I recently found myself back in New Eden. For those of you who’ve never had the chance to visit New Eden let me tell you it’s one of the most culturally, technologically, and economically diverse universes in the Gaming world. I am of course talking about EVE Online.
Upon logging in, I noticed a nice graphics update, as well as improved performance. I was also able to download the client and update the client faster than I ever have before.
I’ve also found a revived community. While EVE isn’t World or Warcraft, it’s by far one of, if not, the most successful sci-fi MMOs on the market. One that it’s community has helped to sculpt, grow, and keep alive. I will admit it isn’t for everyone, though, and as both a fan and a player I’ve, at times, found it hard to keep playing what some call a “spreadsheet in space.” It like any online game does see an ebb and flow to its member base, but like clockwork CCP, the studio behind EVE Online, finds ways to bring both new players into the game, and bring veteran plays back.
EVE is very in-depth and meticulous, and unlike so many games, what you do can have some serious impacts, for better or worse. Starting with your character, which is also known as a capsuleer in-game. Once you name your capsuleer, there’s no changing the name. It seems simple and even stupid that a game that’s been running for 12 years, having been launched in May of 2003.
You also have to think about every decision, every fight, every moment of time. It all effects you and it could affect every last person in New Eden. That’s the beauty of EVE. When your ship is destroyed it’s gone. If you’re smart you’ll get an insurance payout to help replace it and typically part of the equipment that you’d fitted to the ship. If you’re unlucky enough to be podded, which is the closest thing to death one can get in EVE, then you’ll wake up inside of a new clone. All your possessions, at least, the ones on your person/ship at the time are gone. You’ve got to start over with whatever you’ve got left. It can be a hassle, it’s a pain. One that I’ve learned for myself a few times. But it makes the game more of a challenge and a lot more fun. It also makes you think, which can make that game a bit more of a job at times.
You also find spies, traitors, and thieves. People will paly you and your friends for information, gear, and money. There is nothing stopping them unless you can catch them and make them pay. It has created a little tension and even state of distrust among everyone.
One thing that sets EVE apart from a lot of MMO is that the developers, CCP, take a bit of hands-off approach to the workings of the game. That is to say, they don’t punish people for some forms of harassment. Nor do they oppose people taking advantage of the system, so long as it’s not an exploit of the games programming. CCP’s view is that EVE is a real world, and in such the people of New Eden have a lot of freedom to do as they please. Now that isn’t to say they won’t stop people from just harassing or even threatening people in real life. CCP won’t tolerate poor behaviour. They also don’t tolerate ISK sellers. ISK, or Interstellar Kredit, is the currency of New Eden. Numerous reports, including official, reports from
CCP stated that people who are caught buying ISK with real world money have their ISK taken from them, typically having double the amount of ISK they bought as a way to punish them and causing them to really have to work for their money. Outside of that and a few other exceptions CCP allows EVE in its entirety evolve and work in a natural way. That includes a completely player-driven market that ebbs and flows based off of how players buy and sell. So if someone wants to sell a piece of scrap metal for one ISK, then they can. If they want to sell it for 10 billion ISK then so be it.
The game also evolves on the other end of the spectrum. The NPC, non-player characters, continue to grow, change, and even wage their own war. Recently the Upwell Consortium, a group of NPC corporations, have joined forces to raid Serpentis forces that had recently been attacking and stealing tech. This NPC corporation not only are attacking the Serpentis but they’ve reached out to capsuleers and not only asked for help but encouraged it by allowing them to keep any and everything they may find during their raids. This is Operation Frostline and it’s just one of many similar events that happen in EVE. Players also create similar events that may include just themselves or hundreds, if not thousands of players fighting one another and, in turn, changing the face of New Eden.
These battles grow to such a size that real world news organizations have reported on it because so many people were dedicated to the fight, and the dollar, or rather ISK, the amount of all the damage, ships, and people are staggering.
EVE, or New Eden as it’s called in-game, is a unique environment and it’s filled with real people, real problems, and real life in digital form. It’s about your choices and the choices of everyone in New Eden that determine how the universe evolves. Your decisions aren’t to be taken lightly.