit. Buy subscribing to the 'Outpost Alert' and using the stickers, your maps should always be up to date.
On the flip side of the cover is the Legend. You'll need to learn it in order to take full advantage of the maps. It'll take some time to familiarize yourself with it though, as it is filled with a ton of information. From the types of jumps (system, region or constellation), to the number of stations in a systems and it's security level. You'll also have a way to quickly know the types of services available at these station, just by a quick glance. And there's a lot more information in there. The bottom-half of the Legend has a few examples which were very useful.
The Table of Content follows with all the regions, including the new Black Rise region that sits between the Caldari and Gallente Empires.
The Universe map will allow you to quickly see the placement of the various regions as you jump between them.
Finally the region maps starting, in alphabetical order, with Aridia. This is where the meet of the ESM is and where all the fun begins!
Serenity spent almost two years working on the ESM, and his efforts clearly show. A job well done. Call me old fashion, but there's just something about holding a 74 page atlas in you hands - something that a PDF can't compete with.
So, if you were thinking about getting a copy, use the downtime to order yours. With all the flying around we'll soon be doing for our respective factions, I know my copy will come in handy!