EVE Online players received some good news today, when CCP Games announced a free holiday gift for all active subscribers: the Zephyr, a pure exploration vessel that's unique among all ships of New Eden in both form and function. Beyond the pimp factor of this Intaki Syndicate ship, the Zephyr's primary use will be in the uncharted expanses of wormhole space. It's the only ship in EVE Online that has a probe launcher built in. This "Prototype Iris Probe Launcher"-equipped ship pairs minimal mass (and less likelihood of collapsing a wormhole) with a small sensor footprint, which makes it hard to scan down by hostiles. While the integrated exploration gear is nice, even better is that Sleeper NPCs -- the awakened and powerful guardians of wormhole space -- will not fire upon a Zephyr (EVE filmmakers take note!). What's even cooler is that it actually has sails; it's designed to soar through space on solar winds when not in warp.

The Zephyr exploration ship will be free to all players and available to be claimed between December 18th and January 6th, 2009. Redeeming the ship is easy, simply log in to the EVE client on or after December 18th and click "Redeem Items!" on the lower right of the client window. Remember it's one ship per active (non-trial) account, not per character, and this may very well be a one time offer. Have a look at CCP Wrangler's full description of the Zephyr for more on this rather unique addition to New Eden's array of ships.

This article was originally published on Massively.