About EVE Online
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Eve Online (officially capitalized EVE Online) is a video game by CCP Games. It is a
player-driven persistent-world massively multiplayer online role-playing game
(MMORPG) set in a science fiction space setting. Players pilot customizable ships
through a universe comprising over 7,500 star systems. Most star systems are
connected to one or more other star systems by means of stargates. The star systems
can contain several phenomena including, but not limited to: moons, planets, stations, wormholes, asteroid belts and complexes.
Players of EVE Online are able to participate in a number of in-game professions and activities, including mining, piracy, manufacturing, trading, exploration and combat (both player versus environment and player versus player). The range of activities available to the player is facilitated by a character advancement system based upon training skills in real time, even while not logged into the game.
EVE Online was first released in North America and Europe in May 2003, it was published from May to December 2003 by Simon & Schuster Interactive, after which CCP purchased the rights back and began to self-publish via a digital distribution scheme. On January 22, 2008 it was announced that EVE Online would be distributed via Steam. On March 10, 2009 the game was again made available in boxed form in stores, released by Atari. The current version of EVE Online is dubbed Tyrannis, which was released on May 26, 2010. On September 21, 2010, CCP Games announced an expansion named "Incursion", scheduled for release in three different parts throughout November 2010 to January 2011.
Set more than 21,000 years in the future, the background story of EVE Online explains that humanity, having used up most of Earth's resources through centuries of explosive population growth, began colonizing the rest of the Milky Way. In turn, this expansion also led to competition and fighting over available resources as it did on Earth, but everything changed with the discovery of a natural wormhole leading to an unexplored galaxy dubbed 'New Eden'. Dozens of colonies were founded and a structure was built to stabilize the wormhole that bridged the intergalactic colonies with the rest of human civilization, a giant gateway bearing the name "EVE". However, when the natural wormhole unexpectedly collapsed it destroyed the gate.
Cut off from the rest of humanity and its much-needed supplies from Earth, the colonists of New Eden were left starved, and disconnected from one another, some died out entirely. Over the eons the descendants of the colonists managed to survive and rebuild their own societies, but the memories and knowledge of humanity's origins as well as their own from Earth and the Milky Way slowly became long lost. Five distinct societies arose from the remnants of the colonies to prominence, each eventually growing into interstellar spaceflight-capable civilizations. The states based around these colonies make up the five major factions in EVE Online: the Amarr Empire, the Caldari State, the Gallente Federation, the Minmatar Republic and the Jove Directorate.
The Amarr, a monotheistic theocratic empire, were the first of the playable races to rediscover faster-than-light travel. Armed with this new technology and the strength of their faith in their god, the Amarr expanded their empire by conquering and enslaving several races, including the Minmatar race, who had only just begun colonizing other planets. Generations later, after the intense culture shock of encountering the Gallente Federation, and in the wake of a disastrous attempted invasion of Jovian space, many Minmatar took the opportunity to rebel and successfully overthrew their enslavers, forming their own government in the EVE Online universe. However, much of their population remain enslaved by the Amarr, and some, having adopted the Amarrian religion and sided with their masters during the revolution, were released from bondage and incorporated into the Empire as commoners in the Ammatar Mandate. The free Minmatar Republic, taking as inspiration the ideals and practices of the Gallente Federation, is presently a strong military and economic power actively seeking the emancipation of their brethren and all other slaves.
The Gallente and the Caldari homeworlds are situated in the same star system. The Gallente homeworld was originally settled by descendants of the French colonists of Tau Ceti; Caldari Prime on the other hand was purchased by a multinational megacorporation that began to terraform it. The terraforming of Caldari Prime was incomplete at the time of the wormhole's collapse, however, and the planet remained environmentally inhospitable for millennia. The Gallente restored themselves to a high-functioning technological society some hundred years before the Caldari, building the first lastingly democratic republic of the new era in the form of the Gallente Federation.
Originally the Caldari were members of the Federation, though cultural animosity between the two peoples spiralled into a war during which the Caldari seceded from the Federation to found their own Caldari State. The war lasted 93 years, with neither nation able to overwhelm the other. The planet Caldari Prime was retained by the Gallente Federation during the war, and did not become part of the new Caldari State. Much more recently, however, a new Caldari offensive managed to recapture their lost homeworld, a fact which is viewed with abhorrence by the Gallente, who see the presence of a significant Caldari fleet about the planet as a mass hostage taking.
Both the Gallente Federation and Caldari State are economical and trade oriented nations, however, the Gallente favour liberal market policies, encourage individual entrepreneurship, and maintain a democratic and progressive approach to social welfare whereas the Caldari State is founded upon statist corporatocracy, where the State itself is owned by and operated on behalf of various megaconglomerates.
Due to their official policies regarding multiculturalism and encouragement for diversity, the Gallente Federation attracts many immigrants; a third of the Federation's population consists of ethnic Minmatars, while the Caldari State originally existed at a relative population deficit, which was rectified instead by a State-wide programme of artificial reproduction, producing a generation of so-called 'Tube Children' to provide larger labour pools to the controlling corporations.
The Jovians (currently a non-playable race) were colonists, too. Unlike the other races of EVE Online, they maintained use of their technology after the collapse of the wormhole and did not need to spend millennia rediscovering it, and while the other four major races were still grounded, Jovian history saw two periods of empire. They expanded outward and eventually turned to genetic engineering in order to mold themselves into a people more suited for deep-space life and long-range interstellar exploration. Genetic experimentation, however, eventually led to the deadly "Jovian Disease", a heritable psychiatric disorder which, despite their best efforts to reverse it, crippled their civilization. They now inhabit a region of space supposedly inaccessible to outsiders.
In addition to different backgrounds and histories, each of the races have characteristic philosophies of starship design. Minmatar ships tend to be quite fast but fragile, and rely on their speed to evade the tracking systems of larger weapons, while themselves using projectile weapons such as artillery or autocannons, more sophisticated kin to today's munitions technology. Amarr ships are usually slow, heavily armored, and use laser weaponry. Gallente ships are sleek, well designed and armored, and specialize in deploying fleets of robotic drones while mounting hybrid weapons that operate using superconducting magnets to launch mass toward targets at extreme speeds. Finally, Caldari ships are typically poorly armored and not particularly fast but very well-shielded, and make extensive use of torpedo/missile launchers and hybrid railguns, favouring engagement at extreme ranges.
Players start the game by either selecting a previously-created character or by creating a new one. Each EVE Online account allows for up to three characters to be made. When players create a new character they start by choosing one of the four playable races of Amarr, Gallente, Minmatar and Caldari. Each race is further divided into three bloodlines that give characters different pre-defined appearances, which can be finely tuned by the player.
Unlike many other MMOs, where there are numerous copies of the game universe (called "shards" or "realms") intended to run at once, EVE Online is functionally a single-universe game. There are technically three copies of the universe running-the main server "Tranquility", the Chinese-based "Serenity", and the test server "Singularity" which is subject to periodic wipes when new content is being tested -but rather than starting a new "realm" when in-game population increases, CCP simply adds new features to the existing game environment, sometimes going so far as to close an entire system when necessary.
The playing environment in EVE Online consists of more than 5000 interconnected star systems, as well as 2500 randomly accessible wormhole systems, taking place in 23341 AD. Systems are classified by their Security Status, on a decimal scale from 0.0 to 1.0. These systems are roughly categorized into three groups, each determining the response from CONCORD (Consolidated Cooperation and Relations Command) NPC law enforcement units. Star systems classed as 0.5 - 1.0 security are considered "high sec" and any unauthorized/unprovoked attack by a player, on another player, anywhere in the system will result in the appearance of law enforcement. These units will attack and destroy the aggressor, and are designed to reinforce in such numbers that they will always eventually win.
Systems classified as 0.1 - 0.4 are considered "low sec", and unprovoked attacks will result in a criminal countdown of 15 minutes, during which gate and station guns will fire at them, and other players may attack them without penalty. 0.0 systems are called "zero space" or "null sec", and feature no law enforcement. Star systems contain different types of celestial objects, making them more or less suitable for different kinds of operations. Typically, players find asteroid fields, planets, stations and moons in a system. Many of the game's most profitable income sources are found in dangerous nullsec or lowsec systems, giving players incentive to engage in high-risk, high-reward activities in which they must survive the possible harassment of other players who may also enter the system.
Unlike other massively multiplayer online games, player characters in EVE Online advance continuously over time by training skills, a passive process that occurs in real world time so that the learning process continues even if the player is not logged in. Skills vary in their Rank, an indicator of how many skill points players have to acquire in order to train the skill. For example, a Rank 2 skill takes at least twice as long to train as a Rank 1 skill. Skills can take anywhere from a few minutes to several months to train. Though each account can have up to three characters created, only one of these can train at a time.
The in-game economy in EVE Online is an open economy that is largely player-driven. Non-player character (NPC) merchants sell skill books used by players to learn new skills and blueprints to manufacture ships and modules. The players themselves gather the necessary raw materials to manufacture almost all of the ships and ship modules in the game. NPC ships can be looted or salvaged for items and materials, Non-player created ships and equipment may be purchased from various NPC factions as a player gains status with them, and can be resold in the in-game economy. The in-game currency is called ISK, an abbreviation for Interstellar Kredits.
The amount of money or materials in the universe is not fixed and, as such, the economy operates under supply and demand. Market manipulation is possible on a large scale, particular examples being ramping and bear raids. CCP does not issue refunds on in-game purchases. This causes scamming to become an ever present risk. The economy is balanced by automatically introducing extra materials in underpopulated areas. This encourages an even spread of players.
The game provides support for the trading of in-game resources, including graphs of item price history, with Donchian Channel and daily average price. Some players operate primarily as traders, buying, selling and transporting goods to earn profits. Others operate primarily as producers, purchasing compoments or raw materials and transforming them, sometimes on massive scales, into useful items such as weapons, ships, ammunition, or various technologies wanted by players. Others still operate as miners or salvagers, collecting and sometimes processing the raw materials used in manufacturing to sell on to others in bulk. Finally, some players operate as mercenaries or pirates, earning money or being paid primarily to be battle-ready and to either attack or defend from attack profitable enterprises such as mining, salvaging or transportation of goods.
Due to the game's focus on freedom, consequence, and autonomy, many behaviours that are considered griefing in most MMO's are allowed in Eve, such as stealing from other players, extorting, and causing other players to be killed by large groups of NPCs.
Only malicious, prolonged and concentrated harassment where no material gain is involved and a few other actions are considered to be illicit griefing by the game's developer.