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March 3, 2013

Blog Introduction

This is the first post in my research project, which will be centered around EVE Online and a few of it’s expansions. Each post will;

  • Summarise the changes and updates in the expansion.
  • Briefly explain what this means for the game and its community.
  • Describe the reaction that the expansion was given by the community, both in the game and in the games industry.
  • Detail my own experiences with the game at the time.

Later on, the development team (Crowd Control Productions, or CCP) started posting blogs and videos about the expansions, so if possible these will be included too. This includes Trailers, Developer Blogs and Developer & Insider Vlogs. This project will also briefly explain the games setting, which could include references to the Chronicles, the Scientific Articles, the Factions History, the 3 Novels about the game, and the way the players themselves influenced the course of events in New Eden (The Galaxy/Star cluster that the game is usually set in).

If possible, I’ll also be contacting people I know who play the game to interview, to gain more information on the player-based politics in the game. I can also use blogs and forums for this, and some players have even set up small news networks to keep track of the latest updates and changes that aren’t reported on by larger news outlets, so those will be very valuable.

EVE Universe Introduction

Something I feel I need to clarify about EVE; Gameplay and Progression favors the patient. The way skills train, by taking an amount of Real Time to progress to the next level (there is no Training or Grinding or Objective to complete or do that will speed this up), and the way that the game is known as more of an Economic, Political and Warfare simulator (albeit, within a fictional world) than a traditional game, gives this game every right to be called A Patient Person’s Game.

The complexity of the Lore and the gameworld itself is so much that it would take a very, very large project to even summarise completely, so this project will focus on the few chosen expansions more than anything else, and will use the developers own videos to help.

As a Player in the game’s universe, you’re first introduced to the area the game takes place in. This happens as soon as you try to create a character to play as on the character select screen; you’re greeted with a video introducing the Lore of the game, not with much detail but with enough to bring you into the environment without being completely clueless.

Before 2005, the game had an introduction video about the Backstory. This was then changed to tell the players about their role in the gameworld more than anything.

Video Summary – Backstory Introduction

  • Humans colonised the galaxy at some point in the future.
  • Factions and Corporations were formed, and eventually turned against each other.
  • Truce was found when a natural wormhole formed, the first discovered. They called it The EVE Gate.
  • Colonists braved the journey and found themselves in an entirely new Galaxy, New Eden.
  • The Wormhole collapsed, severing supply lines to several colonies that needed it. A few survived.
  • The survivors reinvented society as a whole, and became 4 main races and empires, among other factions.

This next video is what players see when they try and create a character in the game, before they get to the actual character creator screen.

Video Summary – Player Role Introduction

  • As a Player, you experience the gameworld through a human who has just become a Capsuleer or “Pod Pilot”.
  • Essentially, Capsuleers plug into their ships similarly to how humans plugged into ‘The Matrix’ in the movies.
  • As such, you are often revered and feared as the Demigod your ability paints you as; flying a ship with extreme efficiency.
  • The gameworld revolves around you and other Capsuleers; it’s intensely competitive, and what defines the gameworld.
  • Death does not matter too much; You can always be Cloned into a new body, your consciousness uploaded upon death, and downloaded upon ‘rebirth’.

The 4 Main Races and Empires make up a large portion of the gameworld, and are a key feature to it’s lore and history. After the 2005 update, the developers (CCP Games) decided to add in summaries of the Races and their history on the character select screen, when you pick a race for your character to start as. They each have unique styles, but can be made fairly generic if you want; the character creator is very high-detail, and morphing or changing your character to suit your taste is easy after the Incarna expansion.

Introduction Summary: Minmatar Republic

  • Concept Based on African and Tribal culture.
  • They have founded the Minmatar Republic, which is based on a few of the main Tribes (there are quite a few).
  • Typically having dark skin, though this is entirely optional.
  • Were once enslaved to the Amarr, and are still fighting to liberate slaves within the Amarr Empire.

Introduction Summary: Amarr Empire

  • Concept Based on the history of The British Empire.
  • They have a Slave Trade, and are infamous for their methods.
  • Have a very fervent belief in “The Reclaiming”, which is a slight variant on the concept of The Crusades.
  • The first to reinvent space flight, they have conquered and expanded to claim the largest empire.
  • Their Capsuleers are frequently elderly; becoming a Capsuleer in the vast Amarr Empire takes a lifetime.
  • Their empire is split into Regions by the Holders and their families; they rule over their domain and form the Empire as a whole, while their heirs may become Emperor Empress.

Introduction Summary: Gallente Federation

  • Concept Based around European, but mostly French culture.
  • Prideful of their Democracy and Freedom, they are natural allies for the Minmatar, and are at odds with the Amarr.
  • Fought a war with the Caldari; their cultures are intensely different, despite having the same origin solar system.
  • Generally they favour Economical and Industrial might.
  • Made up of States, one of which now ceases to be one after rebelling (the Caldari State).

Introduction Summary: Caldari State

  • Concept Based around North American and Japanese culture; Hyper-Capitalist and very Corporate-based.
  • Not much of an empire, more like a collection of MegaCorporations that own several entire solar-systems. This includes the people within; entire families and planets have become entrenched in the Meritocracy that is the state.
  • The Megacorporations themselves often have in-border cold wars, but do fight together when threats from outside occur.
  • Citizens are often given Military Training, and can handle weaponry and military exercises well.
  • They often clash with the Minmatar and the Gallente, especially with culture.
  • Their homeworld (Caldari Prime) is within the same solar system as the Gallente homeworld (Gallente Prime or Luminaire).

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