Saturday, November 22, 2014

Eve in Plain Language

Ahh, the trailer! What a buzz it has stirred. I've spent some time on Reddit answering questions. I have done the same the last few times we have made a stir there. I also, deeply enjoy writing out the concepts and visualizations to people who have not played. It may come as a surprise, but I do enjoy writing about the game.

I've also started a side kick account so that I can spend some time for the next few weeks in Rookie chat helping.

Back on Reddit, the comments are full of people who make negative remarks. Spreadsheets in space. It sounds more fun then it is. It is 99% boring. I disagree with that and instead of telling people that they are wrong I just tell them what they are missing by believing that.

There is also the fact that Eve is full of lingo that does not make sense. So, I decided to answer some questions and attempt to break Eve down into plain language. My goal was to try to capture some of the game and structure for the game. It has a ton of holes and it is over simplified but the devil is in the details and the players are the devils.

This user asked:
I wish someone could abridge, commentate and give the summary of some real eve events. Reading stories are super thrilling but when you're watching 30 min videos of something you don't understand, it doesn't give the same vibe.
And I responded with:

Maybe not quite what you want but....
In our current point in the game we have just had a release at the start of November that changed our instantaneous teleportation abilities (jump drive). The change decreased the distance and frequency that we can use this skill. This was done by decreasing the number of light years that can be crossed. Only some ships can use teleportation. These ships are known as capital ships and are very large. In the video you will see people shooting an Archon (a type of logistics and/or combat carrier) a Revelation (a type of dreadnought) and a Erebus (a Titan) laying the smack down.
The rest of us use stargates or wormholes to get around. Stargates link systems to each other giving us the ability to go from point A to point by by jumping through a gate, warping across a system, and jumping through another gate. Our teleportation or jump technology lets those specialized ships bypass.
The nerf has caused some sovereign empires to contract to protect their space, some to collapse, and new ones to rise or come back to life who where beaten down again. This is where politics and dealings have been happening like crazy. Ownership has changed and some groups appear to be gearing up to go to war against others for space or because they where paid to do it. But looks can be deceiving.
Its a huge, massive, complex player made story. There are groups, however, who take brand new players and teach them the game out here. Player organizations tend to be incredible with intricate out of game tools to manage thousands of people. Brave Newbies for instance has over 10k people in their alliance I believe. Some of these groups are at war. Some have treaties. The status changes by the day it seems to an exterior observer such as myself.
In the ongoing story of the game, a NPC group known as the Sister of Eve (they specialize in rescue and research) are doing some weird things. We, the players, are being given access to 100 new systems with some new features and abilities. This is coming in December.
CCP only gives us tools. The players make the story. For instance, I run two markets in low security space. I buy things from one of the larger trade hubs in the game (these trade hubs grew out of themselves. CCP did not make them and lay them down as trade hubs) and move it to low security space where I sell for a markup. This allows people who cannot go into higher security space due to their outlaw status to buy things locally to supply themselves.
My own pirate corporation has been in the middle of a series of defensive operations for property that we own (structures known as POS or Player Owned Starbases). We are fighting other local pirates and local militia who fight for NPC factions.
Eve is composed of thousands of solar systems in a galactic cluster. Roughly it is a series of circles. In the center is what we call high security space. This is the safest but not completely safe area in the game. There are various NPC (non player character) groups that patrol this space and attack players who preform criminal actions against other players. They will also attack players who have obtained criminal status due to attacking other players.
This high security area is separated into our four NPC empires that form the foundation for our games background. The various NPC groups do and do not like each other. A player can do missions for NPC groups. Doing these can cause players to attack other NPC groups. This decreases your status with the NPC group that you have attacked. If it gets low enough that NPC area of space (clearly marked) can become hostile to you if you enter it.
This is roughly circled by low security space which is similar to the wild west. There are no NPC police in this area. There are sentry guns on gates and stations. These guns will shoot at players who preform criminal acts in their sight. This area is owned by the NPC empires but they do not police it. It is a lawless ghetto full of pirates and faction warriors.
Faction warfare is where players can sign up to join an empire's militia and fight against players from other empire militia's for reward. It is its own type of game play. Player pirates also live in this area as well as misc third parties who are there for why ever they want to be there. Eve does not have instancing If you get in a fight with a militia another random group may come and join into the fight and turn it into a three way, or a four way, or more. I am a pirate. I live here.
Around that is what we call NPC null security space. Null in this case stands for no NPC security. It is owned by NPC groups that are not part of the four empires. We also have Sovereign null security space. This is player owned space where groups can set their flag down, upgrade systems, have player controlled stations. This is what people go to war over. This is where you hear a lot of big Eve stories come from. This is where player empires rise and fall. Where the two largest types of ship in the game are built.
Our fourth area of space is called wormhole space. Eve is full of wormholes that you can scan down using special equipment. Wormhole space is a place, somewhere else with no stations and no gates. All movement is through wormholes. Wormholes are not static. They collapse from age. They also have mass limitations. All spaceships have mass. So only so many spaceships can go through various types of wormholes. Wormhole space has six levels of difficulty. It gets very technical at this point but it is a very unique area of space with extreme logistic and combat challenges. Consider it something out of a Mad Max movie.
In Eve, spaceships are disposable. They seem to be your avatar but you must think of them as ammunition. We have a lot of ships that do all sorts of fun and exciting things.
Eve is also not a game of linear progression. Very small and fragile spaceships are useful in the largest space battles. The largest, most expensive ships are not pownmobiles. Many players who have played for ten years still fly the cheapest and most fragile ships into combat because they are the hardest to fly at a high level.
Some players don't fly spaceships at all. They play the market, they build and invent ships, ammo, and modules. Almost everything in Eve is player built. We have people who mine. We have spaceship truckers who fly gigantic freighters accepting cargo contracts to move items through the universe. There is no magic mail in Eve. People build it and people move it.
There are mercenaries. There are teaching groups who educate players and send them off into the game. There are groups who run missions to make in game money. There are groups who do nothing but try to kill people who do those things. There are pirates and heroes and empire builders. There are people who specialize in stealth strikes and people who live in wormhole space.
I play for all of the above. The people are fantastic. The gameplay is not FPS but strategy, empire building, world building, and whatever you the player create with it.
I'm going to spend most of the weekend in rookie chat. I've already walked a few people through some content that was confusing them. The third Aura mission, the Academy confuses people because they have to go to a new system. It teaches them to use jump gates but they get very stuck. CCP and ISD are flooding the channel as well as a lot of experienced players. Questions are rapid fire. I've been dragging people aside and walking them through confusing spots. Its a form of catch and release. The more people who get helped through those weird confusing parts the more potential players stay and learn how awesome Eve is.

Tonight's goal will be to finish the CSM Sunday post, have dinner, and answer newbies all night. Looks like a good night.

2 comments:

  1. That was a pretty good summary for people with no knowledge of EvE. No jargon, all in normal English :)

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  2. Good summary, and the explanation of Phoebe was welcoming for me, a noob that gets around by himself but still has a lot to learn.

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