EVE Online Strategic Maps

17th July 2008 – 7.20 am

I mentioned yesterday about heading in to the Lonetrek region to find a new agent. Space in EVE Online is split up in to large regions, within which there are constellations, and the constellations are made from individual solar systems. All of the stars of these systems can be found on the three-dimensional map, which also shows regional names, and allows for inspection of the security status of the system and the route needed to jump between systems. Jumping between constellations and regions is no different from jumping between solar systems, they are just boundaries on a map.

Unfortunately, my puny meat-head finds it difficult to use the three-dimensional map. The stars are not named until the cursor is moved over them; with the whole galaxy represented in the map, even though the more distant a star is the smaller it is displayed, moving the cursor around the map is not an easy way to find out local information. The map can be zoomed in and out and rotated, and whilst this can help to isolate stars to find out information about them it can also change the viewpoint enough to disorientate and make the surrounding area look unfamiliar again.

It is possible to set a destination for a mission or from having found an agent and then call up the map, and the route will be highlighted, jump to jump, showing which systems will be passed through and the security status of each. It generally has to be assumed that the on-board computer has picked the optimal path, which I imagine to be the case but it still isn't easy to check.

This is why, almost on a whim, I picked up the EVE Online Strategic Map book. I'm not one to buy guides for games, partly because I think most of the enjoyment of a game is gained from working out what to do yourself and partly because I believe games shouldn't require a separate book to be able to find out almost-essential information. In the case of this atlas, I consider it to be a useful aid in navigation and geography. Every system in the game is represented in a two-dimensional grid with all jump paths marked, even distinguishing between local jumps, constellation jumps, and region jumps.

The book really is just a factual companion to the galaxy. There is nothing in the book but maps. Every region is shown in relation to every other, and every region has its entire star structure detailed. The security status of each system, as well as how many moons and asteroid fields are present, whether there is a space station in the system and what facilities it has, and any other information that would be useful to a space cadet is included. It may not be reading material, but it gives a helpful representation of the galaxy that is easier to scan than the three-dimensional map. It is also pretty much the only way I knew that I had travelled between The Forge and Lonetrek regions.

Considering how much low security space there is in the galaxy, there is perhaps a lot of the book that I won't be using. However, what I will be using of the book looks quite handy at the moment, as I am picking my way between systems, and I think it is worth the cost. If this were still the age of buying games in boxes with manuals and extra materials, the EVE Online Strategic Map book would be an essential inclusion.

  1. 4 Responses to “EVE Online Strategic Maps”

  2. Don't give up on the 3D ingame map. It grows on you with continued use. There's also an invaluable solar system view to aid in exploration and making safespot bookmarks.

    Although I'm sure the paper maps are a lot easier to use for stuff like finding where the nearest Medical Station is.

    By Winged Nazgul on Jul 17, 2008

  3. Yes, I think as I become familiar with the general layout I'll be more comfortable navigating my way around in the in-game map.

    If nothing else, it's great to spin around and get a sense of scale.

    I'm not sure if the solar system view is bugged on my system or not, but as I've stopped experiencing as many texture map anomalies when in deadspace maybe I should check it out again and see if it too is working.

    By pjharvey on Jul 17, 2008

  4. I noticed an omission in the maps. On the region map for The Citadel there isn't a region-jump link between Muvolailen and Jita. Nothing serious, but it's good to know that there is a link between the two regions at that point.

    By pjharvey on Jul 21, 2008

  5. You can also click the button to change from 3d mapping to a flattened 2d map which is very useful

    By john on Oct 14, 2008

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